Southern California suffers its worst housing slump in over a decade

Higher mortgage rates and overheated home prices hit Southern California home sales hard in September.

The number of new and existing houses and condominiums sold during the month plummeted nearly 18 percent compared with September 2017, according to CoreLogic. That was the slowest September pace since 2007, when the national housing and mortgage crisis was hitting. Sales have been falling on an annual basis for much of this year, but this was the biggest annual drop for any month in almost eight years. It was also more than twice the annual drop seen in August.

The article is written by Diana Olick for CNBC. You can read the full article here.

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Sheila Abai is a senior mortgage consultant at PNC Bank. She utilizes her 20+ years of finance and mortgage experience to identify the best mortgage and refinancing solutions for her clients. Sheila can be contacted via email at Sheila.Abai@PNC.com or via telephone at 310-666-5959.

Southern California, home to nation’s most overvalued housing — at least, by this math

Los Angeles County homes are the most overpriced in the nation, according to a curious new study. And Orange County and the Inland Empire don’t score much better.
By one Fed researcher’s math, Los Angeles County had the most overvalued U.S. homes, an eye-catching 68.6 percent above what research showed was normal. That was ahead of Miami (64.6 percent overvalued) and San Francisco (61.9 percent overvalued).

Bill Emmons, a researcher at the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, looked at the changing relationship between state incomes and regional home pricingbetween 2000 and 2018’s first quarter to determine a “fair value” for local housing in 41 major metropolitan areas. Then Emmons considered how far current pricing deviated from each area’s norm. By his math, Los Angeles County had the most overvalued U.S. homes, an eye-catching 68.6 percent above what research showed was normal. That was ahead of Miami (64.6 percent overvalued) and San Francisco (61.9 percent overvalued).

The article is written by Jonathan Lansner for TheOCR. You can read the full article here.

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Sheila Abai is a senior mortgage consultant at PNC Bank. She utilizes her 20+ years of finance and mortgage experience to identify the best mortgage and refinancing solutions for her clients. Sheila can be contacted via email at Sheila.Abai@PNC.com or via telephone at 310-666-5959.

First home buyer advice I wish someone had told me

Purchasing a property is often the single largest investment a person or family will make, but it can be a bewildering experience if you don’t really know what’s going on.

Having just bought my first home, I was left wishing I could find a course on “how to buy a house”, instead of having to learn by experience and blunder through with little understanding.

Some things might seem self explanatory or obvious to people who already own property, but I found there was a lot of contradictory information out there.

Here are some things I wish I knew before I started looking to buy a home.

The article is written by Liam Butterworth for ABC. You can read the full article here.

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Sheila Abai is a senior mortgage consultant at PNC Bank. She utilizes her 20+ years of finance and mortgage experience to identify the best mortgage and refinancing solutions for her clients. Sheila can be contacted via email at Sheila.Abai@PNC.com or via telephone at 310-666-5959.

Mortgage rates slide the fastest in four years, but it may be too late for the housing market

Rates for home loans tumbled as turmoil rocked global financial markets, but any reprieve in rates may come too late for would-be home buyers or refinancers.

The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 4.81% in the November 21 week, down 13 basis points, mortgage liquidity provider Freddie Mac said Wednesday. That’s the biggest weekly decline since January 2015 and the lowest level for the popular product since early October. The 15-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 4.24%, down 12 basis points during the week. The 5-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage averaged 4.09%, down from 4.15%.

The article is written by Andrea Riquier for MarketWatch. You can read the full article here.

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Sheila Abai is a senior mortgage consultant at PNC Bank. She utilizes her 20+ years of finance and mortgage experience to identify the best mortgage and refinancing solutions for her clients. Sheila can be contacted via email at Sheila.Abai@PNC.com or via telephone at 310-666-5959.

Tips on saving money as a new homeowner

There are a few things that you can do to ensure that you save money as a new or potential homeowner.

Here are a few things Barry and his wife did to save money as new home owners

The article is written by Barry Choi for Money Sense. You can read the full article here.

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Sheila Abai is a senior mortgage consultant at PNC Bank. She utilizes her 20+ years of finance and mortgage experience to identify the best mortgage and refinancing solutions for her clients. Sheila can be contacted via email at Sheila.Abai@PNC.com or via telephone at 310-666-5959.

