Happy 2021 – A January like no other

Goal setting – who else has been finding themselves with a little extra time to contemplate how the year will unfold. As I reflect on the past year I can only say it felt very long! We seem to be past some of the major shock of the lifestyle changes, stress, sadness, togetherness, reimagining and more. Well, looking forward one of my goals is to share 2 blog posts a month with anyone who might stumble across my blog. So here goes 1 of 24 posts for 2021.

Having been a Realtor for a decade plus I have settled into some routines. Working on the weekends, keeping notes on clients and prospects, making phone calls at night on offers and being glued to my phone waiting to hear if a purchase agreement was accepted. This past week in January has been like no other. I wrote 4 amazing offers for 4 wonderful clients. Sounds like a cake walk. It was not! Sadly not one of the four offers were converted into contracts. In the words of one of my children…why? why? why?. Yes, sometimes I channel my inner child thru them and let myself feel defeated, bummed out and in need of a sweet treat.

Fast forward to what are the take aways. I pride myself in studying the data, understanding the math involved and making solid recommendations to my clients. A mentor recently told me sometimes it isn’t the logic and numbers that matter since emotions are at work when it comes to real estate decisions. Buying a home for perhaps “more than a home is worth” or “over market value” may be as she said “better than the alternative”. Whatever that might me. Many are anxious including me about how to feel in control when the housing market is out of control.

My normal January has involved preparing my taxes, catching up on continuing ed, making phone calls to past clients and friends to catch up, and sometimes going somewhere warm. Well this is not a normal January. Buyers emerged in force but our inventory did not. -The, “I’ll get a jump on the market and buy now”, or “I just gotta get out of my current digs” feelings.

We can’t ignore the impact of the interest rates. Sub 3% rates are here and increasing the buying power of the buyers and as a result sending prices up. Oh and the whole refi thing has really tapped our lenders, boy have they been busy!

One recent market analysis showed median sale prices in an up north city increased 14% year over year. There is no typical or one size fits all in real estate. The unseasonably warm Twin Cities weather may be another reason people are ready to consider a move.

So one share I want to include here is for those who may be looking at using FHA for purchasing a home – you may want to consider other options. The “Make me an offer” type homes are not FHA eligible for the first 90 days, so that takes those homes off your list. Additionally, the multiple offer situation generally sways to the conventional buyers. That leads me to the Portfolio Loan. What is a Portfolio Loan? I googled it too. Of course, I have learned a lot of lender terminology over my tenure but I am not a lender and I work to provide useful referrals but am continuing to learn.

So here is the good news about the low interest rates I believe, lenders want to offer Portfolio Loans. One lender I spoke with Friday can provide a $4,000 grant (if your income qualifies), $500 First time buyer coupon at closing and 3% down. (message me if you want this lenders info) The rate may be more than a government back loan but if you don’t have the cash on hand or the credit score needed this is perhaps a great option to finance your home purchase in 2021. I’m in process of gathering details from other lending institutions about this option for my clients. Or better yet, if you have a recommendation leave it in the comments or send my way.

Banks, credit unions, online only lenders — you name it. My learning for this week is that we sometimes need to make some extra phone calls to know what options and answers are possible.

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