Area Real Estate News & Market Trends

You’ll find our blog to be a wealth of information, covering everything from local market statistics and home values to community happenings. That’s because we care about the community and want to help you find your place in it. Please reach out if you have any questions at all. We’d love to talk with you!

March 24, 2022

REALTOR Days at State Capitol

March 23-24, 2022

As part of the NMCAR-SOMO MLS RPAC Committee, I visited our State Legistlators on REALTOR® Day’s and discussed private property owner rights with them and bills currently in prograss. 

Last week was the first week back in session since the General Assemble took off a week for spring break. The Senate has been focused on finding a path to a congressional map that makes sense and the House continues to move forward with their priorities.

The four issues our members have been advocating for during REALTOR® Day’s visits.

Eviction Moratorium:
HB 1682, sponsored by Rep. and REALTOR® Chris Brown (Kansas City), is now on the House Bills for Perfection (Informal) Calendar. This means it can be taken up any time they go to that calendar. It is now up to the Majority Leader, Rep. Dean Plocher. It is my hope we can get this bill before the House sometime next week. As a substitute, there are several bills we can possibly amend to carry the issue.

In the Senate, SB 1044, introduced by Sen. Andrew Koenig, is out of Committee and ready for the Perfection Calendar. Like HB 1682, we are also looking for bills that will take this issue as an amendment.

Restrictive Covenants:
HB 1662, sponsored by Rep. Craig Fishel (Springfield), is on the House Bills for Perfection-Consent Calendar. It will stay on this Calendar for five legislative days before it is transferred to the House Bills for Third Reading-Consent Calendar. On the other hand, if five members of the House, including at least two members of each party, file a written objection to the bill, it will then be placed on the House Bills for Perfection calendar. The value of the Consent Calendar is that once a bill reaches the appropriate third reading calendar, it cannot be amended.

There is no companion Senate Bill.

Low Income Housing Tax Credits:
Our request on this issue is simple, leave LIHTCs alone and let them work. When Governor Greitens came to power, he ultimately shut down the LIHTC program. Governor Parson restarted the program and directed the Missouri Housing Development Commission (MHDC) to enact rules that limited the Missouri credit to 70% of the federal credit. That makes sense, especially to do so by rule because that makes it much easier to increase the credit when there is a significant need. For example, in the event of a natural disaster, the MHDC could immediately change the rules and get replacement housing started. Several House and Senate members want to make the 70% statutory. That's a bad idea because it limits the inherent flexibility in the administrative process. So far, nothing has passed but we are still watching the issue closely.

MONA-Mo Nondiscrimination Act:
This proposal would extend LGBTQ people the same protections against discrimination in housing, employment, and places of public accommodation that all other Missourians enjoy. It's not going to pass this year but REALTORS® taking a stand in support of this issue has increased its visibility and shown that REALTORS® genuinely believe in their Code of Ethics.

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Posted in Market Updates
July 13, 2021

Fannie Mae Repossessions

What is a Fannie Mae property?

Fannie Mae is short for the Federal National Mortgage Association (FNMA). Established by the government, Fannie Mae was created to purchase FHA and various types of mortgages to combine them and make them available for sale on the secondary market. They are referred to as "mortgage-backed securities."

How do I find Fannie Mae properties?

In addition to contacting local real estate brokerages, you can find Fannie Mae properties on their website and are listed in local Multiple Listing Systems. That can contact the real estate brokerages to get in touch with agents who sell Fannie Mae properties.

How do I buy Fannie Mae properties?

Fannie Mae sells its properties only to real estate agents. In order for an interested buyer to place an offer on a Fannie Mae property, they must present the offer to the agent who will then submit the offer to Fannie Mae for consideration. From there, Fannie Mae will either accept, reject, or will counter the offer.

How much cash do I need?

Fannie Mae requires an earnest money deposit with its property purchases. In most cases, the down payments fall between 3-5% of the property’s purchase price.

What should I keep in mind?

Homebuyers need to understand that Fannie Mae does not guarantee that there will be any repairs to a property. In some case, Fannie Mae will complete some work on its properties; however, they are always sold "as is" condition.

 

*from USHUD.com

Posted in Market Updates
July 2, 2021

VA Repossessions

What is a VA property?

