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Irongate Real Estate Blog
Area-Wide Open House Day Coming June 5th - 05/24/11
As part of the REALTOR® Nationwide Open House weekend, Irongate is partnering with the DABR and the Dayton Daily News to present the 4th Annual Ultimate Open House. We are encouraging all our REALTORS® to hold an open house on Sunday, June 5th. The low interest rates, available inventory, and competitive prices will help bring out home shoppers that weekend.
As has been done in the past, the DABR also be holding a drawing for $100 Lowe's Gift Cards. So if you're a shopper, sign the Irongate open house register to enter. Your Irongate REALTOR® will then send a copy of the register in to the DABR so that you can be included in the drawing!
Look for the big Irongate blue REALTOR® balloons at open houses in two weeks!
Creating Buyers: Southern Ohio Mortgage Helps Level The Playing Field! - 03/16/11
In a victory for home buyers everywhere, Irongate's mortgage partner Wells Fargo & Co. is the first major lender to lower credit score requirements for FHA mortgages. Borrowers with FICO scores as low as 500 could qualify for a mortgage based on the newly revised lending standards. A FICO score of at least 600 was previously required. To ensure responsible, sustainable home ownership, the revisions come with a few restrictions. Borrowers with scores below 580 will be required to make a down payment of at least 10 percent and have a maximum debt-to-income ratio of 31 percent. Borrowers with scores of 580-599 will be required to produce a down payment of at least 5 percent.
Ask your Southern Ohio Mortgage Consultant at your neighborhood Irongate office today about ways you can use this new program, or share the good news with friends and family looking to own their home.
Dayton region ranks near top of lists for deals on starter homes - 9/28/10
City gets top ranking in affordability with a $102,300 median home value.
By Thomas Gnau, Staff Writer for Dayton Daily News
Dayton ranks among the top cities in the nation for first-time homebuyers looking to get a great deal, according to two recent reports.
CNBC ranks Dayton No. 2 among cities that are promising places for first-time homebuyers. Real estate website Zillow.com puts Dayton at the top of its list.
Zillow puts the Dayton area's median home value at $102,300, with an average monthly mortgage payment of $496.96, amounting to mortgage payments as a percentage of income of 12 percent.
Alison Paoli, a Zillow.com spokeswoman, said CNBC used Zillow data and other sources, including demographer Bert Sperling's Best Places, to come up with its ranking. On Zillow's ranking, Dayton is No. 1, Paoli said.
Amy Bohutinsky, Zillow marketing vice president, said Zillow considered affordability of homes compared to median incomes. The site did not look at average value appreciation over time, she said.
Typically, Zillow finds that where starter homes are more affordable, there is less appreciation over time, she said. Where there is faster appreciation, it's tougher to buy that first home, she added.
Steve Brown, president of Centerville's Irongate Realtors, isn't surprised by the distinction.
Historically, local home values have always been "extraordinarily competitive in comparison with the national market," Brown said. With today's surplus inventory and low interest rates, Brown said the "affordability factor is unquestionable."
Still, Brown cautioned that first-time buyers should plan to stay in their home for at least three to five years to cover initial purchase expenses. He said that the longer owners remain in their homes, the more likely they are to have a shot at achieving some equity.
Mortgage rates lowest in 5 decades - 7/22/10
The Dayton Daily News reports today that mortgage rates have sunk to the lowest level in more than five decades!
Freddie Mac said Thursday the average rate for 30-year fixed loans sank to 4.58 percent this week, the lowest since the mortgage giant began keeping records in 1971. The last time they this cheap was the 1950s...
But tighter lending standards and declining home equity have made it difficult for many to refinance. The Mortgage Bankers Association said Wednesday that applications for mortgages rose nearly 9 percent last week from a week earlier, but remain at only about half the level of early 2009. (Refinancing is generally considered worthwhile for homeowners who can shave at least three-quarters of a percentage point off the rates they pay now and plan to stay in their homes for a long time.) It only makes sense to call one of our Southern Ohio Mortgage Consultants today to see if you can save thousands a year on your mortgage if you can save a point or two!
