ARAMCO Report - The Mother of ALL Mortgage Blogs!

Home prices beyond affordable

Posted by Mehran Aram on Mon, Jul 8, 2019 @ 09:07 AM

The gap between what homebuyers want to pay for a home and what a home costs appears to be growing. A study conducted by Realtor.com found that, nationally, half of today’s house-hunters are looking to purchase a property for under $288,000. But that’s a 9.1 percent gap or $27,000 less than the median national home price.

Experts boil the dilemma down to the basic economic principle of supply and demand. There simply aren’t enough homes on the market that the average American can afford to buy. Although inventory is growing, it’s doing as at the top of the market – home's priced above $750,000.

“Entry-level homes continue to be difficult to come by as the inventory composition shifts more and more toward higher prices homes,” said Danielle Hale, chief economist for Realtor.com. “This is causing smaller and more affordable homes to appreciate rapidly, resulting in a mismatch between what buyers are able to spend and what sellers expect to receive.”

Meanwhile, conforming no-point 30-year fixed mortgage rates are averaging 3.875 percent and 15-year rates are near 3.375 percent.

Do you have a question for Real Estate & Mortgage Analyst Mehran Aram? Submit your queries about a home purchase, refinance, or reverse mortgage via Aramco.Biz, social media (#AramcoReport), or over the phone at (866) 381-8888 and your questions may be featured in an upcoming article.

Topics: home prices, home purchase, homebuyers, Mortgage rates, Realtor.com, Realtors, median home price, Affordability, home inventory

Agentless home buying

Posted by Mehran Aram on Sun, May 12, 2019 @ 07:05 AM

The vast majority of Americans, as many as 9 in 10, use an agent to help them in buying or selling a home. But online real estate brokerage Redfin is looking to shake things up. The company recently introduced Redfin Direct, a way to save on commission by buying a home without a representative.

The idea is to make home buying as simple as buying a product on Amazon. In fact, Redfin CEO Glenn Kelman called it “a buy button for real estate”. But experts warn that this type of real estate transaction might not be for everyone. First-time buyers tend to rely heavily on their agent to help them navigate the process. Eliminating that personal interaction could lead to dissatisfied buyers.

A buyers’ agent also provide the added value of being able to negotiate and be familiar with a market – something Redfin’s new program doesn’t address.

Today, conforming no-point 30-year fixed mortgage rates are averaging 4.125 percent, 15-year rates are near 3.625 percent and the 5-year ARM is averaging 4.00 percent.

Do you have a question for Real Estate & Mortgage Analyst Mehran Aram? Submit your queries about a home purchase, refinance, or reverse mortgage via Aramco.Biz, social media (#AramcoReport), or over the phone at (866) 381-8888 and your questions may be featured in an upcoming article.

Topics: home buying, Redfin, Mortgage rates, Realtors, home buyers, Real Estate Agent, Redfin Direct, Digital Home Buying

When bidding wars make sense

Posted by Mehran Aram on Wed, May 8, 2019 @ 06:05 AM

With the home-buying season among us, buyers will be flooding the markets in search of the perfect home. This often means competition among house hunters leading to bidding wars that can drive prices through the roof. While this sounds tedious and unappealing, there may very well be sometimes that engaging in a bidding war makes sense.

Although the tide seems to be turning, the fact remains that it is still a sellers market. Inventory levels are still below healthy levels meaning buyers are clamoring over the homes that are listed. Taking that into consideration, it might be expected that buyers will face a little competition.

Additionally, sometimes homes will be deliberately unpriced to lure multiple offers. Be sure to use a true market value to establish your baseline and not an artificially low starting point. And of course, if it is your dream home and you simply cannot live without it, it may be worth it to battle it out – if you can afford it.

Meanwhile, conforming no-point 30-year fixed mortgage rates are averaging 4.125 percent, 15-year rates are near 3.625 percent and the 5-year ARM is averaging 4.00 percent.

Do you have a question for Real Estate & Mortgage Analyst Mehran Aram? Submit your queries about a home purchase, refinance, or reverse mortgage via Aramco.Biz, social media (#AramcoReport), or over the phone at (866) 381-8888 and your questions may be featured in an upcoming article.

