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Why Military Members Should Buy A Home in Northern Virginia

There are a lot of great reasons why military members should buy a home in Northern Virginia. There are two reasons in particular that are especially advantageous to military members: tax benefits and the VA loan–but more on that in a moment. Deciding whether to buy or rent is a challenging decision for military members because relocating every few years may not feel conducive to home ownership, but I am going to explain why military members should absolutely consider buying a home.

Buy or rent?

Deciding to buy a home instead of rent is a huge decision and when you serve in the military, the decision comes with an extra set of questions and considerations that the average buyer does not typically face: relocations and tours of duty. As a Navy’s Commander’s daughter myself, I completely understand the challenges and it is one of the biggest reasons why I often advocate home buying. One benefit, is it can be easier to budget because housing costs are more stable and instead of giving your money away to a landlord you can build equity with your mortgage payments. Moreover, if you opt for a fixed-rate mortgage, the principal and interest payments are fixed for the life of the loan, which can be a significant savings in comparison to rental market fluctuations.

Decorate to your personal tastes

When it comes to styling your home, the options are nearly limitless. Between décor apps, social media, online shops, vintage restoration, second-hand stores, DIY channels, popular design TV shows, and more, there is no shortage of design inspiration these days. Buying a home means you get to decorate to your tastes with paint, fixtures, flooring, landscaping and more, which you typically cannot do to any great extent with a rental. Additionally, if you have a pet, it is much easier to manage in your own home versus rentals that often do not allow dogs or require a higher security deposit for your pet.

The best benefits of home ownership for military members

If you are active duty military and are eligible for a Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH), this is a huge advantage because this allowance is tax-free giving you a have a tremendous opportunity to buy a home and build equity using tax-free funds. Further, as a homeowner, you may also be able to receive a tax deduction for 100 percent of your mortgage interest (if you meet the guidelines) plus other benefits as well.

The other great reason to consider purchasing a property is the VA home loan which is a major benefit to military members. The primary benefits include being able to purchase a home with no down payment and the ability to choose a fixed-rate or an adjustable-rate mortgage. Additionally, there are limits on the amount of closing costs you will have to pay and you are not required to pay monthly mortgage insurance or PMI.

What about relocations and tours of duty?

One of the benefits of purchasing property in Northern Virginia is the transience of the area. Northern Virginia has excellent proximity to numerous prestigious military bases plus an enormous federal workforce meaning there are always people in need of temporary housing (many with BAH allowances). If you do have to relocate or do a tour overseas, turning your home into a rental is an excellent revenue stream and a solid long-term investment plan. Additionally, Northern Virginia is a major technology hub with numerous areas of planned development and growth already in progress. If you are a military member looking for more great reasons why military members should buy a home in Northern Virginia, feel free to contact me with any questions you might have!

For more tips and information feel free to contact me and follow me on social media on Facebook @mmkrealtyllc, Twitter @MMKRealtyLLC, and Instagram @mmkrealty.

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Rent vs. Buy in Northern Virginia: Which Is Right For You?

The choice between renting or buying a property is one of the most important financial decisions one needs to make. Which one is better? This is a question that will come up in almost everyone’s life. There’s a multitude of reasons one might decide to purchase a home and select to rent it. However, the right answer is entirely up to you, your current financial situation, and your image of the future regarding your living situation and career goals. So, if you are in a dilemma called rent vs. buy in Northern Virginia, stay tuned. We will consider the advantages and disadvantages of both options to help you make a decision.

How are your finances?

For many people, the prospect of living mortgage and rent-free might sounds alluring. But, unfortunately, this is not possible for most people. So, if you decide

to buy a home, it is of utmost importance to look at the big picture. Therefore, experts in the field recommend that you should evaluate your current debt-to-income ratio and your savings before making the first step. If you skip this step, the mortgage company will analyze your finances, and you might get shocked by the outcome.

On the other hand, if your ratio is decent, your mortgage lender will give you good terms on a loan for a home. Remember, the better the interest rate you get, the more reasonable your mortgage payment will be.

a dollar

Analyze your finances before you decide to rent vs. buy in Northern Virginia.

