Solid growth is expected in the Scottsdale home remodeling market this year, but momentum should begin to moderate in the fourth quarter, according to the Leading Indicator of Remodeling Activity index released recently by the Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University.
Researchers say the housing recovery has temporarily lost some of its momentum and sluggish home sales may result in lower Scottsdale home remodeling spending by year's end.
Nationwide, home remodeling spending is expected to reach $153.1 billion by the close of 2014, up from $139.9 billion in the fourth quarter of last year, a 9.4 percent gain, the survey said. But compared to the projected spending in the third quarter this year of $158.9, spending is expected to drop by 3.6 percent by the end of 2014.
Scottsdale Home Remodeling Continues to Recover
Scottsdale home remodeling spending has already recovered a significant share of its losses from the downturn. Kermit Baker, director of the Remodeling Futures Program at the Joint Center said in a statement, “As spending moves into the next phase, we expect to see recent double-digit growth tail off to its longer-term average in the mid-single-digit range.”
While Scottsdale home remodeling growth is expected to be solid, housing starts are expected to continue on slow growth pattern over the rest of the year. Privately owned housing starts in March grew by 2.8 percent, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, but at a slower rate than last year.
For more Scottsdale home remodeling tips and advice, visit our Scottsdale Home Improvements section of articles to your right under Scottsdale Real Estate Categories for more articles and information.
A Scottsdale cash out refi may soon be a thing of the past, and has in fact, already tumbled from a peak of $320 billion in 2006 to just $32 billion in 2013.
During the housing boom of the mid-2000′s, a Scottsdale cash out refi became a popular outlet for homeowners. Homeowners were encouraged to think of their homes as ATM’s they could easily withdraw cash from, in the form of a cash out refinance.
Decrease in Scottsdale cash out refi popularity is due to three reasons:
1. A Scottsdale cash out refi is closely tied to an increase in home prices.
Despite jumping 11.5% year-over-year nationally in 2013, inflation adjusted housing prices are still down about 30% from the bubble peak.
In addition, analysts don’t expect home prices to continually rise as they did in the bubble years, which could make borrowers less likely to withdraw equity from their homes. Home prices are projected to increase by 4% in 2014 and 2% in 2015 followed by a 2% increase on average in the long term. As a result, many borrowers would still be unable to use a Scottsdale cash out refi due to the lack of home equity.
2. A shift in borrower mentality from using their homes as an ATM.
Homebuyers are making more of a concerted effort to pay down or pay off their debts instead of expanding or upgrading. As lending standards tightened after the crash, borrowers’ credit quality has improved.
3. A Scottsdale cash out refi is not always cheap when compared to alternatives like home equity loans.
While the interest rates on a Scottsdale cash out refi are usually lower than those on a home equity loan, they can become expensive once additional loan level pricing adjustments are factored into the equation.
Depending on the FICO/LTV combination, a borrower could pay up to 3% of their mortgage balance upfront or 0.75% additional annual interest rate for a cash out refi. Additionally, cash-outs are not available to high LTV borrowers. Guidelines stipulate that a Scottsdale cash out refi is not permitted for borrowers with LTV greater than 85. Finally, closing costs are required for cash-out refinances, but they are not needed for home equity loans.
Given these 3 factors, it would seem unlikely for the Scottsdale cash out refi to make a comeback or return to pre-crash levels.
For more mortgage tips and information, check out the link to our Scottsdale Mortgage Info under Scottsdale Real Estate Categories to your right.
It's pretty much a foregone conclusion that Scottsdale mortgage rates have already hit their all-time low when the benchmark 30-year fixed rate was 3.31 percent in November 2012.
Scottsdale home buyers won't see that level again. But the point the folks at Freddie Mac are making is this: Scottsdale mortgage rates right now remain historically low. Remember the 1980s and 18 percent?
Scottsdale mortgage rates have remained right at or below 4.5 percent for weeks now.
Scottsdale Mortgage Rates in Comparison
One thing seems certain: we aren't likely to see average 30-year fixed mortgage rates return to the historic lows experienced in 2012.
Had a borrower purchased a home a year ago, he or she would be paying about $90 less in interest a month, or about $1,080 a year.
But Freddie Mac takes the long view for a better perspective.
During the 1970s, the average 30-year rate was 8.86 percent. That average surged to 12.7 percent in the gloomy real estate days of the 1980s.
The all-time record high occurred in October of 1981, hitting 18.63%. That's more than four times higher than today's average 30-year fixed rate of 4.51% as of last week.
So as you can see, Scottsdale mortgage rates today still make now one of the best times to buy a home in the last 40+ years.
Check out our other articles and news affecting Scottsdale mortgage rates by clicking on the Scottsdale Mortgage Info link to your right under Scottsdale Real Estate Categories.
Finally spring is here. Time to start working on getting your Scottsdale yard ready for the coming summer weather. It's always great to see green grass again when all you've been looking at all winter is dormant grass (unless you planted winter rye and have been seeing green all winter.)
With spring comes a greening of your Scottsdale yard and the hope and promise that there will be plenty of yard work for months to come.
Tips for Getting Your Scottsdale Yard Back in Shape
Stay off the grass. Wait for the ground to dry before walking on it to pick up branches and other debris. When it's wet, footprints can damage turf and give weeds a chance to take hold.
Keep an eye on that tree. Feeling a little iffy about that big old oak tree that's next to your house? A tree with a pronounced lean to one side signals a problem and so do unhealthy or off-color leaves, a branch without leaves in summer, or little bark. Most roots are within a foot from the surface, so any activities that affect the soil, such as a new driveway, often affect the roots. To learn whether your trees are at risk of failing, find a certified arborist at the site of the International Society of Arboriculture.
Sharpen those blades. Dull mower or tractor blades stress the grass, making it more prone to disease. Sharpen them and they'll cut cleaner and faster. Experts suggest having the blades sharpened and balanced three times during the growing season.
Test your soil. Why guess what your soil needs when you can spend as little as $10 for the experts at your local cooperative extension to test it and provide solutions. Some even come to your house. You'll find out if limestone is needed to raise the pH of acidic soil or sulphur for lowering the pH of alkaline soil. A complete test analyzes nutrients and offers a fix. You'll find your local extension here.
Find out which weeds are trouble. While you have your co-op extension expert on the phone, ask which weeds and pests your Scottsdale yard can tolerate. Dandelions may improve the soil structure, but if you're not wild about them, you might want to cut off their heads before they go to seed or use a special fork-like tool to pull them out, removing the entire root. Clover takes nitrogen from the air and nourishes the soil.
Just these 5 Scottsdale yard tips for spring can mean a big difference in the look of your lawn during the summer months.
These are just a few of the many ways to get your Scottsdale yard ready for summer. For more home improvement tips, visit our Scottsdale Home Improvements section under Scottsdale Real Estate Categories to your right for more articles and information.