Spring is here along with a spike in consumer confidence and great mortgage rates. The home-buying market is hot!
The Minneapolis Area Association of Realtors (MAAR) is reporting a surge in the market. Listings this April increased 10.7 percent as sellers continued to regain confidence – the highest number of new listings for any month since April 2010. Sales in the same time frame jumped almost 26 percent compared to last April. The median sales price rose 10 percent to $215,600. If you’re buying a home for the first time, here are some essential tips to get prepared and stay ahead of the pack as multiple offers and quick sales will rule the summer.
Narrow your search
Whether you’re relocating or finding the perfect home in your existing neighborhood, must-have trends are taking shape among today’s homebuyers. Upgraded kitchens, smart home technology and new construction near towns rank at the top of buyer wish lists.
Use smart search
It’s easy to start your search, no matter where you are or how you like to get your information. Download the Edina Realty Home Search app for iPhone, iPad and Android to get access to almost every home for sale in Minnesota and western Wisconsin.
Get to know your ideal location
Visit the neighborhood and talk with neighbors and local businesses to find out if there is an active block club. To learn more about current issues and concerns, contact the local neighborhood association.
Open House season is upon us
It’s an exciting time of year to explore your options. Check out our upcoming Open House Weekend on June 6 and 7 and our Exceptional Properties Open House Extravaganza on June 14.
Make your first offer your best offer
It’s a sellers’ market. Watch the video below for tips to prepare for multiple offer situations and learn how to set yourself apart from other potential buyers. You’ll find out how to tailor your offer to a seller’s needs and how an experienced agent can make all the difference in your negotiations.
Do your financial homework
Before it’s time to make an offer, seek out financial resources that can help you with some of the up-front costs of buying a home.
Down payments, government-backed grants and assistance loans are available through the Minnesota Housing Finance Agency (MHFA) and the Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority (WHEDA). You can also find out about down payment assistance for specific homes from state and local housing finance agencies.
The State of Minnesota offers a Start Up loan program to help first-time homebuyers, along with tax credits and assistance with closing costs.
Good news on mortgage insurance
If you select an FHA loan, you’ll pay mortgage insurance at closing and throughout the life of the loan. FHA mortgage insurance provides lenders with protection against losses from a homeowner who defaults on the mortgage loan. FHA recently lowered annual mortgage insurance premiums—from 1.35 percent to .85 percent. Experts predict that this will save the average FHA borrower around $80 per month. For example, a loan of $200,000 will save approximately $900 annually with the newly reduced annual mortgage insurance premium.
Close the loop
A good decision on the front end of the process can help you complete your purchase successfully. For a qualified and experienced title company that excels in these fundamental areas, visit Edina Realty Title.
Buying your first home? We can help
Finding the right mortgage loan is personal and requires expert guidance. Contact us today to get started on the path to homeownership. For buying tips and local housing market news, find us on Facebook, Twitter and follow #BuyerInsights for more great tips.