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Most Consumers Do Not Understand A Budget

by The Barringer Team

 

Budgeting goes hand-in-hand with planning to buy a home, but many consumers don't make the connection.

A survey by the National Foundation for Credit Counseling (NFCC) revealed 57 percent of those who responded believe incorrectly that a budget is a restriction on how they choose to spend money.

Fewer, 43 percent, understand that budgeting allows them to direct money spending to chosen goals.

"A budget actually provides the structure through which a person can be in charge of his or her spending, directing the dollars to their best use," said Gail Cunningham, spokesperson for the NFCC.

"Spending should be a reflection of a person's priorities, but without a plan, the priorities often get pushed aside in favor of the tyranny of the urgent," Cunningham added.

A budget, often part of homeownership counseling curriculum, is designed to change spending habits from wants to needs. It does so by allowing you to see where your money is being spent.

Once you know where your money goes, you can make changes to unnecessary spending and direct spending and savings toward practical financial goals, say, buying a home.

NFCC's June Financial Literacy Opinion Index was conducted via the homepage of the NFCC Web site (www.DebtAdvice.org) from June 1 to June 30, 2013 and was answered by 793 individuals.

Benefits of budgeting

NFCC says the reluctance to construct a budget suggests that people may be afraid to face the financial facts, choosing instead to allow the most pressing need or want of the moment to make the decision for them.

Instead of being restrictive, a budget often creates more money due to smart spending choices.  If financial freedom is the goal, a spending plan is the tool that starts the process.

NFCC reminds consumers that a budget's spending plan includes the following benefits:

  • Creates a thoughtful awareness of spending
  • Relieves financial stress
  • Increases financial security
  • Helps structure a plan for the future
  • Allows planning for large purchases
  • Assists in meeting financial goals
  • Frees up money to designate for savings
  • Uncovers money available to invest
  • Allows preparation for emergencies
  • Avoids late payments through scheduling timely payments
  • Finds hidden money for debt repayment
  • Potentially raises the credit score

"It's a shame that budgeting has a negative connotation. Everyone needs a spending plan, but when times are tough, a budget is even more critical," Cunningham said.

"When every penny counts, it's important to count every penny," she added. 
 

Coming Soon

by The Barringer Team

Here is a brand new listing not on the open market yet. Beat out other buyers and call for your personal showing 209-833-7777

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1142 Glenmohr Ct

Price: $190,000

Beds: 4

Baths: 2

Sq Ft: 1475

It's pool party time!! Relax and play in this wonderful 40X20 Recreation Pool with solar. Totally fenced in with lots of grass area. The home sits on a quiet court . Ranch style single story has 4 bedrooms and 2 baths. Formal living room of the ...

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Locking in Affordablity

by The Barringer Team

Homebuyers Locking In Affordability

Fully aware both home prices and mortgage interest rates are on the rise, home buyers are hedging their bets with fixed rate mortgages (FRMs) and sizable down payments to lock in affordable housing.

A LendingTree survey revealed that 64 percent of prospective homebuyers expect mortgage rates to rise and 68 percent expect home prices to rise over the next 12 months.

Those expectations of rising costs prompted 57 percent of respondents to say they plan to put 15 percent or more down toward the purchase of the home compared to only 44 percent opting for a down payment that's less than 15 percent.

Home buyers also plan to finance their home purchase with FRMs to keep housing affordable - 45 percent of home seekers expect to apply for a 30-year FRM, 36 percent a 15-year FRM and only 7 percent an adjustable rate mortgage (ARM). The remaining 12 percent weren't sure how'd they finance their home.

Conducted online by Research Data Technology from May 21 to May 23, 2013, LendingTree's survey queried 600 people in the market to buy a home within the next 12 months.

"The housing market is stabilizing and financing is becoming more available for potential homebuyers," said Doug Lebda, founder and CEO of LendingTree.com.

"Increasing home prices are providing would-be sellers with the confidence needed to take action, while rising interest rates are placing a sense of urgency on potential home buyers. Together this creates a unique window of opportunity for buyers and sellers to take advantage of the market while home prices and rates are still reasonably affordable," Lebda added.

Higher interest rates have already forced some existing homeowners out of the refinance market.

Refinancing fell 15.6 percent in a single week in late June, after interest rates peaked for the year at 4.46 percent, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA). Refinancing is down 29.5 percent in June, compared to a year ago.

Fortunately, home buying wasn't hampered as much by higher mortgage rates. Home buying mortgage applications crept up by 0.1 percent in June compared to May and remain 12.3 percent higher than a year ago.

