With the pandemic still affecting the real estate market, the rates and trends have yet to level back to normal. Pair this with the Fed raising interest rates to counteract growing inflation rates and you get a housing market that is still unfavorable to the buyers. By looking at the currently available Maryland mortgage rates and their recent fluctuations, we can begin to gain an understanding of where the market is heading.
Currently, the Maryland housing market is following the same trends seen in the national market. Home prices continue to rise even as inventory begins to pick up again. The average mortgage payment is 76% higher than it was in June 2019 and with the Feds continuing to combat inflation by rising interest rates, this is showing little sign of reversing. While this market does favorite sellers, buyers are still in a poor buying position. Pair these high Maryland mortgage rates with increased home prices and fears of an impending recession and the toll on the housing market becomes apparent.
What to Expect for the Rest of 2022 and The Beginning of 2023
The big question for the rest of 2022 and the start of 2023 is what will happen with inflation. If it continues to rise, the Fed will continue to raise interest rates but if there is any indication that inflation begins to slow down, then rates will begin to stabilize and return to normal levels. The country is at a crossroads with the inflation dilemma with some analysts saying there is a 50% chance of a recession within the next 12 months. While a market crash is rumored, data collected does not show this to be confirmed at this time. There is hope that Maryland mortgage rates will begin to cool but it is largely dependent on the results of inflation and the nation’s economy as a whole. There are several global factors like the War in Ukraine and the fallout from the pandemic that is still affecting the United States. While there are several factors that are still up in the air that will determine the results of Maryland mortgage rates going into 2023, change is coming one way or another.
Take on Your Mortgage With Professional Guidance From Federal Hill Mortgage
The Maryland mortgage rates have been greatly affected by several global and stateside factors over the past year and their recovery has not been too favorable to buyers quite yet. Hopefully, a rising inventory and slowing inflation will bring about a stabilization of the housing market. Regardless of the market, having a professional mortgage broker and lender, who will assist you in securing the best available Maryland mortgage rates when you are ready to purchase your new home, is one of the most surefire ways of securing a better deal. Call or contact the team at Federal Hill Mortgage to get the process of your new home purchase started today.
Purchasing a new house is an exciting experience that marks a major accomplishment a for first time home buyer in VA. This excitement can easily lead an inexperienced buyer into a home that seems great but, in reality, is far from the right choice. Buying a home is a long-term investment and to preserve that investment, one must find a balance between wants and logical, realistic needs. By going over several key factors that are easily overlooked, first time home buyers in VA stand to make a decision on a home that will be the right one for them.
Location is by far the most important factor that should be considered by a first time home buyer in VA. As the most valuable asset in a home purchase, the location of the home is one that the buyer does not have as much control over improvement as they would with the actual home. When looking for a beneficial location, evaluate the local schools, the neighborhood, and any taxes, dues, and fees associated with the location of the home. If these categories check out then it is a solid indicator that the land value will not decrease.
Size & Space to Expand
When considering a home’s size for long-term residence, try to imagine any expansions you might want down the line. For these expansions, you are going to need to have the space for them. This can be space for furniture such as dining tables or beds or a garage for storage. If you have other people living with you or if are expecting to have more in your home, you are going to want to make sure that the available space is appropriate for the number of residents. In short, make sure all of your things fit and if you plan on making future expansions, make sure you have the space to expand.
If you are planning on purchasing a home, it is very important to consider the renovations that will be required to bring the home up to your preferred standard. Try to imagine yourself living in the home and take notice of anything that would bother you or that you would like to be updated. It is crucial to be able to know what renovations you will be able to do yourself and which renovations you would have to hire a professional contractor for. Also, be sure to have realistic expectations for the true potential of the home, and don’t let your imagination consume this reality. Renovations can raise a home’s value and make the resident happier with the home but, if the resources and money required to make these necessary renovations outweigh the worth it adds, it might be best to look at other options.