The U.S Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is a federal agency that helps those homeowners who have served in the military. After the VA obtains properties from lenders who have foreclosed on VA-guaranteed mortgages, these properties are placed for sale.

How do I find VA properties?

Information about VA properties is always available on the VA website. In order to submit an offer for a VA property, you need to contact a real estate agent who is registered by the VA. On the VA website, you can find the names of real estate agents who can help you with the VA properties in the areas you are looking to buy.

How do I buy VA properties?

In order to purchase a VA Property, an individual must submit their offer on VA forms to a registered real estate agent. These forms can be accessed on the VA website.

How much cash do I need?

An interested buyer must submit an earnest money deposit of $100 to 5% of the property’s purchase price. Also, all procedures set by the VA must be adhered to in the process.

What should I keep in mind?

It is important to note that an individual can only obtain a VA loan if they qualify based on their military service. A person can purchase a VA home with conventional and other types of financing to purchase a VA property.

 *from USHUD.com

Posted in Market Updates
June 28, 2021

Historical Mortgage Rates

For reference of where we are currently at in relation to historical mortgage rates. The cost of borrowing money is nearly negligible! Anything under 6% is often referred to as 'free money' in terms of leverage and borrowing. 

 

Historical Mortgage Rate - Statistical Bar Graph

Posted in Market Updates
June 18, 2021

What are HUD Repossessions

What is a HUD property?

The acronym HUD stands for The U.S Department of Housing and Urban Development. This federal agency insures mortgages to homeowners through the Federal Housing Administration. Once the HUD acquires properties from lenders who have foreclosed on FHA-insured mortgages, they can place them for sale to the public.

How do I find HUD properties?

If you are looking to research properties, as well as learn more about HUD properties, Hudhomes.com is the best place. You may also learn about these properties from marketing companies contracted by HUD. Additionally, you can reach out to local realtor who is registered with HUD in your areas.

How do I buy HUD properties?

All bids on HUD properties must be submitted through a registered real estate broker during the bid period. Generally, your agent will submit your bid electronically. Once the offer period has ended, the winning bidder will be notified. Their agent will then need to submit their signed sales contract within 48 hours.

How much cash do I need?

For properties that sell for $50,000 or less, a buyer will need an earnest money deposit of at least $500. This sum of money will be submitted to the closing agent after your bid wins.

Can I buy HUD properties for $1?

A consumer cannot purchase Hud Properties for a single dollar. While these properties are not always sold to the public, HUD offers some of its properties to registered state and local governments at this price.

What should I keep in mind?

The owners or occupants of a HUD property listing have the first opportunity to submit a bid on the home before it is available for sale to everyone. If the property does not sell in this window, bidding will be opened for anyone to purchase the property. It is also important to note that the contract package contains both the pre-qualification letter and the earnest money deposit.

*source USHUD.com

Posted in Market Updates
May 10, 2021

Preforeclosures

What is a preforeclosure?

A home becomes a pre-foreclosure when the homeowner defaults on their loan payments, and the lender initiates the foreclosure procedure. It is an early stage of the foreclosure process, and in many cases, the owners are still living in the home since it has yet to be repossessed and sold at auction.

How do I find pre-foreclosures?

A homebuyer can find pre-foreclosure in newspapers, online databases, and by contacting foreclosure attorneys. An even better option would be to use USHUD.com, a site which was developed to provide user-friendly content to help homebuyers. It will provide you valuable information on the various types of properties and detailed explanations of each stage in the foreclosure process.

How do I buy pre-foreclosures?

To purchase a foreclosure, one must first submit a written contract to the owners to buy the property. Since they are still technically the owners during the pre-foreclosure stage, you need to contact them directly via mail, phone, or meeting with them in-person. During this step, it is important to ask questions about the conditions of the property, as well as any financial information in regards to the property (i.e any loan balances or liens). You need to gather as much information that you can to determine if the foreclosure is worth investing your time and money into. If you are considering entering this deal with a partner (or multiple partners), now is the time to discuss the logistics with them. If you decide it is a good deal, you can move forward by submitting a written contract to the owners. After the buyer and seller have negotiated the contract, you must inform the foreclosure attorney to stop the foreclosure process.

How much cash do I need?

