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Online Closings are here!

Online Closings are here!

Online Closings are here!

Online Closings benefits Online Closings are here! Learn about digital closings and how to get your practice ready. Real estate closings will change over the next 2-3 years and move in the direction of less paper and more technology. Lenders are recognizing the efficiency and cost savings associated with processing loans digitally. Consumers are getting much more comfortable conducting business digitally. Our state has joined the movement by authorizing Remote Online Notarization (RON) effective Jan. 1, 2020. Creating a better closing experience while reducing risks for all parties. But this transformation must be carefully managed to avoid a negative impact on land ownership records and the mortgage finance engine driving our nation’s economy and personal wealth. Title companies are developing innovative and secure ways to improve the closing experience for our customers.

 

What is RON?

It is an acronym for remote online notarization. RON is the means used to electronically notarize a document using a third-party (i.e. vendor) software platform which records the visual and audio communications of participants to the signing of a document even when the participants are not physically located in the same place. The practice was authorized in Florida on Jan. 1, 2020.

 

How does RON differ from “electronic notarization”?

Electronic notarization, first authorized in Florida in 2007, allows for the notarization of electronic documents by a notary public using an electronic signature and applying an electronic seal. Unlike RON, the principal must be in the same location as the notary public, the computer or other electronic device need not be connected to the internet, and there is no requirement that the notarization procedure be recorded. Also, unlike RON, the notary need not maintain an activity journal and identity is confirmed by the notary through personal knowledge or presentation of a valid form of identification. Electronic notarization is governed by Sec. 117.021, F.

May the signatures of foreign nationals be notarized remotely or is it only available to U.S. citizens?

Although the RON law allows for the notarization of foreign nationals,  All signers must present a form of identification subject to verification. 

Do I need to obtain lender approval if the borrower wishes to sign the loan documents remotely via RON?

Check the written loan closing instructions and contact the lender for approval to close digitally and utilize RON.
 

Ready to make a Move?

Bardell Real Estate are the experts in helping you with your selling, buying or renting needs near Orlando, Florida. Make your Disney area experience a forever memorable one. Call us now to speak to a real estate agent.

October Home Sales Report

October Home Sales Report

WASHINGTON (November 19, 2020) – October Home Sales Report shows and upward trend marking five consecutive months of month-over-month gains, according to the National Association of Realtors®. All four major regions reported both month-over-month and year-over-year growth, with the Midwest experiencing the greatest monthly increases.

October 2020 Existing-Home Sales

October Home Sales Report,1 https://www.nar.realtor/existing-home-sales, completed transactions that include single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops, increased 4.3% from September to a seasonally-adjusted annual rate of 6.85 million in October. Overall, sales rose year-over-year, up 26.6% from a year ago (5.41 million in October 2019).

“Considering that we remain in a period of stubbornly high unemployment relative to pre-pandemic levels, the housing sector has performed remarkably well this year,” said Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist.

While coronavirus-induced shutdowns hindered virtually all markets, Yun says the housing industry has mounted an impressive rebound.

“The surge in sales in recent months has now offset the spring market losses,” he said. “With news that a COVID-19 vaccine will soon be available, and with mortgage rates projected to hover around 3% in 2021, I expect the market’s growth to continue into 2021.” Yun forecasts existing-home sales to rise by 10% to 6 million in 2021.

The median home October Homes Sales Report was $313,000, up 15.5% from October 2019 ($271,100), as prices increased in every region. October’s national price increase marks 104 straight months of year-over-year gains.

Total housing inventory3 at the end of October totaled 1.42 million units, down 2.7% from September and down 19.8% from one year ago (1.77 million). Unsold inventory sits at an all-time low 2.5-month supply at the current sales pace, down from 2.7 months in September and down from the 3.9-month figure recorded in October 2019.

“Homebuilders’ confidence has soared even though the actual production has not,” Yun said. “All measures, such as reduction to lumber tariffs and expansion of vocational training, need to be considered to significantly boost supply and construct new housing.”

