Real Estate Information Archive


Displaying blog entries 1-9 of 9

Single Family Home Sales On the Rise

by Tim Hart

Good News in the Real Estate Market!

New-home sales for single families rose 1.3% in October marking it as the best pace for new-home sales since May! New construction is revealing recent signs of picking up new-home activity compared to last year’s statistics.

"Builders have been seeing some marginal improvement in sales activity over the past few months, particularly in select markets where consumer confidence is higher due to improved economic conditions," Bob Nielsen, chairman of the National Association of Home Builders, said in a statement. "While this trend is encouraging, overall sales activity is still well below normal due to the effects of overly tight credit conditions for builders and buyers, the continued flow of distressed properties on the market, and inaccurate appraisal values on new homes."

Still, nationwide inventories for new-homes are still at an all-time record low. This can be interpreted in a positive light. Builders are able to keep their inventories at a rate matching the current sale rate, keeping the number sustainable.



Tim Hart



Mortgage Principal Write-Downs

by Tim Hart

Mortgage Principal Write-Downs


20 Democrats of the House of Representatives are urging for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to reduce the mortgage principal of borrowers who owe more than their home is worth. The 


Representatives argue that this action would reduce the risk of defaults for 20% of Freddie and Fannie mortgages.


On the other side of the debate, the regulators of Fannie and Freddie, the Federal Housing Finance Agency, refuse to act due to concerns that writing down principal balances will create a ‘moral hazard by prompting other borrowers to cease in making loam payments on time.

We will be eagerly watching to see where this discussion ends.

Source: “U.S. House Democrats Press for Mortgage Write-Downs,” Reuters News (Nov. 22, 2011)


Affordability in the Housing Market!

by Tim Hart

---Housing Affordability! Consistent Record Levels----

 News has been dominated by the low interest rates and efforts to stabilize home prices in order to push housing affordability in the third quarter to its highest levels in the past 20 years. So far, the third quarter has boasted some impressive statistics. 72.9% of all homes sold were affordable to families earning a median income of $64,200. This is the 11th quarter that affordability measure was above 70%

"With interest rates at historically low levels and markets across the country beginning to improve, home ownership is within reach of more households than it has been for nearly two decades," Bob Nielsen, chairman of the National Association of Home Builders, said in a statement. "However, tough economic conditions — particularly in markets that experienced major changes in house prices and production — as well as extremely tight credit conditions confronting home buyers and builders continue to remain significant obstacles to many potential home sales."

Source: National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Opportunity Index

Fed Focuses On Real Estate

by Tim Hart

Ben Bernake, the Federal Reserve chairman, is considering buying more mortgage-backed securities to help the other fixes hoping to serve as a trickle down backbone for strengthening the rest of the economy. He comments: “The housing sector is a very important sector. Problems in that sector are a big reason why our economy’s not recovering more quickly.”

Economists believe that more people must buy homes to boost consumer purchases in other sectors (furniture, appliances, home repairs equipment) The housing market has led the economy out of recession in the past by creating jobs and increase both endurable and durable spending.

Although the housing market continues to be bogged down by a high rate of foreclosures, home sales rose 1.5% last month.


Tips on Foreclosure Buying

by Tim Hart

Although a tedious process, many buyers are drawn to foreclosure sales because it is known to be the bargain price in the housing market. Statistics back that up. Distressed sales range from 20-40% less than a non-distressed home. With the appeal in the market, buyers must also take heed of what they are facing when they set out on a distressed sale search.

Here are three tips to help you navigate!

Focus on REO’s. Avoiding short sales will keep the process from getting too lengthy with the infamous negotiations associated with short sales. REO sales are more similar to traditional home sales. "A bank isn't emotionally attached to a REO; it's just looking to recoup as much of its losses as possible," Blomquist told Business Insider. "So the lender is often more willing to capitulate on price."

Do Not Forget The Inspection. Many distressed sales are sold ‘as is’ and with the purchase of it, the buyer will inherit the multitude of problems if the buyer is not careful. Getting an inspection will allow buyers to have a list of issues along with estimated costs of repair so that they can then make the best decision and possibly negotiate a lower price on the home.

Do Not Expect Instant Appreciation. Just because a buyer gets a home with a big discount, this does not imply appreciation will rise right away. Being educated about the market will help to set reasonable projections on the shifting value of your home.

If you have questions and need help in the current market, connect with me. I have investment and market experience for BozemanBig Sky, and surrounding areas.


