Real Estate News: Mortgage Rates at Record Lows

Mortgage rates greatly influence a family’s decision to either purchase a home or refinance their current mortgage. High mortgage rates can discourage people from purchasing a home and gives little incentive for homeowners to refinance their current mortgage. Fortunately, mortgage rates have been improving all year and are now near a record low, meaning excellent news for both potential home buyers and current homeowners.

 

Your primary goal is to achieve the best interest rate while keeping your monthly payments at the lowest possible price.  Now is the opportune time to take advantage of low mortgage rates as current rates are reaching record lows, hitting some of the lowest levels in decades.  In July 2012, mortgage rates have dropped 3.49% alone.  Don’t let the low percentage difference fool you, if you’re current mortgage rate is only 1-2% difference, the money you will save will be reflected in long term savings.

 

Determining the length of stay at your current home can help you decide whether you want to refinance your mortgage.  If homeowners are committed on staying at their current home long term, should highly consider refinancing.  This is not to say that everyone should refinance their mortgages. On the other hand, homeowners who do not plan to stay at their current home for an extended period of time are recommended to compare the closing costs of refinancing to how much they will save every month with this new rate.

 

Potential home buyers should consider buying a new home in the near future while mortgage rates are at historical lows.  Within the next few years, mortgage rates are expected to rise and the current rates may not decrease significantly.  It is important to take into consideration that the home buying process can potentially take months, so act now to take advantage of these record-low mortgage rates!

 

Mirabal Montalvo & Associates provides you with the most up to date latest real estate news.  Our real estate experts always provide the most up to date real estate news, offering professional service and quality advice.  Contact Mirabal Montalvo & Associates today for more information.

Recovery Report on the Housing Market: Housing Construction and Prices Rising

Steps toward the long road to the housing recovery have been making a slow, steady progress this past year.  Prices have begun to rise, sales are increasing, and construction permits to build new homes have significantly increased according to the Census Bureau.

New home construction is starting to heat up, with housing starts rising to the highest level since October 2008, according to a report from the National Association of Home builders (NAHB) . June 2012 reflected a strong increase in permits to build new homes, as there was a 19.3% increase when comparing figures to June 2011.

Sale prices for existing homes rose in April for the first time this year.  According to Yahoo! Financial reports from this month, economic data reveals rising homebuilder sentiment, leading to four consecutive months of steadily increasing home prices. “With home building numbers on the rise and prices solidifying, the housing market should start contributing to national economic growth for the first time since 2007”  according to Stuart Hoffman, chief economist for PNC Financial.  Pending home climbed to the highest level since the end of a federal tax credit for first-time buyers in September 2010.

National Economic Report For Third Quarter

Our real estate professionals at Mirabal Montalvo are dedicated to providing you with the latest news and current real estate housing and economy market trends.  Put your trust in the experts at Mirabal Montalvo, as we are knowledgeable beyond the real estate scope of the Corpus Christi region.  We’ll provide you with an inside look behind this year’s third quarter report on the US’s economic and current real estate housing market condition.

Third quarter reports reveal that the housing market experienced growth, as sales figures increased while vacancy levels and inventory both decreased. Apartments were especially attractive to recent investors, and competition for buying all types of properties is rising, which has lead to an overall increase in property prices. Though the housing market has been slow to recover, projections of continual growth and rising prices are expected heal the housing market. Prospective buyers and investors are encouraged to invest now as low prices, mortgage and interest rates are anticipated to increase.

In recent months the job market was optimistic, as many new job opportunities have risen. Each month from April to June 2012, there was an average addition of 80,000 jobs, with no increase in the current unemployment rate.  When compared to countries hit hardest by the financial crisis, the US unemployment rate is low at 8.2%, which is still well below the EU’s 10.3%.

A look at this year’s third quarter report evokes a positive outlook towards a steady path of recovery in the housing market, with promising signs for the current unemployment rate and current economic job market.  With a steady increase in opportunities for new jobs in recent months, we can remain hopeful for the future of the job market. Prospective buyers are strongly recommended take advantage of today’s low prices in the housing market as prices are expected rise in the future.

