Michigan winters can be brutal! The cold weather and snowy conditions make everyone want to stay inside and cozy up next to a fire. Needless to say, looking for a house isn’t typically on the winter activity list.
Traditionally, spring and summer are the prime times to purchase, but new studies show that winter can be a great time to buy as well.
Here are a few reasons why:
You can bet that there are a lot of people not willing to go house looking in the dead of winter. Use that to your advantage by getting in contact with an agent and taking a few house tours. Fewer people mean less competition for your dream home. The low demand will work in your favor because you don’t have to worry about outbidding anyone.
If there is a home that goes for sale in the winter, more than likely, that seller REALLY wants to sell. This opens the door for negotiations! The seller may be willing to lower the price, discount closing cost, or even offer other incentives like appliances to be included with the home sale.
Everything in the winter months slows down. That means realtors may have less clientele and can give you extra attention around this time of year. They are more willing to go to bat for you and work a little harder to get you the best deal possible!
Are you interested in purchasing a new home this winter? Contact our mortgage experts HERE!
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Buying home is one of the biggest commitments you will ever make. Not to mention it is pricey, time-consuming and can be very intimidating. If you are a first-time homebuyer and don’t know where to start, these 3 tips could help you prepare yourself for the process.
Tip #1: Be picky about your Mortgage Lender
This is a major purchase and commitment! You need to be completely comfortable with your lender. Find a lender that is in tuned to your request, concerns and anxieties. You should never feel like you are being pitched some sales tactic and what you feel doesn’t matter. You will spend many long hours communicating with this company and they should be all about catering to you and showing you MORE PERSONAL ATTENTION.
Tip #2: Take your time!
The mortgage process can be extremely daunting. From picking a real estate agent, to your dream home, to the mortgage lender…there is a lot of decisions to make and you shouldn’t rush making any of them! Take your time throughout this entire process. If you aren’t loving the way your real estate agent is communicating with you, get a new one. Or you aren’t loving any of the houses in the current market for sale, wait till you find what you want!
Tip #3: Have money saved
Not only is it nice to have a good amount of cash saved for your down payment but, there are tons of other expenses to consider. Once you get approved for that new home, you are going to want to furnish it and fill it with things you like! Also, since buying a home is so expensive, you need buffer money, just in case some random expense occurs.
Mortgage Bankers Association is forecasting that we will see a three-year-high in mortgage originations since 2016. In 2016 the industry saw $2 trillion and in 2019 MBA is predicting that we will land around $1.9 trillion.
Since the FED cut rates not once, but twice this year we have seen an increase in refinances. MBA is predicting that 35% of that $1.9 trillion will be attributed to those refinancing; which reflects Fannie Mae’s projection of refinances also being at a three-year-high.
If you are someone who follows along and have been on the fence about refinancing keep in mind that your credit score will affect the rate you get locked in to. The industry has been seeing a wide range of interest rates for credit scores of 620 through 639; anywhere around 1.33% in difference. However, if you can, you can buy down your interest rate.
Not sure what buying an interest rate means? Click here to talk to someone today!
In other news, we have been seeing an increase in home prices. Before, you cringe right now this news is good. With rates remaining low you still have the ability to get more house than you may have planned for and we are seeing an increase in inventory. Right now Detroit is sitting in the top six areas at 4.1% in year-over-year strength.
Even though summer is coming to a close and purchase season is slowing down. Freddie Mac reported that the average interest rate for a 30-year fixed rate dropped to another 3-year low at 3.49%. And as the unemployment rate remains historically low, this means that homebuyer demand is improving along with affordability.
August brought some significant good news, so take a deep breath and find solace in our current economy. Why? Fannie Mae is also predicting that the economy should continue to support the current refinance activity. How do we know that? August’s refinance volume was 150% higher than it was last year, which is in correlation to the increase in the demand for homes and affordability.
And if you are still thinking about refinancing know that Black Knight is here to tell us that roughly half of the homeowners across the United States are sitting on a combined total of 6.3 trillion dollars in tappable equity. We haven’t seen eligibility this high since the early 2000s.
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It is no secret that times have changed since our grandparents and even our parents have purchased homes. So much so, that with new programs and requirements, brokers/lenders have stated, you aren’t required to have the 20% down payment that you heard about growing up.
But now you are thinking… how much should I save for a down payment?
Here’s the good news it doesn’t have to be difficult, and you can do what works best for you and your family. To put it in perspective, if we were still required to put down 20% on a home loan, based on Mr. Cooper’s math, it would take renters nearly seven years to save for a 200K home on an average salary of 56K a year. Seven years!
However, there is a benefit to putting 20% down.
1. Right away, there is more equity in your home.
2. Lower monthly payment.
3. Lower rates.
4. You aren’t that high of a risk to your lender.
5. You won’t need mortgage insurance.
6. Future buying power.
Click here to calculate your ideal mortgage down payment.
According to Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey, the average rate for a 30-year fixed mortgage fell to a 3-year low. The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.55% for the week ending August 22, 2019, down from last week’s 3.6%, which is close to 2018’s lowest percentage point. The drop-in mortgage rates benefit not only the housing market but also the economy as a whole. Home purchase demand is up 5% since 2018, and the refinance market has hit a significant surge. Homeowners that have refinanced are seeing close to a $140 of savings per month. The benefits of lower mortgage rates are also helping homeowners gain more equity.
Last week the Federal Reserve made the decision to cut rates for the first time since 2008. With wages on the rise and unemployment rates at a 50-year low, the decision was made to help boost the economy. This means potential savings for homeowners across America looking to refinance or sell their home since home equity is also on the rise.
*These numbers are based on the weekly average data pulled in from Freddie Mac
With rates being at their lowest point in 3 years, now is an optimal time to purchase and refinance. We want you to take full advantage of the housing market’s favorable conditions!
Give us a call for a free 5-minute mortgage review!