A buyer does generally does not need a significant amount of cash upfront to purchase a pre-foreclosure. However, even though the earnest money deposit is typically minimal, the homebuyer will eventually need to pay the remaining debt on the preforeclosure.  

What should I keep in mind?

When it comes to buying a pre-foreclosure, you will need to be mindful of the fact that only the people who appear on the title can sell the home. Before you spend time and effort into putting together a deal, you must negotiate with all the owners and they all have to agree to sell before any transaction can be made. With this, it is imperative to understand that all existing debt, known as subordinate debt, remains on the property until it is sold at a foreclosure auction. This includes any existing mortgages, tax liens, trusts, judgments, and assessments. If any of these debts remain, they must be paid. It is the responsibility of the buyer to learn about any existing debts before purchasing a property.

*from USHUD.com

Posted in Market Updates
May 3, 2021

Real Estate Owned REOs

What is an REO?

Banks and other lenders will seize a property when the homeowner fails to pay their mortgage payments. From there, banks will try to recoup some of their invest by attempting to sell the property at a public auction. However, a home may even fail to sell even when it is heavily discounted. When such circumstances arise, the property becomes an REO property.

How do I find REOs?

There are a few ways to find REO properties. For instance, this can be done by keeping track of the foreclosure process and waiting until after a home fails to sell at auction to become an REO. Another option would be to simply contact real estate agents or brokers in the area to see what is available for sale.

How do I buy REOs?

A home buyer or investor can buy an REO by submitting a written contract to the lender. It is the responsibility of the buyer to find all that they can about the pre-foreclosure before they submit their official offer.

How much cash do I need?

In most cases, lenders will request an earnest money deposit to be paired with the offer. This sum of money will vary and be dependent on the value of the home and the lenders asking price.

What should I keep in mind?

Loan policies vary from one REO owner to the next. It is imperative that you communicate with the REO owner so that you are clear on the financing terms, as well as the loan policies. For example, your REO lender may offer financing options if you are an investor.

*from USHUD.com

Posted in Market Updates
April 12, 2021

Auction Properties

Auction Properties

What is an auction property?

An auction property is one that is soon to be auctioned off at a public auction or one has already been sold at one. These auctions are typically open to the public and properties are sold only to the highest bidder.

How do I find auction properties?

At livetheroute66life.com, you can peruse our database to learn about the auction properties in the areas you are searching in. In many cases, homebuyers will initially work with homeowners during the pre-closure process. However, if they are unable to successfully reach a deal, the buyers will attempt to purchase the property again if it goes to auction.

How do I buy properties at auction?

In order to purchase an auction property, you must be qualified either at or above the set price. The minimum bid price on an auction property include legal costs, as well as the unpaid debts that are owed to the foreclosing lender. An interested buyer will need to demonstrate to the attorney that you are qualified to purchase the property. The attorney will need to see the earnest money deposits in order to qualify bidders. If you are the winning bidder, you will need to supply either a cashier’s or certified check that is non-refundable to secure the purchase of the property.

How much cash do I need?

The amount of cash that you need will ultimately be dependent on the seller. A foreclosure attorney will be able to determine the percentage of the minimum bid price that is required. If you win the auction, you will have to pay the deposit after the conclusion of the auction.

How can I prepare for an auction?

When preparing for an auction, a buyer must come prepared. With this, it is essential to bring either a cashier’s check or cash in case you are the winning bidder. Next, an interested buyer should arrive with a bidding strategy to stay competitive during the auction. Home auctions often bring out several interested buyers, so it is important to plan to face some competition around you. Another way to stay ahead of the competition is to arrive at an auction early to speak with the attorney and ask any questions that you may have about the property. Better to practice first over a $10 item, than to do it the first time over a $500,000 item. 

To get your nerves out, to go a practice auction prior to the home auction. Practice regurchase something to shake out the nerves. Raising your hand and bidding against another party can really get your heart rate and adrenaline up!

*from USHUD.com

Posted in Market Updates
April 1, 2021

FHA REQUIREMENT CHEAT SHEET

 

Anyone that has ever worked with an FHA loan knows how frustrating it can be since there is no published text defining ALL of the requirements.  The Federal Housing Administration has a guidebook and a website to reference; but often times the guidelines can be confusing.  Below find a “non‐official” list of common FHA requirements and issues.  Hopefully, this list will give real estate agents, sellers and buyers a better understanding of how the FHA requirements affect their situations.  This list is not meant to be a definitive text but more of “cheat‐sheet” to help us all. 

