Archive for November, 2013

“You cannot plow a field by turning it over in your mind”

November 27th, 2013

I was reading through some of my earliest blogs this morning.  I started writing them 7 years ago just as the wheels of the housing market started to come off. Faithfully, every Friday since, I’ve tried to send out a word of encouragement or a bit of good news to the warriors that stood on the front lines of a bloody housing scene. I’ve known many of you for all of those years. We don’t celebrate you, or perhaps even appreciate you, for the contribution you have made.

Some of you, as well as the people you serve, lost all. Yet, you went out weekend after weekend, night after night, meeting with clients; and day by day, week by week, year by year, you have been instrumental in bringing about a housing recovery.  Who am I talking about? You – the Realtors, Builders, Housing Counselors, Remodelers, Lenders, Program Administrators, and all of the others in our industry who got up each day and went to work.

Your hard work and consistent effort have paid off.  Read the rest of this entry »

Want protection PLUS a lower rate if interest rates drop? -By Barb Crea

November 22nd, 2013

While some of us are worrying about which store we’re going to hit first on Black Friday, others (like me) are worrying about planning and preparing Thanksgiving dinner for a whole house full of family and friends. Yet, every day I’m talking to buyers who are worried about what is going to happen to interest rates before they close on the loan for their new home.

Buyers listen to the news just like we do, and they feel like they’re getting mixed messages. Nobody wants to lock in their interest rate only to have the rates drop, yet nobody wants the rates to go higher. Most people want the best of both worlds – rate protection and the ability to take advantage of an interest rate drop. I mean really, who wouldn’t want that!

This is a REAL fear for a lot of people. At the current rates they may qualify for a $250,000 home, but if rates tick up even 1%, their purchase power just DROPPED or their comfort zone has been compromised. This is especially true when it comes to new construction.

The good news is – there are options! We’re all familiar with the standard 30 or 60 day lock, but did you know there are lock options for up to 360 days? Yes, they do cost more money, but they give your buyers the protection they’re looking for. Read the rest of this entry »

Home for the Holidays! By-Randy Cullen

November 15th, 2013

If you wait until Black Friday for this year’s good deals, you may be late to the party. I heard on WCCO this morning that retailers such as Best Buy, Target, and others will be opening their doors before their employees have a chance to digest their turkey on Thanksgiving. Yikes! My kids participate in the scramble every year and from what they tell me, the cash savings makes the indigestion worth the trouble. With only 12 days remaining before the big event, I’m sure they are putting thought into what to get that special someone for Christmas.

If you’ve got a first time buyer on your list, this would be a great year to skip the plastic and plasma and point them in the direction of owning their own home for the holidays. With as little as $1000 of their own money, Minnesota Housing can make home ownership possible just in time for Christmas. Through their Start Up program, Minnesota Housing Finance Agency offers qualified applicants access to below market interest rates, a 3% down conventional mortgage product that has a no mortgage insurance option and financial assistance programs that will overcome the greatest obstacle most first time buyers encounter – finding enough cash for the down payment. A family member can contribute a gift for any amount needed over the buyer’s initial $1000.      Read the rest of this entry »

Why pay the middle man unless you have to? By- Kate Wilson

November 8th, 2013

When the days get shorter and the snow starts to fall…

Many of us in the business of selling and financing real estate hit the snooze button thinking that we’ll pick up the pace again in the spring. After all, who would be crazy enough to sell their house or buy a new one when it’s snowing outside? I can’t get my friends from Texas to come to Minnesota in December because they’re afraid their toes will freeze and break off.

However, there’s a very compelling case for braving the cold and dark to buy now rather than later. With the median price of a home rising, and those in the know forecasting higher rates next year, there’s some strong evidence that you’d be able to buy a lot more house for your money now than a year from now.

According to the Minneapolis Association of Realtors’ most recent Monthly Market Indicators report, the average sales price of a house keeps marching steadily upward. In October 2013, the average sales price of a home in the Metro Area was $220,214, up 11.7% from a year ago when the average was $197,151. The price range with the greatest increase in the number of properties sold over last year was the $350K-500K range – 5,059 homes sold this year vs. 3,620 last year, an increase of 39.8%.

Purchasing Power erodes as rates rise Read the rest of this entry »

Fairway has helped thousands of active military personnel and veterans nationwide purchase and refinance homes with VA (Veterans Administration) loans. By- Barb Crea

November 1st, 2013

Each year on November 11th, Americans celebrate Veteran’s Day to honor America’s veterans for their patriotism, love of country, and willingness to serve and sacrifice for the common good. As we celebrate with parades and public gatherings, as well as a brief pause in activities at 11:00 AM to acknowledge the services and sacrifices of the men and women of the American military, we want to thank all of our veterans for their service!

It’s Home Giveaway Week at Fairway! The week of November 5th we are giving away FOUR mortgage-free homes to wounded military veterans! Fairway is proud of our commitment to serving those who serve. In cooperation with the Boot Campaign and Military Warrior Support Foundation, Fairway’s financial contributions have resulted in 13 home giveaways to wounded veterans since 2012, including these four giveaways. These veterans and families endured tremendous physical and emotional hardships as a result of their service protecting our country and our freedom. We, as a company, are now assisting them in realizing the American Dream … homeownership.

Last week at Todd Duncan’s annual Sales Mastery for Mortgage Professionals, the Todd Duncan Group, in conjunction with Mortgage Coach, helped give away ten mortgage-free homes to wounded military veterans.  The Heroes 2 Homeowners campaign is sponsored by a who’s who of leading lenders.  Fairway, along with six other lenders, donated $30,000 each to help the heroes whose efforts help strengthen and secure America.

Fairway has helped thousands of active military personnel and veterans nationwide purchase and refinance homes with VA (Veterans Administration) loans. The VA guarantees home loans for individuals who have served or are presently serving in the U.S. Military. With the maximum entitlement of $36,000 available, a VA buyer is able to purchase a primary residence up to $417,000 with zero down and no mortgage insurance! Read the rest of this entry »