Mortgage Tips

Getting you the mortgage you deserve

Affordability Conditions May Improve In New Year
Rick Sharga, executive VP at ATTOM Data Solutions, says affordability conditions may improve next year, making homeownership more affordable for prospective buyers.
ATTOM Data Solutions' quarterly U.S. Home Affordability Report compares current conditions against historical averages in 581 counties across the country. The report determines affordability by calculating the amount of income an average wage earner would need to earn to comfortably afford homeownership expenses on a median-priced, single-family home. In the fourth quarter of 2022, affordability worsened. In fact, the report found typical homeownership expenses would require 32.3 percent of the average wage, that's up from 23.8 percent last year at the same time. It's also above what's considered affordable by traditional lending standards. But while homeownership got more expensive in 2022, there may be relief on the way. Rick Sharga, executive vice president of market intelligence at ATTOM, says the new year may bring improvement. &Ldquo;There is a scenario where affordability improves as we move through 2023,” Sharga said. &Ldquo;Wage growth continues to be strong; home prices appear to have stabilized and are even going down slightly; and mortgage rates have peaked for this cycle, and could go down gradually next year. If those conditions remain in place, the affordability picture is much brighter for a lot of potential buyers.” 12/28/2022 - Posted by: Ali Shemirani

Americans Remain Ready To Buy

Nearly 70 percent of recent survey respondents said they plan to buy a house or condo at some point in the next few years.
Based on recent housing market headlines, you might assume Americans have put their home buying plans on hold. After all, the past few years have been volatile, with prices and demand skyrocketing before mortgage rates increased and slowed everything down. But while market numbers and trend graphs may have some Americans feeling hesitant, the majority of us remain sold on homeownership. In fact, in one recent survey, nearly 70 percent of respondents said they plan to buy a house or condo sometime in the next few years. And not only do they still plan to buy, they don't mind if it costs them a little bit more. Forty-nine percent of participants said they'd be willing to pay over asking price for a house, if they'd previously had an offer rejected. Similarly, 45 percent said they'd pay more as long as the house checked off more than 75 percent of their wish list. In other words, Americans remain ready to buy.12/27/2022 - Posted by: Ali Shemirani

Rates Now At Lowest Level Since September
Average mortgage rates fell last week, bringing them to their lowest level since September.
According to the Mortgage Bankers Association's Weekly Applications Survey, average mortgage rates fell last week from the week before. Rates were down across all loan categories, including 30-year fixed-rate loans with both conforming and jumbo balances, loans backed by the Federal Housing Administration, 15-year fixed-rate loans, and 5/1 ARMs. Mike Fratantoni, MBA's senior vice president and chief economist, says rates are now at a three-month low. &Ldquo;The Federal Reserve raised its short-term rate target last week, but longer-term rates, including mortgage rates, declined for the week, with the 30-year conforming rate reaching … its lowest level since September,” he said. Fratantoni believes mortgage rates will continue to trend downward, with buyers becoming more active during the second half of next year. The MBA's weekly survey has been conducted since 1990 and covers 75 percent of all retail residential mortgage applications. 12/26/2022 - Posted by: Ali Shemirani

What Will The Market Will Look Like In 2023?
Fannie Mae's most recent outlook forecasts a slow first half of next year for the housing market and economy.
Traditionally, the end of the year is the time when prognosticator and forecasters release their predictions for the year ahead. Fannie Mae's Economic and Strategic Research Group is no different. The group's most recent release details what they believe awaits the economy and housing market in 2023. So what do they expect? Well, for starters, they've raised their expectations for home sales next year – though they still believe sales will fall from 2022. Among the reasons they think there will be fewer sales in 2023 is the fact that most homeowners have a mortgage rate lower than current rates and will likely be reluctant to move until rates are more favorable. Beyond that, Fannie Mae believes a slower economy will keep housing market activity muted next year. &Ldquo;We expect housing to continue to slow, even though mortgage rates have come down recently,” Doug Duncan, Fannie Mae's senior vice president and chief economist said. &Ldquo;Home purchases remain unaffordable for many due to the rapid rise in rates over the last year and the fact that house prices, though certainly slowing and in some places declining, remain elevated compared to pre-pandemic levels.” 12/25/2022 - Posted by: Ali Shemirani

