Interest Rates Still Near All Time Lows

Today the 30 year fixed mortgage rate is at 3.47% and the 15 year fixed mortgage rate is 2.71%.  These rates are only slightly higher than the all time lows, so now is a great time for home affordability.  While rates may tick down slightly in the next few months, historical evidence suggests they will eventually head much higher.  If you are in the market for a home, now is a great time to purchase.  Give me a call at (417) 337-1627 — I’d love to help.

Branson Real Estate Sales Officially Up in 2010

I was thumbing through some sales data yesterday and came upon some interesting numbers.  Sales in 2009 were around 1,100 units and that number has risen to around 1,350 units in 2010…a rather nice gain year over year.  I project that the number of home sales will be higher again in 2011, but not materially.  However, some sellers are finally capitulating and some buyers are finally convinced that prices in the area are not going materially lower in the near future so only time will tell.  For now though interest rates are excellent and if a buyer is motivated to act quickly to buy the right piece of Branson real estate, nice deals can be had.  Just my two cents.

Interest Rates Hit 6 Month Highs

Rates on fixed rate 30 year mortgages rose for the fourth straight week, hitting 4.61 today.  That’s up from the 4.17 percent record lows of just a month ago.  While I won’t go into a long diatribe about why rates are climbing, I will voice my opinion that if you are looking to buy a home and will need a mortgage it would behoove you to take action as quickly as possible.

Branson Market Improving As Interest Rates Drop

Just a quick market note…

I have been seeing more activity in the $200,000 – $350,000 range as buyers seemingly reach for more house as affordability improves. A year ago there was very little action in this price range, but since interest rates hit all time lows just weeks ago, buyers are making the decision to lock in lower rates for the next 30 years. If you are in the market for a new home and will be needing a mortgage, it might be a great time to pull the trigger. From my vantage point, rates could drop slightly lower but it is more probable that we are very near the bottom of the range going forward.

Additionally, if you are a seller it might make sense list your home sooner rather than later as affordability will fall if interest rates do go back up, allowing buyers to pay less as more of their monthly payment would go to servicing interest instead of principle.

In either case give me a call at (417) 337 – 1627 with all of your Branson Missouri Real Estate questions or needs.

When Offering on Homes, Keep the Big Picture in Mind

In keeping with the theme of affordable homes in Branson, Missouri, let’s talk about making offers. Most buyers get very hung up on the sales price of the home, which is understandable but not very practical. For instance, if a home is for sale for $150,000 and there are other offers on it, make your best offer and call it a day. When you take a $150,000 payment on a 30 year amortization schedule, there is very, very little difference from $145,000. In addition, most people never retire their mortgages as they move more often than every 30 years, so the paydown of the principle is modest difference at best.

Now I am not saying that you should be making full priced offers in every situation, or even in the majority of situations, but in this tight market under $150,000 it is a good idea as you may end up with a lesser home if you offer low and don’t get the home. Most buyers don’t want to hear this, but there is high competetion and not much inventory at this price range in the Branson, Mo area, which pushes prices higher. I don’t see prices getting any lower as many homes have been sold at or less than it cost to build them…and there aren’t many builders with starts in this price range as they can’t make enough money when building them to bother.

Moral of the story: Be aggressive with your first offer so you get a quality home. The difference in payment is nominal, and is especially small when amortizing and paying down the home over 30 years. So if you are in the market for a home in this price range, give me a call at (417) 337 – 1627 and I’ll go to work for you.

Affordable Homes in Branson, Missouri In Short Supply

In the past few months I have written a handful of posts about the lack of affordable homes for sale in the Branson, Mo area. Today’s post will be no different, as it is one of the most significant trends in the real estate market today. First time home buyers and buyers relocating to Branson have been scooping up this inventory at a ravenous pace, especially in a few choice subdivisions for this price range: Savannah Place off Bee Creek Road, Highlands of Branson on T Highway, Country Club Heights on East 76, and Emory Creek Ranch Estates on 248 north of the Highroad. All of these subdivisions are in the Branson school district and have an average price that makes the mortgage payments similar to a rent payment. This similar monthly payment combined with USDA loans and other programs that don’t necessarily require large down payments has been a boon for home sellers in this price range.

If you are reading this and are serious about purchasing a home in this price range, pick up the phone and give me a call at (417) 337 – 1627. A home is too big of a purchase to be pigeonholed into buying a home in a picked-over market. And one last thing, when you do find a home that you like in this price range, make your best of offer as the competition is too great for this price range to dally around with too many offers and counteroffers.

Trading Up Will Be Expensive In The Future

Lately I’ve talked with a few bankers and mortgage brokers here in Branson, Mo and we’ve come to a basic conclusion: buyers should purchase as much house as they can afford now because when interest rates rise from their current all time lows the difference in payments for the same size home will be staggering. Since we’ve basically had falling interest rates for the last 25-30 years, most prospective homebuyers have probably not stopped to think of the paradigm shift we are about to witness. If interest rates get to 10% in the next handful of years and the home you are selling was financed at 5%, you will not even be able to get close to the same price home for the same monthly payment, and likely won’t get in the home with as little as is required for down payment in many situations currently. So if you think you will “trade up” in the next few years, you may want to evaluate your current options and decide what fits your particular situation the best.

Now please don’t take this little note as a “sky is falling” warning — it is certainly not intended to be construed that way. I just wanted to give a little example of the foresight and thought I put into my job and what I bring to the table. I won’t just show you a home, I will advise you about all facets of the transaction — so feel free to call me at (417) 337 – 1627 if you have questions about buying or selling real estate in Branson or on Table Rock Lake.

What do you think of

I’d like to take a minute to ask you, the reader and potential real estate buyer or seller, what you think of my site and the information I provide. Do you find the site helpful and informative, or dull and boring? Is there other information that you’d like to see me write about that I currently haven’t? How is the functionality and look — appealing and useful, ugly and clunky (more…)

Know the Association Before Purchasing a Condo in Branson, Missouri

Though this post is applicable to condos in Branson, it is really applicable to purchasing in any market with a strong presence of condos. Since buying a condo amounts to actually buying a pro rata interest in the maintenance of the entire property association, buyers need to be acutely aware of the health of the aforementioned association. Look over the condo docs and current bank balances to get a good idea, then ask some of the neighbors (or your Realtor!) to get an even better idea of how the property is run. Also, how do the dues compare to other similar properties around the area? — this will affect the marketability of the property in the future. In short, do your homework before encumbering yourself with a share of maintenance of the buildings and common elements.

Taneycomo Bridge Moving Forward

Though its not exactly breaking news anymore, the double bridge system over Lake Taneycomo is going forward in the near future. This is great news for residents of East 76, T Highway, and Kirbyville who have waited in hours upon hours of traffic simply trying to cross the darn lake during peak hours. This should have a positive impact on values in those areas. Also, the fact that there is now a grocery store in that vicinity (Sunfest) and that the Coon Creek road project will further benefit the area by allowing more expedient access to Hollister is going to be a boon for the area. It’s great when county planning finally catches up with the needs of area residents.