Inflation – and Home Values – Are Up. Should You Sell?

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Key Takeaways:

  • Home values are rising faster than inflation, making homes a prized asset
  • This housing market offers unique opportunities for buyers and sellers
  • Contact us today to secure your assets and safeguard your future!

The state of real estate and inflation

As inflation soars to near 40-year highs and raises the cost of everything, many are looking for innovative ways to secure their assets against inflationary losses. Additionally, given the housing market’s recent volatility (primarily driven by historic low levels of housing inventory that have caused an imbalance between supply and demand), it’s understandable that many might consider real estate to be a wrong or risky move right now. But the great news is that nothing could be further from the truth. Let’s explore how and why buying or selling a home can safeguard you against inflation. 

The housing market can protect you from inflation

Image of homes and a graph representing housing market and inflation.

Real estate remains a stable area for investment and profit realization because a home’s value does not increase in relation to currency; it increases based on demand. So if you’ve been holding back from buying because of today’s market pressures, consider that inflation is up even more than mortgage interest rates, making it a smart move. Similarly, if you’re considering selling, the demand for housing has never been greater, which is terrific news for anyone looking to cash out their equity to hedge against inflation. 

Buying a home: by the numbers

Couple showing keys to new home.

Let’s take a look at some numbers. Experts estimate that Americans face an annualized inflation rate of around 15%. Considering that, the current 5% mortgage rate is a bargain for homebuyers in the short term. Moreover, you’re securing an asset that, over time, will increase. And, as you pay down your mortgage, even at 5%, your equity will continue to grow. 

Selling a home: by the numbers

Senior Adult Couple in Front of Sold Home For Sale Real Estate Sign and Beautiful House.

It’s no secret to homeowners that their home equity values have grown over the last couple of years. According to research firm Black Knight, at the end of 2021, Americans were sitting on record-high home equity levels of approximately $9.9 million. So if you’ve noticed homes in your neighborhood selling above their listing price and you’ve been on the fence about selling yourself, now may be a good time to cash in on this opportunity.

Both buyers and sellers can make tremendous gains

Happy family with children moving with boxes in a new house.

In a hot housing market where home inventory is low, competition is fierce, and home equity values are at all-time highs, buyers and sellers can start to feel overwhelmed. But don’t despair: an increase in mortgage rates isn’t stopping homes from selling quickly, nor is it preventing home equities from appreciating. For example, according to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), properties remained on the market for just 17 days in March, with many going for over the asking price!

With more buyers than sellers today, current homeowners looking to sell to fight inflation have the advantage of likely bidding wars, resulting in greater profits and fast-moving homes that don’t stay on the market for very long. For those looking towards homeownership to protect their assets against inflation, reassurance comes from knowing that demand is expected to outpace supply for the foreseeable future, meaning that home equities will continue to rise. And if inflation continues, fixed-rate interest rates will drop again, creating the perfect opportunity to refinance your loan. 

Get Ready to Make Your Move

The first step to buying and selling is crunching the numbers. Our team will help you find the real, up-to-the-minute value of your home using the latest microdata and neighborhood trends. Then, we’ll work with you to figure out the best strategy to shelter your investments and assets from inflation. Contact us today!

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5 Easy Mortgage Repayment Options After COVID-19 Forbearance

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Key Takeaways:

  • The CARES Act kept homeowners in their homes with mortgage forbearance
  • There’s plenty of options to help homeowners transition to repayment
  • No one needs to face foreclosure – contact us today to discuss your options!

Mortgage forbearance helped homeowners

With the dust of COVID-19 settled, that means the resumption of mortgage payments for many Americans. And in a post-forbearance real estate market, it may be challenging to know the correct next step after the last couple of years. But the good news is that there’s no bad news! The CARES Act enacted by Congress allowed homeowners to postpone their monthly mortgage payments. This policy worked, because evictions have not been as severe as many feared, and the calamity of the 2008 housing market is not going to repeat itself in 2022.

The Mortgage Bankers Association estimates that approximately 525,000 homeowners are still in forbearance plans. If you are one of those homeowners moving into a post-forbearance future, there’s no reason to panic: plenty of help is available. Let’s look at the different post-forbearance options and determine which one best suits your needs.

The CARES Act changed the mortgage landscape

Meeting with real state agent signing mortgage loan at bank

When the pandemic struck in early 2020, rumors of the 2008 housing crisis repeating itself soon infused nearly every real estate conversation. Understandably, homeowners have been nervous about repeating history, with fears of eviction and potential homelessness genuinely gripping many Americans. However, contrary to the Great Recession, homeowners have been better protected against the uncertainties of the Covid-19 pandemic.

When Congress declared that homeowners could postpone their mortgage payments for 18 months with no penalty (known as forbearance), this singular act of Congress truly benefited the American homeowner. Additionally, many servicers of mortgages not backed by the federal government voluntarily did the same. And with substantially more equity in their homes than they had at the start of the Great Recession, plus the ability to refinance at historic lows during the pandemic, homeowners were in better financial shape to weather the storm.

Understanding your mortgage forbearance repayment options

mortgage calculator with model house on desk.

Thankfully you’ve got plenty of helpful options as you move out of forbearance and resume your monthly mortgage payments. Here are five options to restart your mortgage payments:

  1. A Reinstatement means paying the total forbearance amount all at once. Remember, this is only one option to discuss with your mortgage lender. You do not have to take this option.
  2. A Repayment Plan allows you to bring your mortgage current over some time (up to 12 months). A repayment plan is an agreement that will enable you to repay the forbearance amount on your mortgage by making additional monthly payments and your regular monthly mortgage payments.
  3. A COVID-19 Payment Deferral allows you to bring your mortgage current by delaying repayment of forbearance amounts without changing other mortgage terms. This option may be available if you cannot afford a reinstatement or repayment plan. You will not be charged interest on the forbearance amounts. However, all sums will be due if and when the property sells.
  4. A Loan Modification permanently changes the terms of your actual loan. Some common examples are changes to your interest rate or loan term. But, surprisingly, and in another historic move to ensure the stabilization of the housing market, the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) announced in April of 2022 that homebuyers would be able to select a 40-year mortgage for the first time.
  5. A Loan Refinance is perhaps one of the more traditional options, and even if you have resolved or are resolving your forbearance plan, you may be eligible to refinance your loan. 

Forbearance doesn’t stop you from selling your home

smiling couple holding sold red card at home with cardboard boxes

The COVID-19 pandemic produced challenges that impacted homeowners’ ability to make timely mortgage payments. Thankfully, taking advantage of the forbearance doesn’t stop you from selling your home, even if you haven’t restarted payments yet. If you can no longer afford your mortgage, but you’ve built up enough equity in your home, one option is to sell it and use the proceeds to help pay off your mortgage and any missed payments during forbearance.

Make an Informed Decision

With more financing options available today than ever before, there’s no reason to worry about mortgage repayment. Contact us today to find out the true value of your home. Then, you’ll be informed and can make a sound financial decision about what type of mortgage is right for you.

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