Friday, February 22, 2008

December 1998

Bonnie Fagoh
December 1998
Copyright©1998 Real Times.All Rights Reserved.
November Roundup November started badly -- no two ways about it.
Early data from a number of sources suggested the month before was bad for home starts, home sales and home buying, and that November would only look worse.
The stock market was still in the doldrums, though working its way back up, and mortgage rates were on their way to a four week high in mid-November.
The stock market's gyrations spooked some buyers and economic and job growth slowed somewhat in response to Asia's economic slump throughout September and October.
While neither "good" nor "bad" news, the housing industry got a black eye when in early November one Washington-based lobby group published a study alleging that rejection rates for minority mortgage applicants are growing.
Mortgage Rates
National averages as of Mon. November 30, 1998:30 yr. fixed: 6.67% Averages Defined 15 yr. fixed: 6.34% Compare the Cost1 yr. adj: 5.62% State Averages
Mortgage and banking industry experts disputed the study by the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN), which charged that the industry has not done enough to reach out to black and Hispanic applicants seeking conventional home mortgage loans.
Sharolyn Rosier, a spokeswoman for the Mortgage Bankers Association of America, countered that MBAA's own research of HMDA data showed that between 1993 and 1997, the number of loans funded to black applicants alone has grown 58.4%.
Books of the Month100 Surefire Improvements to Sell Your House FasterClosets : Designing and Organizing the Personalized ClosetHome Improvements Manual by Readers DigestBe Your Own Home Decorator : Creating the Look You Love Without Spending a FortuneThe Home Owners Manual : A Guide to Maintaining & Improving Your Home
Older Homes vs. New Homes:Which is a better buy? You're in the market for a home. Maybe a new one, maybe an existing residence. Which one should you buy?
The question is a serious one for today's homebuyers because interest rates are at an eight-year low, new residential construction is high, and demand for homeownership is strong.
Mortgage Rates in 1999Could be Better Than 1998 Americans enjoyed the best home mortgage rates in 30 years this year and could see even better offers in 1999, according to a new study by the Mortgage Bankers Association of America.
Thirty-year fixed-rate mortgages will average 6.48 percent next year if the Federal Reserve continues to cut rates, predicted economist David Lereah of the MBAA.
That will be slightly below a 31-year low of 6.49 percent reached in early October. But Lereah cautioned consumers not to wait to refinance or buy since other variables could come into play.
"You don't gamble. When you have an opportunity to lock in at historically low interest rates, that come around once every generation and a half, I'd say go ahead and do it," he said.
Should I Take My Home Off the Market During the Holidays? When you look at your November and December calendars you may find the months already overloaded with seasonal obligations -- shopping, entertaining, children's pageants, charity work, decorating the house, and so much more. If you are also trying to sell your home, you are under extra pressure to keep your home in "showtime" condition. And that could be the last thing you need before the holiday spirit is broken.
It is understandable why you would be tempted to take your home off the market during the holidays. And the list of justifications is long. If you are too busy, buyers may be also, and you may find your efforts unrewarded by enough showings. And what if you do get an offer? You may be faced with the possibility of packing and moving during the busiest time of the year. Besides, you can give your house a rest, and it will have better momentum after the holidays. Better to just pack it in and start fresh in January, right?
But wait! Most top Realtors agree that taking your home off the market during the Christmas season is a mistake. The house sure isn't going to sell off the market! What is the advantage of that? So you're busy. Let your Realtor do the work. You can leave in the morning, go to work, go shopping, and let your Realtor take care of things.
The holidays are a wonderful selling period. Why? Because most people

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Bonnie Fagoh E-mail: bonniefagoh@century21beggins.comWeb: 813-390-7606
Century 21 Beggins Enterprises813-390-76066542 U. S. Hwy. 41 N.Apollo Beach, FL 33572

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