So, once you get everything sorted out, you will get an idea if you can afford to buy or if renting is a better option for now.

Rent vs. buy in Northern Virginia pros and cons

There are some benefits and drawbacks that are valid in most cases. Once you consider them, you will know what the best option for you and your family is. Then, you will start to think about other things, such as packing, moving, and settling into your new home. If you want to relieve the stress of the upcoming tasks, it would be good to consider hiring a trustworthy moving company. Fairfax-based experts will ensure your possessions are handled carefully and help you with every step of the relocation process.

However, to help you get to this point, let’s first help you choose between renting and buying in Northern Virginia.

Renting

The pros

  • You will pay less money upfront. Most lenders require that you pay the first and last monthly payment, but that will still be lower than the down payment future homeowners have to make.
  • There are no maintenance costs. That would be your landlord’s obligation.
  • Relocating will be more flexible and easier if you plan on changing jobs or moving in the near future.
home repairs

Renting means you won’t have to worry about maintenance costs

The cons

  • Your rent may increase in the future, and that’s up to your landlord.
  • You might not be allowed to personalize or update your living space.
  • You won’t build any equity. Therefore, you won’t be able to have a long-term investment.
  • Your landlord might suddenly decide to stop renting or sell the place. This makes your position extremely dependent on your landlord’s situation.
  • You won’t be able to use tax deductions.
  • Finally, renting goes with a limited sense of home stability.

Homeowning

The benefits

  • Long-term buying is proven to be cheaper than renting. This is because the money you spend on rent can’t be taken back. On the other hand, purchasing a home has many financial benefits. Even though a home is a significant investment, buying and owning it is cheaper in the long run.
  • You get to make it your own. Whenever you need or are in the mood for an update, it’s entirely up to you.
  • Purchasing a home is an investment that allows you to build wealth over time. Real estate properties are known to increase in value over time, so that might be your motivation to decide to buy.
  • It offers a sense of permanence, familiarity, and security, fundamental if you have children. Your kids will have a place to call home, friends that live close by, and a great school district to go to.
  • Additionally, you will usually have more space owning a home than renting one.
  • Finally, owning a home awakens pride in homeownership, which might closely tie you to your community.
 the word investment on white cubes

Homeowning is an investment.

The downsides

  • A pretty obvious one is that it is a significant, long-term financial commitment. Also, mortgage payments are higher than rent payments. But, you’ll be paying off your own property, which might be better than paying off someone else’s asset.
  • You will have to pay property taxes and take care of all the maintenance issues. That means you will have to cover expensive repairs, such as roof repairs or replacement.
  • Another obvious disadvantage of homeownership is that you need to have some savings and ensure you have money for the down payment.
  • Lastly, it might be challenging to decide to pack and leave one day because of all the ties to your community.
two children looking through the window

Having kids makes you want to have more stability in your life.

The takeaway

As you could’ve seen, there are pros and cons to both options. However, waiting too long to decide whether to rent or buy in Northern Virginia might make you lose a fortune. Therefore, it would be good to make a decision that best suits your family’s needs. In essence, buying is a smarter and more profitable investment in the long run. Not only does it save you on rental costs, but it also helps you in building wealth. Additionally, purchasing a home will give you and your family stability that will allow you to make memories while living and building a life together.

a calculator, a pencil, sticky notes, and some coins

Even though mortgage payments are higher than rent, you will be investing in your own property.

To learn more about MMK Realty visit our About Us page. For more tips and information feel free to contact me and follow me on social media on Facebook @mmkrealtyllc, Twitter @MMKRealtyLLC, and Instagram @mmkrealty. Also check out our Free Market Analysis. Sign up today and we will email you a free custom assessment of the current value of your home performed by MMK’s Principal Broker, Michelle Williams.

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5 Northern Virginia Fall Events [2022]

Are you looking for some local favorite Northern Virginia Fall Events in 2022? Fall is a wonderful time to be in Northern Virginia because the weather is beautiful and the activities are abundant. In fact, there are so many great events happening around this time of year I find it hard to choose! Often, I like to find a variety of adult-friendly and kid-friendly events and then choose a couple of must dos! Below are a few of my local Northern Virginia favorites plus several others on this year’s fall hit list. Have fun out there!


