How to Level the Playing Field in a Competitive Housing Market

A recent Wall Street Journal article pointed out that real estate investors may be pushing young, first-time homebuyers out of the housing market. Low and mid-priced homes, which appeal to both first-time buyers and investors, are in tight supply. Investors are swooping in with all-cash offers only to turn around and rent out the properties. As rental rates skyrocket across the nation, investors stand to benefit while potential homebuyers are challenged by high rent that may prolong saving for a down payment. Is there a solution? Can buyers finance a home purchase and still put forth a strong enough offer to compete against all-cash? We asked Realtor® Dana Green to weigh in on how buyers can level the playing field.

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Can Social Business Thrive Under Regulatory Scrutiny?

For any company where professional reputations and customer relationships matter, social media is the sensible place to put marketing efforts and budget. For relatively little budget, audiences can be micro-targeted and reached easily on all devices. Individual experts can put forth their unique selling propositions, beyond the reputation of a corporate brand, in spaces where friends and friends of friends are paying attention. According to statistics portal company Statista, personal recommendations and consumer opinions posted online are the most trusted forms of advertising, so a strong online reputation is critical.

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Fannie Mae Loan Updates Are Good News for Buyers

Fannie Mae recently announced changes to conforming loan guidelines and all of the updates are potentially very good news for borrowers. In fact, a recent Forbes article stated that “mortgage financing will become more available to more home buyers as a couple of game changing underwriting guideline enhancements come online.” It’s important to understand what has changed and what it means in terms of qualifying for a mortgage. Here are some highlights:

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Mortgage Jargon – Updated for TRID

Purchasing a home is an exciting experience that can also be overwhelming with lots of paperwork, decisions to make, financial data to gather, and a whole new vocabulary to decipher. As with most things, the process and the terminology are constantly evolving to keep up with the changing times. New regulations have resulted in new details to understand about the dynamic process of finding a home and securing financing.  To keep you up to date, we’ve updated our previous blog about mortgage jargon to reflect new terminology and forms that have emerged, or gone away, with regulations that took effect on October 3, 2015.

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How Long Is A Pre-Approval Good For?

In the mortgage industry, we routinely encounter instances in our day-to-day interactions with clients that make us realize what is obvious to us may not be so obvious to those we serve. As loan advisors, a question we are frequently asked by those shopping for a home and going through the mortgage pre-approval process is, “How long is my pre-approval good for?”

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Pre-Qualified vs. Pre-Approved – What’s the Difference?

So you’re on the hunt for a new home. What should you do first? You’ve heard you should get pre-approved or pre-qualified, but which is it? Is there a difference? If you’ve ever been confused by the two, you’re not alone. Many people are under the assumption that the two options are the same, but, in fact, there are major differences between the two. Here’s the breakdown…

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Energy Efficiency And Real Estate Value

Studies continue to show that homes with green or energy efficient features can command a higher sales price. With the promise of lower utility costs and increased comfort, it’s no surprise that homeowners are willing to invest in an energy efficient environment. Although the potential benefits are clear, a recent Washington Post article points out that “…it’s often less than clear how such upgrades are valued in the real estate market by appraisers, lenders, or purchasers — or even how information about a home’s energy characteristics should be conveyed to real estate agents and potential homebuyers.” That is slowly changing…

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