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2015 is a Good Year to Buy and Build
Resources 2015 is a Good Year to Buy and Build

Housing Outlook

As the economy has improved coming out of the Great Recession, home sales have picked up too. In mid-2014, sales of existing homes were on pace to top 5 million and expected to top 5.2 million in 2015, according to a forecast from the National Association of Realtors®.

New construction was forecasted to hit one million homes in 2014 and reach 1.3 million homes in 2015. This is still below the underlying demand of about 1.5 million, but should gradually normalize. New-home sales are likely to increase to 620,000 in 2015, according to Lawrence Yun, chief economist of the National Association of Realtors (NAR) ¹.

Some industry experts believe that new single family housing construction is still lagging, but some markets have experienced significant growth in construction financing due to programs that offer low down payments, flexible rates and terms, and simple closing options.

Home Affordability

Many young adultssome of whom have lived with their parents to save moneymay be ready for a home of their own. However, many of them mistakenly believe they don’t have enough saved for a down payment. In 2014, one in five homebuyers put down less than 10% on a conventional mortgage.*

Homebuyers can be pessimistic about their chances to qualify for a mortgage. When discussing access to credit, Mel Watt, Director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) ¹ said, “There are creditworthy borrowers who have enough income to afford monthly mortgage payments but don’t have a large down payment and have the ability to pay for closing costs upfront.” Down payment size is not the best indicator of whether a borrower has the ability to repay. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will also evaluate the full financial picture of a borrower, including credit histories and other factors when financing a home.

Existing Inventory

Yun said "existing-home sales in 2014 got off to a slow start, but have recently shown stronger growth behind improvements in inventory, slower price gains, and pent-up demand." He also believes, "the improving job market has consumers feeling more confident, and the rebound in home prices is building household wealth for homeowners, providing them the ability to sell after waiting the last few years."

With a good supply of homes for sale, mortgage rates are still historically low. There are also a variety of mortgage options available to fit your individual needs and budget.

What You Can Do Now To Prepare

Work with a knowledgeable and experienced mortgage lender
If you haven’t bought or built a home before, or if it has been a few years, getting advice from experts will simplify the process. It is important to work with a mortgage lender who knows the market and works with local realtors, builders, and appraisers. Your mortgage lender will listen to your questions or concerns and use their expertise to help find the best mortgage to meet your financial needs and advise you every step of the process.

Get a preapproval
Getting preapproved for a mortgage is one of the most important steps. A free preapproval from Athens Federal will help you determine your price range and what you can realistically afford. In addition, when you are ready to make an offer on a home, the seller knows your offer is solid.

Work with a reputable Real Estate Agent or builder
Real estate agents and builders can assist you in finding or building your dream home. Choose someone you trust and feel comfortable with. If you find a house that is “For Sale By Owner,” hire a trusted attorney to make sure the transaction is done properly.

Don’t assume you can’t buy or build a home!
The mortgage lenders at Athens Federal can help you
find a mortgage that fits your individual needs.

To learn more or apply now, visit


¹2014 Realtors Conference & Expo. Lawrence Yun, chief economist of the National Association of Realtors (NAR), was joined by Mel Watt, Director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA), who discussed issues preventing consumers from becoming homeowners.
*Source: Freddie Mac.


Debbie Loftis, VP, Lending
Mortgage Expert

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