5 Essential Tips on Home Finance for the Home-Buying Season

Created by
Norm Frates


Summer is a great time to think about buying a home, building a home, or improving your home. I asked other Mortgage Lenders here at Mascoma Savings Bank if there were any trends they have noticed during the past few months that might interest our customers. Without diving too deeply into details, here are a few things about home finance to keep in mind as the summer home-buying season heats up.

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  1. Richard Kozlowski, Vice President and Residential Mortgage Lending Manager, says that one trend he’s seeing in the mortgage business is an uptick in refinances. “With interest rates in the mid-3 percent range, many customers are finding that they can save money by refinancing.” If you’re thinking of taking advantage of some of your equity to fund home improvement projects or simply want the lower rate, now might be the perfect time.
  2. Pre-approval continues to be a popular way to begin the process of buying a home. With preapproval, you know just how much you can spend, which helps in knowing where to look. If you are thinking about shopping for a home, be sure to check out “10 Tips To Get You Ready for Pre-Approval,” now on MascomaBank.com.
  3. With all the home buying and construction action going on this summer, keep in mind that home appraisers are working overtime and it can take as long as three weeks to get an appraisal done. Consider this when putting together the purchase and sales contracts and time accordingly. “There are many buyers looking to start the home-buying process!” says Kozlowski. “If you are looking, get a jump on it today.”
  4. Sometimes, the house you want just can’t be found on the market and you have to build it yourself. Kozlowski has noticed a steady rise in construction lending. “In 2014 and 2015, we saw improvement in the construction market from the lows of the recession, and that trend continues this year.” This is a great way to get the home of your dreams, though Kozlowski warns to be wary of the numbers. “Keep in mind that the price of an existing home might actually be lower than the cost of a new home.
  5. Did you read that last sentence? Some customers are surprised to learn that the home they’re building doesn’t appraise for the cost of building it. Want to know why? My colleagues are working on an another story right now that explains the reason in much greater detail. For now, know that it has to do with a combination of factors, from the inventory of homes on the market to the costs of materials and labor today. In the meantime, if you want to find out more or have any questions, please don’t hesitate to ask me or any other lenders here at Mascoma Savings Bank.


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