Lakes Region of NH Real Estate Market Report – 3/20/08
Great News! Higher FHA Loan Limits
There aren’t a lot of positives to talk about as far as residential sales here in the Lakes Region of NH for February of 2008. A lackluster total of 34 homes sold compared to 51 for February of 2007. Low end sales were strong with over 50% of the sales under the $200,000 mark. This is the first month that I can recall in a long time where there was only one sale over $1 million. That honor belongs to a nice 3,000 sq ft, 4 bedroom, lake front home on Dockham Shore in Gilford. This 2 year old home has a bright open concept floor plan, hardwood and tile floors, a home theater, mahogany decking, cobblestone driveway, 103 ft of shorefront, and a 40 ft dock. The great thing about this property is that it just looks like it is supposed to be on the lake and was not overbuilt for the area as many of the newer lake homes are today.
There is some truly great news on the financial front for buyers looking for a mortgage. As part of the Economic Stimulus Act of 2008, the Federal Housing Administration has just raised the purchase price limits on homes to allow more properties to qualify for FHA loans. For example, in Belknap County the limit on a single family home was $200,160 but is now increased to $281,250. These loans will now be more appealing to a much wider range of buyers. Under the old limit, buying a newly constructed home was almost impossible. By raising the limit many newly constructed homes will now be able to be purchased through this program. While historically FHA loans were considered to be more for first time and low income buyers, there are no income limits so expect these loans to be utilized more by a broader range of people in the coming year. FHA loans can be used as a way to refinance your present home or even do a reverse mortgage. Rates and guidelines are similar to the standard 30 yr fixed loan programs. The advantages of an FHA loan include a low down payment, it allows seller contributions toward closing costs, and the buyer can also receive gift money from friends or relatives to complete the transaction. It is a great program for some hard times and it should be a tremendous success this coming year!
Towns of Alton, Barnstead, Belmont, Center Harbor, Gilford, Gilmanton, Laconia, Meredith. Moultonborough, New Hampton, Sanbornton, and Tilton