Now that the 2020 election has seemingly come to a close, many Americans are anticipating what the housing and mortgage industry may look like with Biden as president. Throughout his presidential campaign, Biden pledged to make some changes so that Americans will have “access to housing that is affordable, stable, safe and healthy, accessible, energy efficient and resilient,” according to his campaign website. In a Housing Wire article reporters James Kleinmann and Tim Glaze detail some of the possible changes that may be proposed by Biden.
To begin, Biden is looking to introduce a tax credit of close to $15,000 for first time home buyers. The purpose of the tax credit would be to help first time home buyers, specifically younger Americans as well as Black and Hispanic Americans. Although, according to the article, “Industry observers … weren’t optimistic that Biden would have the legislative muscle to get the full initiative through, unless Democrats also take the Senate.”
Biden also promised to put more regulation in place for agencies such as Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, where it is anticipated he will select a new leader of the agency. Its expected he would also look to continue the conservatorship of GSEs. According to Tim Rood, head of government & industry relations for Situs AMC, “If Biden wins, he is going to look to use Fannie and Freddie as instruments of public policy to help close the homeownership gap, the wealth gap, cap people’s payments on both rental and occupied housing, support the construction of 1.5 million to 2 million affordable housing units.”
Nevertheless, the results of the 2020 general election seem to point toward a split government, with a Republic-led Senate and Biden, a Democrat, as President. This balance is predicted to work in favor of the mortgage and real estate industry. The Republican led Senate may be able to push back on some of the tax policies, which could impact the investment and cost of owning a home, Biden has promised to introduce.
The undisputed belief among industry experts is that rates will continue to remain at the historically low rates for the next few years as the economy continues to stabilize.
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The real estate market has been improving significantly over the past several months. Home prices are on the rise and homes aren’t sitting on the market for very long before going under contract. This is great news for home sellers, but challenging for those looking to purchase a home. First-time homeowners might find the conditions overwhelming and intimidating.
CNN Money published an article written by Beth Braverman which outlines several mistakes first-time home buyers make and tips for avoiding these pitfalls. Important reminders noted include getting pre-approved for a mortgage early in the home buying process, not maxing out the mortgage limit provided by the lender and keeping emotions out of the decision making process.
It is highly recommended that all prospective home buyers get pre-approved for a mortgage early in the home buying process. It allows the buyer to have an idea of how much money a bank is willing to lend them for a home. As Braverman points out, “Second, it shows sellers that you’re serious and gives you slightly more standing if you’re competing for homes with all-cash buyers.” This can be an important advantage in a competitive market.
However, upon receiving a pre-approval, home buyers maybe anxious to bump their budget up to the maximum amount the bank has approved. It is wise to review a detailed budget to be sure the monthly budget can handle the mortgage payment, including potential income changes and other unexpected housing expenses.
As the home search continues, there will be bumps in the road, houses lost to other buyers or dream homes priced just outside the budget. Braverman warns, “In that kind of environment, it’s easy to fall in love with a house that’s out of your budget, or get caught up in the heat of a bidding war and end up paying more than you expected.” Being level headed and taking emotions out of the decision making process will ensure financially wise decisions are made.
For more details and additional tips, read the entire article.
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