This blog just reported yesterday on the high non-mortgage debt that most Americans are carrying these days, seemingly led by auto-related debt. But while that may be true, it doesn’t seem to be keeping all of you from making your payments, which is great news for everyone! The 30-day mortgage delinquency rate fell to 4.82% in June, down 2.9% from May and 15.5% from a year earlier. Not only that, but foreclosure starts were also down: 3.5% month-over-month, and 10.5% year-over-year. All statistics from Mortgage Servicing News.
Non-mortgage debt is at the highest level in nearly a decade, and 81% of the increase over the last four years has come from auto-related debt. Now, don’t misunderstand, there’s nothing wrong with a new car. But, as you make purchases, keep in mind that your overall debt level (or, more specifically, your monthly out-of-pocket expense for the non-mortgage debt you’re carrying) can impact how much mortgage you can afford. So, if you’re thinking about buying a new home, think extra carefully before you take on any additional debt.
There are (at least) two sides to every transaction. Normally, this blog covers buying homes, but if you’re buying one, you may be looking to sell one, too. And if so, you probably want to get the best price. U.S. News & World Report just published a list of 9 things that can detract from your selling price. Unfortunately, some of them, like location, are not things you can change. But many of them are. So, if you’re looking to sell a house, it’s worth checking out the list, and modifying the things you can, in order to maximize your price.
First things first: two forms instead of four. The old Good Faith Estimate, HUD-1 Settlement Statement, and two Truth-in-Lending disclosures are being replaced by a Loan Estimate and a Closing Disclosure, effective October 3rd. Even better, the forms are both standard, and part of every mortgage transaction, so it becomes much easier to compare apples to apples. U.S. News & World Report goes into a lot more detail including impacts on the industry, potential effects on closing time, and some things that you’ll get to see for the first time ever.
This blog is mostly about all things home related — from mortgages, to the housing market, to ways to keep your property in shape. But let’s face it: it’s summer! “And so with the sunshine and the great bursts of leaves growing on the trees, just as things grow in fast movies, I had that familiar conviction that life was beginning over again with the summer.” F. Scott was right, life is beginning again. And in case you’re sitting here, already a third of the way in, without a proper plan for escape, here are 15 Summer Destinations That Will Make You Forget All About Home.
It might just be that the weather this year is keeping the housing market from being hotter than it already is. It’s not just about whether you can apply a fresh coat before putting your house on the market — it’s about construction. As Sherwin-Williams announced weak earnings, the CEO explained that a lot of it has to do with the rain. With record rainfall in May, June, and July in many states, construction is lagging. As this blog reported, residential permits are up 25% year-over-year; however, actual residential starts are only up 5%. Maybe the market would be even hotter if it weren’t so damp.
It’s still only July, so we still have quite a few hot days ahead of us. That’s good news for those who enjoy fun in the summer, but we should also take a minute to refresh ourselves on some common dangers and how to avoid them. The National Safety Council provides some good, basic tips that everyone should follow. It may be a little late for their “practice firework safety” advice, but “how to beat the heat” and “water safety for kids” are still particularly apropos. Go out, have fun, get a tan, but stay safe this summer!
Searching for mortgage rates on Google news continues to be a source of amusement, with every other article saying they’re increasing or decreasing. In fact, as the Dayton Business Journal points out, this is the fourth straight week where rate movements have changed direction. This latest change appears to be connected to a drop in U.S. Treasury yields, which, in turn, seems to be connected to publicly traded companies failing to meet earnings expectations. Perhaps they’ll reverse again now that Amazon has announced a surprise profit?
This blog has already covered the fact that the U.S. housing market has fully recovered, and is now above previous highs from 8 years ago. Also, it’s been mentioned that conditions are different now, and while predicting the future is dangerous outside of parlour games, it seems unlikely that we’re in a bubble. Yesterday, Matt Phillips published an article on Quartz that not only confirms the previous reasoning about why we’re not in a bubble, but adds some analysis of lumber and wood employment, and the building industry in general, which seem to indicate there’s still room to run.
A few months ago, Amazon rolled out Amazon Home Services in a few select markets. It was only a matter of time before they expanded, and now they have. But not only have they expanded where they’re offering the service — they’ve expanded what they’re offering as well. Which services are available where still varies, but in some markets they’re offering as many as 900 different professional services! So, if DIY isn’t your thing, Amazon is coming to the rescue. With the number of service providers increasing four-fold in the last quarter, it won’t be long before they’re offering everything, everywhere.