Cornerstone’s Brenda Williamson discusses 3 common lending questions

November 27, 2019

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As loan officers, we hear all kinds of questions and “what ifs” pertaining to the lending process. Here are a few of those questions to which you may find surprising answers.

 

I’m buying my first home and my parents offered to pay my earnest money deposit. Is that okay?

 

While your parents are very generous, your earnest money check absolutely must come from your own checking or savings account, and it must be written on your own personal check. If you are unable to pay the earnest money needed at the time of contract (or someone offers to pay for you), it is crucial that you reach out to your loan officer immediately to discuss the best way to handle this.

 

Also, talk to your loan officer before accepting gift funds from a family member to help you buy a home. The donor will need to meet documentation requirements for the gift funds to be used.

 

We’re in the midst of buying a house and I’m thinking about asking for a raise at work. Is that okay?

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The Strong Real Estate Market Continues Through Summer!

July 31, 2019

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It looks like the strong real estate market in northeast Florida will continue through the summer. The Northeast Florida Association of Realtors market stats for June 2019 shows good buyer demand with 2,966 pending sales which is 11% higher than last June and 7% higher year-to-date.

 

Brian Buffini, a leader in the real estate industry for over 30 years, pointed out the four main indicators of the economy as it relates to real estate. The four indicators are jobs, interest rates, population and consumer confidence. All four are extremely positive right now.

 

Jobless claims are at a 50-year low. Mortgage interest rates are more than 0.5% lower than last year and very low compared to historical rates. The United States population is up 45 million people from 2000 to 2018 and consumer confidence is high.

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The May Market Stats Show Increasing Pending Sales & Closing

June 26, 2019

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The Northeast Florida Association of Realtors market stats for May 2019 show increased pending sales and closings. Prices continue to rise, but at a slower pace than the previous few years. Home sales had weakened late last year when interest rates on mortgages spiked, but the declining rates and strong economy in Northeast Florida have the numbers outpacing 2018 year-to-date.

 

There were 3,114 contracts written in May which is up over 5% for the previous May and year-to-date. There were 3,091 closings in May which is up over 4% month-to-month and year-to-date. The median sales price of $232,000 is up 2% year-to-date. The average sales price of $276,429 is up 1% year-to-date.

 

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April Market Stats: Florida is growing Fast!!

May 31, 2019

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The National Association of Realtors annual meeting in Washington DC just wrapped up and Dr. Lawrence Yun, chief economist at the National Association of Realtors made an interesting prediction of changing future migration patterns of buyers. “Because of significant differences in home prices between metro markets, he says there may be a steady shift in the relocation of people and companies into more affordable regions of the country. Housing affordability has been falling according to NAR’s Housing Affordability Index.” Florida Realtors

 

Another Florida Realtors article discusses the 2018 American Community Survey state-to-state migration flows. Florida had the most domestic in-movers, with 566,476 people moving from another state within the past year. The states with the next highest in-migration flows are Texas with 524,511 and California with 523,131.

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The Market Continues to Show Positive Trends in 2019!!!

April 30, 2019

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The Northeast Florida Association of Realtors market stats for March 2019 shows continuing positive trends in the residential real estate market. There were 2,979 pending sales in March which is up 2% over last March. We are up 5% comparing the 1stquarter to the same period last year.

 

There were 2,459 closings in March which is down 7% from last March. The closings are up 0.4% in the first quarter over the previous year.

 

The median sales price of $229,900 is up 2% over last March and the average sales price of $267,500 is up 0.1%.

 

There were 3,908 new listings in March which is up 1% over last March. There were 9,162 homes available for sale in March which is up 4% from last March. Our months supply of inventory available stayed the same at 3.6 months.

 

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