Majority Of Homes Still Sell In Under A Month
Homes sold in November were typically on the market just 24 days, with 61 percent of homes for sale sold in under a month.
The housing market has definitely slowed this year. But while the home buying frenzy of 2021 has passed, that doesn't mean good homes are sitting on the market unsold. In fact, the majority of homes sold in November were on the market less than a month, with the typical property on the market just 24 days – up from 18 days one year earlier. In other words, the still lower-than-normal number of homes for sale means good listings continue to sell relatively quickly, even as home sales overall have slowed. Lawrence Yun, NAR's chief economist, says the market may be thawing. &Ldquo;The market may be thawing since mortgage rates have fallen for five straight weeks,” Yun added. &Ldquo;The average monthly mortgage payment is now almost $200 less than it was several weeks ago when interest rates reached their peak for this year.” Still, November sales were down from the month before, with sales of existing homes falling 7.7 percent from October. &Nbsp;12/20/2022 - Posted by: Ali Shemirani

How Stable Is Today's Housing Market?
A new study shows just 3.4 percent of recent home buyers would be underwater on their mortgage if home values fell 4 percent next year.
There are a lot of ways to measure the health of the housing market. You can find stats and trends detailing everything from home sales to housing starts. Ultimately, though, potential buyers just want to know that the home they purchase won't hurt them financially or leave them stuck with a house they can't afford to leave. That's why this year's housing market has caused some anxiety. The market has slowed after a period of rising home values and elevated demand. The change has caused hesitation among Americans who may have been thinking of buying or selling a home soon. But according to one recent study, the market remains stable. In fact, the study found just 3.4 percent of homeowners who purchased a home in the past two years would be underwater on their mortgage if home values fell 4 percent in 2023. That's significant because recent buyers haven't had much of an opportunity to build equity, unlike homeowners who purchased their home many years ago. 12/20/2022 - Posted by: Ali Shemirani

Do Snowy States Have Higher Home Values?
A new study found the 14 states that had the most snow last December had median home values that were, on average, $57,000 higher than states where it didn't snow.
Winter weather has already arrived in much of the country. That means snow, ice, and cold. But though that may not sound inviting to a lot of people, it doesn't mean living in a colder climate is necessarily less expensive than it is to live where the weather is milder. In fact, according to one newly released study, median home values in the 14 states that got the most snow in December 2021 are, on average, nearly, $57,000 more expensive than median values in states that reported no snow. That may come as a surprise, especially when median home values in Hawaii are more than twice as high as they are in Alaska. But the study shows there's a wide range of home values from state-to-state, no matter the climate. For example, Mississippi is a warm-weather state with a median home value of $145,600, while Washington, where it's colder, has a median value of $485,700.

12/20/2022 - Posted by: Ali Shemirani

Getting A Mortgage Got Easier In November
Getting a mortgage got a little easier last month, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association. Its Mortgage Credit Availability Index found credit availability increased in November.
The Mortgage Bankers Association's monthly Mortgage Credit Availability Index offers prospective home buyers a gauge of how easy or difficult it currently is to get approved for a loan. The index measures whether lending standards are tightening or loosening. When standards tighten, it means borrowers need to have a more secure financial situation than when standards loosen. In November, the index found mortgage credit was more available than it was the month before. That means borrowers should have an easier time getting a loan. Joel Kan says it was the index's first improvement in months. &Ldquo;Credit availability increased slightly in November, the first increase in nine months as lenders continued to navigate a challenging environment brought on by higher rates and a much slower housing market,” Kan said. According to Kan, jumbo loans saw big gains, but most of the improvement can be credited to an increase in ARM loan programs offered by lenders.

