How to purchase a home without 20% down!

Are you holding off buying a home because you don’t have 20% down payment saved?! Would you like to buy, but not sure if your credit score or income will limit what you can afford? Good news! There are many options available for you.

While having 20% down with a 800 credit score is very desirable, many people could qualify to buy their own homes. You just need to know your options and talk to the right lender to see what is possible for your situation! Here are the different type of loan options to consider when buying a home:

VA Loans

  • 0% down
  • No mortgage insurance
  • No upfront fees
  • Available to current or former military
  • Subject to VA inspection/underwriting

FHA Loans

  • 3.5% down
  • 1.5% Upfront mortgage insurance ( can be wrapped into loan)
  • Available to most buyers with credit scores 579+
  • Subject to FHA inspection/underwriting

USDA Home Purchase

  • 0% down
  • 1% Upfront mortgage insurance (can be wrapped into loan)
  • Available to most buyers with credit scores 640+
  • Subject to location and income requirements
  • Home Buyer class required for loan approval

Home Ready/Home Possible

  • 3% down
  • 3% Upfront mortgage insurance ( can be wrapped into loan)
  • Available to most buyers with credit scores 579+
  • Subject to  income requirements
  • All the down payment and closing costs can come from a down payment gift.

Conventional 97

  • 3% down
  • PMI required for loans with less than 20%
  • 680+ credit scores with 75% LTV
  • Not subject to  income requirements

Low Downpayment Lenders

  • 5% down
  • PMI required for loans with less than 20%
  • 680+ credit scores
  • Not subject to  income requirements
  • Submit to conforming loan limits

Determining the best financing option also depends on your current market, the terms of your offer and strength of your lender! Using a local bank, versus a large corporation or internet lender will help your contract be competitive and also ensure that you will make it to settlement.

If you are curious about downpayment options and picking the best program and lender for you, contact us at admin@wethmangroup.com!

 

 

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The Wethman Group’s Real Estate News – January 2018

January 2018

Greetings!

In the News 
  • Local Market Update
  • Tax Law Update & Market Impact
  • Wethman Group PERKS! Client Appreciation Program Launches
Local Market Update
December was busier than normal for sellers and buyers!
In the DC area, the market remains hot. There were 695 sales, which topped the December average of 673 homes sold. Pending sales and active listings were also higher than previous years. The month’s supply dipped to just below 1.5 months of inventory! Most homes were on the market 18 days or less.
In the Northern Virginia area, there were 2,599 sales in December which is lower than the five-year average. This is similar to the number of sales the same period in 2016. Pending and active listings were lower than previous December averages, but more homes were sold throughout the entire year compared to volume in 2016. The month’s supply also dipped to 1.4 months (from a 2.0 average) confirming that there is less inventory for buyers. The average days on market also decreased in most counties compared to sales in December 2016. The market is still strong in most counties.
Thinking about selling your home in 2018? Don’t wait for Spring! The serious buyers start looking as early as February, and we typically see higher prices and multiple offers for our sellers *very* early in the season! Contact us to get a free consultation for your home and updated market analysis of your neighborhood.
( Data & graph from SmartCharts by Showingtime)
 
Tax Law Update & Market Impact
 

The tax bill is now final and is largely the same as what was in the combined bill coming out of committee.  A brief refresher:
– The bill allows a “pass through” deduction of 20% of income to an LLCs, S-Corps, and partnerships for income up to $315,000 (phases out completely at $415,000).  Details are still being studied by CPAs everywhere, but this could be a good tax-saving opportunity for owners of rental properties.
– The bill allows mortgage interest on the first $750,000 of debt to be deducted.
– Itemizers can deduct a combined state and local tax PLUS property taxes but CAPS the combined deduction at $10,000.
– The “2 out of 5 years” exclusion on capital gains on the sale of a primary residence remains.
In our area, we don’t expect to see a significant impact on the immediate real estate market as a result of the tax bill.  While homeowners with mortgages > $750k will certainly be impacted, it’s not likely to cause large numbers to change their home buying or selling decisions. The cap on SALT deductions has a larger impact on more home owners locally, but the increase in the standard deduction, combined with lower rates overall, makes it unlikely that most home owners will see a change significant enough to impact the buying and selling (at least until the individual cuts sunset down the road).  Of course there are always exceptions, but in general, I do not expect a big shift in our market currently.  We’re already seeing a lot of buyers and sellers getting ready for spring, and while they’re all curious about the new law’s impact, we’re just not seeing it change anyone’s plans yet.
The law *will* eventually have an impact on first time buyers, who will see less of a tax advantage, or no advantage at all, to buying vs renting.  Of course there are other incentives, financial and otherwise, to owning, so buyers won’t disappear, but it may take longer for it to make financial sense for first time buyers, which will slow down their entry into the market and have a ripple effect upwards.
Client Appreciation Program and Events 
 
