Trulia American Dream Survey – Fall 2011


Bye, Bye To The American Dream? No Way!

Despite another lackluster year for real estate, 80% of homeowners still plan to buy again and 59% of renters still aspire to own their own homes. Through the American Dream survey, Trulia has tracked consumer attitudes on homeownership and homebuyer preferences since 2008. This online survey was conducted by Harris Interactive between Aug 30-Sept 1, 2011.

by the Trulia Insights Team

More details:


Thanks for visiting my online real estate resource. Let me know if you are ever in need of assistance with your real estate needs. Please bookmark this site and return often for future reference and access to trend-focused topics and ideas. Whether you are a first time buyer or an experienced investor, you will find useful information about how to choose the "right" property, making an offer, negotiating,financing, mortgage rates, moving, and everything involved in making an informed real estate decision in today's market.

Landlords Be Aware, IRS Reporting

There will be expanded IRS Form 1099 reporting for rental property owners starting with the year 2011. The Small Business Jobs Act of 2010 requires all individuals who own rental property to issue an IRS Form 1099 for payments relating to their rental properties.

Now, by definition, “a person receiving rental income from real estate shall be considered to be engaged in a trade or business of renting property.” A 1099-MISC form will be required if the property owner spends $600 or more per year per recipient. Examples of possible 1099-MISC recipients: gardeners, landscapers, pool cleaners, contractors and repair service providers.


Market stats for Fairfax County for the month of November 2010

Market Conditions for Fairfax County, Virginia

Fairfax County is a huge geographic area with many well established neighborhoods and a desirable proximity to DC and surrounding Metro areas, and is a sought after location with it’s central access to employment, shopping, and transportation opportunities.

Here are some market stats for Fairfax County for the month of November 2010:

In November, the total number of active listings on the market in Fairfax County was 2,790. Of those active listings, the minimum list price was $40,000 while the maximum list price was $9,997,000. The average list price was $701,747. The average number for property days on the market is 126.

The number of listings under contract was 990. Of those listings under contract, the minimum list price was $39,000 while the maximum list price was $4,475,000. The average list price was $436,232. The average number for property days on the market was 65.

The number of listings that were sold & settled in November was 897. Of those listings sold, the minimum list price was $39,900 while the maximum list price was $3,925,000. The average list price was $473,553. The average number for property days on the market was 62.


2010 – 2Q home sales — Northern Virginia

The home sales numbers are in for the second quarter of 2010 (April 1 through June 30), and the news is good, but the outlook may not be.

  • Sales are up.
  • Prices are up.
  • Pending sales were up in June.
  • Days on market are down.

The unemployment rate is slowly going down. Several major corporations will be keeping, moving, or opening facilities in the Commonwealth. But there are clouds around those silver linings: Foreclosures are up in most of the state — 14% overall from the second quarter of 2009; only Northern Virginia saw a drop from year to year, while the Southwest and Central Valley regions were hit particularly hard.

And then there’s the end of the homebuyer tax credit. This past quarter was the last in which buyers could get up to $8,000 from the government for buying a home.

2010 - 2Q home sales — Northern Virginia


Good Faith Estimate contains some ‘quirks’

As of Jan. 1, 2010, the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) required lenders to provide mortgage borrowers with a new three-page Good Faith Estimate (GFE) to protect consumers who are applying for a mortgage.

The intent of the GFE is to educate consumers about the key terms and costs of a mortgage, both at origination and ongoing. A loan originator completes the form, giving the borrower a summary of the loan particulars and information necessary to shop rates and to be sure they’re comparing like-type mortgages.

Although there’s grumbling, mostly from mortgage brokers, lenders and closing/escrow agents, the format and information included in the new GFE is a step in the right direction. There are, however, some quirks.

For example, the GFE doesn’t provide a complete and accurate account of the borrower’s costs. Page two provides an itemization of loan origination and settlement costs. The origination charge is itemized as one lump sum; it’s not broken down.

So, you don’t know how much you’re paying the appraiser for the appraisal, the loan originator for the origination fee, or other miscellaneous fees.

Another shortcoming is in the way transfer taxes are disclosed. The entire amount of any transfer taxes is entered on the GFE, even if the sellers pay part or all of it. This could inflate the buyer’s estimated settlement costs.

To get around having to generate a GFE for buyers before they have committed to a given loan originator, some mortgage originators have developed worksheet quotes for buyers to use if they want to shop rates. HUD is adamant that these worksheets can’t be used instead of a GFE. Furthermore, they provide the borrower no protection.

