Wednesday, December 16, 2009

OBX is a great place to vacation and buy property

Looking for a good investment?
The Outer Banks of North Carolina is a great place to start.  2nd home loans are available and can provide for a future retirement home or a great tax write off.  In addition, there are opportunities available for you to be able to purchase a home that will almost pay for itself while providing the comfort of a get away when you need time away from home.
I have sold and owned property on the OBX for years, there is no better time than now to look into property there.

Give me a call and we can discuss your options.
Chrisine Parrish Va Realtor, NC Associate Broker

Are you thinking about selling and are upside down with your mortgage?

Short Sale Heaven Coming April 5th 2010
Treasury sets guidance to simplify "short sales"
Read on:

If you want to discuss this please call me I have some answers that will help you.  You may e mail me too @


Wednesday, December 9, 2009

"If You Don't Buy a House Now, You're Stupid or Broke"

Interest rates are at historic lows but cyclical trends suggest they will soon rise. Home buyers may never see such a chance again, writes Marc Roth

By Marc Roth


If You Don't Buy a House Now, You're Stupid or Broke

Well, you may not be stupid or broke. Maybe you already have a house and you don't want to move. Or maybe you're a Trappist monk and have forsworn all earthly possessions. Or whatever. But if you want to buy a house, now is the time, and if you don't act soon, you will regret it. Here's why: historically low interest rates.

As of today, the average 30-year fixed-rate loan with no points or fees is around 5%. That, as the graph above—which you can find on—shows, is the lowest the rate has been in nearly 40 years.

In fact, rates are so well below historic averages that it should make all current and prospective homeowners take notice of this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

And it is exactly that, based on what the graph shows us. Let's look at the point on the far left.

In 1970 the rate was approximately 7.25%. After hovering there for a couple of years, it began a trend upward, landing near 10% in late 1973. It settled at 8.5% to 9% from 1974 to the end of 1976. After the rise to 10%, that probably seemed O.K. to most home buyers.

But they weren't happy soon thereafter. From 1977 to 1981, a period of only 60 months, the 30-year fixed rate climbed to 18%. As I mentioned in one of my previous articles, my dad was one of those unluckily stuck needing a loan at that time.

Interest Rate Lessons

And when rates started to decline after that, they took a long time to recede to previous levels. They hit 9% for a brief time in 1986 and bounced around 10% to 11% until 1990. For the next 11 years through 2001, the rates slowly ebbed and flowed downward, ranging from 7% to 9%. We've since spent the last nine years, until very recently, at 6% to 7%. So you can see why 5% is so remarkable.

So, what can we learn from the historical trends and numbers?

First, rates have far further to move upward than downward; for more than 30 years, 7% was the low and 18% the high. The norm was 9% in the 1970s, 10% in the mid-1980s through the early 1990s, 7% to 8% for much of the 1990s, and 6% only over the last handful of years.

Second, the last time the long-term trends reversed from low to high, it took more than 20 years (1970 to 1992) for the rate to get back to where it was, and 30 years to actually start trending below the 1970 low.

Finally, the most important lesson is to understand the actual financial impact the rate has on the cost of purchasing and paying off a home.

Every quarter-point change in interest rates is equivalent to approximately $6,000 for every $100,000 borrowed over the course of a 30-year fixed. While different in each region, for the sake of simplicity, let's assume that the average person is putting $40,000 down and borrowing $200,000 to pay the price of a typical home nationwide. Thus, over the course of the life of the loan, each quarter-point move up in interest rates will cost that buyer $12,000.
Loan Costs

Stay with me now. We are at 5%. As you can see by the graph above, as the economy stabilizes, it is reasonable for us to see 30-year fixed rates climb to 6% within the foreseeable future and probably to a range of 7% to 8% when the economy is humming again. If every quarter of a point is worth $12,000 per $200,000 borrowed, then each point is worth almost $50,000.

Let's put that into perspective. You have a good stable job (yes, unemployment is at 10%, but another way of looking at that figure is that most of us have good stable jobs). You would like to own a $240,000 home. However, even though home prices have steadied, you may be thinking you can get another $5,000 or $10,000 discount if you wait (never mind the $8,500 or $6,500 tax credit due to run out next spring). Or you may be waiting for the news to tell you the economy is "more stable" and it's safe to get back in the pool. In exchange for what you may think is prudence, you will risk paying $50,000 more per point in interest rate changes between now and the time you decide you are ready to buy. And you are ignoring the fact that according to the Case-Shiller index, home prices in most regions have been trending back up for the last several months.

If you are someone who is looking to buy or upgrade in the $350,000-to-$800,000 home price range, and many people out there are, then you're borrowing $300,000 to $600,000. At 7%, the $300,000 loan will cost just under $150,000 more over the lifetime, and the $600,000 loan an additional $300,000, if rates move up just 2% before you pull the trigger.

What I'm trying to impress upon everyone is that if you are planning on being a homeowner now and/or in the foreseeable future, or if you are looking to move your family into a bigger home, then pay more attention to the interest rates than the price of the home. If you have a steady job, good credit, and the down payment, then you really are being offered the gift of a lifetime.

Marc Roth is the founder and president of Home Warranty of America, which touches just about every part of the real estate industry since it sells through builders, real estate agents, title companies, mortgage companies, and directly to consumers.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Proactive or Reactive?

Proactive or Reactive?
Steven Covey says principles are "natural laws that govern the world." To attain a proactive mind-set, he emphasizes one must create beneficial relationships, build trust and commit to self-renewal. "To be trusted, you must be trustworthy over time," Covey asserts. As for self-renewal, he says renewal means "preserving and enhancing your greatest asset - yourself.”  

It's up to You

Everyone makes choices. Their outlook on life, whether at home, at work, behind the wheel or at the theater, directly correlates to the decision to be either positive or negative. In essence, it's as simple as whether you see the glass half full or half empty. As author Stephen R. Covey puts it in his much publicized book, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People,* you can choose to be proactive or you can choose to be reactive. He takes his theory a step further, saying that a proactive stance leads to greater success and contentment. From that perspective, a reactive person is sabotaging himself or herself.

Covey contends that every single day, people have 100 opportunities to be proactive or reactive. Let's say you're in your car on the freeway and an overly zealous driver is practically sitting on your tail in the fast lane. You're driving at the speed limit, actually a couple of miles faster than the law permits. But the motorist behind you thinks he's at the Indy 500. You can stay where you are, infuriate him and possibly get rear-ended. Or, you can move out of harm's way, to that opening in the right-hand lane and let him pass. He's in the wrong, and there's no question about it. Will you follow his lead? Will you be proactive or reactive? It's up to you.

"If you ignore the principles of human effectiveness, you (can) work very hard, but still not get what you want," Covey says. Say that you've been working with a prospective client for the past three weeks, really putting a lot of effort into the new relationship. Then you learn, through some mutual acquaintance, that this would-be client ended up going to a competitor for the same service. It happens, and you don't have to necessarily blame yourself. But, you should take time to reflect on the past three weeks. Were you really proactive or were you reactive? How did you interact with the client?

Covey says principles are "natural laws that govern the world." To attain a proactive mind-set, he emphasizes one must create beneficial relationships, build trust and commit to self-renewal. "To be trusted, you must be trustworthy over time," Covey asserts. As for self-renewal, he says renewal means "preserving and enhancing your greatest asset - yourself.”