America's real estate marketplace still is recovering from the housing crisis. Critics recently expressed concerns about prices going up too fast, or investors purchasing too many homes.

VA LOAN RATES

National Averages for New Home Loans
April 21, 2014

30 YEAR FIXED

0.000 points
4.125% / 4.209% APR

15 YEAR FIXED

0.000 points
3.250% / 3.396% APR

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VA Mortgage News for Veterans

March 2014

Bruce Reichstein (NMLS #273132) is Sr. Loan Officer specializing in VA Home Loans with Emery Federal Credit Union - VALoans.com. Bruce has originated and underwritten VA loans in all 50 states for over 25 years and is a Nationwide Lender.

Building a Healthy Market

America's real estate marketplace still is recovering from the housing crisis. Critics recently expressed concerns about prices going up too fast, or investors purchasing too many homes. But what actually is occurring is that all parties - homebuyers, owners preparing to sell, builders and lenders - are coming into a balanced relationship. Such a large adjustment takes time, but is part of a healthy process.

Many of today's buyers are different than purchasers were during the last decade. Home builders and other market participants must adapt to satisfy those needs. America's baby boomers are retiring, and starting to examine their housing options. Moving to a different climate or to be close to family members are attractive possibilities for some.

Others will stay where they are - or they may prefer a smaller home which was recently built and offers the latest features. Home builders will refrain from aggressively putting up houses until the buying trend is certain. New home construction has only partially bounced back.

Real Estate Stays Strong

Americans were shopping for homes early in 2014, despite the winter storms. New home purchases reached their highest level in more than five years. Robust sales were seen around the country, according to government reports. An improving jobs picture is encouraging consumers to buy a house, economists note. Another positive factor was that rates fell during the first quarter of 2014. International tensions are driving investors to the safety of U.S. Treasury bonds, which results in lower rates for homebuyers.

Real estate agents add that more properties are being listed for sale. An influx of housing inventory makes it easier for buyers to find a home that's right for them. Increased supply also will keep prices from rising too rapidly this year. A balanced real estate market is favorable for both buyers and sellers.

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American Economy Set to Grow

Positives outweigh concerns in the eyes of many economists today. Forecasters at Beacon Economics call for growth rising to above three percent for the U.S. in 2014. Average household incomes went up last year more than three percent as well, Beacon notes. Although we'll encounter challenges in coming months, no major downturn appears likely.

Real estate actually is playing a leading role in our economic recovery. Lots of jobs are tied to the housing industry. After all, it takes plenty of people and materials to build, furnish and sell a house. So it's not surprising that a priority of policymakers in recent years has been to boost real estate activity. Lower rates have helped many households to purchase a residence. Real estate has gone from being a drag on the overall economy to a source of positive growth as a result.

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The Right Questions

Researchers have discovered borrowers often don't understand how their home loan works. Since that makes it difficult for them to compare mortgages, they may not wind up with the best financing solution for their situation. Loans can be put together in different ways, so it's best to shop carefully. Just as one merchant may sell goods for less but charge extra for shipping, consumers need to look closely at different mortgage possibilities.

Yet it's hard to analyze home loans. They can be complicated, and many borrowers aren't certain how to start investigating different mortgages. Here's a list of essential questions you can ask of any loan offer you receive:

  • How much will my monthly payment be?
  • Does that include the cost of mortgage insurance, property taxes or homeowners insurance? If not, you may need to budget separately for these items.
  • Could my payments change in the future under this loan program? If so, when would those adjustments happen, and what would be the largest possible cost increase?
  • What are my estimated closing costs for this home purchase?

You'll soon learn that it's possible to make trade-offs when selecting home financing. You can lower your closing costs by asking the sellers to pay a portion of those expenses. Yet you'll probably be unable to negotiate a discount from their asking price as a result. Or an adjustable-rate home loan will give you lower initial monthly payments, which could move higher in the future. Understanding your mortgage lets you select a loan that will fit your finances as long as you live there.

We'll show you how different mortgages would work in your circumstances. You'll then be ready to make an informed home loan choice.

Gaining Strength

It's been said that the direction we're heading is more important than where we are now. America's economy recently has been gaining strength. But the crucial fact is that we're in a better place today than we were a few years ago. We're in a unique financial period - rates remain low in order to stimulate growth. And it appears that economic expansion is gaining traction now. Of course, our economy's path will go up and down. But planning on the most part for better tomorrows is preferable to worrying about what's going to occur. Living in a home which truly suits your needs could make your days brighter for years. It's still possible to gain the benefits of purchasing with mortgage rates near all-time lows. Contact us right away to discover the advantages today's real estate market offers you!

Time to Move

Both home prices and mortgage rates are forecast to be higher a year from now, say many real estate economists. Strong demand from households who put off moving during the housing crisis is producing sustainable sales, and that's boosting prices. Growing economic strength will cause mortgage rates to rise, though. America's Federal Reserve is reducing the aggressive actions it has taken in recent years to keep rates low.

It's almost inevitable that rates will edge upwards in coming months. However, U.S. households still can take advantage of today's attractive conditions. Buying a home now will allow families to watch its value increase over time. And they'll benefit by using a long-term mortgage to lock in current financing rates for as long as they own their residence. Talk with us right away to discover the advantages today's market offers you. We'll answer your mortgage questions, and help you make a selection that suits your budget and plans.