Listing Courtesy of SUNRISE REAL ESTATE - LEWES
It does seem to be time for an in depth forecast about our area’s housing outlook for 2015. The prediction game is going strong everywhere else this week, with print and online journalists and TV talking heads interviewing experts and each other about what to expect in the coming year. Some make noteworthy predictions—but more seem to be doing their best to sound authoritative while remaining vague enough to avoid provably wrong calls.
I have to sympathize. Last year, after delving into the Frankford housing outlook to come up with predictions, the one I put at the top of my list was a forecast that mortgage interest rates would soon be climbing. That was safe—rates had been so low for so long, history told us they had to rise, didn’t it? Besides, all the experts agreed.
What then happened in 2014 explains why financial prospectuses tend to footnote projections with sentences like "past performance is no guarantee of future results." Rates did rise; but then sank again. So this year, it’s probably a better idea to shelve the crystal ball in favor of laying out some of the factors we do and don’t know—factors that should influence the direction of Frankford housing trends for the coming year.
First, what we do know for sure. Since Baby Boomers make up the largest demographic in the country...
Uh-oh! No they don’t. The Census Bureau now says that the cohort of 23-year-old Americans has just become the largest in the country. Followed by 24- and 22-year olds, respectively. Probably why the chief economist at the NAR® projects that this generation will "drive two-thirds of household formations over the next five years." He says 2015 will become the point at which the millennial generation’s presence in the housing market will be truly felt for the first time. So what we do know is that younger buyers have begun to join the ranks of homeowners in substantial numbers. That’s different; it has the look of a major trend.
And mortgage rates will rise (because they have to, right?) Again, this one only seems to be a reliable projection. At this point, a 30-year mortgage is actually lower than it was a year ago. It is thought that foreign influences (uncertainty in Europe; economic weakness in the Far East) are what have held down U.S. housing financing rates. If that’s true—and since no one can say with any certainty what to expect from events overseas—mortgage rates and their influence on Frankford housing activity should more accurately be placed in the don’t know column.
So will Frankford housing prices and sales activity rise in the coming year? We do know that the public opinion polling data supports that likelihood. Consumer confidence is building, possibly because of a brightening employment picture. In fact, real estate mega site Trulia reports that their samples tell them "consumers expect 2015 to be better, especially for selling a home."
Economists agree. Fortune.com says that economists are "nearly unanimous in predicting that home values would continue to rise" and that "surveys of homeowner sentiment suggest that more of them will look to sell their homes" in the coming year. If you are leaning in that direction yourself, there’s one factor we know for sure: I’ll be standing by in 2015, ready to put all of my resources and experience to work for your Frankford home sale!
Even though national foreclosure rates have continued to drop, the threat of becoming another Sussex County foreclosure statistic is still very real for some homeowners. It’s at least somewhat reassuring to understand that most banks don’t really want a foreclosure — so for homeowners who take an early proactive approach with their lender, losing their home does not have to be inevitable.
For anyone who has fallen behind on payments, Job One is to discuss the situation with your banker. If a mortgage restructuring is possible, you may have an opportunity to refinance at a lower rate with more manageable payment amounts. In some cases, it may be possible to alter other terms of your agreement — for example; you might arrange to postpone any delinquent payments to the end of the loan’s term. You have to ask.
Payment Deferral Options
If payment failure has been caused by losing a job, a medical condition one of the other more common causes, some banks will work out payment deferral options. If you have prepared documentation to back up your hardship claim, it is more likely that the lender will be able to offer an agreement to defer your payments while you get back on track.
If the financial situation is such that you know you can no longer sustain regular payments, it may be best to consider a short sale — the option where the bank agrees to accept sale to a third party for a sum that falls short of the loan’s balance. It means loss of the property, but results in a better credit history than does a Sussex County foreclosure.
A foreclosure in Sussex County becomes inevitable if the reality of a tough financial situation isn’t recognized and addressed. If you take positive steps once you realize you are going to miss a payment, you put yourself in the best position to open options that are less problematic than full foreclosure. If you find you could benefit from a strictly confidential price evaluation on your home, call me — sometimes a property can be worth more than you think!
Savvy shoppers and sellers; don’t sit on the sidelines, call/text 302-228-7871 or email me, Russell Stucki, REALTOR® of Beach Real Estate Market to provide detailed information on Delaware homes for sale, investment and commercial properties, luxury and waterfront homes, condos/townhomes, new construction, lots and land, farms and equestrian properties located in but not limited to Bethany, Bethel, Bridgeville, Dagsboro, Delmar, Ellendale, Fenwick Island, Frankford, Georgetown, Greenwood, Harbeson, Laurel, Lewes, Lincoln, Milford, Millsboro, Millville, Milton, Ocean View, Rehoboth Beach, Seaford, Selbyville, Delaware.