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Showing posts from September, 2012

FHA MIP Release

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FHA loans require mortgage insurance premium to cover a possible loss to the lender if the property has to be foreclosed and sold. The premium is substantial and eliminating the MIP would reduce the payment considerably.The MIP must remain in effect for five years but after that, when the balance is 78% of the original purchase price, FHA will release the requirement and your monthly payment will go down. Since amortization is affected by interest rates, the normal time to reach this 78% point could be from 9 to 12 years at today's interest rates.In the example below, the MIP would be released in 9 years 6 months with normal payments. An extra $100 a month would allow the borrower to reach the release point in 7 years 1 month. To reach the release point in the minimum five years, the borrower would have to make an extra $268.04 per month principal contribution.Releasing the MIP in this example would save the borrower $177.67 per month. The borrower would also save interest, build …

Home Safety & Security Tips

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A quick once-over of the items on this list may improve the safety and security of your home and could protect your family and friends. It is important to periodically pay attention to these things because things change over time.SecurityDoes each exterior door have a deadbolt?Does the lock on each window work? Have you added pins or clips to your windows for additional security?Do you have dowels or broom sticks in the track of windows and sliding glass doors?Do you have security company labels or signs displayed prominently?Do you have an alarm system? Is the system monitored?Do you have a dog that barks when strangers approach the home?Are emergency numbers posted near the telephones?FireDo you have smoke detectors near all sleeping areas?Do you check the batteries monthly and change them annually?Do you have two carbon monoxide detectors?Do you have an escape ladder for upper floors?Do you have fire extinguishers near exits and in the kitchen?Do you have an emergency escape plan a…

Asia Pacific Buyer Trends

The Honolulu Board of Realtors (HBR) sponsored "The Asia Pacific Real Estate Forum" held on August 17, 2012 at the Hawaii Convention Center.

 Dr. Michael Sklarz of Collateral Analytics (CA) presented information on the Asia Pacific Buyer Trends, shown in this Power Point link:

HBR Asia Pacific Forum "Buyer Trends"

Dr. Sklarz discussed the purchasing activity for countries like Korea, China, Japan, Malaysia, and Singapore; what is motivating them to buy; what impact has the Japan tsunami had on Oahu’s largest Asia Pacific buyer client and what is expected in the future.

Dr. Sklarz is President of CA, a company that develops real estate analytical products for a variety of institutions and real estate investors, and provides funding and support to developers of early stage property technology applications. The CA website is https://collateralanalytics.com/. Dr. Sklarz can be followed on Twitter @HomePriceTrends and on Linked in (Collateral Analytics).

Rates Are Down But It Costs More?

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The latest Housing Affordability Index from the National Association of REALTORS® shows an interesting trend taking place this year that needs buyers' attention. Most people know that the mortgage rates are still at incredibly low rates but don't feel there is much sense of urgency.This report shows that mortgage rates have fallen from 4.37% in January to 3.81% for June. However, the report shows that the payment as a percentage of income has gone from 12.1% to 13.9% which simply means that buyers have to spend more of their income on a home.The reason is that the median price of homes nationally has gone from $154,600 in January to $190,100 in June which is a 23% increase. The two major components of housing affordability are the price of the homes and the mortgage rates a buyer must pay.Even if one of those components is going down, the other could have a significant affect as is shown in this year's trend in housing affordability. In the past few weeks, the effects of w…

Handling the Eyesore

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It can be unsightly and upsetting when a home in a neighborhood isn't being maintained like the others. It might be an overgrown yard, a fence in need of repair, paint peeling on the home or even a car parked in front of the home that hasn't moved in weeks.I believe most people want to be good neighbors and may be willing to correct the issue once it is brought to their attention. In some cases, they may not agree with the same urgency and it might be necessary to seek other remedies.The most expedient solution may be to contact the responsible person and describe your perception of the problem. An owner-occupant may be sympathetic to the neighbors and more than willing to correct the issue.However, if you suspect that it is a rental property, check with the county tax records to identify the owner. They may be unaware of the situation and would actually welcome the "heads-up" to protect their investment.The next step might be to notify the homeowner's associatio…

Handling the Eyesore

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It can be unsightly and upsetting when a home in a neighborhood isn't being maintained like the others. It might be an overgrown yard, a fence in need of repair, paint peeling on the home or even a car parked in front of the home that hasn't moved in weeks.I believe most people want to be good neighbors and may be willing to correct the issue once it is brought to their attention. In some cases, they may not agree with the same urgency and it might be necessary to seek other remedies.The most expedient solution may be to contact the responsible person and describe your perception of the problem. An owner-occupant may be sympathetic to the neighbors and more than willing to correct the issue.However, if you suspect that it is a rental property, check with the county tax records to identify the owner. They may be unaware of the situation and would actually welcome the "heads-up" to protect their investment.The next step might be to notify the homeowner's associatio…