• Spring House Hunting

    April 29, 2015
  • Spring is around the corner – we can say goodbye to the record Winter of 2015.

    Along with spring flowers, “For Sale” signs will start appearing on lawns across the area as the weather and the market start heating up.

    With the market continuing to improve, we should look forward to a competitive home-buying season. If you’re a buyer, or plan to be a buyer, it’s best to do your research, and be prepared. If you snooze, you may lose out on that dream home you’ve been searching for.

    What can you do to prepare?

    Tip #1: Get Pre-Approved for Financing

    There’s a big difference between a buyer being pre-qualified and a buyer who has a pre-approved mortgage. Anybody can get pre-qualified for a loan. Getting pre-approved means a lender has looked at all of your financial information and they’ve let you know how much you can afford and how much they will lend you. Being pre-approved will save you a lot of time and energy so you are not running around looking at houses you can’t afford. Our mortgage professionals can walk you through the process.

    Tip #2: Lock-in Low Mortgage Rates Now

    You’ll want to take advantage of low interest rates while they are still available.

    Mortgage rates are still historically low, allowing buyers take advantage of being able to buy the most house for their money.

    In fact, interest rates are so low that, in many markets, monthly mortgage payments are less than rent. Most predictions are that the low interest rates we’ve enjoyed for a long while will stay that way through the spring, but mortgage rates can be unpredictable and a decision by the Fed to raise interest rates mid-year, as many economists predict, could cause them to climb.

    House hunters also got another boost recently – In January the Federal Housing Authority, which backs loans for borrowers who make low down payments, lowered the annual insurance premium it requires from 1.35% of a home loan to just 0.85%. The Housing Department estimates this will save more than 2 million FHA homeowners about $900 a year.

    With 30-year fixed-rate loans still available in the 3’s, buyers can take advantage of tremendous financing arrangements as they head out into the market. Contact Us today for a rate quote.

    Tip #3: Build Your Home-Buying Team Before You Bid

    In addition to your lender, you will need a savvy real estate agent, home inspector and attorney at the ready so you can move quickly through the home buying process. A knowledgeable realtor will know the local market and be able to advise you on market trends, valuations and available inventory. Our sister company Century 21 North Shore provides services to buyers throughout the area, offering exceptional customer service and highly experienced agents to help you navigate through the market.

    Tip #4: You Can Sweeten The Deal In Other Ways Beyond Your Offer

    There are several ways buyers can leverage their negotiation without increasing an offer. Getting fully approved for a mortgage can help you remove the financing contingency as you begin a deal. Also, being flexible with closing timeframes can tip a seller’s decision, as giving added time to pack and move could be attractive to them. The are several things that buyers can do to make themselves more attractive to buyers. Ask your real estate agent for more details.