HOUSE HUNTING TIP: The new federally mandated GFE provides protection for borrowers against being charged extra fees at closing that weren’t disclosed on the GFE. An informal worksheet provides no such protection.

Origination and settlement fees are grouped into three different categories. The first category is fees that can’t increase between the time the GFE is issued and closing. Included in this category are the lender or mortgage broker’s origination fee, transfer taxes and adjustments to loan origination charges after the borrower locks in an interest rate.

Loan originators who miscalculate, causing fees to run higher at closing, have to make up the difference out of pocket. To cover themselves, some loan originators pad the Category one figure.

The second category of fees can increase up to 10 percent at closing and includes such things as government recording charges and title insurance — if the title insurer is identified by the lender, not by the borrower. This is done to encourage lenders to shop for the most cost-effective coverage for the consumer.

The third category of fees can change at settlement and includes homeowners insurance and title insurance coverage if the borrower, not the lender, identifies the title insurer.

The new GFE also includes a tradeoff table that shows what the interest rate would be if you paid a higher origination fee vs. a lower origination fee: the higher the fee, the lower the rate; the lower the fee, the higher the rate.

Finally, there’s a loan-shopping chart to use the mortgage information provided by one lender to compare with other lenders. There is no obligation to use a loan originator who completes a GFE for you. A loan originator can’t refuse to provide a GFE to a prospective borrower who asks for one.

As soon as a prospective borrower provides essential application information, such as Social Security number, property address, etc., the originator is to provide a GFE.

THE CLOSING: Lenders are required to provide a GFE within three days of receiving the borrower’s application.

Dian Hymer, a real estate broker with more than 30 years’ experience, is a nationally syndicated real estate columnist and author. Copyright 2010 Dian Hymer


Congress Passed Homebuyer Tax Credit Extension / Expansion

Buying a home can get bit cheaper for most of the homebuyers — $6,500 cheaper!! ( i.e. As long as you’ve owned a home for 5 years, you can get the $6500) Remeber: It’s a credit, not a deduction so you actually get $6500 that you can use for part of the down payment.

Congress and the President have extended and expanded the $8,000 tax credit for first-time buyers. You now have until April 30, 2010 to sign a contract and qualify., and starting November 7, 2009, many existing home owners also qualify. Download this informational flyer from The Virginia Association of REALTORS®

First-time homebuyers have been getting tax credits of up to $8,000 since January as part of the economic stimulus package enacted earlier this year. But with the program scheduled to expire in end of November, the Senate voted Wednesday(11/04/2009) to extend and expand the tax credit to include many buyers who already own homes. The House is scheduled to vote on the bill Thursday.

Here in Northern Virginia the home inventory is so low and few of my clients are loosing there chance due to high volume of multiple offers. The sellers are getting 5 to 15 thousand more then there asking price. I think its going to fuel the market with buyers and the tax credit will only be on paper, because the buyer will any way end up paying more.

Metro Area: Northern Vaginia

Principal Cities:
Alexandria, Annandale, Ashburn, Arlington, Ashburn, Bristow, Burke, Centreville, Chantilly, Clifton, Dale City, Dumfries, Fairfax City, Fairfax, Fairfax Station, Falls Church, Gainesville, Great Falls, Herndon, Leesburg, Lorton, Manassas, Manassas Park, McLean, Oakton, Reston, South Riding, Springfield, Sterling, Vienna, Tysons Corner, Woodbridge

Neighborhoods and Subdivisions Served:
Poplar Tree, Franlkin Farm, Hampton Forest, Greenbriar,Faircrest,Fair Chase, Little Rocky Run,Pender Brook,

Counties Served:
Alexandria City, Arlington County, Fairfax City, Fairfax County, Falls Church City, Loudoun County, Prince William County, Town of Vienna, Town of Herndon


Buyers Rush to Beat Tax Credit Deadline

The first-time home buyers are flooding the sale market, pressed to finalize a deal before the federal government’s $8,000 tax credit offer expires on November 30.

Anyone planning to take advantage of the tax credit should act fast because mortgage approvals, residential inspections, and other steps in the buying process typically take about two months, buyers hoping to take advantage of the incentive will need to have a contract by the end of September.

The new flurry of activity in house-hunters try to meet the deadline is triggering bidding wars and energizing the property market, which historically is slow at the end of summer. As a result, more homes are getting their full asking price.

Here in Northern Virginia the home inventory is so low and few of my clients are loosing there chance due to high volume of multiple offers. The sellers are getting 5 to 15 thousand more then there asking price. I feel the bottom is here and the uptrend in the housing market has started.


