Whenever an unplanned and unwelcome financial situation develops, a Lewes mortgage-holder can find himself or herself in the onerous position of being unable to keep up with the monthly home loan payments. If the unhappy situation continues long enough, the likely result is a foreclosure or short sale. In addition to losing the property, the impact on personal credit then takes years to undo. That means it takes that much longer for a consumer to acquire a new home and start to build equity again.

Here as elsewhere, there were a raft of such Lewes mortgage defaults following the global financial meltdown. Even those who had no trouble servicing their area mortgages could have suffered when they found that falling property values prevented them from refinancing—even when the purpose was to improve their property. Although those events happened years ago, it’s only now that their aftereffects are finally working their way out of the system.

A recent article in NMP—the national Mortgage Professional’s magazine—delved into the changing status of those who lost homes in the turndown. The details they researched are interesting in themselves—details that are bound to have an impact on Lewes residential sales.

First off is the fact that enough time has elapsed for those who weathered a short sale or foreclosure to begin to return to eligibility. They’re called “Boomerang Buyers”—and nationwide, there are estimated to be 7,300,000 of them! In 2016 alone, more than a million will become eligible to return to the home-buying market. According to NMP, “they’re returning to the market in droves.” The hardest-hit states were Nevada, Florida and Illinois—but there are plenty of Boomerang Buyers scattered across the rest of the nation.

The improving mortgage eligibility landscape extends beyond those who suffered the actual loss of their homes. To the more than 7 million “distressed” homeowners whose properties are still underwater (those who owe more than market value), the government’s HARP 2 program is one possible remedy. Its guidelines encourage lenders to relax the loan-to-value caps that had prevented refinancing for many of those homeowners. Reports are that it has already resulted in an increase in such refinances.

Other program combinations are helping loan originators and Realtors® get more bank-owned homes back into homeowners’ hands. These are properties that make up the ‘shadow inventory’ of unsold homes, many of which have fallen into disrepair. Because of that, they’ve been difficult to finance—and therefore difficult to sell. Through FHA 203K and Fannie Mae’s Homestyle® renovation mortgages, more ambitious prospective owners—including investors—are discovering they now have mortgage options that can put those fixer-uppers within reach.

For those who have previously found it problematic to secure a Lewes mortgage with acceptable terms, it may be worth looking into today’s improved financing alternatives. Especially with mortgage interest rates at the levels we’re seeing this fall, what you find may be a pleasant surprise—one that puts you into the house of your dreams. Call me to discuss first steps!    Call/Text me Russell Stucki at (302) 228-7871, email me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., visit more listings at www.beachrealestatemarket.com

The way the media treated last week’s federal funds rate announcement by the Federal Reserve Board was a convincing demonstration of how much importance is placed on that singular piece of the financial puzzle. That rate may not be directly tied to Lewes mortgage interest rates, but since it determines lenders’ borrowing costs, its effect is considerable.

For many years now, Lewesmortgage interest rates have been comfortably nestled near the bottom of their historical range. Many Lewes homeowners have enjoyed the resulting low monthly payments on their mortgages. Lewes home sellers have likewise benefitted from home loan interest rates that make their properties more affordable than would otherwise be the case.

 Real estate repercussions are a major part of the reason that the Fed’s announcement, which came midday last Thursday, had the national media holding its collective electronic breath. With ten minutes to go, one cable network talking head could add little illumination. “Wall Street will be watching the announcement very closely,” was her understatement. Channel flipping with five minutes to go, viewers found the streaming banner at the bottom of one network trumpeting BREAKING NEWS…BREAKING NEWS… before the fact. On CNBC, “the most highly anticipated announcement in years” was awaited by four commentators who had the unhappy challenge of predicting the decision mere seconds before the fact. Above the ever-moving streams of real-time data (oil was down, the stock markets up) panelists chattered about China (“it’s big and mysterious”), inflation targets (“missed again”), and optimism (“a rate hike won’t hurt the economy, it will help”). Only if the Fed “saw something down the road,” it was agreed, would they not raise rates. Then, just 5 seconds to go…then-

The Fed left rates unchanged.

Citing concerns over global this and financial that, the Fed said they were going to be monitoring them. The economy expanded at a moderate pace, and housing improved moderately, they said. But since global conditions might cause trouble...  

The media’s excitement level flat-lined within minutes. “The markets are not panicking,” said a gentleman in a snappy suit. He looked irritated. “I blew it,” said another, who moments before had thrown in with the majority predicting a rate rise. “They cited uncertainty,” he frowned; then blurted, “The Fed is the biggest source of uncertainty!”

The stock markets didn’t react at all at first. Later, they closed mixed.

The next day, mortgage interest rates crept downward.

 What seemed to be an excitement bust for the media was good news for many of the viewers. When the Fed funds rate continually hovers close to zero, there’s ample reason to suspect that Lewes mortgage interest rates might stay put for a while. TheStreet website later reported that they expected rates to rise a bit before year’s end. Given the recent record of expert predictions, it might be safer to stand behind one with a better chance of success: the next Fed announcement, I predict, will be the most anticipated announcement in years.

