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Latest Articles on our Blog

Nov 7

Some Insights About Home Values From a Real Estate Appraiser

I was a part of a class recently for Real Estate professionals on the topic of Appraisals.  We had an appraiser in attendance, and the appraiser’s answers to some of the questions surprised us all. Isn’t the definition of market value “the price at which a seller is willing to sell and a buyer is willing buy?”  If so, then why does it sometimes happen that a price is agreed upon by all parties, and then the appraisal value comes in low? It turns out the answer is…IT

Aug 8

Yuma Arizona Housing Market Update August 2017

One interesting measure of the housing market is new home construction.  It is important to keep your eyes on how many new homes are being built.  We do that by reviewing the number of permits pulled by contractors for new residential units.  Here’s a historical look at the last 20 years: You can see, there were 1,606 permits in 2005, and then home building fell a cliff.  By 2012, there were only 241 homes built the entire year.  Wow!  That’s an 85% drop from peak to trough.  Since

Jul 31

First Half 2017 Yuma AZ Real Estate Market Update

It’s time to take a look back at the first half of 2017.  Can you believe it’s already the end of July?! Let’s start with the basics.  Yuma’s average sales price is $147,937.  When you exclude manufactured homes, the average single family residence (SFR) sold for $171,887.  With 1,482 homes sold, we are averaging 247 sales per month. Compared with last year at this time, inventory is down, prices are up and sales are up. Rates First off, let’s talk about mortgage rates.  Rates are lower than anyone

Jun 14

How the Fed Impacts Mortgage Rates

The Federal Reserve Open Market Committe (FOMC) meets at least eight times per year to discuss and vote on US monetary policy.  The Fed controls the Fed Funds rate, which is essentially a bank’s cost of money.  When the Fed increases the Fed Funds rate, short-term interest rates such as the Prime rate and LIBOR go up.  These are often used to determine interest rates on adjustable rate mortgages, home equity lines of credit, credit card balances, and business loans. However, interest rates on fixed-rate mortgages are not tied to changes in the Fed Funds rate.

May 24

Renters: Are You Ready to Buy a Home?

Renters: Are You Ready to Buy a Home?

If you would like to buy a house at some point in the future, it is never too early to start preparing.  Between deciding how much of a payment you are comfortable with, saving up for a down payment and maximizing your credit score, there is plenty you can be doing.  Here are some tips and advice that can help you get ready to make the transition from renter to homeowner. Do the Rent vs. Own Math If you are used to renting, there are some homeownership costs

May 11

How much can I borrow on a VA loan?

How much can I borrow on a VA loan?

If you are planning to use your VA home loan benefit to purchase or refinance a home, you may be wondering how high you can go. VA does not set a cap on how much you can borrow to finance your home.  However, they do set a cap on how much liability VA will assume, which affects the amount of money you can borrow on a VA mortgage. Loan Limits The loan limits are the amount a qualified Veteran with full entitlement may be able to borrow with

May 4

Relationship Benefits to Owning a Home

Relationship Benefits to Owning a Home
Apr 27

Mortgage Guidelines Getting Easier

Mortgage Guidelines Getting Easier

I always love to hear about guidelines loosening.  In a business where everything is so complicated, it is nice to get some good news every now and then!  Fannie Mae made some changes the other day that will make it easier for some applicants to qualify for a mortgage.  Here are a few of the highlights: Student Loans – If you have student loan debt that is deferred or in any kind of forbearance, we can now use the student loan payment that shows on the credit report. 

Apr 18

Unique conditions in Yuma housing market make NOW the perfect time to upgrade your home

Unique conditions in Yuma housing market make NOW the perfect time to upgrade your home

If you are a homeowner in Yuma county, I want you to know about a unique situation going on right now in the housing market that might present an opportunity for you. The Dual Market It is what we call a Dual Market, and it means that you can essentially sell your house in a seller’s market; and at the same time buy a house taking advantage of a buyer’s market. How does this work? The best way I can think to describe this is to show you

Apr 17

Shopping for the lowest rate on a mortgage

Shopping for the lowest rate on a mortgage

Mortgage rates change every day, sometimes multiple times throughout the day. So when you get prequalified and start looking at houses, it is important to keep in mind that your rate could be higher or lower depending on the market when you are ready to pull the trigger. (Hopefully lower!)  Depending on the day, it may or may not pay off to look at options for getting a lower interest rate by “paying points.” Due to the nature of rates changing so frequently, there is no one bank that