Editors Note: Expert house flipper Scott Yancey and his wife, Amie, are best known as the stars of the hit A&E TV show “Flipping Vegas” that showcases Scott and Amie buying, rehabbing and flipping houses. Here’s an excerpt from a column written by Yancey for the December 2012 issue of the Foreclosure News Report.
For those of you who pay attention to the daily headlines, and most of us do to some degree, there are some rumblings in the real estate arena. It’s no secret that the housing bubble burst a few years ago, stoking the flames of financial disasters both here and abroad. And although I’ve told my students over the years that there’s always an opportunity in real estate perhaps, just perhaps, there’s no time like right now. I’ll explain.
First, home prices appear to have stabilized. Yes, all real estate is local and just because one report claims home prices are slightly higher than this time last year, it may not be true in your neighborhood. But you can’t escape the trends. Home prices have not only stopped falling, they’re rising.
The regarded S&P/Case-Shiller index reported, again, that home prices appear to have bottomed out nationally and are on a slow but steady upswing. The National Association of Realtors reported in November similar findings. Out of 149 metropolitan areas across the country a solid 120 of those showed an increase in value. The same report in 2011 showed only 39 out of 149 metropolitan areas enjoyed increased prices. The study also showed home prices increased by 7.6 percent over the same period the year before. That’s the most dramatic upswing since 2006. That’s a big deal.
Second, foreclosures are falling and there are fewer foreclosed homes in inventory. Prices for foreclosed and short sale homes appear to have bottomed out as fewer of these homes hit the market.
Finally, interest rates are at record lows. Again. While much of the attention given mortgage rates is for those wishing to refinance, the often overlooked fact is that more people can buy a home than before. The buyer’s pool becomes deeper and wider. Today, a 30 year fixed rate with no points is readily available at most lenders under 3.25 percent. A 15 year mortgage can be found at 2.75 percent or even lower. And the pundits say, and I agree with them, that while the economy may be on the mend it’s hardly a barn-burner and interest rates will remain low for some time.
These three newsworthy events taken separately are important. But combining all three? Home prices rising. Foreclosures falling. Interest rates at historic lows. It’s time to invest in foreclosures and short sales. Now!
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