The long and short of it

You’ve been reading mixed stories about the housing market, and while some areas are still experiencing a slowdown, our market is prime for you to pursue the American Dream.

Regardless of whether housing is up or down, individuals and families will always have a need to buy or sell. Home sales were not as brisk last year, but we’re experiencing a great market this year. Interest rates are at historical lows, which is creating an excellent atmosphere for qualified buyers.

When reading the gloom and doom about foreclosures, it’s important to keep the reports in perspective. Most defaults were a result of sub-prime adjustable mortgages. Most were no money down loans with the seller paying for the buyer’s closing costs and down payments. Those days are gone.

Buyers need to put down at least 5 percent for a conventional loan and 3.5 percent for an FHA loan. Sometimes the down payment may be a gift from a relative. Check with your lender for their loan guidelines. Buyers can still get no money down VA or USDA loans. There are restrictions with both.

Now is the time to seek the advice and guidance of a trusted local real estate professional, whether you’re buying or selling. Keep a level head and take advantage of positive forces in the current housing market. Now is a great time to buy a home.