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8 Negotiating Techniques When House Hunting

“Buyer beware” is an expression most of us are familiar with and this adage applies to any would-be home purchaser in today’s “seller’s” market. As a buyer during the current environment of high-demand and low-inventory, it’s important to consider the negotiating options available to you when house-hunting. Here are eight tips to keep in mind when making an offer.

Know thyself. Before you venture into what will easily be the largest financial obligation and purchase of your life, it’s vital to understand your personal economics. You must establish a realistic budget. This will help manage expectations when looking for your…


Home Equity Financing 101

Thinking of consolidating debt? Need to fund a college education? Entertaining a home improvement project? Looking to finance a “bucket list” vacation? If you are a homeowner, the financial resource may literally be all around you – home equity financing allows the applicant to borrow against the equity of their home by using the house as collateral to obtain a home equity loan or line of credit.

What’s the Difference? HELOAN vs. HELOC
While a home equity loan and line of credit are both useful, they are also very different. A home equity loan (HELOAN) is a fixed-rate product with a…


Is the Wild Real Estate Ride Ending?

We’ve all heard, or maybe even experienced first-hand, the stories about someone who sold their home during the recent real estate boom. A friend or neighbor saying, “My house sold before a sign was even put in the ground. We received two dozen offers and sold our home for well over the asking price!”

As the old adage goes, all good things must come to an end. The question is, has that moment arrived or are we experiencing a seasonal drop in the residential real estate market? From the media, which had previously reported on the unprecedented housing boom, come…


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…


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…


What Homebuyers Need to Know About Interest Rates

As a home buyer, one of the biggest questions you probably have when looking for a mortgage lender is, “what is your rate?” The answer is there are lots of factors that influence a consumer’s mortgage interest. You have probably heard that the Federal Reserve (Fed), or, Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC), officially cut benchmark interest rates on September 18 for the second time in two months following a 10-year U.S. economic expansion. As a consumer, and specifically a homebuyer, what does this mean?

The Fed’s rate cuts directly impact debt with terms of 10 years or less (“short-term” interest…


Interest Rates and the Housing Market in 2019

Carpe Diem! Strike while the iron is hot! Make hay while the sun shines! These timeless adages obviously stress a call to action. Good advice if you are a home buyer or considering a refinance in our current real estate market. Now is the time to act.

In the world of financial markets, things often change abruptly. Just a few months ago, real estate market heavyweights such as Fannie Mae and the National Association of Realtors revealed their interest rate forecasts for 2019 – they were projecting that the average 30-year fixed mortgage interest rate for 2019 would be just…


Millennials: Tips to Tackle Home Ownership Obstacles

Millennials are currently between the ages of about 24 to 36 years old, historically the prime age for first-time homebuyers. Lenders are anxious to see millennials embrace homeownership, yet they have been slow to do so. What is keeping millennials from purchasing that first home? There are several factors to consider:

-Many people in this generation watched their parents struggle though the Great Recession and possibly even lose their home during the housing crisis.

-In response to this crisis, the federal government initiated sweeping reforms which have hampered the ability to qualify for mortgage financing.

-Many millennials have chosen to marry…


Financing Options for the First-time Homebuyer

We have so much information at our fingertips thanks to technology, but there are still many misconceptions about residential mortgage financing for the first-time homebuyer. Most prevalent is that consumers need a significant amount of cash available to make their first home purchase. There is also a lot of misinformation about credit, debt and qualifying.

Let’s begin with the definition of a first-time homebuyer (FTHB). As counter-intuitive as it may seem, the FTHB as defined by most of the residential mortgage agencies is, “an individual who has not held an ownership interest in a residential property within the…

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