Housingwire reported this week the FHA to make financing easier for condo owners. “The Federal Housing Administration has finally issued a long-awaited update to its condominium rules, announcing Wednesday that it will now allow individual unit approval and is taking other steps to loosen requirements that make these properties eligible for FHA financing. Under the revised guidelines – which take effect Oct. 15, 2019 – an individual condo unit in a building of 10 units or more may be eligible for spot approval if no more than 10% of the units are FHA-insured.” This is great news for first-time homebuyers since condos are usually the most affordable option for them. You can download the specific changes regarding condo approvals here.
2. GRASSROOTS SUSTAINABILITY
Sustainability takes many forms. It “continues to be a major goal the world over, as well it should be. We are depleting the Earth’s resources like there is no tomorrow, when obviously there is — and a bleak one, should we continue along our current path.” Realty Times published Sustainable Communities: The Future of Real Estate. The bottom line is we should continue to try to make everything real estate more sustainable for the benefit of future generations.
3. CURBING THE APPEAL
I sent this Realtor.com article (Oregon Becomes First State to Ban Single-Family Zoning) out to some Top Agents earlier this week and posted it on social media. “Oregon has become the first state in the nation to require cities with a population of more than 10,000 to permit duplexes in neighborhoods that were once zoned for single-family zoning—or only one home per lot.” As you can imagine, it’s quite controversial as single-family homeowners are concerned about the effects of the law on property values.
4. NOT SO SMART
Your smart-home system could be making your home unsellable, according to a top real-estate agent. “Luxury developers are trying to attract buyers with outrageous amenities. But according to the California-based real-estate agent Jade Mills, who has sold over $5 billion worth of real estate in her career, overly sophisticated smart-home systems can have the opposite effect,” reports Business Insider. Even younger folks are not interested in purchasing a property with systems that are complicated to learn and use. Heads up developers!
5. THE SURGE CONTINUES
You may have already heard this news from your mortgage professional, but just in case you haven’t heard, Weekly mortgage refinances spike 37% in one week as rates fall further. “The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with conforming loan balances decreased to its lowest level since November 2016, 3.93%, from 4.01%.” There has been a 37% jump in refinance volume, the highest level since July 2016 and refinance applications were nearly 196% higher than a year ago. Watch the entire CNBC news story, then contact your mortgage professional to see if now is a good time to refinance.