Yuma realtors take part in national storytelling day

Telling stories

Telling stories

The Yuma Realtors Association celebrated National Tell a Story Day on Wednesday, April 27 by reading tales about housing to the Boys and Girls Club of Yuma. About 20 realtors took part in the event, with over 100 children participating. Members of the Boys and Girls club were taught lessons ranging from how to build a house to how to purchase one.

In the book

In the book

Director at the Yuma Realtors Association and employee at Altavista Real Estate, Bobbie Cooper (left) encourages Yeshua De Los Rayes to read from a book about home building.

Posted: Tuesday, May 3, 2016 4:53 pm

Yuma realtors take part in national storytelling day

By Rachel Twoguns, @RTwoguns


The Yuma Realtors Association recently celebrated National Tell a Story Day by sharing tales on housing to about 100 children at the Salvation Army Boys and Girls Club.

According to their website, National Tell a Story Day is observed in the United States each year on April 27, and people of all ages are encouraged to share all kinds of stories on this day.

Subscription Required

An online service is needed to view this article in its entirety.

You need an online service to view this article in its entirety.

Have an online subscription?

Login Now

Need an online subscription?



Choose an online service.

    Current print subscribers

    Login Now

    Need an online subscription?



    Choose an online service.

      Current print subscribers


      Tuesday, May 3, 2016 4:53 pm.

      Pending Home Sales Index Shows 2015 To Be "Exceptional" For U.S. Housing

      Pending Home Sales Index hit 110.5, suggests strong spring housing market

      Pending Home Sales Index Hits 10-Month Best

      The 2015 housing market was exceptional one. 2016 may finish even better.

      According to the National Association of REALTORS®, the March 2016 Pending Home Sales Index posted above its year-ago levels; and the index continues to read above its benchmark value of 100.

      A home sale is “pending” once it’s under contract between a buyer and a seller.

      It’s not surprising that contract signings are up. With today’s mortgage rates lingering near 3.625%, U.S. rents rising, and lenders offering mortgage guidelines, today’s housing market favors home buyers in a big way.

      Low- and no-down payments remain popular, and new programs such as the HomeReady™ mortgage make it even easier to get mortgage-qualified.

      Given today’s market conditions, the best deals in housing may be the ones you find today. By this time next year, home prices and interest rates may be higher — and so might your rent.

      Click to see today’s rates (May 3rd, 2016)

      Pending Home Sales Index: A Different Indicator Type

      The Pending Home Sales Index (PHSI) is a monthly report, published by the National Association of Realtors® (NAR). It measures homes under contract, and not yet closed.

      The Pending Home Sales Index is different from most housing market metrics.

      Unlike traditional metrics which measure how housing performed in the past, the Pending Home Sales Index forecasts how housing will perform in the future.

      The Pending Home Sales Index is forward-looking.

      The index tallies U.S. homes recently under contract to project future, closed home sales. This is possible because the National Association of REALTORS® knows that 80% of homes under contract “close” within 2 months of contract.

      In March, the Pending Home Sales Index read 110.5 — the index’s 23rd straight month above its baseline reading of 100.

      Beating the baseline is a big deal.

      When the Pending Home Sales Index crosses 100, it’s an indication that U.S. homes are going to contract at a faster pace than during 2001, the first year in which the index was published.

      2001 is generally considered a good year for U.S. housing. The current market, then, by comparison, is exceptional.

      Results for the Pending Home Sales Index, mixed by region:

      • Northeast Region : +18% from the year prior
      • Midwest Region : +4% from the year prior
      • South Region : -1% from the year prior
      • West Region : -8% from the year prior

      For today’s renters, it’s an excellent time to consider buying a home.

      Click to see today’s rates (May 3rd, 2016)

      Mortgage Loans For Home Buyers

      According to NAR, first-time home buyers account for about one-third of the today’s housing market.

      Rising rents, plus an abundance of low- and no-down payment mortgage loans, is making homeownership look more attractive.

      More than 6 million homes are expected to change hands in 2016.

      Renters are finding it less expensive to purchase than rent, at times; and lenders have programs to help make that happen.

      Getting home-loan qualified is getting simpler.

      Mortgage lenders have reduced their minimum FICO scores required to get approved; lenders are now less stringent with respect to loan-to-value restrictions; and, the piggyback loan has re-emerged as a popular home-buying option.

      Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have even gone so far as to reintroduce a program known as the Conventional 97, which is a three percent downpayment loan for borrowers with above-average credit; and to also create a brand-new 3% downpayment product known as the HomeReady™ loan.

