Brett O'Daniell

Co-Founder of HomeTraq. 18+ years real estate and mortgage experience.

Recent Posts

What is title insurance? Do I need to have it? [Real Estate Insider]

May 23, 2020 7:17:06 PM / by Brett O'Daniell posted in home shopping, house hunting, title company, housing market, title, title insurance

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Selling Your House - Where Do You Start? [Real Estate Insider]

May 19, 2020 8:12:32 AM / by Brett O'Daniell posted in home purchase, housing market, selling agent, before you buy, homebuying, selling home, online home buying

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Things to Remember While Home-Shopping [Real Estate 2020]

May 18, 2020 9:14:49 AM / by Brett O'Daniell posted in home shopping, real estate, house hunting, touring homes, homebuyers, housing market, Zillow, housing demand, hometraq

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How do I tour homes while social distancing? [Real Estate 2020]

May 15, 2020 9:32:01 PM / by Brett O'Daniell posted in Home tour, home shopping, real estate, house hunting, touring homes, home tours, open house, homebuying, online home buying

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The Basic Outline of Buying Your First Home [Real Estate Insider]

May 13, 2020 7:27:53 PM / by Brett O'Daniell posted in home shopping, real estate, house hunting, touring homes, home search, online home buying, loan

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Buying a home can be a complicated process and it can really be difficult to decide where you start.  Have no fear! HomeTraq is here to help whenever possible!

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Easy & Secure Home-Showings When Selling a House [Real Estate Insider]

May 12, 2020 8:42:46 AM / by Brett O'Daniell posted in agents, listing agent, selling agent, before you buy

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To make a home more readily available to prospective buyers, many sellers put the house on a secure SUPRA lock box. This allows the home to be included in MLS scheduling platform(s) to easily offer available times for showings, avoiding the potential hassle involved with multiple showing requests. Additionally, many home-sellers have all but eliminated “by appointment only” requests as it creates an additional scheduling barrier. 

 

Insist that your agent uses the SUPRA Electronic Key for access - This is the most common form of access for all agents. You and your agent will then have documentation of every agent that shows the house with a buyer, as each entry is logged.

 

Manual combination boxes: While these are relatively easy to use and cheap, they require communication to provide the combination lock number. This becomes a barrier to an immediate response. Furthermore, accessibility cannot be controlled. You don't know who, what, or when someone has entered the home. Buyers and agents can access the home repeatedly, with or without your knowledge, and can be easily provided to others for access. This can easily pose several risks that can easily be avoided by employing the SUPRA lock box system.

HomeTraq provides the superior home-shopping experience, at no cost to you. Simply find a property, take a live video tour, and make an offer. No obligations, no commitments. 

See Homes Now

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Common Home Buying Questions Answered [Real Estate Insider]

May 6, 2020 7:05:01 PM / by Brett O'Daniell posted in real estate, home search, home purchase, before you buy, buying a home, homebuying, online home buying, innovation

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How to lower the costs of buying a home [4 Insider Tips]

May 3, 2020 4:23:16 PM / by Brett O'Daniell posted in Home tour, home shopping, real estate, home search, home purchase, before you buy, buying a home, online home buying

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Buying a new home can be a really exciting time, but it can also be a bit stressful and overwhelming. Closing costs are often a point of concern for first-time homebuyers. How much will they be? Will you have enough money to cover the costs? What do closing costs even cover?

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What the Federal Reserve's COVID response means for home buyers

Apr 30, 2020 8:51:13 PM / by Brett O'Daniell posted in Mortgage, Home Loan, housing market, mortgage payments

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Zero percent rates? Did you hear that right? You did, but they’re federal fund rates, not mortgage rates. 

On March 15, the Federal Reserve lowered the target range for the federal funds rate to 0 to ¼ percent, in an attempt to combat the current toll the coronavirus outbreak is having on the economy. The Federal Reserve explained, “This action will help support economic activity, strong labor market conditions, and inflation returning to the Committee’s symmetric 2 percent objective.” 

Zero percent mortgage rates, on the other hand, are indeed too good to be true—they don’t exist. Federal fund rates apply to overnight loans between U.S. financial institutions, not individual borrowers. 

Mortgage rates are dependent upon bonds which are traded thousands of times per day, and mortgage lenders typically update rates daily, while the Fed meets eight times per year (plus in the event of an emergency, such as the COVID-19 crisis) to discuss potential rate changes.

Despite mortgage rates not being completely slashed, as some misunderstood, they were still historically low, causing mass amounts of refinance applications to come through lenders’ doors. Those massive number of mortgages needed to be sold to investors in order for lenders to continue functioning, which in some instances overwhelmed investors, causing prices to fall and consumer rates to rise. Some lenders actually raised rates slightly as a means to slow down business.  

 

A recovery plan in the works

The Federal Reserve then announced it would buy unlimited amounts of treasuries and agency mortgages in order to help the credit markets. “While great uncertainty remains, it has become clear that our economy will face severe disruptions. Aggressive efforts must be taken across the public and private sectors to limit the losses to jobs and incomes and to promote a swift recovery once the disruptions abate,” the Federal Reserve explained, stating they’ll continue to purchase treasury securities and agency mortgage-backed securities. 

 

Where do mortgage rates stand? 

In early March, mortgage rates hit all-time lows, with the 30-year-fixed rate at 3.29 percent—the lowest average on record since Freddie Mac began tracking data in 1971—and have remained relatively low. While buyers strive to take advantage of these rates, competition will continue to increase, with inventory tightening and home prices rising. What can you do to help yourself stand out? 

A pre-approval* is a great place to start. In a matter of minutes, you can elevate yourself from the competition. Many of our lender partner's pre-approvals can be completed in 15 minutes or less.  You can also count on our lender partners to help you understand the ever-evolving market throughout this unprecedented and uncertain time. 

 

*“Pre-approval” means an automated underwriting system approval based upon credit information supplied by applicant and subject to the lender’s review of loan documents. Applicant subject to credit and underwriting approval. Not all applicants will be approved for financing. Receipt of application does not represent an approval for financing or interest rate guarantee. Restrictions may apply, contact lenders for current rates and for more information.

 

Sources: 

Federal Reserve

Mortgage News Daily

Mortgage News Daily

Housing Wire

Federal Reserve

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Questions to ask yourself before buying a home [First time home-buyers]

Apr 29, 2020 8:56:04 PM / by Brett O'Daniell posted in home shopping, home ownership, before you buy, buying a home, homebuying, online home buying

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