Category Archives: Uncategorized

A great year for housing

In case you are not subscribed to my newsletter, here is some good news and excellent reading about the housing market from our friends at Freddie Mac.  If 2019 was any indication, 2020 will be a relatively good time for potential homebuyers to make the transition to homeownership.

Questions? Call Maxine for answers! 703-836-1464

Over the last 12 months, interest rates fell by almost a whole percentage point and high demand resulted in a steady increase in home values across the nation. Current market projections forecast low mortgage rates continuing into 2020, providing potential buyers the opportunity to lock in favorable mortgage terms and start building long-term financial independence.

Let’s break down the housing market’s latest trip around the sun.

Strong equity gains

You often hear that one of the benefits of buying a home is building equity. But what exactly is equity? In the simplest terms, equity is the difference between how much your home is worth and how much you owe on your mortgage. It’s the portion of the home that you own. Over time, through paying down your principal balance and your home’s appreciation, you can build equity.

But it’s important to note that some markets appreciate faster than others and there is no guarantee that your home will increase in value. It all depends on market conditions at the time you sell your home.

According to CoreLogic’s most recent homeowner equity report, 2019 was a strong year for equity gains. On average, U.S. homeowners with mortgages saw their equity increase by 5.1% since the third quarter of 2018 and the average homeowner gained approximately $5,300 in equity over the past year.

Interest rates dropped

2019 was a year of declining interest rates. According to our mortgage rates survey, the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged an interest rate of 4.51% at the start of the year but dropped to a low of 3.49% during September of 2019. Our latest forecast predicts that in 2020, rates will remain low, averaging around 3.8%.

So, will 2020 be a good year to buy a home? A look back at the past year shows a strong and steady market. Based on the forecast, the outlook is promising for the housing market with interest rates projected to remain low and appreciation expected to continue as we settle into the next decade.

Freddie Mac. ©2020. All rights reserved.

Buy ME, Build Equity, and Walk to the Metro!

You hear time and again how you can ‘own for less than rent’ and so often I hear tenants in apartments saying over and over that it is impossible to live in a 1-bedroom condo near a metro or in a walkable neighborhood.  Guess what!  We have a perfect case study in one of our new listings:

Hillwood Condominiums, Alexandria, VA
List price: $240,000
Annual Taxes $2,444
Annual Insurance (Estimated): $480
HOA Association Fee (Monthly): $205

With as little as 5% down you could own this condo and have a monthly payment as low as $1550 – the same price as your rent would be! Check out the below scenarios.

We especially love the 5-5 ARM program for its great rate and the fact you could be able to get 1.5% of the loan amount* paid towards your closing costs at settlement. Be sure to read the fine print at the bottom of this post for more on the closing cost promotion.

If you have some money saved up and you would like to make a larger upfront investment you can get your total monthly payment even lower than rent! Interested in learning more? Email me at Maxine (at) PenFedRealty.com and we will get in touch with you with the full scoop on this property and others that may meet your needs.

Either way, this is a great deal! Hillwood is located just across the street from the Trade Center with terrific shops, restaurants, and a spa. Then just a few blocks away you can grab a coffee at Starbucks, do your grocery shopping, drop the BMW off for service, or hop the Metro into the city.

The unit is right next to the community’s clubhouse and swimming pool. It has been newly updated with fresh paint, new floors, brand new appliances, Pella glass door, and more! Oh, and it has a terrific patio too!

In short, you can save money, build wealth, and help the environment by using the Metro instead of your car for the daily commute!

Check out the photos below or visit www.AHouseToSee.com for more information!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Small Print: Rates Generated on: 10/9/2017. Payments are estimates. Actual Payments may be greater. See page 2 for additional Minimum/Maximum Payment information. APR= Annual Percentage Rate. ARM Rates may increase after consummation. *Terms of Monthly Repayment: 30 Yr Fx (with MI): 103 payments of $1,184 at 3.875% and 257 payments of $1,072 at 3.875% (4.385% APR) 5/5 ARM (with MI): 60 payments of $1,102 at 3.000% and 300 payments between $1,142 to $1,001 at 3.375% (3.716% APR) 15/15 ARM (with MI): 180 payments between $1,213 to $1,072 at 3.875% and 180 payments of $1,027 at 3.250% (4.270% APR) Rates as of: 10/6/2017 Program, rates, terms & conditions subject to change without prior notice. Pricing adjustments may be required based on down payment, credit and other factors. This is not an advertisement to extend consumer credit as defined by Reg Z 226.2. All loans subject to credit and property approval. Acutal rates my vary based upon factors like credit rating, down payment and the intended use of the property. 5/5 ARM adjust once every 5 yrs. after initial fixed 5 yr. term. Caps 2/2/5, Margin 2.0, and Index based on the 5 yr. Treasury. 95% LTV available for owner occupied purchase loans at or below $424,100 with MI. High Balance fixed available to $636,150 in certain areas – call MLO. Max LTV for condos in DC Metro area is 80%, 70% elsewhere. Loans over $750,000 require two appraisals. Down payment requirements may vary. Products displaying a rate of 9.99% are not available. For a limited time, PenFed will pay buyer closing costs* on the 5/5 ARM and 15/15 ARM when a BHHS PenFed Realtor and our preferred settlement provider is used.*Visit Mortgage Center at penfed.org for details.

Sleeping in the Kitchen? Unusual Layout for a Tiny Apartment

In some of the world’s most famously tiny micro apartments, like a $300K closet in London and a 12-by-7-foot hole in the wall in New York City, creative division of space is just a given. Shortages of affordable accommodations in desirable cities often mean house hunters and renters have to wo …

Source: Sleeping in the Kitchen? Unusual Layout for a Tiny Apartment