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How Mortgage Interest Rates Affect the Affordability of Buying a Home

Something we don’t hear much about in the news or even in general conversation among real estate professionals is the “housing affordability index.” Published by the National Association of Realtors, this is a measure of how much home a typical family can afford in the United States. This article is not speaking to that actual index but will discuss how mortgage interest rates can affect the affordability of housing to the average person. While housing prices fluctuate, I am strictly speaking to how rates affect your payment.

In 2003, we saw mortgage interest rates drop below 6% on average…


Post-Pandemic Real Estate Trends

It has been more than a year since our country was shocked and caught off-guard when the CDC requested a nationwide quarantine for two weeks in an effort “to slow the spread” of a potentially killer virus. We had no idea of the unprecedented challenges and loss of life that would follow. The COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant impact including on real estate trends.

Space in the Suburbs
During quarantine, a new way of life emerged for many Americans and there were a variety of responses to the unprecedented challenges – panic selling, irrational buying, jittery markets, remote work. One…


What to Expect from the Housing Market in 2021

Following a record year for the mortgage industry in 2020 with historically low interest rates, what can we expect in 2021? What is the potential impact of the new political administration and changing economic environment?

Mortgage interest rates truly have nowhere to go but up. While a rise in interest rates is inevitable, it should not be dramatic or prohibitive to refinances and home purchases. The Federal Reserve has indicated that it will continue to accommodate the U.S. economy as we recover from the pandemic though probably not as aggressively as was done during 2020. There will be slightly higher…


House Hunting? A Pre-Approval Could Make a Purchase more Viable

For the last several years, the lack of residential property inventory has been a plaguing issue with too few homes available on the market for too many active buyers. This phenomenon, coupled with historically low interest rates, has driven contract prices higher, often above the (asking) list price of the subject unit. Those searching for a home today will find themselves competing with multiple offers and having to distinguish themselves.

As a buyer in this highly competitive market, what can you do to make your proposal more attractive than your opposition?

While “cash is king,” most prospective buyers lack enough of…


In Times of Crisis a Relationship with your Lender is Key

The pandemic has left many businesses facing financial hardships. Stay-at-home orders, capacity limitations and other guidelines aimed at preventing the spread of COVID-19 have negatively impacted our economy. Many businesses have had their revenues substantially reduced and have struggled to remain current with their expenses, including rent, which is causing landlords to fall short on commercial mortgage payments.

According to a survey taken by The Main Street Alliance at the end of June, approximately 60 percent of its members had delayed or reduced their rent payments in the past four months. The coronavirus outbreak has caused a chain reaction…


How is COVID Impacting the Real Estate Market?

What started as a health crisis earlier this year, has impacted millions of Americans and quickly become a financial crisis as well. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the current economic climate is being compared to the 2008 financial crisis which resulted in a housing crash due to subprime lending, builder new home overstock, rising interest rates, plummeting property values and record foreclosures.

To stop the spread of the virus, social distancing was introduced in early March. Many states implemented stay-at-home orders resulting in the closure of many businesses. This led to more than 36.5 million Americans filing for unemployment benefits….


How the ‘Convenience Economy’ Impacts Commercial Real Estate

In today’s economy, everything is about convenience, from food delivery apps to the ability to shop for just about anything online to the growing trend of living, working and recreating in the same complex. This need for convenience has been exacerbated as the coronavirus pandemic has many working from home and ordering everything from groceries to cleaning supplies to retail items online. The desire and need for convenience is impacting every industry, including commercial real estate.

Two key areas seeing increased demand during this unique time as Americans continue the shift towards a convenience economy are industrial warehousing and mixed-use…


COVID’s Impact on Mortgage Financing

Only a few months ago, the United States economy was chugging along at a respectable pace with low interest rates, a record-high stock market and 3% unemployment. These impressive stats supported a seemingly financially sound and stable 2020, but the arrival of COVID-19 quickly dispelled this Goldilocks story before the end of the first quarter. With businesses forced to close amid stay-at-home orders, unemployment skyrocketed which, quite obviously, impacted the normally robust spring real estate market.

With unemployment at its highest level in decades, lenders have been forced to verify and redocument income and employment status for clients up until…


Is Now the Time to Refinance Your Home?

“Lowest mortgage rates since 2012 spur refinancing wave” – CBS News

“All-time low mortgage rates will create all-time high confusion tomorrow” – MortgageNewsDaily

“Mortgage rates sink to their second-lowest levels in three years” – Washington Post

There you have it—mortgage rates are very low. And with that come many companies competing to refinance your mortgage, likely your largest expense. The COVID-19 outbreak has had major impacts on the economy and, during the first week of March, the Mortgage Bankers Association reported the highest level of refinancing applications since April 2009.

Some customers get sucked in with 800-number mailers or…


Is Now the Time to Buy a Home?

There are many questions when it comes to buying a home. Two of the most common are – when is the right time to buy? And, should you buy now or wait until you have more money saved for a larger down payment? Most of us would probably agree that having more money to put down is generally a good thing. However, the current availability of loan programs that require a low down payment coupled with historically low rates might be enough to encourage folks to buy now.

Let’s consider the value of low rates in terms of purchasing power….

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