The Value of a House is not just money - 6/30/10
A recent opinion piece in the 6/28/10 New York Times says it all:
....For many Americans, economic shifts, from the housing bubble and its painful pop to the waning of job security, pensions and other benefits, have changed the home from a haven into a commodity: a bargaining chip in an increasingly uncertain world. Not so long ago, your house or apartment and its network of neighbors, shops and services supplied a feeling of belonging and stability that anchored you in life's shifting currents. Now, a sense of security increasingly means selling your home, not staying in it. As one friend says, "it's your unemployment insurance or retirement package."
It's our good fortune to have a home to sell, but I'm pained by the prospect of trading its psychological benefits for the financial sort. My research on how places affect our behavior has convinced me of the dwellings importance as what scientists call a "secure base." Interspersed between our exciting forays into the great world of novelty, change and risk, our returns to a familiar refuge soothe and refresh us - and importantly, remind us who we really are. Even monkeys of all temperaments periodically stop exploring their larger environment to race back to their nests to "touch base,"
studies show, and this visibly calms them and decreases their levels of cortisol in the blood and other measures of stress. In other words, the home is not just a place to sleep and eat, but a "womb with a view" that produces a deeply restorative experience. A few months ago, I was profoundly reminded of the home's deeper value when my 96-year-old mother died peacefully in hers, as she had wished. After Dad's death, she had insisted on staying on in their big, inconvenient house in Cape May Courthouse, N.J., filled with 40 years worth of her special things, and surrounded by what the philosopher
Martin Heidegger called the larger dwelling created by her church, neighbors who checked on her, clerks who carried her purchases to the car. After all, in the past and in many places still, "home" doesn't mean just your house but also your village or community, where you're known and understood.
Even when Mom's health failed in her 90's, her home continued to sustain her. When she had to move downstairs, my retired brother moved in upstairs, found helpers and cared for her. On a snowy February night, she died in her former dining room, surrounded by the people and things she loved. We moved back and forth between her bedside and the fire-lit den, holding her hand and talking to her, telling old stories and laughing and crying as simply as children. When she slipped away - mercifully free from distress, thanks to hospice care - we said more goodbyes, kissed her, lit a candle.
A nurse in a shiny white ski parka who really did seem angelic came to certify her death, and then the undertaker, who had "buried" Dad and was a neighbor, gently took her body away.
After the funeral, friends and relatives came back to Mom's house for lunch and toasts to her memory. The peaceful passing of a very old, frail lady is not a tragedy. When I think of Mom's death, the word that comes to mind is "sublime," and her home was crucial in making it so.
Like the old song says, there's no place like home, not because of the real estate, but because of the sense of shelter and nurture that it provides. This deep, wordless experience can't be manufactured in an instant but develops slowly, one birthday party, convalescence, Thanksgiving and cup of tea at a time. If our house is sold, I wish that I could pack up its sights, sounds, smells and store of memories as easily as my mother's old Waterford, now mine.
Rebuilt Together Dayon - 5/10/10
On Saturday, April 24, members of the Dayton Area Board of REALTORS®, including several Irongate Realtors (along with friends and family) gathered at a Dayton home to renovate and spruce up the property on Morton Avenue.REALTORS® converged on the home at 8am to scrape, paint, replace drywall, and renovate the home for a needy family. No expertise was required other than the willingness to make a difference in the community!This project supports "Rebuilding Together Dayton" and their annual National Rebuilding Day. Check out the video - among the participants you'll see our own Howard Schumacher making his cameo appearance! Thanks to all the Realtors who participated in this wonderful project.
Average & Awesome - 4/05/10
For those of you who don't know, Google is working to build and test an ultra high-speed network in a number of trial locations across the country. They claim that it will deliver Internet speeds more than 100 times faster than what most Americans have access to today, with over 1 gigabit per second, fiber-to-the-home connections.
Several organizations throughout the Dayton Region have come together to respond to Google's Request for Information. As part of the response, a website and Facebook fan page have been set up to allow residents to show their support of the initiative. The goal is to let Google know that Dayton is an average American city that does awesome things.
If you compare the regional statistics for things like age, income, education level and more, you'll see that the Dayton Region's numbers fall right in line with the national percentages. This makes us a great test market.
