I’ve been talking a lot about change here lately, and for good reason. Our industry and our country is in the midst of many changes. While we embrace the changes we must, control the things we can and find new opportunities amidst these transitions, it’s important to keep a few things in mind, particularly when meeting with our clients.
Despite all this change, we must remember that stability is still the name of the game. The housing market is solid. The economy is strong. Unemployment is low. Both residential and commercial development is continuing at a solid pace.
Buying a home is still the American Dream for many. We know that better than anyone. We understand, appreciate and internalize this goal, literally making it our job – our livelihood – to see this dream through to the end. While rates have risen slightly, a good credit score and financial – wait for it…stability – will still go a long way.
The current interest rate is in the low 4 percent range. If you wanted to buy a home 10 years ago, you would have locked in a rate of around 6.29 percent, to give our clients some perspective. Another 10 years before that? A 30-year fixed was going for 7.65 percent. If you were a fan of the ‘80s (and who wasn’t?!), chances are that nostalgia doesn’t extend to homeownership, with a rate of 9.08 percent. The ‘70s weren’t much better at 8.67.
Buying a home is still worthwhile. It’s still a good investment for many. It’s still absolutely achievable – and, as history has shown, this is still an excellent time to buy.
We will also likely see our industry continue to go digital, which is a great thing, as it helps us communicate better, faster and more effectively with current and prospective borrowers. We are also likely to learn more about Pres. Trump’s intentions behind the suspended cut in the annual mortgage premium for FHA-insured home loans. Many people may look at this intervention as a negative thing. I think it might just signal a new era where the government is less involved in the housing and mortgage markets. I don’t have to tell you that would be a wonderful step in the right direction to safeguard the health and well-being of our industry.
As always, your borrowers are likely to have questions and concerns about the current changes and those that may lie ahead. Face them head on, armed with the vast amount of knowledge you have at your disposal through Finance of America, that brilliant invention we call the internet (and reputable sources of information), market reports, local housing data and myself.