Saturday, June 30, 2012

Tips for homebuyers in a changing market

The real estate market is changing!  Home sales are rising, properties are selling faster and home prices are going up!

I read and appreciated Shawn Janke's (President of Northern Wasatch Association of Realtors) article in today's Standard Examiner Homefinder section. In his article, Shawn provides tips for homebuyers to follow so that they will have success in today's real estate market.

I have taken the 5 Tips in the article and added my own personal experience and comments to help homebuyer's be successful in today's market.  :)

Tip 1: Get Pre-Approved for a mortgage-I have written many blog posts that tells of the value of a FULL credit approval letter.  A FULL credit approval is backed by a full application, credit report and an automated underwriting decision (AUS).  I provide a FULL credit approval letter to my clients at NO CHARGE and this puts their real estate offer at a significant advantage when submitting an offer!

Tip 2: Do your research-With market knowledge and the competitiveness of the buyer's for the home you want, the homebuyer can then gauge how quickly they will need to move on a listed property.  Budgeting for future payments, types of loan programs available to meet financing needs and payment size are things that I review in detail with all of my clients.

Tip 3: Be ready to compete with other buyers-I see larger earnest money deposits recommended by Realtors I work with because it gives the seller and the listing agent a loud and clear message: "I am a serious buyer!".  I have even seen NONREFUNDABLE earnest money offers drive down the sales price too.  Gutsy to put in a non refundable earnest money offer, but it works to get a lower price in some competitive situations!

Tip 4: Be ready to act quickly-as mentioned in Tip #2, as your do your research and work with a professional Realtor, you will recognize "this is a good deal".  When you know it is a good deal, be ready to make and offer right away!  Make sure that your Realtor knows your search criteria and when they notify you of a home coming on the market that meets your criteria, look at it immediately and if the home meets your needs, make the offer!

Tip 5: Try finding homes before they're listed-make sure you mention to your Realtor to let you know if they know of any homes that are about to come on the market.  Sometimes, Realtors get tips from other Realtors they network with or who are in their Real Estate office/company and this can turn out to be a great way to find your perfect home!

Today's Real Estate market is a wonderful opportunity!  With great mortgage rates, depressed prices (which are now beginning to climb) and motivated sellers, working with your homebuyer tool kit (the 5 tips!) will give you the best chance of success!  I look forward to helping you with your mortgage questions and needs.  :)

Friday, June 29, 2012

Automatic Mortgage Relief for VA borrowers!

The Federal Housing Finance Agency announced that members of the military who face transfer and are underwater on their mortgage-meaning they owe more than the market value of their home-will automatically be approved for short sales.

In addition, the loan guaranteed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac (a requirement for the short sale relief) will not pursue any balance on the loan that's left over after the short sale.

"It is in everyone's interest for the men and women serving in our armed forces to focus on the important job they are doing defending our country, rather than worry about the maintenance and leasing of a property in another jurisdiction," said Edward J DeMarco, acting director for the FHFA.