According to Fannie Mae, this week’s 30-year fixed rate mortgage loans are being offered at an average of 4.85 percent. However, the consensus among financial experts and industry insiders is that the incredibly low interest rates available today will not be available by the end of 2011.
Interest rates for all types of credit have been increasing over the past few weeks. To be sure, the pace of these increases has been slow, but the movement toward higher rates is still clear.
The site www.BankRate.com shows similar data, with 30-year fixed rates averaging last week at 4.85 percent, and jumbo 30-year fixed rates at around 5.55 percent. These rates are slightly lower than the previous week, but are more than half of a percent higher than they were at the end of November. Clearly, interest rates are moving upward.
Incidentally, www.BankRate.com along with www.LendingTree.com and other sites are great resources to help you shop for a mortgage loan. You can use these sites to keep an eye on interest rates and keep your lender honest.
The commercial real estate market, which suffered even more than the residential real estate market during the last three years, is actually starting to recover. Specifically, owners of multi-units and apartment buildings are seeing an increase in cash flow, a decrease in evictions, and thus an increase in property values.
Investors are starting to become bullish about the stock market for the coming year. Money is flowing through the credit markets at a healthier rate. While unemployment remains high, we are beginning to see a return to normalcy in the economy. As a result of the hopeful signs in commercial real estate, banking, and investment markets, we are seeing the inevitable rise of interest rates.
If you are considering a refinance of your current home, or if you are in the market to purchase a home, now is the time to act. Last week, we discussed the urgency of obtaining your home financing now rather than later. This week we will explore more avenues for finding a new home and for obtaining financing.
A great place to start if you are looking for a new home is the foreclosed home market. Fannie Mae owns thousands of foreclosed properties, and these homes have usually been kept in excellent condition, despite being vacant.
Fannie Mae lists the properties they have available at www.homepath.com. This website allows you to search in specific zip codes for the specific type of house you want.
A brief exploration of Fannie Mae’s property listings will reveal significant bargains in the Reisterstown and Owings Mills area. There are plenty of quality starter homes available in Baltimore County for under $250,000.
For example, the HomePath site lists a property available at 12 Walk Avenue in Owings Mills. This property is owned by Fannie Mae, and features central air along with three bedrooms and two bathrooms. It has more than 1,200 square feet, and would make an ideal home for a young family. The aforementioned property also has a garage, and that garage contains an unfinished apartment. With a bit of sweat equity, that apartment could be completed and rented, and that rent could cover a significant portion of your mortgage payment.
Despite the great location and size, the property is listed for just $183,750! Five years ago, this property might have cost just under $300,000. Five years from now, it will probably be worth considerably more than it is now. If you are a qualified borrower, you could purchase this home for roughly three percent down. If you have credit scores above 640 and about $8,000 in the bank, you could buy this home right now.
The coming months will see even more homes go into foreclosure, which means personal tragedy for those home owners. However, it also means that there will be hundreds of thousands, if not millions of properties for sale at bargain prices.
CNBC is reporting that “analysts at Amherst Mortgage Securities recently argued that without more governmental intervention, 11.5 million borrowers would be in danger of losing their homes. Their premise is the mortgage market is underestimating defaults.”
While this is bad news for banks and homeowners, it is great news for those looking to buy their first home in 2011. If you are currently renting, you need to look into owning your home.
The first step is to obtain pre-qualification from your bank or from a mortgage broker. Pre-qualification will determine whether or not you have the credit and income to qualify as a borrower. Furthermore, it will help you to establish a price range that is within your budget by defining the ceiling, the maximum amount of money you are qualified to borrow. Once you have been pre-qualified, you can begin to search for an affordable property that suits your needs.
The current housing market may be the best opportunity for home ownership that we will see in our lifetimes. If you are lucky enough to have equity in your home, the current credit market also provides an excellent opportunity to refinance. Interest rates under five percent and bargain-priced properties are the ingredients of a perfect storm in real estate.
Like most massive storms, this one has and will continue to cause a lot of damage. But if you are bold and well informed, you can come out on the other end of this storm wealthier, more secure, and in a better equity position.