VA has guaranteed over 1 trillion dollars of mortgages. 81,000 veterans pulled their own COE since November 2009.
The Typical VA Homeowner in 2010:
Source: Dept. of VA
Home prices continue to show weakness, as sale prices keep edging down in many areas. However, that doesn't show the entire picture. Sales of distressed real estate are heavily influencing the market in some communities. Owners of distressed properties generally are under pressure to sell quickly, and will accept discounted prices.
A recent study which takes out the effect of distressed sales shows that home prices have stabilized, reports The Wall Street Journal. Many neighborhoods show housing prices heading higher, the Journal notes, "if distressed sales are excluded."
One study estimates that houses owned by financial institutions "sell for an average discount of 35 percent off non-distressed sale home prices," adds Forbes magazine. Homeowners who don't have to accept the first offer are finding they can receive a fair price for their property now. And buyers are discovering how affordable it is to purchase with the help of today's low rates.
Economists say current buyers can't expect to see their home's value skyrocketing anytime soon. Yet they also don't need to fear the market. "Prices appear more likely to bounce along a bottom rather than plunge precipitously as they did in 2006 and 2008," states The Wall Street Journal.
"Housing has never been this undervalued," contends independent research firm Capital Economics. Current buyers are spending a "record low" percentage of their household income on monthly payments, the recent study adds. Capital Economics estimates that U.S. homes are priced 24 percent below what they're worth today. A continued high volume of distressed sales in some parts of the country could send average prices lower in the future, however.
Our real estate recovery will occur gradually. Yet Americans are finding that today's combination of low mortgage rates and excellent house prices are making it easier to buy. We're here to assist you as you move into a house with affordable payments. Call us when you're thinking about purchasing real estate, and we'll advise you on today's best options.
Americans are concerned about the price of gasoline, notes Bloomberg News. Higher costs when we fill up are hard to budget for. Yet other prices are going up, Bloomberg adds. And they may have an even-larger effect on our wallets. Rising rents could become "the biggest threat to containing U.S. inflation," reports Bloomberg.
Inflation reduces living standards by increasing the cost of everyday expenses. Over time we find our paychecks don't go as far as they used to. Rent increases can play a big part in that picture. Paying more to your landlord each year quickly adds up. Although today's real estate market can be difficult, "there are growing indications that it is a good time to buy," explains The Wall Street Journal. Several factors make this a moment of opportunity for homebuyers.
Mortgage rates recently have been around their lowest points in half a century, states the Journal. "A historic glut of homes," it adds, "has created a buyer's market." In other words, it's easier to find a bargain-priced house today. "Such conditions might not last long," the Journal warns. A number of forces could make housing more expensive in the near future. Higher inflation usually causes interest rates to go up. Mortgage payments then would also grow larger for buyers.
Rebuilding your life after going through bankruptcy requires perseverance and discipline. Yet the rewards are there: You can restore your credit and become a homeowner, despite a previous bankruptcy filing. Typically a borrower must wait two years after a Chapter 13 bankruptcy or four years after a Chapter 7 filing in order to obtain a home loan. Consumers who have gone through foreclosure proceedings generally can't purchase for five years.
Mortgage investment firms Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have set these standards. Loans purchased by the two government-backed companies generally offer borrowers the lowest rates. However, it's possible to reduce the waiting periods to two years after bankruptcy, and three years on a foreclosure. We can do this by explaining to Fannie and Freddie how "extenuating circumstances" contributed to someone's financial difficulties.
Adding a letter to a loan application documenting the extraordinary reasons for a household's money struggles can gain leniency in rule interpretation. A family which experienced a serious illness and job loss at the same time is more likely to be given a second chance sooner than a household which simply suffered from a layoff. Your ability to make on-time payments today also needs to be documented. A stable income, strong recent credit history, and solid down payment help make your case. Let's review your financial situation together, and come up with a plan to purchase your own home. Today's great prices and low rates are just too good to pass up!
Homeowners typically are optimists, since they take a long-term approach to life. It's hard not to be positive when you're living in a spot you've personally selected. Owners can paint a room or plant a tree to make their house what they truly want. Instead of sending money to a landlord, they're building equity that will make it easier to purchase a nicer home in the future. So it's not surprising that owning a home remains important to most of us. A recent national poll conducted by Pew Research Center verifies this attitude.
"The five-year swoon in home prices has done little to shake the confidence of the American public in the investment value of homeownership," states Pew. "Fully eight-in-ten adults agree that buying a home is the best long-term investment a person can make." Pew says that owners are aware of current market conditions, and aren't "expecting a speedy recovery" in home prices. Yet they have long-term confidence in U.S. housing values.
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