Fidelity Lawyers Title Agency: News and Articles


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December was a strong month for home sales in Dayton as the market picks up rolling into 2015.

The area saw 988 single-family and condominium homes sold, which is up 8 percent from December of the previous year, according to the Dayton Area Board of Realtors. The average and median home prices also grew 5.7 percent and 3.7 percent respectively.

Most of the months of 2014 saw a decrease in sales because of low inventory, but steady increases in sale prices. The uptick in December points to confidence coming back thanks to a year of rising home values, which allows more residents to put their homes on the market and search for bigger homes.

Wendi Sheets, CEO and team leader of Keller WIlliams Advantage Real Estate, said she is confident about the market in 2015.

"Before people were testing the market," she said. "They're able to get the price they want, and so more consumers will be putting their house on the market."

The average sale price in December was $135,039, and the median sale price was $112,057.


Original Article written by:  Olivia Barrow, Dayton Business Journal, January 23, 2015

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Mortgage rates showed little movement once again this week, continuing to hover near yearly lows, according to the latest data released Thursday by Freddie Mac.


The 30-year fixed-rate average bumped up to 4.14 percent with an average 0.7 point. It hit its yearly low of 4.12 percent a week ago and was 4.4 percent a year ago.

For nearly two months now, the 30-year fixed-rate average has floated around 4.13 percent, ticking up or down a basis point or two but never straying far.

The 15-year fixed-rate average climbed to 3.27 percent with an average 0.6 point, its highest level since June 19. It was 3.23 percent a week ago and 3.43 percent a year ago.

Hybrid adjustable rate mortgages wandered downward. The five-year ARM average slid to 2.98 percent with an average 0.5 point. It was 3.01 a week ago and 3.19 percent a year ago.

After jumping above 3 percent last week, the five-year ARM returned below that level for the six time in the past seven weeks.

The one-year ARM average dropped to 2.35 percent with an average 0.5 point. It was 2.38 percent a week ago.

“Mortgage rates were little changed amid a week of light economic reports,” Frank E. Nothaft, Freddie Mac vice president and chief economist, said in a statement.

“Of the few releases, ISM non-manufacturing index rose to 58.7 in July from 56 a month earlier. Also, factory orders were up 1.1 percent in June. The two reports signal steady economic growth in the third quarter of the year.”

Meanwhile, mortgage applications grew slightly last week, according to the latest data from the Mortgage Bankers Association.

The market composite index, a measure of total loan application volume, increased 1.6 percent. The refinance index rose 4 percent, while the purchase index fell 1 percent.

The refinance share of mortgage activity accounted for 55 percent of all applications.


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Written by:  Kathy Orton,


As the spring home-buying season commences, good news comes on the mortgage front. Mortgage rates dropped this past week, according to Freddie Mac. The group report a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 4.34 percent in the week ending April 10, down from 4.41 percent last week. A year ago, 30-year rates averaged 3.43 percent.

Lower mortgage rates play a role in home sales, which are an indicator of economic strength.

Dayton-area home sales have been steadily climbing for more than two years, except for February, when the frosty weather led to a 7 percent year-over-year decline.

“Mortgage rates eased a bit following the decline in 10-year Treasury yields,” said Frank Nothaft, vice president and chief economist for Freddie Mac. “Also, the economy added 192,000 jobs in March, which was below the market consensus forecast but followed an upward revision of 22,000 jobs in February. Meanwhile, the unemployment rate held steady at 6.7 percent.”


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Changes to Homestead Exemption Laws


Homestead exemption was originally introduced in 1970 as a reduction in property taxes for lower income senior citizens.  Then, in 2007, the program was changed to include all homeowners 65 and older or permanently and totally disabled, without an income requirement.  Now, the State of Ohio is returning to the original practice, and will now be applying means/income testing to determine the eligibility of homeowners for homestead exemption.

Starting with the 2014 tax year, applicants for homestead exemption will be subject to an income/means test to determine their eligibility.  However, existing homestead exemption recipients will continue to receive property tax credit without being subject to such testing.

According to the Montgomery County Auditor, for a homeowner to qualify for the program, they must:

  • Own and occupy the home as their primary place of residence as of January 1 of the year for which they apply; and
  • Be 65 years of age, or turn 65, by December 31 of the year for which they apply; or Be totally and permanently disabled as of January 1 of the year for which they apply, as certified by a licensed physician or psychologist; or Be the surviving spouse of a person who was receiving the homestead exemption at the time of death and where the surviving spouse was at least 59 years old on the date of death.
  • Have a total income (for both the applicant and the applicant's spouse) that does not exceed the amount set by the law, which is adjusted annually for inflation.  "Total income" is defined as the adjusted gross income for Ohio income tax purposes.  The current maximum allowed is $30,500 for the 2014 application period.

Montgomery County also notes that the grandfather status is "portable", meaning that homeowners who received a homestead exemption credit for the 2013 tax year will not be subject to income/means testing even if they move to another Ohio residence.


Source of Information:  Montgomery County Auditor Office