Mortgage Rates Hit Record Lows for 3 Consecutive Weeks

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Over the past several weeks, Freddie Mac has reported the average 30-year fixed mortgage rate dropping to record lows, all the way down to 3.03%.  Last week’s reported rate reached the lowest point in the history of the survey, which dates back to 1971 (See graph below):best mortgage rates today Zimmerman, down payment assistance Elk River, down payment assistance Ramsey, down payment assistance Ramsey MN, down payment assistance Zimmerman, Fannie Mae home loans Ramsey

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What does this mean for buyers?

This is huge for homebuyers.  Those currently taking advantage of the increasing affordability that comes with historically low-interest rates are winning big.  According to Sam Khater, Chief Economist at Freddie Mac:

“The summer is heating up as record low mortgage rates continue to spur homebuyer demand.”

In addition, move.com notes:

“Summer home buying season is off to a roaring start. As buyers flooded into the market, realtor.com® monthly traffic hit an all-time high of 86 million unique users in June 2020, breaking May’s record of 85 million unique users. Realtor.com® daily traffic also hit its highest level ever of 7 million unique users on June 25, signaling that despite the global pandemic buyers are ready to make a purchase.”

Clearly, buyers are capitalizing on today’s low rates.  As shown in the chart below, the average monthly mortgage payment decreases significantly when rates are as low as they are today.

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A lower monthly payment means savings that can add up significantly over the life of a home loan.  It also means that qualified buyers may be able to purchase more home for their money.  Maybe that’s a bigger home than what they’d be able to afford at a higher rate, an increasingly desirable option considering the amount of time families are now spending at home given today’s health crisis.

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If you’re in a position to buy a home this year, let’s connect to initiate the process while mortgage rates are historically low.

For a hassle-free consultation, contact DJ Riley at United Family Mortgage in Elk River at 763-276-3960.

Be a Better Buyer: Ramp Up Your Homeownership Knowledge

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We’ve all heard it before — financial literacy and education is key to helping us become more prepared homebuyers. But, the internet is a big place. So, where do you begin? What experts should you follow?

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We pulled together a shortlist of resources recently highlighted at an Urban Institute seminar about Barriers to Accessing Homeownership.  Whether you want a person to be your guide or favor online tools, you’ll find something that fits your needs in this line-up.

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB)

Did you know that data shows mortgage shopping can lead to an improved mortgage rate or solution? Before you make an offer on a home, check out the CFPB’s guide for owning a home, including resources on preparing to home shop and exploring loan choices. The CFPB also has a loan estimate explainer to help you navigate estimates from different lenders.

You can also learn about special loan programs for which you may qualify by contacting DJ Riley at United Family Mortgage in Elk River at 763-276-3960.

The CFPB includes information about HUD-approved housing counselors who can provide advice on buying a home, renting, defaults, foreclosures, and credit issues. Search for one in your area.

NeighborWorks America

home construction loans Monticello, home construction loans Monticello MN, home construction loans Ramsey, home construction loans Ramsey MN, home loans with no down payment Ramsey, home loans with no down payment Ramsey MNNeighborWorks is a network of more than 240 organizations that provide housing counseling and other community development support services. In 2017 alone, they helped create more than 22,000 new homebuyers through their housing counselors.

If you are interested in a personal guide to help you prepare for homeownership, NeighborWorks can help you locate services in your area.  Their counselors are knowledgeable about homeownership programs. In fact, 83 percent of their buyers use some type of down payment assistance with their loans.  You can also check out their homebuyer tips.

Credit Smart curriculum

The CreditSmart curriculum, offered by Freddie Mac, includes financial education modules on credit, money management, homeownership, foreclosure avoidance, and more. The 12-module curriculum is available in five different languages, including English, Spanish, Chinese, Korean, and Vietnamese. Organizations can offer this curriculum in community settings or individuals can complete it online.

Better Money Habits

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Some lenders are introducing their own educational content. In partnership with Khan Academy, Bank of America has a financial education curriculum with 10 different categories.  The homeownership segment goes over budgeting, questions to ask lenders, credit score, and much more.

Trusted Advisors

In addition to online tools, cultivate a group of trusted advisors you can turn to during this process.  DJ Riley at United Family Mortgage in Elk River is an expert in down payment assistance programs in our area.  Contact DJ directly at 763-276-3960.

Learn more about the latest research on homeownership barriers and what the industry is doing to help.  Watch the full Urban Institute Seminar below.

 

Get Help with Down Payment Assistance

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Down payment help sounds great, but how does it actually work?  What process should you follow?

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While down payment programs vary greatly by state and community, there are some universal steps that will help you stay on track if a homeownership program is part of your home financing plan.  Let’s look at how it worked for one Florida buyer highlighted in Business Insider.

One buyer’s story

Willy Harris, 24, and his girlfriend used a Florida first-time homebuyer program to purchase a $204,000 new construction home in Jacksonville, FL. The program allows first-time homebuyers within the qualified income and purchase-price limits to receive up to $15,000 in secondary financing toward down payment and closing costs.  If the homebuyer lives in the home for five years, the secondary loan is forgiven. Harris used an FHA home loan that required a 3% down payment.

They put down a $1,000 deposit to reserve the lot, while the grant covered their $7,750 closing costs and $6,150 down payment.  The remaining amount of the grant went toward the principal of the home loan.  Because they put 3% down, they also paid a monthly mortgage insurance premium of $109.  Their first mortgage payment is currently $1,503 a month.

Harris recommends setting up a budget and savings plan and researching programs that can give you a boost.

 

Similar Down Payment Assistance Programs are available in Sherburne County and throughout Minnesota.