      Both are exceptional vehicles for getting into homeownership.

      Even FHA loans are easier for which to get approved.

      FHA loans require downpayments of just 3.5% and its credit score minimum is in the 500s. Plus, the FHA lowered its mortgage insurance premium (MIP) structure in 2015 which makes FHA loans even more affordable to U.S. home buyers.

      FHA loans account for close to 25% of home loans made today.

      Other common low- and no-down payment choice include the VA loan via the Department of Veterans Affairs, which require no down payment whatsoever; and the USDA “Rural Housing” mortgage (which is actually available in many suburban cities, too).

      USDA loans are also no-money-down.

      What Are Today’s Mortgage Rates?

      Across the country, homes are going to contract quickly. Demand from buyers is huge and, because of today’s low rates and rising rents, the pool of potential buyers has stayed strong.

      Take a look at today’s real mortgage rates. Your social security number is not required to get started, and all quotes come with instant access to your live credit scores.

      Click to see today’s rates (May 3rd, 2016)

      The information contained on The Mortgage Reports website is for informational purposes only and is not an advertisement for products offered by Full Beaker. The views and opinions expressed herein are those of the author and do not reflect the policy or position of Full Beaker, its officers, parent, or affiliates.

      Try the Mortgage Calculator

      NAR Survey: Active Military Homebuyers Purchase at Younger Ages, Buy Larger and More Expensive Homes

      WASHINGTON, May 3, 2016 /PRNewswire/ – Differences in household demographics and affordable financing options spur homebuying demand for young active-service military members, causing them to significantly outpace the share of non-military homebuyers under the age of 35, according to the first-ever 2016 Veterans Active Military Home Buyers and Sellers Profile, which evaluates the differences of recent active-service and veteran home buyers and sellers1 compared to those who’ve never served. The survey also found that while nearly all veteran and non-military buyers and sellers use an agent, usage is practically universal among active-service military members.

      NAR’s survey gathered greater insight into how each population of buyers and sellers differs and is similar to those who have never served in the military. Of all homebuyers, 18 percent identified as veterans and three percent as active-military. Of all home sellers, 21 percent identified as veterans and one percent as active-military.

      Veterans and Active Military Homebuyers

      Veterans and Active Military Homebuyers

      The results revealed quite a few contrasts between active-service military buyers and buyers who’ve never served. At a median age of 34 years old, the typical active-service buyer was a lot younger than non-military buyers (40 years old) and was more likely to be married and have multiple children living in their household. As a result, they typically bought a larger home that cost more than those purchased by both non-military buyers and veterans. 

      Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, says young active-service buyers (ages 18-35) bought homes at a far greater rate (51 percent) than non-military buyers (34 percent). “Despite having a lower median income ($76,800), more stable job security and no down payment financing options give aspiring homeowners in the military a deserving advantage over their civilian peers,” he said. “Furthermore, their tendencies to marry and raise a family at an earlier age and carry less student debt make buying a home a more desirable and achievable option.”

      Veterans Affairs loans – which offer over 100 percent financing for veteran and active-service homebuyers – were the most popular loan type for active-service and veteran buyers, leading to the majority of active-service buyers financing their entire home purchase and veterans putting down a median down payment of 5 percent. For non-military buyers, the median down payment was 11 percent.

      Adds Yun, “Current data shows that VA loans perform remarkably well and are a safe and affordable choice. Their current seriously delinquent and homes in foreclosure rate is 2.78 percent versus 3.44 percent for non-VA loans.” 2

      “A place to call home is often times one of the few constants for the families of the brave men and women defending our country,” said NAR President Tom Salomone, broker-owner of Real Estate II Inc. in Coral Springs, Florida. “That’s why it’s so important to ensure that homeownership opportunities and affordable financing options exist for qualified military personnel, veterans and their families.”

      With the ability to obtain a VA loan, only five percent of veterans and three percent of active-service buyers said saving for a down payment was the most difficult step. Of those, only four percent of veterans and 13 percent of active-service buyers said student loan debt delayed saving. Sixty-two percent of veterans cited having other types of debt and 43 percent of active-service military referenced credit card debt.

      While a larger share of active-service military buyers had student loan debt compared to non-military buyers and veterans, their debt balances were typically lower. Among active-service members, 37 percent had student loan debt under $10,000 compared to 21 percent for those who’ve never served.

