It was a beautiful weekend in Maine although the temperature in my neighborhood rarely rose above 20 degrees. January 23rd was a great day for house shopping as there were many open houses in the local area. I spent the afternoon at 2 McQuillian's Hill Drive in Gorham which was a particularly busy home. The property was shown from 10-2; however, the listing agent was there until 3pm showing the home.
Based on this activity and other current factors such as home prices and mortgage rates, I am very optimistic about our real estate market in 2011.
According to the newspaper over the weekend, more than 10,000 homes were sold in Maine last year. This number represents a decline of 3% from 2009. I think there is a good chance we will see an increase in number of homes sold in 2011.
One factor that could aid home sales in Maine is the availability of funding for the USDA Rural Development Guaranteed Loan Program. This program was, at times, without funding last year which prohibited some buyers from closing their purchases in a timely manner. Other potential buyers assuredly decided to postpone their home search until this program came back. The USDA Guaranteed Loan Program offers 100% financing, no down payment, to qualified borrowers purchasing single family homes. The property needs to be in a rural area to qualify and in Maine that can be just about anywhere (except Portland, South Portland, and parts of Westbrook, Biddeford, Bangor, and Lewiston/Auburn). This program opens up the door of homeownership to so many more people and offers a very affordable monthly payment when compared to FHA financing. If you are unfamiliar with this program I encourage you to check with your local mortgage specialist.
Thank you to everyone I met over the weekend for taking the time to say hello. I hope you found the information I gave useful. I am always available to answer any of your questions on the current mortgage marketplace.