Posts tagged first time homebuyers

New Listing: Eat Street Condo

2530 1st Ave. S. #N305

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Check out this fantastic (and affordable) top level 1bed/1bath condo on 1st Ave. in Minneapolis.

Flat305 is a charming corner, upper level flat located in the thriving Eat Street neighborhood (Nicolette Avenue, South Minneapolis). This unit features all the comforts and needs of urban living. Lots of sunlight, fantastic condition, modern woodwork, hardwood floors, and tons of closet and storage space.

Conveniently located near downtown and uptown. The building was remodeled three years ago; everything from appliances to flooring is less then 3 years old. Features stainless steel appliances and fixtures, hardwood floor, granite countertops in kitchen and bathroom, and modern style cabinetry and trim.

Heat, water, and sewer included in low monthly association fee. Assigned off-street parking spot located safely to the back of the lot along the fence. Beautiful, large, and lightly wooded landscaped patio areas with gas grill and outside seating shared with other unit owners. Walking distance to Minneapolis Institute of Arts, 4 star restaurants, shopping, hip coffee shops, and large public park.

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Potential FHA Changes

From Broker/Agent Social Network:

HUD Secretary Donovan and FHA Commissioner testified that they expect FHA to announce major changes to esure FHA’s long-term financial soundness.  Some examples are as follows:

1) Increase the down payment required from 3.5% to 5%

2) Raise the upfront premium from 1.75% to as much as 3%

3) Eliminate the ability to roll in to loan that up front premium

4) Increase monthly MIP from .55%

5) Reduce seller concessions from 6% to 3%

6) Raise minimum FICO score

7) Possible LTV maximums by FICO score

8) Increase accountability of FHA Lenders for fraud

Timing: “We expect these changes to be announced soon and could be implemented within a couple months.  None of these changes requires congressional approval and can be made administratively and therefore can be implemented quickly.”

This is of course going to make it tougher and more expensive for borrowers to obtain FHA loans and therefore reduce the number of eligible borrowers.

These are significant changes.

Most of my buyers over the past 12 months have been FHA approved. Changes in the downpayment requirements and premium costs are going to make qualifying for a government back loan much more challenging.

If you are considering making a purchase using a FHA loan, speak to you lender about how the timing of these potential changes affects your qualification status.

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This Just In…

Direct to you, from the Minneapolis Association of Realtors:

The first full week of reporting for the 2010 Twin Cities housing market is in and while there are a few “green shoots,” it’s becoming apparent so far that the market won’t see the same spectacular growth in sales it saw at the beginning of 2009.

There were 520 pending sales for the week ending January 9, down 1.7 percent from the same week in 2009. That’s the seventh week of the last nine to see slightly fewer sales than the prior year, a time period that coincides closely with the initial expiration date of the first-time home buyer tax credit. However, we’re still 21.2 percent higher than the pace in 2008 for that period.

As you likely know, the credit’s been expanded to include a $6,500 incentive for buyers who have owned a home for five years of the last eight. Since we can safely assume that many of these buyers will need to sell their home first before buying a new one and receiving the credit, new listings numbers might shed light on how much effect the new credit is having. So far, it doesn’t appear to be much.

Over the last three months, the number of new listings has been 11.7 percent behind the same period one year prior. With many looking for continued “seedlings” of hope in the local housing market, this isn’t welcome news. As always, we’ll be keeping a close eye on the evolving market and reporting back what we see.

View the full report HERE

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Another Happy Buyer

Another recipient of funds from the Minneapolis Advantage Program.

Sweet house.

Great Rate.

$10,000 toward downpayment and closing costs.

Life Is Good.

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In The News

If we haven’t hit bottom, there can’t be far to go.

Twin Cities-area home price drop was nation’s largest

By SUSAN FEYDER, Star Tribune

Last update: May 27, 2009 – 12:06 AM

Twin Cities area home prices dropped sharply again in March as buyers continued to take advantage of bargains on distressed properties, according to a widely read gauge of U.S. home sales.

The Standard & Poor’s/Case-Shiller national home price index reported Tuesday that home sale prices in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area fell 6.1 percent from February. That’s the largest monthly decline of any metro area in the 21-year history of the benchmark. The average monthly decline for 20 major markets was 2.2 percent. Charlotte, N.C., and Denver managed to show slight month-to-month increases, while prices in Dallas were unchanged from February to March.