Yun’s call for an increase in newly built homes comes on the heels of NAR’s quarterly Metropolitan Median Area Prices and Affordability report, which found that single-family existing-home prices rose in all of the 181 metropolitan areas NAR tracks. Sixty-five percent of those metros show double-digit price increases. Yun says replenishing the short supply of homes would help decelerate rising costs and improve market affordability.

Properties typically remained on the market for 21 days in October, seasonally even with September and down from 36 days in October 2019. Seventy-two percent of homes sold in October 2020 were on the market for less than a month.

First-time buyers were responsible for 32% of sales in October, up from the 31% in both September 2020 and October 2019. NAR’s 2020 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers – released last week4 – revealed that the annual share of first-time buyers was 31%.

Individual investors or second-home buyers, who account for many cash sales, purchased 14% of homes in October, a small increase from the 12% figure recorded in September 2020 and equal to October 2019. All-cash sales accounted for 19% of transactions in October, up from 18% in September but unchanged from October 2019.

Distressed sales5 – foreclosures and short sales – represented less than 1% of sales in October, equal to September’s percentage but down from 2% in October 2019.

“Faced with many uncertainties in 2020, the real estate industry has been able to meet surprisingly strong homebuying demand and help lead our country’s economic recovery,” said NAR President Charlie Oppler, a Realtor® from Franklin Lakes, N.J., and broker/owner of Prominent Properties Sotheby’s International Realty. “As we continue to help consumers secure housing and property, we will also remain vigilant in working to expand housing options, equality and affordability for all who are entering the marketplace.”

According to Freddie Mac, the average commitment rate(link is external) for a 30-year, conventional, fixed-rate mortgage decreased to 2.83% in October, down from 2.89% in September. The average commitment rate across all of 2019 was 3.94%.

Single-family and Condo/Co-op Sales

Single-family home sales sat at a seasonally-adjusted annual rate of 6.12 million in October, up 4.1% from 5.88 million in September, and up 26.7% from one year ago. The median existing single-family home price was $317,700 in October, up 16.0% from October 2019.

Existing condominium and co-op October Homes Sales Report were recorded at a seasonally-adjusted annual rate of 730,000 units in October, up 5.8% from September and up 25.9% from one year ago. The median existing condo price was $273,600 in October, an increase of 10.3% from a year ago.

Regional Breakdown

Median home prices increased at double-digit rates in each of the four major regions from one year ago.

September 2020 saw existing-home sales in the Northeast climb 4.7%, recording an annual rate of 900,000, a 30.4% increase from a year ago. The median price in the Northeast was $356,500, up 20.2% from October 2019.

October Home Sales Report jumped 8.6% in the Midwest to an annual rate of 1,640,000 in October, up 28.1% from a year ago. The median price in the Midwest was $243,500, a 16.7% increase from October 2019.

October Home Sales Report in the South increased 3.2% to an annual rate of 2.91 million in October, up 26.5% from the same time one year ago. The median price in the South was $272,500, a 15.7% increase from a year ago.

October Home Sales Report in the West inched up 1.4% to an annual rate of 1,400,000 in October, an 22.8% increase from a year ago. The median price in the West was $467,800, up 15.1% from October 2019.

The National Association of Realtors® is America’s largest trade association, representing more than 1.4 million members involved in all aspects of the residential and commercial real estate industries.

# # #

For local information, please contact the local association of Realtors® for data from local multiple listing services (MLS). Local MLS data is the most accurate source of sales and price information in specific areas, although there may be differences in reporting methodology.

NOTE: NAR’s Pending Home Sales Index for October is scheduled for release on November 30, and Existing-Home Sales for November will be released December 22; release times are 10:00 a.m. ET.


1 Existing-home sales, which include single-family, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops, are based on transaction closings from Multiple Listing Services. Changes in sales trends outside of MLSs are not captured in the monthly series. NAR rebenchmarks home sales periodically using other sources to assess overall home sales trends, including sales not reported by MLSs.

