Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Christmas Boat Parade at Grand Lake

North Grand Lake Area
 
December 12, 2014
@ Duck Creek and Cherokee Yacht Club
 

29 cruisers and boats toured Duck Creek all the way to the Dam Friday night. 



61 degrees at cruise time.  Not bad for the middle of December.


See the Drone flying over the boats filming the event......







 
 
 
 

Monday, November 17, 2014

Nine Reasons To Buy A House Right Now

                                          Nine Reasons To Buy A House Right Now
                                              Written by Jaymi Naciri on Sunday, 16 November 2014 10:11 am 
                                                                              An Article in Realty Times      

Buying a house is like having a baby: there's no absolute perfect time to do either.
The down payment-interest rate-economic factors-qualification quadrangle can be so confusing. Rising rates, loosening requirements, down payment options, buyer's markets, seller's markets - what does it all mean to you if you want to buy a home? The truth is that while the banks might have a magical formula to determine your mortgage-worthiness, determining if the time is right really comes down to three main questions:

Do you want to buy a home?
Are you financially prepared?
Is your credit where it needs to be?
If yes, then go for it. Here are nine reasons to do it now.
1. Prices are good. According to the latest S&P/Case-Shiller report, home prices are still gaining, but have slowed. "The 10-City Composite gained 5.5% year-over-year and the 20-City 5.6%, both down from the 6.7% reported for July," they said. "The National Index gained 5.1% annually in August compared to 5.6% in July." This is good news if you were afraid that big price gains would put homeownership out of reach and also bodes well for your long-term equity once you purchase.
2. Rates are low. "Imagine paying over 18% interest on a 30-year fixed mortgage. It's almost unthinkable. But that was the reality for home buyers in October 1981 -- a year when the average rate was almost 17%," said Yahoo Finance. "The average rate has been 5.18% since the start of this country's history," making today's rates, which hover around historic lows at 4%, sound even better.
3. Loan requirements are softening. They're not approaching the look-the-other-way-and-stamp-it-approved levels that led to the market crash, but the overly tough restrictions that followed have loosened. "Major lenders are making adjustments," said The Street. "Wells Fargo has lowered the minimum FICO score for borrowers applying for loans insured by the Federal Housing Administration to 600 from 640." They also count JPMorgan Chase's lowered loan-to-value "standards in certain markets for both jumbos and conforming mortgages." For buyers that can mean an easier road to loan approval, even without a ton of money upfront and perfect credit.
4. FHA loans make it even easier for first-time buyers. If your credit is less than stellar and you don't have a large down payment, an FHA loan can get you in the door. Credit scores can be as low as 620 to qualify and only 3.5% down is required. Whether you've never bought before or have been out of the market for a few years, an FHA loan can be your answer.
5. Fewer buyers around the holidays means less competition for you and more negotiating power. "Sellers who are actively looking to sell their homes during the holiday months -- namely, October through December -- are serious about shedding the weight of their residences," said US News. "This often works in favor of savvy buyers looking to get a deal on discounted homes. Having less competition on the buyer's side can mean lower prices on homes, in addition to fewer counter-offers to compete against."
6. Rates are predicted to rise. "The Mortgage Bankers Association expects the average rate on a 30-year, fixed rate mortgage to rise slowly to 5.1 percent by the end of 2015," said the Washington Post. If you want to take advantage of low rates, now is the time.
7. Pent-up demand could zap affordability. "The housing market is about to get even more competitive," said Yahoo. "The pent-up demand of younger professionals, who moved back in with their parents during the recession, is about to explode. This eager subset of buyers will create some steep competition for homes, especially if they have been saving up to make larger down payments or high ticket offers. If the current homes on the market have more potential buyers, bidding wars develop, and the purchase prices are driven up.
8. "Buying is cheaper than renting in most markets," said Housingwire. With a little knowledge of loan options and low down payment programs, you can easily flip the switch from renter to homeowner.
9. Because you want to buy a home. There really is no more compelling reason than that. You want it. So make it happen.

Visit www.realtytimes.com for more real estate related articles.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Real Estate Market Summary for Grand Lake, Oklahoma


Market Summary for Residential Real estate

in NE Oklahoma. November, 2014 Report.
 

The big news is the absorption rate for Grand Lake area real estate has dropped to the lowest level in twelve months and is 80% of the level in May of this year.  There is now only 12 months of inventory available.  This level is due to the lesser amount of homes going on the market and the slight increase in sales in 2014 over 2013.  Days on the market for the average residential home has increased to 196 days In October of 2014.  This is the 2nd highest level for the year and should remail high thru the less active winter months.

