Housing Market May See An Early Home Buying Season
A new year means new housing market predications, and the outlook is good for 2020. Last week, MarketWatch contributor Jacob Passy wrote, “overall, mortgage rates started off 2020 roughly 80 basis points lower than they were at the start of 2019.” Lower rates plus a more stable interest rate environment will likely trigger mortgage momentum heading into the new year and might even bring an early home buying season.
Looking to buy a home in the coming months? Here are our tips for a smooth home search and mortgage transaction:
- Get Preapproved – many first-time home buyers fail to get preapproved for mortgage financing before they start shopping. Your mortgage should not be an afterthought. Getting preapproved for financing does not take very long, and many lenders can do this through an online application or over the phone. Once you are preapproved, you will know your budget and you can look for homes that fit within it.
- Explore Down Payment Assistance – there are over 2,500 down payment assistance options available at the local, state, and federal levels. Some down payment assistance is available as a grant that does not have to be paid back and other programs function as low interest second loans that you pay back over time. Ask your lender if they have any recommendations for down payment assistance programs in your area.
- Be Open Minded – a busy home buying season may mean you’re going to see some competition. Make a list of your “wants,” “needs,” and “nice to haves” before you start touring homes, and stick with it. You may not be able to get everything on your list and you don’t want to get caught up in a bidding war over minor details.
- Consider Renovation Options – if you can’t find the perfect home as is, expand your search to properties in need of repair or renovation. Ask your lender about renovation financing options. Some mortgage loans can combine the cost of the home with the cost of any needed repairs.
Working with a local Realtor or real estate agent who knows your neighborhood and a knowledgeable loan officer who can help customize your mortgage plan will help you have the best possible home buying experience. If you have any questions about what to expect in the 2020 housing market, let me know!