Posts Tagged ‘LAER’

Answering a Common Question: Mortgage Refi FICO Scores

If you use a credit card or Billerica bank checking account’s online system, you may have noticed the appearance of a free service: FICO score tracking. You find it as a clickable area with a link title like “Your FICO® score” or just “FICO®.”

For many years, each of the major credit reporting agencies was mandated by law to honor any consumer’s request for a copy of their credit scores—but it was a once-a-year deal. For access to regular updates, you had to pay for a subscription. Particularly for consumers working to improve their credit scores, the paid services became a prudent monthly expense. The arrival of anytime free FICO score reporting eliminated much of that need.

Of course, tracking your FICO score is only useful if you know how the lending institutions will view it—and the answer to that is anything but clear-cut. Not only does each lender has their own confidential requirements, but since there are three separate reporting agencies, Billerica consumers have three FICO scores (and they’re rarely the same).

Even so, let’s face it: the single piece of information most everybody wants to know is what FICO score is needed to buy a home? or to refinance a home? Even if the answer is imprecise, it’s human nature.

To quell that curiosity, at least one source is willing to report what amounts to an average of approximations: it’s called EllieMae®. Ellie is a company that serves banks, credit unions, and mortgage companies by providing a raft of automated tools—but those are for industry insiders. As a sideline, they also put out a monthly Origination Insight Report with statistics drawn from the home loans processed through their systems—including some that most future Billerica home loan applicants will be interested to learn:

Average FICO score for conventional mortgage refis closed last month: 732

Average score for conventional purchases: 752

Average for FHA purchases: 681

Average FICO score — all loans: 724.

Average time needed to close: 43 days.

The percentage of mortgage refis grew to 39% of all loans, probably because interest rates decreased “for the sixth straight month” to 4.2%. EllieMae reckons that constitutes “a new 2017 low”—something Billerica refi and home loan applicants will be interested to know!

Those bargain basement interest rates continue to create a terrific opportunity for Billerica real estate. Call me for a no-obligation discussion about how you might take advantage of the current real estate environment!

Joan Parcewski, Realtor & Notary

LAER Realty Partners           http://www.JoanParcewski.LAERRealty.com

JParcewski@LAERRealty.com    cell 978-376-3978

Laer Realty PartnersJoan Parcewski Full Picture 102017

 

Bedford Asking Prices Can’t Beat this Week’s $10 Example

It’s true that today’s Bedford asking prices fall into a wide range—occasionally even at temptingly reduced levels. But last week came news of one that I have to admit beat them all by a mile (at least regarding the asking price). This was found in Montclair, New Jersey. CBS interviewed the selling agent. Money Magazine wrote it up. The NAR highlighted it.

Photos made the offering all the more interesting since the asking price was so low—yet the pictures were not, as any well-schooled real estate watcher would have expected, fuzzy images of some run down dump. The shots all showed a pristine historical (1904) 4-bedroom, 2-bath beauty, seemingly presiding in stately repose over well-manicured grounds. It looked like, well—a mansion.

The asking price is $10.

For those budget-minded Bedford home shoppers who would never consider making a first offer at full asking price, in this instance, you might make an exception. Since the current asking price has already been reduced from $1,400,000, you have to expect that the owner will probably not be willing to come down much further. The $10 is probably a take-it-or-leave-it number.

But lest any Bedford house hunters think about packing their bags for the trip to Montclair for a tour of the property, it’s only fair to elaborate on what anyone would already be assuming: namely, that there must be a few problems.

Local house hunters will appreciate the first problem, which is location. The house not only isn’t in Bedford, but it’s also currently sited on land that has been sold to a developer. It has to be moved. Moving a three-story 3,912 sq. ft. structure of this size is an expensive undertaking. Although the current owner is offering to contribute $10,000 toward solving that problem, anyone who has ever overseen this kind of house-moving project knows that the details (digging up the foundation, wedging in all the I-beams, jacking up the structure, getting it up on the trailer beds, etc.) comprise a pricey, open-ended proposition.

