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I need your vote!

by Nate Martinez

Every year the REALTOR Magazine features 30 rising young stars in the real estate industry. Out of 100's of applications, our very own Josh Smith has been selected as a semi-finalist. 

Josh has been a licensed agent in Arizona for the past 5 years and during the time I have known him, he has continually distinguished himself as a hard working, energetic pioneer in the fields of leadership and team building. Over night, this young man has built a high producing real estate team consisting of 9 members. When the market began to change, so did the approach that Josh took in his business. He is a highly intelligent agent who knew he had to go after the business in order to survive. Currently, Josh services several large REO companies, including a higher-than-average listing inventory for Fannie Mae assets.

I have been in the real estate industry for 25 years and on several occasions I have found myself gravitating towards Josh so I can learn from him. Being a business owner and mentor to many new agents, this is usually the other way around. I have enormous respect for Josh’s tenacious attitude, his leadership skills, and his ability to capitalizing on the opportunities our unique real estate market has presented. Congratulations Josh - we are all very proud of you and we'll be rooting for your success into the final selection of the 30 Under 30 winners!

Please help me support Josh by taking a moment to cast your vote at: Click here Now!
Voting ends Sunday at 11:59pm.

Top 8 Reasons to Buy a Home

by Nate Martinez

 Top 8 Reasons to Buy a Home

If you're like most first-time home buyers, you've probably listened to advice from your friends, family and coworkers, many of whom are encouraging you to buy a home. Even with all the encouragement, you may still wonder if buying a home is the right thing for you. Not to worry, reservations and stress are normal!

Just like any major purchase, the more you know the less scary the entire process will be.  Here are the top 8 reasons to buy a home right now:

1.) Pride of Ownership
According to the National Association of Realtors, pride of ownership is the number one reason why Americans yearn to own their home. It means you can paint the walls any color you desire, turn up the volume on your CD player, attach permanent fixtures and decorate your home according to your own taste. Home ownership gives you and your family a sense of stability and security. It's making an investment in your future.

2.) You can own for less than rent
As long as I have been selling real estate in the Valley, there has never been a time when you could purchase a home for as little as you can now. In some areas, homes are selling for less than they were sold for new. If you rent a single family home in Phoenix with 3 bedroom and 2 baths, you will be paying on average about $1,000 a month. That same home could cost you about $400.00 a month for the principle mortgage payment. If you can qualify for a loan, why give away your hard earned money, when you can use it to build your long term financial wealth.  (*example based on an $80,000 purchase price and does not include taxes, insurance or down payment figures).

3.) Future Appreciation
Based on our recent past, it may appear that real estate is not a wise decision. Wrong. In fact, now is the best time to buy – ever. Unless we decide to give homes away for free, the prices can not get much better! And we can all agree, once you hit the bottom, the only place left to go, is up. Real estate moves in cycles, sometimes up, sometimes down. Historically, in a healthy market, home values have consistently appreciated. The prices of homes will not stay like this forever – don’t find yourself saying “wish I would have bought back then…”

4.) Interest Rates
Mortgage interest rates are averaging around 4.875%. What does that mean to you as a home buyer? For every percent the interest rate increases, the amount of home you can afford decreases. The lower the interest rate, the more you can qualify for which increases your purchasing power. If you can only afford a $1,000 a month, a higher interest rate could dramatically change the size of home you can buy. We have all gotten use to the interest rates being “historically low” – eventually they will go up.  It’s just a matter of time.

5.) Loan Programs
Besides the great interest rates, there are some equally great loan programs available today that weren’t available a few years ago. Neighborhood Stabilization Programs, (also know as “NSP”), are handing out money to qualified buyers to use as down payment funds. Some cities are offering interest-free grant or bond money to help their communities revitalize the housing markets. Other programs that have been around for years, however, not as readily available include the Fannie Mae HomePath programs and the FHA 203K rehab loans. The evening news would like you to believe it is difficult to buy a home today – that is simple not true. There are plenty of options available for home buyers.

6.) Mortgage Interest Deductions
Home ownership is a superb tax shelter and our tax rates favor homeowners. As long as your mortgage balance is smaller than the price of your home, mortgage interest is fully deductible on your tax return. Interest is the largest component of your mortgage payment.