The average list to sales price for all residential properties is around 87%.  The median list price of all homes on the market was $154,900 (1/2 of the homes are priced higher and ½ of the homes are priced lower).  The average list price was higher at $251,759 and the average sold price of homes sold in October was significantly lower at $139,895.  44 homes sold below $139,900 in October 2014 and only 31 homes sold higher.  This trend of lower priced homes is continuing with 37 pending sales below $139,900 and only 27 sales above that price range.

 

There are 911 listing on the market at the end of October compared to 1061 a year ago (a 14.15 drop).  YTD there have been 5.4% less listings added to the pool of available homes for sale.  Only 75 homes closed in October, 2014 compared to 89 a year ago.  YTD there have been 767 homes sales.  This is still an increase of 7.7% over a year ago.
 
 

For information on a specific property call Wayne “SHORTY” Short at                        Cell: 918-218-6011 or office: at 918-786-9888.

Wayne Short


Friday, October 31, 2014

Interest rates and how that will effect the housing market.


Interest Rates and Housing Prices


Rates are still holding at historically low rates.  3.5% VA and FHA loans for 30 year fixed rate loans, 3.75% for conventional 30 year and 3.125% for 15 year loans.  Adjustable rate loans are actually higher in the 3.75% range.

The federal reserve has stopped their monthly huge asset purchases to hold down rates and help the economy.  They feel that the economy is strong enough to work on it's own in the "FREE" market.  What will this do to loan costs in the future.  Expect not much till the spring but there is a good case being made that rates are way to low and should rise after the Mid-term elections and the start of 2015.  Last quarter GNP rose by 3.5% and has risen all but two months of the last two years which says the market is ready for higher rates and less help from the government.



House prices in the Grand lake area are steady but in some cases still not as high as they were be fore the financial crises of 6-7 years ago.  Sales units are up around 5% and the average price of homes sold is slightly higher than a year ago.  Our biggest problem on the lake is homes in the $200,000 to $400,000 range that have not been updated in the last ten years and homeowners are disappointed that they may not be worth what they were valued at when they bought them.

Buyers expect deep discounts for dated homes or they expect the homes to have all the latest amenities if the seller expects top dollar. 

For more information on Grand Lake real estate call "SHORTY" at 918-218-6011.

Wayne "SHORTY" Short
RE/MAX Grand Lake
www.Move2GrandLake.com
wayne.short@remax.net

Monday, October 27, 2014

Changes to U.S. Houseing Regulations, major victory fro homeowners.

Breaking/Good News for Housing Industry 
Posted 10/21/14 
Two monumental decisions in U.S. housing regulations this week are major victories for homebuyers – and the housing industry at large.



For starters, the 
final qualified residential mortgage, or QRM, rule eliminates the highly controversial requirement of a specific down payment amount, bringing the rule in line with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s qualified mortgage, or QM, rule. The latter was created to protect borrowers from predatory lending practices.
Another victory for housing: Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are releasing new guidelines that will allow borrowers with lackluster credit profiles to obtain loans with a down payment as low as 3 percent by considering “compensating factors.” Federal Housing Finance Agency Director Mel Watt, who oversees both Fannie and Freddie, announced the government’s new plan in hopes of quelling lenders’ fears when the government-backed loans they sell go sour.



Additionally, Fannie and Freddie also plan to loosen demands on lenders to buy back defaulted mortgages, creating more stability, confidence and clarity for the lending industry.

RE/MAX CEO Margaret Kelly applauded the announcements, which ultimately help first-time homebuyers, as well as those who earn lower incomes, to more easily obtain government-backed loans.
“This is great news for our industry, and it’s a welcomed change we’ve been advocating at RE/MAX,” Kelly says. “Taking a measured but less stringent approach to lending creates more stable housing conditions and, most importantly, opens the doors to homeownership for qualified, willing homebuyers who’ve been sidelined in the wake of the downturn.”
Read more about these key housing developments:
NAR: QRM Mortgage Rule Could Ease Credit for ConsumersLos Angeles Times: Regulator unveils plan to spur lending by Fannie, FreddieNew York Times: Federal Housing Finance Agency Unveils Plan to Loosen Rules on Mortgages

Friday, October 3, 2014

Grand Lake, Oklahome Real Esate Update: October 1, 2014


Grand Lake, OK area Real Estate update

October 1st, 2014
 

 

Good News:  The Absorption rate (time it would take to sell all homes currently on the market) fell again in September and was -22.20% less than this time one year ago.  The number of active listings on the market was down -16% from the same time a year ago.  YTD there are 2427 active listings in the area compared to 2588 for the same period in 2013.  This is a -6.2% lower amount.

