Recent Home Sold on Star Valley Ranch

Dear Jerry,
Now that the purchase of Hillside Way has been completed, I wanted to share with you my thoughts regarding the experience. As you know, making a decision to buy a home based solely on the internet is unusual to say the least. While it is different, it was made significantly easier through the immediate comfort I felt with you as a realtor. Your immediate response and professional interface gave me the trust I needed to push forward with this purchase, even though we were residing over 1,000 miles apart….Minneapolis to Wyoming.. having never met in person.
Jerry, you were always timely on responses to my many and varied questions. Paperwork was accurate and complete, and my many phone calls were respectfully and promply addressed. Your help in organizing the sale, from offer, through inspection, to close in under 30 days made my “shopping” experience easy and pain free. Your advice was timely and right on the mark!
I appreciated working with you, Jerry, on this project and would not hesitate in giving you a “two thumbs up” recommendation to anyone who is contemplating a purchase of property. It was an overall excellent experience.
Thanks and best regards,
Tom Stuart

 

Testimonial From a Satisfied Client

We Consider the selection of an experienced realtor to be integral to a successful real estate purchase. We retained the services of Jerry Hodson to assist us in the purchase of a summer home in Star Valley Ranch, Wyoming area. Jerry listened to us as we described the king of propery we were looking for, provided us with excellent service as we narrowed our search, and was very helpful when it came time for us to make our offer to the seller. On an earlier transaction, Jerry saved us a lot of money by including contractual contingencies in our offer. When the seller balked at the contingencies in our offer, we avoided any possible consequences by voiding the transaction. Jerry’s attention to detail and level of service make him a truly outstanding realtor.

Allan and Lynne Levy

Cedar Springs Meadows Announces Single Family Home Sites in Thayne Wyoming

The developer of Cedar Springs Meadows in Thayne Wyoming has just announced that available immediately the change from a condo development to a single family development. There are now 48 lots available for purchase starting at $19,500. Developer will build to suit starting at $199,000 which includes the lot. There are floor plans available or bring your own plan.

Cedar Springs Meadows Subdivision consists of 35 acres with developed common area consisting of two trout ponds and a connection stream. Roads are paved and the Subdivision is on its own private well. There is power and Telephone to all the lot lines.

Upkeep is provided for all landscaped lots, lawn mowing, etc. All road maintenance and snow plowing is provided.

Developers are welcome to build for there clients on a lot they purchase.

As a initial offer if more than one lot is purchased then a 10% discount is given on the total sales price.

Thayne Wyoming Immaculate 3 Bedroom Home SOLD

Single Family residence in Star Valley. Well Designed, custom built. Upgrades include Built in Book Shelf, Vaulted Ceilings in Master Bedroom and Living Room, Large Island in Kitchen,Granite Counter Tops, Master Bath has large Soaking tub, Tiled Showers, Hardwood Floors throughout, wired for Surround Sound. HOA’s fees include water, snow removal. ALL AGES

 

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Blue Ribbon Flyfishing – Salt River Property in Star Valley Wyoming

 Jackknife Creek Ranch is a recreational paradise. An exclusive, rare offering featuring the Salt River, it is a private wildlife refuge to call your own. Build a dream home on one of many secluded home sites all offering generous river, pastoral and mountain vistas. Excellent fishing for trophy brown and cutthroat trout, as well as a prime waterfowl habitat.

Comprised of 260 acres, 1.5 miles of Salt River onsite, a 1,900 ft. spring creek fishery & expansive open space.This property will appeal to a recreational buyer interested in a fishing, hunting or equestrian oriented family ranch just 45 minutes from Jackson Hole. A conservation easement currently exists on the ranch, protecting its natural resources, assuring no further development..

The property has been fully platted for a nine unit cluster subdivision, plus an adjacent 40 acre parcel which would support one residence. Two homes exist on the ranch, a beautifully remodeled 2,460 sq.ft. home and a smaller caretaker’s cabin.

