Mortgage Rates Rising in 2014 [Infographic]

Mortgage Rates Rising in 2014 [Infographic]

OG&E Positive Energy Home Benefits

Before starting any new construction, ask yourself:
  • Is the home I’m building really energy–efficient?

Then look at a Positive Energy® Home – OG&E’s energy efficient home certification program.

Making the right decisions up front is crucial. And while state and local building codes set minimum

requirements, OG&E’s Positive Energy® Home offers a higher standard in efficiency – saving

energy, money and more.

These homes employ advanced materials and innovative design to:
  • Increase energy efficiency and reduce utility costs
  • Deliver a higher level of comfort in every season
  • Provide a higher standard of construction value and overall quality
  • Meet or exceed all specifications of a 2010 Energy Star® home
For more information, contact Steve Sullivan at 405.553-3393.

Home Investments, Future Gains

When building a new home, take the time to explore forward-thinking investments. We’re ready to

help with proven, professional recommendations such as:
  • Increased insulation
  • High-performance windows
  • Tight construction and tight ducts
  • Heating and cooling systems such as:
-  Duel Fuel:  A combination of electricity and natural gas

-  Total Electric:  No fumes to vent, ultra-clean and whisper quiet

-  Efficiency:  A 14-SEER A/C paired with a 90% AFUE furnace

-  Geothermal System: An underground system that uses the earth to heat and cool the home

For a look at the brochure, visit:

Builders: Don’t forget Realtors brought you to the dance!

The housing recovery has picked up steam and new-home sales are returning to historical levels!

Sales of new single-family homes are up 28.9 percent from January 2012, to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 437,000, according to a recent U.S. Census Bureau report. That’s the best January since 2008, and there’s plenty more room to run — new-home sales exceeded 1 million a year during the last boom. "It is safe to assume that new homes construction will continue to move forward, if not surge," said David Crowe, chief economist for the National Association of Home Builders.

It is also safe to assume that a growing number of homebuilders — but not most — will forget the Realtors who brought them to the dance. Studies by the National Association of Realtors say that 63 percent of all new homes sold to prospects were introduced to the homebuilders by Realtors.

According to Builder Homesite Inc., a consortium of 32 of the largest production homebuilder in the United States, 84 percent of all home shoppers contact a Realtor. Thus, many production homebuilders face an important business decision that affects their sales and relationships with the very Realtors they have worked so hard to nurture.

It appears that 2013 is the year that new homes have become a high-demand inventory choice, especially as resale inventory remains tight. So homebuilders, who have been profit-starved for years, must either accept the fact that it’s worth offering a consistent commission and co-broker policy to Realtors who introduce ready, willing and able prospects to new homes, or not.

If they are going to cut out real estate brokers, "a builder must assume that his product is so magnificent they no longer need access to the 90 percent of all buyers that typically engage Realtors during their search process," said Tim Wilcox, president of Irvine, Calif.-based Home Builder Media Group.

While history may repeat itself, this time there is no history to repeat. This is the first housing recovery in the history of the world that comes with a marketing booster rocket: the Internet.

The counterargument is that the builder can now attract more walk-ins and thus "save" on commissions paid to brokers. But a large proportion of "walk-in" buyers also have homes to sell and are already working with a Realtor — an issue homebuilders have no solution for. Homebuilders will also be the first to tell you that a large percentage of their walk-in traffic is not financially qualified, or is not actually in the market. In the old days, street signs drove a large portion of the traffic. Today, there is much less impulse traffic.

Homebuyers have seen the home, the floor plan, prices, features, an aerial of the location, on the Internet, long before they visit the community. "Tire kickers" tend not to want to get involved with a Realtor, and that’s a good thing. Realtors deal with this market every day. Homebuilders have had a long time to get to know Realtors and evaluate the impact they have on sales. Marketing commitments to the Realtor community are much deeper than any time in history. It is not a simple thing to dismantle Realtor marketing machines that are generating "first responder" prospects that are converting to buyers. Production builders are now using their "Internet advisers" to set appointments for Realtor prospects — an unheard-of concept before the Internet. They focus on the prospect, not the Realtor.