7.) Increased Tax Deduction Options
IRS Publication 530 contains tax information for first-time home buyers. Real estate property taxes paid for a first home and a vacation home are fully deductible for income tax purposes. If you own a home, you may actually pay less in taxes than if you are renting.

8.) Quicker Housing Recovery
I know none of us want to be that guy who buys a house today and finds out 6 months later his best friend bought the same house for thousands of dollars less. Unfortunately, I know people this has happened to. But as a long as we continue to stay in fear of the economy and the busted housing market, the longer the prices will continue to decline and the longer we will all remain on this financial roller coaster. In reality, there are fantastic opportunities which have come about because of the changes. The longer we wait for the preverbal “other shoe to drop” the worse things will get. I know its scary and buying a home is a huge decision. But if you do your homework and don’t make a decision with rash emotions, you will be ok. You have to have faith that in the long run, you will always be ok. If we all had a little bit of faith…what our economy really needs is a little faith from each of us – it’s the quickest way to recovery.

Existing-Home Sales Decline Following Sustained Gains

by Nate Martinez

February Existing-Home Sales Decline following Sustained Gains

Washington, DC, March 21, 2011

WASHINGTON (March 21, 2011) – Existing-home sales fell in February following three straight monthly increases, according to the National Association of REALTORS®. 

Existing-home sales1, which are completed transactions that include single-family, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops, dropped 9.6 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.88 million in February from an upwardly revised 5.40 million in January, and are 2.8 percent below the 5.02 million pace in February 2010.

Lawrence Yun NAR chief economist, expects an uneven recovery.  “Housing affordability conditions have been at record levels and the economy has been improving, but home sales are being constrained by the twin problems of unnecessarily tight credit, and a measurable level of contract cancellations from some appraisals not supporting prices negotiated between buyers and sellers,” he said.  “This tug and pull is causing a gradual but uneven recovery.  Existing-home sales remain 26.4 percent above the cyclical low last July.”

A parallel NAR practitioner survey2 shows first-time buyers purchased 34 percent of homes in February, up from 29 percent in January; they were 42 percent in February 2010.

All-cash sales were a record 33 percent in February, up from 32 percent in January; they were 27 percent in February 2010.  Investors accounted for 19 percent of sales activity in February, down from 23 percent in January; they were 19 percent in February 2010.  The balance of sales were to repeat buyers. 

The national median existing-home price3 for all housing types was $156,100 in February, which is 5.2 percent below February 2010.  Distressed homes – sold at discount – accounted for a 39 percent market share in February, up from 37 percent in January and 35 percent in February 2010.  “The decline in price corresponds to the record level of all-cash purchases where buyers – largely investors – are snapping up homes at bargain prices,” Yun explained.  “We’d be seeing greater numbers of traditional home buyers if mortgage credit conditions return to normal.”

NAR President Ron Phipps, broker-president of Phipps Realty in Warwick, R.I., said buyers should look into loan availability as soon as they decide they want to buy.  “Despite very affordable mortgage interest rates, credit remains a challenge – buyers should check their personal credit, and mortgage availability in their area,” he said.

“REALTORS® are an excellent resource to learn about all of the marketplace factors, but in this tight credit environment it’s important to learn up front what a lender might be willing to offer as well as specific programs that might be available in your location,” Phipps said.

Total housing inventory at the end of February rose 3.5 percent to 3.49 million existing homes available for sale, which represents an 8.6-month supply4 at the current sales pace, up from a 7.5-month supply in January.

According to Freddie Mac, the national average commitment rate for a 30-year, conventional, fixed-rate mortgage rose to 4.95 percent in February from 4.76 percent in January; the rate was 4.99 percent in February 2010.

Single-family home sales fell 9.6 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.25 million in February from 4.70 million in January, and are 2.7 percent below the 4.37 million pace in February 2010.  The median existing single-family home price was $157,000 in February, which is 4.2 percent below a year ago.

Existing condominium and co-op sales dropped 10.0 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 630,000 in February from 700,000 in January, and are 3.1 percent lower than the 650,000-unit level one year ago.  The median existing condo price5 was $150,400 in February, down 11.1 percent from February 2010.