The ranch lies alongside the Idaho border beneath the picturesque Caribou Mountain range, just 45 minutes south of Jackson Hole and only 15 minutes from the Palisades Reservoir, headwaters of the famous South Fork of the Snake River. Jet capable general aviation airports are available in Afton (20 minutes to the south) as well as the Alpine Airport (10 minutes to the north). A grass landing strip is adjacent, accessible with neighbors permission.The ranch is within easy driving distance to a multitude of world-famous fly fishing waters including the South Fork, North Fork and Henry’s Fork of the Snake River, the Warm River, the Fall River, the Teton River, the Green River, the Hoback River and the nearby Greys River, perhaps the most scenic and favorite fishery amongst those who live in the area.

Call for the Price of this Beautiful Property – 307-690-4010

Perfect Time to Buy a House?

The economic recovery seems to be slowing, the job picture looked a little more dismal last month, manufacturing is off a bit, and consumer confidence is flattening. But hey, spring is coming, and now may be the perfect time to buy a house. Or so says a new “MarketPulse” analysis by CoreLogic, a leading provider of information, analytics and business services.

The economy is sliding sideways, in part due to the dampening effect on consumer sentiment from increased gasoline prices, but also because the mild winter may have ‘pulled forward’ the economic activity,” analyst Mark Fleming wrote. “The real estate market may be experiencing a nascent recovery, as many of the statistics continue to show slight positive signals.”

And even signs of an increase in mortgage interest rates were discounted as a significant potential headwind. The CoreLogic analysis of housing affordability indicates that any moderate increase in rates is unlikely to materially change housing affordability from its current level, which it deemed the “best in two decades.” Moreover, a rent-to-mortgage ratio for residents of Miami included in the study suggests that it is becoming cheaper for many to purchase a home than to continue to rent an apartment.

This upbeat assessment that now may be the time to buy is shared by many consumers. Nearly three-quarters of Americans said last month they thought it was a good time to buy a home, with expectations that rental and purchase prices will rise over the next year and as consumers’ views of their finances stabilized, according to a new monthly survey by mortgage finance company Fannie Mae.

“Conditions are coming together to encourage people to want to buy homes,” said Doug Duncan, a Fannie Mae chief economist, in The Wall Street Journal.

The number of Americans who indicated that it is a good time to buy in March — 73% — was up 3 percentage points. The percentage of those who said it is a good time to sell rose by 1 percentage point to 14%. The number of participants who expected home prices to increase over the next 12 months improved to a third last month, from 28%.

On average, consumers expected U.S. home prices to increase 0.9%. A record 49% of respondents expected rental prices to increase, the highest number since Fannie Mae began tracking the metric in June 2010. On average, consumers expected rents to rise 4.1%. Also, more respondents expect that mortgage rates — currently around historic lows — will increase over the next year: at 39%, up by 5 percentage points.

The notion that we are fast heading into a housing buyers’ market stems in part from new Census Bureau data from the Housing Vacancy Survey showing that household growth remained stagnant in 2011, rising only 0.6%. While that is in line with household growth since 2007, it is still well below household growth rates in the early part of the decade. “This is good news for the housing sector, as it implies that there is pent-up household formation demand,” Fleming wrote.

In February, sales increased 11.5% from a year ago to 280,100 units. Over the past 12 months, 3.9 million homes were sold, which is slightly above the pace in calendar year 2011 but below 2010’s pace. The distressed-sales share dropped to 26.1% in February, down from 28.4% percent in January, staying within a narrow range since last summer.

Housing affordability, a ratio of the typical household income relative to the annual income necessary to buy a median-priced home at prevailing mortgages rates and under reasonable underwriting criteria, decreased dramatically in the early to mid-2000s as home prices rose, despite low mortgage rates. Since the peak in home prices, mortgage rates have declined even further, home prices have declined, and affordability has risen dramatically, according to the report.