Looking For Your First Property Deal? 12 Important Things You Should Do First

The real estate market is an exciting one, and there’s no shortage of would-be investors drawn in by the possibility of big profits. Just like any investment, though, finding a property to flip or rent is rarely as easy as they make it look on real estate reality shows.

Although you likely know you need to conduct your due diligence before making an offer on a property, it never hurts to go back to basics to make sure your first deal goes smoothly. We asked a panel of Forbes Real Estate Council members what every aspiring real estate investor should do when searching for a property deal. Their best answers are below.

The article is written by Forbes Real Estate Council for Forbes. You can read the full article here.

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Sheila Abai is a senior mortgage consultant at PNC Bank. She utilizes her 20+ years of finance and mortgage experience to identify the best mortgage and refinancing solutions for her clients. Sheila can be contacted via email at Sheila.Abai@PNC.com or via telephone at 310-666-5959.

Six Tips To Improve The Chances Of Selling Your Home This Winter

It’s usually all quiet on the real estate front in December and January. Many of us are focused on the holidays and our New Year’s resolutions, not open houses. If sellers have the luxury of waiting until mid-February to put their homes on the market, I advise them to wait.

But there are exceptions. Homes still attract offers during this 60-day period. If you have to sell your home in the middle of winter, here are six tips that will greatly increase your ability to close the deal.

The article is written by Corey Burr for Forbes. You can read the full article here.

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Sheila Abai is a senior mortgage consultant at PNC Bank. She utilizes her 20+ years of finance and mortgage experience to identify the best mortgage and refinancing solutions for her clients. Sheila can be contacted via email at Sheila.Abai@PNC.com or via telephone at 310-666-5959.

Home Buyers Growing Attached To Thought Of Townhome Living

Soaring land and building costs, higher median single-family home prices, growing preference for dense, walkable environments and the need for a bridge between renting and first-home purchases are all helping bring back a staple of the 19th Century. That Victorian-era essential is the townhome.

National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) analysis of the most recent census data of “Starts and Completions by Purpose and Design” found townhouse construction starts continuing to grow. Over the four quarters ending with the first quarter of 2018, townhouse starts nationally totaled 105,000, seven percent higher than the prior four quarters. Employing a one-year moving average, new townhome market share is at 12.3 percent of all single-family starts.

The article is written by Jeffrey Steele for Forbes. You can read the full article here.

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Sheila Abai is a senior mortgage consultant at PNC Bank. She utilizes her 20+ years of finance and mortgage experience to identify the best mortgage and refinancing solutions for her clients. Sheila can be contacted via email at Sheila.Abai@PNC.com or via telephone at 310-666-5959.

In California Fires, When Every Second Counts, Could Smarter Houses Save Lives?

In California, fires engulf thousands of homes, the lives they take keep adding up, and they leave hundreds of thousands of acres charred, smoldering.

A life or-death factor has made itself clearer in the past few days. Evacuation routes and disaster drills don’t always work. Choked, bumper-to-bumper, inferno-lined tunnels to escape can fail epically as pathways to safety. People need more time, precious moments to flee according to plan. To do that, they need houses that can protect them longer as the danger kicks up, so that they can reach refuge strategically rather than in panic, chaos, and confusion.

Smarter houses. Future-proof houses. Maybe, although it’s sacrilege to say, not houses made of wood.

The article is written by John McManus for Forbes. You can read the full article here.

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Sheila Abai is a senior mortgage consultant at PNC Bank. She utilizes her 20+ years of finance and mortgage experience to identify the best mortgage and refinancing solutions for her clients. Sheila can be contacted via email at Sheila.Abai@PNC.com or via telephone at 310-666-5959.

Are You Ready For A Starter Home Or A Forever Home?

The decision to buy a home is a big one and it gets even more complicated when you factor in the decision between choosing a starter home or investing in a forever home. Luckily, that’s where we come in. We laid out three big considerations to keep in mind when you’re choosing between the two. Read on below to make the decision between a starter home and a forever home clearer than ever before.

The article is written by Tara Mastroeni for Forbes. You can read the full article here.

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Sheila Abai is a senior mortgage consultant at PNC Bank. She utilizes her 20+ years of finance and mortgage experience to identify the best mortgage and refinancing solutions for her clients. Sheila can be contacted via email at Sheila.Abai@PNC.com or via telephone at 310-666-5959.