Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Your credit score (FICO)

I'm off to the office so I'll make this short and sweet with the help of MSN Money.

Craig Watts says it best when he says: "So, to get a good score, you mostly need a credit history with no reported late payments, as well as low reported balances currently on any credit cards." 

When buying a house, a high score is important in giving you many lending opportunities and the best interest rates. Before buying a home, remember to not incur new credit or borrow against your credit cards. Keeping the balance lower than 50% of your limit is a good idea. Once you meet with the lender and you receive a pre-qual or a loan approval, do not do anything with your credit, don't even buy a new cell phone plan as the inquiries put a dent in your score.  Ok gotta go!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Las Vegas is uniquely at a perfect time to invest!

Las Vegas; it's the go-to place for real estate investors who want to clean up on rental properties.  Here is a article from CNN Money explaining why now is a great time.

From http://money.cnn.com:

Average home price (2011): $130,100
Projected home price (2014): $120,000
Gross rent (2011): $922
Projected gross rent (2014): $966

Las Vegas has the highest foreclosure rate in the nation -- and many of those former homeowners now rent!

"Much of the large workforce in the casino industry consists of renters; the home ownership rate is a low 55%," said Winzer.

While the rental market in Sin City remains robust, rents have been squeezed, falling about 10% since 2007.  Part of the problem is unemployment, which reached 12.4% in May, one of the highest rates of any U.S. metro area.

Winzer expects the rate to fall gradually and that should mean rents will start climbing again. All told, he forecasts Las Vegas residential investment properties will yield returns that are 4.7% above the national average.

There you have it!  There are more renters in the market and the prices of homes are low.  Investors in Las Vegas who rent out the properties they buy now will have a 4.7% HIGHER return than the 5.3% national average.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Is it the right time to buy?

In my opinion....YES!

Las Vegas has been hit hard by the recent events in our economy.  We are a city of nearly 2 million people with currently a low cost of living.  Homes are selling for 30-65% LESS than just a few years ago!  From what I can tell is we are buying homes in 2011 at 2001 prices but there is a difference.  Interest rates.

Interest rates are extremely low when compared to 10 years ago.  January of '01 our prime interest rates were around 9% while today we sit around 3.25%!  If I did my homework correctly, the last time prime was this low was 1955.  So what interest rate can you expect to pay on a mortgage?  4.75% or so.  What this means is money is very cheap to borrow right now, take advantage of it.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Energy Efficiency

My first post relates to a community I went to yesterday.  Driving through the Summerlin area, I pulled in Pulte Homes Villa Trieste.  These homes are located in a great area just off the 215 beltway and minutes from great shopping and restaurants.  As you already know, the prices are fantastic as homes in Vegas are 30%-50% of what they were a few years ago.

Here is what was unique about this community and why it is important.  Villa Trieste is trying out a solar energy system that allows the home owners to produce their own electricity through the use of solar panels built into the roof tops.  Any energy that the home owner does not use is then sent back to Nevada Energy and the home owner is then credited for that energy on their account.  To add to this, Pulte Villa Trieste is LEED (Leadership in Energy and Efficiency Design) certified.  Being at the platinum level this means the homes have 57% energy savings, 35% water savings and they divert 75% of waste from landfills.

I see Pulte as a very forward thinking company and this is in a good way.