WG PERKS Client Appreciation Program Launch
 
We are always looking for ways to show our clients how much we value you! We are excited to roll out a new Client Appreciation Program for 2018: WG Perks! As part of the program we will continue to offer our moving truck, client appreciation events, and loaner library, and have added for 2018 free office services (copies, faxes, and notary service), new loaner library equipment, and monthly drawings for some great prizes! If you are a client and did not receive your invitation to participate, please email us at wgperks@wethmangroup.com.
WG PERKS LOANER LIBRARY ADDITIONS:You probably know we have a free moving truck, but we’ve also now added 2 warming buffets, a large coffee urn, and a 4 foot table, available for your short-term use. Need to take down those holiday lights? Ask us about our 22′ ladder! Just email us at wgperks@wethmangroup.comto reserve an item for pickup.
 
First Time Home Buyer Classes – Coming Soon ONLINE!
In 2018 we are taking out popular First Time Home Buyer Classes online! Beginning in February, we will be offering a free online webinar that covers: deciding to buy, financing, your home search, and trends in the local market, among other topics. Register here and we will keep you in the loop when the dates are set, or forward this to a friend who is thinking about starting their search!
As always, if you or someone you know has a real estate need please reach out. We’re here to help!
The Wethman Group
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The Wethman Group’s Real Estate News – December

December 2017

Greetings!

In the News 
  • Local Market Update
  • Tax Bill Update
  • Fed Increases Rate
  • New Loan Limits
Local Market Update:
November was a busy month for sellers and buyers! While we are approaching a slower time of year, serious buyers are still out looking, in hopes of taking advantage of lower interest rates.
There is about 11% less inventory on the market, compared to November 2016, with the majority of the difference tied to a decrease in available detached/single family homes. Sales are about the same for townhouses, condos, and coops. Almost all areas are experiencing fewer days on market, compared to the same period in 2016. The average days on market for sellers in November/December can take a bit longer than the spring, but serious buyers are still out looking!
The average sales price has increased about 7.5%. This is good news for owners, even if their home takes a bit longer to sell.

As expected, the fed increased short-term rates for the 3rd time in 2017, but left their rate outlook unchanged for the upcoming years. Interest rates were hovering around 4.25% earlier this year, but have remained lower this Fall at around 4%.
Thinking about selling your home in 2018? Don’t wait for Spring! The serious buyers start looking as early as February, and we typically see higher prices and multiple offers for our sellers *very* early in the season! Contact us today to get a free consultation for your home and updated market analysis of your neighborhood!
( Data & graph from SmartCharts by Showingtime)
Fed Rate Increase
As expected, the Fed raised interest rates.  Mortgage (long term) rates came DOWN in the first 2 days following the increase because the increase was expected, and indicates the markets are taking cues from the Fed, but with the economy improving in jobs and tamed inflation (so far), we can expect steadily rising rates in 2018.


