If you are considering buying this Fall, please call me to help you find your NextHome.
Mortgage interest rates, as reported by Freddie Mac, have increased by close to a quarter of a percent over the last several weeks. Freddie Mac, Fannie Mae, the Mortgage Bankers Association, and the National Association of Realtors are all calling for mortgage rates to rise another quarter of a percent by next year.
In addition to the predictions from the four major reporting agencies mentioned above, the Federal Open Market Committee recently voted “unanimously to approve a 1/4 percentage point increase in the primary credit rate to 2.75 percent.” Historically, an increase in the primary credit rate has translated to an overall jump in mortgage interest rates as well.
This has caused some purchasers to lament the fact that they may no longer be able to get a rate below 4%. However, we must realize that current rates are still at historic lows.
Here is a chart showing the average mortgage interest rate over the last several decades:
Though you may have missed the lowest mortgage rate ever offered, you can still get a better interest rate than your older brother or sister did ten years ago, a lower rate than your parents did twenty years ago, and a better rate than your grandparents did forty years ago.
The interest rate you pay on your home mortgage has a direct impact on your monthly payment; the higher the rate, the greater the payment will be. That is why it is important to know where rates are headed when deciding to start your home search.
Below is a chart created using Freddie Mac’s U.S. Economic & Housing Marketing Outlook.As you can see, interest rates are projected to increase steadily over the course of the next year.
How Will This Impact Your Mortgage Payment?
Depending on the amount of the loan that you secure, a half of a percent (.5%) increase in interest rate can increase your monthly mortgage payment significantly.
According to CoreLogic’s latest Home Price Index, national home prices have appreciated 6.2% from this time last year and are predicted to be 5.1% higher next year.
If both the predictions of home price and interest rate increases become a reality, families would wind up paying considerably more for their next homes.
Even a small increase in interest rate can impact your family’s wealth, so don’t wait until next year! Let’s get together to evaluate your ability to purchase your dream home now.
Since the creation of the Veterans Affairs (VA) Home Loans Program, over 22 million veterans have achieved the American Dream of homeownership. Many veterans do not know the details of the program and therefore do not take advantage of the benefits available to them.
If you are a veteran or you know someone who is, here is a breakdown of the VA Home Loan benefits that can be used to achieve the American Dream!
Top 5 Benefits of a VA Home Loan
- The greatest benefit of a VA Loan is that borrowers can buy a home with a 0% down payment. In 2016, 82% of all VA Loans put down 0%!
- Primary Mortgage Insurance (PMI) is not required! (Most other loans with down payments under 20% require PMI, which adds additional costs to your monthly housing expense!)
- Credit Score requirements are also lower for VA Home Loans. The average FICO® score of a borrower for an approved VA Loan is 620, compared to 676 (FHA) or 753 (Conventional).
- There is also a limitation on a veteran buyer’s closing costs. Sellers can pay all of a buyer’s loan-related closing costs and up to 4% in concessions in some cases.
- Even with interest rates rising, VA Loans continue to have the lowest average interest rates of all loan types.
Who Qualifies for a VA Home Loan?
One of the most important first steps when applying for a VA Home Loan is obtaining your Certificate of Eligibility (COE). “The COE verifies to the lender that you are eligible for a VA-backed loan.”
You Can Apply for a VA Loan if You:
- Serve 90 consecutive days during wartime
- Serve 181 consecutive days during peacetime
- Have more than 6 years in the National Guard or Reserves
- Are the spouse of a service member who has died in the line of duty or as the result of a service-related disability
You Can Use a VA Loan To:
- Purchase a Home
- Purchase a Condo
- Build a Home
- Refinance an existing home loan
- Make improvements to a home by installing energy-related features or making energy-efficient improvements
For more information or to find out if you or a loved one would qualify to use the VA Home Loan Benefit, let’s get together! Thank you for your service!
In today’s housing market, where supply is very low and demand is very high, home values are increasing rapidly. Many experts are projecting that home values could appreciate by another 5% (or more) over the next twelve months. One major challenge in such a market is the bank appraisal.
When prices are surging, it is difficult for appraisers to find adequate, comparable sales (similar houses in the same neighborhood that recently closed) to defend the selling price when performing the appraisal for the bank.
Every month in their Home Price Perception Index (HPPI), Quicken Loans measures the disparity between what a homeowner who is seeking to refinance their home believes their house is worth and what an appraiser’s evaluation of that same home is.
March 2015 marked the first month of a three-year gap between what an appraiser and a homeowner believed a home was worth. That gap widened to 2.65% in September 2015 and had consistently hovered between 1.0% and 2.0% through November 2017.
The chart below illustrates the changes in home price estimates over the last three years:
In the latest release, the disparity was the narrowest it has been since March 2015, as the gap between appraisers and homeowners was only -0.33%. This is important for homeowners to note as even a .33% difference in appraisal could equate to thousands of dollars that a buyer or seller has to come up with at closing (depending on the price of the home).
Bill Banfield, Executive VP of Capital Markets at Quicken Loans urges homeowners to find out how their local markets have been impacted by supply and demand:
“The appraisal is one of the most important, although sometimes least predictable, parts of the mortgage process. The Home Price Perception Index is a way to illustrate the differences of opinion, and these differences affect everything from the type of mortgage a borrower can get to the expectations a seller has about the proceeds available upon sale of their home.”
Every house on the market must be sold twice; once to a prospective buyer and then again to the bank (through the bank’s appraisal). With escalating prices, the second sale may be even more difficult than the first. If you are planning on entering the housing market this year, let’s get together to discuss this and any other obstacles that may arise.