First quarter takeaways?…
Interest rates are low, but few refinances. (See mortgage charts pages 7, 9 & 10) Compare 2016 to refi years 2009, 2012 & 2013.
However, the purchase market is hot. (See deed recording chart page 13) The first quarter is up considerably from two years ago. Could it be that we?re now in a ?normal? market? I think so! Hopefully the small inventory of used homes on the market doesn?t slow things down.
Here?s a little chuckle for your moments of reflection about where we?ve all been the last six months.
Have a great spring!
I am pleased to introduce a new team member and also tell you about changes to the roles of three other team members.
Rebecca Spencer joined our closing team as a Real Estate Closer at the end of January. Rebecca brings? twelve years of experience as a closer and funder with Caliber Home Loans and their predecessor companies. Individuals who were successful in high volume mortgage lending environments typically are
great candidates for our closing team. Rebecca is already demonstrating that this is still an accurate measure of likely success. A bonus that we?re enjoying is that Rebecca went through the TRID transition on the lender side. She gives us a valuable insight into how our lender client?s closers and processors
might be thinking about TRID.
If you?ve been in our office since last spring you?ll have been expertly greeted by Amy Thomas. Amy is starting a new role as a Closing Processor. In this role Amy will be preparing files prior to closing, working with Realtors and Lenders to complete Closing Disclosures and Closing Statements. When we hired Amy last year we liked her prior experience in the health services field. We felt that experience would allow her to be extremely effective in a front desk role that frequently is fast paced and characterized by changing priorities and timeframes. Amy proved us correct in that assumption. Those same traits that contributed to her success in that role, we?re certain will help her be effective in her new roll.
As a result of the need to manage unpredictable TRID induced time?frames, we reorganized our preclosing process so that some tasks will now be completed much earlier that we were previously required to do. April Saft and Willow Spencer are assuming the roles of Pre?Closing Coordinator.? April and Willow will be responsible for helping to clear title requirements and obtaining all the information necessary to allow the closing processors to complete a file. Organizing ourselves in this manner will allow us meet the various TRID time frames imposed upon us by the new regulations, regardless of how far ahead of closing a lender is working.
I?ve included an updated team member directory with contact information at the end of this month?s
~ John Bethell
January 25, 2016
The volume of Monroe County sale transactions in 2015 represented the best showing for our market since 2007.? Mortgage volume, while solid, did not approach what was originated during the historic low interest rates of 2012 or the government induced borrowing of 2009. (see chart page 7)? Sales of properties marked as the buyer?s personal residence continue a five year rise to the highest level since sales disclosure data became available. (chart page 14) Most encouragingly sales above $125,000 were considerable stronger than a year ago ? about 21% better!?? Sales of non-primary residence property also reached a five year high. (chart page 16) Most of that growth however is in the market above $200,000, especially above $500,000.? TRID appeared to have a modest effect on the purchase market as fourth quarter sales were slightly higher than in the same quarter of 2014.? I?ve read national predictions that 2016 will bring a few more purchase transactions off set by fewer refinances. Our order counts so far for January are in line with that thinking.? Most of our closings with financing are now TRID transactions. The processes seem to be sorting themselves out. And clients appear used to the additional compliance induced complexities.
We?re busy doing more training and reorganizing behind the scenes to address the different time frames now required. With no new compliance burdens on the horizon, we?re enjoying getting back to figuring out how to do things better. What a relief!
Here?s to a prosperous and successful 2016!
~ John Bethell
I want to introduce you to three new team members here at John Bethell Title
At the end of October we welcomed Wendy Kitchel as our new Title Counsel. Wendy came to us after fourteen years with the law firm of Foutty & Foutty in Indianapolis where she specialized in representing lenders in mortgage foreclosures. Wendy managed title claims and bankruptcy issues for the firm?s clients as well. Prior to joining Foutty, Wendy was a title attorney for Chicago Title Insurance Company and Royal Title Services. Wendy is a 1993 graduate of the University Of Akron School Of Law and has an undergraduate degree from Indiana University. In addition to her role as our title counsel, Wendy will also help us stay abreast of the ever increasing number of regulatory matters now facing our industry. Wendy?s knowledge and breadth of experience is exactly what we were hoping to find when we began to look for Dan Stewart?s successor.
Earlier this fall we added April Saft to our closing team as a Transaction Coordinator. April has extensive prior experience in the medical administration field.April?s proficiency in balancing schedules, completing forms and working in a fast paced, compliance dominated environment with competing priorities will help her greatly as we teach her the title and closing business. April has already shown us to be a quick learner with a great attitude. I?m sure that you will enjoy working with her.
Two weeks ago Sarah Doering joined our team as a Real Estate Closer. For the last five years Sarah held the position of Service Center Manager for AAA Hoosier Motor Club. Prior to joining AAA, she was an Assistant Branch Manager for Monroe Bank and a Closing Specialist for Meridian Title Corporation. Sarah is also a member of the Board of Directors of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Southern Indiana. Several current team members previously worked with Sarah and enthusiastically recommended her to us. Sarah is already working up closings and will be conducting them in the very near future. Sarah further strengthens our capability to fulfill our promise of providing an outstanding experience to you and your clients
We are continuing to seek an additional real estate closer for our team. Once that has been accomplished, I will let you know.
~ John Bethell