As the best loan officers Las Vegas can tell you, COVID-19 has impacted just about every facet of life, including real estate. The housing market, as with many parts of the economy, has been significantly affected by COVID-19. Perhaps you were thinking of buying a home when the pandemic began. Or maybe you are wondering what your chances are of buying a home in the future. A loan officer can tell you all about the virus’s impact on the domestic housing market and how it affects your ability to secure a mortgage.
During these uncertain economic times, COVID-19 has had significant impacts on individuals and businesses alike. Fortunately, help is available for many people who need assistance paying a mortgage. This program is called Forbearance or Mortgage Relief Assistance. It is a temporary form of financial relief that allows homeowners to put their mortgage payments on hold without damaging their credit. The program’s terms vary by lender, but it has the same general principles regardless of the service lender. Ultimately, it is a mortgage payment forgiveness program that absolves you of mortgage payments until you can return to work or otherwise make mortgage payments. When the financial assistance period ends, you pay the lump sum of money owed. In the meantime, you don’t suffer any credit damage. You don’t have to extend your original mortgage period, which translates to less interest, paid overtime, and fewer monthly payments.
What About Refinancing?
Refinancing might be another possibility during the COVID-19 health crisis. Currently, interest rates are at a historic low, which makes refinancing a mortgage more appealing for some homeowners than ever. If you’re searching for mortgages Las Vegas, you might think it is ideal for getting a lower mortgage rate or reducing your mortgage term. You may also feel that now is a perfect time to “cash out” on your home equity. There are pros and cons to consider before refinancing a mortgage. It may be a good option depending on your situation, or you might want to think twice. A significant advantage for homeowners is that lenders may be more willing to provide favorable rates, as they are eager to get business during these uncertain times. However, lenders may be operating with limited staff and at a reduced capacity, which might mean that it takes longer to process your application. Keep in mind that lenders may also have different guidelines and a different underwriting process.
Secure a Mortgage Rate
Securing a mortgage rate is essential. After all, it gives you some certainty and predictability as to what you can expect to pay each month. Before locking in an interest rate, keep in mind that lenders vary in their terms and conditions surrounding locking in a mortgage rate. Additionally, processing times might take longer than usual, regardless of the lender you choose. The average lock-in period ranges from about two weeks to nine months. It usually takes longer to lock in a mortgage if you are planning new construction. Another factor to consider is that most mortgage rates assume a lock period of 30 to 45 days. Finally, you will need to verify employment for a mortgage lock-in. Be aware that employment verification is more difficult during the COVID-19 National Emergency due to limited staff. If your prospective lender requires employment verification, ask if there is anything you can do to expedite the process and avoid lengthy delays.
In-person services are being strictly limited or canceled altogether due to COVID-19. That includes home appraisals. New rules and guidelines are being established to make home appraisals safer for everyone. Many lenders are adopting drive-by home appraisal policies, which means they evaluate a home’s condition by driving by. Some are implementing Desk Top appraisal policies, which also use data collected on your property to determine its overall condition. There are benefits and drawbacks to a virtual home appraisal. While some people are more comfortable keeping an appraiser at a safe distance outside the home, others prefer a more accurate in-person inspection. Before starting on a home appraisal during the COVID-19 pandemic, ask a mortgage company Las Vegas to weigh in on the best options for an appraisal.
Lender services take two basic forms, which are government-backed loans and loans managed by a private lender. Sometimes, homeowners are unaware of who actually owns their mortgage. Loans can change hands frequently, especially during times of economic uncertainty. It’s important for homeowners to know who owns their loan, as loan providers differ in the way that they handle loans. Be sure to check what a lender’s policy is in case you needed relief from a mortgage payment, such as if you lost your job and were at risk of defaulting. Some service providers may have more flexible and forgiving policies than others. Even if your job is stable at the present time, it’s still a good idea to consider alternatives in case you encounter trouble down the road. If you already know that you will have trouble making mortgage payments, be sure to contact your lender as soon as possible for advice and assistance. Government-backed loans may provide more security, while a loan administered through a private company might have less predictable rules and guidelines.
Is Now a Time to Buy a Home?
You may have already been searching for a new home at the time the COVID-19 crisis began. Alternatively, you might think that now is a great time to buy a new home. Either way, be aware that there are fewer options for purchasing a home right now because of the pandemic. To get the best mortgage rates, get a mortgage preapproval now, and let the seller know that you will be flexible with the closing date.
COVID-19 has made dramatic impacts on the housing market. If you’re concerned about the impacts on your mortgage payments or your ability to secure a mortgage, don’t hesitate to contact the best loan officers in Las Vegas. We are here to assist in your time of need.