      Active-service buyers prefer large single-family homes  

      The median income of veteran and active-service member homebuyers in the survey was slightly lower than buyers who’ve never served in the military, which was $86,500. Active-service buyers typically bought a 2,170-square-foot home that cost more ($226,000) than those purchased by non-military buyers and veterans. Veteran buyers had a median income of $84,000, and they typically bought a 1,980-square-foot home costing $220,000

      Mirroring the general population of buyers, over 80 percent of both veterans and active-service buyers purchased a single-family home, with those currently serving purchasing single-family homes at the highest rate (87 percent).

      The primary reason for the home purchase for active-service military was job relocation, followed closely by the desire to own a home of their own. Compared to non-military buyers, veterans were more likely to want to be closer to friends and family or moving for retirement.

      Increased mobility means active-service and veteran buyers and sellers rely on real estate agents

      Veterans and active-service buyers purchased a home a lot further away from their previous residence (at 75 miles and 28 miles, respectively) than buyers who never served in the military (10 miles). Among the biggest factors influencing neighborhood choice, veterans were most influenced by the quality of the neighborhood, while convenience to their job was desired the most by active-service members. 

      While nearly all buyers predominantly used the Internet and a real estate agent during their home search, active-duty buyers used a real estate agent at an even higher rate (95 percent versus 88 percent for non-military buyers). As a group, they were also most likely to use mobile or tablet search engines and relocation companies during their search.

      “Many Realtors® are veterans themselves, who understand the unique housing needs of those serving our country,” says Salomone. “Whether it’s relocating to a completely new area across the country or needing to sell their home in a short timeframe, Realtors® are committed to helping active-service members and veterans succeed in their homeownership goals.”

      Some of the characteristics of active-service sellers differed from non-military sellers. They were younger, far more likely to have multiple children living in their household and sold a home in a suburban area at a far higher rate. Additionally, the use of an agent was highest for active-service military sellers (94 percent), who – likely dealing with relocating to a new area in a short timeframe – cited both wanting help marketing the home to potential buyers and help negotiating and dealing with buyers at a far higher rate than non-military sellers and veterans. Eighty-nine percent of veterans used an agent, on par with non-military sellers (90 percent).

      The most commonly cited reason for owners selling their home varied. For non-military sellers, the most commonly cited reason for selling their home was that it was too small (18 percent), while the most common reason cited by veterans was to be closer to friends and family (23 percent). Not surprisingly, job relocation for active-service military sellers was the most common reason for selling (43 percent).

      NAR is committed to educating more Realtors® about working with current and former military service members through its “Military Relocation Professional” certification program. This educational initiative available to Realtors® offers insights into finding housing solutions that best suit the needs of current and former military members while taking full advantage of their military benefits. To date, over 6,800 Realtors® have earned the certification.

      In July 2015, NAR mailed out a 128-question survey using a random sample weighted to be representative of sales on a geographic basis to 94,971 recent home buyers. The recent home buyers had to have purchased a primary residence home between July of 2014 and June of 2015. A total of 6,406 responses were received from primary residence buyers. After accounting for undeliverable questionnaires, the survey had an adjusted response rate of 6.7 percent. Eighteen percent of recent home buyers are veterans and three percent are active-duty service members. All information is characteristic of the 12-month period ending in June 2015 with the exception of income data, which are for 2014.

      The National Association of Realtors®, “The Voice for Real Estate,” is America’s largest trade association, representing 1.1 million members involved in all aspects of the residential and commercial real estate industries.

      1In the survey, NAR asked the following to determine veteran and active-duty service: “Are you or your spouse or partner currently: 1) an active-duty service member; 2) a veterans; or 3) neither.”

      2According to the Mortgage Bankers Association’s National Delinquency Survey.

      Information about NAR is available at www.realtor.org. This and other news releases are posted in the “News, Blogs and Videos” tab on the website.  Statistical data in this release, as well as other tables and surveys, are posted in the “Research and Statistics” tab.

      Photo – http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20160503/362862-INFO
      Logo – http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20150210/174673LOGO


      To view the original version on PR Newswire, visit:http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/nar-survey-active-military-homebuyers-purchase-at-younger-ages-buy-larger-and-more-expensive-homes-300261783.html

      SOURCE National Association of Realtors

      Related Links


      Precise, principled Hinsman owned realty firm for 40 years


      Make the most of your outdoor living space

      Springtime in Middle Tennessee is enough to make anybody want to move here. The past two weekends have spoiled us all rotten with an abundance of sunshine and the temperature set to just right. Provided you can manage your allergies, this is absolutely the best time of the year.

      May is National Barbecue Month, and our spring weather makes it easy for us to celebrate outdoors. Outdoor spaces have become a big draw to buyers. Whether your outdoor space is big or small, here are some ideas to update your space for your enjoyment or to entice buyers.

