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by Michael S. Rosenbaum, W.J. Bradley Mortgage Capital, LLC.

The question I get asked quite a bit as a mortgage lender is “Are we at the bottom yet?” or “Are conditions improving?” In my professional opinion, I say the answer is a double edged sword. While mortgage rates are at record lows and home prices starting to stagnate and rise in some areas, this is a great time to consider locking in a good mortgage rate and buy property. They can’t get much lower and will eventually rise. Looking at the rates over the past several months, there have been small peaks and valleys, but nothing significant. This can’t last forever.

As for home prices – this is a little more tricky. We have a lot of shadow inventory on the market. These are homes that are either bank owned or in the process of becoming bank owned. The real tricky part is that banks are not releasing these properties back on the market. In fact, banks are taking some of these properties and turning them into rental properties. This is keeping the inventory levels low, in turn increasing home values. That may incline quite a few people to think they better get in now while the getting is good. What a lot of people do not realize is that there are still a lot of homes pending foreclosure and a second wave of foreclosures will occur, therefore increasing inventory once again. The real question is – what are the banks going to do with this property?

My prediction is that we won’t see this second wave until after the presidential election. So until then, it’s anybody’s gamble, but the way things are now, it’s a great time to lock in a good rate and if you find something you really like, it could be worth your investment, especially in the long term.

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