Sunday, December 09, 2007

Pre-Foreclosure Short Sale - Meridian, Idaho

Here is a pre-foreclosure short sale single family investment opportunity in Meridian, Idaho, one of the fastest growing cities in the state of Idaho. This property is listed at an 18% discount from recent sales within the last 6 months on a $/SF basis. The bank does not want this property back so call me to make an offer!

Solid Single Family Investment in Population Core
Centrally located in Meridian, ID

Completely updated home in a great location. This home sits on almost 1/4 acre and has RV parking plus a big wrap around covered deck. The kitchen has a new smooth top stove, new Pergo floor, and a new built-in microwave. Open floor plan with vaulted ceilings and a plant shelves. This home has a formal dining room or separate family and living rooms. The master suite has Jacuzzi tub with separate shower and his/hers closets. BTVAI.

Asking $149,900
Built in 1995
1414 SF
Almost 0.25 acres
Approx. rents of $900 - $925 (higher in spring and summer)
Renter pays all utilties
Taxes $1744
Insurance $300

Again, thank you in advance for considering this property for your real estate investment portfolio. For this and other foreclosure properties, please don't hesitate to call me at 208 919 0458 or email me at

Michael Hon
Broker - MBA, GRI
Iron Eagle Realty

Fed Seems Poised to Lower Interest Rates

Published: December 9, 2007
Filed at 11:12 a.m. ET

WASHINGTON (AP) -- What a difference in economic conditions since the Federal Reserve last met in October.

Credit has become harder to obtain, Wall Street has convulsed again and the housing slump has intensified. And policymakers at the central bank now appear to have changed their minds about the need to drop interest rates again.

Twice the Fed had cut rates this year and officials suggested in October that might be enough for the year to help the economy survive all that stress. Then the problems snowballed, leading Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke to sign that one more cut might be needed.

Analysts expect the Fed to trim its key rate, now at 4.5 percent, by one-quarter of a percentage point at the meeting Tuesday. Some even speculate about the possibility of a half-point cut.
Banks, financial companies and other investors who made loans to people with spotty credit or put money into securities backed by those subprime mortgages have lost billions of dollars. Investors in the U.S. and abroad have grown more wary of buying new debt, thereby aggravating the credit crunch.

All this has added to the turmoil on Wall Street, and Bernanke and other Fed officials say they must take it into account when deciding their next move.

But does lowering rates mean the Fed essentially is bailing out investors or encouraging more sloppy decision-making? In other words, what exactly is the Fed's job?

Bernanke and other Fed officials say it is to make policy that keeps the economy growing and inflation low, a stable climate that benefits individuals, businesses and investors. The Fed also has a responsibility to ensure the banking system is sound and financial markets run smoothly.
''There is a link between Wall Street and Main Street. The Fed is taking the right actions, but they should be careful,'' said Victor Li, an economics professor at the Villanova School of Business.

The fear among economists is that the negative forces rattling investors could spread, forcing consumers and businesses to restrain spending and investment. While the odds of a recession have grown, Fed officials, the Bush administration and most economists are hopeful the country can tackle the problems and avoid that fate.

''The Federal Reserve is following the evolution of financial conditions carefully, with particular attention to the question of how strains in financial markets might affect the broader economy,'' Bernanke said in a recent speech where he opened the door to a further rate cut.
Bernanke has said the Fed's job is not to bail out investors who made bad decisions, but to do what is best for the economy. The central bank, however, cannot operate in a vacuum, he has said.

William Poole, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, puts it more bluntly.
''The Fed does not have the desire or tools to prevent widespread losses in a particular sector, but should not sit by while a financial upset becomes a financial calamity affecting the entire economy,'' Poole said recently. ''It makes no sense to let the economy suffer from continuing declines in stock prices for the purpose of `teaching stock market speculators a lesson,''' he added.

Janet Yellen, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, said ''we face a risk that the problems in the housing market could spill over'' and sap consumer spending ''in a bigger way'' than anticipated.

