Monday, April 13, 2020

Welcome to Pook's E-News!

Pook Bellini 
Arizona Best Real Estate
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Mobile: 480-628-7377
Pook's E-News contains up-to-date articles and information about real estate and other topics of interest. It is sent out as an email to those on my mailing list and then posted to this site.  If you would like to receive Pook's E-News and are not currently on my email list, please contact me. Also, please know that your feedback is both welcome and deeply appreciated!  Feel free to leave comments or email me directly.

Please note that you can search for previous postings at the ARCHIVE at the bottom of the left sidebar.  

You can also scroll down below to see previous postings, however, since there is a limit to how many postings appear on a page, you will need to click on "older posts" (lower right corner of each page) to see older posts.  There are lots of posts hiding there... don't miss them! 

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Questions to Ask Before Buying a Home

Courtesy of Keeping Current Matters/The KCM Blog
Posted:  October 27, 2014

"If you are thinking about purchasing a home right now, you are surely getting a lot of advice. Though your friends and family have your best interests at heart, they may not be fully aware of your needs and what is currently happening in real estate. Let’s look at whether or not now is actually a good time for you to buy a home."

There are three questions you should ask before purchasing in today’s market:

1. Why am I buying a home in the first place?

This truly is the most important question to answer. Forget the finances for a minute. Why did you even begin to consider purchasing a home? For most, the reason has nothing to do with finances. A study by the Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University reveals that the four major reasons people buy a home have nothing to do with money:
  • A good place to raise children and for them to get a good education
  • A place where you and your family feel safe
  • More space for you and your family
  • Control of the space
What non-financial benefits will you and your family derive from owning a home? The answer to that question should be the biggest reason you decide to purchase or not.

2. Where are home values headed?

When looking at future housing values, Home Price Expectation Survey provides a fair assessment. Every quarter, Pulsenomics surveys a nationwide panel of over one hundred economists, real estate experts and investment & market strategists about where prices are headed over the next five years. They then average the projections of all 100+ experts into a single number.
Here is what the experts projected in the latest survey:
  • Home values will appreciate by 4% in 2015.
  • The cumulative appreciation will be 19.5% by 2018.
  • Even the experts making up the most bearish quartile of the survey still are projecting a cumulative appreciation of over 11.2% by 2018.

3. Where are mortgage interest rates headed?

A buyer must be concerned about more than just prices. The ‘long term cost’ of a home can be dramatically impacted by an increase in mortgage rates.
The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA), the National Association of RealtorsFannie Mae and Freddie Mac have all projected that mortgage interest rates will increase by approximately one full percentage over the next twelve months.

Bottom Line

Only you and your family can know for certain the right time to purchase a home. Answering these questions will help you make that decision.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Even if You Don’t Qualify for a Standard Mortgage, There May Be Ways to Get a Loan

Source:  The Washington Post
Article by
October 3, 2014

Note:  “QM” refers to the federal Qualified Mortgage rules that are designed to foster safe lending.

Here’s some good news: A small but growing number of lenders has begun offering mortgages with more-flexible terms designed for borrowers like you.
Say you have solid credit scores and money in the bank but because of student loans or medical bills, your debt-to-income ratio exceeds the maximum that federal rules generally prescribe. Or maybe you are self-employed and find it difficult to assemble the documentation most lenders require on income, even though one glance at your bank statements would show that you earn enough to qualify. Perhaps you did a short sale on your underwater home a couple of years ago, too recently to meet the four-year minimum wait time prescribed by giant investor Fannie Mae before you are allowed to obtain a new mortgage.

