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Buying a home in metro Detroit

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Fox 2 Money Monday with Murray Feldman

Hale Walker, Sr. Vice President of Michigan Mutual, Inc. (formally First Preferred Mortgage Company), a full service residential mortgage lender with offices in Southfield, Port Huron, Birmingham, Plymouth, Brighton and Livonia, is here to share with us what's ahead for homebuyers to consider in 2013. 

Website: www.mimutual.com

We've seen mortgage rates tick up for the past few weeks. What ahead for rates? Is now the time to refinance?

In early February, we saw the average for a 30-year, fixed rate mortgage hit about 3.53%--marking the first time rates pushed about 3.5% in more than 3 months.

These are outstanding rates for folks to refinance --- but there are some signs that the all time, historic low rates, from 2012, may be behind us.

Now is the time! If you have been thinking about refinancing, it certainly is a good financial decision.

We are thinking that rates will hover around the 3.5%-4% mark during the balance of 2013-pending no big economic shocks to the economy.

If you haven't refinanced recently, you're probably paying a higher interest rate on your mortgage than you should.

It is critical to get some advice from a mortgage expert. 

Metro Detroit housing prices rose during the last half of 2012. What about homebuyers --- what should they expect?

There is less inventory today than there has been the past two years. Price increases were largely the result of fewer for-sale homes.

Neighborhoods with strong communities-parks, schools, amenities continue to be the focus. In the past two-three years those houses would perhaps sit on the market for a few months and today they are selling in a matter of weeks - if not days.

The Metro Detroit home sales market experienced a considerable rebound at the end of 2012, with December sales prices increasing 26% from 2011.

New construction is also back-due to the shortage of inventory, many families have made the decision to build new. So, if you are considering a move and can't seem to find the right home for you and your family, its worth considering new construction again. We are back lending to these individuals.

We still hear stories of folks unable to qualify for a mortgage due to tighter lending restrictions - what are some tips if people would like to move and buy- but know they have some financial homework to do. What should they do?

Understand this is the new normal --- Credit standards remain tight. This won't change and it is better for the consumer, so we don't go back to the pre-2008 days. If you plan to get a mortgage anytime soon, you must treat your credit as your most valuable asset!

Be proactive -- Partner with a lender who will help you work on your credit and provide as much documentation as possible-we work with potential clients months before they are ready to buy. They partner with us so we can help get them on track to their dream of a new home.

Small changes matter -- Sometimes, paying part of your credit card balances can boost your credit score quickly, getting potential buyers on a more positive track to homeownership.

Still shop for outstanding customer service -- Customer service can make all the difference between a good and awful mortgage experience. Ask questions of your potential lending partner. You should have high expectations for one of the biggest financial decisions of your life.

 

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