But Dayton also has a history of innovative contributions to the world. It started with the Wright Brothers and continues today with research and development in emerging technologies such as RFID, fuel cell development, advanced immersive reality, micro air machines and more. Imagine what we could do with an ultra high-speed internet network! Think how quickly one could search for homes!
Check out the video - DAYTON; AVERAGE AND AWESOME -- on You Tube. That's Irongate Realtor Chip James of our Springboro introducing and concluding the video! Go, Dayton!
Irongate has joined scores of cities and companies in Dayton supporting the Google inititative.
How to Get the Extended Home Buyer Tax Credit - 3/16/10
You've decided to purchase a home and take advantage of the Extended Home Buyer Tax Credit. Here's what you have to do to get your benefit:
Close on your home purchase between November 7, 2009 and April 30, 2010, or have a binding written contract by April 30, 2010 and close by July 1, 2010.
Decide whether to:
apply the credit to your 2009 tax return, filed on or before April 15, 2010;
file an amended 2009 return; or,
apply the credit on your 2010 return, filed on or before April 15, 2011.
Attach documentation of purchase to your return.
When to Apply the Credit
Buyers who purchased homes on or before December 31, 2009 may claim the credit on their 2009 tax returns.
Buyers purchasing in 2010 will have the option to:
Claim the credit on their 2009 return, even if the purchase is completed after December 31, 2009;
File an amended return for 2009 if their purchase is completed after April 15, 2010; or,
Claim the credit on their 2010 tax returns.
Applying the Credit to Your 2009 Taxes
You will need to do three things to claim the credit on your 2009 tax return:
Fill out Form 5405 to determine the amount of your available credit;
Apply the credit when you file your 2009 tax return or file an amended return;
Attach documentation of purchase to your return or amended return.
Then and Now! - 1/22/10
As we look back during our 35th anniversary year, it is fun to compare real estate then and now:
In 1975, the average selling price in the Dayton MLS was $32,141. The percent of list to price sold was 96%.
Today, the average selling price in the Dayton MLS is $128,464. The percent of list to price sold is 95%.
In 1975, the three areas with the highest average selling price in the Dayton MLS were:
West Kettering — $50,091
Centerville/Wash Twp — $48,276
Oakwood — $43,100
Today, the three areas with the highest average selling price in the Dayton MLS are:
Mason (King-Miami SD) — $286,441
Centerville-Washington Twp — $276,798
Oakwood — $249,363
In 1975, mortgage rates hovered at 8.75% for a 30 year fixed with 20% down and 1% closing costs.
Today, mortgage rates hover at 5.25% for a 30 year fixed with 10% down and a credit score of 740+.
In 1975, Irongate Inc., Realtors had: 1 office, 5 owner/managers, 1 staff person, 8 agents and annnual sales were $15 million.
Today, Irongate Inc., Realtors has: 6 offices, 2 owners, 6 managers, 24 on staff, 350 agents and annnual sales over $400 million.
But one thing has not changed: our commitment to serving clients.
Thanks for 35 years, Dayton! Here's to 35 more!
Irongate - Real People For Real Results!
Tax Credits Extended! - 11/25/09
The President has signed legislation extending the $8,000 tax credit to first-time home buyers! And more importantly to every current homeowner in America: the government is now offering a new tax credit up to $6,500 to any home buyer provided they have lived in the home they are selling, or have sold, as their principal residence for five consecutive years in the past eight years!
What's the catch?
You must purchase your new home by April 30, 2010, and close by July 1, 2010. The clock is ticking on this tax credit. The time to buy is now!
The new credit is limited to individuals with incomes up to $125,000 or married couples with incomes under $225,000. Most Americans are squarely in this range!
There is an absolute limit to the cost of home you may buy. Homes over $800,000 do not qualify for a tax credit. (And, you will have to supply your purchase documents with your 2010 tax forms to prove your purchase.) That covers about 90% of the homes in the Dayton market!
What can you do to take advantage of this unique market opportunity? Call you Irongate agent today for more information.
Good News for the Dayton Market! - 10/26/09
The third-quarter of 2009 ended in the entire Dayton MLS region on a high note as for the third straight month, the number of transactions exceeded the figures for the same month in 2008. September's sales total reached 983, a 4.46% increase over September 2008. This was the highest year-over-year increase for sales since April of 2006 for the Dayton MLS. Irongate's own figures mirrored the region's increase!
