Showing posts from May, 2020

Mortgage Application and Forbearance Rates Paint Optimistic Picture

David Deem 714-997-3486
Mortgage applications increased 2.7 percent from the previous week, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association's (MBA) Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey for the week ending May 22. The refinance index stayed relatively flat, decreasing only 0.2 percent from the previous week; however, it is 176 percent higher YoY. The seasonally adjusted Purchase Index increased 9 percent from the previous week.

The Breakdown – Share of Total Applications

FHA Applications – 11.2 percent, down from 11.5 percent
VA Applications – 12. percent, down from 13.4 percent
USDA Applications – 0.6 percent, down from 0.7 percent

"The housing market is continuing its path to recovery as various states reopen, leading to more buyers resuming their home search. Purchase applications increased 9 percent last week—the sixth consecutive weekly increase and a jump of 54 percent since early April. Additionally, the purchase loan amount has increased steadily in recent weeks…

Preventing Mosquito and Tick Bites in Your Yard

David Deem 714-997-3486
It’s summer–the season to fire up the grill, fill up the cooler, and invite family and friends over for a picnic or other get-together in your home’s yard. To stay safe and keep the outside fun going, however, you’ll want to avoid inviting two potential visitors: mosquitoes and ticks.

Too many pesky insects can ruin a good time, and although most bug bites are annoying but harmless, some mosquitoes and ticks can spread dangerous diseases, such as West Nile virus and Lyme disease. Fortunately, you can take steps to help prevent mosquitoes and ticks from joining a yard party this summer, and to keep you and your family safer.

Make Your Yard Less Attractive
Mosquitoes lay eggs in or near standing water. To help eliminate mosquito breeding grounds, either empty and scrub, turn over, or cover outside items that hold water—including buckets, planters, birdbaths, flowerpots and trash containers—once a week. Also throw out things you don’t use that can coll…

Tips for Maintaining Your Marble Countertops

David Deem 714-997-3486

With marble countertops being all the rage, it’s time we talk about how to care for this stunning surface. While it lends a timeless and elegant look to your kitchen and bathrooms, truth be told, the beloved stone can be rather high maintenance. Take the proper measures, however, and it’s totally worth it for a classic look that isn’t going out of style any time soon.

Here are a few tips to keep your marble countertops looking as new as the day you got them.

Use a Sealer
Unlike quartz or granite, marble is a porous surface. That means that a spilled glass of red wine could potentially be the end of your all-white kitchen. To avoid that from happening, you’re going to have to apply a marble sealer. Your supplier can likely do this upon installation, as well as provide advice on how often to reapply the sealer. Typically, once a month will do the trick.

Avoid Acids
Acidic substances, like lemons, should never be in direct contact with marble because the…

Experts Predict Economic Recovery Should Begin in the Second Half of the Year

David Deem 714-997-3486

One of the biggest questions we all seem to be asking these days is: When are we going to start to see an economic recovery? As the country begins to slowly reopen, moving forward in strategic phases, business activity will help bring our nation back to life. Many economists indicate a recovery should begin to happen in the second half of this year. Here’s a look at what some of the experts have to say. Jerome Powell, Federal Reserve Chairman “I think there’s a good chance that there’ll be positive growth in the third quarter. And I think it’s a reasonable expectation that there’ll be growth in the second half of the year… So, in the long run, I would say the U.S. economy will recover. We’ll get back to the place we were in February; we’ll get to an even better place than that.I’m highly confident of that. And it won’t take that long to get there.” Nonpartisan Analysis for the U.S Congress “The economy is expected to begin recovering during the second…

10 Laundry Tips to Cut Your Energy Bill

David Deem 714-997-3486

Did you know that laundry machines are among the costliest appliances in your home to operate because of their high energy usage? Given that many families clean multiple loads of clothes every week, taking steps to be more efficient in the laundry room might help lower your overall power bill.

The U.S. Department of Energy offers the following tips:

1. Use cold water. Using warm water instead of hot can cut a load's energy use in half, and using cold water will save even more. Cold-water detergents can be helpful to ensure items get clean, and high-efficiency detergents (indicated by the "HE" symbol) should be used when required by the manufacturer.