12/19/2022 - Posted by: Ali Shemirani

Where Do You Plan To Live In Retirement?
A new survey finds 70 percent of Gen X and Baby Boomer Americans say they plan to stay in the home they currently own after retirement.
You may be someone who envisions moving somewhere beautiful when you retire. After all, spending your retirement soaking up the sun somewhere near the water doesn't sound too bad. But while many of us may fantasize about moving away in retirement, the reality is the majority of us are happy where we are. According to one newly released survey, 70 percent of Gen X and Baby Boomers say they plan to retire in the home they currently own. The reasons are varied, including everything from having a low mortgage payment to having remodeled the house to fit their needs. Whatever their reasons, many Americans don't see themselves selling their homes and moving away. So many Americans, in fact, that it may be affecting the housing market. How so? Well, with more of us planning on staying in our current home during retirement, there are fewer existing homes on the market available to home buyers.
12/13/2022 - Posted by: Ali Shemirani

Americans Are Feeling Better About Buying
A newly released survey found the number of Americans who say now's a good time to buy or sell a house increased in November. What do you think?
The number of Americans who say it's a good time to buy a home increased in November, according to Fannie Mae's Home Purchase Sentiment Index. The index – which is based on a monthly survey that asks Americans for their feelings about the housing market, economy, mortgage rates, home prices, and whether or not it's a good time to buy or sell a home – found a 1 percent increase in the number of respondents who say now's a good time to buy. The improvement came as the overall index saw its first gains in eight months. Doug Duncan, Fannie Mae's senior vice president and chief economist, says housing sentiment is still lower than normal, despite the results. &Ldquo;Following eight months of consecutive declines, the HPSI did tick up slightly in November but is essentially unchanged since hitting its all-time low last month,” Duncan said. &Ldquo;Consumers continue to expect mortgage rates to rise but home prices to decline, a situation that we believe will contribute to a further slowing of homes sales in the coming months ...”
12/13/2022 - Posted by: Ali Shemirani

Number Of Homes For Sale To Increase In 2023
The number of previously owned homes for sale will rise more than 20 percent year-over-year in 2023, according to a newly released economic forecast.
It isn't always easy to find what you're looking for when shopping for a house. That's especially true when there are fewer homes for sale. Low inventory leads to competition, quick sales, bidding wars, and frustration. On the other hand, when there are more options to choose from, there are more opportunities to find a house that checks off the items on your wishlist. Which is why a recent end-of-the-year forecast has encouraging news for prospective home shoppers. The forecast, from the National Association of Realtors' consumer website, says the number of existing homes for sale will rise more than 20 percent year-over-year in 2023. That means more homes for buyers to choose from and more chances to find one that fits their needs. Danielle Hale, the website's chief economist, says market challenges will remain, though, so buyers will have to be prepared. &Ldquo;Americans who are determined to make a move will find staying up-to-date on the market, flexibility, creativity, and a healthy does of patience will go a long way toward success in the year ahead,” Hale said.  12/12/2022 - Posted by: Ali Shemirani

Does Today's Market Favor Buyers Or Sellers?
A new analysis finds the national housing market favors neither buyers or sellers right now. It's the first time the market has been in neutral territory since July 2020.
Sometimes you have no choice but to move. Maybe you need to relocate for a better job or have to get a bigger space to accommodate a growing family. Whatever the circumstances, life may force you to find a new place to live. In those cases, you don't have the luxury to consider market conditions or whether now is the best time financially to make a move. But, if you have a move in mind and you're not on a specific timeline, you may be wondering whether now's the best time and if today's market is better for buyers or sellers. Well, according to one recent analysis, the answer may be neither. The data shows that – according to key housing market metrics like sales, inventory, and time on market – the U.S. Housing market entered neutral territory in October for the first time in two years, with the 100 largest markets split pretty evenly. In fact, 51 markets favored sellers, 39 were neutral, and 10 were buyer's markets. &Nbsp;12/07/2022 - Posted by: Ali Shemirani

