A Lot of Different Opinions

Last month we wrote about the snow and now I am writing this with my window open to enjoy the sunshine. I enjoy snow so much that I am known to track multiple weather forecasts in hopes of seeing it on the way but it seems that, at least for our region, spring is moving in. Big snow isn’t likely however the change in seasons tends to be positive in our industry – traditionally houses sell better in the spring! 

Just as you get differing weather forecasts from various sources, you will also get differing opinions on the housing market depending on the economist and/or real estate expert you consult. Before we tackle those varying opinions, take a look at last month’s stats from the Real Estate Information Network Inc. (our local MLS).

All of our local numbers point to a very hot seller’s market. Nationwide, the real estate market is also on fire. According to numbers from Barry Habib, who runs a national real estate and mortgage prediction service, 76% of all the homes that are listed are going under contract within two weeks. Also, about 50% of those homes are getting more than one offer, and first time home buyers are making up about one third of the buyers. The number of new home buyers is higher than normal, which is important because when a second or third time buyer purchases a house, they almost always sell a home a well. By definition a first time home buyer doesn’t have a house to sell, so when the percentage of first time buyers increases the supply of homes for sale tends to go down. 

The national experts are all over the map with their predictions for the future of real estate prices. I can show you charts and quotes saying we are heading into another real estate bubble but there are many others taking the opposite view. It is hard to rely on any one forecast as their track record of accurate predictions is not strong. What we do know as your time-trusted hometown professionals is that Hampton Roads is currently in a screaming seller’s market. If you are thinking about moving, and you would like to discuss your personal real estate needs, please reply to this email, or give us a call (757-726-7653 for Lee, 757-434-9084 for Harry). Of course, every situation is different and our careful and up to date market analysis means that as the facts change, our advice might as well. We love talking real estate, so don’t hesitate to give us a call if you have questions.

Loan Approval in a Seller’s Market

We are approving customers without the contingency of selling their current residence. Being able to do this in a sellers market is another way to make your offer to purchase a little stronger and stand out from the rest. This also leads to the question of how can I get the equity from my current home and apply it towards the new mortgage. There are a couple of paths we can explore. 

1 – if you’re doing a conventional loan for the new purchase you can ask the loan servicer to process a “recast” of your loan. You make a large principal payment after you receive the proceeds from the sale of your prior residence and apply it to the new loan as a large principal payment. Once that is done the loan servicer can reamortize your loan and adjust your monthly principal and interest payment.

2. We can explore a bridge loan for your current residence. This enables you to obtain a home equity line of credit on your current residence and use those funds for the down payment on the new home.

 Give us a call to discuss your homeownership goals and we can get you pointed in the right direction- Bill Duggan Sr. Mortgage Banker 757-615-5172 or billduggan@atlanticbay.com

Suffolk Restaurant Week Is Coming

The 2021 Spring Suffolk Restaurant Week is slated for March 20-27. During this culinary showcase, participating eateries offer chef-created delicacies and simple three-course, price fixed menus at the DELUXE ($10 lunch/$20 dinner), PREMIER ($15 lunch/$30 dinner) or ULTIMATE ($20 lunch/$40 dinner) levels for lunch and/or dinner. No coupons, vouchers or tickets are needed—simply order from the Suffolk Restaurant Week menu at each location.

For additional information and menus, visit www.DiningInSuffolkVa.com or like us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/suffolkrestaurantweek. You may also contact the Suffolk Visitor Center at 757-514-4130 or VisitSuffolk@suffolkva.us. 

Let’s Get in the Garden

One of the good things (if there are any) from our year of COVID home time is that many of us have found our “roots” again in the joys of gardening.

March is the perfect time to work on our backyard gardens. Here are a few tasks for early spring:

Plant cool season vegetables such as lettuce, spinach, kale, broccoli, cabbage, and other leafy vegetables. 

No garden plot? Consider planting vegetables in containers on sunny decks, porches, and balconies.

Prune roses and evergreens before new growth appears.

Feed your soil with compost.

Plant summer bulbs.

Have questions or want more information?

Contact Virginia Cooperative Extension: https://ext.vt.edu/lawn-garden.html