Topics: Housing Market, Mortgage rates, Realtors, Home Listings, bidding war, Home-Buying Season, House Hunters

HUD charges Facebook for posting discriminatory housing ads

Posted by Mehran Aram on Tue, Apr 2, 2019 @ 08:04 AM

After a lengthy investigation, the Department of Housing and Urban Development announced last week that it was moving forward with charges against Facebook for violating the Fair Housing Act. The social media giant has been accused of allowing some realtors to use ad-targeting options that allowed them to exclude minorities and people with disabilities from viewing their postings.

“Facebook is discriminating against people based upon who they are and where they live,” said HUD Secretary Ben Carson in a statement. “Using a computer to limit a person’s housing choices can be just as discriminatory as slamming a door in someone’s face.”

Facebook had previously said it was paying nearly $5 million to settle several lawsuits and was implementing several steps to address the issue. Meanwhile, conforming no-point 30-year fixed mortgage rates are averaging 4.125 percent, 15-year rates are near 3.625 percent and the 5-year ARM is averaging 4.00 percent.

Do you have a question for Real Estate & Mortgage Analyst Mehran Aram? Submit your queries about a home purchase, refinance, or reverse mortgage via Aramco.Biz, social media (#AramcoReport), or over the phone at (866) 381-8888 and your questions may be featured in an upcoming article.

Topics: HUD, Mortgage rates, Realtors, Fair Housing Act, Social Media, Facebook, Department of Housing and Urban Development

Virtual staging could catch the buyers’ eye

Posted by Mehran Aram on Sat, Dec 1, 2018 @ 06:12 AM

It’s no secret that staging a home works. That’s why model homes have such a broad appeal. According to the National Association of Realtors, 77 percent of buyers’ agents say that staging makes it easier for buyers to visualize themselves living in a home. But to save time and money, virtual staging is catching on.

As the name implies, virtual staging is when professional designers overlay images over a home with furnishings on a computer. In most cases, it is ideally done on a vacant home as it gives the designer the ability to lay out the virtual furnisher with more flexibility.

Virtual staging can cost several hundred dollars but because it only needs to be done once, can be less expensive that renting actual furniture to stage a home for several weeks. And dragging a sofa across a computer screen is certainly less labor intensive.

Meanwhile, conforming no-point 30-year fixed mortgage rates are averaging 4.875 percent, 15-year rates are near 4.25 percent and the 5-year ARM is averaging 4.5 percent.

Do you have a question for Real Estate & Mortgage Analyst Mehran Aram? Submit your queries about a home purchase, refinance, or reverse mortgage via Aramco.Biz, social media (#AramcoReport), or over the phone at (866) 381-8888 and your questions may be featured in an upcoming article.

Topics: National Association of Realtors, Mortgage rates, Realtors, Home Staging, Virtual Staging

Smile at your next open house, you could be on camera

Posted by Mehran Aram on Thu, Nov 15, 2018 @ 15:11 PM

It’s called the “Internet of Things” or IoT. It’s the concept that the physical world around us – devices, objects, vehicles and even houses – are connected to the world wide web. As smart-homes have grown in popularity, home camera systems have grown more affordable and common in households. As a result, a growing number of realtors and house-hunters are reporting that these cameras scattered throughout some homes, make them uneasy.

When touring a home, buyers want to speak freely with each other and their agent, but an extra set of eyes or ears in a discreetly placed camera can keep them from doing so. Knowing your thoughts on a home can give sellers the upper hand in a deal or have personal information incidentally shared strangers.

The National Association of Realtors suggests brokers hang a sign in the home alerting visitors that they may be recorded while on the property.

Today, conforming no-point 30-year fixed mortgage rates are averaging 4.875 percent, 15-year rates are near 4.325 percent and the 5-year ARM is averaging 4.325 percent.

Do you have a question for Real Estate & Mortgage Analyst Mehran Aram? Submit your queries about a home purchase, refinance, or reverse mortgage via Aramco.Biz, social media (#AramcoReport), or over the phone at (866) 381-8888 and your questions may be featured in an upcoming article.

Topics: National Association of Realtors, Mortgage rates, Internet of Things, open house, Realtors