Competitive homebuying was a big focus this week. The market has gotten so hot, it may as well become an Olympic sport if the summer games still happen. Here’s our best advice for how to get to the front of the pack.
1. You can make a cash offer and still get a mortgage
An all-cash offer is a great way to make yourself a more attractive buyer on a house with multiple bids. And believe it or not, you don’t necessarily need to have hundreds of thousands of dollars in the bank to make one. You just need to speed up your mortgage application and find a lender who is willing to do upfront underwriting.
2. The ‘fast and furious’ housing boom
Real estate is hot just about everywhere in the country right now, and that means buyers have to compete for homes like never before. That’s forcing buyers to make riskier bids and lose some protections in the process. Here’s how to protect yourself.
3. Mortgage rates down again
If you were hoping higher interest rates might cool the real estate market down a little, you’re out of luck. For much of April, rates have been receding. On the plus side for homeowners, that means more people again stand to benefit from a refi if they haven’t done so recently. These low rates can’t last forever, so don’t miss out.
4. Points gaining popularity
Although rates have fallen again, the general upward trend is encouraging more borrowers to purchase points. That’s essentially a fee you pay at the start of your mortgage to lower the interest rate for its term. After rates bottomed out early this year, points have become more common as consumers tried to hang on to lower interest offerings.
5. The difference between co-ops and condos
As a co-op owner myself, this one hits close to home. Co-ops are certainly less common than condos and that may be in part because of their Byzantine ownership structure in which you don’t actually own property, but rather shares in the corporation. Even so, there are some benefits to both condos and co-ops, and they can be especially attractive for first-time homebuyers.