Meantime, if you have been mulling over whether to take advantage of the current balmy mortgage interest environment, I hope you’ll give me a Call/Text me Russell Stucki at (302) 228-7871, email me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., visit more listings at www.beachrealestatemarket.com

 

Lewes’s real estate picture usually differs little from that of the nation as a whole. The latest rumblings from the mass media and web continue to bolster the picture of rising values and quickening activity—a sweet story with nary a sour note. In fact the unanimity of voices from almost every corner of the country is a story in itself. There was just one exception.

Some samplings Lewes readers would have found in the past week’s real estate news and opinion—

  • From the Associated Press, we learned that “prices are soaring” in some cities, and that they rose in all 20 cities polled. The pace of existing home sales rose to the “fastest pace since February 2007.”—roughly what might be expected in a healthy housing market. The AP attributed at least some of the reason for the real estate price rises to widespread predictions that the Federal Reserve may start raising short-term interests rates sooner rather than later.
  • From Dan Green’s Mortgage Reports, the home value increase was illustrated in a multi-colored chart, which showed sample cities’ rises at anywhere from 1%-11%—with most clumped between the 4%-6% lines. Freddie Mac was quoted as pegging the average 30-year mortgage rate at below 4%, with VA and FHA mortgage rates even lower. Their opinion was straightforward: “It’s an inexpensive time to finance a home.” Since historically “mortgage rates average nearer to 8:25%,” that opinion is hardly a stretch!
  • Headlines from CoreLogic’s latest Home Price Index Report were “Home Prices Rose by 6.5% Year Over in June 2015” and “HPI Forecast Projects 4.5%” rise for the coming 12 months. CoreLogic’s nationwide real estate numbers are among the most reliable—whereas some of the government numbers sometimes have to admit regular later revisions, it’s not usually the case for them.
  • Surprisingly, town observers would have had to go to the National Association of Realtors® site to find what at first sounded like the only sour note to be heard—yet it, too, had a sweet finish. “Pending Home Sales Dip in June” headed the last week’s news release. You had to read the fine print to learn that the pending sales were 8.2% higher than a year before, and that although they dipped slightly from May’s number, they were still the third highest reading in 2015…and marked the tenth consecutive monthly year-over-year increase!

Strengthening real estate prices have continued to bolster a solid summer selling season. If you are interested in exploring the Lewes market as a prospective buyer (or as a seller), the climate continues to be inviting. Good reason to give me a Call/Text me Russell Stucki at (302) 228-7871, email me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., visit more listings at www.beachrealestatemarket.com.

For many homes that will be listed for sale in Lewes, virtual tours will be part of their prospective buyers’ experience. It’s increasingly common that in addition to the eye-catching still photographs that enhance the online listing, some form of clickable virtual tour is there, as well.
Most frequently found are virtual tours that are actually still shots that can be displayed sequentially—this kind of virtual tour could more specifically called a ‘virtual slide show,’ because the viewer is in control of the speed at which the photos appear. When a one-click ‘play’ symbol is onscreen which triggers automatic playback (frequently with musical accompaniment or even narration), it really does produce an experience that’s like an actual tour. And further enhancements can be added, like pans across (and zooms into or out of) the still shots, creating the feeling of movement. When music or narration are added, the result can be quite effective.
Another Lewes virtual tour is more ambitiously produced: the shots in it consist of some (or all) motion sequences that are created with a video rather than still camera. When the camera is set into motion—as when it moves down a path or through a doorway, it can convey the feeling of actually ‘being there’ more effectively than stills. For the viewer, there is a subtle difference between what is experienced when viewing a computer-created sweep (“pan”) across a still image of a room versus a video camera actually panning across the same scene. In the video, there is more of something like a 3-D experience because the objects in the room shift in relation to one another. Not a lot…but just enough!
So which is the most effective form for a Lewes virtual tour? The answer is…not what you might expect. The format, whether stills, moving stills, or video is really not what makes the greatest difference. It’s vastly more important that in any format, what’s being shown is almost all that matters—or as they say in Hollywood, it’s lights! camera! action!
· Lights—blotchy lighting with areas of impenetrably deep shadows may be fine for film noir productions, but for your virtual tour of your area home, it’s a negative. A skilled photographer or videographer will see that most areas are cheerfully, brightly exposed.
· Camera—most (if not all) your images will work best when a very wide angle lens is used. It gives the impression of spaciousness.
· Action—in both video and slideshow modes, the speed at which images move should be slow enough that viewers don’t find it dizzying, yet fast enough that the pace of the ‘production’ isn’t annoyingly pokey (like this current virtual tour, which zips right along in a progression that makes sense—like an actual tour).
An Lewes virtual tour can provide a genuine boost to your home’s selling campaign when it is attractively produced—and accurate (thus avoiding showings to prospects for whom the property is clearly unsuited). It’s only one of the many tools which can be called into service to draw the interest of the qualified prospective buyers you need to reach. Call me if you’d like to discuss what’s happening in today’s market! Call/Text me Russell Stucki at (302) 228-7871, email me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., visit more listings at www.beachrealestatemarket.com.