Bonnie's Out n' About
Feeling the Pressure-1st Time Homebuyers

    It’s subtle but can you feel it?  there’s been a shift for those 1st time homebuyers & they’re feeling the pressure.

Fewer choices - especially within that under $200,000 range in King County.  A lot of Bank Owned, Short Sales, and….. a lot of crappy houses.   = Feeling the pressure.

Multiple Offers - if it’s a decent house, expect to be in a multiple offer.  = Feeling the pressure.

Procrastinated about Purchasing earlier this year + now you realize that you should have bought that one that you went home to sleep on…for 2 weeks. = Feeling the pressure

So… is your Agent on top of it?  Are they “feeling the pressure?” what’s Your strategy to find and get the home you want?  The days of “it’ll still be there next week” may well be over. 

What is 3 Months of Your Time worth? $3k, 10k, 50k?

There are “steals of deals” if you have the patience & don’t get attached to the home if you want to chase after a property that is a short sale. I work with a lot of buyers that are writing offers on short sale properties & yes, we actually close and get the property. the average seems to be 1 in 4 actually making it to the finish line. These properties are often priced up to $100,000 less than what they were originally purchased for. The down side is that it can be 3-12 months before you hear from the lien holder and even then you may get a counter offer in price or terms. That being said, there are some great deals out there… what’s Your time worth?

will there still be Low Interest Rates after the Elections?

There are great interest rates out there right now, If I was a buyer and capable of buying - I’d be grabbing this opportunity!  Great rates, choices of homes & not all of them are short sales (it just feels that way).

Buyer Alert! FHA rules change Oct 4th =Higher Payments!

If you are in the market to buy a home or refinance, you have until Oct. 4th to identify a property & order a case number - before these new rates take effect!

FHA has announced changes to both the UP Front and Annual Mortgage Insurance Premiums charged on FHA loans.

1. The Up Front Mortgage Insurance Premium declines from 2.25% to 1.00%

2. The Annual Mortgage Insurance Premium INCREASES from .55% to .85% or.90% (it’s still being finalized)

An increase in the Annual Mortgage Insurance Premium will increase the total annual cost of the loan and may impact the ability for some borrowers to qualify for a loan.

Housing Fall rush-dropping prices & Great Interest Rates!

The housing Fall Rush Begins!  Great time for Home Buyers to buy with falling prices & great interest rates.

As any Realtor knows, this is the time to “get it done” if you want a house you’ve listed to sell by the end of the year.  So a lot of us are getting our sellers to drop their prices!  103 homes dropped their prices today in the area where I work.

Homebuyers Tax Credit Extension Fails

I was so excited last week when the news came out prematurely that the Homebuyers Tax Credit Extension was extended.  

Alas, the Senate jobless aid bill that included the amendment extending the homebuyers tax credit until Sept. 30th failed to pass the Senate on Thursday.

the vote was 57-41, three short of the 60 needed.

This would have really helped those homebuyers that were in contract by the April 30th deadline and purchased a short sale or bank owned property which notoriously takes more than 60 days to close.  ( 3-9 months & longer is not unusual).

Senate passes Bill to Extend Homebuyer’s Tax Credit Deadline


The Senate passed a bill today, June 16th to extend the tax credit deadline for Homebuyers from June 30th to Sept. 30th - giving us another 3 months to get the contracts that were written by April 30th closed.

This includes First Time Homebuyers for the $8000 tax credit and Resale Homebuyers that qualify for up to $6500 tax credit.

This is great news for those many homebuyers that purchased “Short Sale” and Bank Owned properties that usually take a longer amount of time to close. 

Talking with a Home Buyer & Getting their take on the Economy

I was substituting for the site agent at a new home neighborhood this weekend & a potential buyer strolled in with a friend. 

He was planning to purchase a home & make the move when his rental agreement expired in August.  He was not going to go any higher than the rental amount that he was currently paying for a mortgage payment & realized that he would probably have to compromise in his housing size a bit but was really excited that he could purchase a new home in Auburn for the amount that he had in mind.

Our conversation changed to the economy ,as we walked to the various homes that had floorplans that he was interested in, & the concensus was:  1. I know too many people that have been laid off, down-sized, fired, “let-go” etc. & some of these people had more senority than me and/or had skills equal to mine… I don’t know, I could be next.  2. I’ve cut back every way that I can so that I can have a buffer in case something happens to me & my job.  So… we’re not eating out & if we do it’s the dollar menu, I’m packing a lunch to work, we’re not always buying the name brands, & being really conservative with every buck.  3. I don’t think I’m going to see real changes until job security is back & I see people being hired again.  4. Everyone of us knows someone & usually more than just one someone - that is currently working their butt off!!!  Longer hours, taking on the workload of 1-3 other people that have been let go, getting the same pay for more work or in some cases, a pay cut to boot. 

That being said - we’re out looking at homes because we know that the home prices are a screaming deal & the interest rates are low and this type of opportunity won’t last.

Short Sales & Exhaustion… for Sellers,Buyers & Realtors

More and more often I’m bumping into Buyers & Real Estate agents and they say something to me like…  “I’m exhausted.”   “I’m tired.”   ” It’s not a short sale is it?  We’ve given up on those.”  “I just sent the same information in to the lien holder again.”  “We’re on our 4th negotiator.”  “I’m just done.”

the Short Sale is usually a long frustrating road for all concerned: the Sellers, the Buyers, & their Agents. 

If you’re the Seller or the Buyer-I’d want to be sure that your agent has the experience & the tenacity to follow through with these.  One missing piece of paperwork can equate into weeks of delay or worse: the file is declined (and you’re not always told why).    An experienced Agent already knows what’s going to be asked for & will have a complete file to submit the first time.  Even with a “perfect file” - expect this process to take 3 months minimum.

Of course this is assuming that the exhausted Seller(s) supply all the necessary paperwork & follow-up paperwork in a timely manner.  Often they’re already feeling so beaten up by their circumstances that they feel incapable of performing & their poor listing agent can only do so much without their co-operation.

In the end - as a buyer - if you have the patience… there are some great deals out there!