melting-watch

MARKET WATCH

Single Family Home Activity in the Antelope Valley

In the last 24 hours
11/16/18

New Listings …  31
Sold …  20
Pending …  16
Expd/Wthd/Cancld …  09
Price Increases …  00
Price Reductions …  19
Number of listings* …  1691
Average Days on Market …  86
Short sale/pay listings …  11
Equity listings …  1565
Bank owned listings …  16
HUD, Corp, Probate and Auction listings …  56
Days of inventory (at the average rate**) …  41.79
Days of inventory (at yesterdays rate**) …  58.31
Actual Number of days of inventory***  …  ∞

View the last 8+ years of data HERE!

 

* Count includes all ACTIVE and CONTINGENT MLS listings
** Assuming no future growth or reduction
*** At yesterdays depletion rate (∞ indicates negative depletion,
inventory would not be depleted at this sales rate)
ALL DATA WAS DERIVED FROM THE “GREATER ANTELOPE VALLEY
ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®” AND IS DEEMED RELIABLE.
THE CALCULATIONS OF THAT DATA IS THE
RESPONSIBILITY OF DON GOCKEL, REALTOR®

Student Loans Proving a Barrier to Homeownership. We Have Solutions.

WRITTEN BY JAYMI NACIRIStudent Loans Proving a Barrier to Homeownership. We Have Solutions.

The role student loans play in denying would-be buyers from getting into a home of their own has grown to staggering levels. According to the 2018 Homebuyer Profile report from the National Association of Realtors®, “Almost one in four homebuyers this year had student loans, which made it harder for them to save for a down payment and delayed their purchase,” said USA Today.

“Among buyers rejected for a mortgage from a lender, 40 percent had college debt, the NAR found.” Per the same study, 80 percent of millennials don’t own a home, and 83% of those non-homeowners said student loan debt was a barrier to buying.

The NAR found that “Two in five buyers, like Jodi Meyers, cut out luxury or nonessential items to save up for a home,” said USA Today. Her family, in the midst of paying off Meyers’ $55,000 in student debt, cut out all necessities and purchased outside of their preferred area to be able to afford a $249,000, four-bedroom home in Lakeland, Florida. The upshot: “It’s not my dream home, but it got my foot in the door, and now I’m building equity,” she told them.

Of course, compromise is nothing new when it comes to buying a home, especially if it’s your first. Few of us can go out there and purchase the waterfront mansion of our dreams, but that doesn’t mean we don’t aspire to do so someday from our starter home in the ‘burbs.

Check out a site like Student Loan Hero and you’re going to read about things like front-end ratios and back-end ratios and it can all get very confusing. And, the truth is, the average person doesn’t need to know the nitty-gritty. The important takeaway is that, in your lender’s eyes, your income needs to be sufficient to cover a mortgage and all associated expenses when all your debts are taken into account. Having student loans in the hundreds of dollars per month can make it harder to qualify.

So what CAN you do if you’re looking to budget and buy a home, but student loans are holding you back? There are options.

Amass a higher down payment.

“If you can save a 20 percent down payment, your student loans are far less likely to affect your loan process,” said Student Loan Hero. Your lender should be able to give you details of what loans allow your down payment to come from gift funds from a family member.

Pay off your debts.

Talk to your lender about this. You may be surprised that a scenario in which you redirect some of your down payment funds to smaller debts that can be cleared out could make it easier to qualify for a mortgage. “Paying down that high-interest credit card balance, for example, is a great place to start,” said Dave Mele, president of Homes.com on Bankrate.

Get a side hustle.

If you can’t negotiate a raise, find other ways to make more money so you can add to your down payment or use it to pay down your student loans. “If education debt is making your debt-to-income ratio too high, consider looking for ways to pay off your student loans faster. There’s no penalty for prepaying student loans, so you can make extra payments anytime,” said Student Loan Hero.

Switch to an income-driven repayment plan on your student loans to make payments more affordable.

“An income-driven repayment plan sets your monthly student loan payment at an amount that is intended to be affordable based on your income and family size,” said Federal Student Aid. Fannie Mae changed underwriting rules around income-driven repayment plans last year, making it easier for those on these plans to qualify for a mortgage. “Depending upon the plan, your monthly payment could be capped as low as 10% of your discretionary income,” said Forbes. “And if your discretionary income is low enough, your monthly payment could be as low as $0.”