Preparing for your Mortgage Application

Buying your first home can be an intimidating, overwhelming process.  Purchasing a home is one of the most important financial decisions you may make in your lifetime.  To ensure confidence before you dive into purchasing your first home, check out these helpful hints for first-time home buyers.

Mortgage Application

If you come prepared with the necessary documentation before visiting your lender when applying for a mortgage, you will save a great deal of time.  Here is a useful checklist of some of the requirements you need for mortgage applications:

  • Social Security Numbers of both you and your spouse.
  • Checking and savings account history. You should have 6 months worth of documentation.
  • Evidence of other assets such as bonds or stocks
  • Employment verification documents. The name and address of someone that can verify your employment is typically sufficient.
  • Proof of income. Bring recent paycheck stub with detailed information on your earnings.
  • List of credit card accounts including approximate monthly amounts owed on each card account.
  • List of account numbers and balances due on outstanding loans.
  • Copies of your income tax statements for the prior 2 years.

Finding the Perfect Home for You and Your Family

Finding the right home for your family can be a difficult task, but you can make it easier by narrowing down what you’re looking for. Mirabal Montalvo  is here to offer you some tips and factors to consider when finding your next home while keeping your family’s needs in mind.

Location is a highly influential factor when purchasing a home. You should find out if there are schools nearby for your children to attend and how they stand academically. Consider the travel distance and factor in commute time to and from school.  The same applies for your other needs such as your commute to work and even distance to local grocery stores.  Find out how close your potential home is to the places that you and your family will be traveling to most.

Another very important factor for finding the right home for your family is the size of the house. If you have children or are planning to have children in the near future, consider choosing a home with more square footage that features more bedrooms and bathrooms.  Take into consideration if you would like a private work space and choose a home with an office or loft.  If your family hosts visitors or relatives frequently, it is wise to have a spare guest room in your home readily available. It is wise to plan for your family’s future, and the needs of your spouse to avoid moving.

Do not forget to account for the safety of the home that you might purchase.  Research crime rates and crime news that have taken place in your local neighborhood and community.  If the home you are considering to purchase is older, be sure to check the kitchen area, floors, stairs, and doors to make sure your house is secure and abides by standard safety regulations.

Spring Cleaning Guide

It’s that time of year again to bring out the mop and broom!  Spring cleaning is just around the corner, and we’ve got some great tips to help make your cleaning go smoothly this season.

Prepare for Cleaning

Targeting Areas- It’s impossible to clean the whole house in one day and do a thorough job.  Formulate a plan of action targeting specific areas in your home.  For example, spend time on deep-cleaning the kitchen for a day, rather than attempting to clean the entire upstairs floor of your home.  Set goals for each targeted area and budget time for the best results.

Check for Cleaning Supplies- Nothing is more frustrating than starting a cleaning project only to find out that you’re out of the supplies that you need.  Check to make sure that you have all of the necessary materials and supplies on-hand before you get started.

De-clutter and Organize

The de-cluttering process is often tough to tackle, but should not be overlooked.  De-cluttering is a necessary step to complete before you begin any cleaning.  The easiest way is to start on one side of the room and work your way around.  Drawers and shelves can easily accumulate miscellaneous junk, so consider investing in drawer dividers that organize materials into neat sections.

Use bins or boxes to organize all of your various items.  Use one box for items that you are going to get rid of and one for items that you are planning to keep.  As a general rule of thumb, if you haven’t used it in over a year it’s time to get rid of it.  For those items that you know you’re going to keep consider buying shelves, storage bins, or divided cabinetry.

Chemical Cautions

Open Windows – Before you begin the cleaning process, be sure to open all the windows surrounding the cleaning area.  Poor ventilation can leave toxic chemicals lingering in the room so it is wise to have fresh airflow throughout the house.

Be safe; protect yourself – To protect yourself when using harsh chemicals be sure to always wear designated cleaning gloves as a protective precaution.  Make a clear mark on the gloves so you know that they are for cleaning purposes only.

