Tuesday, October 14, 2008
We are having a mortgage crisis, but the news for the San Antonio area is not that bleak. The current bail out should be working to your advantage and if you ever wanted to buy a home you should be looking now.
Home values are down. Yes you’re hearing it all over the place so it must be true. The value of a home is our area in generally down 2-6% not close to the national average of 14%, but down non the less.
Interest rates are at a historical low. Since July of 1973 till 1981 fixed rates have been between 8.5% and 18%. In 2001, they dropped to 7%and even dropped to 5.5%. Texas Vet rates were lower than that. Today’s rates are hovering around 6.5% for most loan programs. Will the rates go lower than that and should you wait until the rate hits rock bottom? I can’t be sure; my crystal ball is cloudy on that. What I can guarantee is that the Rate will go up!!! Not sure when not sue how much, but I’m sure up. Could they go down, yep! But good luck with calculating that, because that is LUCK.
It’s a Buyers Market. Did you ever wonder why people don’t buy in a buyers market? More people buy in a sellers market. Sellers get multiple offers and buyers drive the price up. You should buy in a buyers market, Homes are on SALE.
The Value of a home will increase. You hear it over and over again that real estate is a local market. The market value of any home historically goes up. In this area inventory shrinks when home starts decrease. The population of the area is projected to go up in the near future. That means recovery in the market.
Are you military, or prior military? Some special financing may be available to you. Did you live on Post or Base at your previous assignment? You’re scared to invest in a future that may not include staying here in the San Antonio or Surrounding areas. I get that, but don’t you owe it to yourself or your family to see what’s going on in this market. I can tell you it is kind of exciting. We live in one of the most stable real estate areas in the country.
Thursday, October 9, 2008
IndyMac Offers Loan Relief Program, Lowering Interest Rates
By DAVID MUIROct. 8, 2008
Across this country, borrowers on the brink are finally getting some help from an unlikely source: mortgage lenders.
Mortage rates fell this week, saving homebuyers thousands.
Nearly one in six homeowners owes more on their mortgages than their home is worth, according to new numbers released by the Wall Street Journal on Wednesday.
Diane Smith, a Los Angeles mother of two adopted children with special needs, spent months in fear when she was told by her lender that her home would be auctioned.
"I've been terrified for six months," Smith said.
Two years ago, Smith re-financed her mortgage, hoping to use the extra money to fix the roof and the kitchen. Then her adjustable interest rate spiked just as the value of her home plummeted.
Smith couldn't afford the payments and, in this housing market, was unable to sell. And then this week, she received a phone call from an unlikely source: her bank, Indymac.
Indymac, which was taken over by the Federal Depositors' Insurance Corporation in July, decided to reduce the interest rate on her mortgage, from 7 percent to 4.8 percent, generating a savings of $1,749 a month.
"I thought, I could buy running shoes for my kids again," Smith said with pride. "And I could afford to buy milk for my kids again, because for the last five or six months I've had to borrow money to buy milk for my kids."
In August, FDIC officials began to deal with the 60,000 mortgages passed due that were held by Indymac. The lender launched a loan modification program, offering new terms and lower rates to more than 3,000 borrowers that have signed on to the program.
Amid intensifying political pressure that lenders are not doing enough to prevent foreclosure, a growing number of mortgage services are easing interest rates -- six times more often than just a year ago, according to Credit Suisse.
The $700 billion federal rescue plan encourages banks to adopt plans like IndyMac's, offering new terms for loan payments on those facing foreclosure.
For those banks and lenders, the loss incurred on the interest they're collecting is, for now, less costly than the effort it might take to sell a foreclosed home at a reduced price.
"In some cases, the length of the loan will increase, it depends on the circumstance," said John Bovenzi, CEO at Indymac. "This idea is to make the loan more affordable for the borrower so they can sustain payments and stay in their home."
The rate of foreclosures doubled from June of last year, according to RealtyTrac, an online market of foreclosure prosperities. The increase in foreclosure signals the growing number of homeowners who are struggling to make payments on their homes.
Wednesday, October 1, 2008
On Monday, the U.S. House rejected by a narrow margin a $700-billion bailout of financial markets, a startling defeat that triggered a taste of the financial chaos the plan was meant to halt: It sent the Dow Jones Industrial Average into a 778-point tailspin. Yesterday the market bounced back with the Dow adding 485 points at this writing.
“We are extremely disappointed that the U.S. House of Representatives failed to pass the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008,” said C.A.R. President William E. Brown Monday. “The tenuous health of the financial system called for a swift yet thoughtful bipartisan response by our elected representatives.”
In the wake of the financial bloodletting, leaders of both parties, opponents of the plan and Bush administration officials restarted talks today and promised to craft an alternative as soon as possible. On a day that should have been spent as vacation, Democrats kept Capitol Hill abuzz as they discussed the direction that should be taken the day after Paulson’s $700-billion bailout was rejected.
