Home Prices Highest Year-Over-Year Increase Since 2005

Home prices increasingTwo major indicators of home price trends showed a slowing momentum for home prices in December. The S&P Case Shiller 10 and 20 city indices reported that of 20 cities tracked, home prices were lower in December than for November.

Case-Shiller’s seasonally adjusted month-to month reading showed that home prices rose by 0.8 percent as compared to 0.90 percent in November.

David Blitzer, chairman of the index committee at S&P Dow Jones Indices, said that “Gains are slowing from month-to-month and the strongest part of home price recovery may be over.” He also noted that seasonally adjusted data was showing a loss of momentum for home prices.

December home prices posted a year-over-year gain of 13.40 percent, down from November’s year-over-year reading of 13.70 percent. December’s reading reflected the highest year-over-year increase in home prices since 2005.

Analysts note that a slower pace of increasing home prices may allow more buyers to enter the market, and may also encourage more buyers to list their properties for sale.

This would increase inventories of available homes and relieve pent-up demand for homes. Although home price growth is cooling off, average home prices remain 20 percent below their pre-recession peak in 2006.

Home Prices Face Challenges In 2014

Another factor in slower growth of home prices is regional differences in the rate of economic recovery. Cities including Dallas, Texas and Denver, Colorado recently set records for escalating home prices.

Five states including Florida and Michigan accounted for almost half of foreclosures completed during 2013. Slow job growth and poor winter weather were also blamed for slower gains in home prices.

New mortgage rules and relatively strict mortgage lending standards may continue to dampen housing markets, but there is some good news as some lenders are easing credit standards.

Home Prices Higher For 10th Consecutive Quarter

The Federal Housing Finance Administration reported similar trends in December home price data for properties either financed or owned by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac. Home prices rose by a seasonally adjusted rate of 0.80 percent in December as compared to November’s reading.

Home prices were 7.70 percent higher for the fourth quarter of 2013 than for the same period in 2012. Adjusted for inflation, this reading indicates an approximate year-over-year increase of 7 percent.

FHFA reported higher readings for 38 states in its fourth quarter 2013 Home Price Index, as compared with 48 states in in the third quarter of 2013.  In order of home price appreciation, the top five states with highest growth in home prices were Nevada, California, Arizona, Oregon and Florida.

These calculations were seasonally adjusted and based on home purchases only.

If you’re ready to sell your home with a professional who understands how to keep the Days on Market to a minimum, Call Debra Obrock at: 480 688-2000

Great remodeled Mid-Century Ranch Close to Old Towne Scottsdale

6519 E CYPRESS Street
Scottsdale, AZ 85257

3 bedrooms | 2 bathrooms | 1797 sqft

FANTASTIC LOCATION! Close to Old Town, World Class Shopping, Dining, Arts, Entertainment, Tempe Town Lake, ASU. Great remodeled MID-CENTURY RANCH, N/S lot, S patio. This home is NOT the cookie-cutter remodel.Polished concrete floors, recessed lighting, jetted tub, Bosch dishwasher, Dacor Gas Range, New Cabinets w/pull out drawers & so much more. It has been owner occupied & well maintained. Fresh interior/exterior paint, Great floorplan, lots of space for living/entertaining. Nice street scene & views of Papago Buttes.

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Sincuidados Home in a Class of it’s Own

30600 N. Pima Road #52

4 bedrooms  / 3 Bathrooms / 3152 Square Feet


Stunning interior lot nestled amidst pristine gardens. Charming Sincuidados is in a class of it’s own and this home shows, flows well & feels good with a wonderful great room split floor plan. Some updating has been done. Very gently lived in as a vacation home, but beautifully cared for. Most windows have been replaced w/Anderson Replacement Windows. Charming master suite w/fireplace, secondary bedrooms are spacious, updated baths, lots of storage. Open, bright kitchen with island and breakfast bar overlooking gazebo, pool and grounds. You feel like you are at the Desert Botanical Gardens .*** Some furnishings available by separate bill of sale.

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Call Debbie to show, we make it easy!
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What To Consider When Buying A Fixer-Upper

Buying a Fixer UpperYou have  a great idea.  You will purchase an older run-down property and  have the chance to fix it up and turn it into the home of your dreams.  This works for some, but it’ not for everyone.

