Bainbridge Island, WA Real Estate News

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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By Maureen Buckley, Managing Broker/ Owner
(Buckley & Buckley Real Estate)
Christmas in the Country, held annually the first Friday, Saturday & Sunday of December, is Bainbridge Island's premier winter holiday event. Launching the celebration of the Christmas season each year since 1993 this event supports home-based business entrepreneurs, nonprofit organizations, artists, authors, and musicians. Following a map, visitors will drive the winding, tree-lined, rural roads on Bainbridge and stop at quaint historic cottages, farms, fascinating homes hand built by the owners, and nonprofit venues. Besides holiday shopping that is unique and personal, there are activities for children including free pony rides and Santa visits.  Six fascinating venues welcome you to stop in and experience history, meet fascinating artists and their handmade arts & crafts, nosh on sa...
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By Maureen Buckley, Managing Broker/ Owner
(Buckley & Buckley Real Estate)
According to MSN Real Estate, House prices are still dropping, so it pays to know which upgrades will deliver the best return when you sell your home. An annual remodeling report finds 4 basic replacements are likely your smartest choice. Remodeling is a better way to an investment .This year is among the worst if you�re hoping to recoup much money when you sell, says a newly released report. Homeowners are getting back just 64%, on average, of a project�s cost, compared with 87% in 2005, according to Remodeling Magazine�s 2009-2010 Cost vs. Value report.Maureen  
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By Kevin Hawkins
Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have once again begun offering "Premium Pricing," which is a way for a lender to charge you a higher interest rate but pay for some or literally all of your closing costs. For many months the "no cost" refi (a misnomer because the "cost" is a higher interest rate) disappeared as Fannie and Freddie offered no extra fee for a loan with a higher interest rate. But with declining loan volumes, the secondary agencies are clearly trying to attract new volume by bringing back this option.  How it works: if rates are 5.00% with 1 point, and you have a loan amount of at least $300,000 (higher loan amounts are needed for most no cost loans as the premium is paid to the lender as a percentage of the loan amount), you are likely to be able to get a "no cost" option for ab...
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Bainbridge Home Sales Are Up Nearly 10 Percent Year-to-Date  The Northwest Multiple Listing Service says its members reported a 63 percent jump in pending sales during October compared to the same month a year ago, a gain many brokers attribute to the first-time buyer tax credit. On Bainbridge Island, according to the number crunching and meticulous tracking by local agent Jim Peek, single-family detached home sales (excludes condos) through October 2009 were 9.4 percent higher compared to the same period last year.   Peek's calculations shows October home sales totaled 23 on Bainbridge, versus just 12 in October 2008.  Totals for the year at the end of October are 173 versus 158 for the same period last year.  By comparison, through October 2007, there were 301 home sales on Bainbridge...
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Tax Credit Extended AND Expanded  President Obama signed into law the Worker, Homeownership, and Business Assistance Act of 2009 that will extend the $8,000 first-time home buyer tax credit as well as offer a new tax credit up to $6,500 for current homeowners who buy a new primary residence.  Estimates say that more than two-thirds of all current homeowners and nearly all first-time buyers will be eligible for the credit. Here are the highlights: KEY DATES-Purchase & Sales Agreement must be dated by all parties with a date on or before Friday, April 30, 2010.-Purchase must close on or before Wednesday, June 30, 2010.-For current homeowners, the home must be purchased on or after November 7, 2009 to qualify for the credit. AMOUNT-$8,000 or 10 percent of the home value, whichever is less,...
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