Fall Events Northern Virginia

Graves’ Mountain Apple Harvest Festival
Weekends in October
This is a really fun event that celebrates more than 40 years of Apple Harvesting. I really like the downhome vibe of this event and love the homemade food and crafts, fresh apple donuts, the live music, and all of the kid-friendly fun that really goes a long way in creating fun fall family memories for us in Virginia. And let us not forget about the apples and the views. This is a great option if you are looking a full day adventure in the country!

Apple Picking Crooked Run Orchard
Now through October 31
Crooked Run Orchard is a small, family farm that has been in the Brown family for over 250 years. Borrow a bucket and walk across the creek to the orchard (you can also bring your own apple picking bucket). Crooked Run also sells apple cider and other produce and hosts blackberry and peach picking in July and early August.

Cox Farms Fall Festival
Now through October 31
Another long running event, this huge 90 acre farm features tons of great Northern Virginia festivities. They have slides, rope swings, hay bale mazes, animals, food, cider and more. It is definitely a massive event with something for everyone. This is a great option if you want a big event that features a long list of things to do.

Apple Picking Hartland Orchard
Now through October 31
Enjoy more beautiful views at Hartland Orchard in Markham, one of our favorite small towns in Northern Virginia. The orchard offers lots of u-pick options throughout the season. Fruit picking includes apples, cherries, peaches, and blueberries, and in late summer you can pick sunflowers and tomatoes. There is also a nice pick-your-own pumpkin patch in Autumn.

Saturday, October 8
Fall Festival in Old Town Historic Fairfax 
If you cannot do a drive out to the country this year, this traditional fall festival is a great way to get your fall kicks locally! This event features great arts and crafts, children’s rides, music, pumpkins, and delicious food right in downtown historic Fairfax! 

 

For more tips and information feel free to contact me and follow me on social media on Facebook @mmkrealtyllc, Twitter @MMKRealtyLLC, and Instagram @mmkrealty.

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Tips for Winterizing Your Northern Virginia Home

Looking for quick tips for winterizing your Northern Virginia home? Northern Virginia is a wonderful place to live and one of my favorite things about this area is that we enjoy four true weather seasons. Enjoyable as our weather is, Northern Virginia homeowners have to be proactive about winterizing their homes each year because winters can be relatively harsh. A particular problem is the area is with mice because the critters love to burrow and find shelter from the cold making vulnerable homes and easy target. Below are my best quick tips for winterizing your Northern Virginia home.

Winterizing Your Northern Virginia Home

Clear Out Those Gutters

Probably my least favorite chore but arguably one of the most important is clearing out your gutters.It is critical to remove any debris, leaves, grime, branches, acorns, and so forth because allowing the gutters to become clogged causes major problems overtime. The main problem is if water runoff is not able to drain property the moisture weakens the eaves, fascia board, siding, and roof, making these soft spots an excellent target for rodents looking to burrow from the cold and moms looking to give birth to their babies.

Inspect the Exterior Surfaces

Similar to clearing out the gutters, inspecting the exterior wood and trim is important for a similar reason as the gutters, to protect your home from what is outside (and wants to get in). Be sure to caulk and repair any cracks around the outside of your windows, doors, and trim to ensure a tight seal. In some cases weather stripping may be needed, and depending on the age of your doors and windows, it may be worth investing in storm doors and storm windows, if you do not already have them. Also consider sealing the paint on your deck if necessary. Further, clear off any moss or excess greenery from the siding and roof to help prevent buildup during the wetter winter months.

Take Care of Sprouts and Sprinklers

It is extremely important to disconnect your garden hoses and any sprinklers and store them for the winter. Additionally, make sure your exterior water spouts are completely shut off. And, if you have a sprinkler system be sure to turn that off as well. Following the theme of dealing with water, this the time of year where you want to make certain that you do not have leaks, because again, leaking water creates weaknesses in your home’s exterior, but it also attracts rodents because they need water to survive, so it is a double whammy problem.

