Listing of the Week: Northern exposure home for sale, private island included

2202 Sawmill Creek Rd, Sitka, Alaska
For sale: $1,945,000

By Erika Riggs, Zillow

The city of Sitka sits on Alaska’s Baronof Island and is flanked on the east by mountains and on the west by the Pacific Ocean. It is surrounded by hundreds of small islands, some of which hold private homes. However, there’s only one Sitka home for sale that boasts both waterfront and island property.

The special parcel is populated by some very handsome structures, including a main house set back from the Sitka road system and completely hidden by trees. There’s also a boat house where a 180-foot steel walkway leads to guest quarters that are situated on quaint, separate Bart Island.

Listing agent Jason Shaffer testifies to the home’s uniqueness.

“This is the only property like this in Sitka. There are other islands near Sitka with city power with houses, but they are only accessible by float plane or boat,” Shaffer said. “The beauty of this home is that it’s accessible from the main road system, but you feel like you’re on an island.”

Built in 1950, the main home has been completely renovated by the current owners with significant updates to the kitchen, including installation of high-end appliances and granite countertops.

Sitting on about 6.5 acres, the main home has five bedrooms, three bathrooms and a little over 3,000 square feet of living space. The home also has custom, locally-made furnishings, pine floors, large wooden decks and an extensively landscaped yard.

Across the steel walkway, the half-acre Bart Island has a house and separate guest quarters. The 1,250-square-foot guest house was custom-built in 2000 and features a hot tub, vaulted ceilings, radiant heat in the tiled baths as well as complete city power, water, phone and cable.

The separate, 700-square-foot guest quarters was constructed in 2003 and has an additional two bedrooms, two bathrooms and wood decking and complete access to all utilities.

The current owners have for years used the home as a summer residence, occasionally renting out the guest quarters.

“They’ve enjoyed it for the time they’re had it and are ready to move on to something else,” explained Shaffer. “They’re ready for someone to come in and use it as it is, or keep the island property for family.”

With current mortgage rates, a monthly payment would be $7,391, assuming a 20 percent down payment on a 30-year-mortgage.

 

The author of this article is: Erika Riggs

 See the original post at: http://bottomline.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2012/01/04/9927150-listing-of-the-week-northern-exposure-home-for-sale-private-island-included

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Several Housing Markets Head for Appreciation in 2012

A boom in farm prices has caused many Midwest cities to emerge as leaders for some of the strongest predictions for housing appreciation in 2012. Kansas City, Kan., came in the top spot in HousingPredictor’s annual survey, forecasting an appreciation of 5.8 percent for this year.

“The recovery is starting in housing with these cities and will eventually spread to other communities throughout the nation as the U.S. recovers from the worst collapse in real estate since the Great Depression,” according to HousingPredictor.

Here are the top cities expected to have housing appreciation in 2012 and by how much, according to HousingPredictor’s latest report:

1. Kansas City, Kan.: 5.8%

2. Topeka, Kan.: 4.7%

3. Charleston, W.V.: 4.5%

4. Oklahoma City, Okla.: 4.3%

5. Minot, N.D.: 4.2%

6. Overland Park, Kan.: 4.2%

7. Wichita, Kan.: 4.1%

8. Huntington, W.V.: 4%

9. Wheeling, W.V.: 3.9%

10. Bismarck, N.D.: 3.6%

11. Casper, Wyo.: 3.5%

12. Lake Charles, La.: 3.4%

13. Rapid City, S.D.: 3.2%

14. El Paso, Texas: 3.2%

15. Cheyenne, Wyo.: 3.2%

 

The author of this article is: realtormag.realtor.org

 See the original post at: http://realtormag.realtor.org/daily-news/2012/01/03/several-housing-markets-head-for-appreciation-in-2012

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Featured Gay Realtor: Bryan Thompson, Agentowned Realty Company, Charleston, SC

A native South Carolinian, Bryan Thompson has many years of selling and marketing leadership, ready to put to work for you!

With the majority of his working career with Marriott Hotels and Resorts, Bryan was responsible for all marketing and sales activities for the Renaissance Charleston Hotel-Historic District for over five years. Bryan Attended high school in Fort Lauderdale, Florida during the gay 80’s and came out then. College at University of South Carolina-Upstate. In addition, Bryan recently completed the graduate level program EFM from Sewanee, The University of the South.

