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  Provided to you Exclusively by Bruce Gordon
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 November 2023 --- Vol. 17, Issue 11
  In This Issue  

"It is never too late to be what you might have been." - George Eliot

When you're ready to buy a new home, price is probably at the top of your mind. In this issue, we discuss how you can get the best possible deal on a home, along with the following topics:

What to Watch - The Federal Reserve, housing prices, borrowing costs, and home inventories are on the radar.

Tips for Getting a Fair Price on a Home - With some helpful tips, you can negotiate a fair price on your new home.

How Lighting Can Transform Your Home - Learn how to use lighting to make an instant impact in your home.

Q&A: How Long Does It Take To Close on a Home? - Know what time frame you can expect before you get the keys.

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

  What to Watch  

Housing Prices, Borrowing Costs, and Inventories

The Federal Reserve, housing prices, borrowing costs, and home inventories are on the current radar. And of the four, you might think the Fed is not part of the group but they are all tied together.

The Federal Reserve (the Fed) is the central bank of the U.S. and is responsible for setting monetary policy, controlling inflation, and maximizing employment. On the employment front, the Fed's goal is to create conditions where employment can thrive without causing runaway inflation. The Fed must strike a balance between fostering job growth and maintaining price stability (inflation).

If a potential home buyer feels that their current employment is stable and can easily secure another position, this lends to a positive environment in the home-buying decision. If the Fed can control inflation, this means that borrowing costs, which are tied to inflation, could remain relatively low.

In the past few years, inflation has been on the rise topping out in June of 2022 but has been declining. During that time and up to today, borrowing costs (30-year fixed) for home buyers have nearly tripled from 3% to almost 8%. This has significantly increased the cost of a loan.

At the outset of the pandemic in March 2020, the Fed looked to stabilize the capital markets, which were under severe pressure as the country "locked down." The Fed stepped in and through Quantitative Easing, was able to stabilize the markets and lower rates pushing the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage to a record low of 2.65% by the end of 2020.

Low rates created a boom for potential home buyers as staying at home meant working from home. This sparked a huge demand for housing. And with this huge demand combined with the lockdowns, inventories were depleted. As a result, it led to a low inventory environment and the frothy prices we are experiencing today.

So, we can see how all the above are tied together with the Fed.

Bottom line: Although home prices remain high, these gains will eventually cool off as all types of hot markets usually do. We will have cycles that are both negative and positive. In today's market, you need the right timing and secure employment to take advantage of home ownership. Remember, it is not a right to own a home. It takes hard work, planning, a down payment, and the ability to repay the loan.

Source: Mortgage Market Guide

  Housing News  

4 Tips for Getting a Fair Price on a Home

You've found your dream home, and you're ready to make an offer. But in today's market, how do you make sure you get a fair price? Here are four tips you can use to negotiate the price and get a good deal.

Determine market trends. Know the market trends so you can make a strong offer on a home. Gather information about recently sold homes and review comparable properties to learn about their sales prices. Use this information to negotiate a fair price that's based on the current market.

Consider future appreciation. When determining a fair price on a home, consider the future appreciation you can expect. For example, a home in a neighborhood with planned future development, such as new roads, may be worth more in the future. Do your research to estimate the projected valuation of a property to make sure you're getting a good price.

Get an appraisal. Negotiate an appraisal contingency so you can be confident you're not paying more than the home is worth. An appraiser will evaluate the home and research similar properties to determine the fair market value. If the appraisal reveals the home is worth less than the offer price, you may choose to ask for a lower price.

Work with a real estate agent. When purchasing a home, a real estate agent can help you get a fair price. They understand the market trends in your area and know what comparable properties have sold for recently. They can also negotiate with the seller to secure the best possible deal.

With some research and preparation, you can make sure you get a fair price on your new home. Follow these tips to negotiate a good deal with confidence.

Sources: Upscalelivingmag.com, Investopedia.com, Masterclass.com

  Home Improvement  

How Lighting Can Transform Your Home

Lighting can have a tremendous impact in a space, but it's often overlooked. Consider these ways you can use lighting effectively to transform your home.

Use different light sources. For the best lighting, use different light sources in a room. For example, in a kitchen, you may have recessed lighting, pendant lights, and under-cabinet accent lights. Consider the placement of each light source and how it can work with other lights in a room to create balance.

Choose the right size. When deciding on a light fixture for a room, consider its size. The light fixture should be proportional to the room and its other features. For example, in a room with low ceilings, you may choose to use table lamps, rather than a floor lamp. In a large room, you might use a light fixture as a statement piece, such as a chandelier.

Highlight a specific feature. In addition to the overall lighting of a room, you can also use lights to highlight specific features of a space. For example, you may use accent lighting to highlight a bookshelf or a piece of art. You can use various light sources as accent lights, such as a table lamp, track lights, or even string lights.

Good lighting can make your home feel comfortable and welcoming. With these tips, you can use lighting intentionally to create the space you want.

Sources: Rockfordmutual.com, Sparksdirect.co.uk, Inoleds.com

  What's the Time Frame for Closing on a Home?

QUESTION: How long does it take to close on a home?

ANSWER: The timeline for closing on a home can vary based on several factors, including how you pay for it. On average, it takes between 30 and 60 days to close on a home with a conventional mortgage. If you're paying for a home in cash, the process may go quicker. On the other hand, certain types of mortgages, including Federal Housing Administration (FHA) and Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) loans, can take longer to close.

Once a seller has accepted your offer, here are the steps you can expect to take during the closing process.

Sign the purchase agreement. First, you'll need to negotiate the purchase agreement with the seller. Usually, this agreement includes the closing date. If there are no delays, this is the date you will close on the home.

Complete your mortgage application. At this point, you will complete a mortgage application with your lender. You'll need to submit documentation, such as bank statements, tax returns, and pay stubs. If you have a preapproval offer, this process can go more quickly.

Schedule an appraisal. If you're taking out a mortgage, your lender will require you to get a home appraisal. While the appraisal itself only takes a few hours, you may have to wait for an appointment. Some appraisers are booked out as far as two weeks.

Get an inspection. While usually optional, an inspection can provide insights into potential issues with the home. Like appraisers, home inspectors can have a waiting list, so it's best to schedule an inspection as soon as possible. It can take a few days to get the inspector's final report.

When you're ready to move into your new home, it can be tough to wait. Know what to expect so you can move through the closing process as quickly as possible.

Sources: Fastexpert.com, Investopedia.com, Realestate.usnews.com


Equal Housing Lender