Bring That Stuff Indoors

Outdoor furniture and décor is expensive so why leave it outdoors to be destroyed by the harsher winter weather? Either put your outdoor furniture in storage or invest in furniture covers to protect it. If storage and funds are limited you can also consider covering the furniture tightly with tarps and bungees cords and store them at the back of the house. Additionally, you might want to store your grill or at the very least cover it with a grill cover.

Ensure Your Warmth

It typically gets pretty chilly in Northern Virginia. This is the time of year where you need to make sure your chimney, fireplace, and heating system are in good working order. Depending on how well you keep up with inspections, if it has been awhile, be sure to have these systems looked at by a professional to ensure efficiency and safety. Also, if you have not already, consider investing in a smart thermostat to optimize the productivity of your heating system, which will ideally save you a few bucks on your electric bill. Finally, check the attic and basement areas to make sure the insulation is in good shape. Also feel around your electrical outlets and switch-plates for cold air to ensure nothing is leaking. If you do feel cold air coming just pick up some socket sealers and install them to resolve the problem.

For more tips and information feel free to contact me and follow me on social media on Facebook @mmkrealtyllc, Twitter @MMKRealtyLLC, and Instagram @mmkrealty.

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7 Simple Home Repair or Improvement Projects You Can Do Yourself

Looking for 7 simple home repair or improvement projects you can do yourself?

Part of homeownership is dealing with items that need to be repaired as the need to do so arises. There are home repair projects that are also easy to undertake without professional assistance. Presented for your consideration here are 7 simple home repair or improvement projects you can do yourself!

Paint the Space

One of the simplest of home repair projects you can undertake is painting. This includes both exterior and interior painting of your residence. The reality is that painting your home is just about the easiest home repair and improvement project you can undertake on your own. Worn or chipped paint can be addressed quickly and with moderate effort on your part.

In order to get the hang of painting, before you embark on a larger project, consider take a shot at a smaller space in your residence. For example, test your initial painting prowess by painting a storage room or even a smaller bathroom off the main pathway of your home. Starting in a room in your home that has less traffic likely will leave you less apprehensive about the process.

As a final thought: painting is a forgiving process. If you don’t like your first attempt, you can do it over.

Deal with Doors

The typical home is filled with doors, usually a variety of different types of doors. Residential doors do end up requiring repair and maintenance from time to time. Door-related issues can include everything from sticking to squeaking. Many door issues or problems can be prepared with ease and without professional assistance.

For example, worn hinges and other hardware can be addressed with relative ease. You can find whatever you need to replace worn door hardware at a home improvement center. With simple tools, you can replace this hardware in no time at all.

You can also deal with an issue like a sticking door fairly easily as well. Oftentimes, this type of issue can be rectified by plaining a bit off the edge of a door, yet another example of a simple home repair task you can undertake personally.

Refresh Caulk

Another easy repair that you can undertake on your own is re-caulking places in your home. Home repair and improvement experts suggest that the hardest part of the re-caulking process is removing old, worn, discolored, or damaged caulk that is already in place. There are now products available to homeowners that soften existing caulk, making it far easier to remove.

Once a person gets the hang of applying new caulk, the application process really is something of a breeze. In most cases, a person is able to quickly master the process of applying new caulk.

Repair a Leaky Faucet

A homeowner should never minimize a leaky faucet. Even if only a small amount of water is dripping from an imperfect faucet, you need to understand that over time, a dripping faucet adds up to what can be a considerable amount of wasted water. This literally becomes money down the drain.

In many instances the repairs that need to be made on a leaky faucet are relatively easy to undertake. These repairs can be as simple as tightening elements on a faucet or inserting a new washer.

Unplug a Toilet

Although an unpleasant task, unplugging a toilet is one of the easier home repair tasks a person can undertake. The initial issue when a toilet is plugged is to ascertain whether or not some foreign object has been placed into and is clogging a toilet. A foreign object may not be susceptible to being forced downward and out but may need to be snared and removed upward.

When a toilet becomes clogged by bathroom tissue, which is the most common reason for blockage, a plunger oftentimes is effective at solving the issue. In the alternative, there are instances in which a bucket of water can be added into the toilet bowl (not the tank). The added pressure of the additional water may be enough to force the toilet and outbound pipe to clear.

