Interest Rates are SUPER LOW – is it time to refinance or buy?

A mortgage refinance can create numerous opportunities for a homeowner. Traditionally, homeowners choose to refinance to secure a lower interest rate or change the terms of the loan. There are other advantages to refinancing, as well, depending on your situation.

Are you ready for a mortgage refinance? Do you know someone else who might be?

Review our personalized refinance checklist below and if you get a “yes” to one or more of these questions, it might be the right time:

  1. Can you lower your interest rate? Mortgage interest rates can fluctuate based on the borrowers financial profile and greater economic influencers. If a rate refinance can get you an interest rate at least 1 percentage point lower than your current interest rate, you could save hundreds or even thousands of dollars on mortgage interest.
  1. Has your credit score improved? If you have made your mortgage payments on time, lowered your debt-to-income ratio, and used other credit accounts responsibly, chances are your credit score has improved. A higher credit score can help you refinance into a better loan.
  1. Can you shorten your loan terms? You may have financed your original home purchase with a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage, but after a few years you find you might benefit from a 15-year fixed-rate mortgage. Shorter term mortgages tend to have lower interest rates, and a term refinance can help you take advantage of those lower rates.
  1. Do you want to convert from adjustable-rate to fixed-rate or vice versa? The advantages of an adjustable-rate and fixed-rate mortgage vary from homeowner to homeowner. Whether your original mortgage was an adjustable-rate or a fixed-rate, the current interest rate environment may be better suited for the other type.
  1. Do you want to tap into home equity? As home values continue to rise, many homeowners are considering withdrawing home equity to use for home improvements, to pay down debts, or to meet other financial goals. If your home has appreciated in value since its purchase, and you have at least 20% equity in your home, a cash-out refinance or refinance into a Home Equity Line of Credit may be a great option for you.

If you answered “yes” to one or more of the questions above, or you know someone that would, we should talk! Before pursuing a mortgage refinance, it is best to have me review the specific situation to determine whether or not it’s the right move.

The flip side of low interest rates – means the cost to borrow money is down – making the cost of home ownership more reasonable.  A buyer can afford MORE HOUSE when interest rates are down.  The moment rates rise – a buyer will see an adjusted loan amount from their bank – meaning they can afford less house.  Interest rates change daily – the only way to lock into the low rate is to get into contract on a house and buy it. 

With so many facets to cover, The Caton Team prefers to meet our clients face to face so we can determine what is the best course of action for you and your loved ones.  Contact us anytime for a free Real Estate consolation. 

Got Real Estate Questions?   The Caton Team is here to help.

We strive to be more than just Realtors – we are also your home resource. If you have any real estate questions, concerns, need a referral or some guidance – we are here for you. Contact us at your convenience – we are but a call, text or click away!

The Caton Team believes, in order to be successful in the San Fransisco | Peninsula | Bay Area | Silicon Valley Real Estate Market we have to think and act differently. We do this by positioning our clients in the strongest light, representing them with the utmost integrity, while strategically maneuvering through negotiations and contracts. Together we make dreams come true.  How can The Caton Team help you?

A mother and daughter-in-law team with over 35 years of combined, local Real Estate experience and knowledge – would’t you like The Caton Team to represent you? Let us know how we can be of service. Contact us any time.

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What’s the Best Season for Home Buying? Great question!

Just today I was asked this very question.  “What’s the Best Season for Home Buying?”  And thought this article was interesting from the DAILY REAL ESTATE NEWS.  I must say though – when buying a home, instead of trying to figure everything out on your own, sit down with a Realtor, ask some questions.  We’re happy to meet with you.  Because truly, the time to buy is when you – as a buyer – are ready to do so.  These days (2012 and early 2013) the housing market is competitive no matter what time of year it is.  On average, buyers entering the market today are faced with a minimum 3-6+ month house hunt due to a lack on inventory and an abundance of buyers.  So writing several offers on several homes over the course of several months is standard operations these days.  If you are ready to become a homeowner – jump in and get started.  So much to learn, so much to see – The Caton Team is happy to help!

Enjoy this article…

What’s the Best Season for Home Buying?

After the holidays, buyers tend to start getting more aggressive with their house hunting. Search activity usually peaks around March or April in most states, according to a new study of home searches from 2007 to 2012 conducted by Trulia.

In September, searches slow down. By December buyer searches ebb to their lowest point of the year.

“Home-search activity swings with the seasons in every state,” says Jed Kolko, chief economist of Trulia. “Buyers and sellers can use these ups and downs to their advantage. Sellers looking for the most buyers should list when real estate search traffic peaks. Buyers, however, should think about searching off-season, when there is less competition from other searchers.”

The study revealed seasonal patterns of search activity state to state. Here are the months when online real estate searches peak in every U.S. state:

  • January: Hawaii
  • February: Florida
  • March: Arizona, California, Delaware, Georgia, Idaho, Iowa, Kentucky, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Washington
  • April: Colorado, Connecticut, District of Columbia, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Minnesota, New York, North Dakota, South Dakota, Utah, West Virginia, Wisconsin
  • May: Real estate activity does not peak in any state
  • June: Mississippi
  • July: Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Louisiana, Maine, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Carolina, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, Wyoming
  • August: Montana and Oregon
  • September-December: Real estate activity does not peak in any state

Source: “Trulia Reveals Best Home-Searching Season,” HousingWire (Jan. 29, 2013)

Sabrina’s 2 Cents:  In my experience, especially this year with our beloved 49’ers in the Superbowl, the market doesn’t really start to pick up until after Super Bowl Sunday.  It is funny to hear – but it is true.  We see the buyers get off the couch once the football season is over and listings start coming on the market.  We are ready when you are – give us a call or email!

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Thanks for reading – Sabrina