A scholar of the Great Depression, Bernanke has written extensively on the country's worst economic catastrophe. Flawed monetary policy in the United States and abroad was a major factor, he believes.

Bernanke's ''about-face on a December rate cut is motivated by the fear of collateral damage from the train wreck affecting everything that touches subprime mortgages,'' said Stuart Hoffman, chief economist at PNC Financial Services Group.

The situation poses the biggest challenge yet to Bernanke, who took over the Fed in February 2006. Some analysts have questioned whether he waited too long to cut the Fed's key rate and whether he has acted aggressively enough to the nation's economic woes.

In mid-August, the Fed lowered its lending rate to banks. In September, the central bank it dropped its key rate, the federal funds rate, for the first time in four years. Then it was a half-point drop; on Oct. 31 came a quarter-point cut.

The funds rate is the interest that banks charge each other on overnight loans. This rate influences many other interest rates charged to consumers and businesses. It is the Fed's most potent tool for influencing national economic activity.

If the Fed cuts the funds rate again, commercial banks would lower their prime lending rate -- now at 7.5 percent -- by a corresponding amount. The prime rate applies to certain credit cards, home equity lines of credit and other loans.

The rationale behind the lower rates is that they will induce consumers and businesses boost spending, energizing economic activity.

From July through September, the economy logged its best growth in four years. But it is expected to slow to a pace of just 1.5 percent or less over the final three months of the year. Even so, important shock absorbers for the economy -- job creation and wage growth -- are holding up. The unemployment rate in November held steady at a relatively low 4.7 percent for the third straight month.

Oil prices, which had neared $100 a barrel, have moderated. But they are still high. High energy prices are a double-edged sword. They can slow economic activity and spread inflation if they cause the prices of lots of other goods and services to rise.

Bernanke's predecessor at the Fed, Alan Greenspan, has been criticized for holding interest rates too low for too long following the 2001 recession. Those low rates have been blamed for feeding a five-year housing boom. That boom eventually turned to bust as interest rates moved higher to combat inflation. Harder-to-get credit has thwarted would-be home buyers, intensifying the housing collapse. Foreclosures have soared to record highs. The number of unsold homes have piled up. Problems are expected to persist well into next year.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Looking for a house between $105,000 and $150,000 in Boise?

Realtors say there are at least 83 homes in Boise and Meridian within that price range

Joe Jaszewski /

By Joe Estrella -
Edition Date: 12/05/07

Believe it or not, there is still affordable housing to be had in Ada County.

