Listing Courtesy of RE/MAX REALTY GROUP REHOBOTH
Rehoboth Beach home buying activity may be going great guns, but for some would-be buyers, credit score woes are still a stubborn obstacle. That’s why we have been keeping an eye on the new pilot project that was announced late last year. This was the one called the "Wealth Building Home Loan." It’s an experiment aimed at opening up home ownership options, particularly for first time home buyers. Bank of America and Citibank were first to sign up for the program, said to “take a fresh approach to affordable mortgage lending.” It sounds like a pretty good idea!
How It Works
The Wealth Building Home Loan is a mortgage that runs for 15 years at a fixed interest rate. Because the term is so short, equity builds rapidly. The payments are more manageable than any reality-grounded Rehoboth Beach mortgage watcher would think because discount points can be used to buy the interest rate down to…well, “zero”! Since no down payment is generally required, home buyers can apply their available cash to purchasing those points. Since that sounds almost too good to be true, we’ve been keeping an eye open for progress reports.
Extra Help for Buyers with Modest Income
Qualifying for the mortgages would emphasize home buyer income rather than credit score. This would be a real godsend to the many people still rebuilding their credit after the economic downturn. Furthermore, interest would be set at three-fourths of a percent lower than the 30-year FHA rate—which makes sense, since shorter terms mean lower lender risk—with additional points to be offered at special bargain prices.
A Game-Changing Approach
The loan program is piloted through The Neighborhood Assistance Corporation of America, which secured underwriting from BofA and Citibank. It’s intended to be "a game changer,” because equity ownership takes place rapidly. Already in the first three years of a WBHL, 77% of the monthly payments pay off the principal, rather than the 68% that goes to interest under a standard 30-year mortgage. The effect is to accumulate a significant ownership stake almost from the word ‘go’—and more ownership equates to better loan performance.
When last checked, the program was in “pilot project” status (still in the initial shakedown phase) while the innovators who came up with the idea figure out how to make the loans widely available. So far, so good, apparently—we’ll keep an eye on developments to see if the program is greenlighted by the two underwriters.
In the meantime, Rehoboth Beach mortgage-seekers have a wide variety of currently available options for taking advantage of the great buys viewable on this morning’s Rehoboth Beach listings. Give me a call for a no-obligation discussion of how you can take advantage of today’s opportunities! Call/Text me Russell Stucki at (302) 228-7871, email me at email@example.com, visit more listings at www.beachrealestatemarket.com.
“Are we in a real estate bubble?” can still be a nagging thought for prospective Delaware home buyers. It turns out that it might not be the most relevant question.
When you buy a home in Delaware, you commit to what is actually a two-pronged proposition. One part is ultra-conservative: its practical utility as shelter. Being master of the roof over your head doesn’t just let you feel like you have a grip on the future—it removes a sizeable chunk of the unknown from your family’s prospects.
It’s that other aspect of owning your Delaware home that can trigger hesitation. When all is said and done, this is also an investment vehicle—perhaps the largest most people will ever acquire. Although this aspect, too, is often considered to be quite conservative, within the past decade there was a time when common wisdom had it that buying homes was such a risky financial gambit that only the bravest (or wealthiest) were tempted to take the plunge.
So—which is it? Is it simply a 50-50 proposition—or is there a straightforward answer to whether buying a home in Delaware is more of a chancy venture than a prudent one?
For the risk-averse, the good news is that history does give us a reliable answer—one that depends on just one qualifier. Owning your home is a high-risk investment only if the frame of reference is short term. Over the long haul, it’s about as conservative as an investment can get.
Here’s why. Last decade’s Great Recession—and the residential real estate bust which accompanied it—were preceded by what was unarguably a full-blown real estate bubble. All the earmarks of a real estate bubble were present, here in Delaware , across the nation, and internationally.
For a buyer who purchased at the height of the bubble, the fall in value was precipitous. From 2007 to mid-2008, the drop in U.S. residential prices was nearly 33%—a plunge not seen since the Great Depression of the 1930s. For a buyer who had purchased at the height of the bubble, selling within a short timeframe could result in a significant loss. In that case, their investment would have been almost as risky as a stock market speculation (the S&P lost 50%).
Yet for homeowners who had no reason to sell, the actual dollar losses never materialized. By this time last year, buyers in most parts of the country were willing to pay prices that exceeded the heights of 2006. Inflation has had an effect—yet current moderate residential price rises have been outstripping inflation in recent years. In fact, last week the Economist found that “across America, prices appear to be at fair value when compared to their long-run averages.”
So the more important question may not be the one about real estate bubbles at all. It’s about whether a prospective home in Delaware is intended as a short or a long-term purchase. In all cases, I hope you’ll call me to supply my experience and up-to-the-moment market insight. Call/Text me Russell Stucki at (302) 228-7871, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, visit more listings at www.beachrealestatemarket.com.