Tax Bill Update
 

As you may know, both the House and Senate passed different versions of the tax bill, and the bill has now emerged from committee with some compromises.  We’ll have more extensive commentary if and when the final bill passes, but here are the key real estate-related provisions to date:
– The bill allows a “pass through” deduction of 20% of income to an LLCs, S-Corps, and partnerships for income up to $315,000 (phases out completely at $415,000).  It appears that if you own rental real estate in an LLC, then 20% of the income (up to the limit) could be tax exempt.  Maybe it’s time to buy that rental property?!  (This part of the bill remains under intense scrutiny and may face adjustments before passing.)
– The reconciled bill allows mortgage interest on the first $750,000 of debt to be deducted.  (This is a compromise from the House limit of $500,000 and Senate version of the current $1,000,000).
– Both versions increase the standard deduction and eliminate personal exemptions.  This means that for many homeowners, it will no longer make sense to itemize on Schedule A, especially since the state and local tax deduction is also capped (currently at a combined $10,000), further limiting the tax advantage that homeowners typically enjoy over renters.  The reconciled bill allows homeowners to deduct a combined state and local tax PLUS property taxes but CAPS the combined deduction at $10,000.
– Both versions had altered the “2 out of 5 years” rule for tax free gains upon the sale of a principal residence. But the reconciled version does NOT have any amendments to this part of the tax code.  So the capital gains exclusion of $250,000 for singles and $500,000 for couples filing jointly, if you’ve lived in the property 2 out of the last 5 years, appears to remain intact for now.
Stay tuned!
New Loan Limits
The conventional conforming loans limits have been increased for 2018, making it easier to get an affordable mortgage at a slightly higher price.  For the DC metro area, our loan limits are $453,100 and $679,650(significant increases from the previous $424,100 and $636,150.)
Client Appreciation Program and Events 
As always, we’re so appreciative our all of our clients and their referrals!  We loved seeing everyone at our Thanksgiving Pie Day party and our Breakfast at the Movies with Santa.
Stay tuned for more details about our new “Wethman Group Perks” program launching in 2018!
LOANER PROGRAM ADDITIONS: You probably know we have a free moving truck, but we’ve also now added 2 warming buffets, a large coffee urn, and a 4 foot table, available for your short-term use. Yard full of leaves? We have a leaf blower and shredder, too.  Need to clean the gutters?  Ask us about our ladder!  Just email us to reserve an item for pickup.
First Time Home Buyer Classes – Coming Soon ONLINE!
In 2018 we are taking out popular First Time Home Buyer Classes online! Beginning in February, we will be offering a free online webinar that covers: deciding to buy, financing, your home search, and trends in the local market, among other topics. Register here and we will keep you in the loop when the dates are set, or forward this to a friend who is thinking about starting their search!
As always, if you or someone you know has a real estate need please reach out. We’re here to help!
The Wethman Group
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The Wethman Group’s Real Estate News – November

November 2017

Greetings!

We may sound like a broken record, but October followed the suit of the trends we have been seeing in the local market across this year: low inventory, but continued sales and price increases. October marked the 18th month of year-over-year decrease in inventory with active listings down 2.8% from October last year. New contracts were up 2% from this time last year and the median sales price was up over 3%. For this time of year, properties are still moving relatively quickly, with the average Days On Market (DOM) at 17, down 6 days from the 23 in October last year, but still up from the low of 11 we saw in the summer months.
Still thinking of selling this year? Now is the time to act! If you’ve been considering a change, let us work with you on the best strategy to make the most of the current market conditions.
How Will the Tax Bill Affect Area Housing
 

If you have been following the two versions of the proposed tax bill,you know that homeowners could be adversely affected by several of the changes. Because of the high prices in our area, we have the potential to feel the changes more than a lot of the country. This article does a good job of summarizing the two plans, and concludes the House bill would increase home-related tax liability for 18.5% of current homeowners. Buying would still be a better deal than renting, but for home buyers looking in the $500k-$1M range, that margin would shrink by 8-13%. The Senate bill does away with the deduction for property tax, raising the tax liability for homeowners, but with potentially less pronounced affect. The increase in cost of homeownership is projected to make current owners more likely to make do with current living situations than “move up”, which would lead to further strain on already low area inventory.
Wethman Group in the News
 
Katie was quoted this week in this Trulia article about the best area neighborhoods for first time home buyers. Check it out!
Client Appreciation Program and Events 
As always, we’re so appreciative our all of our clients and their referrals.  Our latest “Thank You” events:
 
Pie Day Party: Tuesday, November 21
Movie with Santa at Tysons: Saturday, December 2
 
Postcards and email invitations are out! Clients, let us know if we missed you and we will get you the information ASAP.
Stay tuned for more details about our new “Wethman Group Perks” program launching in 2018!
LOANER PROGRAM ADDITIONS: You probably remember we have a free moving truck, but we’ve also now added 2 warming buffets, a large coffee urn, and a 4 foot table, available for your short-term use. Yard full of leaves? We have a leaf blower and shredder, too.  Just email us to reserve an item for pickup!
First Time Home Buyer Classes – Coming Soon ONLINE!
In 2018 we are taking out popular First Time Home Buyer Classes online! Beginning in February, we will be offering a free online webinar that covers: deciding to buy, financing, your home search, and trends in the local market, among other topics. Register here and we will keep you in the loop when the dates are set, or forward this to a friend who is thinking about starting their search!
As always, if you or someone you know has a real estate need please reach out. We’re here to help!
The Wethman Group
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Stop Renting! Here’s Where You Should Buy a Home in Washington DC & Northern Virginia

Conventional wisdom dictates that is better to buy than rent.  However, in many of the nation’s most expensive markets, like DC, the decision to buy is increasingly more difficult.  The metro’s renters are conflicted, on one hand their monthly rent is more than $2,200, yet DC home prices are rising yearly making it ever more challenging to enter the market.

