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Archive for the ‘LOUDOUN COUNTY, VA’ Category

October 1, 2011 the government plans to scale back the size of “jumbo” mortgages it guarantees in high-cost real estate markets, which includes Washington, D.C. area and Northern Virginia counties that I serve as a real estate agent: Arlington County VA, Fairfax County VA, Fauquier County VA, Loudoun County VA, and Prince William County VA.

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On October 1, 2011 the maximum loan amount that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac guarantee is set to decrease from $729,750 to $625,500. This might make mortgages more expensive or more difficult to get for buyers in high-cost areas, MSNBC.com reports.

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For example, after October 1, 2011 a borrower who seeks a government-backed mortgage for a $1-million property may have to come up with a $370,000 down payment instead of $270,000, Rob Chrisman, a mortgage banking consultant from San Rafael, Calif., told MSNBC.

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Up until 2008, any loan more than $418,000 was considered a jumbo loan, but that later swelled to $625,500 and then was temporarily set at $729,750 (which expires at the end of September 2011).

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Once the current jumbo loan limit expires, lenders who want to make loans OVER $625,500 either will have to hold onto the mortgage themselves or find a private investor to purchase it.

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NOTE: This is only my personal opinion. It will be interesting to watch how decreasing the maximum loan amount will affect home prices in Washington, D.C. area.

It may have two-fold effect:

  1. The prices for expensive homes may DECREASE as there will be FEWER buyers able to afford the bigger down payment requirement and thus the supply of homes will be greater than demand for them.
  2. However, the prices for homes that are now in $550K-$750K price range may INCREASE as there will be greater demand for those homes because buyers who would have purchased homes with the $729,750 loans now will qualify only for $625,500 and many of them cannot afford bigger down payment.

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The Federal Government needs to do whatever it needs to do to protect the TAXPAYERS. In general, the monthly mortgage payment should NOT exceed 31% of the monthly income, and the TOTAL monthly debt payments should NOT exceed 45% of the monthly income. Clearly, the market shift is not over and we need to accept it with a smile – maybe one day it will be a good story to tell the Grandchildren and collectively learn from the experience. Cheers!

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NOTE: Advertisement Ads which appear in most posts on this Blog are run by WordPress and do NOT necessarily represent the views of Vivianne Rutkowski or Keller Williams Realty. Visitors to this blog are NOT obligated to click the ads to visit this blog..

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The New York Times reported in March 2011 that ARM mortgage loans are on the rise.

Shortly after the subprime mortgage crisis, adjustable-rate mortgages were often blamed for leading to soaring rates of loan defaults and home foreclosures — which ultimately caused many borrowers to shun them due to its higher risk than fixed-rate mortgages. Now more borrowers are revisiting ARMs.

ARMs, which have low initial interest rates that change over time, were improved and are not exactly the same as they were before the subprime crisis. Lenders have introduced more conservative ARM products that no longer offer extra-low “teaser” rates that adjust every six months or “pick-a-pay” and “option” features that let borrowers pay less than the monthly interest that will leave them with a bigger bill later on, The New York Times reports.

The ARMs most in demand are “5/1” and “7/1,” which have fixed interest rates for the first five or seven years and then adjust annually at a capped rate.

Bank of America has reported a higher interest in its ARM products, with nearly twice as many ARM transactions last month than last year.  ARMs account for 10 percent of all of its mortgages, the bank reports.

SOURCE:  The New York Times

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NOTE from Vivianne: There is nothing wrong with the adjustable-rate mortgages as loan products as long as the ARM WAS FULLY EXPLAINED BY THE LOAN OFFICER and THE BORROWER UNDERSTANDS THE CONSEQUENCES. ARMs might be good for borrowers who expect their financial situation to improve in a few years. ARMs might be good for Families where Mothers plan to go back to work after raising the children and the Family Income increases.

Of course the million dollar question is: what if that does not happen??? What if the market declines?  It is wise to take the conservative approach, but EVERY borrower’s circumstances are different and in the end it is the Borrower/Purchaser who makes the FINAL decision and the one who bears the consequences.

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NOTE from Vivianne: real estate market is very LOCAL. In Northern Virginia area: Fairfax County, Loudoun County, Prince William County the real estate market stabilized and home prices in some neighborhoods/packets improved since 2007. Arlington County VA real estate and home prices experienced the least decline.

But the market is still volatile and it mean that home prices might somewhat fluctuate in the future in Fairfax County VA, Loudoun County VA, Prince William County VA and the metropolitan Washington, D.C. and Northern Virginia area. ARM mortgage loan home purchasers should consider it in their decision.

Northern Virginia home buyers may contact me directly for a NO Obligation Home Buyer Consultation.

