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JUST LISTED: Priced Less than 50% of Assessed Value – $47,950

  • Excellent condition
  • Mountain views
  • Open floor plan
  • Main floor master
  • Large 2 car garage
  • Oversized garage door
  • Huge fenced rear yard
  • Deluxe sprinkler system
  • Low maintenance metal roof
  • Energy saving upgrades
  • RV parking
  • Alley access
  • City water and sewer
  • Price less than 50% of Assessed Value for quick sale

Average 15-Year Fixed-Rate Mortgage Breaks Barrier, Falls To 2.97 Percent

MCLEAN, Va., May 31, 2012  Freddie Mac today released the results of its Primary Mortgage Market Survey® (PMMS®), showing fixed mortgage rates following bond yields lower to new all-time record lows. The 30-year fixed averaged 3.75 percent setting a new all-time record low for the fifth consecutive week. The 15-year fixed averaged an unprecedented 2.97 percent bringing three of the four benchmark mortgage rates below 3 percent for the first time in Freddie Mac’s weekly survey.

News Facts

  • 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) averaged 3.75 percent with an average 0.8 point for the week ending May 31, 2012, down from last week when it averaged 3.78 percent. Last year at this time, the 30-year FRM averaged 4.55 percent.
  • 15-year FRM this week averaged 2.97 percent with an average 0.7 point, down changed from last week when it averaged 3.04 percent. A year ago at this time, the 15-year FRM averaged 3.74 percent.
  • 5-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) averaged 2.84 percent this week, with an average 0.6 point, up from last week when it averaged 2.83. A year ago, the 5-year ARM averaged 3.41 percent.
  • 1-year Treasury-indexed ARM averaged 2.75 percent this week with an average 0.4 point, unchanged from last week. At this time last year, the 1-year ARM averaged 3.13 percent.

Average commitment rates should be reported along with average fees and points to reflect the total upfront cost of obtaining the mortgage. Visit the following links for Regional and National Mortgage Rate Details and Definitions. Borrowers may still pay closing costs which are not included in the survey.

Short-Sale Process Expected to Speed Up in June

The short-sale process is expected to get shorter starting June 15. New guidelines issued under the Federal Housing Finance Agency will require Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to give home buyers of short sales notice of their final decision within 60 days. The new guidelines also will require the mortgage giants to respond to initial short-sale requests within 30 days of receiving an offer from a potential buyer.

Short sales now outpace foreclosure sales in many parts of the country.

The speedier process is expected to be a boost to the housing market, Michael McHugh, president of the Empire State Mortgage Bankers Association, told the New York Times. Home buyers and sellers often have to wait months before they receive a decision from a lender on an offer for a short sale. Some deals fall apart just from the long wait alone.

Short sales have been increasing in recent months, as many lenders find them more appealing than foreclosures, which can be much more costly and take longer to remove from their books.

Short sales now outpace foreclosure sales in many parts of the country. Short sales represent more than 14 percent of existing-home sales, according to CoreLogic housing data from March, the most recent month available.

McHugh says that a faster short-sale process may be particularly helpful in speeding the recovery in judicial states, where foreclosures must go through the courts before they are approved. For example, in New York, judicial foreclosures can take a year or longer to be approved. Now short sales may be viewed by defaulting home owners as more of an option in avoiding foreclosure.

“There should be a significant improvement in the turnaround,” McHugh said regarding housing markets with judicial foreclosure processes.

SOURCE: Real Estate Daily News

NEW LISTING: Immaculate, Remodeled Rambler in Hailey $129,000

This immaculate rambler is loaded with features as the current owners have upgraded many, many items including new energy efficient vinyl windows, sliding glass door, cabinets, range, dishwasher, microwave, sink, toilet, heaters, ceiling fans, blinds, paint, deck, fencing, shed and more. Great location, affordable price.

Trail Creek Cabin Re-opening on Thursday, May 24th!

Local’s Favorite Special
2 Entrees for $20.00

A romantic hideaway since 1937, Trail Creek Cabin is a must Sun Valley dining adventure.