Unclog a Drain

Drains clog for an array of reasons. Drain clogs can stem from everything from an accumulation of hair, grease, or foreign objects. Foreign objects need to be removed in an upward manner similar to what was described a moment ago in regard to a toilet.

Other types of clogs many times can be cleared through the use of over the counter liquid de-clogging products. In addition, there are snakes that are available to consumers that can be utilized to manually break up a clog in a sink and clear the pipe.

Replace Light Switch

A considerable amount of repair work associated with an electrical system in a home needs to be addressed by a professional. On the other hand, light switches themselves can typically be replaced by a homeowner. The wiring associated with a light switch is easy to disconnect and reconnect to a new switch.

If you’re a renter, you can undertake certain repair projects on your own. You do need to be certain to alert your landlord to what you intended to repair and get permission to do so.

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5 Strategies to Add Market Value to Your Home

Looking for some strategies to add market value to your home? As is the case with most Americans, your home is likely your most significant financial investment. Thus, like most people, you desire to enhance the market value of your home whenever possible. There are five strategies that you should consider employing as a means of upping the market value of your residences.

Improve Your Home’s Curb Appeal

One of the key steps you can take to at least somewhat up the market value of your residence is to improve its overall curb appeal. In addition to increasing the value of your residence, improving your home’s curb appeal also makes your home more attractive to house hunters if you elect to your property on the market for sale.

There are some basic steps you can take to enhance the curb appeal of your home. These include:

  • re-painting the exterior
  • tidying up landscaping
  • adding some basic landscaping
  • repairing cracked concrete in drive, sidewalks
  • giving entryway a facelift
  • adding grounds lighting
  • Add or Improve Your Deck

Another way in which you can increase the market value of your home is to add a deck or improve the look and appearance of an existing deck. You can make a deck at your residence a true extension of the living space of your home. Indeed, oftentimes when a deck is added or improved at a residence, the deck itself very well become one of the primary focal points of the residence.

There are a number of items or elements that you will want to consider seriously including as part of a deck addition or improvement. As part of your deck addition or improvement endeavor, seriously consider adding outdoor cabinets to the space.

You may also want to consider dividing the deck into different spaces based on use. For example, you may want to design your deck so that it has a section dedicated to dining and the preparation of food. You may want another section that becomes something akin to a sitting area in the interior of your home.

Refurbish the Bathrooms

Bathrooms are key rooms for a person considering the purchase of your home if you put it on the market for sale. Indeed, if you are like most homeowners, your bathrooms undoubtedly are very important to you as well.

You can make some modestly priced improvements to your bathrooms that can provide you with a good return on that investment. These can include replacement of faucets and other hardware in your bathrooms, fresh coats or paint or new wall covering, and flooring replacement, among other relatively affordable renovations of changes.

Add a Bathroom

As a general rule, adding a room to your residence does not significantly improve the market value of your home. Specifically, the costs associated with adding a new room to your residence does not pay for itself. Thus, if you make the decision to add a room to your home, you should have a valid reason for doing so beyond the idea that will increase the market value of your home by taking this course of action.

There is one exception to this general reality. If your home has only one bathroom, converting an existing space in your residence into a second bathroom is an addition that is likely to increase the overall market value of your home. The stark reality is that there are few people house hunting at any point in time that would be pleased with a home that has only one bathroom.

Update the Kitchen

Along with bathrooms, the kitchen in a house is one of the most important spaces in that residence. Thus, when it comes to improving the overall market value of your home, you do want to take a look at the kitchen.

Undertaking some basic, reasonably priced kitchen improvements of changes is the course to take. You most definitely do not want to overspend when it comes to your kitchen. In other words, you do not want to remodel your kitchen and turn it into something that far exceeds other components of your residence.

If you overspend on a kitchen remodel, you will never recoup the money spent via an increase in the market value of the residence itself. Basic upgrades like fresh wall covering, new flooring, new standard appliances, and new moderately priced countertops are all examples of steps you can take to enhance you kitchen in a way that will increase the market value of your residence.