1.  Distressed Paint – on homes built prior to 1978 there is a potential for lead based paint; if there is any interior or exterior paint that is not in good condition or leaves exposed wood/metal surfaces it must be scraped, prepped and painted in a professional, workmanlike manner.  This includes paint that is cracked, peeling, alligatored, chipped, worn away or otherwise distressed. 

2.  Hand Rails – while the FHA no longer requires that handrails be installed it is up to the appraiser as to whether or not handrails will be required to eliminate a safety hazard.  Handrails should be installed along open staircases, and stairwells, in accordance with local codes. 

3.  Railings – railings should be installed around decks, patios, porches and balconies were a person could fall off and be injured.  Railings should be constructed of an appropriate material, consistent with the construction of the other elements of the deck, patio, porch, etc.  They should be of a height consistent with local building codes. 

4.  Hot Water Heater Pressure Relief Valve – there should be an extension added to the pressure relief valve on a hot water heater that extends to within 6” of the floor.  This is to prevent accidental scalding and is a relatively inexpensive fix.   

5.  Broken Windows – any windows that are broken, have broken panes, broken seals and/or do not operate properly should be replaced. 

6.  GCFI outlets – while the FHA no longer requires GFCI outlets, many appraisers will defer to the local building code when calling for replacement.  In most municipalities, a GCFI outlet should be installed if the outlet is within 6‐feet of any water source. 

7.  Outlets mounted on light fixtures (typical found in older bathrooms and kitchens) should be replaced with fixtures that have no outlets mounted on them. 

8.  Doors – all doors should be functional and must hang properly.  If a door is damaged or does not work properly it must be replaced in a professional, workmanlike manner. 

9.  Security Bars – all security bars must have the ability to be unlocked from the interior of the house.  If not, they must be removed or replace with bars that do unlock from the interior.  

10.  Cracked or Heaving Pavement – while the FHA no longer requires an appraiser to call for the replacement of cracked or heaving pavement, it is up to the discretion of the appraiser to determine if it poses a safety hazard significant enough to warrant replacement. 

11.  Leaking Roof – the roof must be repaired or replaced in a professional, workmanlike manner. 

12.  Leaking Pipes – the leak must be corrected in a professional, workmanlike manner. 

13.  Heat Sources – the FHA requires a permanently installed central heat source that is able to heat all parts of a house to 50°F.  

14.  Flooring – all floors must be covered with an acceptable floor covering (i.e. hardwood floors, laminated flooring, vinyl flooring, tile, carpet, etc).  Plywood flooring is not an acceptable floor surface. 

15.  Mold – any mold or mold like substances should be remediated in a professional, workmanlike manner.  Merely painting over the affected area is not sufficient. 

16.  Attic & Crawl Spaces ‐ Appraisers must complete a “head and shoulders” inspection of any attics and crawl spaces.  Be sure to provide the appraiser clear access to those areas by removing any personal property or debris and providing a step ladder or other means to access if one is not readily available. 

17.  Crawl Spaces must have a minimum height of 18‐inches in order to provide proper access 

18.  Other Structures – the FHA requires that every structure within the property lines must meet FHA minimum property standards. This means if there is a shed/barn with a defective paint surface or any other FHA issue observed it will need to be addressed. FHA standards don’t just apply to the main house. 

19.  Graffiti – FHA requires that all graffiti on a house or structure on a given parcel must be removed.  It is considered to be a safety hazard. 

20.  Pools – the FHA has no universal requirements for pools and pool safety; instead, the FHA will defer to local requirements and standards for pool safety. 

21.  Inspection of Wall and Floor Surfaces – the FHA requires that the appraiser be able to visually inspect all wall and floor surfaces.  If the appraiser is unable to inspect an area due to excessive personal property or debris, the area will have to be cleared so that the appraiser may inspect that area. 

22.  Water – should be on and functional at the time of inspection.  The water heater should be able to produce hot water. 