2. Wash full loads. Your washer will use about the same amount of energy no matter the size of the load, so fill it up.

3. Air dry when possible. Hang laundry outside or on a drying rack to avoid using the dryer altogether.

4. Switch loads while the dryer’s still warm. This will allow you to …

6 Reasons Why Selling Your House on Your Own Is a Mistake

David Deem 714-997-3486
There are many benefits to working with a real estate professional when selling your house. During challenging times like the one we face today, it becomes even more important to have an expert help guide you through the process. If you're considering selling on your own, known in the industry as a For Sale By Owner or FSBO, please consider the following: 1. Your Safety Is a PriorityDuring this pandemic, your family's safety comes first. When you FSBO, it is incredibly difficult to control entry into your home. A real estate professional will have the proper protocols in place to protect not only your belongings, but your family's health and well-being too. From regulating the number of people in your home at one time to ensuring proper sanitization during and after a showing, and even facilitating virtual tours for buyers, agents are equipped to follow the latest industry standards recommended by the Natio…

FHFA Announces Payment Deferral Option for Homeowners in COVID-19 Forbearance Plans

David Deem 714-997-3486

To help homeowners who are in COVID-19-related forbearance, the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) has announced that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac (the Enterprises) are making available a new payment deferral option. The payment deferral option allows borrowers, who are able to return to making their normal monthly mortgage payment, the ability to repay their missed payments at the time the home is sold, refinanced, or at maturity.

"For homeowners in forbearance due to COVID-19, payment deferral allows them to make up missed forbearance payments when they sell their home or refinance," said FHFA Director Mark Calabria. "This new forbearance repayment solution responsibly simplifies options for homeowners while providing an additional tool for mortgage servicers. Borrowers who can pay their mortgage should, because missed payments remain an obligation that will ultimately have to be repaid."

In response to the COVID-19 nation…

Regional Spotlights: How the Real Estate Industry Is Faring Amidst COVID-19

David Deem 714-997-3486

The coronavirus pandemic has impacted markets worldwide. However, it can be hard to determine just how much this crisis has influenced U.S. real estate without looking at the impact on a local level. Here are the first quarter and April market reports for several states and key metro areas across the U.S.

New York City

In New York City, residential sales volume decreased 16 percent YoY, from $10.5 billion to $8.7 billion. Sales volume for condos and cooperatives in Manhattan also decreased, 35 percent YoY. The average sales price for a home in NYC in the first quarter of 2020 was $1.01 million.

“Market indicators have warned New Yorkers that the housing market was entering a downturn even before the coronavirus pandemic caused an unprecedented public health and economic crisis in New York City,” said Real Estate Board of New York President James Whelan. “As we expect to see residential sales again decrease next quarter, now more than ever, we mus…

#1 Financial Benefit of Home ownership: Family Wealth

David Deem 714-997-3486

While growing up, we were taught by our parents and grandparents that owning a home is a financially savvy move. They explained how a mortgage is like a “forced savings plan.” When you pay rent, that money is lost forever. When you make a mortgage payment, much of that money accumulates as equity in the home. So, what exactly is equity? The equity in your home is the amount of money you can sell it for minus what you still owe on the mortgage. Every month you make a mortgage payment, and every month a portion of what you pay reduces the amount you owe. That reduction of your mortgage every month increases your equity. A recent study by CoreLogic explained that homeowners gained substantial equity over the last twelve months, and are essentially sitting on large sums of cash in their homes. In the study, Frank Nothaft, Chief Economist for CoreLogic explained: "The CoreLogic Home Price Index recorded a quickening of home price gains during the…

4 Steps to Avoid Painting Fails

David Deem 714-997-3486
A fresh coat of paint can give new life to a home. Whether you’re a seller aiming to impress potential homebuyers, or you just want to change things up, painting is an easy and effective way to revamp your home’s look for relatively cheap. That said, a bad paint job that results in uneven edging, stained floors or peeled paint can inadvertently make a home less attractive, making the whole effort counterproductive.

According to HomeAdvisor, you can avoid common DIY painting problems by taking these four simple steps:

Step 1: Choose the Right Paint. Most paint falls into two categories: water-based and oil-based. Water-based paint is easy to clean up, resistant to fading and works with different materials. Oil-based paint requires more cleanup and prep time, but works well for specialty jobs like painting wallpaper.

Accidentally choosing water-based paint over of an oil-based paint—or vice versa—won’t ruin your painting job. But mixing outdoor and in…

10 Tips for Dealing with Bed Bugs

David Deem 714-997-3486
The familiar bedtime saying, "Good night, sleep tight, don't let the bed bugs bite," might be a cute little rhyme from our childhood. But when a home actually has bed bugs, there's nothing cute about it.

