Major Mortgage Regulation Changes, and Harper Woods Market Update:

As of October 3rd, those applying for a residential mortgage will find that things have changed dramatically. New federal regulations mandated by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau were put in place to provide consumers with concise and consistent data. In a nutshell, these new regulations were devised to better protect the consumer and make sure they know exactly what they are obligating themselves to before sitting down at the closing table.

Without getting into all the sleep inducing details, there are some things you need to know. The biggest thing people will notice is that home purchases will take longer. There is no sidestepping this one. Over the years, we have all become accustomed to the 30 day closing. According to the title companies and most lenders we have spoken to, those days are gone. Lenders and title companies alike are telling real estate professionals to now allow 45-60 days to close a loan. Any change in loan type (conventional, FHA etc), loan term (10 year, 15 year, 30 year etc), interest rate (fixed or adjustable), or even down payment amount can restart the time clock on closing the deal, so it is more important than ever for a buyer to speak to a lender prior to hitting the pavement and looking at houses.

Consumers will no longer see a Good Faith Estimate when applying for a mortgage, nor will they see a HUD at closing. They will instead receive “The Loan Estimate,” at the time of application, and “The Closing Disclosure Form,” prior to closing. The consumer must receive this “Closing Disclosure Form” three business days prior to closing. This means the days of getting a clear to close from a lender and scrambling to close that day or the next are gone. This was done to ensure the buyer has time to see exactly where their money is going, and not feeling pressured to sign quickly at closing without really reviewing everything.
These are just some of the things that were changed to protect the consumer, and it’s far too early to know how it will pan out. If you have further questions, your local Grosse Pointe Board of Realtors member can help answer your questions, and if necessary refer you to a local lender who is well versed on this new TILA-Respa Integrated Disclosure Rule.

Harper Woods Real Estate Bouncing Back

A city we talk a lot about around here, but rarely see much in the way of numbers to back things up is Harper Woods. As you probably know, The Grosse Pointe Public School System spans into part of Harper Woods and the communities share some mutual aid services. So I have been looking for a place to squeeze an update about what is happening real estate wise there.
Though the numbers are mostly positive, unit sales themselves are down from last year. All stats that follow are from from January through the end of September in their respective years. In 2014, 143 homes sold in Harper Woods, in that same timeframe in 2015, 134 homes have sold. So an overall decrease of 6%. While this isn’t ideal its certainly not the end all be all. The rest of the residential resale news in Harper Woods is quite good. As far as average sales price goes, in 2014 it was $53,494, and in 2015 it was $58,511 for the same time period. That’s an increase of 9% and an indicator that prices are steadily increasing. Median sales price has also crept up in 2015. In 2014 it was $49,500 and in 2015 it was $52,400. One final indicator that shows things are much better than they were is overall inventory. In 2014 there were 305 homes on the market at the end of September, and in 2015 there were 253 on the market. This is a decrease of 17%, and another strong sign of stability in the market. Like most of Metro Detroit, the Harper Woods real estate market has had a nice little rally this year and we anticipate it to continue at a modest rate.