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How To Navigate the Housing Market Amid Rising Rates

As a result of the pandemic, interest rates bottomed out in recent years to the lowest ever witnessed in the history of the United States. A record number of borrowers happily took advantage of interest rates in the 2-3% range. But in 2022, we’ve seen a significant surge in interest rates largely due to the Federal Reserve’s attempts to combat inflation. For those who are in the market to buy a home, what actions can be taken to adapt to this new environment?

Do Your Homework

Educate yourself about the homebuying…

A Lag In Real Estate Development Is Affecting Millennials Today

As many older millennials are looking to settle down, buy a home and start a family, the rising cost of real estate is pricing many out of the market all together. Egged on by low interest rates, the real estate market has boomed over the last two years, with housing prices up 20-30% since the pandemic began, making buying a home less affordable than ever. Millennials in particular face unique challenges when searching for a home.

Saddled with student loans, a recent study showed that 36% of US millennials say such debt is…

Resources for First-Time Homebuyers

Thinking about buying your first home? There are lots of resources available just for you – special mortgage programs, monetary grants to help with closing costs and the down payment, second mortgages, tax credits, and free education on buying, owning and maintaining a home.  Below is an overview of some of the resources available.  To learn more about what works best for your situation it is a good idea to meet with a trusted mortgage professional who can guide you through the process.

Special Mortgage Programs

The Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency (PHFA) offers programs for first-time homebuyers through lenders…

It’s A Great Time to Buy

As we head into the spring housing market, there is good news for homebuyers.  Fannie Mae has recently announced two new loan products that can help homebuyers that have limited funds for a down payment.

The first is Fannie Mae’s MyCommunityMortgage®Small-arrow-for-disclosure. This product allows first time homebuyers to provide a down payment of only 3%. This product will expand access to credit for qualified first-time homebuyers that may not have the resources for a larger down payment.  In addition, it allows for reduced private mortgage insurance (PMI) coverage.  The reduced PMI…

How To Finance Home Improvements

Are you looking to purchase a “fixer-upper” or make renovations on an existing home? Need help finding the money for the repairs and renovations? The FHA 203(k) Home Renovation loan could be the perfect solution.

How does the FHA 203(k) loan work?

• Offers a long-term, low-rate solution that allows borrowers to finance their mortgage (purchase or refinance) and costs of home improvements in a single loan.

• The lender reviews the projected value of the home including planned repairs, allowing them further financing options.

• Money for the repair is put into an escrow account, and the contractor is…

10 Things You Shouldn’t Do Before Closing on a Home Loan

Buying a home is a long-term investment that will have significant impact on your financial future, it is crucial to have an understanding of the home-buying process.  To ensure the home buying process goes smoothly, here are 10 things you should avoid before closing on your home loan.

1. Don’t change your job. Lenders want to see stability, which means you’ll be less likely to default on the loan.

2. Don’t change banks. Like your employment, you want your banking history to show stability.

3. Don’t buy a vehicle that you have to finance. Making a large purchase increases your debt-to-income ratio – something loan…

Building a New Home? Be Prepared

Building your dream home is exciting! But there are also many unknowns, some of which are beyond your control. How long will the construction process take? Will the builder complete everything according to the plan? What will the final cost be? Securing financing for your construction project is a critical step in the process — and it is something you can control.


Getting construction financing for your new home project is slightly different than getting a mortgage for an existing home. Here’s what you need to know:

  •  A construction loan to the…

Tips for First-Time Homebuyers

You’ve been hearing it for ages now, it’s a great time to buy a home! Interest rates are still historically low and there are plenty of homes on the market to choose from. If you’re looking to make the leap from apartment dweller – or your parents’ basement – to your first home, there are lots of terrific home options available.

There is a lot to think about when buying your first home, but it doesn’t have to be overwhelming. By going into homeownership prepared, you’ll be assured you’re making a wise decision. Ready to take the homeownership plunge? Here’s…

Stay Local for Your Home Loan

As a Home Loan Consultant I am often asked why to use a local bank instead of one of the larger national lenders.  Well, there are several reasons:

  •  Support the local economy.  With a local bank, all of the jobs from sales to processing, underwriting and closing are handled by people who live in the local area.  Choosing a local bank in turn allows that bank to give back to the communities it serves.  Univest, for example, contributed $1.1 million to communities through its Committed to Local philanthropic program in 2013.
  • Great customer service.   Univest Home Loan Consultants are experts…

Crucial First Steps to Homeownership

So, you are ready to buy a new home. Congratulations!

Whether this is your first or fifth home purchase, the most important task at hand is to get pre-qualified through a reputable lender.  What to consider:

Your Credit Score: Lenders require a good credit history to qualify for a mortgage loan. Credit scores range from 300 to 850, and while you don’t need a perfect score to buy a home, your options are greatly reduced if your score falls below 680.  You many not qualify for any type of financing if your score falls below 620.

Debt to Income Ratios:  Lenders…

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