In the grand scheme of things, these five strategies provide you with solid guidance on responsible, reasonable, and affordable ways you can increase the value of your home. In some cases, you can increase value even further if you are able to undertake some of these recommended improvements on your own.

For more tips and information feel free to contact me and follow me on social media on Facebook @mmkrealtyllc, Twitter @MMKRealtyLLC, and Instagram @mmkrealty.

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Why Pre-Approval Is an Important Step for Today’s Homebuyers

Being intentional and competitive are musts when buying a home this season. That’s why pre-approval is so important today. Pre-approval from a lender is the only way to know your true price range and how much money you can borrow for your loan. Peter Warden, Editor of The Mortgage Reports, explains:

“The lender will check out your personal finances and issue you a letter confirming the amount you’re eligible to borrow. This not only gives you a firm budget for house hunting, but also lets sellers know you’re qualified to make an offer.”

Why does that matter so much today? There are many more buyers looking for homes today than there are homes available for sale, and that’s creating some serious competition. According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), the average home is getting 4.8 offers per sale. As a result, bidding wars are still common.

Your pre-approval gives you a leg up in these situations. That’s because you know exactly what you’re approved to borrow before you write your offer, and it lets the seller know you’re qualified to buy their home. This helps both you and the seller feel confident in what you’re bringing to the table. And that puts you in a better position to potentially win a bidding war.

As Warden puts it:

“There’s another important reason to get preapproved, too. And that’s because there are way more buyers than homes in today’s market — which means you need to be ultra-prepared if you want to win a bidding war. Most sellers are getting multiple offers right now. And most won’t even entertain an offer without a preapproval letter included.”

Every advantage you can gain as a buyer is crucial in a market that’s constantly changing. Mortgage rates are rising, home prices are going up, and lending institutions are regularly updating their standards. You’re going to need guidance to navigate these waters, so it’s important to have a team of professionals, such as a loan officer and a trusted real estate advisor, on your side. They’ll help make sure you’re ready to put your best foot forward.

Bottom Line

Getting pre-approved for a mortgage helps you better understand what you can afford and signals to sellers you’re serious about purchasing their home. Let’s connect so you have the tools you need to succeed as a homebuyer in today’s market.

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Is It Enough To Offer Asking Price in Today’s Housing Market?

If you’re planning to buy a home this season, you’re probably thinking about what you’ll need to do to get your offer accepted. In previous years, it was common for buyers to try and determine how much less than the asking price they could offer to still get the home. The buyer and seller would then negotiate and typically agree on a revised price that was somewhere between the buyer’s bid and the home’s initial asking price.

In today’s real estate market, buyers shouldn’t shop for a home with the same expectations.

Things Are Different Today

Today’s housing market is anything but normal. According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), the average home that’s sold today:

  • Receives 4.8 offers
  • Sells in just 17 days

Homes selling quickly and receiving multiple offers shows how competitive the housing market is for buyers right now. This is because there are more buyers on the market than homes for sale. When the number of homes available can’t keep up with demand, homes often sell for more than the asking price.

How Does This Impact You When It’s Time To Submit an Offer?

Market conditions should help guide your decisions throughout the process. Today, the asking price of a home is often the floor of the negotiation rather than the ceiling. Knowing this is important when it’s time to submit an offer, but you should also use that information as you’re searching for homes too. After all, you don’t want to fall in love with a home that ultimately sells for a price higher than what you’ve budgeted for.

The Mortgage Reports has advice if you’re looking to purchase a home in a competitive market. The article encourages you to be realistic with your housing search, saying:

The best thing to do is set your budget and expectations ahead of time so you know how much you can afford to offer — and when to walk away. This will make negotiations a lot easier.”

Of course, when you’ve found your dream home, you’ll want to do everything you can to submit your best offer up front and win a potential bidding war. Knowing the current market is key to crafting a winning offer. That’s where working with an expert real estate advisor becomes critical.

A real estate professional will draw from their experience and expert-level knowledge of today’s housing market throughout the process. They’ll also balance conditions in your area to make sure your offer stands out above the rest.

Bottom Line

Understanding how to approach the asking price of a home and what’s happening in today’s real estate market are critical for buyers. Let’s connect so we can work together to create a winning plan for you.