Existing-home sales, based on closings, differ from the U.S. Census Bureau’s series on new single-family home sales, which are based on contracts or the acceptance of a deposit. Because of these differences, it is not uncommon for each series to move in different directions in the same month. In addition, existing-home sales, which account for more than 90% of total home sales, are based on a much larger data sample – about 40% of multiple listing service data each month – and typically are not subject to large prior-month revisions.

The annual rate for a particular month represents what the total number of actual sales for a year would be if the relative pace for that month were maintained for 12 consecutive months. Seasonally adjusted annual rates are used in reporting monthly data to factor out seasonal variations in resale activity. For example, home sales volume is normally higher in the summer than in the winter, primarily because of differences in the weather and family buying patterns. However, seasonal factors cannot compensate for abnormal weather patterns.

Single-family data collection began monthly in 1968, while condo data collection began quarterly in 1981; the series were combined in 1999 when monthly collection of condo data began. Prior to this period, single-family homes accounted for more than nine out of 10 purchases. Historic comparisons for total home sales prior to 1999 are based on monthly single-family sales, combined with the corresponding quarterly sales rate for condos.

2 The median price is where half sold for more and half sold for less; medians are more typical of market conditions than average prices, which are skewed higher by a relatively small share of upper-end transactions. The only valid comparisons for median prices are with the same period a year earlier due to seasonality in buying patterns. Month-to-month comparisons do not compensate for seasonal changes, especially for the timing of family buying patterns. Changes in the composition of sales can distort median price data. Year-ago median and mean prices sometimes are revised in an automated process if additional data is received.

The national median condo/co-op price often is higher than the median single-family home price because condos are concentrated in higher-cost housing markets. However, in a given area, single-family homes typically sell for more than condos as seen in NAR’s quarterly metro area price reports.

3 Total inventory and month’s supply data are available back through 1999, while single-family inventory and month’s supply are available back to 1982 (prior to 1999, single-family sales accounted for more than 90% of transactions and condos were measured only on a quarterly basis).

4 Survey results represent owner-occupants and differ from separately reported monthly findings from NAR’s Realtors® Confidence Index, which include all types of buyers. Investors are under-represented in the annual study because survey questionnaires are mailed to the addresses of the property purchased and generally are not returned by absentee owners. Results include both new and existing homes.

5 Distressed sales (foreclosures and short sales), days on market, first-time buyers, all-cash transactions and investors are from a monthly survey for the NAR’s Realtors® Confidence Index, posted at nar.realtor.

Ready to make a Move?

Bardell Real Estate are the experts in helping you with your selling, buying or renting needs near Orlando, Florida. Make your Disney area experience a forever memorable one. Call us now to speak to a real estate agent.

Home-Buying Costs Veterans Should Keep in Mind

Home-Buying Costs Veterans Should Keep in Mind

Home-Buying Costs Veterans Should Keep in Mind

note pad and with blue highlighter computer and a Va homeloan applicationFor veterans and active military, VA loans are a great way to achieve the dream of homeownership. More than 22 million service members have used these flexible, no down payment loans since 1944.

But when people hear “no down payment,” they often don’t realize they’ll still need some cash on hand to finish the deal.

“Zero down does not mean zero to close,” points out Gwen Chubirko, broker in charge at Genesis Realty Co. in Kannapolis, NC.
The good news is that buyers don’t have to go in blindly: Your VA loan-savvy real estate agent will be your ally in helping you estimate the costs you will need throughout the process, no matter where you live.

“Our goal is to save veterans money and get them into a home that they’re happy with,” says Realtor® John Ulrich, broker associate with Illustrated Properties in Manalapan, FL.

While the amount you need to close will vary according to your location and situation, experts say you can usually expect to need about 3% of the purchase price on hand to close.

Want to break it down? Here are some home-buying costs that veterans and active military shouldn’t overlook.

1. Credit report
Buyers will often pay this fee, which runs, on average, about $30, to their lender when they first apply for a loan. Be aware that this fee is nonrefundable even if the loan doesn’t close.

