My take on today’s mortgage news.


Good afternoon all~

 Many of you have had questions regarding the state of the real estate market in the greater Onslow County area which includes such townships as Jacksonville, Sneads Ferry, Topsail, Holly Ridge, Hubert, Richlands, etc.

“What’s going on with our market?” “Would you say it is a seller’s market?” “Are we in a buyer’s market?”  There is SO much to discuss on these topics and more so as a first blog posting, I will try to give an overview as to what status OUR current marketplace is in.

Onslow County is BLESSED, we have great stability, we are less affected by inflation as well as recession than other portions of our great county.  Which means, those high swings UP in property values that major urban areas saw in the last several years had a pretty small impact on our property values namely because we are such an appraisal-based market. . .generally speaking our average buyer is using a VA/FHA or Conventional loan, we saw, percentage wise, very few unconventional/high risk/adjustable/or exotic loans that other portions of the US . . .mortgages that required the property REALLY be worth what it is being sold for, using nearby recently sold homes (within the previous 6 months) as comps to justify the prices.  We certainly did see an uptick in prices in the last few years but with a majority of our home buyers and sellers being full-time active duty or in a career that is in support of them, folks have fixed salaries and generally could qualify for a traditional mortgage. . .keeping things pretty steady in terms of property values and sales were brisk.

Things have slowed over the summer and fall due to bad press for the mortgage market and higher interest rates to cool that market down. . .some buyers were intimidated by what they were hearing daily on the news, the foreclosure rate and changes in the mortgage industry were largely to blame.

What’s happening now?  Things have actually picked up, despite the winter being seen as our “slower” season. . .homes in a higher price range in our area, namely the $220,000 and up price range are still a bit sluggish. . .but your average single family dwelling, when well priced and adequately marketed by a professional sell in a very reasonable amount of time with happy sellers and buyers as a result.

If you have questions specific to your home, such as what improvements are worthwhile, or, would be interested in a free home valuation and market assesment, I would be more than happy to speak with you on a personal level. 

One wonderful lesson learned as a result of all of these market changes, there is no one-size fits all mortgage, buy what you are comfortable balancing as a monthly bill in conjuntion with your car payment, student loan payments, etc.  Don’t get talked into buying more home than you can afford comfortably and choose a loan with a fixed interest rate so that years down the line you aren’t hit with a balloon loan payment or a hefty refinance fee. . .I know personally I feel uncomfortable working with someone who is stretching for a mortgage with a promotion in their future. . .the future is uncertain, I can tell you that I shudder at the idea of helping someone get into a home that will have then crying over their mortgage payment down the line as they write their monthly check!

More info to follow, check back freqently!

Here is what I received from Carolina Family Mortgage today regarding the Mortgage Freeze Plan:

For those of you that are interested:

Details on the Mortgage Freeze Plan that President Bush announced to assist clients with Adjustable Rate Mortgages:

*** In order to qualify for an interest-rate freeze, you must have received your mortgage sometime between 01/01/05 and 07/31/07, and need to be facing an interest rate reset sometime between 01/01/08 and 07/31/10. 
*** You may be eligible to have your interest rate frozen for five years, but only if you don’t qualify to make payments at the higher adjustable rate. 
*** You cannot be more than 30 days behind on your payments. 
*** Investment properties are NOT eligible.
*** You cannot have more than 3% equity in your home.
*** Credit scores <660 will be given top priority.
Clients interested in the program should call 1.888.995.HOPE

I took this information from an article I just read, so this is my interpretation of the Plan. In other words, don’t hold me to it:) 

Jennifer Ellenor
Carolina Family Mortgage

About McKenzie Johnson

I am a Real Estate Broker with over 13 years experience in the industry. A fan of anything the color orange, long walks on the beach eating dried cuttlefish, four legged friends, new adventures in cooking or travel. A REALTOR and real estate consultant living and working in North Carolina with information to share. I would love to demystify the process for you. . .I think real estate is a tremendous investment for just about everyone. . .not just for the financial aspect, but also the idea of owning a piece of the American Dream, a chunk of earth, literally, with your name on it. I love what I do and who I get to meet through my job, the most rewarding part is handing a family their very first set of house keys! I hope you will find helpful information here, and it is just that, information, please don't take it as gospel, just my take on real estate and the world around me. For additional information and how to contact me, visit my website I serve the Onslow County area which includes the military bases: Camp Lejeune, New River MCAS, Camp Johnson, Camp Gieger and more.

One response »

  1. I have also noticed here in Seattle that the market seemed to slow as of August and then pick up as late as November. Not the normal cycle for sure. Property I listed in July closed in November.

    I think there was a lot of chaos in the mortgage industry, and while that is not over for sure, many are learning how to work with it.

    Good luck with your blog!

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