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Audra Fontanella & Anthony Earls

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FHA & VA Assumptions - 7/1/2013

7/1/2013


fha-va assumptions.pngNot many buyers have assumed a mortgage in the past 25 years. Most people think it was because FHA and VA in the late 80s began to require that buyers qualify for the assumptions. Not having to qualify for a mortgage would certainly benefit certain buyers. 

If a homeowner must qualify for an assumption like a new loan, they'll generally choose the mortgage with the lower interest rate.  Over the past 25 years, rates have been trending down but it appears that rates have bottomed out and will gradually increase.   As they continue to rise, the lower rates on the FHA and VA loans created in the last few years will appeal to buyers even if they do have to qualify for the assumption.

There are significant advantages to assuming one of these government insured mortgages if the current interest rate on a new loan is higher:

1. Mortgage is further into amortization schedule 
2. Lower interest rate loans amortize faster than higher interest rate loans 
3. Lower closing costs than a new mortgage 
4. Easier to qualify than on a new mortgage 
5. No appraisal required

FHA assumptions are only allowed as owner-occupied residents. The borrower must meet current FHA guidelines for borrowers. The total debt ratio including house payment to be assumed cannot exceed 41% of borrowers monthly gross income. 
VA loans are also assumable with buyer qualification. However, in order for the veteran Seller to have their eligibility reinstated, the buyer must also be a veteran with eligibility.

A 1% difference in the current rates and a lower assumable mortgage rate begins to make it very attractive to assume a mortgage. When the differential becomes even greater, assumptions will become more prevalent than theyve been in over twenty years.FreddieMac PMMS.png

Low Inventories Indicate a Trend - 3/4/2013

3/4/2013
Low inventory is a relative term depending on how you're comparing it.  Would the comparison be to total number of homes on the market last year, homes in a certain price range or homes in a certain area?  In some situations, it's a combination of all of those things.

In any given market, inventories will fluctuate based on area and price range.  The National Association of REALTORS® considers a balanced market to be six months' supply of homes.  If it takes longer than six months to sell, it is thought to be a buyer's market and less than six months, a seller's market.  Most buyers and sellers probably feel inventory equilibrium is more like three month's supply of homes.

Inventory has a direct impact on price.  During the housing bubble, demand decreased, supply ballooned to four million houses and prices dropped dramatically.  Increased inventories due to foreclosures, bank' revised lending practices and builder's lack of new housing starts each contributed to the dramatically lower prices.

As the market has recovered, economic conditions have improved, banks have loosened their requirements, interest rates have remained low, foreclosures have slowed and gradually, the inventory has been reduced to approximately two million houses.  When demand is constant but inventory is reduced, price tends to increase because the same number of people are trying to buy a smaller than normal number of homes.

Based on the low mortgage rates that have been inching up each week in 2013 and an improving consumer confidence level, most markets are experiencing some increase in demand.  With inventory decreasing, buyers in the marketplace can see that prices are increasing.

Just as signs of spring can be seen to be just around the corner, it should be recognized what direction prices will be moving.  Hindsight is 20/20 but we can't purchase or sell in the past.  We need to make decisions today on what we think will happen in the future.

If you're curious to know what inventory conditions are for your specific market, send an email to me at info@rltrs2savvy.com with the price range and area and I'll send you a report. 

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