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VIVIANNE RUTKOWSKI

REALTOR®, ABR, GRI, SFR, CHRE, CDPE
Licensed in Virginia

KELLER WILLIAMS REALTY
50 Catoctin Circle,  NE,  Suite #101
Leesburg,    VA      20176
Toll-Free: 877.765.3799
Mobile: 540.229.5429
E-Fax: 888.864.3374
E-mail: VivianneRutkowski@gmail.com
WEBSITE: www.RealtorVivianneRutkowski.com
WEBSITE: www.RealEstateWithViv.com
BLOG: http://VivianneRutkowski.WordPress.com
TRULIA:  http://www.trulia.com/profile/VivianneRutkowski/
ZILLOW: http://www.zillow.com/profile/VivianneRutkowski/

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Clear Capital’s Home Data Index report says a few cities are already on the rebound and showing some gains in home values – the Washington, D.C. area home values are expected to increase 6.5%

This is not true for every market as home prices are expected to continue to fall in most metro areas.   

“Overall we’re seeing prices start to stabilize going into 2011, but unfortunately some of those markets will stabilize in the downward direction where others will see a sustained recovery,” Alex Villacorta, senior statistician at Clear Capital, told MSNBC.

Clear Capital takes into account unemployment rates, foreclosure rates, and real estate inventory in its index.

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The following is a list of 10 cities that Clear Capital expects will rise in property value in 2011:

1. Washington, D.C.: 6.5 percent price increase
2. Houston: 3.6 percent price increase
3. Honolulu: 3.4 percent price increase
4. Memphis, Tenn.: 3.2 percent price increase
5. Columbus, Ohio: 2.1 percent price increase
6. Dallas: 1.4 percent price increase
7. New York: 1.3 percent price increase
8. Birmingham, Ala.: 0.9 percent price increase
9. Pittsburgh: 0.8 percent price increase
10. New Orleans: 0.5 percent price increase

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Meanwhile, Clear Capital reports that real estate markets in Florida and the Western parts of the U.S.—such as cities in Arizona and “Breadbasket metros” like Oklahoma City, Okla., and Dayton, Ohio— most likely will see the largest price drops in home values over the year.

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Virginia Beach, Va., is expected to have the highest drop in 2011, with a 12.8 percent price decrease, according to Clear Capital report.

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SOURCE: MSNBC

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Interest Rates for FHA Loans, VA Loans, and 30 Year & 15 Year Conventional Fixed Mortgage Loans in Arlington County Virginia, Fairfax County Virginia, Fauquier County Virginia, Loudoun County Virginia, and Prince William County Virginia

To check the latest interest rates for FHA loans, as well as 30 year & 15 year conventional fixed mortgage loans and VA loans in USA and in Arlington County Virginia, Fairfax County Virginia, Fauquier County Virginia, Loudoun County Virginia, Prince William County Virginia, visit:

http://www.realtorviviannerutkowski.com/mortgagenewspopup.shtml

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The 2010 independent audit of the Federal Housing Administration, a branch of HUD, showed the agency’s financial condition has improved from 2009, when it announced its capital reserve fund had fallen below the 2 percent level mandated by Congress. The annual audit showed that the capital ratio for the single-family portfolio rose from 0.42 percent to 0.79 percent over the year 2009.

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The audit, which calculates the financial condition of the agency’s insurance fund, also showed the mortgage insurance fund grew more than $1 billion in 2010 and reserves are expected to remain above $9.9 billion even if home prices were to fall further. The audit indicated that FHA will most likely NOT require a bailout now or in the future.

“As the leading advocate for home ownership, the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® strongly supports FHA’s mortgage insurance programs,” NAR President Ron Phipps said. “FHA announced major changes earlier this year and took critical steps to strengthen and ensure its long-term financial soundness, and those efforts have paid off.”

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FHA’s audit reflected a change in home values, and was not tied to excessive increases in defaults or unsound underwriting practices. In fact, the credit quality of FHA borrowers has increased significantly in the last several years; the average credit score for FHA customers has grown to 693, and less than 8 percent of the agency’s purchase borrowers this year had FICO scores below 620. The capital reserves are not FHA’s only reserve fund; FHA also has a cash reserve account separate from the capital reserve – and actual total reserves have grown to $33 billion.

“The future health of FHA’s reserve funds depends heavily on the direction of home values in the coming years, as the higher the home prices the more the agency collects from the borrowers for insuring the FHA loans. However, home values have shown patterns of stabilization over the past 18 months, and in a recent independent survey, most economists expect modest home price gains over the next 3 years, so FHA’s reserves should steadily improve,” Phipps said.

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FHA has played a key role in providing mortgage liquidity to qualified home buyers in recent years and has greatly increased its market share; according to the agency, FHA guaranteed nearly 40 percent of home purchases in the past year.

National Association of REALTORS® is working closely with FHA to reassess and amend their lending policies so even more qualified home buyers can become home owners.

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To check the latest interest rates for FHA loans, as well as 30 year & 15 year conventional fixed mortgage loans and VA loans in USA and in Arlington County Virginia, Fairfax County Virginia, Fauquier County Virginia, Loudoun County Virginia, Prince William County Virginia, visit:

http://www.realtorviviannerutkowski.com/mortgagenewspopup.shtml

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NOTE: For additional financing and mortgage details always contact your lender.

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SOURCE: National Association of REALTORS®

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NOTE: Advertisement Ads which appear in most posts on this Blog are run by WordPress and do NOT necessarily represent the views of Vivianne Rutkowski or Keller Williams Realty. Visitors to this blog are NOT obligated to click the ads to visit this blog.

