As we move into summer and the country starts to slowly reopen, buyers and sellers alike have begun to cautiously and hopefully re-enter the real estate market. While we’re starting the summer strong with busy agents all over Northern Virginia and into West Virginia, we thought it would be helpful to give you a lender’s perspective on what’s in store in the coming months.
We talked to Brent Christie, Sales Manager at Homebridge Financial, about his thoughts on the current market and his advice for homebuyers.
Everyone wants to know about interest rates. What can you tell us about current rates and where they seem to be headed?
For right now, I see rates staying relatively close to where they are currently, which are at all-time lows for the market. With 30-year fixed mortgages running in the low 3%, now is the time to take advantage. As our economy improves, you will see a flight to the stock market which will drive up mortgage rates. There’s no better time than now to purchase or refinance.
How can buyers use their pre-approval to make their offer on a home a competitive one?
The current market, especially in Western Loudoun, is quite possibly the most competitive I have seen in my 18 years in the business. To write an offer without a full approval, where we have collected and reviewed pay stubs, bank statements and tax returns, is “offer suicide”. You will lose almost 100% of the time in a multiple offer situation. The pre-approval process takes less than 30 minutes to complete, so take the time and don’t miss out on your potential dream home from a lack of preparation.
Are there any special programs you want people to be aware of?
I want to emphasize the ability of homebuyers to buy with less than 20% down. I think there is a huge misconception that you need to have 20% to buy. There are some programs, yes, that require 20%, but most programs to purchase homes under $1,000,000 only require 5% down. Reasonable options may be much more attainable than you think.
What do you anticipate for the market summer 2020?
I think it will be one of the biggest summers (and falls for that matter) of recent years, especially in our area.
For more mortgage tips, you can visit homebridge.com.