weather icon Clear

Mortgage rates skid to six-month low

Mortgage rates don’t get much better than this. Not recently, anyway.

Rates for home loans fell this week to their lowest level since just after the presidential election.

You couldn’t ask for better timing: As homebuying season heats up, mortgage rates are at six-month lows.

Increasing numbers of first-timers

The ongoing decline in mortgage rates is particularly welcome news for first-time homebuyers, who have been stepping it up this year. They made up 60 percent of homebuyers who got mortgages in February, according to the Urban Institute. Five years earlier, the first-time buyers’ share was 57 percent. The rise of first-timers is slow but sure.

The average first-time buyer makes a down payment of 9 percent, and for those getting Federal Housing Administration-insured loans, it’s 4.5 percent. As you would expect, first-timers buy less-expensive homes than repeat buyers.

But can they afford it?

Affordability remains a big concern in the housing market, and that’s even more of an issue when you buy a home and get a mortgage for the first time. Calculators can help. One helps you figure out how much you can afford to borrow for a mortgage. Another looks at the question in a different way, helping you calculate how much house you can afford. And for those with some financial breathing room, there’s a calculator to help decide whether to get a 15-year or 30-year mortgage.

Mortgage rates this week

The benchmark 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage fell this week to 4.09 percent from 4.13 percent, according to Bankrate’s weekly survey of large lenders. A year ago, it was 3.81 percent. Four weeks ago, the rate was 4.18 percent. The 30-year, fixed-rate average for this week is 0.35 percentage points below the 52-week high of 4.44 percent and 0.57 percentage points above the 52-week low of 3.52 percent.

The 30-year fixed mortgages in this week’s survey had an average total of 0.23 discount and origination points.

Over the past 52 weeks, the 30-year fixed has averaged 3.96 percent. This week’s rate is 0.13 percentage points higher than the 52-week average.

■ The 15-year, fixed-rate mortgage fell to 3.31 percent from 3.32 percent.

■ The 5/1 adjustable-rate mortgage fell to 3.41 percent from 3.42 percent.

■ The 30-year fixed-rate jumbo mortgage fell to 4.02 percent from 4.06 percent.

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
New Nevada laws that will affect HOAs

There were not too many laws passed in this last legislative session that affected our local homeowners associations. Here are some that did.

BHHS partners with Adwerx to offer Realtors new program

Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Nevada Properties, in partnership with Adwerx Enterprises, has launched a new platform, called Brilliantly Simple to immediately advertise its real estate listings online. The platform automatically creates digital advertising programs for each home, including custom ads that are optimized for social media, apps and websites.

Homeowners have right to see HOA financial records

Per Nevada Revised Statute 116.31175 (1a), upon written request, you are entitled to receive financial statements from your association. Please send a formal specific request of what financial statements that you would like to receive.

High land costs affect developments

For all the job growth and expansion in the Las Vegas economy, a lack of land and its high cost is restricting growth in the valley, experts told the Southern Nevada real estate and development community.

Local home prices stuck at $300,000

For the third straight month, the Greater Las Vegas Association of Realtors, GLVAR, reported that local home prices are hovering at $300,000, while the number of homes on the market continues to increase.

Fair Housing Law requires accommodations for disabled

The Fair Housing Law requires accommodations for the disabled. Based upon your email, the homeowner would have a strong claim against the association if the homeowner was forced to remove the motor home, or if the association were to fine the homeowner because of the therapy equipment. Take the time to meet with this homeowner and see if there are any other viable alternatives.

HOA must deal with bully board member

The only way to keep bully board members in check is for the entire board to deal with the issue in executive session. Depending upon the gravity of the situation, legal counsel should be informed and invited to attend the executive session.

Federal law allows for service animals in HOA

The Fair Housing Act amendments of 1988 extended the protections of Title VIII of the Civil Rights Act of 1968. Associations must allow service dogs and emotional support animals, if necessary for a person with a disability.

Condo owner complains of being harassed by renter

You have to contact the police department at the time of the incidents. When meeting with the police officer let the officer know that you want to file a formal complaint and that you would like some report from him or her. Filing a complaint will most likely require you to go to one of the police stations. Find out which one from the police officer.