Archive for the ‘Home buying information’ Category

Newton, KS Inventory is Up.

Friday, October 1st, 2010

Inventory of homes for sale in Newton, Kansas has been very low for the last half of 2009 and the first few month of 2010. Starting in April, 2010 the number of homes for sale started a rapid increase. In January of 2010 we had only 115 homes for sale, February brought in 105, then March was 103, April 127, May was 131, June 139, July 147, August 160 and September was at 166. On October 1, 2010 there are 160 homes for sale. Inventory fingures of about 150 homes has traditionaly been good for an active real estate market in the Newton area.

February existing home sales rise!

Monday, March 23rd, 2009

shutterstock_252822-internet-size.JPGThe National Association of Realtors said Monday that sales of existing homes grew 5.1 percent to an annual rate of 4.72 million last month, from 4.49 million units in January. It was the largest sales jump since July 2003.

The median sales price plunged to $165,400, down 15.5 percent from $195,800 a year earlier. That was the second-largest drop on record.

February’s median sales price was up slightly from January, which recorded the lowest median price since September 2002.

In contrast with the housing boom, when buyers took out ever-riskier loans and maxed out their home equity lines, “homebuyers are not over stretching” said Lawrence Yun, the Realtors’ chief economist. “They want to stay within their budget.

By summertime, sales are expected to get a boost from a $8,000 tax credit for new home buyers included in the economic stimulus package signed by President Barack Obama last month.The number of unsold homes on the market last month rose 5.2 percent to 3.8 million, a typical increase for the winter months. At February’s sales pace, it would take 9.7 months to rid the market of all of those properties, unchanged from a month earlier.

The bursting of the U.S. housing bubble has caused foreclosures to swamp the market — especially in particularly distressed states like California, Florida, Nevada and Arizona.

About 45 percent of sales nationwide are foreclosures or other distressed property sales, according to the Realtors group. Those properties typically sell for about 20 percent less than non-distressed homes.

That’s great news for buyers, who are paying the most attractive prices in years. Plus, interest rates have sunk to historic lows.

The Federal Reserve last week moved to reduce already low rates by printing $1.2 trillion and pumping it into the economy through the purchases of mortgage-backed securities and Treasury debt.

The central bank also will double its purchases of debt issued by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to $200 billion.
(For more articles like this, check Yahoo News on the Business Tab)

Contact The Franz Team today for answers to your real estate questions! 316-772-6605 or 316-215-1964

Mortgage News

Tuesday, December 9th, 2008

What an Obama Administration Means to Your Mortgage:

The debates are done, the election is over, and on January 20, 2009, Barack Obama was inaugurated as President of the United States. No matter where you fall in the political spectrum, no one knows for sure exactly what this will mean to the future of our country. With this in mind, let’s put all politics aside, and take a closer look at Obama’s plan for our future. And since a home is still the biggest, most important investment you’ll ever make, we’ll focus the limited space of this short article on Obama’s basic housing measures.

More Economic Stimulus – Since trouble in the economy won’t wait until January 20th, plans for another economic stimulus package are already in the works, so we might even see this happen, in one form or another, before the next president takes office.

The new administration has also discussed a housing stimulus as well, to stem the tide of foreclosures, including a temporary 90–day freeze on foreclosures, as well as measures to address the demand side of the housing issue. This package includes $25 billion in state fiscal relief, which Mortgage Law Central says will help avoid “painful property tax increases.”

This administration also wants to “aggressively and comprehensively” implement the recently–passed rescue plan and the Hope for Homeowners Act. This means the Treasury, HUD, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and all of the banks and loan servicers who benefit from the rescue bill will continue to coordinate broad mortgage restructurings and loan modifications for struggling homeowners. No one knows for sure exactly how this will be implemented or what it even looks like yet, but we’ll keep you updated as the details are released.

Reformed Bankruptcy Laws – Obama has promised to repeal the 2005 bankruptcy bill. A controversial measure, this will allow judges to alter mortgage terms during a bankruptcy, providing more protection for struggling homeowners.

New Mortgage Interest Tax Credit – Obama is expected to create a 10% universal mortgage interest credit for those who don’t currently itemize. This means about $500 in savings for 10 million American homeowners.

Protection Against Mortgage Fraud and Predatory Lending – During the campaign, Obama blamed the financial crisis on lax government regulations, so look for tougher regulations, new criminal penalties for mortgage fraud violators, more funding for enforcement programs, more detailed loan disclosure laws, new counseling programs and other consumer protections, including a new Home Obligation Made Explicit (HOME) score (kind of like a new APR calculation) to help borrowers better understand and compare mortgage costs during the mortgage process.

This will go a long way in protecting new home buyers from the opportunists that have given good mortgage professionals a bad name. We hope that any new measures introduced by the Obama administration will help keep a new breed of copycats from invading the financial industry as the real estate market begins to change for the better in 2009 and beyond. From now until the end of the year, you can expect volatility to continue in the financial and credit markets. This means mortgage rates, too, so if you or anyone you know is looking to buy or sell a home, give The Franz Team a call. We can refer you to a lender who will be able to tailor a mortgage package for your specific needs.

An Interest Free Loan??

Thursday, October 23rd, 2008

In today’s ecomomic struggles, it is not often found that ordinary people go the extra mile to make helpful information available to first time homebuyers. However, you are about to meet a team of professionals who seek out ways to do just that.

Gary Franz, Associate Broker with RE/MAX Associates looks for ways to turn a negative market into a positive one. His key players, real estate agents Margie Wiens and Susan Swan make up a large part of The Franz Team along with 2 valuable assistants. They have teamed up with Mike Steele, a local lender with Primary Residential Mortgage.