The average Dayton market sale price for the month was $127,781, whereas Irongate's average sale price was signficantly higher at $136,870.
Overall active single-family MLS inventory at month's end stood at 8,501 listings, 243 listings fewer than August's figure, which is a typical seasonal decline. The available listing supply based on September's sales pace stood at 8.6 months. In 2008 there were 10,233 available single-family listings and a 10.8-month's supply, at the same time.
If this trend continues we will have turned the corner in housing, returning to more normal conditions. That's really good news for home buyers and home sellers, alike.
Market has turned in the Dayton Area - 9/16/09
After two years of slow decline, existing home sales for the entire Dayton and surrounding area markets finally turned the corner this
summer posting very positive numbers. Sales in July and August were 3% higher than a year earlier across the Dayton market. The market also marked the sixth consecutive month of increasing sales prices; and inventories stood at an 8.4 months supply, down from a 10.3 months supply last year at
Irongate's own numbers were even better, highlighted by an average sales price of $137,581 vs. $120,015 a year ago!
The first-time homebuyer tax credit has certainly helped to spur sales - coupled with the usual uptick in activity during the summer.
The market is beginning to turn - now is the time to make your move! If you are thinking of buying, rates are low. If you are thinking of listing, there
Existing Home Sales Show Signs Of Encouragement - 8/04/09
Existing home sales in the Dayton market and surrounding areas showed signs of real encouragement in June. Overall, sales in the Dayton market reached a total of 1,061 - a big leap of 208
units - or 24% - over May's activity, and fell just 20 units shy of June 2008's total. But at Irongate, pending home sales are up for the third consecutive month - the first time in over two years
for such a streak. This corresponds to a national trend revealed in the "The Pending Home Sales Index" in the Midwest, a forward-looking indicator based on contracts signed in June, increased 0.8%,
and is 11.6% above June 2008.
Lawrence Yun, chief economist for the National Association of Realtors® recently said a combination of positive market factors is fueling the gains: "Historically low mortgage interest rates,
affordable home prices and large selection are encouraging buyers who've been on the sidelines. Activity has been consistently much stronger for lower priced homes," he said. "Because it may take
as long as two months to close on a home after signing a contract, first-time buyers must act fairly soon to take advantage of the $8,000 tax credit because they must close on the sale by November 30."
Yun expects existing-home sales to gradually rise over the balance of the year, with conditions varying around the country. "It appears home sales are on a sounder footing and inventory is gradually
Springboro Named In Money Magazine's "Top 100 Places" - 7/24/09
(Taken from Money Magazine 7/09)
Top 100 rank: 41
Founded by Quakers in 1815, Springboro was a safe haven on the Underground Railroad. Many of the original homes still stand in the town's six-block historic district, which is on the National Register.
Despite the rolling farmland and country clubs, residents are just minutes from Interstate 75, which connects to nearby Dayton and Cincinnati.
Homebuyers here get lots of bang for their buck. Springboro is also home to La Comedia, the nation's fourth-largest dinner theater, which attracts tourists from all over the state."
Who is typical first time homebuyer - 6/30/09
According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR) the typical first-home buyer is 30, and has a median income of $60,00. They are one of the reasons that sales of existing homes showed another gain in last month, benefiting from favorable affordability conditions and a first-time buyer tax credit. May's increase was the first back-to-back monthly gain since September 2005! That was as true for Irongate, as it was for the country as a whole...
The chief economist of the NAR, Lawrence Yun, explained the rise this way: "First-time buyers are being drawn off the sidelines by the $8,000 tax credit, which is helping to absorb inventory. However, the increase in sales is less than expected because poor appraisals are stalling transactions. Pending home sales indicated much stronger activity, but some contracts are falling through from faulty valuations that keep buyers from getting a loan."
Yun said the appraisal problem is serious. "Lenders are using appraisers who may not be familiar with a neighborhood, or who compare traditional homes with distressed and discounted sales," he said. "In the past month, stories of appraisal problems have been snowballing from across the country with many contracts falling through at the last moment. There is danger of a delayed housing market recovery and a further rise in foreclosures if the appraisal problems are not quickly corrected." It's one of the reasons you need to work with a professional Realtor®, so as to let them address these issues on your behalf, and work to solve them quickly.