2. Earnest money
The earnest money deposit is key to the home-buying process. It essentially allows you to put a “hold” on a house while you conduct the inspections and appraisal. Without earnest money, you could theoretically make offers on many homes, essentially taking them off the market until you decided which one you liked best. As the name suggests, it shows that you are earnest about moving forward on the purchase.

“The seller wants that buyer to have some money in the game when they take the house off the market,” Chubirko explains.

Depending on where you live, you can expect to put down anywhere from 1% to even 10% of the home’s purchase price as earnest money. (In some highly competitive markets, buyers are making even larger deposits in an effort to stand out.)

But don’t worry! Whatever you put down for earnest money will go toward your down payment and closing costs as soon as the deal goes through. (If the deal falters, you could lose some or all of your deposit, depending on the reason why the agreement tanks.)

3. Appraisal
All VA loans require an appraisal to ensure the property is up to acceptable standards and meets the VA’s Minimum Property Requirements. What does that mean? Well, an appraiser will calculate the square footage, confirm the property is worth the price you’re offering, and that it’s safe, structurally sound, and sanitary. Among other things, the appraiser will check for safe mechanical systems, acceptable roof life, and hazard-free basements and crawl space. VA buyers will often pay for the appraisal upfront, but they may be able to recoup the cost at closing.

4. Home inspection
While the appraisal is required, a home inspection is technically optional (except for a pest inspection, which is required in certain states and can cost roughly $50 to $150). But you never want to take a pass on the inspection, unless you’re buying a tear-down (not with a VA loan!).

The home inspection is your all-too-crucial opportunity to uncover any problems with the house before you make it official. It’s also your chance to point out repairs you can ask the seller to make on your behalf (and those repairs could cost much more than the inspection itself, which is going to run about $300 to $500.)

5. Recording fees
Recording fees must be paid out of pocket at the time of closing. This is the fee you pay the county to record your mortgage in the public record, and the cost varies from county to county.

6. Real estate transfer taxes
These costs vary by state—from none in Indiana, to a $2 flat fee in Arizona, to $2 per each $500 in value in New York. States, counties, and municipalities collect these taxes to transfer the title of the property from the previous owner to the new owner.

7. Title insurance
Title insurance protects you (and your lender) in the event there are title issues from previous owners of the home. The average cost of title insurance is around $1,000 per policy, but that amount varies widely from state to state and depends on the price of your home.

8. HOA fees
If you buy a home in an area where there is a required homeowners association, you will need to pay the application fee, which is variable depending on the local rules. Then there are your monthly dues. For a typical single-family home, HOA fees can cost homeowners around $200 to $300 per month, although they’ll be lower or much higher depending on the size of your unit and the amenities.

9. Loan origination fees
An origination fee is one of several that will make up your closing costs. The VA allows lenders to charge up to 1% of the loan amount to cover origination, processing, and underwriting costs.

The bottom line? While VA loans are a great option for any veteran hoping to buy a house, being prepared before you apply will ensure no surprises throughout the process.

Ready to make a Move?

Bardell Real Estate are the experts in helping you with your selling, buying or renting needs near Orlando, Florida. Make your Disney area experience a forever memorable one. Call us now to speak to a real estate agent.

What is Drive-by Appraisal?

What is Drive-by Appraisal?

What is Drive-by Appraisal?

Male driver in CarLenders establish a required “loan to value” or “LTV” for each loan program, even loans that do not require a down payment. The property is the lender’s collateral in the transaction and an independent appraisal will help support the value of the subject property. Private mortgage insurance, or PMI, can be waived if the loan amount reaches a certain LTV. For instance, a conventional loan might require PMI with a 10% down payment but waive the requirement with a down payment of 20% or more. Value is determined by an appraisal.

There are different levels of a property appraisal. A standard, or full appraisal is one where the licensed appraiser does some initial in-office research to identify recent sales of similar properties in the neighborhood. The appraiser will first identify similar properties and record the sales price of each home. After performing this initial research, the appraiser will then make a physical inspection of the home, both on the outside, or the exterior, and the inside of the home. The selected loan amount may set the guidelines for the type of appraisal required or the type of appraisal required will be identified in the “results” of an automated approval.

