Listing Courtesy of KELLER WILLIAMS REALTY
Recently, the National Association of Realtors® reported the largest number of existing home sales since February 2007— and I expect we will see similar results when this year’s final numbers come in. With more individuals looking to enter (or re-enter) the real estate market, buying a house in Lewes can be expected to continue to be newly competitive.
That does not mean that you should adopt a defensive mindset. Even after finding what looks like a great deal on a seemingly terrific home, it’s wise to keep an eye out for unexpected developments that could make it necessary to walk away from the deal. Some of the situations that usually don’t (but still can) trigger that option:
If the Delaware home inspection uncovers issues that you didn’t know existed, you have several options. The seller may offer to pay for needed repairs, or add a credit at closing. Depending on the extent of the problem, it’s sometimes wiser to simply take the credit and avoid complex amendments that could overcomplicate the contract. But if the seller refuses any concessions, it could be that you won’t be buying a house as quickly as hoped.
A mortgage can fall through unexpectedly. An abrupt change in employment, credit downgrade, or if the bank has trouble verifying income, an underwriter may back away from the table. Most often, financing contingencies in the paperwork will allow you to walk away from the deal.
An unexpectedly low appraisal can make buying a house financially unworkable. When a home appraises for less than the agreed-upon selling price, the bank will not finance. This means the seller will either have to lower his price, or you as the buyer will need to come up with additional cash to cover the difference. You may believe the appraisal is not a fair measure of the property’s true worth (at least to you) — but remember that should you later wish to sell, the next appraisal may not be much higher. In all cases, whenever you contemplate buying a house in Lewes, I’m here to help you reach smart long-term decisions. Call/ text 302-228-7871 or email me Russell Stucki, REALTOR ® of Beach Real Estate Market to provide detailed information on Delaware homes for sale, investment and commercial properties, luxury and waterfront homes, condos/townhomes, new construction, lots and land, farms and equestrian properties located in but not limited to Bethany, Bethel, Bridgeville, Dagsboro, Delmar, Ellendale, Fenwick Island, Frankford, Georgetown, Greenwood, Harbeson, Laurel, Lewes, Lincoln, Milford, Millsboro, Millville, Milton, Ocean View, Rehoboth Beach, Seaford, Selbyville, Delaware.
If anyone involved in Sussex County real estate were to try to pick a word to characterize the mortgage industry as a whole, “sentimental” wouldn’t be among them. Especially over the past several years, “frustrated” might be apt, or “hog-tied.” Mortgage issuers been hampered by tough rules developed in reaction to the sub-prime mortgage mess. They certainly wanted to issue more mortgages, if only for their own profitability, but until recently, the lending guidelines made that difficult.
In any case, this is an industry that relies on hard facts and statistics to govern lending decisions. Mortgage industry leaders are therefore not inclined to be overly optimistic, overly pessimistic—nor are they prone to exaggeration in their public pronouncements.
So when the powers-that-be at Fannie Mae come out each quarter with their Mortgage Lender Sentiment Survey, the “sentiment” is not the Cry Me a River or You Are the Sunshine of My Life variety. This “sentiment” describes how real estate lenders (presumably including some Sussex County mortgage companies) feel about mortgage business prospects in the coming months. The actual report has a remarkable record of a lack of sentiment: it’s usually pretty much on target.
So it is that when the 2015 first quarter Survey appeared last month (this is one real estate report whose ‘first quarter’ paper actually appears in the first quarter), it sounded another positive note in the assemblage of springtime real estate projections. The summary talked about “an improving outlook among mortgage lenders” because those surveyed “expect mortgage demand…to grow over the next three months.” The hard number was 71% having that expectation, which wouldn’t be surprising, given our entry into the busy spring selling season. The optimism drew more from the fact that this is a substantial improvement compared with the same quarter 2014 (71% vs. the previous 59%).
If the growth they anticipate holds true for our own market, it wouldn’t just indicate improving activity for Sussex County home buyers and sellers. After what they viewed as an “uneven” 2014, Fannie Mae’s Chief Economist Doug Duncan said the results were “consistent with our view that an improving economy, strengthening employment, and increasing consumer confidence” pointed to the more cheerful outlook.
Also cheerful was the picture mortgage issuers expected for their own well-being. A year ago, lenders who thought their profitability would increase were in the extreme minority: 21%. This year, the size of the optimistic group doubled.
Local mortgage applicants could find good news in one more of the reasons for the expectation for mortgage demand to grow over the next three months. The report talked about how last year’s credit tightening was continuing to “trend down.” And there at the top was the headline which mentioned “Gradual Credit Easing.” For anyone who had found it hard to qualify under last year’s rules, that’s very welcome news.
If you will be buying or selling anytime soon, I hope you’ll give me a call: the sentiment here is also the green light kind!