Saturday, August 4, 2012

What do lower interest rates mean for you?

Many have said that he interest rates couldn't go any lower predicted that the refinancing boom is over. Well, they were wrong and the rates have continued to go lower.
If you have a mortgage then the time to look into refinancing to a lower rate, a shorter term or both is now! If you look at the current rates compared to what they were 1 year ago, we are now a full percentage point lower. (FREDDIE MAC historical rates)  A 1% difference in rate equates to over a $100 a month difference in lower payment on a $200,000 loan balance. That's extra money you can use to offset those higher fuel cost, higher energy cost, and higher food cost.
If we were to look at how much more buying power that gives to a buyer, we are looking at approximately $25,000! Think about it...this year you could afford a home that was $200,000 last year, you could afford one that is $25,0000 more this year for about the same monthly payment. Combine this with the fact that home prices have continued to decline in the Atlanta metro market and you are looking at some real buying power.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Current Home Prices at 2003 levels

In a Case-Shiller article posted today, home prices are on the rise...a bit. For the 2nd quarter of 2011, Standard & Poors had assesses that home prices are currently at 2003 levels. The previous quarter home prices were at 2002 levels. While this is still not great news for anyone who purchase 2003 or after, it is at least showing I think that we are bouncing along the bottom and prices are stabilizing rather than continuing the downward dive we have been experiencing since 2006.
With prices at near 10 year lows along with interest rates at near 50 year lows, buying real estate looks to be a good investment again. Rates and prices will not stay low forever. When the economy begins to show signs of life again and markets become bullish, rates will begin to rise as will home prices.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Homebuyers face rising interest rates

The Treasury Department has released a report detailing 3 different options of how to wind down and ultimately eliminate Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac which were both taken over by the feds in 2008. Fannie and Freddie backstop the majority of the U.S. mortgage market by buying back loans that meet specific qualifications. Unfortunately those qualifications were so lax that meltdown of the housing market followed as millions of borrowers defaulted on their mortgages.

In a nutshell, here are the options the The Treasury Department is suggesting for the future:
1. No government role in the mortgage market, except for existing agencies like the FHA and VA.
2. A government role that explicitly guarantees mortgages but only when the mortgage market is in serious trouble.
3. A government role at all times, though not through government supported entities like Fannie and Freddie (sounds a bit like the old Soviet Union to me).

What option 1 & 2 would mean for homeowners is more than likely higher interest rates as banks would depend on private rather than government capital to back their loans. If they choose what's behind curtain number 3, who knows?

Thursday, January 6, 2011

1st Time Buyers account for over 50% of home purchases in 2010

According to the National Association of Realtors, 1st time home buyers drove the real estate market in the U.S. in 2010. Just over 50% of all homes purchased were made by 1st time home buyers. The abundance of lower priced homes, extremely low interest rates, and of course a tax credit, all contributed to this high number of 1st time home buyers purchasing their 1st homes.

2011 could be a very similar year. Many analyst believe the price of homes will remain flat for most of 2011allowing home buyers to continue to buy more for their dollar than in years past. While the foreclosure disaster is still with us, we will continue to see home prices suppressed across the board making it a real win for buyers.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

How to Repair Your Credit

If your credit score is not where you need it to be to get a loan to refinance an existing mortgage or buy a new home, you need to get busy on working to moving that credit score higher. This may take some time, but by getting started now, you'll be able to reap the rewards sooner.
   Not only do credit scores effect your ability to obtain financing, they also effect how much you pay in insurance premiums, whether or not you may be able to rent a specific property, and in some cases even be a factor in determining whether or not an employer will hire you.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Rates on the rise for the past 3 weeks. Catch the dips and lock in!

Interest rates have been on the rise for the past 3 weeks mainly due to week demand for US debt. With bond prices down, interest rates are up. Those considering purchasing or refinancing should take advantage of the rates that are still near lows.
Freddie Mac reports that the average rate on a 30-year fixed mortgage jumped to 4.61 percent this week up from last week's average which was 4.46 percent. With sharp increases like this, we could see 30 year average rates above what they were last year at this time which was 4.81 percent.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Thanksgiving: Thank You Troops

With this being Thanksgiving week, let's give a special thanks for all of those who are serving and protecting our great nation.