During ski season sleighs depart for the restaurant from the village near the Sun Valley Inn. Just one of the many reasons we choose Sun Valley as the place we call home.

The seasonal menu has a western flare with items including locally raised beef, Idaho Trout, baby back ribs and the Hemingway meat loaf. All complimented by a great wine list and a full bar.

Located 1.5 miles east of the Sun Valley Lodge (half a mile past the Sun Valley Club)

For more information and menu click here

Please call: 208-622-2800

Contact: restaurantreservations@sunvalley.com

Huge Spike in Home Prices Is Not Real

The median price of an existing home that sold in April of this year was $177,400, an increase of just over ten percent from a year ago. That is the biggest price jump since January of 2006. The difference between now and then, though, is the 2006 price jump was real, this latest spike is not.

A lack of distressed supply, that is foreclosures and short sales, is pushing overall home sales lower.

“This is a mix of home issue,” warned National Association of Realtors chief economist Lawrence Yun, who usually tries to see the positives in all housing numbers. “There is an acute inventory shortage in Phoenix, Las Vegas, Ft. Myers,” Yun explains.

A lack of distressed supply, that is foreclosures and short sales, is pushing overall home sales lower. That’s because the majority of the sales action for the past few years has been on the low end of the market.

Now, as banks try to modify more delinquent loans to comply with the recent $25 billion mortgage servicing settlement, and as investors rush in to buy distressed properties and take advantage of the hot rental market, the distressed market is drying up.

The share of home sales in the $0-250,000 price range made up over 73 percent of all sales in February; that has already dropped to 67 percent in April.

If you look at sales by price category, you see the most startling evidence of this shift in what’s selling on the low end out west. Sales of homes $0-100,000 dropped over 26 percent out west in April, but rose 21 percent in the $250-500,000 price range. The national numbers tell the same story.

  % Change in Sales from 1 Year Ago
Region $0-100K $100-250K $250-500K $500-750K $750K-1M $1M+
Northeast 13.0% 20.2% 19.9% 15.2% 15.3% 16.9%
Midwest 3.1% 11.8% 25.4% 13.4% -6.3% 16.5%
South -3.2% 7.8% 20.6% 18.4% 10.1% 12.5%
West -26.4% 3.1% 21.0% 13.1% 9.0% 12.3%
U.S. -6.1% 8.8% 21.2% 15.0% 9.3% 13.4%
Source: National Association of Realtors

 

The lesson to take from this report is that all home price changes now are more local and more price-range specific than ever.

So what does this say about where we really are in terms of home prices nationally? The Realtors still expect overall home prices to rise just 2-3 percent in 2012, which is one of the more bullish predictions. If the banks start releasing more properties onto the market or push more delinquent loans to foreclosure, overall home prices will come down again.

The lesson to take from this report is that all home price changes now are more local and more price-range specific than ever. The jump in sales of higher priced homes is a good sign, as some had predicted that when the distress dried up, there would be no sales.

But overall inventories of homes for sale, while up for the month, are still way down from a year ago, and that means sellers are still wary of this market. Confidence and credit will be key going forward.

SOURCE: CNBC

Opening Weekend – Redfish Lake Lodge Memorial Run

The 2nd Annual Redfish Lake Lodge Memorial Run takes place on Saturday, May 26, 2012 at stunning Redfish Lake and Redfish Lake Lodge.  This Half Marathon, 10K, or 5K race begins and ends at the Lodge.  Incredibly unique terrain with spectacular views of the lake and mountains.  Use this race as a warm-up and training race for the Sun Valley Half or the Sawtooth Relay.  This race is the perfect event for families and friends. For more information please visit www.redfishlake.com 

Positive Signs Abound for Housing

The first quarter of 2012 was the best first quarter for real estate in five years, and pending contracts suggest that the second quarter of 2012 will be the best second quarter in five years, NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun said this morning at the Residential Economic Update during the NAR Midyear Legislative Meetings & Trade Expo.

Moreover, he said the second half of this year could be even better than the first, in part because of continued increases in rental costs and record affordability of homes. “Renters are getting squeezed, and they don’t want to rent anymore,” Yun explained. “This could be the year we see the release of pent-up demand.”