While some Kansans read the news and follow the patterns of the media to focus on the downturn of the financial markets, Gary and his team have put together a First Time Home Buyers Seminar to educate the public about how it is still possible to obtain up to $7500 in an interest free loan from the government. This is timely because 1) this offer is for a limited time only, 2) this could help spur activity for the housing market in their little corner of the world, and 3) the terms are attractive!

What are the incentives? Why take advantage of this great offer now? Because if you have been renting for a number of years and are tired of watching your money be used to profit someone else, you won’t want to miss an educational seminar to benefit your family and springboard yourself into making your own future a reality.

What is it? A First Time Home Buyer’s Educational Forum
Where? 137 SpringLake Drive, SpringLake Development, Newton Ks
When? Tuesday, December 9, 2008
Time? 7:00 pm–Please RSVP to 316 772 6605
What will you receive? Education to make an informed decision, as well as finding out how easy it could be to get pre- qualified for a mortgage loan, and the opportunity to look at homes in your price range. But that’s not all! You will even get to have beverages,dessert, and enter your name for a drawing to be given away before you leave that evening!

If this sounds like something you would like to know more about, call 316-283-1000 and ask to speak to a member of The Franz Team or email

Mortgage Loans still available

Tuesday, September 30th, 2008

Contrary to what the media says – there are still plenty of mortgage loans available!
The Advantages of FHA Loans
In many regions of the U.S., FHA loans have not been utilized for years, so a lot of real estate agents and mortgage originators aren’t familiar with this
great resource. The following are a just a few of the recent changes that have made FHA loans a more attractive option again for some consumers looking to buy a new home or refinance an existing one:
1) Congress passed the Stimulus Act of 2008. During the recent housing boom, home values surpassed FHA loan limits in many regions of theU.S. The recent enactment of this important legislation, however, increased FHA loan limits up to $729,500 in many high-cost regions of the U.S. through the end of the year. FHA loan limits vary by county, so give us a call for loan limits in your area.

2) The FHA changed its appraisal and fee negotiating guidelines. In the past, many sellers steered clear of FHA loans because the appraisals were
too strict and certain fees were non-negotiable. The FHA has greatly loosened these guidelines to make it easier for both buyers a nd sellers. Appraisal
are based on “Safety, Structure and Security”

3) FHA loans are much cheaper now. Because FHA loans are federally insured, they tend to trade at a higher premium in the secondary market. This means lenders can often charge a lower rate.

Other FHA Benefits:
 FHA loans are not credit-score driven. Borrowers can have a lower score than other products and still qualify for a good rate.
 FHA loans require as little as 3% down.
 FHA loans allow down-payment assistance programs. This allows the seller to cover the buyer’s down payment and closing costs. This means borrowers, especially first -time buyers, or move-up buyers with limited funds, have a real opportunity of getting into a home with little or no cash at closing. For sellers, this means you can offer concessions that make marketing your home much more attractive without having to lower the price of your home again.
 FHA loans allow a) Sellers to finance all of the buyer’s costs to close; b) Homeowners to take cash out up to 95% of the home ‘s value; and c)
Homeowners to consolidate a first and second loan up to 97% of the home’s value.
If you or someone you know is thinking about buying or selling a home, give us a call. We’ll put you in touch with a lender to see if an FHA loan is right for your financial goals and needs.

First Time Home Buyers Tax Credit

Tuesday, September 16th, 2008

We are having another seminar so if you missed the first one, you will want to attend this one! We had good response for September’s meeting and the information was helpful to several who were in attendance.

If you are in the Newton, KS or Wichita, KS area you may be interested in learning how you can receive a tax credit valued at up to $7500!

Who’s this for? First time home buyers or buyers who haven’t owned a home for 3 years.

When is it? Tuesday, December 9, at 7pm

Where do I go? The NEW MODEL HOME IN SPRINGLAKE DEVELOPMENT at 137 SpringLake Drive in Newton KS.

What will I receive? Information about the procedure to apply for a tax credit
Basic information about obtaining a loan as a first time home buyer
Current loan rates and information
Refreshments and a drawing for prizes!

What does it cost? Nothing! Complimentary Admission

Call for additional information or to RSVP! Bring a friend! 316-283-1000

Or…email: and leave the number of people in your party who will be attending.

Sponsored by RE/MAX Associates, 500 Main Place, Newton, KS 67114
The Franz Team: Gary Franz 316-772-6605, Margie Wiens 316-215-1964, and Susan Swan 316-765-1799

Is It Time To Purchase a New Home?

Thursday, September 11th, 2008

Deciding whether to move is no easy task. There are many financial and emotional factors to consider prior to taking that next step. However, once the decision has been made, the benefits soon become apparent. According to the best-selling author of Remodel or Move*, Dan Fritschen, there are several reasons why people choose to move. Perhaps the size of their family has grown and their existing home has become a little too cozy. As children mature, being close to good schools becomes much more important. Job changes can also lead to a desire to move, especially when a commute increases dramatically. In addition, there are idiosyncrasies that are unique to a particular home and its neighborhood. Is the floor plan in the existing home desirable? While remodeling can help to correct certain issues a homeowner may encounter, a bad floor plan can be insurmountable. Is the yard big enough to accommodate the family pets and a garden? Neighborhoods also vary widely. If a person prefers a neighborhood where the residents are social and kids are out playing during the day, then they would not be happy in a subdivision that is quiet and reserved. While moving into a new home is no small task, the benefits of finding the right one are well worth the effort.

The Franz Team has been receiving emails from our local lenders with updated interest rates. These rates fluctuate rapidly, so call a lender to be on the cutting edge.

If you are at all thinking of making a move, call your lender today and get a pre-approval letter. That is the first step to take before you begin the search for your dream home.