What to Consider

To Renovate, Or Not To Renovate

However, the renovation project that is simply a quick montage in your imagination will actually take several months or years and thousands of dollars in real life.

The concept of renovating a “fixer-upper” property is exciting, but the reality is a lot of work and investment. How can you make sure that you are making the right choice for you?

One of the main advantages of buying a fixer-upper property is that you will usually be able to get the property for a much cheaper price. But is it worth it for the amount of time and money you will need to invest in the property?

Here Are Some Questions You Should Be Asking Yourself When Making Your Decision:

  • Do you (or your friends and family members) have the skills to be able to perform most of the renovations yourself? If you do the labour yourself, you will be able to save thousands of dollars that you would have spent hiring contractors, which will make the renovation a much more profitable project.
  • Are you comfortable with the idea of living in a construction zone, perhaps for several months or more? There will be dust and noise everywhere and you might have to cope without a kitchen or a shower for a while.
  • Make sure that you have a thorough inspection of the home performed so that you can see whether the home has a sturdy foundation, good wiring and plumbing, etc. If your inspection reveals any structural issues or water damage, you might be in for more than you bargained for. You need to start with a house that has “good bones”.
  • If the home has serious structural, plumbing or wiring problems you should stay away – these repairs are very expensive but “invisible”, so you are unlikely to recoup your costs when you sell the home.
  • Add up the estimated costs for renovating the property along with the cost of the home – does it still work out to be a better deal or would you be better off buying a new property.
  • What is your strategy for financing the renovations? If your only option is putting it on the credit card, you might want to think twice because this is a very high interest option.

Buying a fixer-upper property can be a great investment and can give you the opportunity to transform a run-down old house into the property of your dreams. However, make sure you that you consider the choice carefully before making your decision.

For more information about about buying or selling a fixer-upper or any questions regarding real estate, contact Debra Obrock:480 688-2000

The Importance of Credit Repair

Credit ScoreCredit repair is the perfect solution for all your financial worries. The process of credit repair is used to identify mistakes, correct the relevant information, and monitor the credit bureaus to ensure that your credit reports are accurate and error free.

Whether you want to apply for an auto loan, insurance policy, employment or a home mortgage, the decision of the lender and employer is largely influenced by your credit reports. Your reports are issued by Experian, Equifax and Trans Union, the 3 major credit bureaus.

Credit Report

A credit report includes comprehensive details about your credit related activities including current debt, type of accounts, history of accounts, positive accounts and negative reporting accounts. Included are inquires that have been made by others to view your credit report and any late payment information. The ‘credit report’ is basically used to identify your credit score, financial strength, credit history and whether or not you pay your bills in a timely manner.

According to recent research almost 79% of Americans have some type of inaccuracy, miscalculation and questionable negative accounts in their credit report files. Regardless of how big or small the error is, it can damage your credit score greatly and lower your financial strength.

Let’s say you want to purchase a dream home for your family. You apply for mortgage and it gets rejected just because the information in your credit report reduces your credit score badly. To avoid this, credit repair is the perfect way to ensure your credit reports are accurate and up to date.

Credit Repair

Through credit repair you can say goodbye to your financial worries and credit issues and enjoy a host of benefits like:

  • Better insurance policies premiums
  • Best loan terms
  • Mortgage loans with low interest rate
  • Ability to improve and achieve a good credit score

Self-Managing Your Credit Repair vs. Hiring a Professional?

It is advisable to hire a professional and a reputable credit repair service for the job instead of trying to manage this tedious job yourself. Hiring a professional service is a good idea simply because of their wealth of experience, impeccable expertise, comprehensive knowledge, and access to cutting edge tools.

So, what are you waiting for? Do it now!

What Is Days on Market?

Days on MarketDays on Market refers to the number of days a house been up for sale? The number of days on market can be good news or bad news depending on if you are the Buyer or Seller.

Why Days On Market is Important?

As a Buyer, you might be happy to know  that a house has sat on the market for a long time . The seller is probably more eager to sell than a month before, and is most likely willing to work a deal. An eager seller makes a happy buyer in most cases.

As a Seller, you might not be so happy about it, and for the same reason. You are now an eager seller, yet you still want to get the best price for your home, but the buyer will have  the upper hand.