“If we don’t act, and fast, a lot of people are going to lose their jobs,” said Rep. Judd Gregg, R-N.H.
U.S. Rep. Peter DeFazio (OR-04), an outspoken critic of the Bush/Paulson bailout, along with Rep. Kaptur (OH-09), Rep. Scott (VA-03), Rep. Cummings (MD-07), Rep. Doggett (TX-25), Rep. Holt (NJ-12), Rep. Edwards (MD-04) and Rep. Hirono held a press conference yesterday afternoon to discuss what should be done to help bail out both Wall Street and Main Street.
“We have to get to the root of the problem and create a bailout plan that doesn’t put our taxpayers at risk,” said DeFazio.
DeFazio believes that the Paulson/Bush proposal is based on a flawed premise: if the American taxpayers spend $700 billion to buy Wall Street’s toxic assets - a plan pundits are calling “trash for cash” - it will create liquidity in our financial markets and will somehow trickle-down to Main Street.
“Now is the time for Congress to act, and renew its efforts to craft legislation amenable to both political parties that will calm the financial markets, address liquidity issues and begin to restore confidence in our financial system. Americans deserve nothing less,” Brown said. “C.A.R. wants to be certain that … housing’s critical role is recognized in whatever legislation ultimately is proposed. We will continue to closely monitor the situation as it develops.”
While Sen. Christopher Dodd, D-Conn. said Monday, “This is the most serious economic crisis in decades, if not ever.” Rep. Doggett (TX-25), countered, “the $700 billion bailout plan was fueled by fear and hinged by haste. We want to address this problem but do so in a serious way.”
DeFazio’s plan is not in any way based on the Paulson/Bush plan. “Instead of throwing taxpayer dollars at the program and crossing our fingers that the plan work, the measure will direct the Administration to take five simple steps, suggested by noted economist and former head of the FDIC, William Isaac, to re- regulate the markets and move America towards a healthy financial future,” he added.
Paulson, the architect of the rejected plan, had warned that failure to act swiftly and decisively would cause banks to stop lending and markets to collapse. Monday proved to be one of the worst days that the markets have seen, however the the Dow rebounded Tuesday, easing fears slightly.
By a vote of 228-205 that scrambled party lines, a group of House Republicans opposed to a massive government injection into markets combined to block the proposal with Democrats who said the bill did not do enough for everyday Americans. In the final tally, 140 Democrats and 65 Republicans voted in support, while 95 Democrats and 133 Republicans voted against it.
The failure unnerved investors, triggering a 777.68-point drop in the Dow Jones Industrial Average, its largest daily retreat ever. Markets had already been under pressure after the banking arm of Wachovia Corp. was taken over by Citigroup in a deal brokered by federal banking regulators to guarantee $270 billion in loans. That followed the government takeover of Washington Mutual last week, the largest bank failure in U.S. history. Both banks were undone by mortgage debts.
Paulson and Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke had persuaded leaders of both parties during the past week that a clog of bad mortgages and exotic real-estate investments was shutting down the lending system among banks that keeps money circulating through the economy.
“Protecting Main Street by keeping people in their homes will not only benefit individual families, but also will help stabilize the housing market, which greatly impacts the overall U.S. economy,” said National Association of Realtors(R) President Richard F. Gaylord in a statement. “Across the country, Realtors(R) see and feel the loss of confidence experienced by both buyers and sellers in the real estate market and they know firsthand that buyers are finding it harder to get mortgages.”
Experts had also warned that although much of the damage had been confined to financial firms, the whirl of doubt eventually would catch people and businesses seeking loans for making payrolls, buying vehicles or paying for college.
“A sharp rise in unemployment and severe hardship for many ordinary Americans would result from the deteriorating liquidity crisis. In addition, interest rates for those who are able to get a mortgage or credit will be more costly. This legislation, if implemented, would quickly restore liquidity to the mortgage market, which would stabilize the housing market and protect homeowners,” said Gaylord.
Doug Elmendorf, an economist at the Brookings Institution who has worked for the Federal Reserve, said if a deal isn’t reached for some weeks, the probability of a “long and deep recession” is “substantially higher.”
The latest compromise included changes pushed by House Republicans, including an option for an insurance program instead of a $700-billion purchase of bad debts, but several said it was still too much intervention.
“The problems that we are experiencing today won’t be solved by the legislation that was defeated yesterday,” added Rep. Edwards (MD-04). “We are looking to work with leadership to create a bailout plan that will ultimately create stability within the marketplace,” she added.
Democratic opponents gave several other specific criticisms of the bill Monday. Although it limits some executive pay, those limits don’t apply to companies that might benefit from the bailout but avoid selling debts to the treasury. Several lawmakers said the bill did little for the majority of mortgage holders whose debts have been chopped into small pieces and sold to several investors.
Rep. Jeb Hensarling, R-Texas, who was one of the leaders in the opposition, said substantial changes would need to be made for the bailout to win many votes among his colleagues.