 

In May, it was 31 percent cheaper to buy than rent nationally, according to Trulia, and It is still cheaper to buy than rent in DC today.  With the Federal Reserve threatening another interest rate hike in December, now is the time to buy a home in the DC metro.

 

Here are six areas in the area where renters can save substantial money by choosing to purchase a home in Washington, DC or Northern Virginia.

 

Adams Morgan, Washington, DC

It is 22 percent cheaper to buy than rent in this multicultural neighborhood with a diverse restaurant scene for the average foodie. The median sales price for Adams Morgan DC real estate is $560,000 and the median rent is $2,875. Renting costs average $2,745 per month while buying costs average $2,154 per month. Choosing to buy in Adams Morgan would save a renter close to $600 per month.

 

Mount Pleasant, Washington, DC

Located north of downtown, Mount Pleasant is a short metro ride from the heart of the District.  Its nearness to shopping and Rock Creek Park make it one of the District’s most desirable neighborhood.  This may account for its lofty median rent of $4,650 per month.  Renter’s in this neighborhood should become owners.  Despite the median home sale price of $890,000, it is 24 percent cheaper to buy a home in Mount Pleasant. Renters could save $12,000 annually by choosing to own.

 

Columbia Heights, Washington DC

Just east of Mount Pleasant, Columbia Heights is another one of the District’s more sought-out neighborhoods.  Its median rent is $3,625 while the median sales price of homes is $625,000.  It is currently, 28 percent cheaper to buy than rent in this District neighborhood.  In seven years, a renter could potentially save $60,000 by investing in Columbia Heights real estate now.

 

Arlington, VA

Arlington with its many office buildings, is popular with both young adults and families seeking a shorter commute.  Those living in Arlington VA spend $3,056 per month renting whereas homeowners only spend $2,265 per month.  Making it 26 percent cheaper to buy than rent.  Renters could save over $66,000 in a seven-year period by choosing to invest in Arlington real estate.

 

Falls Church, VA

Falls Church, just west of Arlington, offers a great suburban experience. It is 21 percent cheaper to buy than rent in this Northern Virginia community.  The median sales price of a home in Falls Church $540,000. Renters spend $2,650 per month while homeowners spend $2,081 per month.

 

McLean, VA

The choice to buy instead of rent is a slightly tougher choice for residents of McLean, VA.  Buying offers a 10 percent advantage to would-be homeowners. In McLean, the cost of rent is $3,296 per month while buying costs are $3,653 per month.  The savings per month is $357.  After seven years, McLean rents could amass close to a $30,000 nest egg.

 

The numbers tell a compelling story.  DC renters should be encouraged to jump on the home-buying bandwagon.  With impending interest rate hikes, the time to start a home search is now. Call us today so you can find a home here and reap the benefits.

 

Methodology: Rent vs. Buy pricing assumes a 20 percent down payment, a 30-year fixed loan, a 4.35% interest rate, an income tax rate of 25%, and ownership for 7 years.

 

Katie Bassett is a freelance blogger who covers a wide array of topics within the real estate industry as well as the overall lifestyle for millennials.

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The Wethman Group’s Real Estate News – October

October 2017

Greetings!

In September we typically see a flurry of market activity following a bit of a lull in August, and this year was no exception. New listings were up over 18% from August, and new pending sales were up from September last year. Inventory remains tight, with the 17th consecutive month of year-over-year decline in active listings. September saw the 12th consecutive month of year-over-year price increases, and the highest September on record in a decade.
As you can see from the table above, the price changes vary greatly by the jurisdiction within the region and then even within neighborhoods within those jurisdictions. Contact us for specific data by zip code or price point to strategize your best approach.
Still thinking of selling this year? Now is the time to act! If you’ve been considering a change, let us work with you on the best strategy to make the most of the current market conditions.
0% Interest Loan Program
NASA credit union is offering a 0% loan program with 0% Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI), even on jumbo loans. This is a great program, and basically anyone can apply, no NASA affiliation required.
Client Appreciation Program and Events 
 
CLIENT EVENT SAVE THE DATES:
Pie Day Party: Tuesday, November 21
Movie with Santa at Tysons: Saturday, December 2
Postcards and email invitations will go out to clients later this month.
LOANER PROGRAM ADDITIONS: You probably remember we have a free moving truck, but we’ve also now added an electric lawn mower and hedge trimmer to our inventory, available for your short-term use. We also have a leaf blower/shredder for Fall cleanups!  Just email us to reserve an item for pickup.
 
