by Buz Wolfe
I would like to take this opportunity again to thank our many friends and clients for making 2014 one of our best years ever. We are off to a very good start and I am extremely optimistic about 2015 as well.
Several of my blogs last year referred to my concern over the decline in first time or entry level buyers both here locally and across the country. Well, some good news was recently announced that should prove to be a big help for those folks looking to enter the housing market.
Just last month, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the two government sponsored entities that form the secondary mortgage market, unveiled plans to begin accepting 3% down payment loans. Over the past several years, the lowest down payment loans for conventional financing amounted to 5% while 3 1/2 % mortgages were available through FHA (Federal Housing Administration) – – sometimes a more difficult loan and transaction to navigate.
As mentioned before, first time buyers were at their lowest level last year since 1987. The issues surrounding tough job markets, student loans and the cash required to purchase a first home are often cited as the reasons.
To qualify, the first time home buyer must not have owned a home within the past three years and must purchase a single family residence which will be owner-occupied. A minimum credit score of 620-660 will be required. Better yet, generous “gift funding” from other sources (parents, grandparents, seller assistance, etc.) will be permitted. In some cases, there will also be no monthly PMI (Private Mortgage Insurance) added to the principal and interest payment.
I have also mentioned before that one of the reasons that I think there has been a decline in first time buyers is that, for the cognitive period of time that young folks have been paying attention to the economy and the housing market, almost all news has been bad. I believe it is incumbent upon the “older generation” to take the time to explain to young folks the many tangible benefits of home ownership. And if you’re not sure how to do that – – – call us!
UPDATE! FHA has lowered mortgage insurance rates (MI) for most loans effective January 26, 2015. Coupled with historically low interest rates, this gives Buyers more purchasing power and lower monthly payment!
*Ray L. “Buz” Wolfe, Jr. is a licensed Real Estate Broker in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. He is not an attorney and is not licensed to practice law. No comments made within the confines of his blog should be construed as legal advice.
**All information believed to be accurate but not guaranteed.