Home prices are up again according to the latest figures from CoreLogic.  In June, U.S. home prices saw a 5.7% year-over-year increase. Anyone looking for a home in the Twin Cities Metro – whether it’s a first home, a move up or a down-size – has probably experienced the fast pace of the market due in part to low housing inventory.  Some of that could be attributed to supply and demand, but CoreLogic’s Chief Economist Frank Nothaft says, “Mortgage rates dipped in June to their lowest level in more than three years, supporting home purchases.  Local markets with strong economic growth have generally had stronger home-price growth.”   

We did a blog recently explaining how home appreciation outpaced a leading investment index in 2015, and this year looks equally strong.  If you have questions about whether or not real estate is a sound investment, now is a great time to talk to a real estate professional about the home you have – or the one you want.  A conversation with a loan officer is also a great idea – CoreLogic’s chief economist mentioned interest rates and you should find out what they mean to you.  At GCS Title, our team helps home buyers and sellers get to the “closing finish line” – but, we’re here for you at other times as well.  What does the housing market news mean to you?  We can help you get the answers you need – let’s talk!  ~Charlie

Time Flies…

when a house goes on the market these days! Zillow’s June Market Report says properties are selling one week faster than they did a year ago and there are 5% fewer homes on the market.  The average time on market for a home is 78 days nationwide – including the time it takes to close!  Here are some things people need to know about these fast-paced market conditions:  Both home buyers and home sellers need to get ready – because things are going to move quick once the sale is set in motion.  If you’re buying your first home – or if you’re a seller moving to another home – make sure you have your financing lined up and that you’re pre-approved (that’s different from pre-qualified).  If you haven’t found an experienced, professional Realtor and lender to work with – we can help!  

Also, GCS Title is all about the customers.  We understand the pressures buyers and sellers are under and what how important the transaction we are closing for you is.  You can count on us to “bring the hustle” and make sure you can keep up with the market, your closing date and your goals.  We’re here to help!  ~Charlie


Pokemon might be coming to your neighborhood.  The app claiming to get gamers off the couch has sent them into the streets, roaming parks and other public places in a zombie-like state.  Online real estate resource Trulia couldn’t resist getting into the game (and probably tapping the phenomenon for publicity) by creating a “cheat map” for enthusiasts that works like this according to Trulia’s senior public relations manager Andrea McDonald:  “Assuming the Pokémon in Go are popping up based on the habitat they thrive in, we have tapped into our map making prowess to showcase the potential hotspots across the U.S. for Electric, Fire, Grass, Psychic and Water Pokémon types.”  

Whether you’re looking to “catch ’em all” or for someplace to live, apps can be a great help.  They don’t replace the expertise of great real estate agents though.  We happen to know a lot of them and we’re happy to connect you.  The GCS Title team also works really hard to make sure buyers and sellers don’t feel like they’re walking blindly through the closing process…we love being part of your home buying and selling experience.  How can we help you? ~Charlie


Seems like you can’t look, watch or listen to anything without hearing something about mortgage interest rates, the impact of Brexit an rates and even “more historic lows” and a possible refi boom.   There’s a ton of articles, information, speculation and opinion about what homeowners can do and gain during times of low interest rates and a lot of it is interesting and helpful.  Here are a couple highlights:

  • Save thousands of dollars on the life of their loans by getting a lower rate or shorter term (15 vs. 30 year)
  • Pay of a home equity line of credit
  • Consolidating debt
  • Get rid of mortgage insurance

These can all be great things…the problem is, you can’t know for sure if any of these things are possible and if they make sense for you personally when it comes to costs/fees/savings without getting specific, professional advice.  While it looks so available online, it’s not necessarily personalized…a mortgage calculator just doesn’t tell the whole story.  At GCS Title, we work with many, many incredible mortgage loan officers.  These people are licensed, experienced – and they’re actual, local people who you can reach without going through an automated system – which is a big deal when you’re making choices and decisions that affect such a big part of your finances.  Loan officers are happy to discuss your situation and let you know if you have options you didn’t know you had and their findings will be geared to what’s right for you – no obligation.  Let us know if we can introduce you to a loan officer who can answer your questions…a refi boom could be a great thing – as long as it doesn’t blow up in your face.  ~Charlie