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How to Buy a House Within an Uncertain Housing Market?

By Jamie Richardson | July 5, 2020

The novel coronavirus, COVID-19, has wrought havoc upon the global economy and the financial markets of almost all the countries worldwide. The economic devastation is entirely unprecedented, leaving business owners, investors, and even prospective home-buyers at a loss of what to do. If you were planning to buy or sell a home before the onset of the pandemic, you might be experiencing profound confusion and frustration as you attempt to figure out how to proceed. Here's some crucial information, provided by Rex Homes, to keep at the forefront of your mind as you regain stability in your home-buying endeavors. 

What it Means to Have an “Upside Down” Mortgage

One thing you may be hearing quite often during this time is lenders or homeowners discussing their current mortgage status as “upside down.” This is primarily due to homes losing their value as the market falls. The result is homeowners owing more on their houses than what the current market value reflects, known officially as "negative equity." (The price of the home loan does not fall along with market prices). 

As the current housing market continues to trend downward, those who were poised to sell their homes are now stuck between a rock and a hard place. Though you may be fearful at this time, do not be too discouraged. Just last year, the median home price reached a record $258,000, increasing from the previous year by 6.2%. Based on this data alone, many real estate experts predict that the housing market will regain its footing quickly, once the country reopens.

Options to Get You Back on Track

Though it may seem as if the world has come to a standstill, rest assured that it certainly has not. Opportunities for buying and selling homes, although altered, are still available. Two primary routes you can take in these circumstances are as follows: 

  1. Recognize the opportunity that is still available in the market. Individuals, families, and agencies are all still looking to sell, and people are still relocating for new jobs, for example, so they’ll need a new place to buy. Speak to a mortgage professional to determine the best price points for selling and buying during this time.
  2. Refinance your mortgage. Even if you are unable to locate a potential buyer or a home that fits your budget, you still have many options available for financial flexibility. This is a great time for refinancing according to many mortgage experts – an ideal alternative for those stuck in an upside-down loan!*

*Normally, refinancing a mortgage loan is quite difficult. Due to the widespread impact of the ongoing pandemic, however, government officials have relaxed qualification criteria. If you meet the following conditions, you may be able to take advantage of current refinancing opportunities:

  • Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac owns your current mortgage.
  • Your mortgage payments are current.
  • You are upside down by 125% or less.

Your opportunities for buying and selling have not disappeared entirely. There is an abundance of home-buying alternatives available to you. With the help of an experienced mortgage professional, these choices will be made apparent, and you will find precisely what you’re looking for, despite the current pandemic. Get in contact with a mortgage expert today to explore your options.

Jamie is a 5-year freelance writer who enjoys real estate. He is currently a Realty Biz News Contributor.
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