Should you wait until Spring to sell your home. The most common answer would be YES. I mean, think about it. The weather is nice, everyone is getting out and about, and the flower and trees are green, which makes for nice curb appeal. Seems the answer is obvious. But, what if I told you that the handful of buyers that are able to buy your home now might not be able to purchase your home in the Spring.
Buyers seek out a lender. Current mortgage rate right now is about 4.5. They turn in all their information: check stubs, loan amounts, payoffs, etc. The lender then determines their debt to income ratio and then tells the buyer based on all that info how much home they can afford. Now let's imagine the magic number the lender gave the buyer is how much your home is worth today. Great!
Below is a chart of how rates are projected to rise in 2019. The interest rate in April '19 is projected to be about 5.09.
Those serious buyers, the ones searching for homes on top off all the added holiday stress, the ones willing to get out in the cold, are no longer able to purchase your home.
According to my research, an estimated 52 homes will be sold in our small Lake Martin community in the month of December. The odds of your home being one is zero if your home is not on the market.
See the list of 3+ bedroom, 2+ bath homes currently active and a list of homes under contract HERE.
Guest: Julia McCreight Ameris Bank
The economy is strong, rates are still good, and the real estate industry is hot. For people wanting to purchase a home but struggling to scrape up the down payment, there is hope. Many people in the Lake Martin area are aware that they do not need a 20% down payment. But, what you might not be aware of is that there are many programs available that require little to no money down. Below are seven ways for buyers with limited funds to participate in the dream of home ownership.
1. USDA Rural Housing Loans
The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development department offers 100% financing for homes located in rural areas. A borrower would pay a one-time guarantee fee that can be rolled into the loan amount, and an annual fee that is added to the monthly payment. There are restrictions based on income and location.
2. VA Loans
The Veterans Administration offers a 100% financing loan for military service members. Eligible members include veterans, reservists, active duty personnel, and select family members. This loan features flexible credit requirements, no down payment requirement and no mortgage insurance requirement. It also allows down payment assistance and closing costs funds to come from a gift or grant.
3. What is Step Up?
Step Up is a homeownership program designed specifically for moderate-income home buyers who can afford a mortgage, but need help with the down payment. The down payment funds are secured by a 10-year second mortgage and are combined with a 30-year, fixed-rate first mortgage. Since the loans are serviced by ServiSolutions, a division of AHFA, homeowners have only one check to write each month.
Program participants must complete a homebuyer education course to qualify. Participants who earn less than $97,300 are eligible for the Step Up program, regardless of household size or location.
Additional Information and Qualifications:
• HFA Preferred conventional or HFA loans only
• 3% down payment assistance available through Step Up
• For new or existing homes in Alabama
• Homebuyers must have a credit score of 620 or higher
• Debt to income ratio must be 45% or lower
• Homebuyers must complete a homeownership education course.
4. Ameris Doctor Loan
Ameris Bank offers the Ameris Doctor loan which provides up to 100% financing with no Private Mortgage Insurance. Eligible for these loans are MDs, DOs, dentists, pharmacists, and veterinarians (including residents and fellows). Because of the unique needs of medical
professionals, this loan takes into account the needed flexibility surrounding student loan debt, time on the job, and down payment requirement.
5. Down Payment Assistance Programs
Many state and county government agencies provide down payment assistance. These come in the form of grants or second mortgages that are forgivable or repayable. Your down payment assistance funds are forgiven over a predetermined length of time that you own the home when using a forgivable grant or second mortgage. Repayable grants or second mortgages offer the buyer a chance to borrow the down payment, which can be payed back over time at an affordable interest rate.
The funds can range from a few thousand dollars to several thousand dollars towards down payment and closing cost assistance. You could use the assistance to subsidize the down payment needed for a 97% conventional or FHA loan. However, many of these programs have income restrictions, so check with your local Ameris Bank mortgage banker (or your local state and county government agencies) for eligibility requirements.
6. HomeReady or Home Possible Mortgage Loans
These loans are conventional loans that are ideal for borrowers with limited savings. They require only a 3% down payment and allow this down payment and closing costs to be gifted. Additionally, these loans offer reduced rates on Private Mortgage Insurance (which is required). Once 20% home equity is reached, Private Mortgage Insurance for conventional loans can be cancelled (Unlike FHA loans). You could save money over the length of the loan this way. For income qualifications and more details visit HomeReady by Fannie Mae or HomePossible by FreddieMac.
7. FHA (Federal Housing Administration) Loans
FHA loans are one of the most flexible loan programs available, because:
o There are no income restrictions
o They only require 3.5% down (which can be gifted)
o A co-applicant is allowed, even though they may not live in the home with you.