Bed bugs feed on blood and cause irritating bites. It’s also a myth that these pests only live in dirty places; in fact, they can be transferred into a spotless home by humans or bug-infested items, such as second-hand furniture. Here are 10 tips to keep in mind in the unfortunate event that your home gets bed bugs:
Make sure they’re bed bugs. If you think you have bed bugs, ensure the insects aren’t fleas, ticks or other bugs. Adult bed bugs are about the size of an apple seed and look balloon-like and reddish-brown if fed recently. They also have antennae and produce a “musty-sweetish” odor. Compare your insects to pictures of bed bugs on reputable websites.Don't panic! Eliminating bed bugs can be difficult, but it’s not imp…

Orange County Housing Market Summary: May 19, 2020

David Deem 714-997-3486

•The active listing inventory increased by 242 homes in the past two-weeks, up 5%, and now totals 4,867. In the past four-weeks, 38% fewer homes were placed on the market compared to the prior 5-year average; thus, COVID-19 is suppressing the inventory. It was 54% fewer two-weeks ago. Last year, there were 7,413 homes on the market, 2,546 more than today, a 52% difference.
•Demand, the number of pending sales over the prior month, increased by 450 pending sales in the past two-weeks, up 38%, and now totals 1,622, the second largest increase of the year. In the past 5-years, demand has dropped an average of 1%. COVID-19’s effect on housing is beginning to diminish. Last year, there were 2,655 pending sales, 64% more than today. 
•The Expected Market Time for all of Orange County decreased from 118 days to 90, a slight Seller’s Market (between 60 and 90 days). The drop was due to the surge in demand outpacing the rise in the supply. It was at 84 days…

Landscaping Can Have Major Impact on Property Values: Appraisal Institute

David Deem 714-997-3486
The Appraisal Institute, the nation's largest professional association of real estate appraisers, today advised homeowners that improving their property's landscaping can result in a significant return on investment when selling the home.

Standard lawn care services recover 267 percent of the project cost at resale, according to the 2018 Modeling Impact Report: Outdoor Features by the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR). The NAR report also revealed that landscape maintenance and tree care recover 100 percent of the project cost when selling the home, and installing an irrigation system recoups 86 percent of the cost.

"A home with lackluster landscaping or an exterior in desperate need of a fresh coat of paint will likely be unappealing to prospective buyers and ultimately could affect the home's potential resale value," said Appraisal Institute 2020 President Jefferson L. Sherman, MAI, AI-GRS. "Appraisers can offe…

Is Real Estate America’s Rock During the Coronavirus Crisis?

David Deem 714-997-3486

By Shannon McGahn

It's been a rough few months for the economy, and we could all use a little good news.
For America's 81 million homeowners, here is some: While retirement accounts and the stock market may have cratered, home values are hanging tough.
The National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) reports the median existing-home price for all housing types in March was up 8 percent from March 2019 as prices increased in every region.
And with a proper recovery and the right policies, there is a great chance that home values will remain fairly stable even as home sales temporarily fall while Americans shelter-in-place.
The pandemic also hasn't stopped real estate transactions outright like in many other sectors. A recent survey of NAR members found that one-quarter of REALTORS® had at least one client go under contract during the second week of April without physically seeing the property. Deals are proceeding with the growing use of new tec…

A Day When Americans Can Return to Work

David Deem 714-997-3486

Some HighlightsTaking a moment to reflect upon what we’ve heard from historical leaders can teach us a lot about getting through the many challenges we face today.We're all eager for the day when every American can safely return to work. That day is coming. Timing is everything. Patience is essential.Our courage, strength, and unparalleled resilience will get us there. DRE #01266522

Steps to Buying a Foreclosed Home

David Deem 714-997-3486
By Bill Gassett
Let me guess: You are interested in buying a foreclosure property? When you want to buy a home, but the mortgage payments are difficult to afford, buying a foreclosure can look attractive. The unfortunate previous homeowner will have struggled with the costs of the mortgage, ending up with the home foreclosing to the lender.

The bank or other financial lender wants to sell these homes and get as much of their money back as they can. They are looking to get their money back quickly, and this can mean selling for less than the market value. This is where you can pick up a bargain that would otherwise cost more than you could afford.

Buying a foreclosed home is a little different from a standard sale, and there are some things you need to know. While you might be concerned about purchasing a foreclosure, if you are prepared to do more research and take slightly more risk, there could be significant savings to be made.

Let's review th…