Tim Hart


Taking a Ski Trip to Big Sky, MT

by Tim Hart

If you are planning a ski vacation, look no further than Big Sky, Montana.  For ski-able acreage, Big Sky boasts over 3600 acres of ski-able acreage and 4366 vertical - while Moonlight Basin boasts an additional 2000 acres of 3850 feet of vertical.

When combining Big Sky Resort and Moonlight Basin, Big Sky, Montana offers some of the biggest ski-able acreage in N America with just a few resorts boasting bigger numbers.

Combine the huge terrain with virtually NO lift lines and you can get hooked on Big Sky, Montana skiing quickly.  Although the amenities in Big Sky have always been known as a bit on the 'light' side, the town center is really starting to take off with a new movie theater opening in May, several music amphitheatres, a great selection of restaurants and other services.

In addition, you have Yellowstone Park's west entrance just down the road - about 48 miles, mammoth hiking and snow-shoeing; back country skiing, snowmobiling, dog sled rides, and horse driven sleigh dinners - a lifetime of memories in a week!

My recommendation is to find a great ski rental vacation home in the Mountain Village area of Big Sky - most have good-to-great ski access and jaw dropping views of Lone Mountain and the Spanish Peaks.   One ski vacation rental home to consider is the Sioux Lodge @ This Lodge features: ski access to Big Sky Resort, killer views of Lone Mountain and room for 12 in 4 beds and 3.5 baths, the Sioux provides base camp for an awesome ski vacation.

Visit Big Sky, Montana this winter for an unforgettable vacation ski destination.

Renting a Home Vs Owning a Home

by Tim Hart

Renting a Home Vs Owning a Home

Rising rental costs are pressing renters to match and even outspend owners in housing costs! Since 2005, owner’s housing expenses have increased from 31.9% to 33.2% of their household budget. To compare, in that same time span, renter’s housing expenses have gone from 35.6% to 38.4%. (CoreLogic US Housing and Mortgage Trends).

Looking further back, over the last 26 years home owners have increased the amount spent on household expenses by 12% and renters by 22%. Still, home ownership rates continue to drop in most parts of the country. CoreLogic found homeownership in 25-to-34 year olds has dropped the most from 51.6% to 42%. In the 35-to-44 age group, homeownership declined from 71.2% to 62.3%.

These trends are startling considering Capital Economics found that for the first time in 30 years, the median monthly mortgage is equivalent or less than the median rental payment! Please, look into the options for buying a home and when you reach the point you are ready to take a step forward, visit me!


Baby Boomers in the Housing Market

by Tim Hart

Baby Boomers in the Market

Retirement is yet one more lifestyle change that impacts how a person views the real estate market. Boomers who plan to move for retirement are seeking smaller and more affordable homes that are near medical care and family. A recent poll revealed the current data.

  • Smaller Home (40%)
  • Near Medical Offices and/or Hospitals (39%)
  • Different Climate--warmer (30%)
  • More Affordable Home (25%)
  • Being Closer to Family (15%) 

More and more baby boomers say they do not have plans for post-retirement mostly due to their lack of trust in the market and know that their own home values have dropped. 53% of baby boomers polled are delaying their retirement until they can gain back some of their lost investments.

ONLY 9% of Baby Boomers feel like they’ll live comfortably in their retirement!

Understand the factors a buyer values is essential in matching them with their ideal home. Even more so, educating the public can dampen the insecurity many people, baby boomer and otherwise, have about their own future.

New-Home Sales on the Rise!

by Tim Hart

Sales of newly built single-family homes have been showing signs of rebounding this September with a rise of 5.7%. (Commerce Department). The credit of this rise is given to builders who are lowering their prices as they are competing with the flood of ultra-low distressed home listings on the market. The median sales price of new-homes dropped 3.1% to $204,000—the lowest median since one year ago.

The greatest gains in new-home sales were in the South with sales increasing by 11.2% and 9.7% in the West. In contrast, the Mid-West dropped 12.2% and the Northeast dropped 4.2%.  

"Today's report highlights the gradual improvement in housing market conditions that is becoming evident in certain pockets of the country, as consumers who can surmount very restrictive lending standards to qualify for a favorable mortgage rate seize on this opportunity to buy," Bob Nielsen, chairman of the National Association of Home Builders, said in a statement. "The latest numbers also reveal that first-time buyers are driving the new-homes market right now, as evidenced by the volume of lower-priced, entry-level homes under contract.”

 If you are interested in what the statistics are in theBozeman, MT area, or you would like to be one of these sold/under contract listings, please email me or visit my site!


Source: “New Home Sales Jumped in September,” The Associated Press (Oct. 26, 2011) andNational Association of Home Builders 


Tim Hart


Displaying blog entries 1-9 of 9