This loan charges an upfront fee which can be rolled into the loan amount. It does require mortgage insurance. Mortgage insurance on an FHA loan cannot be removed and stays on the loan for the life of the loan.
The information voiced in this material is for general information and is not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual.
Check it out Lake Martin Homes For Sale Here:
What's the difference? REALTORS® must meet stricter education requirements, more than what is required by law. What holds a REALTOR® to a higher standard? The Code of Ethics. That's why only REALTORS® are allowed to use the famous Realtor® "R".
Your Lake Martin area Realtor® is committed to protecting your interests throughout the entire transaction with the integrity, honor, professionalism, and expertise that meets the high standards set by the "Realtor®" name.
Your Realtor® is your local real estate market expert and also a trusted adviser that can help you navigate a complex transaction.
As a home buyer your REALTOR® can.....
As a home seller...
*information obtained from National Association of REALTORS®
November brings in cooler weather in the Lake Martin Area, so it's the perfect time for you to check some things off your To-Do list. Don't have a Fall To-Do list? Here's a list for you to get started!
() Put up backyard bird feeders. Once freezing temperatures set in, hang suet blocks.
() Set up a squirrel feeding station. These will deter those pesky rodents from raiding your bird feeders.
() Buy a table runner, place mats, and nice linen napkins that match. Tis the season for entertaining!
() Add weather-stripping around drafty windows and doors.
() Clean your eaves troughs and downspouts; wait until all the leaves have fallen, first!
() Decorate your mantel. Choose reflective, pre-holiday accents like mercury glass accessories, mirrored frames and silver pieces. Add a pair of tiny evergreens or cut branches in vases.
() Clean out your medicine cabinet, bathroom and vanity drawers.
Doing these little things this month will surely leave you feeling fulfilled this holiday season!
The rustic look is most definitely what’s in style right now with many on trend homes embracing a modern vintage theme. Lake homes as well as off water homes in the Lake Martin Area has have definitely embraced this unique trend. Old school glamour and rustic quirky furniture encapsulates all that we love about vintage style. Although vintage style may seem costly, one can achieve these affordable looks by simply using resources and vintage items found right in our own backyards as well as items and accessories found in second hand stores. Which, there are several in our area!
Rustic charm can be achieved with carefully selected furniture both large and small along with the right accessories. Be as creative and imaginative as you like when selecting your vintage pieces this will allow you to create a truly unique design in your home. If you’re sold on the idea of a vintage style home read on to check out simple tips on ways to introduce a vintage theme into your home.
When creating your vintage, rustic style its best to create a specific focal point in your room wherever that may be so you don’t overpower the entire space. Wallpaper is a great way to easily create a feature and can create a fun, striking look without being overbearing. Look for patterned wallpaper such as a shabby chic floral print or a 70’s geo metric style to create the perfect vibe.
Geo prints or even tartan are great if you’re after a retro vibe. These wallpapers are often the perfect way to inject some color into your room. Try adding an animal print to bring out country charm in the kitchen.
Rustic style furniture is the ultimate in vintage styling. Exposed brickwork and natural wooden beams are a desirable look that many of us wish we had unfortunately we’re not all lucky enough to enjoy the luxury of these natural features. However, all is not lost as there are many ways to include rustic pieces with fairly minimal effort.
Wooden shelving and plaques or distressed units have a very similar effect without having to make any drastic changes. Allow these pieces to truly stand out by adding subtle accessories around them and position them against a natural wash wall. Ensure the room receives lots of light and instantly you will feel a vintage vibe with the illusion of very minimal effort.
We believe no room is complete without the addition of a mirror. If you’re looking to create a vintage feel a specific kind of mirror should be used. There are 2 specific types of mirrors that can be used to create a charming vintage feel. The first is more of an elegant vintage style; think elaborate frames and lavish ornate detailing.
However, if this is too overpowering you can always go down the route of a subtler vintage feel such as wooden distressed frames and natural pale colors. Whichever style you select if you piece with other vintage accessories or even on a quirky wallpapered wall a mirror will increase light and space and complement the overall feel of your living space.
Every room requires subtle accessories which help tie the design together. When considering vintage accessories think outside the box. Quirky pieces such as a lamp or even a patterned cushion can all add pops of style to your living space. If you’re into DIY you can even create the accessories yourself. Choose some retro fabric and craft your own cushion, pillow case or throw for your living room or bedroom.
Consider everything even down to the smallest items such as your tea cups and lamp shades. Switching up your lamp shade to a striking geo metric print or adding a new retro cup to your dining room table set can all contribute to the vintage vibe. Whatever accessories you choose continuing the theme throughout your room will gradually create the vintage feel you’re after.
So, you see, achieving the look is easy, even for the first timer! Let me show you some Lake Martin homes that just scream rustic charm!
DO YOU DIY IN THE LAKE MARTIN AREA?