How to Make a Winning Offer on a Home

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Today’s homebuyers are faced with a strong sellers’ market, which means there are a lot of active buyers competing for a relatively low number of available homes. As a result, it’s essential to understand how to make a confident and competitive offer on your dream home. Here are five tips for success in this critical stage of the homebuying process.

  1. Listen to Your Real Estate Advisor

An article from Freddie Mac gives direction on making an offer on a home. From the start, it emphasizes how trusted professionals can help you stay focused on the most important things, especially at times when this process can get emotional for buyers:

“Remember to let your homebuying team guide you on your journey, not your emotions. Their support and expertise will keep you from compromising on your must-haves and future financial stability.”

A real estate professional should be the expert guide you lean on for advice when you’re ready to make an offer.

  1. Understand Your Finances best mortgage rates today Elk River, best mortgage rates today Monticello, mortgage broker Ramsey, mortgage broker Rogers, mortgage broker St. Michael, mortgage broker Zimmerman, mortgage broker Elk River, Veteran home loan Elk River, Veteran home loan Zimmerman, VA Home Loan Elk River

Having a complete understanding of your budget and how much house you can afford is essential. The best way to know this is to get pre-approved for a loan early in the homebuying process. Only 44% of today’s prospective homebuyers are planning to apply for pre-approval, so be sure to take this step so you stand out from the crowd. Doing so make it clear to sellers you’re a serious and qualified buyer, and it can give you a competitive edge in a bidding war.  For a hassle-free mortgage consultation or a second opinion, contact DJ Riley with United Family Mortgage today at 763-276-3960.

  1. Be Prepared to Move Quickly

According to the latest Realtors Confidence Index from the National Association of Realtors (NAR), the average property sold today receives 3.7 offers and is on the market for just 21 days. These are both results of today’s competitive market, showing how important it is to stay agile and alert in your search. As soon as you find the right home for your needs, be prepared to submit an offer as quickly as possible.

  1. Make a Fair Offer 

It’s only natural to want the best deal you can get on a home. However, Freddie Mac also warns that submitting an offer that’s too low can lead sellers to doubt how serious you are as a buyer. Don’t make an offer that will be tossed out as soon as it’s received. The expertise your agent brings to this part of the process will help you stay competitive:

“Your agent will work with you to make an informed offer based on the market value of the home, the condition of the home, and recent home sale prices in the area.”

  1. Stay Flexible in Negotiations

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Resist the temptation to waive the inspection contingency, especially in a hot market or if the home is being sold ‘as-is”, which means the seller won’t pay for repairs. Without an inspection contingency, you could be stuck with a contract on a house you can’t afford to fix.”best mortgage rates today Elk River, best mortgage rates today Monticello, mortgage broker Ramsey, mortgage broker Rogers, mortgage broker St. Michael, mortgage broker Zimmerman, mortgage broker Elk River, Veteran home loan Elk River, Veteran home loan Zimmerman, VA Home Loan Elk River

Today’s competitive market makes it more important than ever to make a strong offer on a home. Let’s connect to make sure you rise to the top along the way.

For a hassle-free mortgage consultation or a second opinion, contact DJ Riley with United Family Mortgage today at 763-276-3960.

 

Millennials: Is It Time to Buy a Bigger Home?

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In today’s housing market, all eyes are on millennials.  Not only are millennials the largest generation, but they’re also currently between 25 and 40 years old. These are often considered prime homebuying years when many people begin to form their own households and invest in real estate. If you’re like many millennials who are spending much more time at home these days, you may have a growing need for more space or upgraded features, making moving more desirable than ever.

For those millennials who already own a home, there’s a great opportunity to move up in 2021. Danielle Hale, Chief Economist at realtor.comexplains:

“Older millennials will be trade-up buyers with many having owned their first homes long enough to see substantial equity gains.”

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“In the third quarter of 2020, the average homeowner gained approximately $17,000 in equity during the past year. This marks the largest average equity gain since the first quarter of 2014.”

Growing equity can be the driver you’re looking for to fund your next move, especially if what you need in a home is changing right now. As equity builds over time, it can be put toward the down payment on your next home.

In addition to equity gains, today’s housing market affordability is powered by record-low mortgage rates, so moving at a time when you can get more for your money may be more realistic than you think.

Bottom Line

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*Re-posted by: https://www.keepingcurrentmatters.com/2021/02/16/millennials-is-it-time-to-buy-a-bigger-home/

Buy a Home Now or Later?

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Historically low mortgage rates are a big motivator for homebuyers right now. In 2020 alone, rates hit new record-lows 16 times, and the trend continued into the early part of this year. Many hopeful homebuyers are now wondering if they should put their plans on hold and wait for the lowest rates imaginable. However, the reality is, acting sooner rather than later may be the actual win if you’re ready to buy a home.

According to Greg McBride, Chief Financial Analyst for Bankrate:

“As vaccines become more widely available and a return to normal starts to come into view, we’ll see mortgage rates bounce off the record lows.”

While only a slight increase in mortgage rates is projected for 2021, some experts believe they will start to rise. Over the past week, for example, the average mortgage rate ticked up slightly, reaching 2.79%. This is still incredibly low compared to the trends we’ve seen over time. According to Freddie Mac:

“Borrowers are smart to take advantage of these low rates now and will certainly benefit as a result.”

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As mortgage rates rise, the increase impacts the overall cost of purchasing a home. The higher the rate, the higher your monthly mortgage payment, especially as home prices rise too. Sam Khater, Chief Economist at Freddie Macsays:

“The forces behind the drop in rates have been shifting over the last few months and rates are poised to rise modestly this year. The combination of rising mortgage rates and increasing home prices will accelerate the decline in affordability and further squeeze potential homebuyers during the spring home sales season.”

What does this mean for buyers?

Right now, the inventory of houses for sale is also at a historic low, making it more challenging than normal to find a home to buy in many areas. As more buyers hit the market in the typically busy spring buying season, it may become even harder to find a home in the coming months. With this in mind, Len Keifer, Deputy Chief Economist for Freddie Macrecommends taking advantage of both low mortgage rates and the opportunity to buy:

“If you’ve found a home that fits your needs at a price you can afford, it might be better to act now rather than wait for future rate declines that may never come and a future that likely holds very tight inventory.”

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While today’s low mortgage rates provide great opportunities for homebuyers, we may not see them stick around forever. If you’re ready to buy a home, it’s time for a hassle-free mortgage consultation, contact DJ Riley at United Family Mortgage in Elk River at 763-276-3960.  Take advantage of what today’s market has to offer.

 

*Re-posted by: https://www.keepingcurrentmatters.com/2021/01/19/should-i-wait-for-lower-mortgage-interest-rates/

 

Make the Dream of Homeownership a Reality This Year

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In 1963, Martin Luther King, Jr. inspired a powerful movement with his famous “I Have a Dream” speech. Through his passion and determination, he sparked interest, ambition, and courage in his audience. Today, reflecting on his message encourages many of us to think about our own dreams, goals, beliefs, and aspirations. For many Americans, one of those common goals is owning a home: a piece of land, a roof over our heads, and a place where we can grow and flourish.

If you’re dreaming of buying a home this year, start by connecting with a local real estate professional to understand what goes into the process. With a trusted advisor at your side, you can then begin to answer the questions below to set yourself up for homebuying success.

1. How Can I Better Understand the Process, and How Much Can I Afford?

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Contact DJ Riley at United Family Mortgage in Elk River at 763-276-3960 for a hassle-free mortgage approval consultation.

The process of buying a home is not one to enter into lightly. You need to decide on key things like how long you plan on living in an area, school districts you prefer, what kind of commute works for you, and how much you can afford to spend.

Keep in mind, before you start the process to purchase a home, you’ll also need to apply for a mortgage. Lenders will evaluate several factors connected to your financial track record, one of which is your credit history. They’ll want to see how well you’ve been able to minimize past debts, so make sure you’ve been paying your student loans, credit cards, and car loans on time. If your financial situation has changed recently, be sure to discuss that with your lender as well. Most agents have loan officers they trust and will provide referrals for you.  As a mortgage broker, United Family Mortgage also has access to down payment assistance programs.

According to ConsumerReports.org:

“Financial planners recommend limiting the amount you spend on housing to 25 percent of your monthly budget.”

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In addition to knowing how much you can afford on a monthly mortgage payment, understanding how much you’ll need for a down payment is another critical step.  Thankfully, there are many different options and resources in the market to potentially reduce the amount you may think you need to put down.

If you’re concerned about saving for a down payment, start small and be consistent. A little bit each month goes a long way. Jumpstart your savings by automatically adding a portion of your monthly paycheck into a separate savings account or house fund. AmericaSaves.org says:

“Over time, these automatic deposits add up. For example, $50 a month accumulates to $600 a year and $3,000 after five years, plus interest that has compounded.”

Before you know it, you’ll have enough for a down payment if you’re disciplined and thoughtful about your process.

3. Saving Takes Time: Practice Living on a Budget

As tempting as it is to pass the extra time you may be spending at home these days with a little retail therapy, putting that extra money toward your down payment will help accelerate your path to homeownership. It’s the little things that count, so start trying to live on a slightly tighter budget if you aren’t doing so already. A budget will allow you to save more for your down payment and help you pay down other debts to improve your credit score.

survey of millennial spending shows, “68% reported that shelter in place orders helped them save for their down payment.” Danielle Hale, Chief Economist at realtor.com, also notes:

“If there is any silver lining to the current economic landscape, it’s that mortgage rates are hanging around record lows…Additionally, shelter-in-place orders helped many who were fortunate enough to keep their jobs save for a down payment — one of the largest hurdles of buying a home. The combination of low rates and the opportunity to save is enabling many millennials to move up their home buying timeline.”

While you don’t need to cut all of the extras out of your current lifestyle, making smarter choices and limiting your spending in areas where you can slim down will make a big difference.

If homeownership is your dream, get started today with a hassle-free mortgage pre-approval consultation.  Contact DJ Riley at 763-276-3960.

 

*Re-posted by:https://www.keepingcurrentmatters.com/2021/01/18/how-to-make-the-dream-of-homeownership-a-reality-this-year

 

The #1 Misconception in the Home Buying Process

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After over a year of moderating home prices, it appears home value appreciation is about to re-accelerate. Skylar Olsen, Director of Economic Research at Zillow, explained in a recent article:

 “A year ago, a combination of a government shutdown, stock market slump and mortgage rate spike caused a long-anticipated inventory rise. That supposed boom turned out to be a short-lived mirage as buyers came back into the market and more than erased the inventory gains. As a natural reaction, the recent slowdown in home values looks like it’s set to reverse back.”

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  • 21 states appreciating 5% or more
  • 26 states appreciating between 3-5%
  • Only 3 states appreciating less than 3%

The Misconception

Many believe when real estate values are increasing, owning a home becomes less affordable. That misconception is not necessarily true. In most cases, homes are purchased with a mortgage. The current mortgage rate is a major component of the affordability equation. Mortgage rates have fallen by almost a full percentage point since this time last year. Another major piece of the equation is a buyer’s income. The median family income has risen by 5% over the last year, contributing to the affordability factor. Black Knight, in their latest Mortgage Monitor, addressed this exact issue:

“Despite the average home price increasing by nearly $13,000 from just over a year ago, the monthly mortgage payment required to buy that same home has actually dropped by 10% over that same span due to falling interest rates…Put another way, prospective home buyers can now purchase a $48K more expensive home than a year ago while still paying the same in principal and interest, a 16% increase in buying power.”

Bottom Line

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“Even with home price growth accelerating, today’s low-interest-rate environment has made home affordability the best it’s been since early 2018.”

For a Hassle-Free consultation with United Family Mortgage 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.

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*Re-posted by: https://www.mykcm.com/2020/02/20/the-1-misconception-in-the-homebuying-process/

The Overlooked Financial Advantages of Homeownership

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There are many clear financial benefits to owning a home: increasing equity, building net worth, growing appreciation, and more. If you’re a renter, it’s never too early to make a plan for how home ownership can propel you toward a stronger future. Here’s a dive into three often-overlooked financial benefits of home ownership and how preparing for them now can steer you in the direction of greater stability, savings, and predictability.

1. You Won’t Always Have a Monthly Housing Payment

According to a recent article by the National Association of Realtors (NAR):

“If you’ve been a lifelong renter, this may sound like a foreign concept, but believe it or not, one day you won’t have a monthly housing payment. Unlike renting, you will eventually pay off your mortgage and your monthly payments will be funding other (possibly more fun) things.”

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2. Home Ownership Is a Tax Break 

One thing people who have never owned a home don’t always think about are the tax advantages of home ownership. The same piece states:

“Both the interest and property tax portion of your mortgage is a tax deduction. As long as the balance of your mortgage is less than the total price of your home, the interest is 100% deductible on your tax return.”

Whether you’re living in your first home or your fifth, it’s a huge financial advantage to have some tax relief tied to the interest you pay each year. It’s one thing you definitely don’t get when you’re renting. Be sure to work with a tax professional to get the best possible benefits on your annual return.

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A third item noted in the article is how monthly costs become more predictable with home ownership:

      “As a homeowner, your monthly costs are most likely based on a fixed-rate mortgage, which allows you to budget your finances over a long period of time, unlike the unpredictability of renting.”

With a mortgage, you can keep your monthly housing costs steady and predictable. Rental prices have been skyrocketing since 2012, and with today’s low mortgage rates, it’s a great time to get more for your money when purchasing a home. If you want to lock-in your monthly payment at a low rate and have a solid understanding of what you’re going to spend in your mortgage payment each month, buying a home may be your best bet.

Bottom Line

If you’re ready to start feeling the benefits of stability, savings, and predictability that come with owning a home, let’s get together to determine if buying a home sooner rather than later is right for you. mortgage broker Ramsey, mortgage broker Rogers, mortgage broker St. Michael, mortgage interest rates Ramsey, VA home loan Ramsey, zero down mortgage Ramsey, Fannie Mae home loans Ramsey, veteran home loan Ramsey, zero down home loans Ramsey, down payment assistance Ramsey

For a Hassle-Free consultation with United Family Mortgage 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.

 

*Re-posted by: https://www.mykcm.com/2020/02/17/the-overlooked-financial-advantages-of-homeownership/

#1 Answer to the Housing Shortage

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#1 Answer to the Housing Shortage: New Construction

The biggest challenge to today’s housing market is the shortage of housing inventory for sale. A normal market would see a six-month supply of homes for sale. Currently, that number is below four months. This is the major reason home prices have continued to appreciate at higher levels than historic averages.

The good news is that builders are now starting to build more homes in lower price ranges.

Builder Confidence is Up

The Housing Market Index from the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) reveals that builder confidence increased last month. HousingWire quoted NAHB Chief Economist Robert Dietz about the reason for the increase in confidence amongst builders.

“The HMI measure of future sales conditions reached its highest level since June 2005, a sign of growing consumer confidence in the new home market. Especially as existing home inventory remains tight, we can expect increased demand for new construction moving forward.”

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Builders are not only jumping into the market – they are doing a better job of matching current demand. The Wall Street Journal recently reported:

“In a shift, new households are overwhelmingly choosing to buy rather than rent. Some 854,000 new-owner households were formed during the first three months of the year, more than double the 365,000 new-renter households formed during the period, according to Census Bureau data.”

The WSJ article went on to say:

“Home builders are beginning to shift their focus away from luxury homes and toward homes at lower price points to cater to this burgeoning millennial clientele.”

The graph below compares 2016 to 2017 new construction sales by price point. As we can see, builders are slowly beginning to shift to prices more favorable to the first-time and non-luxury buyer.

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Bottom Line

There is a drastic need for a larger supply of home inventory to meet the skyrocketing demand. Builders are finally doing their part to help rectify this situation.

For a Hassle-Free consultation with United Family Mortgage 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.

 

*Re-posted by: https://www.mykcm.com/2017/05/18/1-answer-to-the-housing-shortage-new-construction/

A Rent Payment is Your Landlord’s Mortgage Payment

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What is going to come out our your wallet this year? Your mortgage payment or your landlord’s?

There are some people who haven’t purchased homes because they are uncomfortable taking on the obligation of a mortgage. However, everyone should realize that unless you are living with your parents rent-free, you are paying a mortgage – either yours or your landlord’s.

As Entrepreneur Magazine, a premier source for small business explained in their article, “12 Practical Steps to Getting Rich”:

“While renting on a temporary basis isn’t terrible, you should most certainly own the roof over your head if you’re serious about your finances. It won’t make you rich overnight, but by renting, you’re paying someone else’s mortgage. In effect, you’re making someone else rich.”

With home prices rising, many renters are concerned about their house-buying power. Mike Fratantoni, Chief Economist at MBAexplained:

“The spring homebuying season is almost upon us, and if rates stay lower, inventory continues to grow, and the job market maintains its strength, we do expect to see a solid spring market.”

As an owner, your mortgage payment is a form of ‘forced savings,’ which allows you to build equity in your home that you can tap into later in life. As a renter, you guarantee the landlord is the person building that equity.

As mentioned before, interest rates are still at historic lows, making it one of the best times to secure a mortgage and make a move into your dream home. Freddie Mac’s latest report shows that rates across the country were at 4.46% last week.

Bottom Line

Whether you are looking for a primary residence for the first time or are considering a vacation home on the shore, now may be the time to buy.

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

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4 Reasons to Buy A Home

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Here are four reasons to consider buying today instead of waiting.

1. Prices Will Continue to Rise

CoreLogic’s latest U.S. Home Price Insights reports that home prices have appreciated by 3.7% over the last 12 months. The same report predicts that prices will continue to increase at a rate of 4.8% over the next year.

Home values will continue to appreciate. Waiting may no longer make sense.

2. Mortgage Interest Rates Are Projected to Increase

Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey shows that interest rates for a 30-year fixed rate mortgage have started to level off around 4.3%. Most experts predict that rates will rise over the next 12 months. The Mortgage Bankers Association, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and the National Association of Realtors are in unison, projecting rates will increase by this time next year.

An increase in rates will impact YOUR monthly mortgage payment. A year from now, your housing expense will increase if a mortgage is necessary to buy your next home.

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Some renters have not yet purchased a home because they are uncomfortable taking on the obligation of a mortgage. Everyone should realize that unless you are living with your parents rent-free, you are paying a mortgage – either yours or your landlord’s.

As an owner, your mortgage payment is a form of ‘forced savings’ which allows you to have equity in your home that you can tap into later in life. As a renter, you guarantee your landlord is the person with that equity.

Are you ready to put your housing cost to work for you?

4. It’s Time to Move On with Your Life

The ‘cost’ of a home is determined by two major components: the price of the home and the current mortgage rate. It appears that both are on the rise.

But what if they weren’t? Would you wait?

Examine the actual reason you are buying and decide if it is worth waiting. Whether you want to have a great place for your children to grow up, greater safety for your family, or you just want to have control over renovations, now could be the time to buy.

 

Bottom Line

If the right thing for you and your family is to purchase a home this year, buying sooner rather than later could lead to substantial savings.

 

Low Interest Rates Here to Stay?

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Interest rates for a 30-year fixed rate mortgage have been on the decline since November, now reaching lows last seen in January 2018.  According to Freddie Mac’s latest Primary Mortgage Market Survey, rates came in at 4.12% last week!

 

This is great news for anyone who is planning on buying a home this spring! Freddie Mac had this to say,mortgage broker St. Michael, mortgage broker Zimmerman, VA home loan Elk River, veteran home loan Elk River, zero down mortgage Ramsey, 0 down mortgage Ramsey, apply for VA home loan Elk River, down payment assistance Ramsey, FHA loan application Ramsey, FHA streamline loan Elk River, home construction loans Elk River

 

“Mortgage interest rates have been steadily declining since the start of 2019. These lower mortgage interest rates combined with a strong labor market should attract prospective home buyers this spring and could help the housing sector regain its momentum later in the year.”

 

To put the low rates in perspective, the average for 2018 was 4.6%! The chart below shows the recent drop, and also shows where the experts at Freddie Mac believe rates will be by the end of 2019.

 Bottom Line

0 down mortgage Ramsey, apply for VA home loan Elk River, down payment assistance Ramsey, FHA loan application Ramsey, FHA streamline loan Elk River, home construction loans Elk River, mortgage broker St. Michael, mortgage broker Zimmerman, VA home loan Elk River, veteran home loan Elk River, zero down mortgage RamseyIf you plan on buying a home this year, let’s get together to start your home search to ensure you can lock in these historically low rates today!

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