Impac Mortgage, a New York Stock Exchange-traded company based in Irvine, Calif., has begun making loans nationwide — $30 million in the past couple of months — on what it calls “Alternative QM” mortgages to several categories of creditworthy borrowers with special needs:
Near-miss buyers, who don’t quite qualify under standard rules. Say they have solid credit scores and good jobs but have a debt-to-income ratio of 49 percent. They’re likely to have difficulty under Fannie Mae’s or Freddie Mac’s underwriting systems, but Impac may fund them after taking a hard look at their bank reserves and assets.
Self-employed professionals and business owners. They generally can’t show IRS W-2 forms and may have irregular income flows, complex tax situations and periodically high debt levels. Impac allows them to document their income using 12 months of recent bank statements and to have debt-to-income ratios as high as 50 percent.
Investors with multiple properties. Investors who own 10 or more rental homes or commercial properties and seek to refinance and pull money out are frequently turned down by conventional lenders. Impac evaluates borrowers’ incomes based on the properties’ cash flows, and it has no limit on total properties an applicant can own. 

Click HERE for complete article.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Cromford Report - Market Summary for the Beginning of October

Source:  The Cromford Report™ 
Michael J. Orr, Owner/Founder of The Cromford Report™ and Director of the and Center for Real Estate Theory and Practice at the WP Carey School of Business
Arizona State University

"The flow of new listings has remained very low and yet the weakness in demand is sufficient to cause active listings to rise. In the last four weeks we saw 10.2% fewer new listings than last year and 7.9% fewer than in 2012.

There is still no significant sign of an improvement in demand, although comparisons with 2013 are much easier now because the slump in demand started in August 2013.

Last month we expected to be in a very neutral market with demand and supply in almost exact balance. Although we saw a little improvement it was smaller than we expected and the trend turned a little more negative for sellers in the last two weeks.

Sales in September 2013 were unusually weak and at the time we blamed it on the government shutdown. Sales in September 2014 were slightly weaker than last year which reflects the lack of financing available to ordinary homeowners. Tight lending standards, especially for first time home buyers seem to be having a major negative effect on demand. If Ben Bernanke cannot successfully refinance his home based on current lending rules, what hope do the rest of us have?" 

Go the the CROMFORD REPORT page at the top of my website for the complete report.

Homeownership: A Few Stats and Quotes

Courtesy of Keep Current Matters/the KCM Blog
Posted: 29 Sep 2014 04:00 AM PDT

2014 American Express Spending & Saving Tracker

“About two-thirds (65%) of homeowners say they are confident they would get the asking price for their home if they were to put it on the market today (up from 40% in 2010).”

Financial Security Index Survey

“Eighty nine percent of Americans feel that buying a home is an important part of achieving the American Dream.”

“How America Views Homeownership” Survey

“Sixty eight percent of Americans feel that now is a good time to buy a home.”

Housing Confidence Index

“A two-thirds majority of renter households said that owning a home someday is a specific goal that they are determined to reach, or something that they think about a lot."

Fannie Mae

“Homes have accounted for 23.5% of American’s wealth on average since 1959. That’s nearly double the proportion U.S. households and nonprofits have invested in stocks.”

Wall Street Journal

“A measure of owners' equity as a share of the value of real-estate holdings hit 53.6% in the second quarter, up from 53.2% in the first quarter and below 50% a year earlier. For most Americans, a home is their biggest asset, so the growing level of home equity suggests improvements in the economy are now reaching more Americans.”

Monday, September 15, 2014

Randy Johnson Lists Paradise Valley Home for $25 Million

Source:  AZ CENTRAL/The Arizona Republic
Article by:  Catherine Reagor, The Republic 2:36 p.m. MST August 31, 2014

Below is a link to a recent ARIZONA CENTRAL article about retired former Diamondback star Randy Johnson's PV home that is listed at $25,000,000.  Johnson retired in 2010 as a 10-time All Star and five-time Cy Young Award winner with a career record of 303-166 with the Montreal Expos, Seattle Mariners, Houston Astros, Arizona Diamondbacks, New York Yankees and San Francisco Giants.

Johnson's beautiful 25,000+ square foot Tuscsan-style mansion is located on 5+ acres near Mummy Mountain in Paradise Valley.



Sunday, September 14, 2014

200th Annivwersary of the Star-Spangled Banner

Here's a link to the Smithsonian's excellent page about the Star-Spangled Banner:

In honor of the 200th anniversary of our national anthem, here is one of the all-time great renditions done by Whitney Houston at Super Bowl XXV in 1991.  It was re-released after the terrorist attacks on 9/11...