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Seaport Real Estate Group Blog

Written by Robert H. Ruth

This is a question I deal with on a regular basis working with homebuyers, so I thought you might benefit from an explanation of the key difference between these 2 products. 

When I first speak with a new client who is looking to purchase a home, they frequently have been referred to me by a Realtor or a builder. The Realtor doesn’t want to spend time with people who are not able to purchase, or who do not know their price range for a purchase. So my job is to help the buyers understand the home buying process, and then determine the correct price range they should be shopping in and how much mortgage they can afford given their current income and monthly debt load. 

  • I do this by asking them careful questions that
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Written by Robert H. Ruth

If you are about to start looking for a home this Spring, you may come upon these terms. Beyond a simple definition for each of these, it is very important to know the different factors that define each, and how the different markets can impact a buyer.  This article will examine all these areas, and what may occur if we continue to see interest rates increase.

Seller’s Market Defined

A seller’s market exists when there are many more buyers seeking to purchase than there are homes available on the market. Stated differently, there are less houses available to satisfy a larger pool of buyers in the marketplace. This lack of listing inventory leads to rapid (at times excessive) price appreciation, very quick closings,

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Written by Robert H. Ruth

Over the past 2 weeks I have commented on the increased volatility in financial markets and the impact this volatility has had on mortgage rates. This volatility has happened before, many times. The situation now is to try and figure out whether the mortgage rate market is at a tipping point or if this is more of a transition.

The reality is that it is very hard to predict what will happen tomorrow today. So I’m not going to make any predictions about interest rates. I am going give you some targeted advice about how to react to these changes so you can make sound financing decisions

Volatility is here to stay (for now)

Due to the fact that the Federal Reserve is reversing their policies of quantitative easing

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Written by Robert H. Ruth

 Over the past few weeks, we have seen increased volatility in the stock market, and this has taken many people by surprise. The market has begun to behave in a less predictable manner and this has caught people off guard.  They are not accustomed to, or do not remember that markets ebb and flow and occasional volatility is all a part of investing.   

People also may have conveniently forgotten that the low interest rates we have seen since 2009 are not normal.  Those rates were engineered by the Federal Reserve to keep our economy functioning during the most severe recession since 1929.  Without the intervention of the Fed, our economy would not have recovered from the recession as quickly as it has, nor would there be

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Written by Robert H. Ruth

Over the last 2 weeks we have been witnessing a significant change in the financial landscape in the United States. During this time we have seen the stock market come down from their recently achieved historic highs.  As the price of stocks has decreased, the value of investors’ portfolios, and 401K accounts, have been impacted.  

  • Whether this is a short term or a long term phenomenon remains to be seen.
  • The reality is that the rapid run up in market valuations since the election in 2016 occurred much faster than is normal, and therefore the likelihood of a correction had been anticipated for some time. 
  • What had not been anticipated was the swiftness with which the selloff has occurred. 
  • When this happens,
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Written by Robert H. Ruth

Even though it is only the 3rd week of January, now is the perfect time to get positioned to buy a home. Here in New England the Spring market will heat up right after the Super Bowl with many property listings coming on. Make sure you are ready to take advantage of the market opportunities and do these 5 things so you can jump on a property you like and make the best offer.  Here are the 5 most important things you can do to prepare for house buying season:

Get your documentation organized

This includes the last 2 years of W2 forms, your 2 most recent paystubs, your most recent two months bank statements, and your most recent quarterly 401K or retirement account statement. If you are self- employed or earn

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Written by Robert H. Ruth

The answer to that question is not completely known as of yet, but there are several areas of the final legislation that will affect people who own real estate.  This post will attempt to look at several areas in a bit more detail.  

  • As with any bill before Congress, there were groups who tried to gain an advantage or defend the position they believed would be affected by the proposed legislation, and this bill was no different.
  • Since I am not an accountant, I will not give any advice in that area in this posting. If you have specific tax questions you should consult a tax professional. 

The biggest changes in the law that will be felt by homeowners have to do with mortgage interest deductibility and

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Written by Robert H. Ruth

Back in July I wrote a blog post in which I described what I believed were the 5 pillars supporting the United States housing market. I stated that just as pillars provide support and reinforcement to a beam or an arch and hold the supported structure in place, my 5 pillars were providing the structural support for the current housing market. These were the 5 Pillars of the Housing Market at that time:

  •  Millennial Buyers
  • Low Inventory Levels
  • Historically Low Mortgage Rates
  • Full Employment
  • Price Appreciation

Now that we are in the middle of December, I thought it might be interesting to revisit these five pillars and see if they are still intact, weaker or stronger. Here then, is my current

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Written by Robert H. Ruth

Last week, I reported that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were increasing their conforming agency loan limits in 2018 from $ 424,100 to $ 453,100, an increase of 6.8%. Accordingly, we have received an announcement from the Department of Housing and Urban Development that the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) will also increase their loan limits in 2018. While the new limits are not as high as Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, they are higher than the limits in both states this year.  

While FHA loan limits do not change dramatically on a year over year basis, the new limits are a reflection of the increase in home prices in the US over the last 12 months. As reported by Kelsey Ramirez in Housing Wire, FHA is required by the

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Written by Robert H. Ruth

On Tuesday, November 29th, the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA), who has oversight over Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, announced that they are increasing the conforming loan limits in 2018.  This is an important development for potential homebuyers who are looking to purchase next year and homeowners seeking to refinance. A borrower seeking a loan at or below this amount will be able to obtain a conventional mortgage, and loans amounts that are higher are known as Jumbo Mortgages.

Agency loans historically have rates that are .25 to .50 percent lower than Jumbo Mortgages.

Typically, agency backed loans comprise the largest share of home mortgages in the United States. The maximum conforming loan limit is determined

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