Bainbridge Island, WA Real Estate News

The US Treasury has issued a "Supplementary Directive" to banks participating in the Home Affordable Modification Program.  The recommendation is for when banks can't help borrowers with the HAMP program, they should pursue a short sale vs. a foreclosure. The Directive states: "it is expected that servicers will encounter situations where they are unable to approve a HAMP modification request ... in these instances, the borrower may benefit from an alternative that helps the borrower transition to more affordable housing and avoid the stigma of a foreclosure" and goes on to encourage - and give an incentive to lenders - who do a deed-in-lieu or short sale. The Treasury is offering $1,000 to the servicer, $1,500 to the seller for moving expenses and investors can get $1,000 by allowing s...
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For the fifth straight month, residential home sales on Bainbridge Island have been up compared to sales from a year ago. In January 2010, we had 14 home sales (non-condos) on the Island, up from 12 sales in January 2009. From September 2009 to January 2010, we had 102 total home sales on Bainbridge compared to 69 home sales from September 2008 to January 2009.  That's an increase of 48 percent year-over-year. These numbers are based on figures Realtor Jim Peek gleans from the NWMLS. Jim does additional due diligence and refines his numbers to be certain that they do not include condos, nor commercial real estate deals, nor land purchases. Clearly we are bouncing off the bottom we hit in September 2008 and dragged there for a year.  Despite some fears of a double-dip, local Realtors are...
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Bainbridge Island remains a designated "rural area" by the USDA, and that makes their "rural loan" program the only 100% financing program for buyers. Couple this with home prices on starter homes and you are likely to see more folks asking about the USDA/Rural Loan option. Golf Savings offers USDA Rural Loans -- all 30 Year Fixed Rate Loans -- that often features the best interest rates around as we have to major lenders that we sell our USDA loans to, but we originate these loans directly with USDA. Here's what you need to know about USDA loans: 1. INCOME REQUIREMENTS - Borrowers total family income cannot exceed 115% of the HUD Median Income Limit for the area. For Bainbridge (Kitsap) it is $81,500 for a family of four ($107,600 for a family of five to eight). 2. CREDIT SCORE REQUIRE...
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Bloomberg reports that some banks are going after homeowners who default on their unpaid mortgage balances in recourse states, such as Florida.  Banks, in some cases, can seize wages, tap bank accounts and put liens on other assets held by debtors. Calculated Risk notes that "while there are no statistics on the number of deficiency judgments approved by courts, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. tracks the amount banks collect after defaulted loans were written off." -Mortgage recoveries rose 48 percent to a record $1.01 billion in the first nine months of 2009 vs. 2008. -Recoveries on defaulted home-equity loans almost doubled to $392 million, the FDIC data shows. According to MortgageReliefForumla, non-recourse states include: Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Distric...
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The good news is that FHA will keep its minimum down payment for an FHA-insured loan at 3.5 percent for everyone with a credit score above 580.   The bad news is that seller concessions will be reduced from 6 percent to 3 percent and the FHA upfront mortgage insurance premiums paid by all FHA borrowers getting a 30 Year FHA loan regardless of down payment size is being increased to 2.25 percent, up from 1.75 percent now.  For Realtors, this means on a $350,000 home sale, the seller cannot contribute more than $10,500 in closing costs and prepaids (sellers still are not allowed to give cash back to a buyer nor contribute towards the down payment on an FHA loan). That's down from a maximum of $21,000.  This move puts FHA loans more in line with the maximum seller concessions for low down ...
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New rules on putting real teeth into making a Good Faith Estimate something a lender actually has to stand behind went into effect on January 1.  The onus is now on the loan officer to provide incredibly accurate GFEs. Truth is, good loan officers have done that all along, but now the biggest change is that the loan officer is not only responsible for accurately quoting their own lender fees -- over which the lender has control -- but also over other third party fees. For Realtors, the key will be working with loan officers that do due diligence with every GFE they prepare.  Mistakes can delay a closing, and for most lenders, will personally cost the loan officer who makes mistakes. Fines are also heady, so today good loan officers are very focused on these changes. GFE AND HUD-1 MUST N...
