The time for sitting on the sidelines is over.
With last year’s mortgage rates hitting historic lows and the Federal Reserve eyeing another rate hike later this year, prospective homebuyers have more reasons than ever to achieve their dreams of homeownership. But biding your time or using the wrong lender could cost you…big time.
Still unsure? Read on and see why low interest rates coupled with some of the best choices in mortgages are making 2017 a banner year for home-buying.
1) One Starbucks Drink Per Day = Down Payment
Most millennials think they need to put 20% down to buy a new home. Why? That’s how Mom and Dad did it in their day.
According to our 2017 Millennial housing outlook study, 70% of respondents say that saving for a down payment is the biggest obstacle to homeownership. But times have changed.
Today, you can buy or refinance a home for as little as 1% down—an average of about $2,000. Skip that daily Starbucks latte, and in 13 months, you’ll have a down payment. If you’re a renter, think about using your security deposit as a down payment.
2) Forget the One-Size-Fits-All Mortgage
When your parents shopped for their first mortgage, they probably went to their local bank. Today, TV tells you to go to a direct mega-lender. But did you know that there’s a better option?
An independent broker will shop your loan with multiple lenders to find the best rate that meets your needs. Big banks and mega-lenders only have one set of options—and getting you a mortgage is really only a part-time job in between selling other products like auto loans, CDs and checking accounts.
Unlike their bank counterparts, independent mortgage brokers can put in the time and legwork required to find the best options—including those same big-bank loans. In the end, more options means lower payments and extra money in your pocket. Use a website like FindAMortgageBroker.com to connect with a broker near you.
3) ARMs are not Taboo
Adjustable-rate mortgages (ARMs) are not a dirty word. Today’s ARMs are different and better, with the option to lower your rate and save you money.
Government-sponsored, modern ARMs no longer have prepayment penalties, allowing borrowers to pay down their principal faster and refinance whenever they want. Plus, they have caps that prevent rates from ever increasing by more than 5%.
Think of it this way. If you take out a seven-year ARM at today’s rates, you would save thousands of dollars during those years, even if rates are just 0.5% or 0.75% lower than on a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage. Even in a worst-case scenario, where interest rates go through the roof, the borrower would still break even on their seven-year ARM payments after nine years.
Need more convincing? Research shows that 90% of borrowers don’t stay in the same mortgage for more than nine years—meaning the vast majority of homeowners will end up saving money.
Are ARMs for everyone? No. But at the very least, ask a mortgage broker if they might be right for your situation.
4) Plant a Tree for Mortgages
Say goodbye to mountains of paper and digging up pay stubs. Technology makes it easy to shop, read, bank—and, you guessed it, apply for a mortgage. I bet Mom and Dad wish they had it this easy!
We see 2017 as the breakout year for the truly paperless mortgage industry. My company has been at the forefront of the shift to paperless—offering a simple online application, verification of income, assets and liabilities, and e-sign, all with our easy-to-use app.
And we don’t stop there. We are so green that we plant a tree for every paperless loan we process.
Millennials won’t settle for their parents’ way of doing business. Thankfully, for today’s first-time homebuyers, shopping for a mortgage is simple and painless.