 

YTD the average list price of all properties on the market was up 2.59% from a year ago to $226,904 and the average YTD sold price was up 2.27% from a year ago to $172,048.  Owners and Realtors continue to price listings much higher than they are selling for.  During March sales averaged 91% of last list price.  In September of 2014 sales averaged a little over 86% of list price.  This large difference is influenced heavily by the price differential of waterfront luxury homes.

Average days on the market in September, 2014 were less than September, 2013 by -12.32% and down to 185 days (still ½ a year).  YTD the average days on the market increased 6 days from last year’s 172 days.

Good News:  YTD, 680 residential homes have sold in the Grand Lake area compared to 623 homes in 2013.  This is a 9.1% increase in total sales.

More good news:  The October Jobless rate fell to 5.9%.  30 Year fixed rate loans are still in the mid 3% range and should continue to hold through the November elections

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Pelicans in the fall at Grand Lake, Oklahoma

 
 
Pelicans in the Fall at Grand Lake, OK
 
Every fall thousands of pelicans migrate across Oklahoma to their winter nesting sites in the south.  Grand Lake in NE Oklahoma is the stopping off place for many pelicans during September and into October.  Below are some pictures of Grand Lake, Sail boating and our favorite visitors.
 


















 
Thinking about moving or retiring to our area or having a second home at Grand Lake?
Call or TEXT "SHORTY" at 1-918-218-6011
 

Monday, September 15, 2014

Ways to save $'s installing Granite counetr tops.

The Top 8 Ways To Save a Buck When Adding Granite Countertops Written by Jaymi Naciri on Monday, 15 September 2014 8:47 am  PRINT  |              



When it comes to redoing a kitchen, most people think there's not a steal or deal to be found. But, alas, there are ways to cut corners and take advantage of sales and promotions to redo, upgrade, update, or overhaul your kitchen. In this week's special edition of Steals & Deals, we run down the top 8 ways to save a buck when adding granite countertops.
 1. Make friends with your salesperson
No matter where you are buying your granite, your salesperson should be your ally. They have insight into the best options for materials, turnaround times, and vendors for choosing your slab. Plus, if you're nice, they may also tell you when sales are scheduled (this paid off personally for us at Home Depot with a 10% discount because we waited two weeks to sign our contract on the advice of our salesperson.).

2. Go to the Big Box Store
The advantage of working with a store like Home Depot for granite is that, unlike many other countertop providers, you are only required to pay for what you need. So if you have 63 square feet of countertop and the slab you are looking at typically only has 50 square feet of stone, you would have to select and pay for two full slabs from most countertop providers. At Home Depot, you only pay for the 63 square feet.
The other advantage of using a big box store is a huge one: paying over time. Most countertop providers will offer the option of financing, but if you qualify at Home depot or Lowe's during one of their promotions, the financing is interest free. You'll want to check in advance for promotions and ask your salesperson for assistance in finding the one that works best for you. Getting in on one of Home Depot's 24-month no-interest plans is the best deal we've seen (and one we took advantage of). Just be sure to calculate your monthly payment properly and pay on time every month so you don't end up with a whole bunch of accrued interest.
What you will have to contend with at a big box store is a more limited selection of granite options, priced according to their grade ("Granite price is determined by a number of factors, including supply and demand as well as color, movement, character, and how accessible the material is for quarrying and shipping," said Brother Stone.) If you find something you like, and it's priced according to your budget, this isn't an issue. If you don't want to be limited in your granite selection, a smaller store might be your best bet.

3. Go to a smaller countertop provider
Many of the smaller stores use the same slab yards and fabricators as the big box stores, however you can pick out any slab you want, as long as you can afford it. You may pay more depending on the slab you choose and the amount of square footage you need. Or, you may pay less because you have more options available to you. It all depends on the grade and the stone.
TIP: Be sure to ask your salesperson and, later, the person helping you at the stone yard, if they have any slabs in your desired color range that are larger than average. If your square footage puts you just over the max for one "typically sized" slab, finding one larger slab instead of two smaller ones could save you hundreds of dollars.
ANOTHER TIP: If you have a small serving area or a desk in your kitchen, ask about remnant pieces in the stone you want. By using remnants for the smaller areas, you could potentially get around having to buy a second slab.