Bryan is the past president of the Alexandria, Virginia Hotel Association, Vestry Member of St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church and a member of (past board member) of AFFA-the Alliance for Full Acceptance.

Bryan lives on James Island in Seaside Planatation where he owns two homes. Bryan’s love of the lowcountry is clear and in particular, Bryan has a close connection with James Island, Folly Beach, John’s Island, West Ashley, Kiawah Island, Sullivans Island, Isle of Palms and the historic district/peninsula/south of broad areas of the Charleston region.

Whatever your real estate desire, Bryan Thompson is happy to assist. If you are visiting the beaches and considering resort property, Bryan is just a click away.

Bryan has numerous years of working with persons relocating to the Charleston/Spartanburg areas and looks forward to assisting you. Lowcountry specialty areas are James Island, West Ashley, Mount Pleasant, South of Broad, Downtown, Peninsula and historic homes. Folly Beach, Kiawah Island, Sullivan’s Island and Edisto Beach/Island are also areas of specialty.

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Professional/Personal Distinctions:

Vestryman, St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church, Former Board member of AFFA (alliance for full acceptance of lgbt persons) General Manager of the year (2003) for hotel brand, Past President of the Alexandria Virginia Hotel Association, Vice Chair of the Alexandria Virginia Convention and Visitors Bureau. Helped sponsor the Jewish Community Centers kids fair annual gala and raised money for the Children’s Miracle Network and the Medical University of South Carolina’s MUSC Children’s hospital.

 

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Occasionally we’ll feature one of our top gay real estate professionals here to let our readers know about some of the great Gay Realtors, Lesbian Realtors, Gay Friendly Realtors, and other Real Estate Professionals at GayRealEstate.com

 

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What Does the Average Home Owner Pay on a Mortgage?

Hawaii home owners tend to take on the most debt in their home purchases with an average home loan amount of $677,299, according to a recent study by LendingTree.com, which revealed the average loan amounts on residential real estate purchases in 2011. That means the average home owner in Hawaii would have a monthly payment of about $3,234 for a 30-year mortgage, before taxes and insurance, according to LendingTree data.

Meanwhile, in Mississippi, home owners take on the lowest loan amounts at $137,182or $655 monthly mortgage payments, on average.

The national average for a home loan is $222,261 with a $1,061 average monthly payment for a 30-year mortgage at 4 percent, according to LendingTree.

The following are the top states with the highest loan amounts, including the average closed home loan for 2011, according to LendingTree:

  • Hawaii: $667,299.33
  • Washington, D.C.: $393,453
  • New Jersey: $344,240.85
  • New York: $340,124.50
  • Maryland: $328,650.89
  • Connecticut: $326,416.85
  • Virginia: $312,930.83
  • California: $310,676.35
  • Utah: $276,211.67

The author of this article is: realtormag.realtor.org

 See the original post at: http://realtormag.realtor.org/daily-news/2012/01/03/what-does-average-home-owner-pay-mortgage

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Mortgage modification workshop coming to St. Lucie

Troubled borrowers in South Florida have another chance to meet face-to-face with lenders.

United Financial Counselors is sponsoring a foreclosure-prevention workshop Thursday (Jan. 5) in Port St. Lucie.

The event will be from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. at Divine Anointing Worship Center, 402 S.W. Hibiscus St. To set up an appointment, call (786) 288-5320 or (877) 509-3160.

Representatives from GMAC and Chase, along with local attorneys and accountants, will be on site to offer free advice. Some homeowners may leave with mortgage modifications, said Jason Walowitz, president of United Financial Counselors, a non-profit group based in North Miami Beach.

Wells Fargo and the Urban League of Palm Beach County held similar workshops last month. Other consumer groups have been sponsoring the events for the past few years.

 

The author of this article is: Paul Owers

 See the original post at: http://weblogs.sun-sentinel.com/business/realestate/housekeys/blog/2012/01/mortgage_modifications.html

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Low mortgage rates not enough to drive demand, survey finds

Even the demand for refinance mortgages, which accounted for more than 80 percent of all applications, fell slightly.

