Hey, Real Estate, what’s up?

Filed under: Advice for Home Buyers, Advice for Home Sellers, Boston Real Estate Market, Boston Waterfront Luxury Buildings, CL Waterfront Properties NEWS, Luxury Real Estate. • Tags: , . By

With interest rates at a record low, it is only a matter of time until they start creeping up. Yes, this is a good time to buy waterfront property. When interest rates are stable, potential buyers and sellers of luxury properties can afford to remain indecisive. With interest rates this low, buyers get motivated since waiting could mean a higher rate and a larger mortgage payment.

In the housing market, inventory and selection are good, home prices remain flat and a motivated seller is more likely to work with buyers on price. So whether you are a first time buyer, or a seller hoping to downsize, now might be a good time to make a decision.

Interest rates will not double this year, but they may inch up. As they inch up, those who have not felt a sense of urgency may decide now that it is the time to buy. This is the spark the Real Estate industry needs.

There will be fewer 0 to 5% down payment loans. The norm will be 10% down. The federal government is working to shrink its footprint in the housing market. The administration said earlier this year that it wants to move mortgages back to the private sector with plans to gradually reduce new loans made by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac while strengthening the Federal Housing Administration (FHA).

Some regulations took effect last year.  Others, including the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act take effect later this year. Additional rules take effect in 2012, and others are still in development.  So the sooner you act, the more likely will avoid at least some of the new and coming requirements.

All the craziness will increase the cost of getting a mortgage, taking longer and more complicated as borrowers will have a longer time to review all disclosures in their mortgage loan, which also means they’ll need a longer lock-in period for the interest rates which will cost more money.

Most borrowers want to know two critical things: their total monthly payments and how much cash they will need to bring to the table at closing. But the new three-page settlement form that replaced the former one-page form does not break out this information.

As for refinancing, most people who could and should, did so by the end of 2010. Refinancing grounded to a halt in December when rates hit 5 1/4 % while it made up 70% of loan volumes in 2010 and would account for just 40% in 2011. If you do refinance, allow for more time just as you will need to do for a mortgage.

Sell timely and buy wisely.


Vito Ascolillo, Chairman, Broker