Ekko Title Providing Relief in Puerto Rico
We were thrilled to loan the Wethman Group moving truck to help Sara Mendez Rodriguez and Ekko Title with their Puerto Rico donation drive!  They sent two VERY full trucks down to Florida on October 13th. The supplies will be sent on a chartered flight to Puerto Rico this week. Sara, who is from PR, will be going to Florida too, and then on to PR, to oversee distribution of food, water, diapers, cleaning supplies, feminine products, and much more, directly to people who still desperately need help. If you or a group you know could use our moving truck to aid the community or collect donations for this or another worthy cause, we’d love to help!
First Time Home Buyer Classes
 
We are gauging interest for hosting our popular class for first time buyers on a few dates this fall. Curious about the process of searching for your new home? Is buying one of your goals for 2018 but not sure where to start? We cover these topics and more in our class and consistently get rave reviews for the usefulness of the content. Drop us a line to let us know you are interested in attending and we will keep you posted as we add dates.
Love us? Review us! Your reviews drive our business. To show our appreciation, if you share your experience online at Yelp, Zillow, Angie’s List, or on Facebook, and you will be entered into a quarterly drawing for a $100 gift card. Plus, you will instantly receive our deepest gratitude!
As always, if you or someone you know has a real estate need please reach out. We’re here to help!
The Wethman Group
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The Wethman Group’s Real Estate News – September

September 2017

Greetings!

August is known to be a slow month in DC generally with the congressional recess and end of summer vacations. In our local housing market, we had just a little more pep than historical averages. September numbers won’t be out for a few more weeks, but we have also seen a bit of a pick up in our own office here in the short time following Labor Day. The season isn’t over folks!
New listings were up 7.2% from August last year, but down from last month, which is fairly typical seasonality. On our team, we had a couple of buyers who were looking all summer finally get a contract on the right place for them when a new listing popped up, and a couple of sellers match up with buyers after longer than anticipated on the market. The numbers show a mixed bag overall. The market is still active, but with prices leveling off slightly, and homes sitting a little longer, it is too soon to tell if what we are seeing in the market is seasonal or part of a larger shift.
As always, these are general trends. Contact us for specific data by zip code or price point to strategize your best approach.
There is still time to think about selling this year! Our area experiences another flurry of activity between September and the end of October, so if you are on the fence, it is time to move. Not able to move that fast? It is never too early to start planning for spring of next year–we see buyers out as early as February! If you’ve been considering a change, let us work with you on the best strategy to make the most of the current market conditions.
DC Recordation Tax News
First time home buyers in DC may soon be eligible for significant savings on closing costs! Beginning October 1, 2017, qualified buyers may receive up to 50% off the recordation tax (from as much as 1.45% down to .0725%) on eligible property purchases. The property value cannot exceed $625,000 and buyers must apply for eligibility, but this is great news for buyers looking in the District. We will share more information as the program is rolled out and we see it in action.
Client Appreciation Program and Events  
CLIENT EVENT SAVE THE DATES:
Pie Day Party: Tuesday, November 21
Movie with Santa at Tysons: Saturday, December 2
Postcards and email invitations will go out to clients next month.
VENDOR GUIDE: Be on the lookout in the mail for our newly updated Recommended Vendor Guide!
LOANER PROGRAM ADDITIONS: You probably remember we have a free moving truck, but we’ve also now added an electric lawn mower and hedge trimmer to our inventory, available for your short-term use. We also have a leaf blower/shredder for Fall cleanups!  Just email us to reserve an item for pickup.
First Time Home Buyer Classes
 
We are gauging interest for hosting our popular class for first time buyers on a few dates this fall. Curious about the process of searching for your new home? Is buying one of your goals for 2018 but not sure where to start? Are the low interest rates attractive, but still not sure if renting or buying is best in your situation? We cover these topics and more in our class and consistently get rave reviews for the usefulness of the content. Drop us a line to let us know you are interested in attending and we will keep you posted as we add dates.
Love us? Review us! Your reviews drive our business. To show our appreciation, if you share your experience online at Yelp, Zillow, Angie’s List, or on Facebook, and you will be entered into a quarterly drawing for a $100 gift card. Plus, you will instantly receive our deepest gratitude!
As always, if you or someone you know has a real estate need please reach out. We’re here to help!
The Wethman Group
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