Take Advantage Of These Historically Low Mortgage Rates While You Still Can

You May Be Able to Become a Homeowner Sooner Than You Think.

It’s a misconception that Spring is the “hot market” for real estate. In actuality, we see the number of listings in DC, Maryland, and Virginia skyrocket as early in the year as February! This year is no exception. In fact, the local lenders we speak with predict the first quarter of 2022 to be the busiest in real estate for one simple reason: Home mortgage interest rates are rising. While rising rates may sound like a deterrent, it should be noted current rates remain historically low. Now is the time to take the necessary actions to get prequalified to become a homeowner.

 Why do you need to get prequalified?

Getting prequalified is a vital step toward homeownership for a variety of reasons. You may qualify for more home than you think! There may also be simple and fast financial moves you can make that significantly improve your potential opportunities as a homeowner. How do you get prequalified? The process is simple, but it’s important that you use reputable, local lenders who understand your market and are prepared to put in the extra work to help you. Contact us so we can work together with the perfect lender on your homeownership goals.

What if you don’t have a 20% down payment?

A recent study found that almost half of millennial renters planning a first home purchase hadn’t begun to save. However, don’t let the prospect of needing 20% delay your homebuying goals. “The rule of having a 20% down payment is an outdated myth,” says trusted lender Kathleen Kerins. “Just a few years ago, the required monthly mortgage insurance buyers needed if they put down less than 20% was three times higher than it is now. That’s a significant monthly financial difference that adds up quickly, but now, it isn’t anywhere near as impactful. Now, first-time homebuyers can qualify for mortgages with as low as a 3% down payment. So, many of the norms in real estate financing have changed. Now, I often encourage my clients to be creative. Use the money they would use for a down payment in a way that will give them a competitive edge in the market.” For more information on the topic, click here.

Have you heard the myth that all-cash offers always win over financed offers? In today’s real estate market, this simply isn’t true. Through a competitive market, our agents have mastered the art of crafting an offer that stands out. That means they work with buyers in all financial situations to help them write a winning offer. 

What if you’re not sure if your credit is good enough to buy a home?

Your credit score and history will have an impact on your mortgage application. This doesn’t mean, however, that your credit has to be perfect to become a homeowner. In fact, most lenders look for a score of 580 or higher to qualify future homeowners. Since scores change monthly, monitoring is key! Stay informed by signing up for accounts with the three major credit bureaus: TransUnion, Experian, and Equifax. Make sure the information is accurate, and don’t hesitate to dispute report errors that can take months to resolve. And remember: paying off credit cards, negotiating student loans, and managing other debt will go a long way in raising your score. The good news is, with the right financial advice, you can often make improvements to your score quickly.

Our suggestion? During your prequalifying process, your lender and agent can discuss the best financial steps to maximize your appeal as a mortgage applicant, giving you peace of mind to know you are on the right track or provide a timeline that is realistic to achieve your homeownership goals. 

We’re here to make sure home buying is as streamlined as possible for you.

While first-time homebuying may seem like it will be overwhelming, an experienced Realtor will be with you from start to finish, from finding a reputable local lender and narrowing down your search to helping you submit a winning offer. See how our clients describe the process below.

Robin is an amazing agent. Her kindness, smarts, persistence and patience make her wonderful to work with. She explains everything for first-time home buyers thoroughly. While she specializes in divorce, as a couple, we found that she was phenomenal. I highly recommend her to anyone looking for a home in Bethesda, Potomac or Rockville.”

Jim was great helping us buy our first house. We sat down and talked through what we were looking for and what we thought our budget should be and he never pressured us into anything beyond what we could afford. He treated us with a lot of respect and gave us tips along the way about how to best see if this was the house for us. Once we wanted to move forward he was fast and responsive helping the process go smoothly. We still are in touch and he always checks in on how things are going.”

“We really enjoyed working with Katina! Moving during a seller's market was daunting but Katina made the process smooth and low stress. She was very helpful in answering our questions and would respond promptly. Her enthusiasm was contagious and she was always professional. We would definitely recommend her to any friends or family looking to buy in the DMV area!”

Maria was incredible! Responsive to all my time-sensitive requests and so positive. She was thorough and managed all the paperwork and negotiations with ease.”

“My husband and I worked with Maura in the Summer of 2020 to buy our first home. It was definitely different times to be buying a house, but Maura made it feel like a breeze every step of the way (while she was doing a ton of heavy-lifting in the background!) She was so skilled and patient and even had to deal with some very atypical stuff that came up in our deal but she handled it like an extreme pro. In the end, I was so glad we worked with Maura, she was definitely the key to us finding our happiness in our new home- we would not be here without her and her expertise!”

Lewis is a true pro, extremely knowledgeable about all the things to look for when touring a house. He’s a master electrician so he spots those issues in a heartbeat, but he notices a tree leaning a bit too close to the roof, windows that are energy drains, “deferred maintenance” issues, and on and on. Lewis helped us understand all the pages and attachments of the contract, using a dummy write-up for a property we already knew we were not going to actually bid on. This ensures that when we actually had a live bidding package to review, we knew exactly where to look to spot the elements we had discussed that would help put our bid over the top in a competitive market…He took our calls after our offer was ratified to help us understand the financing document. And he did it during the panic of the early days of Corona 2020!! I’m sure he will be over with his toolbox when the crisis ends to help us with our punch list!!”

Ready to take advantage of this market? Even if you’re just curious if homeownership is possible for you, we’re ready to help! Contact us to get started.

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