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Marian and Phil Rutt Realtors in Akron Ephrata Lititz Denver Manhiem Twp Lancaster

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Is Listing in December a Good Idea?

by Marian and Phil Rutt Realtors in Akron Ephrata Lit

Most Sellers think that listing in December is not a good idea.  If you anticipate listing in the spring of the year, you might want to consider listing early.  In December there are fewer listings on the market because "common wisdom" is that waiting until spring is the best time to catch the best market of the year.

However, in December it is also true that there are fewer listings in your price range so there is less competition.  Fewer people may be buying but those that are looking tend to have a need to buy quickly.  Remember you need to have only one Buyer for your home.

Also, during the holidays more people who will be buying in the spring are spending more time on their computers looking at properties that are currently for sale.  A "holiday web shopper" might just be your Buyer.

Last, except for Christmas morning when presents are unwrapped, your house is probably looking better than it has all year and it has a festive presentation for any showings.

The holidays may be the best time for you to list and SELL! 

 

 

Doors Are the "Windows" To A House

by Marian and Phil Rutt Realtors in Akron Ephrata Lit

I was listening to a home repair guru on the radio last Saturday.  He noted the best return on investment for replacement items on a house are the front door and the garage door(s).  This is because that is the first thing that people see when they arrive at a house.  A good looking garage door says the property is well kept.  An attractive front door welcomes people inside.  So doors offer clues as to what is behind them and therefore are the "windows" into what might be found inside a house.  Whether buying or selling make sure to check out the doors on a house. 

Lancaster Mortgage Rates Drop Again

by Phil Rutt of the MarianRutt.com Team Realtors in A

Hello Lancaster County PA home buyers, the rates for new purchase mortgages dropped again this week.  My friend Tom Bayles the broker at Mortgage Craft (717) 560-0546 just told me that rates tumbled an eighth of a percent to 3.75 percent.

When this tide of low mortgage rates changes, inflation more than demand will begin to push mortgage rates up.  I recently told a Buyer client that now is the time to buy with rates so low and that in the future their lender will be coming back to them trying almost any gimmick to get them to refinance at the new higher rates that the market will be experiencing just a few years from now.  It has happened before and it will happen again.

Interest rate wise, now is the time to buy! 

 

It is Better to Live in Lancaster PA than Honolulu, HI

by Marian and Phil Rutt Realtors in Akron Ephrata Lit

The Wall Street Journal posted an article today indicating the 10 top U.S. cities where mortgages are staying afloat.  Lancaster, PA is the 7th best city and Honolulu, HI is number 10 so it is better to live and own a home in Lancaster than it is in Honolulu!  That is very exciting!! 

Lancaster even compares well to the best city for mortgage retention which is Rochester, NY.  Lancaster's homes under water are 5.41% compared to 3.41% for Rochester.  Unemployment is 7.3% compared to 7.1% on the same basis.

With these kinds of statistics it is a great time for home buyers to step out in Lancaster.  Not only have prices receded to 10 years lows and mortgages are at a level not to be seen soon again, there is a great likelihood that buyers will be available when today's buyers want to move up in five to seven years. 

Stopping a Foreclosure Using a Short Sale

by Marian and Phil Rutt Realtors in Akron Ephrata Lit

Foreclosure is something that most people want to avoid at all costs. Nobody sets out to own a home and then see it taken back by the lender. Across the country this has become a common theme as tens of thousands of people are losing their homes due to an economy that has not been this poor since the great depression. Like other states, Pennsylvania has its fair share of foreclosures.

In these tough economic times there are many contributing factors on why someone could fall victim to the inability to pay a mortgage. These include but are not limited to job loss, reduction in income, mounting credit card debt, an increase in mortgage payments, an illness, or a divorce.

There are areas where property values have dropped since the real estate market peaked in 2005. Some home owners have found themselves so under water that they just throw in the towel and walk away from the property lock stock and barrel.

In fact there are a percentage of borrowers that still have the ability to pay their mortgage yet decide they just do not want to own the home anymore.  When a Massachusetts home owner can afford to pay their mortgage yet feels the need to abandon the home it is what’s known as a strategic foreclosure or default. Fannie Mae the giant mortgage backer for many loans has taken the initiative to come down hard on these folks walking away by not allowing them to procure financing for up to seven years!

People that decide to strategically default generally are looking at it as a business decision. The theory is that it will take years for their homes market value to recover to anywhere near where they paid. Instead they walk away from the property and start fresh.

What I have realized in talking to many people who have come under financial strain is that they don’t realize they have options besides letting the lender foreclose.

The alternative that I have been tremendously successful with is helping owners complete a short sale of their property. In a short sale the lender allows a home owner who owes more than their home is worth to take less than the amount owed at closing.

You may be thinking why would a lender want to allow a short sale? There are a number of reasons, most importantly the cost involved for the lender proceeding with a foreclosure. The mortgage holder when all is said and done can easily spend $40,000-$50,000 going through a foreclosure. A short sale can save the lender money they would otherwise lose. With a short sale there is a buyer in place and on many occasions the owner is still in the home maintaining the property until closing.

The CDPE designation (Certified Distressed Property Expert) is designed to educate Realtors about foreclosure and short sale processes and to provide agents with the necessary information to save homeowners from foreclosure through the short sale process saving the homeowner’s credit rating and giving their life and dignity back to them making them eligible to purchase another property when they are through whatever reversal of fortune that caused them the ownership hardship.  Phil Rutt of the MarianRutt.com Team has taken the short sale training and is helping homeowners in Lancaster County PA to go through the short sale process.  Marian Rutt of the team says, “It is definitely worth it for any homeowner considering foreclosure to contact Phil to help them through the process.”