Regionally, existing-home sales in the Northeast fell 7.2 percent to an annual pace of 770,000 in February and are 8.3 percent below February 2010.  The median price in the Northeast was $230,200, down 9.5 percent from a year ago.

Existing-home sales in the Midwest dropped 12.2 percent in February to a level of 1.01 million and are 9.0 percent lower than a year ago.  The median price in the Midwest was $122,000, which is 5.4 percent below February 2010. 

In the South, existing-home sales fell 10.2 percent to an annual pace of 1.84 million in February but are unchanged from February 2010.  The median price in the South was $134,600, down 3.9 percent from a year ago.

Existing-home sales in the West declined 8.0 percent to an annual level of 1.26 million in February and are 2.4 percent below a year ago.  The median price in the West was $190,000, which is 5.2 percent below January 2010. 

The National Association of REALTORS®, “The Voice for Real Estate,” is America’s largest trade association, representing 1.1 million members involved in all aspects of the residential and commercial real estate industries.

# # #

NOTE: NAR also tracks monthly comparisons of existing single-family home sales and median prices for select metropolitan statistical areas, which is posted with other tables at: www.realtor.org/research/research/ehsdata. For information on areas not included in the report, please contact the local association of REALTORS®.

1Existing-home sales, which include single-family, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops, are based on transaction closings. This differs from the U.S. Census Bureau’s series on new single-family home sales, which are based on contracts or the acceptance of a deposit. Because of these differences, it is not uncommon for each series to move in different directions in the same month. In addition, existing-home sales, which generally account for 85 to 90 percent of total home sales, are based on a much larger sample – more than 40 percent of multiple listing service data each month – and typically are not subject to large prior-month revisions.

The annual rate for a particular month represents what the total number of actual sales for a year would be if the relative pace for that month were maintained for 12 consecutive months. Seasonally adjusted annual rates are used in reporting monthly data to factor out seasonal variations in resale activity. For example, home sales volume is normally higher in the summer than in the winter, primarily because of differences in the weather and family buying patterns. However, seasonal factors cannot compensate for abnormal weather patterns.

Single-family data collection began monthly in 1968, while condo data collection began quarterly in 1981; the series were combined in 1999 when monthly collection of condo data began. Prior to this period, single-family homes accounted for more than nine out of 10 purchases. Historic comparisons for total home sales prior to 1999 are based on monthly single-family sales, combined with the corresponding quarterly sales rate for condos.

Benchmark Revisions: All major statistical data series go through periodic reviews and revisions to ensure that sampling and methodology keep up with changes in the market, such as population changes in sampled areas, to ensure accuracy. NAR began its normal process for benchmarking sales earlier this year; there will be no change to median prices. In the past we’ve benchmarked to the decennial Census, most recently to the 2000 Census, because it included home sales data. However, the data are no longer included in the Census, so we’re looking at more frequent benchmarking using a new approach with independent sources to improve our process and modeling. As always, we are consulting with various outside housing economists, government agencies and academic experts for a consensus on the methodology; NAR is committed to providing accurate, reliable data. Publication of the revisions is expected this summer.

2Distressed sales, first-time buyers, investors, all-cash transactions and data for contract cancellations, etc., are from a survey for the REALTORS® Confidence Index, scheduled to be posted March 31.

3The only valid comparisons for median prices are with the same period a year earlier due to the seasonality in buying patterns. Month-to-month comparisons do not compensate for seasonal changes, especially for the timing of family buying patterns. Changes in the composition of sales can distort median price data. Year-ago median and mean prices sometimes are revised in an automated process if more data is received than was originally reported.

4Total inventory and month’s supply data are available back through 1999, while single-family inventory and month’s supply are available back to 1982 (prior to 1999, condos were measured quarterly while single-family sales accounted for more than 90 percent of transactions).

5Because there is a concentration of condos in high-cost metro areas, the national median condo price generally is higher than the median single-family price. In a given market area, condos typically cost less than single-family homes.

 

HUD Auction -- this Saturday!

by Nate Martinez

This Saturday, March 26th HUD will be hosting an auction featuring 150 MOVE-IN-READY homes. Bidders have the opportunity to purchase a home for as little as $100.00!