Local house hunters would encounter another problem, which is that, as a historically significant local landmark, the powers-that-be in Montclair have made it clear that the mansion won’t be allowed to be moved beyond the city limits. So transplanting it to anywhere in Bedford isn’t a possibility. Another problem: having been designated an historical monument, the home will have to be treated tenderly by its new owner. “Handle like eggs” might be the watchword. That could prove as tricky as trucking it off to its new Montclair destination.

Fortunately, the current batch of area listings offers buyers Bedford asking prices that may be a bit steeper, but represent opportunities with significantly fewer complications. They may carry asking prices less head-turning than the $10 listing, but when you consider the big picture, they constitute significantly better bargains. Call for details!

Joan Parcewski —CRS, MRP, CSHP, SRES, CBR, LMC, Realtor & Notary
978-376-3978   JParcewski@LAERRealty.com    OR    JParcewski@gmail.com
 
Licensed MA & NH    
Introductory Video  https://youtu.be/RrM4q17cjU0

6 Categories of Bedford House Hunters

Trying to categorize prospective buyers’ motivations and levels of seriousness is something that’s hard to resist. Many a successful seller will tell you how they originally mistook the ultimate buyer for an unreliable looky-loo (or vice-versa). Still, judging from the articles written on the subject, apparently it’s worthwhile recognizing the different sorts of house hunters and the categories that describe them. Category names vary, but here are six cited most frequently:

  1. Serious surveyor. The most common variety of house hunter, the serious surveyor has usually viewed the Bedford listings online, prepared a budget, and possibly even pre-qualified with a lender. The serious surveyor is patient—if a home fitting their must-have list isn’t available within the budget, they’ll keep hunting until the pieces fall into place.
  2. Burn-up-the-tracker (aka Relo Express). These house hunters are usually motivated by factors that force a quick decision. They can be in danger of succumbing to the stress of the circumstances, which could result in a less-than-optimal buying decision. If I am their agent, it’s my job to alleviate as much of the stress as possible by making sure that they are exposed expeditiously to the Bedford listings that meet their requirements.
  3. Laid-backer. This house hunter is in no hurry to go beyond the canvassing-Bedford stage. This can be due to their current housing situation (as when a future purchase can only be finalized after their own home has been sold), or because the laid-backer isn’t totally convinced that they really want to move. This buyer is not to be confused with a true looky-loo, who is not really a buyer at all. On the contrary, many a laid-backer becomes an enthusiastic buyer once they feel educated about the Bedford offerings and discover an appealing property.
  4. Hard Sell. House hunting can be a delightful opportunity to tour Bedford homes that are at their best: spit-and-polished for inspection by qualified prospective buyers. For the hard sell buyer, however, it’s likely to be less fun. This house hunter has probably had some bad earlier house hunting experience or other because distrust of almost every detail rules the day. In truth, it’s a fine idea to subscribe to the “trust but verify” school of house hunting—that’s why a home inspection should always be on the agenda. But it’s too bad if there’s no measure of enjoyment to be had in the process.
  5. Market Buster. Fully aware that in any buyer-seller relationship the buyer-side ultimately makes the important decisions, this house hunter is focused on making a deal that defies market realities. That may be possible—but sometimes the result is more predictable: most properties that can be had at below-market levels are priced that way for a reason.
  6. Frozen. This is a rarely seen Bedford house hunter: frozen in indecision either because of the momentous nature of the decision, a bewildering array of appealing offerings, or a shifting set of their own priorities. Frozen house hunters can become unfrozen if they miss out on a home they realize in retrospect was the one!

You needn’t try to fit into any category to succeed in your own Bedford house hunting venture. One step I can guarantee will advance the process: call me!

Joan Parcewski —CRS, MRP, CSHP, SRES, CBR, LMC, Realtor & Notary
978-376-3978   JParcewski@LAERRealty.com    OR    JParcewski@gmail.com
 
Licensed MA & NH    
Introductory Video  https://youtu.be/RrM4q17cjU0

 

Laer Realty PartnersJoan_Parcewski (1 of 1)

%d bloggers like this: