Let's Talk Home Purchase
California is the comeback kid of the housing recovery. The housing market is getting hot and that is changing the game for both home buyers and home sellers. Home prices are making annual gains that we have not seen since 2006, especially in the Sacramento and bay area regions. Why the upswing? Less cash investors, slowed foreclosures, more listed homes, bidding wars exceeding the asking price, all of this, combined with a relatively low inventory of homes for sale is feeding the frenzy in our region. A six month supply of homes is considered optimal for both buyers and sellers. Though despite their rapid rise, home values are still nearly 40% below the prices reached at the peak of the housing boom in 2005. The raid gains are the direct results of a housing market that was over-valued in the last decade and feel too low in the downturn. For the first time home buyers or those ready to move up, this could be an excellent opportunity to purchase a home. Even though interest rates have crept up recently, they are still near historic lows. A typical 30 year fixed rate mortgage is hovering around 4.5% until 2009, rates were above 5% going to early 1970’s So what’s next? Well, if you are looking to get in to your first home, here are a couple of tips: Get Prequalified: Mortgage lenders will carefully analyze the borrowers’ ability to repay their loan and sellers may be leery of bids that are contingent on getting financing. Potential buyers will be more attractive if they have already qualified for a loan. It certainly helps to have an abundance of cash to get the home you want. But, there are programs available that will allow a first time home buyer to have a down payment as low as 3.5% (FHA Loans), 5% on certain conventional loans, and of course the standard 20% down on a traditional mortgage. Make a connection and pick an agent and a mortgage lender/broker that knows the market. The greatest advantage is information. The right agent will know about homes that are about to come on the market, so you can see them early. The right lender or broker knows what is happening in the mortgage market and can position you to get the best/lowest rate available. “The supply of homes for sale has been gradually rising from an all-time low and mortgage rates have remained low from an historical perspective” states Joy Mahrle, a Real Estate Agent with Keller Williams.