Cleaning Without Harsh Chemicals – If you’re hesitant about using harsh or toxic chemicals in your home, consider cleaning with vinegar or baking soda.  Vinegar and baking soda are cheap and highly effective cleaners that can be used almost anywhere in the home.  Baking soda is great for neutralizing odors and also dissolves dirt and grease in water.  As a deodorant, baking soda eliminates both acidic and ammonia odors.  Vinegar is a great-all purpose cleaner as it disinfects and deodorizes most surfaces in your home.  Try adding ½ cup vinegar during the rinse cycle of your laundry.  Vinegar serves as a cost-effective alternative to fabric softener.  Don’t worry about the smell! The odor disappears once the vinegar is dry.

Mirabal Montalvo guarantees that all of our real estate professionals will provide our clients with exceptional service, honesty, and commitment. Contact Mirabal Montalvo today for all of your real estate needs including buyer and seller services, and commercial and residential listings.

Buyer’s Tips: Learning the Lingo

First-time home buyers are often unfamiliar with the common terminology that are crucial in the home buying process or even in the housing market. That’s okay, Mirabal Montalvo is here to help.  Familiarize yourself with these frequently used terms; it will be helpful for both you and your real estate agent if you are already knowledgeable with the language beforehand.

Bait Rate: Misleading mortgages with low rate promises and no contingencies generally for those with extraordinary credit. Rates are based on: credit, debt-to-income and loan-to-value ratios, the size and type of loan, property location, and the day you lock your rate, etc. The loan isn’t locked until the application is accepted. By then, it may be too late to find a better rate from another lender.

Basis Point: A term used in the mortgage industry which simply means 1/100th of 1 percent.

Closing Costs: The fees required to process and close your loan. They’re a cash obligation running from three to five percent of the purchase price. Motivated sellers might pay a portion of these costs.

FRM and ARM: A Fixed Rate Mortgage Loan (FRM) is a loan where your interest rate stays the same for the life of the loan. ARMs are Adjustable Rate Mortgages with variable interest rates that fluctuate based on an agreed-upon index.

GFE: The Good Faith Estimate (GFE) is a document explaining all costs involved in getting a loan.

TIL: The Federal Truth-in-Lending Form is a document that spells out the costs and fees of the loan.

Per Diem Interest: Interest you pay per day, from the day you close to the last day of the month.

Underwriting and Underwriting Fees: Underwriting is a process the lender performs to qualify a borrower for a loan and the fee is what you pay the lender at closing to cover evaluating the risk involved with loaning you money.

Warranty Deed: A legal document guaranteeing the seller has a right to sell a property, which is very important if you are considering a distressed or discounted property.

Always trust a professional

Set your standards high when choosing a trustworthy professional.  It is wise to be in regular contact with your agent and understand the entire process of buying your home.  Mirabal Montalvo firmly believes that the client comes first and every step must be taken in order to get their home sold. Contact us today for more information

Residential and Commercial Real Estate Forecast for 2012

Most real estate experts share an optimistic view about the residential real estate market in 2012. Lawrence Yun, the National Association of REALTORS’ chief economist, predicts that “very favorable affordability conditions will dominate next year…which will probably be the second best year on record dating back to 1970.”

Commercial real estate seems to be on a similarly positive path as residential real estate though some experts believe that a lack of construction in 2012 may cause demand to outpace supply in 2013, which makes 2012 a great time for investors to seek out commercial properties, especially here in Corpus Christ, Texas. Corpus Christi was recently ranked as a Top 10 Mid-Sized Investor Market by inman.com, and Corpus Christi’s popular South Side neighborhood has also been named a top 10 neighborhood to find foreclosure deals by the same website. This combination makes Corpus Christi an exceptionally attractive market for buyers.

Buyers should be advised, however, that despite interest rates remaining at all-time lows through mid-2013, lending institutions are being particularly cautious and are expected to continue to be highly selective throughout 2012. With little liquidity in the mortgage markets, buyers should be prepared to have more cash on hand than in times past. That being said, the market volatility of late may swing the pendulum back into positive numbers spurred on by reports in early 2012 of higher employment and retail profits as a result of the holidays. This could potentially result in increased cash flow from the mortgage companies.

