May 2013 - Star One Realtors

Housing Market Shows No Sign of Slowing Down

April Home Sales Up 24%
Cincinnati home sales (closings) have reached a 6-year high each month in 2013. Home sales last month totaled 1,919 compared to 1,547 from a year ago, up 24.1%. This represents 22 consecutive months of increased sales. Sales in April 2013 compared to March 2013 were up 9.1%.

April’s average home selling price was $156,957 vs. $148,792 a year earlier, a 5.5% increase. The average price has increased year-over-year for 14 consecutive months. For the first 4 months of 2013, the average price of homes has increased 6.1%.

Local home mortgage rates in April averaged 3.42% for a 30-year fixed rate loan. That is down from 4.03% a year ago. The difference represents a $415 yearly savings on a $100,000 home loan, which enhances home affordability.
The inventory of homes for sale as of April 30 continued its year-over-year declining trend to 10,148 from 11,986 a year ago, down 15.3%. However, April inventory increased by 6% compared to March 2013. This means that homes for sale, if priced properly and in good condition, are in a position to sell faster. It is common for inventory to start low and build as the year goes on. As of today, the inventory of homes for sale is at 10,314 listings.

Nationwide, April home sales were up 0.6% from March on a seasonally adjusted basis and were up 9.7 % from April 2012. April home sales marked the 22nd consecutive month where home sales – nationwide and statewide – also improved over a year ago.

An Easy Way to Cut 4 Years off Your Mortgage
By Tom Reddin,
We are now officially in the peak spring home buying-season. I was asked the other day for advice on what should be at the top of the list for homeowners after they move into their new home.
That was an easy question to answer. My No. 1 piece of advice for recent homebuyers is to switch from the traditional monthly mortgage payments to either weekly or bi-weekly payments.
Why? Because it’s the least painful, simplest way I know to shave approximately four years off the life of a traditional 30-year fixed rate mortgage. Here’s what you need to do.
First, contact your mortgage lender to set up automatic withdrawals from your bank account for your mortgage payments. While you could theoretically achieve the same result by mailing in your payments, the vast majority of people won’t have the discipline to stick to this alternate payment schedule if it’s not set up as an automatic withdrawal.
Next, ask your lender to establish a payment every two weeks. Take your monthly mortgage payment and divide it by two to come up with your payment amount. For example, if your mortgage payment is $1,000 a month, your payment should be $500 every two weeks. You could also establish weekly payments instead, which would be $250 a week instead of a $1,000 monthly payment.
This simple change in your payment schedule will cut approximately four years off of a traditional 30-year fixed rate mortgage. Check with your mortgage lender for an exact calculation of the reduction in years based on your individual circumstances.
Sounds painless and too good to be true, doesn’t it? Here’s how it works. If you make payments every two weeks, you’re making 26 payments a year. Since each payment is half of your normal monthly payment, take the 26 payments and divide by two to arrive at the monthly payments you are making each year. Twenty-six divided by two results in 13 monthly payments that you’ve made each year instead of the 12 monthly payments that you would normally make under a traditional payment schedule. The same mathematical result occurs if you establish a weekly payment schedule at one-fourth the amount of your normal monthly mortgage payment.
So, you end up paying an extra monthly payment on your mortgage each year, which has an impact on the compounding effect of the interest on your mortgage. Most homeowners would be hard-pressed to come up with an additional mortgage payment at the end of each year, so this is a great way to accomplish some forced savings in a manner that most people don’t even feel.
And this is not just for new homebuyers. Many existing homeowners are asking themselves, “Should I refinance?” If you decide to refinance your mortgage to today’s low interest rates, make sure to consider this option when you set up your new mortgage.
Finally, consider this scenario: You might have a child in college during those last four years of your mortgage. The absence of your mortgage payments might be the solution to paying tuition for those four years of college.
Visit Star One Realtors’ Mortgage Services to calculate your mortgage:  

one goal. one passion.