A full appraisal will require photos of the outside and inside of the home and include these in the report. The appraiser will also take exterior photos of the similar homes chosen by the appraiser. The photos will support the final value of the home. An interior inspection can also impact the final value. Both the interior and exterior of the home must be in good condition and the photos will support that. 

On the interior however, two homes that look very similar from the outside might look very different on the inside. One home might have an upgraded kitchen with granite countertops and high end appliances while the other does not. These “adjustments” will be noted in the report. The home with the high end kitchen will have its value adjusted upward due to these improvements.

Another type of appraisal is a desk review. A desk review computes the value of the home by online research only. No physical visit to the property is necessary and all research is done in-house. A desk review typically is the result of a high-equity transaction. For instance, the loan amount requested is $200,000 and recent home sales in the area suggest a $500,000 value. When a loan application is run through an automated underwriting system, the results, or “findings” will indicate the level of an appraisal needed.

A drive-by appraisal includes in-house research as a starting point and then a physical visit to the subject property. A drive-by means the appraiser visits the home, makes note of the condition of the property and takes exterior photos. The appraiser can also take photos of the comparable sales used in the report.

When the findings indicate the type of appraisal needed, an individual lender can make its own guidelines. For instance, even though the findings ask for only a drive-by appraisal, the lender might override that decision and request a full appraisal. On the other hand, a lender can’t do the reverse and only do a drive-by or desk review when the findings ask for a full appraisal. And finally, because there is less work performed with a drive-by, the appraisal fee will be lower than a full appraisal.

Ready to make a Move?

Bardell Real Estate are the experts in helping you with your selling, buying or renting needs near Orlando, Florida. Make your Disney area experience a forever memorable one. Call us now to speak to a real estate agent.

Existing home sales-February

Existing home sales-February

Existing home sales-February

Existing-home sales climbed substantially in February after a slight decline in January, according to the National Association of Realtors®. Of the four major regions, only the Northeast reported a drop in sales, while other areas saw increases, including sizable sales gains in the West.

Total existing-home sales,1 https://www.nar.realtor/existing-home-sales, completed transactions that include single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops, rose 6.5% from January to a seasonally-adjusted annual rate of 5.77 million in February. Additionally, for the eighth straight month, overall sales greatly increased year-over-year, up 7.2% from a year ago (5.38 million in February 2019).

“February’s sales of over 5 million homes were the strongest since February 2007,” said Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist. “I would attribute that to the incredibly low mortgage rates and the steady release of a sizable pent-up housing demand that was built over recent years.”

The median existing-home price2 for all housing types in February was $270,100, up 8.0% from February 2019 ($250,100), as prices rose in every region. February’s price increase marks 96 straight months of year-over-year gains.

Yun noted that February’s home sales were encouraging but not reflective of the current turmoil in the stock market or the significant hit the economy is expected to take because of the coronavirus and corresponding social quarantines. “These figures show that housing was on a positive trajectory, but the coronavirus has undoubtedly slowed buyer traffic and it is difficult to predict what short-term effects the pandemic will have on future sales,” Yun said.

Total housing inventory3 at the end of February totaled 1.47 million units, up 5.0% from January, but down 9.8% from one year ago (1.63 million). Unsold inventory sits at a 3.1-month supply at the current sales pace, equal to the supply recorded in January and down from the 3.6-month figure recorded in February 2019.

Properties typically remained on the market for 36 days in February, seasonally down from 43 days in January, and down from 44 days in February 2019. Forty-seven percent of homes sold in February 2020 were on the market for less than a month.

First-time buyers were responsible for 32% of sales in February, equal to the percentages seen in both January 2020 and in February 2019. NAR’s 2019 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers – released in late 20194 – revealed that the annual share of first-time buyers was 33%.

Ready to make a Move?

Bardell Real Estate are the experts in helping you with your selling, buying or renting needs near Orlando, Florida. Make your Disney area experience a forever memorable one. Call us now to speak to a real estate agent.