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Bruce Gordon
Bruce Gordon
Integrity Lending
Mobile: 410-207-6365
Direct: 410-581-0055
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Website: www.integritylendingcorp.com
  Integrity Lending
For the Month of April 2024 --- Vol. 18, Issue 4
  In This Issue  

"Don't sit down and wait for the opportunities to come. Get up and make them." - Madam C.J. Walker

At this time of year, many homeowners are ready to dive into new projects. With renovations comes budgeting, along with spring cleaning. Plus, those who are set on becoming homeowners are looking at ways to obtain mortgage rate locks, which can add some predictability to monthly payments. In this issue, we'll cover these topics, along with the following:

What to Watch - Housing inventories are always a key point when a potential home buyer looks to enter the market whether it be an existing or new home.

How To Create a Home Renovation Budget - Creating a budget for a home renovation project is essential to make sure you don't overspend.

Freshen Up Your Home - Spring is in the air, and it's time to get your home in tip-top shape. Use the helpful tips in this issue to get started.

Q&A - Find out what a mortgage rate lock is and how it can benefit you in a changing market.

Please feel free to forward this newsletter to friends, family or co-workers who may find it helpful.

  What to Watch  

Housing Inventories

It's all about housing inventories. Housing inventories are always a key point when a potential home buyer looks to enter the market whether it be an existing or new home. Especially now that the spring homebuying season is underway. Yes, borrowing costs are also a big factor but the focus here will be on inventories.

It is known that low housing inventories often indicate high demand relative to supply, which can drive up prices and create a competitive market for buyers. On the flip side, high inventories potentially lead to downward pressure on prices and longer selling times for sellers.

The current environment for supply is ... LOW and that's for existing homes on the market, which make up about 90% of total home sales. Unsold inventory of existing homes is about three months whereas six months is seen as normal. Freddie Mac's Chief Economist recently said, 'As the spring homebuying season gets underway, existing home inventory has increased slightly, and new home construction has picked up. Despite elevated rates, homebuilders are displaying renewed confidence in the housing market focusing on the fact that there is a good amount of pent-up demand.'

New home sales make up only about 10% of the market. The National Association of REALTORSĀ® predicts that new home sales will rise almost 14% this year as builders ramp up construction and offer more incentives to attract buyers. The National Association of Home Builders recently reported that a lack of existing inventory continues to drive buyers to new home construction. The estimate of new houses for sale at the end of February was 463,000. This represents a supply of 8.4 months at the current sales rate. The Mortgage Bankers Association reports that mortgage applications for new home purchases increased 15.7% compared to a year ago.

What does this mean for the consumer or potential home buyer? There are some glimmers of hope for the inventory problem. Could there be a 'silver tsunami' where older retirees look to downsize and possibly flood the market with inventory? 'Today, there's a demand-supply imbalance where there's too much demand and not enough supply,' said Meredith Whitney, who successfully predicted the 2007-2008 financial crisis and has been called an 'oracle' of the housing industry. 'That's going to invert as more and more boomers start to sell and downsize. Then you'll see a supply-demand dynamic shift.'

Source: Mortgage Market Guide

  Housing News  

How To Create a Home Renovation Budget

Planning a renovation project is a big undertaking, and it's important to have an idea of what you can afford. In addition to speaking with a financial adviser, you can take these steps to plan your spending:

1. Research the costs. Estimate what it will cost to complete each project you have on your list, including essentials such as materials and labor. Even with some rough numbers, you can get an idea of what your budget may look like for the renovation.

2. Get professional quotes. Contact contractors for estimates on your renovation project. This can help you form a more accurate picture of what you'll be spending.

3. Set your budget. After doing your research and acquiring contractor quotes, create a detailed budget that covers all the anticipated costs. You may also wish to budget for extra funds in case any issues arise during the renovation.

With proper planning and professionals on your side, you can bring your renovation ideas to life. Be sure to talk with the pros so you establish a budget that fits your means.

Sources: BHG.com, Familyhandyman.com

  Home Improvement  

Freshen Up Your Home

Spring is here, and you know what that means - time for spring cleaning. As the weather warms up and families spend more time outside, many homeowners are getting ready to do some deep cleaning and yard work. Use these helpful tips to tidy up your home:

Refresh the paint. A new coat of paint can work wonders, and light, airy colors can reflect the freshness of the spring season. Don't forget to touch up the baseboards and trim for a clean, polished look.

Check your HVAC system. Spring is the perfect time to schedule HVAC maintenance and change air filters, inspect vents, and ensure your system is running efficiently. After all, a comfortable home starts with optimal temperatures from proper heating and cooling.

Revive the garden. Whether you have a large garden or a few potted plants on your windowsill, spring is the perfect time to add a pop of color. Plant annuals, trim shrubs, remove weeds, and clean up any debris left from the winter season.

Change the linens. Pack away heavy winter blankets and flannel sheets, and bring out lightweight cotton or linen bedding. Crisp white sheets with a floral duvet cover can instantly transform your bedroom into a serene retreat.

Eliminate odors. Freshen the space with scented candles, essential oil diffusers, or linen sprays. Fragrances such as lavender, citrus, or eucalyptus can add a hint of spring scent, and you can use them throughout your home for an uplifting aroma.

Sources: RD.com, Extraspace.com

  What Is a Mortgage Rate Lock?

QUESTION: What is a mortgage rate lock, and how can it benefit homeowners?

ANSWER: A mortgage rate lock is an agreement between the homeowner and mortgage lender that guarantees a specific interest rate for a predetermined length of time.

Locking in your mortgage rate allows you to secure a favorable interest rate even if the market conditions change before the loan closes. A rate lock can give you peace of mind and offer more stability and predictability in your mortgage payments.

Mortgage rates change frequently, and a rate lock can protect you from fluctuations that could raise rates before your closing. Rate locks often come with a fee, as you're essentially purchasing this lock as a protective measure to guarantee your mortgage rate.

Because of the benefit of a mortgage rate lock, many homebuyers may consider this option as they're looking at prospective real estate. However, there are some important considerations you may wish to discuss with a lender before deciding to lock in your rate.

Timing for rate locks: When you lock in your mortgage rate will depend on the lender. Some may offer rate locks when buyers are preapproved, while others wait to extend rate locks until the seller accepts an offer. Generally, closing on a new home takes between 30 and 45 days, so many rate locks are established within this period.

Protection against rising rates: While you can lock in a rate to protect against increases within the set period, if interest rates fall, you won't be able to adjust your locked mortgage to reflect the new interest rate.

Overall, a mortgage rate lock is a reasonable option for many homebuyers. If you're looking at locking in the rate on a new home, remember to discuss the benefits and drawbacks with your lender to make the best decision for your financial situation.

Sources: Bankrate.com, CNN.com


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