Father and daughter talking

Buying a Home in Today’s Market

Father and daughter talking

Buying a Home in Today’s Market

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The housing market is always changing. From fluctuating interest rates, to shifting supply, to rising and cooling markets, it feels like you’re constantly hearing a back-and-forth between whether it’s a “buyer’s” or “seller’s” market. But, your friendly experts at Wintrust Mortgage are always here to find the perfect home for you—no matter how the market actually looks.

As of early 2021, interest rates are still holding low. They have slightly risen from the historic drop of 2020, but the relative increase is on the back of the truly unprecedented dip. This moment presents an opportune time to get locked in at a fixed rate from which you could benefit for years to come. However, another effective change the housing market experienced through the whirlwind of last year was a drastically low inventory of available homes. In April 2021, Redfin reported that 59% of sellers that went under contract accepted an offer within two weeks of listing.1 In response, this shortage of desirable homes on the market prompted a new-home construction boom, ramping up at accelerated rate—builders began work on 1.7 million new homes in March 2021, the fastest pace in nearly 15 years.2  Regardless of these or any other factors, the perfect home is out there waiting for you—and we want to help you consider all of your options to find it.

Start a home renovation project. One popular option for consumers who are either dissatisfied with their current homes or the available homes on the market, is initiating a home renovation project. From remodels to home additions, many consumers are foregoing the process of selling old and buying new in favor of fixing up what they already have, or side-stepping the scorching-hot turnkey market by purchasing a fixer-upper. Plus, many consumers don’t know that they can get prequalified for a renovation loan along with a new mortgage, so they can get started on construction faster. A renovation home loan from Wintrust Mortgage allows borrowers to:

  • Buy and update a home. Use your Wintrust Mortgage loan to buy a home, and also have the money to renovate it to fit your specific needs.
  • Lock in one fixed interest rate. Bundling a purchase and renovation loan allows you to get locked in at a single interest rate, so you don’t have to monitor two separate loans.
  • Pay only one set of closing costs. Save money by only paying fees on a single loan, rather than taking out two and paying double.

Receive special benefits for U.S. veterans. The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) offers loans with special benefits that are designed to assist in home buying for veterans. The VA Loan Program allows U.S. veterans to take advantage of the most competitive market rates while helping buyers keep monthly payments as low as possible. The VA program offers:

  • No down payment in most cases. (Unless required by the lender, or the purchase price is more than the reasonable value of the property.)
  • 100% financing on purchases, and 90% cash-out refinancing. 
  • Upfront mortgage insurance. Veterans can save money during the home-buying process by not being responsible for the cost of mortgage insurance. A funding fee will be required.
  • Larger loan amounts available. Loan amounts range from $453,100 for one-unit properties to $1,386,650 for a four-unit property, depending on county.

Homeowners have experienced massive gains in home equity in recent months, and right now could be a good time to consider buying to help secure your financial future. Between September 2019 and September 2020, homeowners in the U.S. saw a collective increase in home equity by a whopping $1 trillion.3  Additionally, economists are looking toward a bright year in 2021; real GDP growth is expected to accelerate in the coming months, and it could reach as high as 8.4% in the second quarter.4  Such rebounds in the economy could lead to continually rising mortgage rates in the foreseeable future, with 30-year fixed mortgages expected to rise to as high as 3.8% by the end of 2022.5  All of these factors, along with an apparent light at the end of the tunnel for the inventory shortage, position the coming months to possibly become one of the best opportunities to buy a home.

Wintrust Mortgage can find you a home no matter the circumstances of the current housing market. But, mortgage rates that are still holding extremely low compared to the last few years, dropping or inconsistent new-mortgage applications in many markets, and a construction boom across the country all point to a smart time to at least consider making a move. Whether you’re refinancing your home, beginning a home renovation project, or thinking of buying a home, Wintrust Mortgage can help you make the most out of your home.

Restrictions apply. All approvals are subject to underwriting guidelines.

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