Sometimes, even significant changes to federal policies or standards don’t affect most people’s everyday lives. Sometimes, the effects trickle down slowly over time. Then, there are interest rate hikes, which are typically felt quickly in ways that directly impact consumers.

Last week, the Federal Reserve raised its target federal funds interest rate by a quarter percentage point (.25) from near zero. This was the first increase in the benchmark rate in three years. And all indications are that it’s just the beginning. Continue reading

Paying an arm for groceries and a leg for gasoline has many people feeling like their financial security is falling apart. Add in rising costs for other things like cars, travel expenses, electronics, and a morning latte, and this rising inflation is really starting to step on everyone’s toes. 

Continue reading

As we head into the fourth quarter of 2021, the peak home buying season is wrapping up, and most of the bidding wars have subsided. No, that doesn’t mean you can take the next three months off, unless you don’t need a paycheck.

But it might signal the green light for your clients who were waiting to buy until demand decreased, prices became a little more reasonable, or their credit score improved. Bidding wars and the frustration and roller coaster of emotions that come with them aren’t for every house hunter. Continue reading

In a previous postwe discussed what drives a lending decision. Here, we will examine payment ratios/formulas and how they impact the total monthly payment for a home.

Whenever our team works with a client, maybe one of the most frequently asked questions is, “How much will this house cost me every month?” It’s an understandable and necessary question. Continue reading

Paying rent on time is a good way to make sure you don’t get evicted. Now, thanks to a new Fannie Mae policy change, that positive payment history could significantly boost your prospective clients’ chances of being approved for a home mortgage loan. 

As of Sept. 18, Fannie Mae is adding a new feature in its automated underwriting system that considers mortgage loan applicants’ rent payment history – with their permission – during the credit review process. That means that paying rent on time will officially count for something as your buyers look to transition from renter to homeowner. Continue reading

Given current market conditions, one of the last things home sellers have to wrestle with is whether to pay concessions as a way to keep a potential buyer on the hook. Some sellers have to resort to this tactic if they are having trouble selling their home or have a serious buyer who cannot afford some of the closing costs. 

But even though your sellers may not need this trick up their sleeve right now, it never hurts to educate them in case it’s a move they need to make in the future. An excellent place to start is identifying what seller’s concessions are and when or if necessary.  Continue reading

When someone is ready to buy a house, they often hop in their car and start browsing the local home listings for their new home. It can be an exciting venture, especially when they’ve found a few in their price range.

But what is their “price range,” really? Do they know what that corner dream house with the covered patio and finished basement will cost them each month? Continue reading

When mortgage rates drop to near historic lows like recently, many homeowners start thinking about either refinancing their current homes or buying a new one.  

According to Freddie Mac and the National Association of Homebuilders, mortgage rates are expected to hover around 3 percent this year. The National Association of Realtors projects the rate will reach 3.2 percent in 2021, and Wells Fargo believes rates will be around 2.89 percent. All these numbers are attractive for both new home buyers and those looking to refinance. 

There are benefits and pitfalls to both that a knowledgeable and professional agent can communicate to put you in the best position possible.  

Despite it being a seller’s market where home prices in many regions are skyrocketing, you could still manage to land the home of their dreams without breaking the bank.  

However, if you aren’t up for getting into possible bidding wars, are still content in your current home, or need to squeeze some money out of your monthly budgets, refinancing can provide some benefits. 

To help you clients determine whether they should buy now or refinance instead, here are some essential considerations to share. 

Continue reading