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    Andy Mandel's Blog

    Tuesday, February 13, 2018   /   by Andy Mandel

    Bubble Alert! Is it Getting Too Easy to Get a Mortgage?

    There is little doubt that it is easier to get a home mortgage today than it was last year. The Mortgage Credit Availability Index (MCAI), published by the Mortgage Bankers Association, shows that mortgage credit has become more available in each of the last several years. In fact, in just the last year:


    More buyers are putting less than 20% down to purchase a home
    The average credit score on closed mortgages is lower
    More low-down-payment programs have been introduced


    This has some people worrying that we are returning to the lax lending standards which led to the boom and bust that real estate experienced ten years ago. Let’s alleviate some of that concern.
    The graph below shows the MCAI going back to the boom years of 2004-2005. The higher the graph line, the easier it was to get a mortgage.


    As you can see, lending standards were much more lenient from 2004 to 2007. Though it has gradually become easier to get a mortgage since 2011, we are ...

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    Monday, January 15, 2018   /   by Andy Mandel

    The Impact of Tight Inventory on the Housing Market

    The housing crisis is finally in the rearview mirror as the real estate market moves down the road to a complete recovery. Home values are up, home sales are up, and distressed sales (foreclosures and short sales) have fallen to their lowest points in years. It seems that the market will continue to strengthen in 2018. However, there is one thing that may cause the industry to tap the brakes: a lack of housing inventory. While buyer demand looks like it will remain strong throughout the winter, supply is not keeping up.

    Here are the thoughts of a few industry experts on the subject:

    National Association Of Realtors:

    “Total housing inventory at the end of November dropped 7.2 percent to 1.67 million existing homes available for sale, and is now 9.7 percent lower than a year ago (1.85 million) and has fallen year-over-year for 30 consecutive months. Unsold inventory is at a 3.4-month supply at the current sales pace, which is down from 4.0 mon ...

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    Tuesday, December 12, 2017   /   by Andy Mandel

    Why Getting Pre-Approved Should Be Your First Step

    In many markets across the country, the number of buyers searching for their dream homes greatly outnumbers the number of homes for sale. This has led to a competitive marketplace where buyers often need to stand out. One way to show you are serious about buying your dream home is to get pre-qualified or pre-approved for a mortgage before starting your search.


    Even if you are in a market that is not as competitive, knowing your budget will give you the confidence of knowing if your dream home is within your reach.


    Freddie Mac lays out the advantages of pre-approval in the ‘My Home’ section of their website:




    “It’s highly recommended that you work with your lender to get pre-approved before you begin house hunting. Pre-approval will tell you how much home you can afford and can help you move faster, and with greater confidence, in competitive markets.”



    One of the many advantages of w ...

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      buy, buyer, renter

    Friday, November 17, 2017   /   by Andy Mandel

    Your Friends Are Crazy Wrong If They're Telling You Not to Buy

    The current narrative is that home prices have risen so much so that it is no longer a smart idea to purchase a home. Your family and friends might suggest that buying a home right now (whether a first-time home or a move-up home) makes absolutely no sense from an affordability standpoint. They are wrong!


    Homes are more affordable right now than at almost any time in our country’s history except for the foreclosure years (2009-2015) when homes sold at major discounts. As an example, below is a graph from the latest Black Knight Mortgage Monitor showing the percentage of median income needed to buy a medium-priced home in the country today in comparison to prior to the housing bubble and bust.





    As we can see, the percentage necessary is less now than in those time periods.


    The Mortgage Monitor also explains that home affordability is better today than it was in the late 1990s in 47 of 50 states. ...

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      buy, seller, home value

    Monday, November 13, 2017   /   by Andy Mandel

    7 Reasons to List Your Home This Holiday Season

    Every year at this time, many homeowners decide to wait until after the holidays to put their homes on the market for the first time, while others who already have their homes on the market decide to take them off until after the holidays.
    Here are seven great reasons not to wait:
    1. Relocation buyers are out there. Many companies are still hiring throughout the holidays and need their employees in their new positions as soon as possible.
    2. Purchasers who are looking for homes during the holidays are serious buyers and are ready to buy now.
    3. You can restrict the showings on your home to the times you want it shown. You will remain in control.
    4. Homes show better when decorated for the holidays.
    5. There is less competition for you as a seller right now. Let’s take a look at listing inventory as compared to the same time last year:





    The desire to own a home doesn’t stop when the holidays come. Buyers who were unable to find their dream home ...

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      seller, fsbo