October 2012 Mortgage Update – Your FAQs Answered

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As a real estate agent, I am often asked about the state of our market. Within that also comes a desire for people to keep up-to-date with the latest mortgage news. Of course ever since our housing market crashed back in 2007, there has been much activity going on and the news can and does change at the drop of a hat.

Interest Rates Continue to Remain at Record Setting Lows

Talking with Susan Petrocco of Investors Home Mortgage located in Millburn, NJ, we get to hear of some of today’s mortgage news and how it impacts you as a buyer (and seller). For starters, she says that interest rates have never been lower. Now we have all heard that – especially lately as the government keeps the base rate down to a minimum for at least another year. But did you know just how low the rates are today? Right now, on a 30-year fixed rate mortgage qualified buyers are getting 3.25%. The rate is even lower for 15-year notes at 2.875%.

This is an unprecedented low and it will not last forever. Though one can only tell once the rates have already hit bottom and begin to rise again, we can advise you that now is THE time to take advantage of these rates.

Varying Types of Loans Are Available

One of the most confusing aspects of mortgages for some borrowers is the difference between conforming and jumbo loans. Susan clarifies this for us by explaining that loans amounting up to $417,000 are considered conforming loans while notes from $625,000 and up are jumbo loans. The range in between each of these are considered conforming high balance loans.

It’s a Great Time to Refinance

Many homeowners are unsure whether they ought to seek to refinance their home – in fact many have no idea of the potential benefits of doing so. The truth is that though in the past borrowers had been advised to apply for a refinance on their mortgage anytime it would have saved them a percentage point or more, things have changed in today’s mortgage world. Today, Susan advises that if there is a change of anything more than a half percent, borrowers should consider refinancing.
If you would like to sit down with Susan Petrocco, contact her today at Investors Home Mortgage (973.219.0213). And as always if you have any real estate needs, whether to buy, sell or invest – contact me today at 973.214.0691 or email ACutAbove@ShannonAronson.com. I look forward to meeting with you!

South Orange, New Jersey Seeing a Lot of Activity as the Real Estate Market Continues to Strengthen

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One of the things we look for as we study the market trends in our local areas is how public interest spikes in certain locales. South Orange is one of those places. During the last year alone, we have seen a huge surge of interest from buyers, with a significant jump in the number of homes sold and just as few homes remaining available on the market.

There are so many reasons that living in South Orange is becoming more and more popular. For starters, there is a great school system (shared by Maplewood). Ranked by the New Jersey Monthly Magazine as being the 47th best high school – up from last year’s ranking at number 75 on the list.

Not only that but residents of South Orange also enjoy many great entertainment options on top of the already gorgeous landscape that comes with the New Jersey lifestyle. The South Orange Performing Arts Center is just one of many entertainment options – with a host of exciting events held throughout the year. Concerts, comedy shows, live theatre, mainstream films as well as the more trendy artistic film productions and dance productions are all available to residents and visitors in the state-of-the-art SOPAC facility built in the early 2000s.

In terms of market statistics, we have seen a tremendous jump in the number of homes sold during the past year, with as many as 30% more homes coming off the market through 2012 as compared to the same time frame last year. The real estate market is definitely very strong in South Orange, making it an excellent time to buy a home. In fact, with increased demand and continued historic low interest rates, buyers are finding it harder and harder to find the perfect home since there is so much buying competition out there right now.

For those of you that like to get back to the big city regularly there are many transportation options available in terms of traveling out of South Orange. Two New Jersey Transit train stations plus three bus lines provide ample avenues of getting to Manhattan.
If you would like to explore South Orange as a place you’d like to call home, contact me today at 973.214.0691. I’d be glad to show you around and help you find your perfect place!