For this auction only, the following terms apply:

  • Purchaser MUST be an "owner-occupant" (meaning you plan to live in the house as your primary residence).
  • HUD will pay up to 3% towards buyer's closing costs
  • Special FHA $100.00 down payment financing program is available for eligible borrowers

Registration is required for this auction, please contact me to learn more. $100.00 down? Don't miss out, call me TODAY!

Did you know?

by Nate Martinez

Did you know that Professional Financial Services of Arizona is now an approved HomePath Mortgage provider? HomePath Financing Program is only available on select Fannie Mae owned properties. The loan guidelines include a minimum of 3% down payment for a primary residence with NO appraisal requirement. In addition, sellers may contribute more to the borrower’s closing costs than what is allowable by the FHA/VA guidelines.

HomePath Renovation Loans are also available for properties that require light to moderate renovation, up to 35% of the completed value. If you are an investor, HomePath can provide a loan with as little as 10% down payment.

HomePath Mortgage offers the borrower:

  • 3% down payment can be funded by the borrower’s own savings, a gift, a grant or a loan from a nonprofit organization, state or local government or employer.
  • Flexible mortgage terms include fixed-rate, adjustable rate or interest-only.
  • No appraisal required
  • No mortgage insurance
  • Available for primary residences, second home and investors

To learn more about this program or to qualify with one of our on site Loan Consultants, please visit my website at NatesHomes.com.

$100 Down Payment?

by Nate Martinez


$100.00 down, buys you a house!

On Saturday, March 26th HUD will be hosting a rare auction opportunity -- 150 MOVE-IN-READY homes will be sold!

For this auction only, the following terms apply:

  • Purchaser MUST be an "owner-occupant" (meaning you plan to live in the house as your primary residence).
  • HUD will pay up to 3% towards buyer's closing costs
  • Special FHA $100.00 down payment financing program is available for eligible borrowers

Registration is required for this auction, please contact me to learn more. $100.00 down? Why wait, call me TODAY!

The Thank You Economy

by Nate Martinez

The Thank You Economy, written by Gary Vaynerchuk, explains the rapid changes happening in social media and how it will impact the way we do business, shop and find services. Check out this video and see for yourself!

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Daylight Savings Starts Sunday

by Nate Martinez


Daylight Savings Spring 2011

On Sunday, March 13th, 2011 Daylight savings will begin for this year. Although in Arizona we don't physically change time, we do change time zones. What does that mean? Well simply put, we will be the same time as places like California, Oregon, Washington...Or in other words, we will be on the Pacific time zone. From March until November, Arizona will be one hour ahead of states located in the Mountain Zone (Colorado, Utah, Wyoming), 2 hours ahead of states located in the Central time zone (Kansas, Texas, Illinois) and 3 hours ahead of states located in the Eastern time zone (New York, Kentucky, Florida).

What is "MARS"?

by Nate Martinez

What is MARS?

By now, some of you may have heard about the Mortgage Assistance Relief Services (MARS). But what does it really mean and how does it impact you in the real world? Well an article written by AAR General Counsel, Michelle Lind explains it all. "The Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) Mortgage Assistance Relief Services (“MARS”) Rule applies to any person that provides, offers to provide, or arranges for others to provide, any “mortgage assistance relief service.” A “mortgage assistance relief service” includes any service, plan, or program, offered or provided in exchange for consideration to assist or attempt to assist the consumer with negotiating, obtaining or arranging a short sale. Thus, despite initial uncertainty about this issue, it is now clear that a broker negotiating a short sale with a lender on behalf of the seller must comply with the MARS Rule."

What does that mean to you as a homeowner? Well now, more than ever before, it is important to hire a CDPE designated Realtor to assist with the short sale process. There are plenty of unscrupulously companies out there that are or have taken advantage of homeowners desperate for help. Don't be a victim to anyone offering to negotiate your short sale for an upfront fee! If you know someone who is facing foreclosure, call me so I can tell you about the options available.

For a complete copy of the MARS guidelines you can visit the Arizona Department of Real Estate's website at http://www.ftc.gov/os/fedreg/2010/december/R911003mars.pdf

 

March Newsletter

by Nate Martinez

Displaying blog entries 1-10 of 13

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Nate Martinez
RE/MAX Professionals
20241 North 67th Avenue, Suite A1
Glendale AZ 85308
623-643-1010
602-430-5226
Fax: 602-532-7352

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