Bozeman Montana Real Estate Information Archive


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Understanding REO Sales

by Brittney Dahlberg

REO Sales: When Will They Peak

HousingWire estimates that REO’s will not max out until 2013. Foreclosure sales are expected to reach 1.48 million in 2013 seconds Bank of America Merrill Lynch.

HOWEVER, with the continued surge of REOs, "we do not expect to see anywhere near the downward pressure on home prices that we had back in 2008, since the expected percent changes in liquidation volumes are so much smaller," the analysts say. The change will come from a shift from private bank portfolios to government backlogs. Overall, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and Department of Housing and Urban Development are expected to liquidate 595,000 properties.

In order to handle the surge, the government is considering proposals of turning some foreclosures into rental and refinancing more underwater borrowers so they’ll be less likely to walk away from their property. Analysts are divided on this solution, but no matter what, creative answers need to be found and acted upon.

For information on bank owned properties in the Bozeman, Belgrade, Big Sky markets, click on 

Source: “REO Sales May Not Peak Until 2013,” HousingWire (Oct. 17, 2011)



Housing Market Fixes

by Brittney Dahlberg

Housing Market Fixes: Spending Big Bucks or Saving on the Small Adjustments?

Continuing the handful of minor adjustments in the housing market is projected to hasten the already advancing housing market. GOOD NEWS: A major monetary overhaul is not needed!

"I take a great deal of solace in recent numbers. The stability in non-distressed prices is encouraging and suggests an underlying stability in the overall housing market. If you can implement policies that reduce the share of distressed sales of the total market, housing should see a dramatic recovery quickly." says Moody's Chief Economist Mark Zandi.

Zandi’s three core issues within the housing market today are as follows:

Valuation: Values of houses have been dramatically high comparatively to incomes and rental costs. Housing prices are leveling out at a more parallel rate to income although still high compared to rents.

Overbuilding: Excess inventory on the market will take a few years to even out. The current surplus in supply needs to meet up with the rate of demand.

Foreclosure: ~3.4 million first-mortgage loans are in foreclosure right now. Prices are expected to decline until the amount of foreclosures starts to go down.

Simple solutions such as government sponsored enterprises (Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac) can make it easier to refinance and do principal reductions. The attorneys’ general suit against banks which improperly handled documentation on mortgages must reach an end. Distressed sales will go up and short sales/foreclosures held up by such suits will fall in the long term. The last minor fix is with credit. Credit needs to get back to the pre-boom levels. Getting qualified borrowers back into the market to take advantage of the ‘outstanding quality’ of different loans currently being offered.

"Our problems are not drastic," Zandi said. "We don't need to do one big thing to fix all of this. We've gone a long way to right the wrongs in this industry. There are just a few things we need to do around the edges. If you can implement policies that reduce the share of distressed sales of the total market, housing should see a dramatic recovery quickly."

Tim Hart

At Home In Bozeman--Tim Hart


Bright News In the Housing Market

by Brittney Dahlberg

Rental Market Is The Housing Market's Bright Spot:

When housing prices drop, sellers and buyers look for different options. 1.4 million households have decided to move into rental housing this year—a 4% rise of the number of tenants from last year. Home ownership has dropped 1.5% in that same time.

Most of this rental demand is being generated from young couples and newly built households who are postponing homeownership. But as always, this trend is like a pendulum and as demand for rentals increase, vacancy rates are dropping and rents rising. Look for new multi-dwelling constructions, higher priced monthly dues, and property sales on the rise.

“With rental demand rising and apartment economics improving, the multifamily sector is a positive signal for the U.S. housing industry,” writes Frank Nothaft, Freddie Mac’s Chief Economist, in the October 2011 U.S. Economic and Housing Market Outlook.


Tim Hart

At Home In Bozeman--Tim Hart

Non-Traditional Living: Adults Moving in With Relatives

by Tim Hart

New studies are suggesting that 30% of adults are living with their relatives. “Doubling Up,” this trend of co-habilitation, is at levels that have not been seen since the Great Depression. The recent US Census data shows the greatest rise is found in young adults who are moving back in with parents. About 5.9 million Americans 25-34 live with their parents, a 25% increase compared to the years prior. Men are twice as likely as women to make this untraditional move in life.

In conjunction with this new data, renters and home owners are also delaying new home purchases due to tougher mortgage qualifying standards and concerns regarding the economy and job security. Still, the majority feel home ownership is an important keystone in life and they feel more and more comfortable with the direction the housing market is moving. 

Tim Hart

Improved Job Statistics Propel Mortgage Rates Up

by Brittney Dahlberg

Improved Job Statistics Propel Mortgage Rates Up

1-Year ARMs: hold as an average of 2.9%. A year ago the 1-year ARM averaged at 3.4%

5-Year ARMs: found a mean of 3.06% this week. A year ago, a 5-year ARM was at 3.47%

15-Year FRMs: averaged at 3.37% as compared to last year’s 3.72%

30-Year FRMs: 4.12% is the average this week in contrast to 4.27% last year!

ARMs (adjustable-rate mortgages) and FRMs (fixed-rate mortgages) are important indicators for potential buyers who are on the threshold of buying. 30-year financing options are the most popular according to Freddie Mac.

“An employment report that was better than market expectations helped to lift long-term Treasury bond yields and mortgage rates as well,” Frank Nothaft, Freddie Mac’s chief economist, notes. In September, the economy added 103,000 workers; however, the unemployment rate still remained high at 9.1 percent.

Record lows have been being seen across the board over the last month with future projections of staying well below 5% through 2013.

