Tag Archives: Loans

2016 Housing Market Predictions

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New Year, New Housing Market? Not so much. According to many housing predictions, 2016 will bring a whole lot of the same to the table. But is this a bad thing? Absolutely not. While 2015 was known as the best year for housing since 2007 due to many factors such as increased employment rates, implementation of TRID, and more, 2016 will also continue the housing market’s upswing- just not as exponentially.  We’ll start to secure a ‘normal’ in 2016. Remember that word?!

Here are our 2016 Housing Predictions:

  1. Increased Interest Rates– The Federal Reserve is expected to continue to raise interest rates in the short term between now and 2016’s end, & homeowners who have adjustable-rate mortgages or home equity loans will most likely see their interest rate rise as a result.  Housing wire goes as far to say that Fixed-rate mortgages will also rise, perhaps up one-half of a percentage point between now and the end of 2016, reaching 4.5% for 30-year loans. Despite this increase in interest rates, mortgage rates will remain historically low. If the rates do start to rise in 2016, as gradually as they may, we could see slightly lower home-buying numbers next year. But these changes will be minimal due to the continued increase in economic expansion and employment numbers- meaning more people are becoming able to afford houses.
  2. Evolving Mortgage Process – Mortgages may be in reach for more Americans in 2016 due to legislation that would allow Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to take into account new ways to measure creditworthiness like evaluating rental history and utility bill payments instead of just the FICO credit score. More loans may also allow buyers to include income from room rentals, etc. More lenders are continuing to ease credit standards, and don’t see that changing in the future.  This is good news for potential homebuyers!
  3. Increased Housing PricesReverse Mortgage Daily reports that appreciation in national home price indexes will likely continue at a faster pace than inflation, but grow more moderately than last year. The CoreLogic Home Price Index was up about 6% over the last 12 months, and CoreLogic anticipates a rise of 4-5% during 2016. This increase in home sales and prices can be attributed to the improved economy, which has brightened the financial outlook for many families and enhanced their overall financial security. Prices may be higher, but they will still be affordable to most.
  4. More first time buyers– We expect first-timers to make up a bigger portion of the market than they did this year. The reason is simple: The market will be more welcoming to them thanks to the aforementioned slowing price growth and easier access to loans. It is important to note that Millennials & Young Gen X’ers are expected make up the largest demographic of home buyers in 2016 because they have recovered from the financial crisis, are entering their prime professional years, as well as their prime family raising years.
  5. Rental Homes & Millennials– According to a recent analysis by the Federal Reserve, outstanding student loan debt now totals more than $1 trillion. Student loan debt can create additional hurdles for mortgage shoppers. It increases the borrower’s total debt-to-income ratio, which can cause problems during the underwriting and approval process, and excessive debt can lower a person’s credit score. All of this makes it harder for Millennials to qualify for home loans.  This is why we predict rental homes will continue to increase in popularity- Millennials simply can’t afford homes. Rental vacancy rates for both apartments and houses are at, or near, their lowest levels in 30 years, and rents are rising quicker than inflation.
  6. Smart Homes/ Housing Tech – Smart homes and houses with more technological features available at time of sale will continue to become more popular. Features like beacon technology, security tech, VR and more will make homes more appealing. Smart home features will start to be expected by consumers in 2016.

We can’t wait to help you own your dream home in 2016! On behalf of all of us from Alpha Mortgage, we wish you a very happy New Year!

 

How Much Does It Cost To Refinance My Mortgage

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You’ve done your research on the best time to refinance your mortgage,and you are ready to start the process before the Federal Reserve decides to start raising interest rates again. It seems like everything else is in place: you plan on staying in your home for a long time, lending conditions have eased, and current mortgage rates are extremely low. Refinancing or “resetting” a mortgage is a great option for homebuyers that want to take advantage of market conditions like lower interest rates over time, take the opportunity to reduce the term of their original mortgage, or acquire cash from the home’s equity value to use on other purchases through cash-out refinance transactions. Homeowners can also benefit from refinancing by reaping the rewards of an improved credit standing in most situations.

But how much does refinancing your mortgage actually cost? One thing that most homeowners forget to consider when considering a refinance is that there are fees associated with the process. These fees vary based on location and company, which is why it is essential to shop around before you refinance your mortgage. Below are some fees to keep in mind and to discuss with your lender before making a refinance decision:

  • Administrative Fees: Just like when applying for your original mortgage, there are administrative fees that cover generating the information and data necessary to obtain refinancing contracts. Administrative fees to expect include paperwork fees, appraisal fees, application fees, loan origination fees, points fee, inspection fee, survey fee, title search/insurance fee, and others similar.
  • Closing Fees: Once you have been approved for your refinance, closing fees come into effect under names like paperwork fees, attorney review/closing fees, or closing costs. These can get pricey, so it is important to take them into consideration before applying.
  • Other Fees: It is crucial to understand the terms and conditions of your refinance like the back of your hand. Discuss with your loan officer things like prepayment penalties (fees that can cost anywhere from 1-6 month’s interest payments) that charge you for paying off your existing mortgage early, and other penalty fees that could impact you financially.

Most mortgage-related fees are paid upfront at closing, however some lenders offer “no-cost” refinancing, which includes these fees in your loan balance or interest price during the term of your refinance. Once you take into consideration all of the fees that will be associated with your refinance, calculate the break-even point of your new mortgage through online resources. If the refinance still makes sense financially, sign the papers! If you’re feeling overwhelmed, don’t fret. The Home Ownership and Equity Protection Act (HOEPA) protects those who refinance from high fees and interest rates.

Alpha Mortgage is proud to serve North and South Carolina with the best mortgage rates and informed loan officers. Need more information about refinancing your mortgage? Contact us today.