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The sluggish economy and the sluggish housing market of the 2007-2010 influenced homeowners’ preferences as to home space, designs, and floor plans.

The most dominant home features that homeowners look for in the homes now are affordability, and function over extravagance, according to the latest American Institute of Architects Home Design Trends Survey for the second quarter of 2010.

Here are a few highlights from the report, based on nearly 300 residential architects who were surveyed by American Institute of Architects Home Design Trends about the design preferences of U.S. households.

WHAT’S IN                                    

Home offices: More people are working out of their home or telecommuting, prompting more home owners to want a dedicated workspace in their homes.

Outdoor living areas: Home owners want to expand their living space into the outdoors and are seeking to incorporate more outdoor living elements into their lifestyles, AIA Chief Economist Kermit Baker said in a public statement about the survey.

Mud rooms: The need for additional closets and other storage space, as well as the increasing informality of space in the home, is driving more home owners to want mud rooms, according to the report.

Energy-saving features: Home owners are seeking energy efficient products and systems that will reduce their rising utility costs. Those energy efficient products and materials that have boasted the greatest increase in interest in recent months include items such as double and triple glazed windows, tankless water heaters, and low maintenance materials.

WHAT’S OUT

  • Media rooms/home theaters
  • Exercise/fitness rooms
  • Hobby/game rooms
  • Home workshops
  • Kid’s wings/guest wings
  • Interior kennels
  • Interior greenhouses
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NOTE from Vivianne:  I must say that I do NOT necessarily agree with the result of the survey which indicated that home exercise and fitness rooms are on the way out – to the contrary, I believe that exercise/fitness rooms will gain in popularity simply because they are closely tied to our HEALTH and, therefore, not merely a passing fad.  I would definitely keep the space available for exercise/fitness room.

As for media rooms/home theaters, they are very popular with some home buyers, but like fireplaces, swimming pools, or wet bars, media rooms and home theaters are a matter of personal preference.

SOURCE:  REALTOR® Magazine

 

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Fairfax County, Virginia and Loudoun County, Virginia are the counties with the highest MEDIAN income in the USA for the last few consecutive years.

Read more about it on my March 19, 2010 blog: https://viviannerutkowski.wordpress.com/2010/03/19/loudoun-county-virginia-tops-the-list-of-americas-25-richest-counties-in-2008/

However, the Washington, D.C. region remains also one of the most expensive in the country.

The Washington area families now need to bring home six figure salaries to feel secure, a new study shows.

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In order to maintain “basic economic security,” families of four based in Fairfax County, VA — the most expensive in the Washington region — need to earn $108,000 to feel financially secure, according to a detailed cost-of-living analysis by local organization Wider Opportunities for Women.

Meanwhile, the typical single childless worker in Fairfax County earns an income suggesting economic security, the WOW study says.

In other words: it costs money to raise children, which in turn raises a question: are parents paid enough by the society for raising the next generation?   Is having children becoming a privilege, and not the biological right simply because of economics?

I do NOT mean here the irresponsible right to have an UNLIMITED number of children. Only 1-3 children as a replacement of the older generation.

The WOW study found out that Montgomery County families in Maryland who only needed $80,000 two years ago, now need to make $104,000.

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To feel secure, study participants say they need food, a roof over their heads, a doctor, and a small emergency fund.

However, we should mention also a retirement fund for the parents and a college fund for the children, and a downpayment for a house.

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“We’re facing a growing gap between the top and the bottom, with increasing unemployment and job losses and people making less than they did a couple years ago,” Audrey Singer, a demographer with the Brookings Institution, told The Washington Post.

“There’s been a lot of concern about how people can make ends meet in a region such as this one, which has been fairly buffeted during the recession.”

The median household income of Washingtonians is roughly $85,000, according to the Post report, and unemployment rates are well below the national average.

To read the full report visit: http://www.wtop.com/?nid=25&sid=2075378#

and   http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/10/10/AR2010101003347.html

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NOTE: Observations in this blog are personal views of the agent.

SOURCE:  WTOP,  The Washington Post

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NOTE: Advertisement Ads which appear in most posts on this Blog are run by WordPress and do NOT necessarily represent the views of Vivianne Rutkowski or Keller Williams Realty. Visitors to this blog are NOT obligated to click the ads to visit this blog.

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Loudoun County Virginia adopted the Budget for the new Fiscal Year 2010 – 2011, which begins July 1, 2010 and ends June 30, 2011.

Compare the tables for real property (real estate) and personal property (vehicles, etc.)  tax rates for Northern Virginia counties.

Loudoun County Virginia real estate and personal property tax rates per $100 of assessed value are as follows:

LOUDOUN COUNTY REAL PROPERTY PERSONAL PROPERTY
TAX RATE $1.30  $4.20

NOTE: The above information is deemed to be accurate, but is subject to errors and ommissions and should not be relied upon without verification – contact the county directly to confirm.

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NOTE: Advertisement Ads which appear in most posts on this Blog are run by WordPress and do NOT necessarily represent the views of Vivianne Rutkowski or Keller Williams Realty. Visitors to this blog are NOT obligated to click the ads to visit this blog.

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