Some information excerpted from an article written by Blogger Bill Gassert a RE/MAX agent

Marian Rutt Presented With The RE/MAX Hall Of Fame Award

by Marian and Phil Rutt

Lancaster, PA August 2010 – Marian H. Rutt Realtor with the MarianRutt.con Team at RE/MAX Associates of Lancaster, has recently been presented with the RE/MAX Hall of Fame Award, which honors successful agents who have exceeded significant goals in commissions earnings during their careers with the company.

Rutt has been working in the real estate industry for more than twenty one years and has extensive experience in residential sales of new and existing properties. Among Rutt’s achievements are earning her CRS, ASP, ABR and CSP designations and serving on the finance committee of the Lancaster County Board of Realtors.

“Marian has been an integral member of our team and is more than deserving of this very prestigious award,” said Ray Berdiner Broker/Owner, of RE/MAX Associates of Lancaster. “Winning this award is a tremendous accomplishment.  Marian continues to raise the bar in real estate, making us and this community proud.”

Phil Earns CDPE Designation

by Marian and Phil Rutt

Philip Rutt of RE/MAX Associates of Lancaster has earned the prestigious Certified Distressed Property Expert (CDPE) designation, having completed extensive training in foreclosure avoidance and short sales. This is invaluable expertise to offer at a time when the area is ravaged by “distressed” homes in the foreclosure process.

Short sales allow the cash-strapped seller to repay the mortgage at the price that the home sells for, even though it is lower than what is owed on the property. With plummeting property values, this can save many people from foreclosure and even bankruptcy. More and more lenders are willing to consider short sales because they are much less costly than foreclosures.

In Lancaster County, more than 300 homes are in danger of foreclosing. It is happening in all price ranges. Local experts say that even high-priced homes are not immune.

“This CDPE designation has been invaluable as I work with sellers and lenders on complicated short sales,” said Rutt. “It is so rewarding to be able to help sellers save their homes from foreclosure.”

Confusing Sales Comparisons

by Marian and Phil Rutt

Are real estate sales volumes going up or down?  Is residential real estate pricing still falling, bottoming out or beginning to rise again?  Is it difficult to tell from recent news articles and stories?   Why?  Because different sales categories are often being used and different time periods are being compared.  As if all of that isn’t confusing enough readers need to know what in what location the comparisons are being made. 

First let’s look at the sales categories which are: 1.) New homes sales which account for only new construction, 2.) Existing home sales which account for only properties that are already occupied and sold or 3.) All homes sales which includes both new and existing home sales. 

Second, the time periods for comparison are typically either the previous month or the same month the previous year.  All of these sales comparisons (six in total) lead to confusion.  Reports can sound better one day and worse the next because different sales criteria and different time periods are being used in the reports.  The solution is to analyze each article carefully and understand the comparisons being made.  I like the sales category comparisons to the previous year the best.  It is not perfect because as a market shrinks the comparisons to the previous year’s numbers will be difficult to beat and inversely as the market grows the previous year’s numbers will be easy to exceed.  Eventually we will be in the latter situation.

Finally what geographic area is the article addressing?  Real estate sales results impact  locally so an article about Los Vegas NV condo sales has little if any valuable information for Lancaster PA markets.  In fact Pennsylvania state figures may not accurately reflect the Lancaster PA market since large metro areas like Philadelphia and Pittsburgh could easily skew the figures.

Residential real estate data in the United States is not going to turn rosy for some time with high unemployment, psychological uncertainly bred by the Wall Street and current new federal government regulations that have not yet gone into effect and the “shadow inventory” that may come on to the market soon as a result of refinanced mortgages soon hitting interest reset points forcing some homeowners to sell their properties because they can no longer afford their monthly payments.   New home sales increases an indicator increasing job stability will be slow for the next several quarters perhaps until 2013.

Locally markets will recover at various rates.  As you read the local news you may see that your area is recovering faster than the national average.  In fact some areas have seen the home prices bottom and the pricing is showing evidence of rising.       

 

Should I Buy a Home Now?

by Marian and Phil Rutt

I'm often asked if this is a good time to buy a home. Some clients are concerned that home prices may fall further than they have already. They are assuming that the best course of action is to wait for the bottom in the market and then buy. The problem with this approach is that you don't know where the bottom is until you see it in the rear view mirror, meaning until you've missed it!

Home prices are one factor in determining your cost of ownership, but so are interest rates and financing availability. Even though interest rates have gone up in the last six months, they are still near historic lows. Since your monthly mortgage payment is a combination of paying down your principal and paying the interest owed, if home prices come down a little further but interest rates up, it could cost you even more to service a mortgage on an identical home!

While a home is a major investment, it is also the center of your personal life. It's important to live in a home that reflects your taste and values, yet is within your financial "comfort zone." To that end, it may be more important to lock in today's relatively low interest rates and low home prices, rather than to hope for a further break in prices in the future.

Please give me a call if I can be of any assistance in determining how much home you can afford in today's market.

Displaying blog entries 1-9 of 9

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Marian and Phil Rutt
RE/MAX Associates of Lancaster
500 Delp Road
Lancaster PA 17601
717-859-7019
Fax: Fax: 717-859-5826

Marian Rutt lists homes for sale in Lancaster, PA. Contact us to view existing homes for sale in Lancaster, PA, assistance in listing your house for sale in Lancaster, PA or building new homes in Lancaster County, PA. Our areas of service for all of Lancaster County include Ephrata, Lititz, Akron, Denver, Manheim, Columbia, Mt Joy, Landisville, Strasburg, and everywhere inbetween.