Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Rather than sitting on the fence … why not own it?

I wanted to call your attention to an advertisement that Realogy and our brands placed in today’s edition of USA TODAY. We did so because we felt it was important to take a leadership position in the industry and deliver a visible pro-housing message in the market at a time when too many others - ranging from Congress to consumers - appear to be sitting on the fence about homeownership.

Five supporting reasons why now is a compelling time for qualified buyers to purchase a home.
1) Homes are more affordable – current housing prices are down 27% on average across the nation from peak values five years ago,[1] and the national affordability index continues to hover at record levels.

2) Rates are low – at 4.6%, 30 – year fixed mortgage interest rates remain near historical lows.[2]

3) Timing is everything – conforming loan limits will be reduced on Oct 1, 2011, which will decrease the availability and affordability of mortgage credit for many home buyers in 42 states [3]

4) Homeownership is still the American dream – nearly nine in 10 Americans say homeownership is an important part of the American Dream [4]

5) Financing is available – today’s borrowers needs to have stable employment of at least two years; sufficient income to cover the monthly mortgage payment and living expenses; adequate saving to make at least a 3.5% down payment; and, in general a good credit score of at least 620 [5]. If you meet these basic requirements and plan to live in the home, you may be well on your way!

We recognize that unemployment levels are still high, but the fact remains that 90% of Americans do have jobs. Thus, we hope that our message will encourage qualified homebuyers and sellers to consider the facts.

[1] according to Freddie Mac House Price Index (June 2006 to March 2011). [2] Primary Mortgage Market Survey® data according to Freddie Mac as of July 7, 2011. Based on average 30-year fixed mortgage rate with an average 0.7 point. [3] new loan limits published by FHFA and HUD. [4] New York Times/CBS News poll. June 24-28, 2011. [5] FHA requires minimum 3.5% down payment; conventional mortgages will require a down payment of 5% or more, FICO score minimums may be higher or lower depending on loan type, income history, property type and other factors.

For Buying or Selling, you need a guide that gives you straight answers. For more information on buying, selling, or renting out an income property in San Diego, please call Frank Rashid's cell phone at (858) 676-5250 or email him at More to follow within the next couple of weeks.

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