Already, you may be beginning to understand how the DOM metric can affect the sale of your home.

The problem with the Days On Market metric is that it causes buyers and agents to build false assumptions. If a home has been on the market for an above-average length of time, we start to wonder, “what’s the matter with that listing?” Even though we know there are other reasons for a home to go static and not sell, many people automatically think there’s something wrong.

Reasons For An Extended Days on Market

  • Home May Be Overpriced – Nothing is wrong with the property itself; it’s just priced too high.
  • Seller Testing The Market – Although it’s a big mistake and agents will tell you so, some sellers test the market by throwing a high price on a home they don’t care if they sell – just to see if somebody is foolish enough to take it.
  • Seller is Sticking To Their Guns – Often, sellers get fixed on a price and won’t budge, come hell or high water. They figure they can wait around until the market can meet their price, not the other way around.
  • Still Renovating – Sometimes, a home will go on the market in the middle of renovations. The sellers aren’t ready to let the home be seen, so it just sits there.
  • Available for Showings – A growing problem is the lack of access to a home for sale. Sadly, agents and FSBOs alike seem to be unavailable when a buyer wants to view the home. Obviously, no viewing means no sale.

Don’t let your Days on Market get high because of simple mistakes. If you’re serious about selling your home, remember the five reasons above and make sure you aren’t doing them.

If you’re ready to sell your home with a professional who understands how to keep the Days on Market to a minimum, Call Debra Obrock at: 480 688-2000

A Buyer’s Agent is the Best Choice

Buyer's AgentMany Buyer’s  are misinformed about the benefits of working with a Buyer’s Agent when purchasing Real Estate. They still believe they will get a better deal if they call the Listing Agent.

The listing agent is hired and contracted by the seller.

Their commission is negotiated upfront.  Then the listing agent agrees to share that commission with any cooperating agents when the property is marketed on the local MLS (Multiple Listing System).

If the listing agent sells the house themselves, they are under no obligation to change the amount they have negotiated with the seller.   That is between themselves and the seller.  If the listing agent sells the home to a buyer,  they have twice the amount of work to do to shepherd the deal to settlement.

Now, like any other business person, making a concession is the choice of any real estate agent. It might be the best business decision to make.  Sometimes its better to help out and make the transaction successful than to see the entire deal fall apart.  But that is a business decision that an agent may or may not make.  To assume something like that upfront isn’t a good idea.

A Buyer’s Agent Is Your Best Choice

The main reason why this assumption is not a good one, comes to an issue of representation. The listing agent represents the seller, which means they represent the seller’s best interest. It is a legal and fiduciary responsibility, made by contract. If you don’t have a buyer’s agent, you don’t have representation.

In the case that anything goes wrong in a home inspection or in any of the negotiations, the listing agent works for the best interest of the seller, not for you, the buyer.  You could very well end up in a situation that nets you a greater loss than the 1% or so you might think you are saving without a buyer’s agent.

Use a Buyer’s Agent when Purchasing New Home Construction

One of the biggest misconceptions is that you save money by not using a buyer’s agent when you are dealing with New Home Construction.  The X% commissions are built into the deal, it is already a cost of doing business for the builder.  So if you don’t have a buyer’s agent with you, the selling agent(s) are paid the entire X%.  You also could be better off with a buyer’s agent to negotiate on your behalf when dealing with new home construction.

If you are looking to buy a home in metro Phoenix,
Contact Debra Obrock and ask about buyer representation.
480 688-2000

New Home Loan Requirements Getting Stricter for Would Be Buyers

Home Loan Requirements Purchasing homes with all cash may be the trend that continues as new home loan requirements become more strict.

However, for those buyers who do need to purchase a home with a loan, expect to see some changes in the loan requirements as the new year rings in.

New Home Loan Requirements

Here are a just a few of the changes that are going into effect in January 2014. Some of these requirements are already in place by lenders.

The new guidelines are being implemented under The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s Qualified Mortgage (QM) and are designed to help avoid the borrowing catastrophes that caused the housing crisis. The guidelines are what the lenders use to prove borrowers’ ability to repay a loan.