Capital Economics surmised the rise in rates is prompting more fence-sitters to leave the perch and buy before rates and home prices knock them out of contention for a home buy.

LendingTree also found financial and habitat circumstances are motivating home shoppers to become homebuyers.

Approximately 42 percent of potential homebuyers cited the financial benefits of owning versus renting as a main driver for their decision to buy while 32 percent said they needed more space to accommodate growing families.

Other reasons for seeking a home include upgrading to better neighborhoods (32 percent), relocating (24 percent), downsizing for affordability (10 percent) or downsizing because of empty-nester status (9 percent).

More LendingTree findings

LendingTree's survey also found:

 

  • Greater urgency to buy in some regions - 72 percent of home buyers residing in the western United States anticipate higher residential prices compared to 59 percent of those in the northeastern United States.

     

  • Most potential home buyers are also aware of the benefits of shopping around for a mortgage - 66 percent believe there is a 25 to 75 basis points difference in interest rates to be had by shopping around.

    Also, 49 percent of respondents said they would apply the money saved on their interest rate towards debt reduction.

     

  • Those polled cited mortgage brokers as the most influential source for mortgage-related information, followed by the Internet and then real estate brokers, the LendingTree survey found.

     

  • Active home seekers (80 percent) are more optimistic about their households' financial condition 12 months from now, compared to casual home seekers (70 percent).

    Less active home seekers cited they require more confidence in their household financial situations before home ownership moves into sharper focus.

     

  • Time consuming paperwork is considered the most annoying aspect of the home buying process for 31 percent of respondents.

     

  • Uncertainty about the fairness of their mortgage rate (30 percent) is tied with complexity of terms (30 percent) for the top causes of frustration in shopping for a mortgage.

New Listing

by The Barringer Team

Call for your personal Showing. 1-800-894-7282

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415 Northgate Ct
Price: $240,000 Beds: 3 Baths: 2 Sq Ft: 2078
Great family home or investment. Needs cosmetic TLC. Priced to move! House features formal living room with newer wood stove, large family room with eat in kitchen. Smooth top electric range and dishwasher. Wood paneled room off kitchen, great for o...

New Listing in Mt.House

by The Barringer Team

Please call 1-800-894-7282 for your personal showing.

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239 W Santa Cruz Way
Price: $419,950 Beds: 3 Baths: 3 Sq Ft: 1816
Beautiful brand new house with two master bedrooms. Granite counters. Stainless steel appliances. Two car garage. Comes with brand new washer dryer and fridge. Bedroom and full bathroom downstairs. Be the first people to live here!...

Open House 8/4/13

by The Barringer Team

Open House on Sunday 10am to 1pm come by and check out this affordable custom Built home.

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31 West Eaton Ave

Price: $235,000

Beds: 3

Baths: 1

½ Baths: 1

Sq Ft: 1300

Charming is the word for this cute home. Original owners built the house with love and care in 1955 and it shows. Located next door to St. Bernard's Church and two elementary schools. Beautiful Lincoln Park right down the street. Featuring hardw...

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Interest Rate Alert

by The Barringer Team

Interest rates started grabbing headlines 3 weeks ago when they began moving up markedly in a very short time span. 

According to the Freddie Mac Weekly Survey released May 23, rates for a 30 year fixed mortgage have gone up from 3.42% May 9th to 4.37 as of 8/1/13

Interest rate fluctuations have a huge impact on home buyers. For instance a month ago, when the average conventional rate was at 3.25%, a monthly payment on a $350,000 loan would be $ 1,523. With today’s rate of 4.0%, the monthly loan would jump to $1,671, a difference of $148 a month.  Combine this with the valley market that is pushing up values, and affordability is becoming a new issue with buyers.

Does this mean that rising prices will stall automatically to compensate for the rising interest rates?  In our opinion, no.  Although logic would say that prices and interest rates create affordability for an area (in addition to the average wages for an area) and therefore must affect each other.  History, however,  says they don’t.  What it does mean is that buyers waiting to buy should move quickly to lock in their interest rate on a home.  As we have seen, when rates move they move quickly. For those buyers who need reassurance, they should note the valley is still one of the best buys in the country for a large metropolitan area and interest rates are still in the range of historic lows.  So even a little bad news is not really that bad.

Displaying blog entries 1-7 of 7

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The Barringer Team
Century 21 M&M and Associates
912 W 11th Street
Tracy CA 95376
209-833-7777
800-984-7282
Fax: 209-229-7426
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