“Ultimately some part of the full faith and credit of the government would have to be behind it, but Wall Street ought to be paying for it,” he said.
But Dodd said the basics would have to remain for the plan to get banks lending again. “We will not leave here until we get the job done,” he said.
“There will not be an economic recovery without a housing recovery, and we hope the Congress will move as expediently as possible to resolve their differences,” said Gaylord. “We commend the House members that today voted for this unprecedented legislation. NAR will continue to advocate this legislation, which will benefit Main Street by restoring market liquidity to the financial markets.”
Copyright © 2008, Detroit Free PressDistributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services.
Wednesday, July 16, 2008
Thursday, July 10, 2008
Texas ranked top economy in nation by CNBC
San Antonio Business Journal - by Yvonne Freckmann
CNBC Inc. ranked Texas as the best all-around state economy and the No. 1 state to do business in America in 2008.
Texas boasts over half of the nation's new jobs created in the past 12 months, and has added over 1.2 million net new jobs in the past five years, more than any other state.
With a population of 23.9 million and a Gross State Product of $37,793 (per capita), Texas has experienced a growth rate of 4.1 percent and an unemployment rate of 4.3 percent.
Compared to last year, Texas improved in rank slightly or remained the same in the categories of cost of doing business; economy; education; quality of life, technology and innovation; transportation; cost of living; business friendliness and access to capital, according to CNBC's study.
Texas' workforce ranking lowered from rank 7 to rank 12 this year. Major industries for the state include oil and natural gas, banking, steel, insurance and tourism.
Gov. Rick Perry touted the CNBC report as proof that Texas is a great place to do business. The governor's office notes that Texas has more Fortune 500 and Fortune 1000 company headquarters than any other state in the nation.
Perry cites the TexasOne Program, which the governor describes as the "door opener" to recruit companies to Texas; the Texas Enterprise Fund, the nation's largest and most successful "deal closing" fund; and the Emerging Technology Fund as having played a significant role in Texas' economic and job growth.
CNBC Inc. is an Englewood Cliffs, N.J.-based business cable news network. It is a unit of NBC Universal Cable.
Tuesday, July 15, 2008
Wednesday, May 21, 2008
S.A. is no. 2 on list of 'recession-proof' cities
Web Posted: 05/06/2008 09:17 PM CDT
By William Pack
San Antonio is one of the nation's top recession-proof cities, Forbes.com reports in an analysis of economic growth in the nation's 50 largest metro areas.
The Forbes.com study ranks San Antonio second only to Oklahoma City in its ability to withstand recessionary pressures. The study, released April 29, examined unemployment data and job growth through February, along with changes in median home prices and results from a national study on how foreclosures will affect cities.
The report said San Antonio “boasts solid unemployment numbers as well as rising home prices,” with median prices jumping nearly 8 percent in the fourth quarter of 2007.
“Its industries are growing, and it can't hurt that the new AT&T was formed when San Antonio-based SBC Communications swallowed the former AT&T Corp. and BellSouth,” the study says.
Oklahoma City led the pack with “one of the country's strongest housing markets and solid growth in agriculture, energy and manufacturing,” Forbes editors say.
But Texas dominates the report, with Austin, Houston and Dallas-Fort Worth all finishing in the top 10. Austin came in one spot behind San Antonio.
The report says all the Texas cities benefited “from historically lower home prices, which have been affordable to a large segment of the population.”
The study was no real surprise to area economists, who praise the diversity and dependability of the economy.
“It's almost a textbook example of a diversified city,” said Trinity University economics Professor Jorge Gonzalez. “This has been the story of San Antonio for the last 20 years. We don't have the booms or the busts.”
Keith Phillips, senior economist with the San Antonio office of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, said it's not just the diversity of the local economy, it's the stability of the key economic parts — the military, the hospitality sector and health care — that has made San Antonio strong.
The availability of land in San Antonio has been a key factor in keeping home prices affordable, Phillips said.
“We can have volatility in the number of units and not have volatility in prices,” he said.
Mayor Phil Hardberger said he is pleased that the economy has produced jobs for just about everyone looking for work. San Antonio may not be immune from the turmoil in the national economy, but Hardberger said he believes it will stay in better shape than the nation as a whole.
Wednesday, April 2, 2008
SCUCISD Board approves new Elementary Attendance Zones for 2008-2009 School YearThe SCUCISD Board of Trustees approved the new elementary attendance boundaries for the 2008-2009 school year, during a special called board meeting held at 6 p.m. on March 25, 2008. With the opening of John A. Sippel Elementary School, the district’s seventh elementary school, the distract was tasked with redrawing the boundaries with the help of 21-member committee.
Visit this link to see if you will be affected.
Monday, March 3, 2008
JUMBO 30 YR
*Certain Restriction Apply, Based on credit score of 680
Thank you to Steve Brown of First Continental Mortgage for the update.
Wednesday, February 27, 2008
Tuesday, February 5, 2008