One of the guidelines is borrowers must have a maximum debt-to-income ratio of 43 percent. Debt-to-income ratios have been in place but the new rules won’t allow for any compensating circumstances. That means that not even a significant down payment or a large cash reserve will be allowed to offset a higher debt ratio.

The incentive to follow these guidelines is huge for the lender. If the mortgages don’t meet the QM guidelines then the lender will be required to hold the loan as opposed to being sold to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

The QM requirements potentially may have lower loan limits for conventional conforming loans. The agency that regulates Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, The Federal Housing Finance Agency, will delay it’s normal adjustment of loan limits from January 1, 2014 to sometime later in the year. The agency is trying to see what kind of impact the new QM guidelines will have on the housing industry. For most housing markets, the current limits are $417,000 and up to $625,000 in high cost areas. How these figures will change remains to be seen in 2014.

Fee origination fees will be limited under the QM requirements which could make getting a smaller loan more difficult. Originating loan fees will be limited to no more than 3 percent of the loan amount. This could make mortgage lenders less likely to offer smaller loan amounts because they may not always be able to recoup their costs and make a profit.

The self-employed borrowers will also face tougher requirements with the new QM rules. These borrowers already face tough standards and they’ll likely be even more strict in 2014. In the QM guidelines, all borrowers must prove there is sufficient cash flow to make payments on their loan but self-employed borrowers’ incomes typically fluctuate. These borrowers frequently have cash reserves that they rely on to pay bills when the income is off in a particular month. However, even if there is a large amount of money in reserve, this may still be difficult for the self-employed borrower to get a loan approved due to this new “ability-to-repay” QM guideline.

We can expect to see changes in the loan approval process as the new year begins. However, some of the specific requirements may not be determined until later in 2014.

If you are considering buying a home in the Metro Phoenix, take advantage of Debra Obrock’s 25+ Years Exemplary Service as a Real Estate professional in the Valley of the Sun.
Call Debra: 480 688-2000 or start your search on her web site.


Increasing Interest Rates May Get Buyers Off the Fence

Sitting-On-The-Fence-300Though borrowing costs are increasing as interest rates have lifted from their historical lows, some real estate professionals believe the rise may boost home sales.

“It will get people sitting on the fence to decide, ‘We better do something or it’s going to cost us money,” says Margaret Dixon, a real estate sales associate in Tennessee.

Fear of Rising Interest Rates May Get Buyers Off the Fence

At the end of 2012, 30-year fixed-rate mortgages averaged 3.52 percent. Last week, Freddie Mac reported that 30-year rates averaged 4.47 percent.

A 1 percent increase usually lands around $30,000 in buying power. That’s the difference between a starter home and a bigger home – or a bonus room. Higher interest rates, along with higher home prices, may prompt more home buyers to act quickly before costs rise any more.

Buyers realize the house of their dreams may never be cheaper than it is today, It creates a sense of urgency.

If you are considering buying a home in the Metro Phoenix , give Debra Obrock a call: 480 688-2000 or start your search on my web site.

Home Builder Confidence is Rising

New ConstructionHome Builder confidence is rising with news form the National Association of Homebuilders/Wells Fargo Home builders Market Index with a reading of 58 for December. This surpassed both expectations of 56 and last month’s reading of 54. Any reading above 50 indicates that more builders are confident about overall housing market conditions than not.

Analysts noted that builder confidence has steadied after the government shutdown. December’s reading was the highest in four months. Dave Crowe, NAHB chief economist, said that his organization was expecting a “gradual improvement in the housing recovery” in 2014.

Home Builder Confidence – Highest Reading Since 2005

Pent-up demand for housing is driving housing markets in spite of higher mortgage rates. Three components of builder confidence used to calculate the overall reading also rose in December. Builder confidence in current home sales rose to 64 from a reading of 58 in November; this is the highest reading since 2005.

Confidence levels in housing markets over the next six months rose to 62 from last month’s reading of 60. Builder confidence also grew in the area of buyer foot traffic in new developments and gained three points to a reading of 44.

All of this is good news, but the NAHB said that a gap remains between higher home builder confidence and the rate of new home construction. A seasonal lull in home construction is not unusual especially in areas experiencing harsh weather.

Data on November Housing Starts and Building Permits will also offer clues as to how housing markets and the general economy are doing.