Mortgage

What Seattle’s Changing Housing Market Means to Homebuyers

What Seattle’s Changing Housing Market Means to Homebuyers

The shifting Seattle real estate market has grabbed headline after headline in recent months, with the Seattle Times making proclamations earlier this week that suggest Seattle’s home prices are dropping faster than any other metro area in the nation. Contrary to headlines, however, trendlines point to a much different outcome, indicating slowing—not lowering—home price growth, amidst rising inventory and typical seasonal trends for the region. So, what does this mean for homebuyers in the Emerald City?

2018 Second Quarter Market Report

2018 Second Quarter Market Report

While it's true that home prices have continued to rise throughout the Seattle-Metro area, there are also some new and interesting statistics to go along with rising median prices. Realogics Sotheby's International Realty recently released their second-quarter market trends report for 2018 and we wanted to share a few statistics that jumped out at us. 

When is a Good Time to Buy Your First Home?

When is a Good Time to Buy Your First Home?

So, you've got the stable job and feel like finally settling into a place that feels more like your own. You probably have an idea of how purchasing real estate might work but maybe aren't sure this is the right time for you to buy. Here are a few indicators that you're ready to take the next step.

Winter Tips for Home Buyers

Winter Tips for Home Buyers

Winter in real estate is notorious for lower inventory, and often lower prices, but it may just be one of the better times of year to buy. Most real estate news during the winter is akin to lowering median prices, a slow in construction, and a dip in overall housing inventory. However, even with all of these things popping up in news headlines across the nation; Seattle's housing market continues to come out on top

A Background in Bitcoin and its New Role in Real Estate

A Background in Bitcoin and its New Role in Real Estate

Though many people have probably heard of Bitcoin by now, there are now several types of cryptocurrency. New types you may start hearing more about include: bitcoin cash, ZCash, Monero, Ripple, and Ethereum. They essentially all function the same way; and act as digital funds that are produced in limited quantities and without involvement of a bank or governmental regulations.

How the New Tax Bill Affects Your Home Search

How the New Tax Bill Affects Your Home Search

In December of 2017 the current administration passed a new tax bill, the biggest overhaul since 1986, and many changes were made that will have a direct impact on the housing market. Here is a brief look at what the new bill will mean for homeowners, buyers, and sellers.

Why You Shouldn't Feel Overwhelmed By the Sellers Market

Why You Shouldn't Feel Overwhelmed By the Sellers Market

You’ve seen the headlines and read the blogs – it’s a tough market for homebuyers right now. Not only in the Puget Sound region but across the U.S., markets are reaching record low inventories and record high home values and sales prices.

FHA to Cut Mortgage Insurance Premiums, Caliber Home Loans Predict Boom of Homebuyers in 2015

In an effort to expand homeownership among lower-income buyers, President Barack Obama cut mortgage-insurance premiums charged by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) in an announcement according to Bloomberg News.

“Lowering the annual mortgage insurance fee from 1.35% down to .85% will be a significant boom for both first-time homebuyers and current homeowners that want to refinance their FHA loans,” says Keith Lashley, Mortgage Banker with Caliber Home Loans and Preferred Lender for Realogics Sotheby’s International Realty.  “Prospective homebuyers are urged to take advantage of the lowest interest rates in over a year.  Factoring in the rising median home prices and positive economic trends, I’d say this is about the most confident time to buy in recent memory.”

Lashley breaks down the changes like this.  Mortgage insurance on a $400,000 loan currently costs a homeowner $450 per month but will drop down to $283 per month under the reduced premium providing a $166 per month savings to homeowners financed through FHA.

Under the new premium structure FHA estimates that 250,000 additional first-time homebuyers will be able to enter the market due to the reduce premium and over 2 million  borrowers will save an average of $900 annually over the next three years if they purchase or refinance homes.

2015 is quickly shaping up to be a blockbuster year in real estate according to Lashley.  He says homebuyers can take advantage of incredibly low interest rates, less restrictive FHA underwriting guidelines and now lower mortgage insurance to leverage their purchasing power all at the same time. He also warns that an increase of more homebuyers could make the marketplace even more competitive for buyers.

These favorable factors coupled with fast rising rents are not lost on first time homebuyers as Millennials and other modest income buyers are projected to move into the home buying market in record numbers this year.  Other macro factors such as increased employment, low inflation and low relative home prices are further enticements for new home buyers to act in the first quarter of the New Year.