In short, housing affordability is at levels not seen since before the early 1990s and is almost twice the level that it was in April 2006, the peak month for house price levels, when housing was the least affordable.

“While real estate professionals often say that ‘now is a good time to buy,’ it is clear today that April 2006 was probably not a good time to buy, while now may well be the time,” the report states.

The Star Valley Real Estate Market is seeing a rise in the number of properties sold so far in 2012 compared to the same time in 2011. Demand for homes in the $300,000 and up has increased while inventory has dropped.

Star Valley Foreclosures

Report States Another Round of Foreclosures in 2012

Half a decade into the deepest U.S. housing crisis since the 1930s, many Americans are hoping the crisis is finally nearing its end. House sales are picking up across most of the country, the plunge in prices is slowing and attempts by lenders to claim back properties from struggling borrowers dropped by more than a third in 2011, hitting a four-year low.

But a painful part two of the slump looks set to unfold: Many more U.S. homeowners face the prospect of losing their homes this year as banks pick up the pace of foreclosures.

“We are right back where we were two years ago. I would put money on 2012 being a bigger year for foreclosures than 2010,” said Mark Seifert, executive director of Empowering & Strengthening Ohio’s People (ESOP), a counseling group with 10 offices in Ohio.

“Last year was an anomaly, and not in a good way,” he said.

In 2011, the “robo-signing” scandal, in which foreclosure documents were signed without properly reviewing individual cases, prompted banks to hold back on new foreclosures pending a settlement.

Five major banks eventually struck that settlement with 49 U.S. states in February. Signs are growing the pace of foreclosures is picking up again, something housing experts predict will again weigh on home prices before any sustained recovery can occur.

Mortgage servicing provider Lender Processing Services reported in early March that U.S. foreclosure starts jumped 28 percent in January.

More conclusive national data is not yet available. But watchdog group, 4closurefraud.org which helped uncover the “robo-signing” scandal, says it has turned up evidence of a large rise in new foreclosures between March 1 and 24 by three big banks in Palm Beach County in Florida, one of the states hit hardest by the housing crash

Although foreclosure starts were 50 percent or more lower than for the same period in 2010, those begun by Deutsche Bank were up 47 percent from 2011. Those of Wells Fargo’s rose 68 percent and Bank of America’s, including BAC Home Loans Servicing, jumped nearly seven-fold — 251 starts versus 37 in the same period in 2011. Bank of America said it does not comment on data provided by other sources. Wells Fargo and Deutsche Bank did not comment.

Housing experts say localized warning signs of a new wave of foreclosure are likely to be replicated across much of the United States.

Online foreclosure marketplace RealtyTrac estimated that while foreclosures dropped slightly nationwide in February from January and from February 2011, they rose in 21 states and jumped sharply in cities like Tampa (64 percent), Chicago (43 percent) and Miami (53 percent).

RealtyTrac CEO Brandon Moore said the “numbers point to a gradually rising foreclosure tide as some of the barriers that have been holding back foreclosures are removed.”

One big difference to the early years of the housing crisis, which was dominated by Americans saddled with the most toxic subprime products — with high interest rates where banks asked for no money down or no proof of income — is that today it’s mostly Americans with ordinary mortgages whose ability to meet payment have been hit by the hard economic times.

“The subprime stuff is long gone,” said Michael Redman, founder of 4closurefraud.org. “Now the folks being affected are hardworking, everyday Americans struggling because of the economy.”

“HARD TO CATCH UP”

Until December 2010, Daniel Burns, 52, had spent his working life in the trucking industry as a long-haul driver and manager. When daily loads at the small family business where he worked tailed off, he lost his job.

Unable to cover his mortgage, Burns received a grant from a government fund using money repaid from the 2008 bank bailout. That grant is due to expire in early 2013 and Burns is holding out on hopeful comments from his former employer that he might get his job back if the economy recovers.

