What’s Ahead For Fresno Housing Market in 2014?

Well, 2013 was an amazing year for property value comeback. We had an approx. 13% increase in property values overall. This really helped because we lost so much in the downturn for a few years. The market activity really peaked in mid summer, and there has been a very slow but steady decline of sales activity ever since. 2014 is starting out, with relatively low inventory of available homes, which is keeping the values strong, but I do believe that this will change as people realize that they can sell now because they have gained some equity. I know that there is “pent up” demand for people that want to sell their homes, that have been waiting on the sidelines for their values to increase. Well now is the time if ever, to put that home on the market in 2014. Most analysts are predicting single digit appreciation in 2014, so it wont really pay to wait and see. There have also been some changes in the mortgage industry, that will affect the market. For one, FHA has lowered their maximum mortgage amount from $381,250 to $281,250. and FHA had earlier in 2013 raised their mortgage insurance premium costs. This is unfortunate, because Fresno is a huge FHA market with approx. 70% or transactions getting FHA loans. On the other side, conventional financing is many time more attractive with slightly higher 5% minimum down payments. Interest rates are definitely on the rise in 2014 and their have been other important changes in qualifying for a loan. Starting tomorrow Jan. 10. 2014, new lending guidelines, referred to as QM, which stands for “qualified mortgage lending and borrowers ability to repay”. Borrowers must have a maximum 43% debt to income ratio, and they are not considering “compensating factors”, such as a higher cash down payment, assets or money reserves in the bank. It’s all about your income and debts and credit scores period! So if your in the market to buy a home and have been pre-qualified, you really need to meet with your lender again to get a conditional loan approval. Policies have changed now and we need to make certain buyers can qualify under the new guidelines. I look forward to working with more sellers and buyers this year, particularly the “move up” type buyers. I believe that the investors flipping homes is slowing down, because their are fewer opportunities in foreclosures, so 2014 could be the year for “move up” buyers to sell their homes and buy up or downsize. Cash is still king!

Tips For Searching the Fresno MLS

Thank you for using www.FresnoHomes.net as your direct public portal to the Fresno MLS system. This blog post is to help you in your search, so that your home search results will be only the “Active” listings in the Fresno MLS system. The most important thing is the “status” of a property listing, after all, you can’t buy a property that is not available. You need to be conscious of the “prop status” field in the details and results pages, and understand that “Backup” status, is not a listing that is available for sale at this time. You want to find listings that are “Active” status. The purpose of “backup” status is to inform you, that an offer has been accepted and is working through the time frames of contingencies and inspections, or it could be a short sale waiting for the existing lender’s approval of a short payoff, and the remote possibility of a backup offer being taken by the listing agent. If you are serious about buying a home, my advice is to ignore “Backup” status listings and find the “Active” status listings. When you run a search, in the results page, take notice of the status, which is near the top of each listing in the results. Try using the “Advanced Search” function. On the “Advanced Search” page, find the status choices, and select or highlight the “Active” field. The default for searches is both “Active” and “Backup”, so to select “Active” and it will filter out the “Backup” status listings from the results.