Home Price Increases Continue To Slow
New numbers from S&P Case-Shiller show home price gains are slowing, though prices remain 10.6 percent higher than they were last year at the same time.
The S&P Case-Shiller Home Price Indices have been tracking home price data for nearly 30 years and are considered among the leading measures of U.S. Home values. The closely watched gauge looks at the top metropolitan areas in the country and compares today's prices to where they were last year at the same time, as well as where they were last month. According to the most recent release, home prices are still significantly higher than they were last year at this time, with the national index showing a 10.6 percent year-over-year gain. However, that's down from the 12.9 percent gain in last month's report. Additionally, month-over-month numbers show home prices down slightly. Craig J. Lazzara, managing director at S&P, says prices continue to slow. &Ldquo;Prices declined in every city in September, with a median change of 1.2 percent,” Lazzara said. &Ldquo;Year-over-year price gains in all 20 cities were lower in September than they had been in August.’  12/05/2022 - Posted by: Ali Shemirani

Is It Better To Be Pre-Approved or Pre-Qualified?
86 percent of recently surveyed home sellers said they prefer a buyer who's been pro-approved over one who's been pre-qualified.
Anew survey of home sellers found 86 percent of them preferred a buyer who's been pre-approved for a mortgage over one who's pre-qualified. That's the overwhelming majority and a clear indication that home shoppers should first get pre-approved for a loan before proceeding on their house hunt. But what's the difference anyway? Well, pre-approval requires a more thorough check of your finances than pre-qualification does. That means, you'll be asked to provide some documentation confirming your income, assets, debts, etc. It also includes a credit check. In other words, it's a more detailed look at your financial situation and gives home sellers confidence that you'll be able to close on time and without issue. That's why the overwhelming majority of those surveyed chose a pre-approved buyer over a pre-qualified one. The benefit for buyers is pro-approval gives them the ability to put in a firmer, faster offer when they find a home that fits their needs and lifestyle. &Nbsp;12/01/2022 - Posted by: Ali Shemirani

New Home Buyers Bounce Back In October
New home sales improved unexpectedly in October, rising 7.5 percent higher than the month before.
Mortgage rates were at their recent peak in October. But despite elevated rates, new home buyers were active, pushing sales of newly built single-family homes higher than the month before. In fact, according to recently released numbers from the U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development, new home sales rose 7.5 percent above September's rate and were down just 5.8 percent from last year at the same time. The improvement beat expectations, as economists polled by Reuters predicted a month-over-month decline in October. Regionally, sales spiked in the Northeast and South, were flat in the West, and saw their only decrease in the Midwest, where they fell 34 percent. The surprising gains are encouraging, especially at a time of year when home buyers are typically less active. Also in the report, the median sales price of new houses sold in October was $493,000. The average sales price was $544,000. 11/29/2022 - Posted by: Ali Shemirani

Mortgage Rates Fall For 2nd Straight Week
Average mortgage rates fell again last week, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association. It was the second straight week-over-week decline.
According to the Mortgage Bankers Association's Weekly Applications Survey, average mortgage rates fell again last week. Rates for 30-year fixed-rate loans with both conforming and jumbo balances, loans backed by the Federal Housing Administration, and 15-year fixed-rate loans all declined. It was the second straight week mortgage rates fell. They are now down 50 basis points from last month's peak. Joel Kan, MBA's vice president and deputy chief economist, said the news was good for home buyers. &Ldquo;The decrease in mortgage rates should improve the purchasing power of prospective home buyers, who have been largely sidelined as mortgage rates have more than doubled in the past year,” Kan said. &Ldquo;As a result of the drop in mortgage rates, both purchase and refinance applications picked up slightly last week.” Overall demand for mortgage applications was up 2.2 percent from the week before. The MBA's weekly survey has been conducted since 1990 and covers 75 percent of all retail residential mortgage applications. 
11/24/2022 - Posted by: Ali Shemirani