“If things don’t pick up, I will be out on the street,” he said, staring from his living room window at two abandoned houses over the road in the middle-class Cleveland suburb of Garfield Heights, the noise of traffic from a nearby Interstate highway filling the street.

Underscoring the uncertainty of his situation, Burns’ cell phone rings and a pre-recorded message announces that his unemployment benefits are due to be cut off in April.

A bit further up the shore of Lake Erie, Cristal Fell, who works night shifts entering data for a trucking company in Toledo, has fallen behind on her mortgage a second time because her ex-husband lost his job and her overtime was cut.

“Once you get behind it’s so hard to catch up,” she said.

Fell, a mother of four, hopes the economy will gather enough speed to help her avoid any risk of losing her home. Her ex-husband has found a new job and she is getting more overtime, so she hopes she can catch up on her mortgage by the fall.

Burns and Fell are the new face of the U.S. housing crisis: Middle class, suburban or rural with a conventional 30-year fixed mortgage at a reasonable interest rate, but unemployed or underemployed. Although the national unemployment rate has fallen to 8.3 percent from its peak of 10 percent in October 2009, nearly 13 million Americans remain jobless, meaning many are struggling to keep up with their mortgage payments.

Real estate company Zillow Inc says more than one in four American homeowners were “under water” or owed more than their homes were worth in the fourth quarter of 2011. The crisis has wiped out some $7 trillion in U.S. household wealth.

“We’re seeing more people coming through who have good loans with reasonable interest rates,” said Ed Jacob, executive director of non-profit lender Neighborhood Housing Services of Chicago Inc, which provides foreclosure counseling. “But in many households only one person works now instead of two, or they had their hours cut.”

“The answer to the housing crisis now is job creation.”

EARLY SIGNS OF UPTICK?

Zillow expects the resurgence in foreclosures this year, combined with excess inventory of unsold, bank-owned homes will contribute to a 3.7 percent national decline in prices before the market hits bottom in 2013 and stays there until 2016.

“The hangover from this crisis will far outlast the party of the boom years,” said Zillow chief economist Stan Humphries.

Getting through the remaining foreclosures and dealing with the resulting flood of homes on the market in the wake of the bank settlement is a necessary part of the healing process for the U.S. housing market, he added.

According to leading broker dealer Amherst Securities, some 9.5 million homes are still at risk of default and in February it said it expected to see the uptick in foreclosures start to hit in March and April.

There is other evidence that many of the foreclosures that did not happen in 2011 will happen this year.

A January report by the Neighborhood Economic Development Advocacy Project in New York found that in the first half of 2011 the number of 90-day pre-foreclosure notices in New York City outnumbered court foreclosure actions by a ratio of 14 to one, indicating that while proceedings were initiated against many homeowners, they were left incomplete.

“Now the banks have a settlement, foreclosure numbers for 2012 are going to be high,” said NEDAP co-director Josh Zinner.

A recent survey by the California Reinvestment Coalition, an umbrella group of nearly 300 non-profit groups in the state, of member agencies found 75 percent of respondents expected increased demand for their foreclosure prevention services in 2012 but more than a third had to scale back services because of funding cuts.

“Funding is a major concern given what our members expect for this year,” said associate director Kevin Stein.

All this has non-profits intensifying calls for the Federal Housing Finance Agency to drop its opposition to allowing the government-backed mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac it regulates to reduce principal for underwater homeowners.

Principal reduction involves reducing the amount borrowers owe in order to make a loan modification affordable for struggling homeowners. Republicans and the FHFA oppose principal reduction because of the risk of “moral hazard”- that homeowners who do not need help will seek to abuse largesse and have their mortgages reduced too.