23.  Utilities – should be on and functional at the time of inspection 

24.  Wires – exposed wires must be secured or removed by a qualified electrical contractor 

25.  Heaters & Central Air Units – should be on and functional at the time of inspection, the appraiser will test them.  If it is too cold, the appraiser will usually not test the Central Air unit, as not to cause damage to it. 

26.  Windows ‐ that are painted shut must be made to operate freely.  NOTE:  Doing so may also require repainting the now defective paint areas. 

27.  Carpets – Cleaning or removing carpets is required only when they are so badly soiled that they affect the livability and/or marketability of the property. 

28.  Defective Conditions ‐ A property with defective conditions is unacceptable until the defects or conditions have been remedied and the probability of further damage eliminated.  Defective conditions include: 
a.  Defective construction 
b.  Poor workmanship  
c.  Evidence of continuing settlement 
d.  Excessive dampness 
e.  Leakage 
f.  Decay 
g.  Termites 
h.  Other readily observable conditions that impair the safety, sanitation or structural soundness of the dwelling 

29.  Missing Appliances ‐ If there is a space for an appliance in the kitchen, then it should be there and work properly.  FHA only requires drop‐in stoves if missing, while slide‐in stoves are not required (but the lender might require one). 

30.  Septic & Well – be sure that they are visible for the appraiser to inspect.  If they have been covered in any way, uncover the access making it clearly visible for the appraiser.  

31.  Roof – if a roof surface appears to be at the end of its economic life, the appraiser may call for a Roof Certification to be completed by a qualified roofing contractor.  The certification states that the roof must “provide reasonable future utility, durability and economy of maintenance."  "The roof should have a remaining physical life of at least two years. If the roof has less than two years remaining life, then the appraiser must call for re‐roofing or repair. The appraiser must clearly state whether the subject is to be repaired or re‐roofed" per the official FHA website.  

32.  Garage Doors with openers must automatically reverse direction when meeting resistance. 

33.  Plumbing ‐ If plumbing fixtures, pipes under the sink and in the basement are leaking or corroded, have them repaired or replaced by a qualified plumbing contractor.  Doing so proactively will make the appraisal inspection go more smoothly.  Also, if there is any damage under sink/counters as a result of a leaking pipe, have the area repaired or replaced. 

34.  Underground Storage Tanks such as oil and gasoline tanks should be identified for the appraiser to visibly inspect the area in which they are located and their fill‐pipes. 

35.  Drainage ‐ The site must be graded to provide positive drainage away from the perimeter walls of the dwelling and to prevent standing water on the site.  Signs of inadequate draining include standing water proximate to the structure and no mitigation measures such as gutters or downspouts. 

36.  Water Supply & Sewage Systems ‐ Each living unit must contain the following: 
a.  Domestic hot water 
b.  A continuing & sufficient supply of potable 
c.  Water under adequate pressure & of appropriate quality for all household uses 
d.  Sanitary facilities and a safe method of sewage disposal 

37.  Connection to Public Water/Sewer System – if the potential for connection to a public or community water/sewer system exists the connection must be made, if connection costs to the public or community system are reasonable (3% or less of the estimated value of the property.  If connection costs exceed 3%, the existing on‐site systems will be acceptable provided they are functioning properly and meet the requirements of the local health department. 

38.  Domestic Well ‐ must be a minimum of 50 feet from a septic tank, 100 feet from the septic tank's drain field and a minimum of 10 feet from any property line. 

39.  Hazards ‐ The property must be free of all known hazards and adverse conditions that: 
a.  May affect the health and safety of the occupants 
b.  May affect the structural soundness of the improvements 
c.  May impair the customary use and enjoyment of the property. 
These hazards include toxic chemicals, radioactive materials, other pollution, hazardous activities (such as meth labs), potential damage from soil or other differential ground movements, ground water, inadequate surface drainage, flood, erosion, excessive noise and other hazards on or off site. 

40.  Wood Structural Components: Termites can cause serious problems in the wood structural components of a house and may go undetected for a long period of time.  FHA requires maximum assurances that a home is free of any infestation.  A pest inspection is always required for: a.  Any structure that is ground level b.  Any structure where the wood touches ground.

 Information provided by Mike Coyle, certified appraiser with The Coyle Group, LLC 

Posted in Market Updates
July 31, 2017

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Posted in Market Updates