VA Mortgage News for Veterans
Rates Move Lower in 2014
Mortgage rates shifted higher almost a year ago, at a time when bond market investors thought the Federal Reserve was preparing to end its policies supporting low rates. But that anxiety has subsided, and rates have stabilized since then. In fact, turmoil in the stock and currency markets earlier this year caused rates to drop. Investors across the world tend to buy U.S. Treasury bonds whenever concerns come to the forefront.
Worries about the economic stability of emerging markets in recent months have encouraged investors to move into safer U.S. Treasuries. Greater demand for Treasury bonds results in lower rates. That's why rates have been falling this year for American homebuyers. Mortgage rates are directly tied to movements in the Treasury bond market.
Enhance Your Buying Power
It's not surprising that many households hesitated to purchase real estate in recent years. Home values dropped after the housing crisis, and no one could be certain how far prices would fall. But over the past year average prices have advanced substantially. Most areas report prices have increased by more than ten percent during the last twelve months. Consumers who have put off buying are moving ahead now. Your first step in purchasing a great home is to discover your financing options.
Recent Posts in the VA News Blog
- VA Loan Rules on Hazard Insurance
- Restoration of VA Loan Entitlement
- Buying a Second Property With a VA Home Loan
- The Basics on VA Cash-Out Refinance Loans
- Refinancing a Delinquent Loan With a VA IRRRL
- Restoring Your VA Loan Eligibility
Real Estate Offers Stability
Recent advances in home prices have some observers feeling uneasy about how quickly they've moved higher. Last year real estate values went up 11.5 percent, states the National Association of Realtors. Yet that rapid advance was due to strong demand from families who had put off purchasing after the real estate crisis. Current real estate prices are encouraging other homeowners to put their property on the market.
Having more sale homes to choose from establishes better balance in the market. A healthy real estate environment reassures buyers that their home will go up in value as they live there. Home prices over the long term tend to rise slightly above the rate of inflation. And that's what economists are predicting will happen now. Prices should increase three to five percent this year, according to many forecasts.
Want to Learn About Your Credit Score?
We recommend that you view your updated credit score.
Tips for First-Time Buyers
Avoiding mistakes is a common concern for anyone purchasing their first home. Here are some ideas to make that process less daunting:
- Plan for the future. How will your living needs change over the next five or six years? You probably won't live in your first home until you retire, but you don't want to outgrow it right away. Assess your financial outlook, as well. Note how your income and expenses are likely to alter over time. You then can calculate how much of your budget you're comfortable spending on housing.
- Small can be beautiful. Remember that you'll be furnishing, heating and insuring all the space in your home. Efficient use of a smaller residence will reap benefits as long as you live there. Sometimes it's helpful to get rid of bulky furniture such as big sofas, dining tables and wall units if doing so can allow you to enjoy living in a smaller area. Adding built-in bookcases and mirrors will open up a room.
- Don't fall in love. While it's natural to be excited about a home purchase, you need to select a property without too much emotional influence. Buyers may be tempted to pay extra for a fancy kitchen or great view, when a house that's more basic offers better value. Remember that you'll turn any residence into your home just by living there.
Contact us to find out how much you can afford to spend on a house. Today's low rates and attractive home prices still are working in your favor!
Housing Helps America
Home sales in 2013 reached their highest total in seven years, says the National Association of Realtors (NAR). Communities all over the country participated in the strong market. That's not surprising, since real estate affordability measures reached all-time highs last year. Low inflation is keeping monthly payments suitable for today's purchasers.
Housing's strength over the past year helped the economy to grow, despite federal tax increases and government spending cuts. Unemployment also fell steadily in 2013, and that trend is expected to continue. Increased consumer spending and more business investment in equipment and facilities are helping the overall economic picture. Although growth will ebb and flow, it's clear that we're doing better compared to a few years ago.
Our job is to help make today's real estate possibilities into your reality. Let our experience guide you through the challenges of getting home financing. We're here to assist you by providing a mortgage that lets you reach your lifestyle goals. Get in touch with us soon to discover why it's possible for you to purchase a home in 2014.
Safer than Stocks
Price volatility is much more prevalent in the stock market than it is in real estate. Huge sums of money can quickly move into or out of equities, causing fairly-frequent upswings and downturns. Building wealth by purchasing and selling stocks is almost certain to bring a combination of good days and bad ones. Many commentators say these investments should be left to professional investors. Yet for decades American homeowners have watched their net worth rise after buying real estate. Plus they gain the lifestyle benefits of living where they want to.
It's no wonder that most U.S. households own their home. Some are finding additional means of maximizing the financial advantages of homeownership. One big way that owning increases our wealth comes simply by paying off your mortgage over time. Every dollar that reduces what you owe increases your net worth. Completely paying off your loan means you no longer have to include monthly mortgage payments in your budget. You then can use those funds however you wish.