Did your parents ever order you to “March!”? It usually meant to get moving in a direction you’d already been told to go but had procrastinated, repercussions had now been threatened and you got your – well – ‘marching orders.’ While I do not want to be viewed as the “Mean Mommy of Mortgage” here, I do want to point out some very important things you should be thinking about, planning for and doing in this last month of the first quarter 2012.
Marching Order 1: Be thinking about…
- Certain “prices” can’t stay low forever. We’ve just seen FHA Mortgage Insurance Premiums and upfront costs go up, which will hit a large segment of the home buying population right smack in the pocketbook. (For more information, check out my recent post, “FHA Mortgage Insurance Premiums – On The Rise.”)
- The inventory of homes on the market in Minnesota is far smaller than it has been in recent years. We are seeing multiple offers in the first time home buyer price ranges. Any time there are multiple first time home buyers competing for the same thing, prices typically rise. That’s welcome news for home owners and home sellers, but every increase in price decreases purchase power for first time home buyers.
- Interest rates are still amazingly low – for now. We are in an election year, economic news is mixed on the optimistic side and the cyclical nature of things dictates that we would be naïve to expect to be able to borrow money this inexpensively forever. Rises in interest rates translate to plummets in affordability for borrowers. Depending on the amount of a rate increase and the price of a particular home, borrowers could be forced to give up significant square footage or even preferred neighborhoods because payments shift up out of qualifying range.
Marching Order 2: Be planning for…
- This year and next.
- Are you renting? How long do you want – or think you have to – continue? Do you have any personal credit or financial issues that may need attention? You’d be surprised at what we can tackle with some review, planning and action steps and the many special financing options available for first time home buyers and those who haven’t owned a home for the past three years in Minnesota.
- Do you own a home? How’s your interest rate? Do you know what -if any – refinance options are available to you? Is it possible for you to move up – or downsize?
- Five to ten years from now. Whether you rent or own, it’s smart to consider where you want to be in the fairly near future. You may be pleasantly surprised at what you can achieve and what options are available for you.
- Ten years and beyond. This might feel like “Fantasy Island” right now with all the uncertainty in the economy and Minnesota real estate market, but don’t let that deter you from getting advice now regarding your household finance and homeownership situation. You’ll probably make several adjustments to your plans in the coming decade, but it’s so important to make one with current goals in mind now and revisit it regularly as time passes.
Marching Order 3: Do!
- If you are renting, find out if – and when – you can be in position to buy your first home home. Check out our First Time Home Buyer Class coming up next Thursday, April 19th from 6:30-8PM. Investigate potential down payment assistance opportunities for the first time home buyer and find out what you need to do to prepare for homeownership when the time is right for you to buy your first home. Register for the First Time Home Buyer Class Online Now or call 952-808-0042 to register by phone.
- If you own a home, find out if there’s a chance for savings on your current interest rate by refinancing. There are even underwater refinance options available for many current homeowners if you are underwater with your current mortgage. Is it possible for you to take advantage of today’s incredible real estate prices and move up? If you want to downsize at some point – is now the time – or should you wait? Find out what factors you need to consider to make the decision that’s best for you.
- Talk to your friends and family. Does anyone have any questions on anything related to property they own, buying a new home, buying their first home, or any other real estate issues that relate to their household finances? We’re here for you and we can help.
Questions on the many scenarios we discussed in these lists describing real situations with real people? We’ve got answers. Contact Carrie today. Pass the word on about our free First Time Home Buyer Class Now or call 952-808-2810 for more details.
Watch this video for information on the upcoming First Time Home Buyer Class
MN First Time Home Buyer Class
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