To learn more about MMK Realty visit our About Us page. For more tips and information feel free to contact me and follow me on social media on Facebook @mmkrealtyllc, Twitter @MMKRealtyLLC, and Instagram @mmkrealty. Also check out our Free Market Analysis. Sign up today and we will email you a free custom assessment of the current value of your home performed by MMK’s Principal Broker, Michelle Williams.

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How To Approach Rising Mortgage Rates as a Buyer

In the last few weeks, the average 30-year fixed mortgage rate from Freddie Mac inched up to 5%. While that news may have you questioning the timing of your home search, the truth is, timing has never been more important. Even though you may be tempted to put your plans on hold in hopes that rates will fall, waiting will only cost you more. Mortgage rates are forecast to continue rising in the year ahead.

If you’re thinking of buying a home, here are a few things to keep in mind so you can succeed even as mortgage rates rise.

How Rising Mortgage Rates Impact You

How Rising Mortgage Rates Impact You

How Rising Mortgage Rates Impact You

Mortgage rates play a significant role in your home search. As rates go up, they impact how much you’ll pay in your monthly mortgage payment, which directly affects how much you can comfortably afford. Here’s an example of how even a quarter-point increase can have a big impact on your monthly payment (see chart below):

With mortgage rates on the rise, you’ve likely seen your purchasing power impacted already. Instead of delaying your plans, today’s rates should motivate you to purchase now before rates increase more. Use that motivation to energize your search and plan your next steps accordingly.

The best way to prepare is to work with a trusted real estate advisor now. An agent can connect you with a trusted lender, help you adjust your search based on your budget, and make sure you’re ready to act quickly when it’s time to make an offer.

Bottom Line

Serious buyers should approach rising rates as a motivating factor to buy sooner, not a reason to wait. Waiting will cost you more in the long run. Let’s connect today so you can better understand your budget and be prepared to buy your home even before rates climb higher.

 

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Where Are Mortgage Rates Headed?

There’s never been a truer statement regarding forecasting mortgage rates than the one offered last year by Mark Fleming, Chief Economist at First American:

“You know, the fallacy of economic forecasting is: Don’t ever try and forecast interest rates and or, more specifically, if you’re a real estate economist mortgage rates, because you will always invariably be wrong.”

Coming into this year, most experts projected mortgage rates would gradually increase and end 2022 in the high three-percent range. It’s only April, and rates have already blown past those numbers. Freddie Mac announced last week that the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage is already at 4.72%.

Danielle Hale, Chief Economist at realtor.com, tweeted on March 31:

“Continuing on the recent trajectory, would have mortgage rates hitting 5% within a matter of weeks. . . .”

Just five days later, on April 5, the Mortgage News Daily quoted a rate of 5.02%.

No one knows how swiftly mortgage rates will rise moving forward. However, at least to this point, they haven’t significantly impacted purchaser demand. Ali Wolf, Chief Economist at Zonda, explains:

Mortgage rates jumped much quicker and much higher than even the most aggressive forecasts called for at the end of last year, and yet housing demand appears to be holding steady.”

Through February, home prices, the number of showings, and the number of homes receiving multiple offers all saw a substantial increase. However, much of the spike in mortgage rates occurred in March. We will not know the true impact of the increase in mortgage rates until the March housing numbers become available in early May.

Rick Sharga, EVP of Market Intelligence at ATTOM Data, recently put rising rates into context:

“Historically low mortgage rates and higher wages helped offset rising home prices over the past few years, but as home prices continue to soar and interest rates approach five percent on a 30-year fixed rate loan, more consumers are going to struggle to find a property they can comfortably afford.”

While no one knows exactly where rates are headed, experts do think they’ll continue to rise in the months ahead. In the meantime, if you’re looking to buy a home, know that rising rates do have an impact. As rates rise, it’ll cost you more when you purchase a house. If you’re ready to buy, it may make sense to do so sooner rather than later.

Bottom Line

Mark Fleming got it right. Forecasting mortgage rates is an impossible task. However, it’s probably safe to assume the days of attaining a 3% mortgage rate are over. The question is whether that will soon be true for 4% rates as well.