The overall predictions for 2012 real estate appear to be rosy especially here in Corpus Christi. Contact Mirabal Montalvo to find out how to take advantage of the Corpus Christi real estate market in 2012.

 

 

Welcoming the Holiday Season in Corpus Christi

 

Mirabal Montalvo warmly welcomes the holidays this season! It’s that time of year to gather your family and friends to celebrate the upcoming holiday with events suitable for all ages.  Greet the season with local events, festivals, and celebrations in Corpus Christi.  Happy Holidays from Mirabal Montalvo!

 

Ice Skating at Funtrakers

When: November 2nd through January 3rd

Where: 9605 South Padre Island Drive

Hours:  Sunday-Thursday: 6 am-9pm, Friday-Saturday: 6am-Midnight

Website: http://www.funtrackers.com/

 

Christmas Around the World exhibit Opens at Art Museum of South Texas

When: November 25th through December 21st

Where: Art Museum of South Texas, 1902 Shoreline Blvd.

Christmas Tree Competition: December 15th, Winner announced December 16th

Hours: Tuesday-Saturday: 10am-5pm, Sunday: 1pm-5pm

Website: http://www.stia.org/

All ornaments will be donated to the Antonio E. Garcia Arts & Education Center at the end of the exhibit and distributed to needy families.

 

35th Annual La Posada Lighted Boat Parade

When: December 11th

Where: North Canals on Upper Padre Island

Starts at 6:00pm

Free Admission! Collection of new toys will be accepted and donated to Toys for Tots.

 

The Nutcracker – presented by the Corpus Christi Ballet

When: December 18th-20th

Where: Selena Auditorium

Showtimes: 2:00pm and 7:30pm

Website: http://americanbankcenter.com/

 

New Years Eve Bash at Omni Hotel Bayfont Towers

When: December 31st-January 1st

Where: Omni Hotel Bayfont Towers, 900 North Shoreline Blvd Corpus Christi, Texas 78401

Entertainment: Live Music by Flashback and the Texas Premier Beach Party Band

Website: http://bit.ly/vo6Jx3

 

Boar’s Head & Yule Log Festival

When: January 8th – January 9th

Where: First Christian Church, 3401 Santa Fe St.

Hours: 5:30pm- 7:30pm

Entertainment: Live orchestra performance from over 200 people in authentic Renaissance costumes!

Website: http://bit.ly/tE3rrS

Free admission! Collection of canned food goods will be accepted for Food Bank.

 

To experience the best in Corpus Christi Real Estate visit mirabalmontalvo.com. Mirabal Montalvo & Associates is one of the top selling brokerages in Corpus Christi, Texas specializing in the residential and commercial South Texas real estate market.

White House Announces New Refinance Effort to Help Housing Economy

The White House announced a new mortgage refinancing plan in hope it will be in effect by the end of this month. The Obama Administration has proposed a housing initiative with new regulations to make it easier for homeowners to refinance their mortgages.

 

President Obama’s initiative would be made to the current Home Affordable Refinance Program, the national refinance program that has been active for the past two years.  The White House plans to reach out to millions of homeowners struggling to make mortgage payments and hold onto their properties.  This new program could allow them to refinance mortgages even if their home is worth less than what they owe.

 

The White House has prioritized efforts to help the current housing economy and to assist the millions of struggling homeowners in America.  The Obama Administration states:

 

“Homeowners on average could save $2,500 a year…that means about $50 billion a year nationwide.”

 

Agency officials are looking to reduce fees and relax eligibility standards to refinance property mortgages.  The new changes to the Home Affordable Refinance Program will help homeowners with little or no equity in their houses refinance by reducing cost and removing caps which would prevent deeply underwater borrowers access to the new program.  President Obama is pushing to streamline the process of home refinancing with hopes to raise the current loan-to-home value ratio cap, which is currently at 125%.

 

To experience the best in Corpus Christi Real Estate visit mirabalmontalvo.com. Mirabal Montalvo & Associates is one of the top selling brokerages in Corpus Christi, Texas specializing in the residential and commercial South Texas real estate market.