The Seattle area offers up some interesting insight and trends in real estate that may get traction in the national picture before you know it. In 2014, the hottest properties on the market were apartments. Investors were grabbing rental properties faster than office buildings, and that trend may be matching the market outlook in some areas. Young people are renting for longer before buying, and the job market is strong. Could the Seattle model unfold across the country, creating a seller’s market? Read some more predictions and insights here.
Up to one million Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP) mortgages may be eligible for help through 4 new programs recently announced. Mortgage holders with a good record of payment for 5 years may be eligible to receive assistance to help pay down principle. Other borrowers will have an opportunity to re-amortize to further reduce monthly payments. These changes come before some features of the program are slated for upward adjustments. Check out more info on the issue here, with additional links to check out.
Why rent when you can buy? Answer that question and you might be onto something perplexing a lot industry people. Millennials, when asked in a recent survey, said they would rather rent than buy, to the tune of nearly 6 in 10. Only 1 in 4 Millennials today owns a home. That is significantly down from the same age group in previous generations, and begs the question: Why? The answers, like the generation, are very unique. The bottom line is that with the right purchase, many could save upwards of 700k over the course of a 30 year mortgage vs. renting, and that is something to discuss. Read more here.
A group of mortgage-bond investors have sent a letter to Ocwen in which they accuse the company of “imprudent and improper” actions that may be the precursor to a lawsuit, according to Kathy Patrick of Gibbs & Bruns LLP. The company has been under the microscope in recent months for improper conduct, highlighted by a tangle with the State of California. Ocwen agreed last Friday after close of business to pay a 2.5 million dollar fine in order to avoid suspension of their operating license in the state. The latest woes only make the outlook more challenging for the beleaguered loan servicer. Read more here
Reducing the amount of space in which you live might be a big idea whose time is here. Its subscribers refer to it as micro living, or the tiny house movement among other names, but the idea is the same: lowering the amount of space, the amount of stuff, and the amount of debt. It’s an idea that is finding growing support. However, as with all tradeoffs, the benefits also come with some challenges. How do you part with ‘stuff’ that you want to keep or that has intrinsic value to your life, and where do you have your private space? A recent story here touches on some of these and other related points.