Do Grocery Stores Affect Home Values?
Nearby grocery stores may affect home values, according to a recent analysis. The data showed homes near Trader Joe's had the highest values, followed by Whole Foods and Aldi.
It's nice to have a grocery store in the area. After all, you're going to need groceries. So having a store nearby that you can quickly run to when you run out of something is a coveted convenience. But it may be more than just convenient, according to a new analysis from ATTOM Data Solutions. Their recently released 2022 Grocery Store Wars looked at home values near three popular grocery store chains to determine where values were the highest. What they found was average home values were highest in neighborhoods near Trader Joe's. In fact, homes near Trader Joe's had an average value of $987,923 – compared to $891,416 near Whole Foods and $321,116 near Aldi. Living near an Aldi, though, was best for home appreciation and home seller return-on-investment. Rick Sharga, ATTOM's executive vice president of market intelligence, says it's something for home buyers to consider. &Ldquo;Smart home buyers might want to consider where they'll do their grocery shopping when they're shopping for a new home,” Sharga said. &Ldquo;It turns out that being located near grocery stores isn't only a matter of convenience for homeowners but can have a significant impact on equity and home values as well.” 11/24/2022 - Posted by: Ali Shemirani

The supply of homes for sale has increased this year compared to last, but supply is still far below more normal years like 2019. One reason is because of decades of underbuilding. That means your house should still be in demand if you work with an agent to price it right. If you’re ready to sell, DM me to get started.11/22/2022 - Posted by: Ali Shemirani

Is A Buyers' Market Just Around The Corner

According to one recent analysis, the number of sellers' markets has been falling and, by next September, the housing market may favor home buyers for the first time in years.

The past few years have favored home sellers. Fewer homes available for sale pushed competition between buyers and drove home prices higher. It was clearly a sellers' market. It still is. In fact, according to one recent analysis, the majority of markets continue to favor sellers, with 51 of the country's largest 100 housing markets remaining sellers' markets. Among them, smaller metros were more likely to favor sellers than areas with populations more than 1 million people. But with affordability conditions in flux and buyer demand slowing nationwide, is a change on the way? Possibly. In just the past few months, the number of sellers' markets has fallen from 83 in August to 51 today. It's expected to fall further in 2023. By next September, of the same 100 markets, 27 are expected to favor buyers, 30 will be neutral, and 43 will be sellers' markets. In other words, home buyers may soon find themselves in better position than they've been in years11/02/2022 - Posted by: Ali Shemirani


The housing market is undergoing a shift as higher mortgage rates moderate buyer demand and as inventory grows. As that happens, pricing your house right can help you attract more buyers, which could help your house sell quickly. If you’re ready to sell, DM me so you have an expert on your side who knows how to find the right price today. 11/01/2022 - Posted by: Ali Shemirani

Applying for a Mortgage Doesn’t Have To Be Scary

  • Even with higher mortgage rates, the mortgage process doesn’t need to be something you fear. Here are some steps to help as you set out to buy a home.
  • Know your credit score and work to build strong credit. When you’re ready, lean on the pros and connect with a lender so you can get pre-approved and begin your home search.
  • Any major life change can be scary, and buying a home is no different. Let’s connect so you have an advisor by your side to take fear out of the equation10/28/2022 - Posted by: Ali Shemirani
Rents have risen quickly due to high inflation. One benefit of homeownership is that it allows you to lock in what’s typically your largest monthly expense: your housing payment. That makes owning a home a great hedge against inflation. Ready to begin your home search? DM me. 10/26/2022 - Posted by: Ali Shemirani

Flood Risk A Consideration For More Buyer
When deciding on a house to buy, flood risk is a bigger factor for buyers than other events like fire, heat, drought, and storms

