The National Association of Realtors President, John Smaby, believes real estate firms should remain optimistic about the future. "To look optimistically toward the future, with a majority expecting profits to increase in the next two years. These trends are positive signs, particularly in our constantly evolving industry."
Good News for Real Estate
Cold Spring for the House Market
Springtime invites many new home buyers into the market. However, this year seems to be taking a slow start due to higher prices. This is mainly hitting high economy areas, like California and other western states and cities and is part of a trend we've seen over the last five months. There are also too many homes and not enough buyers which has made homes more expensive.
Flood Insurance Reform
In 2017, House Financial Services leadership announced that the flood insurance reform would be a priority. The flood program was going to expire on September 30th, in 2017. However, several controversial reform bills were introduced that stalled in Congress. Once the 2017 hurricane season hit, Congress changed focus which led to multiple short term extensions of the flood program. 2018 saw many extensions which turned into program lapses and more week-long extensions.
Tax Returns for 2018 are a Little Different
Doing your taxes from 2018 could look slightly different than it did last year. There were more than 600 rule changes that took place by the Tax Cut and Jobs Act, which was passed by Congress in late 2017. Those changes also made industry experts concerned because of the government shutdown on December 22nd of 2018. However, this was resolved by President Trump announcing that the Government will partially be up and running on January 25th, making it possible for taxes to be filed as early as the 28th. Tax filers need to understand that it won't be the usual system used in previous years due to the changes.
What's Coming in 2019?
The economy will experience ups, downs, and plateaus in 2019. After a well rounded 2018, how will 2019 fare against it? Well, professionals are saying not that great. This year will be slowed, not drastically, but we should expect numbers to go down. You can not expect numbers to stay high forever. This is just economic nature; like a roller coaster, it goes up and down.
SETCO is Prepared for Growth in the Real Estate Industry!
The Mortgage Bankers Association estimates a 4.2 percent increase in mortgage originations from 2018 to 2019. In addition to that, the refinance originations are expected to decrease by 12.4 percent to $395 billion. Overall, in 2019 there is predicted to be a significant decrease in mortgage originations from $1.64 trillion to $1.63 trillion. Setco is prepared to handle these changes with stride. These estimates allow us to be sure that we properly handle our client's closings to make it the best and easiest process of their lives.
The Best Defense Is…A Good Title Professional?
If you’re in the market for a new home this year, it’s more important than ever to watch out for so called “phishing” scams. These information gathering scams target homebuyers who are nearing the closing date on their mortgage loans. Fraudsters attempt to steal the homebuyer’s closing funds, such as their down payment or closing costs, by sending the homebuyer an email posing as the homebuyer’s real estate agent or settlement agent (title company, escrow officer, or attorney). The email falsely claims there has been a last minute change in the closing process, usually a change in the wiring instructions. It instructs the homebuyer to wire or otherwise electronically transmit the closing funds to an account that looks legitimate, but that the scammers control.
Why Should I Care About Lien Waivers?
Buying a home went from a dream to a nightmare for a Wisconsin couple, after a contractor claimed the previous owner didn't pay him for his work. Mere weeks after moving in, the new owners found a note on the door of their home from a contractor claiming the previous owner hadn’t paid for work done on the house. The letter notified them that the contractor was putting a lien on the property for $27,000, which could mean the new owners are on the hook for that money.
Online Closing Crime is on The Rise…Protect Yourself!
In light of the hacking and cyber-heists we saw in 2017, you have probably taken some precautions with your own data. Password changes, updated security measures, keeping a closer eye on your credit reports. But if you're buying a home and heading to the final closing, you may be more vulnerable than you think to the fastest-growing form of real estate cybercrime in the United States, thefts of home purchase money sent by wire to complete real estate transactions.
Smoothing The Path to Closing
When you’re finally ready to buy or sell your home, the wait for closing can seem endless. You’ve made your choice, you know the time is right for you, but you can’t move in or out yet because all the paperwork has to be completed. The process always takes time, but the difference between a smooth closing and one that is fraught with complications and setbacks can sometimes be small.