Joe: Team Ulster, Prudential Nutshell Realty, is proud to present the Ulster County Real Estate Podcast.
Welcome to the October edition of our podcast. Our market is certainly in transition, and with every change are hidden great opportunities for both buyers and sellers. Listen in, as we share what you need to know before buying and selling in today's market. It's all coming up next.
We're here today with Team Ulster from Prudential Nutshell Realty. What's happening right now in the Ulster County real estate market?
Woman: Well Joe, today I'd like to talk about "Green Mortgages." Green building and green mortgages are very popular in the Ulster County area. There's some clear benefits to working with the lending officer that's familiar with the green mortgage.
A green mortgage allows a borrower to finance the cost of energy improvements into the mortgage. The benefits to the borrower are many, and can include some of the following. You can finance cost savings improvements over 30 years at a low fixed rate. It's easier and less expensive then getting a second mortgage. You can save money each month on your utility bills, and of course reduce the home's carbon footprints. It also can be used to increase the resale value of your home, create a more comfortable and healthy home, and possibly offer a lower mortgage rate.
FHA EEM Energy Efficient Mortgage will give up to $8000 of home improvements on finance for cost effective energy improvements. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac stretch income ratios for borrowers who are buying an energy efficient home, so you can qualify for larger mortgages.
Existing homeowners can add finance up to 50% of their home's value for cost effective energy saving improvements. With a VA Loan, up to $6000 of improvements can be financed. Lastly, with Fannie Mae, you can receive a half-a-percent lower interest rate for some programs when a new Energy Star labeled home is purchased.
So, you can see that working towards a green mortgage has many, many benefits, and we'd be happy to help!
Joe: OK, thanks. For a national perspective today, we're also joined by Terri Murphy, real estate author and CIO of U.S. Learning in Memphis, Tennessee. Terri is a regular contributor to both mortgage and real estate magazines, and also helped with Donald Trump's new book, "The Best Real Estate Advice I Ever Received." Terri, share with us what's going on in today's market.
Terri Murphy: Hi Joe! Even in the midst of this negative press, there are some healthy signs we're into recovery. The Wall Street Journal recently released an article citing that "Mortgage rates are on the decline for mortgages today." Now, the report went onto include that "Interest rates are down, and only a few fractions from the lowest point they were back in February of this year."
Joe, as a result of this decline mortgage applications surge, nearly 58% since August 15th. Now, that was largely led by 122% gain in applications for refinancing. With the government takeover of mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, this is spurring the decline in these rates, and analysts are optimistic that this could be long lasting.
Some good news, Joe. There are some overall areas that show existing rising significantly from a year ago. We know there are plenty of good options out there, but both buyers and sellers need to know all of their options for getting the best buying and selling opportunities in this transitional market. That's what we're experiencing today.
Joe: Thanks Terri. Let's talk a little bit more about the buying and selling opportunities available in this transitioning market. How do you advise your clients?
Terri: Joe, although the marketing may be challenging in some areas, sellers who price their homes correctly from the beginning are having great success in selling their home. This may surprise a few people, considering some of the recent news reports. But, you have to keep in mind that markets are local, and the national news doesn't always speak to our local market. For example, you don't listen to a national weather forecast, but you listen to a local one. That's what you should do in reference to the housing market as well.
Buyers recognize a good value when they see one, and many times a home can receive multiple offers when priced right. The key is to find a trusted agent with expertise in pricing homes in this market. We provide this type of guidance all the time, and have a strategy for selling homes for top dollar in the shortest amount of time possible.
Joe: What else should our buyers and sellers consider?
Terri: Buyers will really benefit by reviewing their credit, and getting preapproved ahead of their loan ahead of time. If buyers have their loans approved before making an offer, they put themselves in the best positions during the offer process, especially if they find themselves in a multiple offer scenario.
Many sellers today would prefer to sell to a qualified and approved buyer, then to take a chance on a buyer who can't prove their ability to finance the purchase. If the seller is dealing with issues that concern foreclosure or a short sale, the buyer's qualifications become especially important. Sellers are looking to sell their property with minimal damages to their credit, and to provide a comfortable transition in real-time to the new buyers.
In short, it really pays to do your homework, whether you're a buyer or seller, there are some serious opportunities out there that we haven't seen in years. With mortgage interest at such low rates, it's a really great buying and selling opportunity.
Woman: I so agree, Joe. When you combine these lower mortgage rates with the housing stimulus package Congress just passed this summer, today's market provides a great window of opportunity to buy or sale. Now buyers and sellers owe it to themselves to talk to their realtor, to take full advantage of this great market.
Terri: Joe, we are always happy to meet with people who are thinking of buying or selling, and show them how to get the most from their next transaction. There's no obligation, we're just happy to help!
Joe: We'll share your contact information with our listeners. Thank you both for your help today.
Woman: Thanks Joe, we'll talk again next month!
Terri: You're welcome, Joe.
Joe: For more information on our program or for information on the Ulster County real estate market, contact Team Ulster at Prudential Nutshell Realty, 3056 Route 213, Stone Ridge, NY 12484. You can reach them at 845-687-2200 and info@TeamUlsterRealEstate.com. You can also find Team Ulster online at www.UlsterCountyHouse.com.
Until next time, thank you for listening to the Ulster County Real Estate Podcast!
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