Almost nothing in our lives is the same as it was just one month
ago. And every day brings new and more difficult challenges. The most important
thing, however, is that you and your families stay safe and healthy. Practice
social distancing and follow every recommendation of the CDC and the orders of
our Governors and Mayor.
Under Governor Hogan’s order, financial services firms such as RMC
are deemed essential. We are open for business and operating each day. We are
using every means at our disposal to eliminate face to face contact, such
as e-signature, video conferencing, secure document uploads, and good old
email and phone calls. Fannie and Freddie are assisting by offering more
opportunities to use “exterior only” appraisals, which eliminate the need for
the appraiser to enter your home. Closings are still a challenge, but the
closing agents we work with are using best practices such as gloves, masks,
separating parties, not trading pens and other precautions.
The bottom line is that we are here for you every day. We
sometimes work from our homes but come to the office regularly. If any of you
have a need for mortgage financing, you can rest assured that we can help.
Contact Margie for more information on our Covid-19 precautions or if you just
want to ask about rates.
We wish all of you good health, now and for the future.
Margie, Steve and Troy
Last week we reported on the financial upheaval in the mortgage
market as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. The market remains extremely
volatile, with rates changing daily, even hourly at times. But we are very
encouraged by the fact that homes are being purchased and refinance mortgages
are closing, even under these extraordinary conditions. Everyone is taking
proper precautions, and avoiding face-to-face meetings.
Almost all parts of the mortgage lending process can be done
electronically. An interior appraisal inspection, however, is not one of them.
We have heard from our clients their very valid concerns about allowing the
appraiser to tour their homes. So, I am happy to give you some good news.
Fannie and Freddie have instituted temporary appraisal requirement
flexibilities that allow many mortgages to qualify for an appraisal waiver, or
an exterior only inspection. This includes purchases, which sometimes can
qualify for a desktop appraisal, for which the appraiser need not even visit
We expect more announcements regarding temporary accommodations
during the crisis, and we will report those to you as they happen. Also, please
keep in mind that rates are changing so often that locking a loan now requires
patience and close attention. Please contact
see what is being offered.
We want all of you and your families to stay healthy and safe.
Mortgage rates are at their lowest level in more than three years. The average rate on a 30-year fixed rate mortgage dropped to about 3.50%, according to figures released last week by Freddie Mac. Not surprisingly, as a result of such low rates we are seeing a very early start to the Spring home buying season. Sellers want to take advantage of the increased buying power of potential buyers that comes with lower rates.
The increased buying power is a direct result of lower interest rates. In just the last 12 months, rates on a 30-year fixed rate loan have dropped a full percentage point. That translates to a mortgage $70,000 larger with the same monthly payment. For potential homebuyers now looking for a home, that additional buying power will come in very handy in a very competitive market. Last year’s purchaser could today make an offer almost $90,000 higher, assuming 20% down. It’s nice to have that in your back pocket when home shopping.
If you are looking for a home, or planning to look, do yourself a favor and contact Margie for more information. She will be happy discuss your personal situation and run some numbers for you. Knowledge is power.
Steven H Hofberg, Operations Manager
In the real estate market, there is a perception that spring is
THE time to buy. But consider the facts. In hot markets like the DC metro area,
spring and summer can be (and was again this year) a very frenzied time to look
for a house. In addition, you may face issues like bidding wars, escalation
clauses, and no contingency or minimal contingency contracts.
Now consider fall. It can be a great time for prospective
buyers. Good deals can often be found for houses that didn’t sell in the spring
or summer, as owners may be more willing to negotiate. Or they want to sell
before the holidays. In any case, you will almost certainly have fewer buyers
competing against you.
So, if you were trying to buy this year but have come up short
so far, contact Margie to
see how much of a mortgage loan you can qualify for and to get a Qualification
Letter. Then go looking for your house!
Wow, lots of news over the past few days. And as we always
mention in our newsletters, much of that news does affect mortgage rates. As
you probably know, rates have gone down recently to a rather stable range in
the high 3s. But on Thursday and Friday we had several big shocks to the
market, and rates jumped up about a quarter of a percent. That’s a big jump!
What happened? Many financial analysts are pointing to two
events. First, optimism on future trade talks between the US and China, as both
countries delayed tariffs and gave indications of their interest in further
negotiations. That helps the stock market, but hurts the bond market. Second -
a really huge one - the attack on Saudi oilfields. The attack reduced their
production by half, which amounts to 5% of the world’s oil production. This one
has caused great uncertainty, to which markets always react badly. Oil prices
did spike up on Monday, but most think there is sufficient world supply at
least for now. That may change at any time.
The moral of this story is that you shouldn’t be complacent
about mortgage rates. They are historically volatile. Rates are still very good
right now, but there is lots of uncertainty in the market. So, if you are
looking to buy or refinance your existing mortgage but haven’t started the
process, give serious consideration to moving forward soon.