Home prices have been skipping along the bottom for about a year now, Yun said, a trend that has drawn investors into the market. These investors have helped housing through a couple of difficult years and partly mitigated the dysfunctional mortgage market.

This could be the year we see the release of pent-up demand

“Right now is the time to buy low,” he said. “Investors are coming in to take advantage. Second homes started to recover nicely last year because of investors.”

However, home values are poised for a rebound as more traditional buyers move back into the market, Yun said. In fact, this has already started to happen in areas such as Phoenix and Miami, which have seen year-over-year (March 2011 to March 2012) double-digit percentage increases in home prices.

As real estate improves, consumer psychology around home ownership will change, he added. Coupled with the recent — if relatively modest — job growth and stock market gains, conditions are right for a sustained housing recovery.

Fixed Mortgage Rates Hit Record Lows Again

Freddie Mac  today released the results of its Primary Mortgage Market Survey® (PMMS®), showing average fixed mortgage rates again hitting new record lows. The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage at 3.79 percent continues to remain well below 4 percent and 15-year fixed-rate mortgages are also slightly down at 3.04 percent.

News Facts

  • 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) averaged 3.79 percent with an average 0.7 point for the week ending May 17, 2012, down from last week when it averaged 3.83 percent. Last year at this time, the 30-year FRM averaged 4.61 percent.
  • 15-year FRM this week averaged 3.04 percent with an average 0.7 point, down from last week when it averaged 3.05 percent. A year ago at this time, the 15-year FRM averaged 3.80 percent.
  • 5-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) averaged 2.83 percent this week, with an average 0.6 point, up from last week when it averaged 2.81 percent. A year ago, the 5-year ARM averaged 3.48 percent.
  • 1-year Treasury-indexed ARM averaged 2.78 percent this week with an average 0.5 point, up from last week when it averaged 2.73 percent. At this time last year, the 1-year ARM averaged 3.15 percent.

Average commitment rates should be reported along with average fees and points to reflect the total upfront cost of obtaining the mortgage. Visit the following links for Regional and National Mortgage Rate Details and Definitions. Borrowers may still pay closing costs which are not included in the survey.

Foreclosure Victims Make Surprising Return To Homeownership

When Jennifer Anderson’s family could no longer afford their mortgage and lost their home, she expected many years to pass before they would again become property owners.

But less than two years later, in March, they purchased a $297,000 house outside Phoenix, Arizona, after qualifying for a loan backed by the U.S. government.

They joined a small but growing number of Americans who are making a surprisingly quick return to homeownership after defaulting on their loans or being forced into short sales that cost their banks money.

“We didn’t really expect it,” said Anderson, 40. “We were resigned to the fact that we were going to be in a rental property for a while.”

A growing number of Americans are getting back into the housing market, even though they went through a foreclosure, bankruptcy or short sale in recent years

Financial problems arose after she lost her job as a customer service representative for a health insurance company and her husband’s hours at an automaker were cut. To make matters worse, they used up her retirement savings trying to keep their home.

Data is not available, but interviews with more than 30 lenders, builders, Realtors and consumers suggest that a growing number of Americans are getting back into the housing market, even though they went through a foreclosure, bankruptcy or short sale in recent years.

“Most are not ashamed or bashful about what happened because so many people were forced into that reality in the last six years,” says Graham Epperson, vice president of sales in Arizona for the PulteGroup, a leading U.S. homebuilder.

They want to escape rising rents and take advantage of home prices, which are down by about a third from an April 2006 peak.

FHA TO THE RESCUE

Much of the comeback wouldn’t be possible without help from the U.S. government, namely the Federal Housing Agency. It was created in the 1930s as part of a broader push by Washington to foster home ownership and fight the Great Depression.

The number of FHA-insured home loans has soared in recent years as subprime loans have disappeared and fewer Americans have qualified for conventional mortgages backed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, which were rescued in 2008 by the U.S. government after loan losses.

