real estate

Changes in the housing market

 

It's an election year, America is slowly rebounding from a crashed housing market and the Federal Reserve is fighting to keep interest rates at record lows. What this means for you depends largely on whether you're a homebuyer, owner, or seller.

American's looking to purchase their first home are no longer spoiled by the abundance of homes on the market. It's now been a full 5 years since the housing market crashed and steadily, homes are being bought up while very few new homes are being built. This means that it's going to take longer to find the home of your dreams, and it might not come at the bargain basement prices you were expecting.

If you're considering a short sale, you're in luck. Come November 1st, a series of guidelines will come into effect that makes the process easier and faster. Today, it takes roughly 6 months to sell your home as a short sale, but after the new guidelines come into effect, homeowners who are short selling due to divorce, disability or job transfer have to hear back from the bank within 60 days.

Holden Lewis, Senior Mortgage Analyst, Bankrate.com

"These new short sale guidelines are designed to reduce the number of foreclosures. So both on the selling end and the buying end, that's a bonus. Decisions are going to be made faster and therefor fewer struggling homeowners will fall into foreclosure and it's going to be less frustrating for people who want to buy a short-sale."

Voice Over:

For homeowners, it's your last chance to refi, and a great time to remodel. On November 1st, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are raising the guarantee fees they charge loan originators. This could cancel out the Federal Reserve's QE3 program, which was designed to lower interest rates, but it's too soon to know for sure. And it's anyone's guess at what will happen to mortgage rates after the presidential election. Those looking to refi and guarantee a great rate should do so sooner rather than later.

Holden Lewis, Senior Mortgage Analyst, Bankrate.com

"Mortgage rates are at an all-time low right now. You can get a 30-year fixed for about three and a half percent. So we don't know how long that's going to last. We have a presidential election coming up, regulations could change … so it's a really good idea just to grab that rate now, refinance as soon as you can."

And finally with a stabilizing housing market, many homeowners are looking to scratch major projects off their honey-do lists. Namely kitchen and bathroom remodels. The time is great for it, too. Building materials are priced low during the fourth quarter of the year and there is still no shortage of labor to get your jobs done.

Whether you're looking to tackle that next project, find out the latest news for home-sellers, or search for a loan to purchase your new home, your first stop should be Bankrate.com.

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