Yun concluded his remarks by stating that existing-home sales in the Midwest jumped 9.0 percent in May to a pace of 1.09 million. The median price in the Midwest was $145,800, which is lower than a year ago. Irongate's median price in the Dayton market - one of the most affordable in the nation - was $128,000+.
- Irongate Marketing Department
Improved Home Sales - 3/22/09
"Sales of previously owned homes in the United States showed unexpected strength in February", the New York Time reported today, "offering a glimmer that the tumbling housing market may be searching for a bottom ..."
The National Association of Realtors reported on Monday that sales of existing homes rose 5.1 percent in February after a 5 percent decline in January. Home sales in the Northeast, South, West and Midwest all gained ground for February as buyers scooped up foreclosure properties.
The nationwide average for a 30-year fixed mortgage is 5.08 percent compared with 5.62 percent a year ago. Our partners at Southern Ohio Mortgage are offering loans with interest rates near 4.8 percent.
Economic Stimulus and Housing - 2/17/09
With stimulus legislation in the headlines everyday, We thought we would share some important and
exciting news about real estate as it relates to the bill just signed by the President.
–The government is giving up to an $8,000 tax credit to home buyers for the purchase
of any home they will use as their primary residence for the next three years.
Buyers are eligible for a refundable tax credit equal to 10 percent of the purchase price of their
new home, up to $8,000. Unlike a similar credit that Congress provided last year, you don't have
to pay this one back!
–What's the catch?
You must purchase a home after January 1, 2009 and before December 1, 2009. The clock
is ticking on this tax credit.The time to buy is now!
The new credit gradually phases out for individuals with incomes over $75,000 or married
couples with incomes over $150,000.Most Americans are squarely in this range!
You must reside in the residence for 3 years from the date of purchase.
You must be a first-time home buyer to qualify for the credit. A "first time buyer" is defined
as anyone who has not owned a primary residence in the last three years.Is that you, your
children, a relative or a friend? If so, there's a new home and up to $8,000 waiting for you!
–Will this make any difference in the housing market, or in the Dayton market, specifically?
Yes! The National Association of Realtors estimates that these provisions could stimulate up
to 300,000 additional home sales in the next few months, thus helping stabilize home values.
–What can I do to take advantage of this opportunity?
Contact us for the full details of this extraordinary tax credit, because there are additional
provisions including higher loan limits for FHA, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and increases in
the residential tax credit through 2010 for certain energy efficient upgrades.
Dayton is a great place to live and a great place to own a home. Now is the time to list or buy
your own home - it really is a time like no other in recent history. Interest rates are at historic
lows, mortgages are available, inventory is good, and prices have never been more competitive.
Contact us today and let the Irongate "Family of Real Estate Services", Mortgage, Title, and Insurance,
help you and your family take full advantage of this market and unique opportunity.
Timing the Market - 2/10/09
The market, as a whole, remains weak. According to the latest available figures from the Dayton Area Board of Realtors (December 2008) home sales in the greater Dayton market were down 16% over a year ago. But to put that in perspective, many areas of the country are down 20 - 40%. What is not reflected in these latest stats either , is the uptick we at Irongate experienced in January - despite the worst weather in recent memory. And showings scheduled for February are going gang-busters.
So is there a silver lining in these clouds? You bet. Everybody needs to live somewhere, so those selling homes are buying others. What sellers are losing on one end of a deal, they are more than making up for it on the other...
With interest rates hovering around 5% (at historic 50-year lows) a solid inventory of homes for sale at great prices, and incentives from the government for first time buyers on the way, there has never been a better time to buy that first home, or a bigger, better or more convenient home, luxury or retirement condo, or a vacation home in the Miami Valley. (That lake house is waiting.....) This buyer's market won't last forever though. The number of homes listed with the Dayton Area Board of Realtors has declined 9% from over a year ago - meaning that fewer homes are coming onto the market. The law of supply and demand requires that eventually prices will rise.
We've said for the past two months - but if you are trying to time the market - now is the time to buy!