The recent spike in mortgage rates and major increase in home prices across the nation has sparked concern for a lot of the prospective buyers we have been working with. Those who previously inquired about a loan with us are now accepting defeat, convinced that they lost out on their opportunity to buy. And while it is true that you may want or need a little more time to get ahead, hope may not all be lost. In this article, we will share some tips on how you can still achieve homeownership, and how to prepare yourself if you need to hold off.
Can I still buy a home?
The great thing about the time of low interest rates was that it made homeownership a lot more accessible to people. However, the fallout is that now homeownership is actually less achievable than it was before the lower rates. While this is temporary and the market will inevitably even out, times are tough right now and prospective homebuyers are left feeling defeated.
Many people simply talk to their realtor or plug some arbitrary numbers into a “How Much House Can I Afford?” calculator and decide that there’s no way they could still afford a new house. But what a lot of people don’t know is that there are tons of amazing programs that offer lower rates, down payment assistance, various loan types to choose from, and more. Here’s how to figure out if it’s still possible for you to buy:
- Re-evaluate your budget and finances. Naturally with rates and prices going up, your budget will have to go up OR you will have to shift your expectations. Figure out how much house you can afford with the new rates and your current financial status.
- Talk to your real estate agent. If you have a savvy and knowledgeable realtor, they can offer sage advice on how to navigate the market. They should also be able to drop necessary hard truths on you about your budget as well, and help you pivot in these new market conditions.
- Talk to your lender about what options are available to you. Speaking with your trusted lender is the best move in situations like this. We have deep knowledge of all of the loan and homebuying assistance programs on the market and may be able to find a way for you to afford the home you want after all. If not, we will still be able to point you towards different resources and answer any and all questions you may have, keeping you on the right track towards home ownership.
Options that can help you purchase a home today
Online calculators and even most real estate agents can’t factor in the sheer variety of loan programs out there. While your agent or that online “how much can I afford?” calculator may tell you that you can’t afford to buy that house you want, with the right assistance and loan program, you very well may be able to make it work. Here are some examples:
This program slashes your rate and payment for the initial two years of your loan, lessening the burden on your wallet with any extra expenses typically associated with moving into a new place. With a 2-1 buydown, either 1) the buyer, 2) the seller, and/or 3) both (seller and buyer split the buydown cost) in order to reduce the buyer’s mortgage rate temporarily, in effect making their monthly payments for the first two years lower than they’ll be in the future.
The “2-1” aspect of the term comes from the fact that the buyer’s mortgage rate will be reduced by 2% during the first year, and then 1% the following year, after which it will return to standard pricing for the duration of the loan. While the Temporary Buydown won’t necessarily help you qualify for a home, it will help you to ease in to your full payment after 24 months.
Down Payment Assistance
Coming up with tens of thousands of dollars in cash to put down for a home is not easy for most people, and for some it can feel entirely impossible. This is why we offer Down Payment Assistance programs in Arizona, Texas, California, and Washington. Each of these is different depending on what state you are in, but all offer great options for helping prospective buyers with their down payments.
Home loans insured by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) can make it easier for someone to qualify to purchase or refinance a home. This loan option offers flexible qualification guidelines to help people who may not qualify for a conventional mortgage.
FHA loans are widely used by first-time homebuyers and people with low-to-moderate incomes since this government-insured mortgage features:
- Low down payments
- Flexible income and credit requirements
- Fixed- and adjustable-rate mortgages
- Loans for 1-4 unit properties and condos may be available
- Down payment funds can be a gift from a relative or employer*
- Home sellers can contribute up to 6% of the closing costs
*Subject to underwriting review and approval.
AND SO MANY MORE!
We seriously have too many options to even list them all here. Reach out to us today, we’d love to give you a rundown of all the programs that would be a perfect fit for your situation. Or, check out more information on these programs on our website.
Okay, what if I’m really not ready to buy a home yet?
If you’ve revisited your budget, thought it over, and decided you are truly not ready to buy a home yet, that’s okay! There are a lot of very valid reasons to wait. If you need to improve your credit score, lower your debt-to-income ratio, save for a down payment, increase your income, etc., we’ll be here when you’re ready. In the meantime, check out our many resources, get in touch, or check out our blog on how to overcome the biggest obstacles in homebuying and how to overcome them. We’re here to support YOU in your buying journey, whatever that may entail!