- The median home price nationwide is at $158,800, the lowest since 2002.
- FannieMae offers low down payment, as little as 3%, with the HomePath program.
- FreddieMac predicts interest rates to average 5.2% for the year 2011, which is slightly higher than the average of 4.7% during 2010, but still the lowest interest rates we have seen in decades.
- FreddieMac offers a two year home warranty under the Smart Buyer Program
- FHA has relaxed their guidelines so that people that lost their homes to foreclosure and short sale are eligible to purchase another home after just 24-36 months.
Ted Seifert, Century 21 M&M Realtor out of the Dixon office sells a lot of homes through the FreddieMac program. He says, “Homes are selling if they are priced correctly for the neighborhood and condition they are in. In fact, I am receiving multiple offers above the list price for the homes I am selling.”
Mr. Seifert believes that the homes at the bottom of the market in the right neighborhoods will not decrease in value. He states, “The homes that I see loosing value during 2011 are the homes in the mid to upper price range. ”
So, if you are thinking of buying a home in 2011, things are a bit different than they were a few years ago. Here are a few tips to help you navigate the process.
1. Hire a Realtor you can trust. Buying a home is one of the biggest financial decisions you will make in your life and so it is important to hire the right Realtor to walk you through the process. Be sure to hire a real estate agent experienced in the type of transaction you expect to close. If you are buying a short sale or bank owned property, contact a Century 21 M&M Realtor and rest assured that the agent has experience and training handling these types of transactions. Plan to interview a few candidates, make sure that the Century 21 M&M Realtor you hire is a good fit.
2. Establish a budget. The next step should always be getting pre-approved. This can be accomplished in about ten minutes on the phone with a mortgage professional. Once you know how much mortgage you can qualify for and what your payments will be (approximately) you can start to looking for your dream home.
3. Use the search feature at c21mm.com. Everybody knows that you can search for homes online, but now it is easier than ever to find your dream home. Today there are new tools and information available that didn’t exist a few years ago. You can shop for a home using keywords like; waterfront, golf course, condo, etc.
4. Consider foreclosures and short sales. Foreclosures and short sales are typically 20% less expensive than non-distressed properties. Short sale transactions can be complicated and time consuming because the bank, the seller, and the buyer have to agree on a price. But foreclosure transactions are usually easier, however, you should be aware that foreclosed homes are often sold as-is, so needed repairs can offset the bargain sale price.
5. Consider homes that appear to be outside of your price range. A lot of sellers (including the banks) are willing to sell their home for less than their asking price, so make an offer.