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Bainbridge Island home sales ended the year with a boom, with 22 single-family sales (non-condos) closing in December 2009, up 69% from single-family home sales closed in December 2008 when 13 units were sold. That brought total single-family home sales on Bainbridge to 212, up 13 percent from the 187 total single-family home sold last year. The median price for 2009 was $546,000, down from $589,500 for 2008, or a decrease of just over seven percent. These numbers are all from agent Jim Peek of John L. Scott Real Estate on Bainbridge, who closely tracks and does perhaps the best job number crunching all the trends. Among the key data points number-crunching Peek discovered: -Under $500,000: 86 homes sold for an average of 160 days on market  -$500,000 to $1 million: 98 homes sold for an...
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Here are some great links to a straight-forward explanation about ARMs and the differences between an Interest Only ARM and a Pay Option ARM and all the various terminology that relate to Adjustable Rate Mortgages: http://www.pueblo.gsa.gov/cic_text/housing/interestonly/interestonly.htm  Two great articles about the Pay Option ARM problem: http://mrmortgage.ml-implode.com/2008/12/23/pay-option-arms-the-implosion-is-still-coming-despite-low-rates/ http://www.doctorhousingbubble.com/option-arms-for-dummies-why-45-percent-mortgages-rates-will-do-absolutely-nothing-for-these-toxic-assets/ Here is a link to a chart from Credit Sussie show ARM recast projections: http://www.calculatedriskblog.com/2007/10/imf-mortgage-reset-chart.html 
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Both the 1-Year London Interbank Offer Rate or LIBOR index and the 1-Year Treasuries Constant Maturities Index have been falling to incredibly low levels in recent weeks and that's good news for a whole lot of 5 and 7 Year ARM borrowers who are seeing their loans starting to reset. A ton of these ARMs were originated in 2002-2006 and we are coming up a "reset" period where most ARMs have the potential to jump a whopping 5% MORE from their current interest rate.   However, with the two major indices currently at 1.015% for LIBOR and .29% for the 1 Year Treasury indices, as long as these stay low, most ARM borrowers are going to see their interest rates actually drop. Here's the math: a new interest rate for an ARM is calculated by taking the current Index (the 1.015% for LIBOR or .29 for...
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Pending Home Sales Jumped in October Nearly 32% from Oct. 2008: Sales were also up nearly 4 percent from September. Our own "cash for clunkers" program, the first-time buyer's credit and falling housing prices coupled with amazingly lower rates clearly fueled the increase. The big question: is the pace sustainable? Time will certainly tell.' Seattle Makes #2 for "Best Recovery Bets" on CNNMoney.com in December: The website notes that the Seattle area has had a softer home-price decline (15.6% overall) versus most markets and forecasts an average increase in home prices of 3.8% by 2011. See the full story at: http://money.cnn.com/galleries/2009/real_estate/0910/gallery.housing_price_forecast/2.html Fed Nears Mortgage Purchases Target: The Federal Reserve has been buying Mortgage-Backed S...
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A top local Realtor asked me this question on tour recently "Is there really anything different today that we weren't seeing 15 years ago?"   It was a terrific question that made me stop and think because anyone who has been in this business for 15 to 20 years may not see much "new" in the tighter lending rules in place today. For the veterans who were in the business 20 years ago (or more, like me), all of these "new rules" look a lot like the old ones: more documentation requirements, tighter scrutiny, lower thresholds for approval and an increase in deals going south because of loans are denied. But go below the surface a bit and you will see that there is very something different about today versus 1989 or even 1995. First of all, today the top ten lenders in the US generate more th...
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By Paul Pival, A Realtor with the soul of a professor.
(Coldwell Banker Bain)
Closed Transactions Feb 22-28 Only Bainbridge Island showed improvement this week from last year at this time, and the improvement is impressive. But in Silverdale, Poulsbo, and Kingston, the market seems almost nonexistent. This still doesn't signal the end of the world. If you'd like the selling details of the home that closed in your neighborhood,  just ask.
