Friday, December 16, 2011

Low Mortgage Rates and Returning Vets Could Boost Real Estate

Yesterday, it was mentioned here that mortgage rates hit an all-time low, with a 30-year fixed mortgage going for the ultra-affordable rate of 3.94%, which, if you've got the down payment and can find a home in a price range you can live with, puts home ownership well within your grasp.

While residential real estate is still in a deep downturn, some markets could get a boost from the thousands of returning veterans from Iraq, now that the conflict has officially ended. Soldiers coming home will qualify for a Military VA Loan which carries the unique feature of requiring no down payment, a benefit for the danger these veterans endured.

Along with low, low rates on conventional mortgages, refinance mortgage rates are also at ridiculously low levels. Anyone paying anything North of 4.5% can probably save a bundle by refinancing and stretching out the term of the loan.

While having no mortgage is ideal, few people are in such a sweet spot. Foreclosure and short sales are still making up an unhealthy share of the residential market, but, for buyers, there are deals on good, quality homes in solid neighborhoods in almost all parts of the country.

Scanning the internet for deals on one's local craigslist might be a good start, but with home sales mostly down, there are likely plenty of professionals who will gladly show you a selection of suitable properties in your area because they will earn a commission if and when you buy. A competent Realtor can guide you to the right home at the right price and usually lead you to a lender that can handle all of the mortgage and paperwork details.

It's also prudent to hire a competent attorney with expertise in real estate to handle the closing. Clouded title issues are still predominant in areas hit hard by foreclosures and recession, so get an expert to make sure what you're buying will remain yours.

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