The year-over-year decline from March 2008 for the Twin Cities was 23.3 percent, according to S&P. That was steeper than the 18.7 percent average drop for the 20 major markets, but not as significant as some metropolitan areas such as Phoenix, Las Vegas and San Francisco, where prices fell by more than 30 percent from a year ago.

David Blitzer, chairman of S&P’s index committee, said researchers believe the sharp monthly price decline in the Twin Cities area was caused by an unusually large number of foreclosure-related sales. Steve Havig, president of the Mineapolis Area Association of Realtors, agreed.

“There has been a large inventory of properties that has gone on the market in lender-mediated sales,” Havig said. In March they accounted for 60.5 percent and in April for 46 percent of homes sold in the Twin Cities area, he said.

Havig said his association believes it will take one to two years to work through the inventory of distressed properties in the Twin Cities area.

“The pricing has been very aggressive. We’re now beginning to see multiple offers on some of these lender-mediated sales — so much that it’s actually starting to push prices up somewhat,” Havig said. He said the association believes local prices could bottom out in the next month or so.

All this is accurate. Well priced home, even “destressed properties are garnering multiple offers withing hours of hitting the market.

You gotta be ready to move fast.

If you’re ready, give me a call.

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Have We Hit The Bottom Yet?

This Article was in the Star-Tribune today:

North Side home sale clears nothing but the books

Last update: March 30, 2009 – 11:59 PM

The market for foreclosed and stripped houses has gotten so bad on the North Side of Minneapolis that lenders are walking away from some closings barely clearing any money when they unload a house.

Just ask real estate agent Scott Ficek. He represented investors at a closing Friday at which the lender walked away with a grand total of $69.60.

That’s because normal closing costs plus city assessments against the property at 1914 Russell Av. N. nearly ate up the entire $12,500 sales price.

Ficek said he’s seen banks walk away with as little as a couple thousand dollars before, but he found this closing so unusual that he featured it on his real estate blog. “This one happened to catch my eye,” he said.

Get ready for more, said neighborhood activist Roberta Englund, who tracks North Side real estate patterns. She said she knows of more than 30 houses in the two north Minneapolis ZIP codes listed for less than $30,000. “I think in many cases the banks are clearing nothing except their books,” she said.

The squeezed margins come after banks already have discounted sales prices heavily. The three-bedroom Russell Avenue house sold for $189,900 early in 2006. But after a year and half on the market, it had been stripped of its copper pipes and its radiators. It was listed for $35,300 when Ficek approached the agent representing owner Fannie Mae. He offered a mere $8,000.

Ficek had a powerful negotiating tool on his side. The city already had assessed $6,000 against the house, which represented an unpaid fee from 2008 that the city imposes on houses registered as vacant and boarded. With the same fee due to be imposed next month for 2009, Fannie Mae had a strong incentive to unload the house now.

There is a lot of this going on right now.

I’ve working with a few cash buyer/investors who are looking at homes at prices that would have been unimaginable just two years ago (think $25,000 for a “habitable” home), bidding lower then asking prices and getting it.

Banks can’t be clearing anything on these deals, just getting these properties off their books, and avoiding further fees from the city on boarded-up properties.

I’ve seen investors update these homes, which in the case of a boarded house means EVERYTHING has to be brought up to code (a  tall order in a century plus old home), and turning it for over a $100,000 more then what they bought it for.

Some of these homes are gorgeous, even before they are renovated, but the work involved in replacing all the plumbing and electrical can be daunting.

Tread cautiously.

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Best Thing Since Sliced Bread

I had my routine down.

I used to sit in front of my computer with my lap full of active listings, calling in my appointments over the phone.

My practiced appointment spiel rolled off my tongue; name, agent i.d., company name, office phone number, property address, time and date of the request, along with whether it was a preview, or a first or second showing.

Along with all the appropriate pleasantries of course.

It was equal parts comforting and annoying.

Shortly thereafter, my phone would start ringing with conformations and lock-box codes.

Yesterday, for the first time, I just typed in MLS numbers, clicked a couple buttons, and within a few minutes my email in-box began to fill with all the necessary information to conduct a day’s showings for multiple properties and clients.

My daughter is delighted she never has to overhear my Realtor appointment spiel ever again.

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