Many people who sold their home in a short sale are having problems getting back in the market due to the fact that their credit reports and scores indicate that they had been foreclosed on. This is preventing many from being able to qualify for a home loan and mortgage even though they may have cleaned up their credit and have twenty percent cash aside for a down payment. How and why is this happening?
The current credit reporting system does not have a code that distinguishes a short sale from a foreclosure. The code only shows that a home was foreclosed on and not sold in a short sale. This doesn’t seem quite fair and is being investigated by the Federal Trade Commission and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Fla, requested that the FTC and CFPB investigate the issue and penalize any responsible parties if they do not fix the coding issue within 90 days.
Competition in the housing market has been creating bidding wars. Many offers are being countered by rival bids. Homes are selling for well over asking price. Sellers are holding out for better deals which lessens the amount of homes available to buy while buyers are wanting to purchase homes before prices and mortgage rates begin to rise.
Some buyers are having problems purchasing a home due to constantly being out bid buy other buyers. A couple in Florida offered $5,000 over asking price for a home only to lose to a counter offer of $55,000 over asking price. They tried offering $10,000 over a $600,000 asking price and lost to a higher bidder. That house was a short sale had been on the market for only two days. They became frustrated after putting offers on homes and never hearing back only to find that the houses they had bid on were sold to a much higher bidder. They finally were able to work with an agent who was working for both the buyer and seller which would earn her double the commission. She was able to help them make an offer and purchase a home for $30,000 less than the asking price.
The National Association of Realtors reported a 19.2% decline in inventory. It is expected that homes sales will grow with the Spring selling season but availability will remain low. The balance between buyers and sellers has been thrown off balance. Sellers are being more cautious while buyers are on the hunt.
Europe has been using green, or vegetated, roofs for over ten years. It is actually required that at least 20 percent of a new medium or large buildings in Tokyo be green. Many buildings around Seattle such as the Gates Foundation and the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance have green or vegetated roofs. Green roofs are commonly found on commercial buildings but are also becoming popular with residential buildings as well. Although there has been interest to make roofs of personal homes green or vegetated, it may be difficult to do so since most roofs on homes may not have been built strong enough to hold the weight of a green roof.
Having a green roof has many benefits. It reduces roof temperature and can keep a building cooler in the summer which in turn lowers the cost of air conditioning since it wouldn’t be used as much. It also reduces storm water runoff. The downside, besides it possibly being too heavy for certain roofs, is that it can be costly. It requires a bit of maintenance which takes time and money.
Although development has been slowing down rapidly over the past two years, we are starting to see projects pick up in various areas, such as West Seattle, and North Seattle neighborhoods like Ballard and Fremont. Plans for the 4724 California Ave project in West Seattle are still underway, and a Southwest Design Review Board meeting will be held this Thursday night at 6:30PM at the Youngstown Cultural Arts Center. This is the first public design meeting for the roughly 100unit building with retail space on the ground floor in the junction at the old Petco site. For more information on this project status, or other developments in the neighborhood, please visit the Department of Planning and Development.
This beautifully restored Capitol Hill home is newly on the market, and sits directly across from Volunteer Park. The lovely designed home has been featured in Seattle Homes & other local magazines, for it’s fine craftsmanship, and beautiful mill work, with beamed ceilings and built-ins. The expansive kitchen gets a hearty amount of natural sunlight, with top of the line appliances and finishes. The master bathroom is enormous, as is the closet, and the 3rd floor even has a media room for entertainment! If you’d like more information on this wonderful Capitol treasure, with 4 bedrooms, and 2.75 baths click here.
A gorgeous 1920′s Dutch Colonial on prime Madrona real estate with fantastic views of Lake Washington, Bellevue skyline, Mt Rainier & Cascades recently came on the market. The completely remodeled Madrona home presents a modern, open floor plan, with pretty entry gardens and front porch open to the oak floors and crisp lines of the interior. Fir windows and doors, with two sets of French doors opening to spacious deck. Kitchen with impressive limestone island and high end appliances. Huge master bedroom suite fills the entire 2nd floor with two additional bedrooms in lower level.
The Madison Park neighborhood is known for their waterfront homes, views of the NW mountain ranges and short distance to several neighborhood parks. If you’re looking for a waterfront property to rent in the Seattle area, this gorgeous corner unit next to Madison Park beach and park is now up for grabs. This two bedroom one and a half bath unit is near several shops and restaurants in the area, including the Madison Park Conservatory, The Attic and Cactus eateries. The Madison Park neighborhood is said to be one of the best around Seattle, and if you’d like more information regarding this waterfront rental, please contact Ewing and Clark.
What’s the average family living under 1 roof look like today? Three generations under 1 roof is becoming a common theme around America; as today’s economy continues to hammer down on consumer finances, an influx of 20-30 year old offspring are moving in with mom and dad to help with the costs of living. According to CNN Money, 4.4 Million US Homes have 3 generations or more living under the same roof, a 15% increase from 2008.
Photo Courtesy of Wallpaperfx
Multi-Generational homes, while not the ideal living situation for many, does have it’s pay offs. Everyone typically saves money, and it’s an advantage to have multiple wage earners in the same household. This can cut child care expenses, and duplicate costs, and can give older children the opportunity to go back to school while job opportunities are down. Builders are also acknowledging this as a lead after the recession, as these families will want to move into larger homes, with more bedrooms to accommodate everyone. They can rest assured that this is true, because they are already beginning to build add-ons for already existing homes to accommodate multi generations.
Are you currently a renter who believes they’re paying too much for their 500 sf studio apartment in Belltown? If you’re not, you likely know someone who’s paying an arm and a leg each month, and the cost of rent continues to rise as vacancies around the city continue to shrink. While rates are predicted to continue steadily rising through 2012, next year real estate analysts say the trend may come to a hault.
Rent is continuing to rise in the King and Snohomish counties and according to the Seattle Times, several experts suggest these rates will continue to rise until next year, when a surge of current projects are scheduled to be completed, creating more vacancies around the city. According to the Apartment Insights Washington, the average monthly cost of rent in Seattle is currently $1,094, up 1.7% from last quarter. Our region is in the largest apartment construction boom we’ve seen in over two decades, and should expect rental rates to drop, or at least begin to rise more modestly after this year. For more information, please visit the Seattle Times.
Bank of America has announced a settlement for homeowners that allows people who have been foreclosed on, or facing foreclosure to stay in their homes as renters. This “Mortgage to Lease” will take effect as a trial program in Arizona, New York and Nevada for a select group of 1,000 homeowners in each state, hand picked by the bank. The bank has expressed that if the program succeeds, they could extend the offer to more at-risk homeowners with mortgages through the bank. Those who will be selected by the bank will be more than 60 days delinquent on their home loans, with high loan balances, and have an income to support their rent, among other qualifications. Homeowners will have to surrender the title to their homes over to the bank, but will be forgiven their mortgage debt, and will have the opportunity to lease their homes for up to three years at or below the current market rate. For an extended story, please refer to CNN Money.