Lenders were offering 30-year fixed-rate mortgages to solid borrowers at an average of 3.95 percent this past week, according to Freddie Mac, the ninth consecutive week of rates at or below 4 percent.

That wrapped up a year of record lows for the survey, which dates to 1971. In 1981 and 1982, the average 30-year mortgage carried an interest rate of more than 16 percent, and the typical rate was above 8 percent as recently as 2000, Freddie Mac said. This past year, the average was 4.45 percent.

Despite the record low rates, applications for mortgages to buy homes dropped as the year ended, even after seasonal adjustments, the latest Mortgage Bankers Association survey found.

Even the demand for refinance mortgages, which accounted for more than 80 percent of all applications, fell slightly.

“Remarkably, low rates are not enough,” said Mortgage Bankers Association economist Michael Fratantoni, noting that many homeowners have difficulty refinancing because of “lack of equity in their properties, poor credit and a weak job market.”

With loans hard to get and demand for home loans waning, Morgan Stanley analysts titled their housing outlook for 2012 “The Year of the Landlord.”

“While we had forecast lower prices (for 2011), we did hold out some hope that at the very least transactions would pick up slightly from 2010 levels,” said the report from a team led by analyst Oliver Chang.

“However,” the report said, “it proved to be too optimistic a prediction. Not only did total home sales fail to rise, but also mortgage applications for purchase continued to fall — indicating that not only is tight mortgage credit limiting demand, but even the desire to buy a home continued to wane.”

The recent bottom in rates stems from anxiety over the European debt crisis, which has increased demand for U.S. Treasury securities. That has depressed the yield on Treasurys, which act as a benchmark for mortgages.

This past week’s typical offering rate of 3.95 percent on the 30-year loan was up slightly from a record low of 3.91 percent set a week earlier. The 15-year fixed loan, popular with refinances, averaged 3.24 percent, up from 3.21 percent.

Start rates on adjustable loans also were up very slightly from record lows, Freddie Mac said.

Borrowers would have paid about 0.75 percent of the loan amount upfront to obtain the fixed rates, Freddie Mac said.

Its survey asks lenders across the nation what rates they are offering to borrowers with 20 percent down payments or home equity, good credit and income sufficient to repay the mortgages.

 

The author of this article is: E. Scott Reckard

 See the original post at: http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/realestate/2017122183_realmortgages01.html

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FHA says: Flip that house

Flippers, the real estate investors who buy homes on the cheap and quickly resell them at a profit, just got a reprieve from the Federal Housing Administration.

In an effort to help stabilize housing prices and unload some of the foreclosures that are flooding low-income communities, the mortgage insurer extended a waiver of its anti-flipping regulations through 2012.

The waiver, which was initially issued in 2010 and set to expire this month, suspends regulations that prohibit the agency from insuring mortgages used to purchase homes that are bought and resold in less than 90 days.

“This extension is intended to accelerate the resale of foreclosed properties in neighborhoods struggling to overcome the possible effects of abandonment and blight,” said Acting Federal Housing Administration Commissioner Carol Galante.

Low-income neighborhoods are particularly plagued by foreclosed homes that lower property values and act as magnets for crime and other social ills. Real estate flippers often rehab these damaged homes before reselling them, improving conditions for neighborhoods.

0:00 / 3:08 Investors flip farmland for cash, not crops

The FHA, which does not issue mortgages but insures them, is a primary player when it comes to mortgage lending in low-income communities. Many loans in these communities could not be issued without FHA backing.

The ban against flipping was initially put in place to prevent predatory flipping, in which homes are quickly resold at inflated prices to unsuspecting borrowers.

In order to qualify for the waiver, certain conditions must be met. The transaction must be “arms length” with no other relationship between seller and buyer.

In addition, if the new sale price is 20% or more above the previous selling price, the lender has to document and justify the increase and meet other conditions, such as making sure the home has been inspected.

Since the waiver went into effect in February of 2010, the FHA has insured more than 42,000 loans to purchase homes that were being resold within 90 days. These totaled more than $7 billion in mortgage principal.

 

The author of this article is: Les Christie

 See the original post at: http://money.cnn.com/2011/12/29/real_estate/FHA_flipping_waiver/index.htm

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