 

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Follow these steps to get the most of using a homeownership program:

• Do some upfront homework.  Research local homeownership education and counseling resources that can help you with the process.

• Determine your budget.  Figure how big a monthly mortgage payment you can afford on your salary. Don’t forget that your mortgage payment may include taxes and insurance too which you can estimate.

• Create a savings plan. Build a spreadsheet (or use an app) to track your expenses.

• Research down payment assistance programs in your area. Contact the agency offering the program or a homeownership counselor who can help you with the process.

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• Both the buyer and the home must qualify for the assistance. Find out the home price limits and any community or neighborhood boundaries for the program that may impact your home search. Find out if you can use the program on new construction.

• Get a list of participating lenders for the homeownership program, available on the program provider’s website. Not all lenders offer every program.

• Get prequalified for a loan so you can review the numbers and make an educated decision on the type of financing.

• Compare offers and ask lenders about any other programs for which you may qualify. You may even be able to layer programs, for example down payment assistance plus a tax credit.

• Review mortgage insurance options with your lender.

• Complete homebuyer education courses that are often required when using a down payment assistance program.

• Ask about your options for using the funds. Can they be used for down payment or closing costs, or both?

When to dump your mortgage insurance payment?

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VA Cash-Out Refi & Use 100% of Home’s Equity

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How Quickly Can You Save Your Down Payment?

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Saving for a down payment is often the biggest hurdle for a first-time homebuyer. Depending on where you live, median income, median rents, and home prices all vary. So, we set out to find out how long it would take to save for a down payment in each state.

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By determining the percentage of income spent renting in each state, and the amount needed for a 10% down payment, we were able to establish how long (in years) it would take for an average resident to save enough money to buy a home of their own.

According to the data, residents in Kansas can save for a down payment the quickest, doing so in just over 1 year (1.12). Below is a map that was created using the data for each state:

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What if you only needed to save 3%?

What if you were able to take advantage of one of Freddie Mac’s or Fannie Mae’s 3%-down programs? Suddenly, saving for a down payment no longer takes 2 to 5 years, but becomes possible in less than a year in most states, as shown on the map below.

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Bottom Line

Whether you have just begun to save for a down payment or have been saving for years, you may be closer to your dream home than you think! Let’s get together to help you evaluate your ability to buy today.

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For a Hassle-Free consultation on Home Refinancing, First-Time Home Buyer Mortgage, Zero-Down Mortgage, Home Construction Loan or VA Home Loan, contact DJ Riley today at 763-276-3960 or via email djriley@unitedfamilymortgage.com.

The information contained, and the opinions expressed, in this article are not intended to be construed as investment advice. Keeping Current Matters, Inc. does not guarantee or warrant the accuracy or completeness of the information or opinions contained herein. Nothing herein should be construed as investment advice. You should always conduct your own research and due diligence and obtain professional advice before making any investment decision. Keeping Current Matters, Inc. will not be liable for any loss or damage caused by your reliance on the information or opinions contained herein.

10 Steps to Buying a Home

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10 Steps to Buying a Home [INFOGRAPHIC] | MyKCM

Some Highlights:

  • If you are thinking of buying a home, you may not know where to start.
  • Here is a simple list of 10 steps that you will go through to purchase a home.
  • Make sure to ask your agent for details about each step and what else may be required in your area!

For a hassle-free first-time home buyer mortgage consultation, contact DJ Riley today at 763-276-3960 or via email @ djriley@unitedfamilymortgage.com

3 Questions You Need To Ask Before Buying A Home

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If you are debating purchasing a home right now, you are probably getting a lot of advice. Though your friends and family have your best interests at heart, they may not be fully aware of your needs and what is currently happening in the real estate market.

Ask yourself the following three questions to help determine if now is a good time for you to buy in today’s market.

1. Why am I buying a home in the first place?

This is truly the most important question to answer. Forget the finances for a minute. Why did you even begin to consider purchasing a home? For most, the reason has nothing to do with money.

For example, a study by realtor.com found that “73% said buying in a good school district was “important” in their search.

This report supports a study by the Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University which revealed that the top four reasons Americans buy a home have nothing to do with money. The actual reasons are:

  • A good place to raise children and provide them with a good education
  • A place where you and your family feel safe
  • More space for you and your family
  • Control of that space

What does owning a home mean to you? What non-financial benefits will you and your family gain from owning a home? The answer to that question should be the biggest reason you decide to purchase or not.

2. Where are home values headed?

According to the latest Existing Home Sales Report from the National Association of Realtors (NAR), the median price of homes sold in February (the latest data available) was $249,500. This is up 3.6% from last year. The increase also marks the 84th consecutive month with year-over-year gains.

Looking at home prices year over year, CoreLogic is forecasting an increase of 4.6%. In other words, a home that costs you $250,000 today will cost you an additional $11,500 if you wait until next year to buy it.

What does that mean to you?

Simply put, with prices increasing, it may cost you more if you wait until next year to buy. Your down payment will also need to be higher in order to account for the higher price of the home you wish to buy.

3. Where are mortgage interest rates headed?

A buyer must be concerned about more than just prices. The ‘long-term cost’ of a home can be dramatically impacted by even a small increase in mortgage rates.

Freddie MacFannie Maethe Mortgage Bankers Association and NAR have all projected that mortgage interest rates will increase over the next twelve months, as you can see in the chart below:

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Bottom Line

Only you and your family will know for certain if now is the right time to purchase a home. Answering these questions will help you make that decision.

For a hassle-free first-time home buyer mortgage consultation, contact DJ Riley today at 763-276-3960 or via email @ djriley@unitedfamilymortgage.com