Mortgage Mom Radio airs weekly focusing on topics that will educate our listeners around mortgage lending. This week we continue the Homebuyer Workshop series by covering the details of the Bank Statement loan program and more!
In this Issue
“There is nothing I would not do for those who are really my friends. I have no notion of loving people by halves, it is not my nature.” – Jane Austen
As home prices continue to rise, those with their heart set on homeownership might seek non-traditional ways of climbing the property ladder. In this issue, we’ll cover these ideas as well as the following:
- What to Watch – After weeks of lower bond prices and higher yields, the cure for higher rates may be higher rates, as the uptick in yield could be luring in buyers.
- Rent-to-Own Properties on the Rise – The popularity of rent-to-own properties has increased recently, but it remains a risky option for many homebuyers looking to purchase their home.
- Ways to Hang Plants Outdoors – You don’t need a green thumb to hang plants outside as long as you have a few household items.
- Q&A: What Type of Market Is It? – How do you know if it’s a buyer’s or seller’s market? Knowing which one it is can help you determine if you should buy, sell, or hold on to your property.
What to Watch
Where Are Rates Headed?
After weeks of lower bond prices and higher yields, the cure for higher rates may be higher rates as the uptick in yield could be luring in buyers. Reports now read that Japan may become a net buyer of U.S. Treasury securities after being a net seller for quite some time. One of the continued tailwinds for relatively low rates here in the U.S. is the ridiculously low rates around the globe.
Also on the radar in the weeks and months ahead could be the continued rise in the U.S. stock markets. The possibility of the bullish sentiment for stocks may be fueled by new stimulus on the way as states continue to reopen fully and if rates stabilize. The U.S. economy could be on track for a breakout year. The Atlanta Fed is forecasting a whopping 8.3% gain in Q1 2021 Gross Domestic Product!
So what does this mean for mortgage rates? If we continue to see some stabilization in yields, we may see some modest improvement in rates. At the same time, we should expect a continued rise in rates as the economy improves. The Federal Reserve has said as much in the past few weeks.
Sam Khater, Freddie Mac’s Chief Economist, said, “While purchase activity remains high, it has cooled off over the last few weeks and is currently on par with early March 2020, prior to the pandemic. However, the rise in mortgage rates over the next couple of months is likely to be more muted in comparison to the last few weeks, and we expect a strong spring sales season.”
Bottom line: Home borrowing costs remain historically low, and now is a good time to get off the fence and jump into home ownership.
Source: Mortgage Market Guide
Rent-to-Own Properties on the Rise
The demand for these types of properties has increased recently. While opting for a rent-to-own property looks good on paper, since you don’t need to plunk down a huge down payment, it comes with its own risks. One major risk is that unlike the typical buying or rental process, the rent-to-own doesn’t have a standard contract as the terms are completely negotiable. This is known as the lease option, and both sides must agree to certain terms.
With a rent-to-own home, you agree to rent a home for a specific time with the understanding that you gain ownership of the home. The timeframe can last from several months to several years.
Another downside is that you will probably pay higher prices than if you were to rent. But if you think about it, a portion of your monthly payment is going toward the down payment on the home. You can use the accrued money to purchase the home at the end of your agreement. The money is typically non-refundable, so if you decide not to purchase the property, you lose that money.
If the thought of a rent-to-own property gives you pause, you have other options. You might qualify for a low-down-payment mortgage of only 3% to 5% or you might consider owner financing. Reach out to a loan officer for more assistance in securing your dream home.
Sources: Rocketmortgage.com, Daveramsey.com, Thebalance.com, Bankrate.com
Ways to Hang Plants Outdoors
Your plants don’t need to be planted in the ground to flourish. Even if you don’t consider yourself handy, you can easily hang your plants outdoors as long as you have a few tools.
Hang glass bottles. Wrap some twine or string around the bottle, and hang it from a branch or tree limb. Place a few cut flowers inside.
Attach pots to a pallet. Prop a pallet against the side of your house, and attach small pots to it. You can grow flowers or herbs in these pots.
Install a ceiling hook. If your home has a porch with an overhang, consider adding a few ceiling hooks to hold hanging planters. Cascading ivy would look sharp in this type of hanger.
Mount an old tire. Repurpose an old tire and mount it on your siding so it resembles a wreath. Place your plants inside this hanging planter.
You likely have many of these items lying around your house. Even if you don’t, a quick stop at a home-improvement store can get you started with hanging some of your favorite plants outside.
Sources: Homedit.com, Familyhandyman.com
What Type of Market Is It?
QUESTION: How do you tell if it’s a buyer’s or seller’s market?
ANSWER: Real estate markets fluctuate through cycles, and knowing what type of stage the market is at can help you decide if it’s a good time to buy, sell, or wait.
In a seller’s market, more buyers are available compared to the property for sale. When this happens, home prices tend to increase, and bidding wars often occur. Sellers also might receive their full asking price of the home or even more. A few signs that it’s a seller’s market include:
- Fewer homes for sale.
- Homes selling via word-of-mouth before they’re even listed.
- Homes on the market for fewer days.
On the other hand, a buyer’s market occurs when there are more homes for sale than prospective buyers. When this happens, prices are more negotiable because buyers believe they can easily move on to the next deal if the current one falls through due to expanded inventory. A few signs that it’s a buyer’s market include:
- Increased number of homes for sale.
- Homes sell for below-asking prices, oftentimes with numerous price cuts.
- Inventory levels rise, as do the days on the market.
It might seem easy to determine what type of housing market it is just by following those guidelines, but sometimes it’s not so easy. Depending on the neighborhood, one area could be a seller’s market, while on the other side of town, it could be a buyer’s market.
By monitoring trends in sales prices and determining the amount of available inventory, you can have a better understanding of the market. Homes that sell above the asking price indicate that it’s a seller’s market. The larger the inventory of homes for sale, the more likely it’s a buyer’s market. Take the number of homes for sale and divide it by the number of homes that have sold in the past month. If the number is above seven, it’s a buyer’s market. If it’s below five, it’s a seller’s market. Anything in the middle is considered neutral.
If you’re looking to buy or sell, it’s important to know what type of market you’re dealing with. For help figuring out which one affects you, reach out to your real estate contact to determine how you can take advantage of the current housing market.
Sources: Learn.roofstock.com, Rocketmortgage.com
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Debbie Marcoux is licensed by the Department of Business Oversight under the California Residential Mortgage Lending Act, NMLS ID 237926, also licensed in AZ-0941504, FL-LO76508, GA-69178, IL-031.0058339, NV-57237, OR, TN-184373, TX, WA-MLO-237926 | Heidi Slagle-Points CA NMLS ID 1666881