Six reasons to purchase a home in today's climate

Whether you’re a first time buyer or looking to move up, excellent news is brimming on the real estate horizon. As a cautious consumer, you can probably come up with several reasons NOT to venture into the home buying market. But what you might not know is that the devastation caused by the mortgage crisis DID produce a silver lining.

Today you can be more certain than ever that you will be able to afford the home you buy, and that the mortgage product and rates are the best available to you. So if you’ve been putting off looking for the home of your dreams, waiting for the market to improve, here are six great reasons to consider taking the plunge!

One. Mortgage interest rates are presently at historic, almost artificial lows. Money is the cheapest it’s been for decades and financial experts are encouraging their clients to buy before rates begin to creep back up. Right now, qualified buyers can secure 30-year fixed mortgages with zero points at under five percent. That means that you can afford more home for your dollar while enjoying significantly lower monthly payments.

Two. In the current economy, you can get a great price on a quality home. Michelle Mehaffey-Taylor of Keller Williams Realty in Westlake says that right now is the best time to buy a home and take advantage of what the market has to offer. “The variety and selection of styles available in Westlake and Bay Village is outstanding,” says Mehaffey-Taylor. “You couple that with sellers’ incentives including paid closing costs, decorating allowances, appliances or lawn equipment included with the home, and unbelievably low rates and prices. You can buy a one bedroom condo in Westlake right now for as low as $80,000.” There has arguably never been a better time for you to buy.  

Three. The mortgage industry is working tirelessly to protect you, the consumer. The subprime loan market is gone and conventional and government loan guidelines have tightened. Fraudulent lenders, realtors, investors, and their accomplices are being sought out and prosecuted for their crimes against consumers. No more dangling “deals that are too good to be true” in front of unsuspecting buyers. 

Four. You can be confident that any licensed mortgage lender will be knowledgeable and guide you through the process of buying a home the right way. In 2008, the Secure & Fair Licensing Act (SAFE) set guidelines for educating and monitoring mortgage lenders. To obtain licensing, lenders are now required to pass a rigorous testing process and adhere to strict professional standards.

Five. Instead of leaving vacant homes vulnerable to vandalism and disrepair, banks are now assertively working with sellers to simplify the process of Short Sales/Deeds in Lieu of Foreclosures. That means that you and your family can purchase one of these homes at a deeply discounted price while it’s still in good condition.

Six. The employment numbers have stabilized and the job market is turning around! In a survey by Business Roundtable, an association of CEOs at major U.S. corporations, 45% of executives expected that their companies will add workers this year, the highest percentage reported since the annual survey was first conducted in 2002.

Pam Wetula is a mortgage loan officer.

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Volume 3, Issue 3, Posted 3:53 PM, 01.21.2011