Bob Smith, a Realtor with in Boise, says there were 83 homes for sale Tuesday in Boise and Meridian with price tags below $150,000.
"Right now, there are homes where a person's mortgage payment would be less than what they're spending now on rent," Smith said. "These homes are great for people with one or two children.
The bargain prices are in contrast to Ada County median home prices that have continued climbing despite the nationwide slump in the residential housing market.
According to the Intermountain Multiple Listing Service, which tracks real estate transaction throughout the Treasure Valley, the median price for a home in Ada County last month was $231,893.
Most of the properties priced below $150,000 are in foreclosure, or have had their prices slashed by owners who have seen their properties languish on the market because of the market downturn, Cavigllano said.
A "shocking number" of the homes are vacant, which gives the buyer leverage because the owner has moved and is eager to sell to avoid having to pay mortgages, she said.
Some of the homes are fixer-uppers. But other are already in livable condition.
"These homes are just sitting there," she said.
The cheapest home on the list is $105,000, the most expensive $150,000. Most fall somewhere in between, including:
An 1,120-square-foot, three-bedroom, two-bath home for $149,900 on Millstone Drive.
A five-bedroom, 1-1/2-half bath, 1,482-square-foot home on West Landmark Street originally priced at $189,900. After 136 days on the market, the owner will now take $147,900.
A two-bedroom home on the Boise Bench with a price that was cut from $149,000 to $143,900 after just 19 days on the market.
"And we're just talking Boise," Cavigllano said. "We haven't even mentioned Meridian, where most of the houses are nicer than the homes in Boise."
Adding to the impetus to get into a home was news Tuesday that interest rates had fallen below 6 percent for a 30-year fixed rate mortgage.
"I don't remember when was the last time rates were that low," said Bob Smith, an associate broker with Re/Max Capital City.
Meanwhile, with homeowners slashing their asking prices, the investors that originally fueled the Treasure Valley housing boom may be starting to come out again. That could give home sales a badly needed lift.
One potential buyers is Jim Coulter, 34, owner of Clean Solution Painting.
Coulter and another investor had been looking at a five-bedroom, 2-1/2-bath house near Fairview Avenue and Maple Grove Road. The price had already sunk from $169,000 to $149,000. Their strategy: make a lowball offer of between $120,000 and $125,000 and hope the owner took the bait. They would then put about $20,000 in upgrades into the home - Coulter would handle most of the work - and put the home on the market next spring.
The deal fell through when the other investor bailed on the deal.
Coulter said he is still looking at low-priced properties that he might be able to acquire by himself.
Cavigllano said that for the first time in a long while, some new homes are being built and sold for less than $150,000.
At the Charter Pointe subdivision near Lake Hazel and Five Mile Road, Hubble Home plans to build three homes priced at $149,990.
"They haven't been built yet, so you can go out there and start picking out your colors," Cavigllano said.
Canyon County offers a much larger choice of low-cost homes. Tracy said 582 Canyon County homes are priced at or below $150,000.
A recent single Hubble Homes listing in Caldwell of a home priced at $109,990 produced 2,000 hits on the Intermountain Multiple Listing Service Web site.
Wayne Forrey, director of Eagle-based Kastera Development, recently told the Boise Metro Chamber of Commerce's Economic Outlook Forum that the local the local housing market has bottomed out, and predicted that recovery would begin in 2008. Falling land, construction and housing costs will help bring buyers back, he said.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

30-year mortgage rates drop

By MARTIN CRUTSINGER - AP Economics Writer
Edition Date: 12/06/07
Rates on 30-year mortgages fell sharply again this week, dropping to the lowest level in more than two years.
Freddie Mac, the mortgage company, reported Thursday that 30-year, fixed-rate mortgages averaged 5.96 percent. That was down from 6.10 percent last week and was the lowest rate since the week of Sept. 29, 2005, when they averaged 5.91 percent.
Analysts attributed the decline to worries about what a severe slump in housing and a lingering credit crunch could do to consumer confidence and the overall economy.
"With lower consumer spending and personal income gains in October, interest rates on U.S. Treasury securities fell lower this week and mortgage rates followed," said Frank Nothaft, chief economist at Freddie Mac.
Rates on 15-year fixed-rate mortgages, a popular choice for refinancing, slid to 5.65 percent, from 5.73 percent last week.
For five-year adjustable-rate mortgages, rates fell to 5.75 percent, compared to 5.86 percent last week.
Rates on one-year adjustable-rate mortgages edged up slightly to 5.46 percent, compared to 5.43 percent last week.
The mortgage rates do not include add-on fees known as points. Thirty-year mortgages carried a nationwide average fee of 0.4 point while 15-year and five-year mortgages both carried a 0.5 point fee. The one-year ARM carried an average fee of 0.6 point.
A year ago, 30-year mortgages stood at 6.11 percent. Rates on 15-year mortgages were at 5.84 a year ago while five-year ARMS averaged 5.92 percent and one-year ARMs were at 5.43 percent.
The housing market has been suffering through a severe slump following five years of record sales. The weakness is expected to persist well into next year.
The boom-to-bust situation has been especially hard on homeowners with spotty credit and lower incomes. Foreclosures have surged as many overstretched borrowers have been unable to make higher monthly payments once their low introductory "teaser" rates have reset to higher levels. The Bush administration this week put together a plan in negotiations with the mortgage industry to freeze the initial introductory rates for a period of five years for certain subprime borrowers.

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