4. Keep an Open Mind
If you don't have your heart set on a particular granite, you might be able to score a great deal on something that the stone yard has an overage of or that has been in the warehouse a while. Sometimes all you have to do is ask. And, again, be super nice. Nobody's going to go out of their way for a grouch.
Once you're at the granite yard, the folks in the warehouse may also be able to show you additional options that may be similar to what you want but be less expensive and more widely available. Remember that if you are working with Home Depot or Lowe's you have to stay within their program to get their prices. Choose outside of their program—even if the granite supplier has the slab in their warehouse—and you could double your materials cost.

5. Be Flexible
Choosing special edges and applications can greatly increase your cost. Many countertop providers give you several edges to choose from at no extra cost. The big box stores only offer a few options at no extra cost. By using the standard edges, you can keep your price down. Same goes for the finish. Anything honed or finished to resemble the appearance and feel of leather will cost you more.

6. Have Someone Else Do Your Demo
In our case, our handyman and his crew were more than capable of pulling up our nasty old counters and chipping off the dark slate tiles that made the windowless kitchen look like a cave. This saved us $400.

7. Have Someone Else Do Your Plumbing
Depending on your current sink situation, you may need to replace it. Some sinks can be either undermount or drop-in, and some sinks (like ours) cannot. You can purchase a new sink (and a faucet if you need one) from most countertop providers and set up the plumbing through them. You can do the same through one of the big box stores. Or, you can use your own plumber or handyman for the plumbing and potentially save yourself some cash. In our case, it was $300 less to use our handyman, who unhooked and removed our old sink and faucet and then came back and reconnected our plumbing to our new sink and faucet 24 hours after the countertops were installed.

8. DIY Where You Can
Looking for an opportunity to take out a little aggression? Swing that sledgehammer yourself. Just be aware of where the electrical lines and plumbing and all the other fun things that could cause floods and power outages before you go for it. Also be aware that tearing down a backsplash may seem like big fun…until the tile that seems to have been genetically modified to become one with the wall takes the wall down with it (thankfully, our handyman also knew how to patch and drywall).
If you're not the wrecker type, maybe you're the make it pretty type. Putting up a backsplash can be an easy and fun experience—one the whole family can get in on (ours did—even our eight year old!). Especially if you're using something on a mesh backing, you should have little trouble doing a fairly good job. Set aside a weekend, watch a YouTube video or two, ask the advice of your friendly Lowe's guy, who's happy to point out which trowel, float, and grout to use, and you're good to go.
TIP: If your tile is offset, meaning it is not a straight edge down the side, you're going to have to cut down the pieces that stick out to use along your outside border. If you're not adept at using a wet saw or just deathly afraid of losing a finger (guilty!), ask in your Lowe's tile department (our Home Depot didn't have a wet saw in use) if they can make any cuts for you in the store. Ours did, and it cost us nothing.
 
Info from RealtyTimes.com
 
Wayne "SHORTY" Short
RE/MAX Grand Lake
Grove, OK
www.Move2GrandLake.com
918-218-6011
wayne.short@remax.net
 

Friday, September 5, 2014


August, 2014

Marketing information for the Grand Lake, OK Real Estate Market
 

Previously I have added quite a bit of graphs, charts and numerical data on the Grand Lake real estate market.  Today I think I will just do a little more narrative report on Sales Activity.

Only one piece of data is really a little negative for the month of August, 2014.  Average days on the market for August, 2014 was 7.23% higher than a year ago and has reached the 6 month level.  Having said this…..There were 16.2% less total homes listed for sale last month than in 2013.  This trend is not just recent to the summer.  For the entire year of 2014 there were 7.3% less homes on the market compared to a year ago.  The good news is time on the market should decrease but at the same time there is less choice of homes for buyers.  New listing of homes in August of 2014 was actually down 17.8% compared to the same month in 2013.

SALES ARE UP:  The Number of sold homes in August, 2014 was 9.5% higher than the same month in 2013.  Year to Date there were 9.4% more homes sold then last year.  This trend should continue for the next few months at least as pending sales in August, 2014 were up 10.8% over the same month in 2013.

OTHER Statistics:  It would take 13.5 months to sell all homes now listed if no other homes were placed on the market.  That time is over 20% less than one year ago.  The average sales price in August, 2013 was $205,932.  That is 11% higher than the same time a year ago.  Average sales price for the entire year was $172,689, 3.5% higher than 2013.  Homes sold for 89% of list price in August, 2014.  That number is about 2% higher than a year ago.

The previous data was taken from the Northeast Oklahoma MLS on September, 5, 2014

CONTACT:

Wayne ”SHORTY” SHORT, CRB, CRS, MBA

wayne.short@REMAX.net or Cell: 918-218-6011


RE/MAX Grand Lake, Grove, OK 74344