Homebuilders are accepting the fact that Realtors control the homebuyers, and are making it easier and faster for Realtors to get their ever-improving on-site teams in front of the Realtor’s prospect. The fact is Realtors need the inventory. Homebuilders need qualified prospects to assure continued momentum.

Realtors, sharpen your new homes showing skills.

Homebuilders, don’t leave your Realtor networks at the dance.

After all, they stood by you in the recent past when you couldn’t get a date!

Younger Buyers More Optimistic, Confident About Homeownership

Despite an uncertain future, the Millennial generation – those 32 years old and younger – have more optimism and confidence about their recent home purchase than any other age group.

According to a recent National Association of Realtors® study that evaluated the generational differences of recent home buyers and sellers, 85 percent of buyers under age 32 believe their home purchase was a good financial investment. That is compared to just 50 percent of buyers ages 88 and older.

“The oldest of the Millennial generation are starting to buy their first home,” said Keith Taggart, President of The Oklahoma Metropolitan Association of REALTORS® (OKCMAR). “They understand that homeownership is one way to accumulate wealth, especially for younger families in today’s world. Currently, they might be facing an uncertain job market, mounting debt, and tighter mortgage lending rules, yet homeownership still matters to them, and they still aspire to one day become homeowners.”

The study found that 79 percent of Millennials were first-time home buyers and 65 percent of them previously rented a home. Half of respondents said the reason for buying a home was their desire to own a home of their own. Twenty-two percent said the affordability of homes made them want to purchase. The Millennial generation is also the second largest group of recent buyers, accounting for 28 percent of recent purchases. They follow Generation X, those born between 1965 and 1979, who made up 31 percent of recent purchases.

“The Millennial generation is the largest in history after the baby boomers and they are expected to give the housing market a boost,” said Taggart. “However, there are some significant challenges that might hinder their ability to purchase homes. Buyers with student loan debt may find it difficult to access mortgage credit, as well as save for a down payment.”

The impact of student loan debt is a concern for future generations and their ability to become home owners, since those burdened with growing monthly debt payments will have restricted access to mortgage credit and could find it harder to save for a down payment.

Taggart agrees today’s young home buyers are facing challenges, yet those hurdles aren’t changing younger buyers’ attitudes about homeownership. “There is still tremendous affordability in the market and interest rates are still low,” said Taggart. “Today’s market presents opportunities for young buyers to own a home and they recognize that. Realtors® are committed to making sure those who are willing and able to own a home have the opportunity to do so. Everyone should have the ability to pursue the dream of homeownership.”

Courtesy of OKCMAR Mocha Newsletter

Real Estate Corner…

 Q.  I’m Thinking About Getting A Home Improvement Loan. 
How Should I Go About The Process? 

 A.  You have two options.  You can either get a home equity loan or a home equity line of credit.  Both are secured by a lien against your home.  Each has their advantages and disadvantages.

A home equity loan gives you a set amount of money up front and then allows you to pay it back in a set monthly amount.  It’s frequently organized like a typical loan payment plan.  Usually, lenders will let you borrow up to 85 percent of the appraised value of your home minus the amount of the unpaid mortgage.  The interest rates on this type of loan are some of the lowest rates available and the interest you pay is tax-deductible.

On the other hand, a home equity line of credit allows you to draw upon a pre-approved loan only when you need the money.  Then, you only make payments when there is an outstanding balance.  You can often access this line of credit using either a check from that account or a special credit card. 

One of the downfalls of the line of credit is that it may have a set amount of time you are allowed to draw upon the available funds.  If your home improvements exceed the time limit, you will need to be sure you can either get an extension or another line of credit.  Some of these plans also have a deadline when all of the money must be repaid in full.  Both of these aspects limit the time flexibility for your home improvements to be completed.  

If you need advice regarding what type of home equity loan to get, or to get pre-approved for a home loan, go to