Archives for December 2013

VIDEO: Holidays in “Sun Valley”

 

Just a few of the activities now in full swing for the holidays in Sun Valley Idaho

FHA to lower mortgage limits in “High Cost Areas”

The Federal Housing Administration will be reducing the amount it’ll insure on high-cost mortgages starting in the new year.

Beginning on Jan. 1, all FHA loans will be capped in high-cost areas at $625,500, reduced from the current cap of $729,750. FHA will keep its current loan limits in place in areas where housing costs are lower than $271,050. The new loan limit for the highest cost areas will affect about 650 counties, according to the Department of Housing and Urban Development.  Blaine County will be at the $625,500 limit.

FHA insures loans for buyers with down payments as low as 3.5 percent. The agency raised its limits during the financial crisis to help more home buyers, and the program quadrupled as a result. However, it faced mounting defaults and losses.

“As the housing market continues its recovery, it is important for FHA to evaluate the role we need to play,” says FHA Commissioner Carol Galante. “Implementing lower loan limits is an important and appropriate step as private capital returns to portions of the market and enables FHA to concentrate on those borrowers that are still underserved.”

SOURCE: Realtor News

Survey: Tight Inventory Tops Winter Home Buyers’ Challenges

Home buyers unable to find a home earlier this year are taking to the market this winter despite the colder weather and limited inventory, according to realtor.com’s Winter Home Buyer Report.

More than 1,300 people looking to buy a home during the winter months told realtor.com that lingering conditions from the past home-buying season, including inventory challenges and all-cash offers, continue to set the tone for them as they enter the winter season.

Holiday Buyer Survey

“This summer and spring home-buying season was particularly challenging for buyers, especially first-time home buyers trying to compete with all-cash offers and bidding wars because of reduced inventory,” said Alison Schwartz, vice president of corporate communications at realtor.com. “In fact, a quarter of the winter home buyers revealed they are in the market now because they were unable to find a home during this last home-buying season.”

While the majority of winter home buyers describe themselves as relocation buyers, downsizers are also a large portion of those looking to buy a house in the next four months, according to the report.

There are advantages to looking for a home in the winter, Schwartz said.

“Motivated sellers, better prices and less competition between buyers are some of the top reasons winter home buyers are interested in purchasing a home during the colder months of the year,” she said.

Here are more highlights from the Winter Home Buyer Report:

Biggest challenges when searching for a home during winter:

  • 45 percent of respondents said there is not enough inventory within price range;
  • 34 percent said there is not enough inventory on the market;
  • 29 percent said winter weather makes house hunting unpleasant;
  • 7 percent said there are too many buyers in the market.

Top reasons consumers are looking to buy a home in winter:

  • 26 percent of respondents said sellers are more motivated to sell and willing to negotiate;
  • 24 percent said they think home prices will be better;
  • 24 percent said they were unable to buy a house during spring or summer;
  • 20 percent said they think there will be less competition between buyers.

The current purchase status of those surveyed includes the following:

  • 28 percent of respondents said they are relocation buyers;
  • 19 percent said they are existing homeowners downsizing to a smaller or less expensive home;
  • 19 percent said they are first-time home buyers;
  • 15 percent said they are current homeowners moving up to a bigger or more expensive home.

Amount of cash winter home buyers are planning to use for their down payment:

  • 13 percent of buyers are planning to put down 3.5 percent cash (United States Federal Housing Administration loan);
  • 23 percent are planning to put down 10 to 20 percent cash;
  • 22 percent are planning to put down 21 to 99 percent cash;
  • 19 percent are planning to put down 100 percent cash.

Of those planning to use all cash, the respondents fall into the following categories:

  • 29 percent of respondents are downsizing to a smaller or less expensive home;
  • 26 percent are relocation buyers;
  • 11 percent are moving up to a bigger or more expensive home;
  • 11 percent are buying a vacation home.

Source: National Association of Realtors

Fresh Snow, Velvet Runs & Sunshine

There’s a reason Sun Valley has been and iconic ski resort for decades.

Baldy's Lookout Cam, Sun Valley Idaho

If you’re looking for the world’s best ski mountain, you just may have found it  in Baldy.

What makes up a perfect ski day? First a mountain with perfect pitch, consistent vertical from its 9,150 ft. peak down to the  5,750 ft. base. No flats, no plateaus – all downhill on a variety of slopes rated to your liking and ability.

There’s a place for crowds but it’s not on a pristine ski slope. Sun Valley’s lift capacity is 29,717 skiers/riders per hour and the average skier day is only 3,000. Lift service is waiting on you – you’re not waiting in long lines.

Sun Valley was aptly named because its brilliant sun shines 80 percent of the ski season in an azur blue sky. After all, it was “winter sports under a summer sun” that put Sun Valley on the map nearly 75 years ago.

And since that time, Sun Valley has continued adding mountain amenities to take the winter  vacation to all new heights. New on the scene is the Roundhouse Gondola and launching of the new  Dollar Mountain Terrain Park – soon to be another world class act in Sun Valley.

Click to see today’s mountain views in real time compliments of Sun Valley Resort.

#SunValley