8K Homebuyer Tax Credit: HUD Secretary Announces Monetization of Tax Credit at NAR Real Estate Summit

HUD released a mortgagee letter with some further details yesterday. As is typical with these kinds of announcements, there are a lot of unanswered questions in regards to how lenders will implement this stimulus related strategy.


WASHINGTON (May 12, 2009) – Shaun Donovan, secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, said that the Federal Housing Administration is going to permit its lenders to allow homeowners to use the $8,000 tax credit as a downpaypment.

More details @ HUD Secretary Announces Monetization of Tax Credit at NAR Real Estate Summit


Choosing a Real Estate Agent

The sales agent is not always the one with the most sales under his or her belt, or the most years on the job. The agent is one who listens to you, is easy to get along with, and has the tools and skills to address your unique situation.

Every home buyer is different. Some have credit issues. Some are buying from out of state. Some need help selling their current home in addition to buying a new one. Just as buyers have different needs, real estate agents have different skills and specialties.

Here’s how to find the agent who’s right for you:

1. Ask friends and family for agent referrals.

Nobody knows you as well as your friends and family do. So they’re often in the best position to recommend an agent who is well-suited for your needs. You can also trust a referral from friends or family more than one that comes from a stranger.

2. Talk to multiple agents.

You must make inquiries before you sign with an agent or broker. Commissions are usually substantial, so some real estate agents will try to sell you anything. They’ll tell you every house is the best house they’ve ever seen, every room is the prettiest, your kids are going to love it, and your dog is going to bark nicely. They’ll tell you anything!

You don’t have to exhaust yourself interviewing agent after agent, but at least talk with two or three to see who you’re most comfortable with (which leads to the next point).

3. Consider the vibe factor.

Professional expertise is an important criterion when choosing a real estate agent. But interpersonal skills are equally important. After all, you’ll be working with this person anywhere from 2 to 12 months, so it helps to get along with them. We all have unique personalities, and that’s the way it should be. But when working with someone professionally, if helps if their personality “meshes” well with your own.

4. Ask how they hunt.

When deciding on a real estate agent, ask how they search for homes. Some agents have their own preferred listings that they favor. But you want what’s best for you, not what’s best for your agent. You’re paying them, right? So make sure the agent is willing to search high and low to find the best home for you. That includes using the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) as well as their own personal network.

5. Read paperwork carefully.

This advice is heavily used for a reason. It’s critical that you examine all documents during the home buying process, and that includes your agent agreement. At some point during the relationship, your agent will probably ask you to sign an agent agreement. Basically, it just means that if the agent shows you a particular property, your purchase of the property should be credited to that agent. In most cases it’s a simple, standard document, just be sure to read it carefully and ask questions.

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HUD Announces Revised Downpayment and Maximum Mortgage Requirements

On September 12, 2008, the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) released Mortgagee Letter 2008-23 outlining new downpayment and maximum mortgage requirements as found in the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008 (HERA). This letter implements three new requirements: 1) mortgagor will pay in cash or cash equivalent not less than 3.5 percent of the appraised value of the property; 2) the variable loan-to-value (LTV) limits that were based on the combination of property value and average state closing costs (known as “downpayment simplification”) is eliminated; and 3) the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) insured first mortgage is limited to 100 percent of the appraised value and requires the inclusion of the upfront premium within this limit. The revised requirements take effect for all new FHA case number assignments on or after January 1, 2009.

The mortgage letter states that closing costs may not be used to help meet the minimum 3.5 percent downpayment requirement. The LTV is 96.5 percent (the reciprocal of the 3.5 percent downpayment requirement). However, when combined with an FHA first mortgage, government subordinate liens are not limited to 100 percent. Sellers are still permitted to provide financing concessions of up to 6 percent of the sales price. Refinances, including FHASecure, are not subject to the 3.5 percent downpayment requirement as there is no “downpayment” on a refinance.

More details on the HUD Mortgagee Letter 2008-23


Copyright © 2017 Neev Realty. Neev is a registered trademark licensed to Realty Service LLC. An Equal Opportunity Company. Equal Housing Opportunity. Equal Housing Opportunity
The brokerage, Realty Service LLC licensed in commonwealth of virginia (Lic # 0226023435) assumes no responsibility nor guarantees the accuracy of this information and is not engaged in the practice of law nor gives legal advice. It is strongly recommended that you seek appropriate professional counsel regarding your rights as a homeowner.

Our real estate agents are Realtors and members of the Virginia Association of Realtors, National Association of Realtors and the Northern Virginia Association of Realtors, based in Fairfax County Virginia, serving all Northern Virginia.

Most of the information above is provided is believed to be accurate, but should not be relied upon without verification.