ESOP in Ohio engages in “hits” on Chase branches — they say Chase is the least accommodating major bank when it comes to working with struggling homeowners — where they try to hand letters to bank mangers calling on chief executive Jamie Dimon to lobby FHFA head Edward DeMarco for principal reductions. A Chase spokeswoman said the bank has made “extensive efforts” to work with homeowners, helping 775,000 borrowers stay in their homes since early 2009, avoiding foreclosure “more than twice as often as we have had to foreclose.” Housing groups like ESOP maintain, as they have throughout the housing crisis, that unless the FHFA embraces widespread principal reduction, many more under water borrowers face losing their homes.

“Until banks engage in meaningful principal reduction as a matter of course,” ESOP’s Seifert said after a recent protest at a Chase branch in Cleveland, “this crisis will not end.”

So far this year Star Valley Wyoming has seen and increase in the total number of sales this year compared to 2011. Although prices have dropped by another 25% over 2011. Foreclosures have slowed somewhat but according to reports should pick up again as mortgage institutions accelerate the foreclosure process

(Reporting By Nick Carey; Editing by Martin Howell and William Schomberg; Desking by Andrew Hay)

Alpine Wyoming 23rd Annual Mountain Days – June 22-24

Chairmen for Alpine’s 23rd Annual Mountain Days are busy getting ready for Alpine’s first big summer event. Two big changes taking place this year are date and location. The date for this year’s event is June 22-24, the weekend following the traditional date of Father’s Day weekend. With the change in date also comes the change in location and the return of the event to within the Town of Alpine. Mountain Days will take place in the Alpine Civic Center and the adjoining Marge Grover Memorial Park. The Pioneer Village will be located with the Morning Star Indian Dancers nearby. Information about the event and applications for vendor booths are available online at www.alpinemountaindays.org. Area artists and crafters and food vendors are invited and encouraged to participate in the weekend’s festivities. To cover fees, the chairmen suggest local craftsmen can share a booth or seek sponsorship from an area business. Mountain Days is intended to be a showcase of handmade crafts and original artwork, especially of our local artisans. Area “mountain men” are invited to join in the festivities as exhibitors or vendors as well.
Events and activities returning this year include musical entertainment, the American Legion’s Friday night bingo, the Morning Star Indian Dancers, the children’s “Dog Bounce”, the horseshoe tournament, the beard and moustache contest, door prizes, and a general raffle. Tickets for a special raffle for an Ann LaBenne Newby carved bear are available at the Alpine Town Hall (654-7757) and at local businesses (see next week’s paper).

New this year is the impressive Eastman’s Trophy Deer Tour display which will be set up in the Civic Center and is free to the public. Additional activities and events being considered will be announced at a later date. As always, Mountain Days is expected to provide a weekend of good food, entertainment and shopping.

LDS Temple in Star Valley Wyoming

Star Valley residents were both stunned and surprised as the President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints announced the future construction of a temple site in Star Valley, Wyoming. According to the LDS Church, there are currently 135 temples in operation with 13 more under construction and 18 that have been announced to be built in the future. With so many differing locations for these buildings, it is a rare occasion for such a facility to be built in such a rural area. With the lack of one centralized incorporated town, Star Valley will almost certainly be the world’s smallest population to boast such an addition. Some recent smaller population areas to add a temple include Snowflake, Ariz., with a population of between 5,500 and 6,000 residents and Vernal, Utah which has just over 9,000 citizens. The largest town in Star Valley is Afton with a population of just over 1,800. According to Ken Bassett, City Manager for Vernal, the temple will likely bring an under appreciated positive impact to the area in a variety of ways.

As well as adding to the LDS Church’s overall total, the Star Valley temple will be the first such structure within the State of Wyoming. Currently, members of the LDS faith travel outside of the Cowboy State to attend the temple. Some of the closest to the border include Billings, Mont., Logan, Utah, Idaho Falls, Idaho and Rexburg, Idaho. A temple is currently under construction in Fort Collins, Colo., which would make it the closest to the border in terms of mileage until the Star Valley site is completed.