Get creative with your loan type.

While many first-time buyers opt for an FHA loan because of the low down payment (as low as 3.5%) and generous credit score requirements (as low as 580), there are other options. “The Fannie Mae HomeReady™ mortgage is another loan available to borrowers with student loans,” said The Mortgage Reports. “Via HomeReady™, buyers can show a debt-to-income of up to 50%, with certain off-setting factors; and a down payment of just three percent is allowed. The minimum credit score to get approved for a HomeReady™ home loan is 620.”

What to Look for When Signing Your First Lease

WRITTEN BY VICTORIA SCHMIDWhat to Look for When Signing Your First Lease

Whether you’re living solo for the first time or prepping for an apartment or home rental with your new roommates, your first lease is an important milestone. And you’re in good company. In 2016, over 36% of the US population rented a home or apartment, the highest percentage since 1965. It’s definitely a booming market, so before you sign on that dotted line, make a list and check it twice. Use these tips to make sure you’re well informed before you sign your lease and take responsibility for your new rental.

1. Do Your Research

Treat your commitment to renting a property in the same way you would carefully consider buying an expensive appliance or a new car: do your research. Look for online reviews from previous renters attached to the property profile in Google or on other social media platforms like Facebook. Search under either the landlord’s name or the name of the property company or apartment complex to find reviews in Yelp. You can even dig up complaints filed with the Better Business Bureau.

2. Read the Lease

This seems like an obvious piece of advice, but it’s worth repeating. Read the lease and then read it again. Ask for advice from someone you trust who has the relevant experience and expertise to help you review any stipulations you don’t understand. Be sure the lease is clear about the following points:

• Length of the lease
• When rent is due and how to pay it
• Security deposit rules and refunds
• Lease termination and penalties
• Rules about roommates or subletting
• Whether pets are allowed or prohibited

3. Get It in Writing

If you don’t see a topic or rule specified in writing, request to get it added to the lease. Even if it seems minor, it should be clearly outlined in the legal agreement between you and the landlord. Look for language about who handles the utilities and rules for personalizing your space. Fleshing out the details in the lease protects both you and the landlord from future misunderstandings and financial headaches.

4. Be Clear about Maintenance Responsibilities

Understand and document what your responsibilities are in terms of maintenance and who you should call in case of an emergency. When you move in, the landlord should document the condition of the property—if there is preexisting damage, insist that it’s recorded accurately before you accept the keys. Check all the appliances, door locks, and plumbing, and if anything needs attention, require that it be addressed now so you don’t end up paying for it later.

If your landlord doesn’t supply a checklist to verify the current condition of the property when you sign the lease, supply one yourself. There are several free templates online that you can use to document the condition of the property and ask your landlord to co-sign.

5. Check Out the Security

Check with the landlord or property manager to determine the security measures in place for your rental. If you are moving into a complex, make sure all areas are well lit and measures like security cameras are in place. If the apartment or home isn’t outfitted with security safeguards, ask the landlord if they allow tenants to install their own security systems. Some DIY systems cater to rentals for $15–$25 a month, meaning you still have security options if the property doesn’t have them already.

You can also research the surrounding area to see if they have a Neighborhood Watch program in place, and you can ask local law enforcement if the area has any crime trends.

6. Don’t Forget about Parking

This may be one of the last things on your mind when you’re signing the actual lease, but it’s crucial that you understand where you can and cannot park. Whether it’s off-street or on-street parking, covered or out in the open, the parking arrangement may end up being a pretty large hassle depending on the weather and the safety of the neighborhood. Request clarification about the parking situation if it isn’t clearly outlined in the lease.

7. Consider Renters Insurance

Insurance probably isn’t a priority when you’re still apartment or house hunting, but it should be something you consider getting before moving in. In addition to protecting you from property loss, renters insurance can sometimes help with damage caused by poor maintenance that wouldn’t be covered by your landlord’s insurance policy.

Once you’ve thoroughly reviewed the lease and checked off all these boxes, you can feel more confident about signing on the dotted line.