You want to feel safe at home. Which is why it's important to do some risk assessment when shopping for a house to buy. After all, thinking through some potential worst-case scenarios may help inform your decision-making process and avoid heartache down the road. Fortunately, today's buyers have access to more information than ever before. And, according to one new analysis, it's making them particularly aware of one specific risk more than the rest. In fact, the analysis found buyer behavior hasn't been impacted that much from risks like fire, drought, extreme heat, and storms, but it has been affected by flooding. The data shows the rate of both mortgage denials and buyer withdrawals in areas with a high-flood risk have risen over the past five years. Down payments also tend to be smaller in these areas. But while flood risk may have buyers feeling more cautious, it hasn't lessened their interest, as homes in areas with flood risk continue to appreciate faster than in other area. 10/09/2022 - Posted by: Ali Shemirani

What Does Affordability Look Like Now?
The national median monthly mortgage payment fell in August to $1,839, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association.

fordability is always a top concern for home buyers. That's no surprise. Buying a home is a major financial transaction and you want to feel comfortable knowing you're getting a good deal for your money and that you can afford the monthly mortgage payment. That's why recent spikes in mortgage rates and home prices have potential buyers more hesitant these days. So where does affordability stand right now? Well, according to the most recent release of the Mortgage Bankers Association's Purchase Applications Payment Index, the national median monthly mortgage payment actually fell recently, dropping from $1,844 in July to $1,839 in August. That continues a three-month trend of improving affordability. But Edward Seiler, MBA's associate vice president, housing economics, and executive director, Research Institute for Housing America, says the gains likely stopped in September. &Amp;Ldquo;Most of the country saw modest improvements in home buyer affordability for the third straight month because of slightly lower mortgage rates amidst steady income gain growth,” Seiler said. &Amp;Ldquo;The recent stretch of modest affordability improvement likely hit a speed bump this month, as mortgage rates have jumped ...” It's true. Average mortgage rates have moved higher in recent weeks and have likely pushed mortgage payments higher as well. 10/03/2022 - Posted by: Ali Shemirani

Housing Slowdown To Continue Due To Fed Policy

Fannie Mae expects the housing market to remain slow, as the Federal Reserve continues to fight inflation with higher interest rates

Fanne Mae's Economic and Strategic Research Group releases a forecast each month detailing the group's view of where the housing market and broader economy are headed. In September, the group's outlook sees economic growth resuming in the second half of the year, but calls for the housing market's slowdown to continue as the Fed fights inflation with higher interest rates. Doug Duncan, Fannie Mae's senior vice president and chief economist, says that fight will likely continue into 2023. &Amp;Ldquo;In our view, the recent interest rate surge is due to the market's recognition of two critical factors: that inflation is indeed not transitory, and that, to tame it, the Federal Reserve will need to be resolute, even at the risk of possible recession,” Duncan said. &Amp;Ldquo;That said, the rise in rates is having the Fed's desired effect on housing, as house price growth began to slow in June. We expect the slowdown in housing to contine through 2023.” 09/30/2022 - Posted by: Ali Shemirani

Home Price Index Finds Increases Decelerating 
Home prices continue to increase, but the size of the increases have gotten smaller, according to new numbers from the S&P Case-Shiller Home Price Indices. 

The S&P Case-Shiller Home Price Indices are among the leading measures of U.S. Home prices. The indices cover all nine census divisions and have been tracking home prices for nearly 30 years. According to the S&P's most recent release, prices are still increasing, but the increases are getting smaller. In fact, the national index found year-over-year increases were 2.3 percent slower than they were in the previous month's report. The deceleration was the largest in the history of the index. Craig J. Lazzara, managing director at S&P, says the data shows prices are moving in the same direction all over the country. &Amp;Ldquo;The theme of strong but decelerating prices was reflected across all 20 cities,” Lazzara said. &Amp;Ldquo;July's year-over-year price change was positive for each one of the 20 cities, with a median gain of 15 percent, but in every case July's gain was less than June's.” Though all regions have experienced continued price increases, the South and Southeast continue to show the strongest growth, with Tampa and Miami leading all included cities. 09/28/2022 - Posted by: Ali Shemirani

 #homeownership #risingrents #firsttimehomebuyer #househunting #makememove #homegoals #houseshopping #housegoals #confidentdecisions #realestate#keepingcurrentmatters

users image

Hi, How can I help you?