FHA borrowers typically need a credit score of at least 620 and a 3.5 percent down payment

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke stressed the point last week, saying banks have become so restrictive that many worthy homebuyers are being frozen out of the market, and lending practices are not likely to loosen any time soon.

In contrast, FHA-backed loans are an option for many who defaulted on their mortgages or were forced into a short sale. FHA loans, combined with those backed by the Department of Veteran Affairs or the Department of Agriculture, had a record share of the market in 2011.

“These are not mainstream programs geared for mainstream borrowers,” says Greg McBride, senior financial analyst at Bankrate.com, who expects to see more of those with blemished credit reenter the housing market.

Most of these reentering buyers are using FHA-insured loans, which at the end of 2011 accounted for about 30 percent of loans for home purchases, compared with 4.5 percent in 2005.

A conventional mortgage typically carries a lower interest rate than does an FHA-backed loan, but it also requires a credit score of at least 720, proof of income and a significant down payment. In contrast, FHA loans historically have been available to help low and moderate-income families buy homes.

FHA borrowers typically need a credit score of at least 620 and a 3.5 percent down payment. The FHA charges an upfront mortgage insurance premium of 1.75 of the loan (which can be rolled into the mortgage) and an annual 1.25 percent premium on the outstanding loan.

BAD MEMORIES

For some economists, alarm bells are ringing.

Edward Pinto, resident fellow at American Enterprise Institute, a conservative think tank, said the rise of FHA-backed loans flies in the face of the government’s stated mission of getting more private capital into housing finance.

Furthermore, a requirement that borrowers taking FHA-backed loans make a down payment of just 3.5 percent of the purchase price brings back bad memories of how many subprime mortgages turned bad as housing prices began to fall in 2006.

According to the S&P/Case-Shiller 20-city composite index, U.S. home prices were down 3.5 percent in February from a year earlier and are now at their lowest since late 2002, although there have been some signs that prices are beginning to inch up.

“FHA is putting people back into situations that still have high risk of default,” Pinto said.

He noted that a lot of these loans are made to consumers with credit scores well below 720 — the median national score for all households– and that about 15 percent of loans made to people with scores of 620 to 659 are likely to fail.

A SECOND CHANCE

There have been about 4.2 million foreclosures in the United States since 2007, according to data firm RealtyTrac. It expects that number to climb to 6 million by early 2014.

A bankruptcy remains on a consumer’s record for seven years, but that consumer can start raising his or her credit score in several months by decreasing debt, not borrowing more and paying bills on time.

“Most of the loans that are getting done are for people who have really rebuilt their credit,” says Frank Donnelly, president of the Mortgage Bankers Association of Metropolitan Washington, D.C. “They have to prove (to the lender that) it was something like a job loss that caused this and not chronic delinquency.”

As well as a minimum credit score of 620, lenders look at why the person lost the home. They’re much more likely to lend to people who lost a job than to consumers who could have afforded their mortgage but chose to default.

It’s not that you don’t pay your bills because you want to go on vacation, she says. You don’t pay because you don’t have the money

Builders eager to sell homes are not only offering to help once debt-mired clients find loans but providing free credit-counseling programs like the Homebuyer Solutions program offered by Quadrant Homes in Bellevue, Washington.

“A lot of times when people enroll they just don’t know where to start,” says Teage Christensen, manager of the program. His goal: help clients get at least a 600 credit score.

Debra Eaton stumbled on the program when she and her husband were visiting model homes out of curiosity. They had filed for bankruptcy in 2008 after her husband was seriously injured at work and she took time off from her job to care for him.

After the bankruptcy, their credit score plunged to 460. “It’s not that you don’t pay your bills because you want to go on vacation,” she says. “You don’t pay because you don’t have the money.”

By November 2011, their credit score had improved to 680 and Eaton and her husband, a veteran, qualified for a Veterans Administration loan to purchase a $252,000 home near Tacoma, Washington. They moved into the three-bedroom house the day before Thanksgiving.

“If you would have asked me then if I was going to buy another home, I would’ve told you no way,” she says.

SOURCE: Reuters