- McMinnville agents send gifts to soldiers in Iraq.
Ron Schock and the agents in the McMinnveille branch office adopted some soldiers who will be spending the holidays far away from home. This photo is from their “boxing party.” They had a party to pack the boxes of donations to go to a battalion in Iraq. “We sent 13 boxes filled with comfort and Christmas items to help these soldiers have a home connection through the holiday,” said Ron. “I was really filled with pride that the agents donated so much and on top of that donated for shipping overseas. We aren’t having a formal Christmas party this year. We all feel so blessed and don’t need gifts or trinkets so we had some lunch brought in, signed some cards, packed the boxes and then a few agents took them to be mailed.”
The recipients of these boxes…
U.S. real estate received a big boost from Congress earlier this month when President Obama signed into law a five-month extension of the first-time homebuyer tax credit and a new tax credit benefiting existing homebuyers.
The first-time credit, part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, was set to expire Nov. 30. Both credits will be available for qualified buyers through April 30. “Congress did the right thing by extending and expanding these tax credits,” said Prudential Real Estate and Relocation Services President Earl Lee. “The first-time homebuyer credit played a significant role in the U.S. housing market’s recovery in 2009, and both will help the market in the new year.”
According to the National Association of REALTORS, nearly half of all home sales are now being made by first-time purchasers. In fact, 47 percent of all Americans who purchased homes this year had not owned one during the previous three years, said NAR, up from 36 percent in 2006. NAR forecasts that existing home sales will rise 2 percent this year to just over 5 million. NAR predicts a 13.6 percent gain in 2010 to 5.69 million homes sold.
The first-time homebuyer tax credit equates to as much as $8,000, or 10 percent of a principal residence’s purchase price and is available to those who have not owned a principal residence in the past three years. Existing homeowners who have lived in their current home for at least five consecutive years of the previous eight and who are purchasing a home to be their principal residence may be eligible for up to a $6,500 tax credit.
Rates on 30-year mortgages stayed below 5 percent again this week. The average rate for a 30-year fixed mortgage fell to 4.83 percent, down from 4.91 percent. Last year at this time, 30-year mortgages averaged 6.04 percent. This week the average rate on a 15-year fixed-rate mortgage fell to 4.32 percent and rates on five-year, adjustable-rate mortgages averaged 4.25 percent. According to Freddie Mac, the best rates usually are available only to borrowers with solid credit and a 20 percent down payment.
Long-term mortgages rates moved lower again this week, hitting the lowest level in five weeks.
Freddie Mac’s weekly report says the average 30-year fixed-rate mortgage was 4.91 percent in the week ending Nov. 12, down from 4.98 percent last week. Rates on 30-year mortgages have been below 5 percent for five of the last seven weeks.
A year ago, 30-year mortgages were averaging 6.14 percent.
A 15-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 4.36 percent this week, remaining below one-year adjustable rate mortgages, which now average 4.46 percent.
“Mortgage rates eased further over the week, helping to promote an affordable home-purchase market and stimulate refinance,” said Freddie Mac (NYSE: FRE) chief economist Frank Nothaft. “This comes at a time when house price declines are moderating and consumer demand for prime mortgages at commercial banks has picked up.”
The National Association of Realtors this week said third quarter housing prices were down an average of 11.2 percent from a year ago, but 20 percent of the top metropolitan ares saw positive annual growth.
Sales continue to rise, with third quarter existing home sales up 11 percent from a year ago.
For the second consecutive year, Prudential Northwest Properties received the Quality Excellence Award, ranking in the Top 10 real estate brokerages in North America for service satisfaction, based on direct feedback from clients.
Quality Service Certification, Inc. and Leading Research Corporation have identified 20 companies and offices in North America that, according to consumers, deliver the best service quality and customer satisfaction. The 2009 QE™ Award recipients are recognized as real estate’s leading companies and individual offices in delivering service excellence and the highest levels of customer satisfaction. The award is based upon the results of an independent survey of every closed transaction for participating real estate agents from January 1, 2007 through April 30, 2009.
“For an industry that is nearly obsessed with excellence measured by millions of dollars of sales, we are interested in recognizing excellence based upon measurably superior customer satisfaction and service quality — a standard consumers prefer as well,” stated Larry D. Romito, CEO of Quality Service Certification, Inc. (QSC)
“The 2009 QE™ Award is based upon feedback from 200,000 consumer surveys of more than 500 participating companies and their 25,000 real estate agents,” Romito added.
2009 QE Award Winners:
The Top 10 companies:
|Helen Adams Realty
|RE/MAX All Stars
|Rubloff Residential Properties
|Tomie Raines, Inc.
||East Lansing, MI
|RE/MAX Properties, Inc.
||Colorado Springs, CO
|Prudential Palms Realty
|Weichert Realtors Rebhan and Assoc.
|RE/MAX Creative Realty
|Prudential Tropical Realty
||Land O’Lakes, FL
|Prudential Northwest Properties
Top 10 offices:
||Prudential Tropical, FL
|14606 Osage Ct.
||Infinity Real Estate Services, Inc Services, Inc., Co
|523 Vrain Lane
||First Colorado GMAC, CO
|1010 Massachusetts Avenue
||Bowes Pennell & Thompson GMAC, MA
||Prudential Northwest Properties, OR
||Town and Country Realtors, Inc., TN
||Prudential Northwest Properties, OR
||Carolina Property GMAC Real Estate, NC
|Gold Coast/Magnificent Mile
||Rubloff Residential Properties, IL
|1647 Court Street
||Real Estate Professionals GMAC, CA
“We’re extremely proud to once again receive the QE Award,” said Bert Waugh, Jr, president of Prudential Northwest Properties. “Our goal is to consistently deliver the best service in the industry and this award proves that our clients appreciate the great service they receive from us. Potential home buyers and sellers want to know the agents they consider working with are recommended by the clients they’ve represented in the past, and QSC delivers unbiased, handwritten comments from real clients, which creates the kind of true transparency that’s expected in business today. Although this is a wonderful acknowledgement of the value we bring to the table, the real winner here is the consumer — our clients, today, tomorrow and down the road. I’m so proud of all the hardworking professionals that represent Prudential Northwest Properties, and I’m very proud to accept this award on their behalf.”
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