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By Brenda Prowse
(Prowse and Company)
Bainbridge Island residential properties were selling for a January median price of $553,500, about 10% higher than in December. The more stable three month moving average of closed sale price rose 4% from last month to $515,500 and is 4% higher than it was a year ago. The Kitsap County 3 month moving average median price is about 2% lower than it was a year ago. The 3 month moving average for Bainbridge Island's number of closed sales is 20% higher than a year ago. The 3 month moving average number of pending sales in December rose 31% from a year ago. The 3 month moving average of closed sales is up 57% Countywide from a year ago (when sales were very weak). The number of active listings on Bainbridge (166) is down 14% from a year ago. The inventory turnover (total homes on the market...
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By Paul Pival, A Realtor with the soul of a professor.
(Coldwell Banker Bain)
Closings January 15-21, 2010   I have no explanation for this week's surprising results. I'll hazard a guess: offers are being made on short sales and foreclosures, which take a much longer time to close than conventional transactions. Last year at this time, 2 transactions were pending. This year, there are 95. That's an increase in pending transactions of 9300%!      
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By Paul Pival, A Realtor with the soul of a professor.
(Coldwell Banker Bain)
Closed transactions Jan 8-14 Slow last week, but better than 2009.  Poulsbo's and Kingston's results are anomalies. Bainbridge Island continues to show declining sales prices.  As we approach the new deadline for first-time homebuyer tax credits, expect a steady increase in the number of closings, especially in Silverdale, Kingston, and Poulsbo. If you're interested in the details of the home that closed in your neighborhood, email me.        
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By Brenda Prowse
(Prowse and Company)
Bainbridge Island residential properties were selling for an December median price of $505,000, about 3% higher than in November. The more stable three month moving average of closed sale price fell 1% from last month to $495,000 and is 5% lower than it was a year ago. Sales at the top of the market, while still pretty slow, did improve somewhat compared to previous months. The Kitsap County 3 month moving average median price is just about the same as it was a year ago. Note that prices tailed off at the end of last year so this parity is not unexpected. The 3 month moving average for Bainbridge Island's number of closed sales is 50% higher than a year ago. Recall that sales were very weak at the end of 2008 and the number of closed sales at the end of last year was improved. The 3 mon...
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By Paul Pival, A Realtor with the soul of a professor.
(Coldwell Banker Bain)
Closings 2009 vs 2008   Except for Poulsbo, more homes closed in 2009, but the average selling prices and percent of list declined in all four markets. Prices are not declining as much as in the rest of the nation. If you'd like the details, including price, of the homes that sold in your neighborhood, email me.  
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By Brenda Prowse
(Prowse and Company)
Bainbridge Island residential properties were selling for an November median price of $492,000, about 1% lower than in October. The more stable three month moving average of closed sale price fell 6% from last month to $501,667 and is 15% lower than it was a year ago. Sales at the top of the market, while still pretty slow, did improve somewhat compared to previous months. The Kitsap County 3 month moving average median price has fallen 4% over the past year. Note that prices tailed off at the end of last year so we expect this gap to close in the coming months. The 3 month moving average for Bainbridge Island's number of  closed sales is 38% higher than a year ago. The 3 month moving average number of pending sales in November rose 11% from a year ago. The 3 month moving average of clo...
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By Maureen Buckley, Managing Broker/ Owner
(Buckley & Buckley Real Estate)
If you have been wondering when the Bainbridge Island Fire Department Christmas Truck will be rolling down your street all you have to do is look here!  Please click on the link to get a map of the Island and the Christmas Truck routes.   Christmas Firetruck Map
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By Maureen Buckley, Managing Broker/ Owner
(Buckley & Buckley Real Estate)
Please JOINBuckley & Buckley Real Estate in supporting the new  Kitsap County Residential Emergency Shelter for homeless mothers and their children This new shelter is in great need of basic living items. Please review the List of Needsand donate what you can (cash donations are also welcome)  Our office is a drop-off location for all items(except large furniture-see below).  168 Winslow Way West    In Winslow Green  206-842-4099   Today, over 136 families in Kitsap County are currently waiting for emergency shelter. Over 60% of those families are headed by females as head of their household. Many are living in cars, tents, or making arrangements on a day-by-day basis. Shelter housing for families is hard to find in Kitsap County. The former Youth Home facility is being converted into a...
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