After Closing On A New Home: The Top Tasks To Complete

After Closing On A New Home: The Top Tasks To CompleteClosing on a new home is exciting and many people view their closing date as the finish line; however, even after closing a new home, there is still a lot that has to happen. What do new homeowners need to do after closing on a new home?

Mark The Date Of The First Payment

Every homeowner needs to know the first date of the new mortgage payment. They need to get their bank account set up for an automatic draft, or they need to send a physical check by that time. Keep in mind that the first payment might include a partial payment from the prior month as well.

Understand That The Loan Servicer Might Change

Anyone who is sending a physical check needs to be aware that the loan servicer might change. Many banks sell their loans to another entity, which means physical checks might need to go to a new address. 

Watch For Potential Scams In The Mail

Many new homeowners receive a lot of junk mail and deceptive advertisements from scam artists. Anyone who has questions about the information they receive in the mail might want to talk to their real estate agent or lawyer to see what is real or what is fake. Sometimes, people try to sell homeowners on policies they already have, such as home insurance or mortgage insurance.

Make Sure Property Taxes And Homeowners Insurance Are Set-Up

Homeowners also need to make sure their property tax payments and homeowners’ insurance are set up. Often, the lender will escrow these payments, saving homeowners a significant amount of stress. This also means that homeowners need to make sure the lender is taking enough money every month to cover home insurance and property tax bills at the end of the year.

Look Past The Closing Date

These are a few of the most important tasks all new homeowners need to complete after closing on a new home. That way, nothing important gets overlooked, and homeowners are not surprised by anything they receive in the mail. Talk to a real estate or mortgage professional to learn more.

Home Affordability Sinks For The First Time In 12 Months

Home Affordability Index 2012 Q2Rising home prices are taking a toll on today’s home buyers. For the first time in 4 quarters — and despite falling mortgage rates — home affordability is sinking. 

Earlier this week, the National Association of Home Builders reported the Home Opportunity Index, a measure of home affordability, down to 73.8 for the second quarter of the year. This marks the metric’s first “down” quarter since the second quarter of 2011, and is its lowest reading since December 2010.

A home is considered “affordable” when its payments meet standard mortgage underwriting criteria for families earning the local median income. This definition is used for homes across all U.S. markets.

73.8% of homes sold last quarter were affordable to households earning the national median income of $65,000. This is the 13th straight quarter dating back to 2009 that the index surpassed 70. Prior to 2009, the Home Opportunity Index had not crossed 70 even one time.

Like all real estate data, home affordability varied by locale.

In the Midwest, for example, affordability was highest. 7 of the top 10 most affordable markets nationwide were spread throughout the nation’s heartland. An Alaskan city took the top spot.

The top 5 most affordable cities for home buyers in Q2 2012 were:

  1. Fairbanks, AK (98.7%)
  2. Mansfield, OH (98.1%)
  3. Springfield, OH (95.9%)
  4. Carson City, NV (95.4%)
  5. Kokomo, IN (95.4%)

At #23, Ocala, Florida (91.7%) was the top-ranked South Region city last quarter.

By contrast, the Northeast Region and Southern California remained among the least affordable housing markets nationwide. Led by the New York-White Plains, NY-Wayne, NJ area, 9 of the 10 least affordable areas were in the Mid-Atlantic and California, and for the 17th consecutive quarter the New York metro area was ranked “Least Affordable”.

Just 29.4 percent of homes were affordable to households earning the area’s median income there, down from 31.5 percent three months ago.

The rankings for all 225 metro areas are available for download on the NAHB website.

Home Affordability Reaches New High In Q1 2012

Home Affordability 2005-2012Falling mortgage rates and stagnant home prices are making a positive effect on home affordability nationwide. Never before in recorded history have so many homes been affordable to households earning a moderate annual income.

Last week, the National Association of Home Builders reported the Home Opportunity Index at 77.5 — its highest reading of all-time. The index indicates that more than 3 of every 4 homes sold last quarter were affordable to households earning the national median income of $65,000.

Last quarter marks the 12th straight quarter — dating back to 2009 — in which the index surpassed 70. Prior to this run, the index had never crossed 70 even once.

That said, like most real estate statistics, the Home Affordability Index has a national purview. National data is of little value to homeowners in specific cities , or in specific neighborhoods.

Last quarter, home affordability varied by region.

In the Midwest, for example, affordability was highest. 7 of the top 10 most affordable markets nationwide were spread throughout Ohio, Michigan, Illinois and Indiana. The top two spots, however, went to an East Region town (Cumberland) and a Pacific Northwest Region city (Fairbanks, Alaska), respectively.

The top 5 most affordable cities for home buyers in Q1 2012 were:

  1. Cumberland, MD (99.0%)
  2. Fairbanks, AK (98.9%)
  3. Wheeling, WV (97.0%)
  4. Kokomo, IN (95.8%)
  5. Indianapolis, IN (95.8%)

At #17, the Lakeland/Winter Haven, Florida area was the top-ranked South Region city last quarter.

By contrast, the Northeast Region and Southern California ranked among the least affordable housing markets — again. Led by the New York-White Plains, NY-Wayne, NJ area, 8 of the 10 least affordable areas were in the Mid-Atlantic and California, and for the 16th consecutive quarter the New York metro area was ranked “Least Affordable”.

Just 31.5 percent of homes were affordable to households earning the area median income there, up from 25.2 percent six months ago.

The rankings for all 225 metro areas are available for download on the NAHB website.