Price of Homes for Sale on the Rise-Time to Act
The time for that new home purchase in Richmond Hill is now.
Although home prices in coastal Georgia have lagged behind the national averages, the window on low home prices in Richmond Hill appears to be closing.
Many will not be ready to make that move, with the difficulty of coming up with a large down payment and qualifying for a loan. However, for people with as little a three months active service in the United States military, a loan guaranteed by the Department of Veterans Affairs (the VA) is a great tool for jumpstarting your financial future.
It’s important to be sure you work with lending institutions and real estate professionals who understand the ins and outs of the VA’s policies and read up on them yourself to be certain you don’t pay more than you need to.
According to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, housing prices for the United States as a whole are showing their third straight year of increases. After an initial bump in 2012, prices surged with an 11.5% increase in 2013, followed by a 8.8% increase through June of 2014. CoreLogic, a specialist in the real estate market, reports that, “the U.S. has experienced 27 consecutive months of year-over-year increases.” National home prices are definitely on the rise.
Richmond Hill is a Great Value for Home Buyers- For Now
Charts on Trulia.com for Richmond Hill, Georgia show home prices- that remained level through 2012- steadily trending upward in 2013 and 2014. Median sales prices in July 2014 were still lower than a year previously, but increased almost 10% in the three months between April and June, 2014. Couple this with fewer properties being listed, and the pickings could get sparse and the room to negotiate non-existent, especially for homes with three bedrooms. It doesn’t look like prices will be low in Richmond Hill for long.
Home buyers in the Richmond Hill market now have a great opportunity to quickly ride the market back up to what could be pre-2009 levels over the next 2-2 1/2 years. If market gains from 2010-2012 continue, this could mean an increase of $16,667 in the overall median home purchase price, a gain of over $8,000 per year.
And for qualifying service members and veterans, getting into a new home is easy with VA-guaranteed home loan.
Buying a home with a VA loan requires less out-of-pocket expenses.
The big advantage with a VA-guaranteed loan is that instead of a big down payment and private mortgage insurance, the borrower typically only pays a 2.15% VA funding fee-which historically could be rolled into the loan (check with your VA counselor). This means you don’t have to wait any longer to stop paying rent to someone else and start paying yourself by building equity in your new home.
A VA-guaranteed home loan is often easier to qualify for.
The Navy Times reports that the VA does not have a minimum credit score. Instead, the requirements are based on whether a borrower can repay the loan. They go on to note that lenders can impose additional requirements for credit scores but that, in one example cited, it’s about 100 points lower than the credit score needed for a conventional loan.
Setting up a VA loan is easier that ever.
Borrowers can usually get a Home Loan Certificate of Eligibility from the VA online at ebenefits.va.gov.
VA Home Loan Advantages
When the VA guarantees a loan, it allows lenders to give you more favorable terms:
- No down payment as long as the appraised value is equal to or greater than the sales price.
- Private mortgage insurance is not required.
- Limits on the amount you can be charged for closing costs.
- Closing costs may be paid by the seller.
- The lender can’t charge you a penalty fee if you pay the loan off early.
- The VA may be able to help if you have difficulty making payments.
Clearing up Misconceptions
- You don’t have to be a first-time home buyer.
- You can reuse the benefit. Each qualified service member or veteran has a fixed dollar amount the VA will guarantee for him or her at any given time. Once a loan is paid off or assumed by a qualifying individual, the eligibility returns. Unused eligibility can be used on another loan (as long as the loan meets all the criteria).
- VA-backed loans are assumable, as long as the person assuming the loan has available eligibility.
Important: Understand the Benefits and Requirements of a VA-guaranteed Loan
Having the VA guarantee your loan has many huge benefits and some restrictions. But the restrictions are mostly on the lender and give you added protections and reduce your costs. If you don’t know what they are, you might let a lender charge you something he shouldn’t. Not every loan officer or real estate agent is familiar with the VA’s policies. Be sure to ask up front about personal experience with VA-guaranteed loans when dealing with either.