      Furnish it. From a bistro table on a small patio to a full-sized sectional sofa, outfit your outdoor living space with the right furnishings. It could be that your current furnishings simply need a cleaning, or it may be time to replace them. Think beyond the standard table and chairs. If the space is large enough, add a sofa or a loveseat.

      Light it up. While longer days provide excellent natural daylight, maximize the use of an outdoor space with the right lighting for nighttime use. Candles, lanterns and torches add a softer element while providing just the right amount of ambiance.

      Bring the inside out. These days, decks and patios are more than just a place to eat; they are outdoor living spaces. Bring some of the flair from inside your home to the outside by including an outdoor rug, pillows and wall art. You can even add outdoor Wi-Fi antennas to allow for strong Internet access.

      Make it social. Outdoor spaces are perfect for evening entertaining in the warmer months. Many stores sell wireless outdoor speakers so you can pipe in your favorite playlist. Outdoor televisions make a great option for hosting a watch party for a game or streaming a movie.

      Fire up the grill. If your budget allows, consider upgrading your space to include an outdoor kitchen. Options range from a grill and small refrigerator to a full-blown kitchen with an outdoor oven, wine cooler and sink. This setup is perfect for those who entertain often or enjoy dining outside.

      If you’re selling your home this season, be sure to pay attention to all of your living spaces, including those that are outside. A comfortable and welcoming outdoor living space adds to the charm, and sometimes value, of your home.

      Denise Creswell is president of the Greater Nashville Association of Realtors. A Realtor is a member of the National Association of Realtors who subscribes to its strict Code of Ethics. Contact her at 615-473-1663 or denise@denisecreswell.com.

      Inside spring’s real estate market in Middlesex County

      PERTH AMBOY - Spring has sprung, and so has the housing market. According to the latest monthly housing market reports from New Jersey Realtors, new listings in March were more numerous in Middlesex County — 996 single-family homes came to market, an increase of 7.9 percent over last year. In the townhouse/condo market, 289 new properties came to market, a 2.8 percent increase. The adult community market is soaring right now, with a 31.8 percent increase over last year at 174 new properties on the market.

      While many new listings came on the market, the months’ supply of inventory largely dropped due to high numbers of closed and pending sales. Single-family home closed sales were up 26.2 percent at 390 for the month, townhouse/condo closed sales totaled 113 for an increase of 1.8 percent, and adult community homes rose a huge 48.4 percent for a total of 92 closed sales.

      Median prices for single-family and townhouse/condo properties dropped slightly in March – $292,500 for a 0.8 percent decrease and $225,000 for a 0.9 percent decrease, respectively. The adult community median price, however, rose 20.2 percent to $150,250.

      “We’re seeing trends starting to emerge that suggest there are advantages on both sides of a home transaction in Middlesex County,” said Nicole Banbor, Executive Officer of the Middlesex County Association of Realtors. “If you’re thinking about getting into the market, contact a Realtor, who can provide in-depth knowledge of your local market.”

      To find a Realtor in Middlesex County, visit middlesexrealtor.com and select “Find a Realtor.” To access the most comprehensive monthly New Jersey housing market data, visit njrealtor.com/10k, or ask your Realtor for a copy.

      The Middlesex County Association of Realtors is comprised of more than 2,400 Realtor members and provides services and products they need to operate professionally. MCAR works to keep its diverse membership at the forefront of the industry to foster cooperation and enable its members to better serve the public. For more information, visit middlesexrealtor.com.

      Realtor is a registered collective membership mark which may be used only by real estate professionals who are members of the National Association of Realtors and subscribe to its strict Code of Ethics. ShowingTime/10K is a research and analytics firm that serves Realtor associations, MLS organizations, brokers and other real estate companies. ShowingTIme/10K specializes in localized and elegant housing market reports with the goal of breathing life into data. For more information, visit 10kresearch.com.

      Realtors® Give Homebuyers Leg Up in Competitive Spring Market

      WASHINGTON, April 13, 2016 /PRNewswire/ — With demand exceeding supply in markets across the U.S., homebuyers may be facing an uphill battle to find the perfect home this spring. Total housing inventory at the end of February was 1.88 million existing homes available for sale, 1.1 percent lower than last year and at a 4.4 month supply at the current sales pace, which is below the roughly six month supply level needed for a balanced market between buyers and sellers.

      In competitive markets like this, it is important that homebuyers work with a Realtor®.  Realtors® who have the National Association of Realtors®‘ Accredited Buyer’s Representative® designation are specialized practitioners focused on working directly with buyer-clients and helping them through the challenges of finding the right home in a seller’s market.

