Now is the Time to Buy

Due to stronger economic growth since mid-2016, post-election uncertainty and several other factors, we have experienced an abrupt rise in interest rates.  The market has been volatile, causing day to day fluctuations….which means if your rate isn’t locked today, it may not be available tomorrow. This, coupled with home values continuing to steadily increase and the economy improving, means time may be running out. In short, now is the time to buy while affordability levels are still low.

Just recently CNBC posted an article stating that the increase in mortgage rates has not stopped mortgage applications from pouring in: “Mortgage application volume rose 4 percent from the previous week”, and “lenders saw no letup in loan demand.” Las Vegas home sales also continue to rise which makes this the perfect opportunity for buyers to find what they are looking for.

In addition, December 2015 also saw the first rate hike from the Federal Reserve rate since 2006. Then again on December 14, 2016, the Fed announced its second rate hike in less than a year.  Projections have been made that we can expect several more increases in the Federal Reserve rate in 2017, which could have a direct effect on mortgage rates. These are just a few of the many reasons why we are urging buyers to take advantage of the current market and get locked in before rates rise.

Contact your loan officer today to discuss getting pre-approved, or apply online at www.awmlending.com.

 

*Source: http://www.cnbc.com/2017/01/25/first-rate-jump-of-2017-doesnt-deter-homebuyers.html

 

Veterans and Active Military- 4 Benefits of Buying

From disabled veterans to active military, qualifying for a VA loan is easier than you think! The VA Home Loan Guaranty Program was enacted in 1944 and to this day is helping our veterans and active military personnel achieve affordable homeownership. Using your VA eligibility adds a few unbeatable perks to the home buying process.

#1 – Down payment: VA buyers can finance up to 100% of the home’s value. This means that there is no down payment required for VA buyers! This benefit helps VA buyers get a slice of the American Dream without having to spend years saving up for a down payment.

#2 – No monthly mortgage insurance: Traditional FHA and Conventional buyers are required to put down a minimum of 20% of the purchase price to eliminate the monthly mortgage insurance payment. As an added benefit, VA buyers do not have monthly mortgage insurance, and if eligible, can qualify for exemption from paying the VA’s Funding Fee. This can potentially save VA buyers thousands in up-front costs, and hundreds more per month.

#3 – Fewer Fees: There are safeguards in place that limit what veterans are charged for closing costs. Non-allowable fees that may not be charged to VA buyers include the pest inspection, origination charges greater than 1%, attorney fees, settlement fees, and many more.  If negotiated, VA buyers can also ask that sellers pay as much as 4% of the selling price to cover their closing costs.

#4 – Reasonable requirements with Bankruptcy and Foreclosures: “Seasoning requirement” is the time elapsed between the date your bankruptcy or foreclosure discharged to the time that you qualify for a new loan. VA borrowers who have previously defaulted on a VA backed mortgage still have a chance at getting another VA loan as long as they have entitlement remaining. FHA and Conventional seasoning requirements are longer than those with VA benefits that have had a foreclosure or bankruptcy.

Our knowledgeable team stands by the motto “Serving Those Who Serve Us”.  Let us help you afford the home of your dreams.

 

Home Is Possible

As a Mortgage Originator, I’m wired to instantly ask “Why are you renting?” any time I walk into a friend or family member’s home and find out how much money they are spending on rent. The most common response I receive is “I rent because I don’t have the money for a down payment.” Well I have solved that problem…..or should I say the Nevada Housing Division has!

Home is Possible is a Nevada based grant program that provides down payment assistance of up to 5% of the purchase price of the property. (Government loans offer up to a 4% grant and conventional loans offer up to 5%.) It can be also used toward closing costs, and buyers are no longer required to be first-time homebuyers!

To qualify buyers must have a Credit score of 640 and a gross annual income under $98,500. A homebuyer education class is also required and can be taken online.

Assuming a homebuyer meets the qualifications and borrows $200,000 to purchase a home with a conventional loan, they could get up to $10,000 granted to them for use toward down payment and closing costs!

This program is great for those who are concerned with their down payment but know they qualify to a buy a house. Call or email me today to see if you qualify for this grant program.

srusso@allwestern.com 702.850.2790.

The Role of Interest Rates in Purchasing and Refinancing

While the housing market in Southern Nevada has remained strong (great for all us homeowners and investors), the interest rate environment has been volatile to say the least. Since the US Presidential election, we’ve seen a decidedly sharper move higher in interest rates, with most lenders increasing their offered rates by over a full percentage point across all loan types and purposes. Bottom line, every borrower has been affected by it.

What does this mean for you?

The Bad News

If you are planning to buy a home it means you lost some of your purchasing power. While it may not seem like a huge amount, as an example it could mean the difference between qualifying for a $400,000 home versus a $350,000 home.

If you planned to refinance to lower your monthly payment, some of your potential monthly savings is no longer there.

Not the end of the world in either scenario, but definitely a noticeable difference if you were in the market for a mortgage.

The Good News

A few things to consider here:

Rates are still extremely low on a historical perspective. If they continue on this path, it will likely take a few more years for there to be a real impact on the real estate market. In other words, don’t expect home prices to stall because of the recent rise in interest rates.

Those are you who are FHA buyers may have the opportunity to remove your mortgage insurance by refinancing into a conventional loan. You might be able to lower your interest rate somewhat and remove your MI altogether, resulting in a great overall savings.

Adjustable Rates Mortgages – contrary to popular opinion, these are not the tools of the devil. They are extremely useful mortgage tools, as long as you understand how they work and the ARM you choose aligns with your plans.

Also, consider leveraging the equity you’ve earned by taking cash-out to buy an investment property or second home, consolidating other high interest bills, or simply putting cash away for the future.

Should I have a plan?

In short, yes. If you are planning to buy a home or have thought about refinancing, you need a solid plan in place. Don’t “wait for rates to come back down”.

Talk to your real estate agent and put the wheels in motion. Inventory levels are low right now. Get some ideas together and make those offers.

If you are refinancing or buying, contact us today for a competitive refinance quote or to get pre-qualified to purchase. Don’t wait for rates to come back down, when history tells us that they probably won’t.