NAHB: Builder Sentiment Surges in August

Home builder confidence in housing market conditions surged in August after sagging to an eight-month low in July. The National Association of Home Builders reported a July reading of 68 in August after analysts expected a one- point increase from July’s Housing Market Index reading of 64. Any reading over 50 indicates that more builders consider housing market conditions positive than those who do not.

Component readings of the Housing Market Index also improved in August. Builder confidence in current housing market condition rose four points to 74; Builder confidence in housing market conditions over the next six months rose by five points to 78. Builder confidence in buyer traffic in new home developments rose one point to an index reading of 49.

Positive Economy Fuels Builder Confidence

Builders have long cited a shortage of buildable lots and labor, along with rising costs as impacting confidence in current and future confidence in housing markets. NAHB said that labor shortages are worse in 2017 than in 2016. Builders reported labor shortages including carpenters and electricians. August readings suggest that positive economic developments are mitigating long-term builder concerns, but a recent tariff on Canadian lumber raised materials costs for some builders.  

The discrepancy between builder confidence and housing starts concerns real estate pros and housing and lending industry leaders, but without enough workers to staff their building crews, home builders face obstacles in meeting buyer demand for homes.

Stronger economic and jobs indicators are boosting builder confidence in housing market conditions. As more prospective home buyers find stable jobs, buying a home becomes possible for prospective buyers who have waited for economic conditions to improve sufficiently to invest in home ownership.

You Ask, We Answer: What Kind of Fees Are Involved When I Get a Reverse Mortgage?

You Ask, We Answer: What Kind of Fees Are Involved When I Get a Reverse Mortgage?If you are approaching your golden years and seeking a bit of financial flexibility, you might want to look at a reverse mortgage. This unique financial product is only open to individuals over 62 years of age. It allows you to convert some of your home’s equity into cash which you can use as needed in your retirement.

Of course, a reverse mortgage isn’t without its costs. Let’s explore the fees that you will encounter when you take out a reverse mortgage loan.

Upfront And Pre-Closing Costs

The first step in getting a reverse mortgage (also known as a Home Equity Conversion Mortgage or “HECM”) is to visit with a third-party HECM advisor. These advisors are approved by the Department of Housing and Urban Development. It is their job to ensure that you know the ins and outs of getting a reverse mortgage. Expect to pay from $100 to $200 for this session.

Another cost you’ll incur is a home appraisal. Every reverse mortgage lender will require that your home’s value assessed by an independent appraiser. This cost varies from $200 to $500 and up depending on the size of your home, its current condition, its age and a variety of other factors.

Like a traditional mortgage, your lender is likely to assess an origination fee. This fee covers the cost of processing and closing your reverse mortgage loan. Most lenders charge a small percentage of the total amount of your loan. For example, if you are borrowing $100,000 you may pay around one or two percent, which comes to $1,000 or $2,000. Regardless of the total amount, the origination fee is capped at $6,000 total.

Post-Closing And Ongoing Costs

After your reverse mortgage has closed, you may find that there are some additional ongoing costs that you will need to be aware of. For example, some lenders charge a loan servicing fee. This fee is usually paid each month and tends to vary depending on the interest rate of your reverse mortgage.

Finally, you’ll be responsible for paying the ongoing cost of mortgage insurance. This is assessed as an annual premium and equals around 1.25 percent of the balance owing. As this can end up being a significant cost, it is one you’ll want to budget for.

As with any loan, a reverse mortgage has its costs. However, the financial flexibility you gain with a reverse mortgage is certainly worth it. When you’re ready to explore your reverse mortgage options, contact our friendly team of mortgage professionals. We’re happy to help.