      “When there is more demand than inventory homes sell quickly, prices rise and bidding wars can start,” said NAR President Tom Salomone, broker-owner of Real Estate II Inc. in Coral Springs, Florida. “A Realtor® with an ABR® designation is a home buyer’s upper hand; they understand local markets and can negotiate on behalf of their buyer-clients.”

      Adds Salomone, “Buying a home is often one of the biggest decisions of a person’s life, and having a Realtor® in their corner is the ultimate advantage. They are there to guide consumers through the complexities of this life-changing transaction.”  

      NAR’s 2015 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers asked recent homebuyers what they look for when deciding on a real estate agent; 53 percent said they were looking for someone who could help them find the right home to purchase, and 12 percent said they wanted someone who can help them negotiate the terms of sale. The report also found that homebuyers look at a median of 10 houses before deciding on one to purchase, and the typical search lasts for 10 weeks.

      “Having a real estate expert with specific knowledge of the local market and purchase process can mean the difference between a homebuyer getting that 10th house and having to search for another,” said Salomone.

      In 2016, the ABR® designation celebrates its 20th anniversary, with over 28,000 ABR® designees. Realtors® with the designation are experienced real estate agents who have completed advanced training in representing the specific needs of buyers during a real estate transaction and have unique, up-to-date insights on the best way to approach their local market.

      The designation is awarded by the Real Estate Buyer’s Agent Council, a wholly-owned subsidiary of NAR and the world’s largest association of real estate professionals focusing specifically on representing the real estate buyer.

      To find out more about the ABR® designation and the homebuying process, consumers can visit rebac.net/home-buying.

      The National Association of Realtors®, “The Voice for Real Estate,” is America’s largest trade association, representing more than 1.1 million members involved in all aspects of the residential and commercial real estate industries.                                                       

      Information about NAR is available at www.realtor.org. This and other news releases are posted in the “News, Blogs and Videos” tab on the website.

      Logo – http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20150210/174673LOGO

      To view the original version on PR Newswire, visit:http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/realtors-give-homebuyers-leg-up-in-competitive-spring-market-300250911.html

      SOURCE National Association of Realtors

      Related Links


      Rental surge: Why more people are opting out of homeownership

      © 2006-2016 HW Publishing LLC. All rights reserved. | Privacy Policy | Terms of Use

      NAR Video Spotlight: Window to the Law—New Effort to Combat Money Laundering

      Editor’s Note: This is part of a monthly video series from the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® to inform and educate members about important aspects of being a REALTOR®. Watch for this series each month in RISMedia’s Daily e-News.

      The NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® (NAR) recent Window to the Law video highlights the Treasury Department’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network’s (FinCEN’s) efforts to curtail money laundering by targeting certain high-end real estate transactions in the Borough of Manhattan, NY, and Miami-Dade County, Fla.

      Click here to view the slide presentation for this video.

      Click here to view the transcript from this video. 

      To view this video on NAR’s website, click here.

      First-time buyers struggle as demand for housing chafes against dwindling supply

      Munger Place in Dallas, Texas (credit: Activerain)

      Munger Place in Dallas, Texas (credit: Activerain)

      Homebuyers, take heed — buying a home these days can be as hostile as an arms race.

      Though the economy is thriving with low unemployment and mortgage rates at record-breaking lows, the housing market supply hasn’t kept pace. All this as affordability continues to outpace wage growth in an overwhelming majority of counties with populations over 100,000.

      The result is that first-time home buyers are especially deterred, the Wall Street Journal reported. Last year, they accounted for less than a third of all home purchases — the lowest in nearly 30 years, according to the National Association of Realtors.

      As real estate brokers gear up for the peak of the sales season — springtime through June — the squeeze will be all the more arresting.

      Some markets are hit worse than others. Only a quarter of U.S. counties larger than 100,000 people have real estate markets that did not see a decrease in affordability since last year, an analysis from RealtyTrac showed.

      Even places like the Dallas metro area, one of the most historically affordable markets in the country, have not been immune. Since 2014, the Dallas region saw 13 months of consecutive year-to-year price gains above 8 percent — nearly twice the rate of the 4.7 percent national average.

      “I knew things were competitive, but I didn’t expect it to be this competitive,” Nina Sastrodihardjo, a procurement manager for Hewlett Packard, told the Journal. She had to resort to an aggressive strategy in order to buy her Plano, Texas house, which she secured for $6,000 above the asking pricing and an expiration date on the offer.

      “You have to tackle it like a project manager,” she said. [WSJ]Cathaleen Chen