If now is the time for you to buy, CLICK HERE 

Parents Assisting Children with Housing!

by Brittney Dahlberg

Parents Assisting Children with Housing!

FHA’s Kiddie Condo Loan Program is a non-occupant co-borrow program allowing parents to assist their children buy a single family home or condo as they go off to college instead of paying for the costs of rent or dorms. The kiddie condo is just a nickname for a whole realm of options available for buyers-not only condos. Both borrowers take the title of the property and sign for the loan together.  

Tight credit standards, rising college tuition costshigh unemployment rates, and the drop in scholarship availability are all solidifying the idea of family unity when it comes to the housing market. Young adults and their parents are picking up on the opportunity presented to them by the real estate market—a joint financing package that benefits both parties. Parents who are weary of stock market investments are securing an investment in real estate. Young adults are able to build their real estate portfolio from a very young age with their parent’s backing.

The benefits of a ‘kiddie condo’ are numerous. First off, intra-family loans offer higher returns, interest rates are lower on the loan, and, as a joint unit, child and parents can compete in the market on a scale neither would be able to do alone.

National Family Mortgage say that they have assisted families finance $12+ million in loans! Become one more success story!

“I could never be in a house without by parent’s help, and they would never have been able to have purchased this investment property without me. I am 1/3 of the owner and am learning what it means to be a first-time home buyer. The Kiddie Condo option is certainly something that every college student ought to consider. The cost of rent is so high. I got to paint, design, landscape, and feel a deep pride in coming back at the end of the day to my HOME.” –Brittney Dahlberg

Information From:

Home Owner's Association: Fine Print

by Brittney Dahlberg

Life happens. Flood damage, snow damage, ect. If you are part of a Home Owner’s Association, who is it that pays the price of repair?

Determine the cause of the damage or loss do weed out if there were neglectful parties involved (for then it is their maintenance issue). Be sure to document exact damage as soon as possible after the damage is done to give the most accurate estimates for repair requests.  Take pictures.

Review legal documents affiliated with your HOA bylaws. This may offer you easy guidance. Key words to focus on are “unit, common element, limited common element, maintenance responsibilities of owners, maintenance responsibilities of home owners association, insurance responsibilities, and enforcement procedures” (

Inform you HOA so they know what is going on.

Generally, owners are responsible for things within the boundaries of their unit and HOA takes care of shared or common spaces. But note: maintaining a component does not imply that repair is included if that component fails. In the instance of owner negligence, the owner is always responsible. Your HOA policies should be consistent and very clear. This is for your protection as well as theirs. If you have questions, step up and ask! 



As a Consumer, do YOU Understand Your Mortgage?

by Brittney Dahlberg

As a Consumer, do YOU Understand Your Mortgage?

Zillow Mortgage Marketplace recently conducted a survey with results indicating home buyers may not fully understand the basic ideas behind real estate mortgages. Zillow Mortgage Marketplace Director, Erin Lantz, noted that, "Most people wouldn't jump out of a plane if they didn't know how to use a parachute, yet each year many buyers commit to the largest loan they will take out in their lifetimes without understanding essential information about mortgages. By simply spending a few hours researching how a mortgage works, and by shopping around for the most competitive rates and fees, buyers can save a lot of money."

  • 44% of prospective buyers are not confident of their knowledge of mortgages or the process as a whole.
  • 57% do not know how ARMs (adjustable rate mortgages) work.

An ARM is a mortgage loan with the interest rate adjusted periodically based on an index reflecting the cost to the lender of borrowing on the credit markets. ARM interest rates adjust according to prevailing rates. Borrowers may experience lower or higher rates when the ARM is reset. 

  • 34% do not understand that lender fees are negotiable and vary by lender.

Lenders are not required by law to charge a constant fee for credit reports and appraisals. As a buyer, ask your agent or shop around for the best fees-they are running a business too.

  • 45% believe they should always buy mortgage discount points.

Depending on how long the buyer intends on owning a home, mortgage discount points, or prepaid interest, may not be beneficial. On average, each discount point on a 30-year loan lowers the interest rate by .125%. Calculating your monthly payment without and with the points and comparing them will get you the true savings each month. If you divide the amount charged for points at closing by the monthly amount saved, the resulting number is the number of months you must keep the loan to break even.

  • 55% do not know mortgage rates fluctuate throughout the day.

Mortgage rates are very similar to stock prices in the amount they can vary from day-to-day. Shopping around and watching overall trends in the market will benefit a buyer.

  • 37% think pre-qualifying for a loan means they have secured financing.

Pre-Qualifying is an approximation built by a loan officer of what a buyer can afford. It is an estimate that is not committed to be funded until a lender has approved it.

  • 42% do not know that FHA (Federal Housing Administration) loans are available for all buyers.

Not just for first time buyers, the FHA insures mortgages on single family and multi-family homes with fixed rate, adjustable rate, energy efficient, graduated payment, condos, and for growing equity mortgages.

 As agents, we have an obligation and should insist that the lenders we are associating with have educated the buyers regarding the type of loan they are committing to and answer any questions they may have. From the exposure agents and lenders have to the market as a whole, we can grow numb to the fact that this world is foreign to many buyers.  If a client does not know what they are getting into, it can only lead to problems for them down the road.  Transactions can be smoother, more efficient, and overall more enjoyable for all involved with a simple effort to clarify, be detailed and thorough, and help answer your clients’ questions.

“Ipsos, a market research company, performed the survey and said that it involved a "nationally representative" sample. The results are considered accurate within +/-3.1% of what they would have been had the entire U.S. adult population been polled.”


Displaying blog entries 1-8 of 8