Learn About the Latest Market Trends & a Great New Loan Program

How is the market doing? Let’s take a look at the numbers for Fairfax County and Loudoun County. There is also a great new loan program available for homebuyers right now.

In January of 2017, the housing inventory in Fairfax dropped 20% year over year. The average days on market also dropped by 12% down to 50 days.

June of 2015 and June of 2016 were the peak months for settlement. That means that these houses went on the market in April and sold in June. Based on these numbers, we can expect this June to be one of the busiest months in the real estate market.

In Loudoun, housing inventory is down by 29% and the average days on market is at 48, which is a 20% drop from the previous year.

What does that mean for you?

Our market heavily favors sellers right now. Buyers out there don’t have much inventory to choose from and often wind up in multiple offer situations. If that’s the case for you, check out our previous blog post for a few tips to help you get your offer accepted.

The good news for buyers is that interest rates are still low. Government loans have 3.75% interest rates, conventional loans are at 4%, and jumbo loans range between 3.75% and 4.5%. Rates are fairly stable right now.

Not only that, my friend Terry Schenck at Prosperity Home Mortgage has a fantastic loan program available for buyers. The Home Ready Plus loan is only available at Prosperity Home Mortgage. You can get a Home Ready loan at other lenders, but only Prosperity Home Mortgage has Home Ready Plus.

(Terrence V. Schenck NMLSR ID 193123 Senior Loan Officer, Prosperity Home Mortgage 13135 Lee Jackson Mem Hwy, suite 100 Fairfax, VA 22033 Phone (703)408-3978 | Fax (703) 293-4298

Home Ready is not a first-time buyer program, but buyer education is required. Education will help you figure out your budget. It’s a very useful class that you can do online or in person.

The Home Ready program is a conforming loan through Fannie Mae with a 3% down payment. Home Ready also has more flexibility than other loans. For example, you can use extended income household. That means that non-borrower income can be considered as part of the borrower’s debt-to-income ratio. That means that you don’t need to have another person on the loan to help you qualify.

The Home Ready program also reduces mortgage insurance, which essentially means lower rates for the buyer. With Home Ready, you can get anywhere from one-eighth to a half-point reduction in your interest rate.

“The Home Ready Plus loan program is only available at Prosperity Home Mortgage.”

Home Ready Plus will be available on loans locked through May 31st. What’s unique about Home Ready Plus is that you will get a 1% origination credit towards closing costs. Since this is a seller’s market, buyers are more likely to have to cover closing costs, so that 1% can be a huge help.

Now, this is not a gimmick. A lot of people launch loan programs and build that credit into the pricing. However, this is a true 1% credit from Prosperity Home Mortgage. You will not get a higher interest rate because of that credit.

With Home Ready Plus, you can also get an additional $500 if you attend one-on-one HUD counseling.

Another major aspect of the Home Ready Plus program is that you may be eligible for job loss protection, which will pay your mortgage for up to six months.

Home Ready Plus is a phenomenal program that helps people with credit scores as low as 620. Home Ready Plus is only available through May 31st, so make sure you get in touch with Terry at if you are interested.

That said, the Home Ready program is not going away. If you have any questions about income limits or qualifying for Home Ready or Home Ready Plus, please don’t hesitate to reach out to Terry. As always, if you have any real estate questions, don’t hesitate to give me a call or send me an email. I would be happy to help you!

Which Mortgages Are Available to My Clients?

Today, I’m joined again by mortgage lender Terry Schenck of Prosperity Home Mortgages to talk about the most common home loans my clients can get.

(Terrence V. Schenck NMLSR ID 193123 Senior Loan Officer, Prosperity Home Mortgage 13135 Lee Jackson Mem Hwy, suite 100 Fairfax, VA 22033 Phone (703)408-3978 | Fax (703) 293-4298

First, there are loans for first-time home buyers. You don’t necessarily have to be buying your first house to be a first-time buyer. You also would fall into this category if you haven’t had any interest in homeownership for three or more years.

So why would someone get a government loan versus a conventional loan? You should always start by talking to a loan officer and have them go over each program that you qualify for, including the pros and cons. Many people use government loans like a VA loan because they don’t require a down payment and come with a competitive interest rate and no mortgage insurance. FHA is another program with a low down payment (only 3.5%) that doesn’t ding you on your interest rate if you don’t have great credit.

“Talk to a loan officer as soon as you start thinking about buying a home.”

Both government and conventional loans have varying term lengths. The most common term is a 30-year fixed rate, but you can also get a 15-year, 20-year, or 25-year loan. Buyers can also get ARMs, or adjustable rate mortgages. Each category has its own set of pros and cons.

If you’re thinking about buying a home, Terry says it’s never too early to meet with a lender. He recommends doing it as soon as you start thinking about buying a house. Terry even works with a lot of buyers who are as far as a year or two out from buying. If nothing else, they can start you on the right path to obtaining a home loan.

If you have any questions for Terry, you can call him at 703-408-3978 or you can email him at

If you’re thinking about buying or selling a house in northern Virginia, give me a call, send me an email or visit our website. We’d be glad to help.

The Different Types of Home Loans in Virginia

Today, Terry Schenck is back to answer some questions about common types of home loans. What are the kinds of home loans you can get?

(Terrence V. Schenck NMLSR ID 193123 Senior Loan Officer, Prosperity Home Mortgage 13135 Lee Jackson Mem Hwy, suite 100 Fairfax, VA 22033 Phone (703)408-3978 | Fax (703) 293-4298

There are two types of loans, government and conventional. Then, there are different kinds of loans under those two types. Different types of government loans include VA loans, which are specifically for veterans if they are eligible and have served for a specific amount of time. There are also FHA loans, or Federal Housing Administration loans, and state-specific financing, such as VHDA for Virginia.

With conventional loans, there are conforming and non-conforming loans. What is a conforming loan? Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are the largest mortgage purchasers in the secondary market. They provide the cash flow to our industry, and they set the rules for lenders. Conforming means the loan that we underwrite conforms to their rules.

“It’s so important to work with someone local.”

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac set the loan limits every year, and it’s different in every state and county. That’s why it’s so important to work with someone local. Right now in northern Virginia, our limits are at $625,500 for high performing and normal is $417,000 or lower.

It’s also important to know that you don’t have to put down 20%. Conforming loans start with putting 3% down for a first-time home buyer. Rates and terms will change. Typically the more you put down for a down payment the better your rate and terms will be.

If you have any other questions, feel free to give Terry a call or shoot him an email!