Luxuries to Consider
Luxuries are things that come with a home that is not necessary for occupation and instead add a level of convenience or comfort to a residence. For some, certain luxuries might be a necessity. Being able to determine if a home feature is a luxury or a necessity will assist you in deciding if that home is right for you. For example, some first time home buyers in VA must have adequate parking while some view it as an unnecessary luxury that just boosts the sales price of a home. When deciding if a residence will be able to make a good home for you, be sure to contemplate if the luxuries that come with the home are important to you.
Purchase Your First Home With Federal Hill Mortgage
First time home buyers in VA have a lot to consider when deciding on their first home. Finding the right balance between a solid investment and a home that you are comfortable in is key in choosing your first home. With it being your first experience in purchasing a home, having a team of mortgage professionals guiding you through the process serves as an invaluable asset. If you are a first time home buyer in VA, contact the team at Federal Hill Mortgage to get expert real estate guidance and the professional assistance you need to get an advantageous deal on your new home. Want to learn more? Check out our reviews.
Tax breaks are an essential part of homeownership. They incentivize more US residents to purchase by lessening the financial burden of homeownership. To take advantage of the available tax breaks, you first have to understand what is available to you and what qualifies as a tax break that can maximize your savings. With a wide variety of tax breaks for homeowners available, there’s no reason you shouldn’t be claiming them on your return.
Two Types of Deductions: Standard & Itemized
The two main types of tax deductions are standard and itemized deductions. Standard deductions are available to all filers and are based on set amounts depending on how you file. Single and married individuals filing separately receive a standard deduction of $12,550 while married couples filing together will receive a standard deduction of $25,100. Itemized reports are when you file your own itemized deductions and forgo the standard rate. To take full advantage of your itemized deductions, make sure that the total amount of your itemized deductions is larger than the standard deduction that is available to you.
10 Tax Breaks for Homeowners and Buyers
There are a wide variety of available tax breaks that can be used on your itemized deductions. To ensure that you get the most out of your tax returns, itemize as many deductions as possible.
1. Property Taxes
Property taxes are tax deductible and can be included in your itemized tax report. A married couple filing jointly can receive up to $10,000 off of their property taxes and a separate or single filer can receive up to $5,000 off of their property taxes.
2. Mortgage Interest
Being able to deduct mortgage interest is one of the most important tax breaks for homeowners to take advantage of. Mortgage interest can quickly add up and make the difference for a prospective homeowner in being able to afford the mortgage. Thankfully, a single filer or married couple filing jointly can claim up to $750,000 and a married couple filing separately can claim up to $350,000 for each party.
3. Home Equity Loan Interest
Similar to mortgage interest, the interest paid towards your home equity loan or HELOC can be itemized as a tax deduction. The only difference is that you can only access this deduction if the money from the home equity loan was used for home improvement.
4. Discount Points
Discount points are an option for homeowners where they may purchase these discount points to decrease the interest rate on their mortgage. You may deduct the cost of the discount points but loan origination points are not included.
5. Mortgage Insurance
Some loaners will require you to pay for private mortgage insurance or PMI to protect the lender from liability if you are not able to pay for your mortgage. This too may be included on your itemized tax return.
6. Necessary Home Improvements
Necessary is the keyword in this tax break for homeowners. These “necessary” home improvements are typically for home improvements that benefit a disabled person or are some sort of medically related improvement. While it is not completely limited to medical improvements, it is difficult to make the case for other types of home improvements.
7. Capital Gains
When you sell the home that you own, hopefully, you will have made a profit. These capital gains can be included on your itemized tax return but only if the home was your primary residence for two out of the five previous years. A married couple filing jointly can receive up to $500,000 while an individual filer can receive up to $250,000. This is one of the largest tax breaks for homeowners and should be considered when selling your home.
8. Home Office Expenses
If your primary place of work is at your residence, you may qualify for a home office expense deduction. This deduction does not apply to those who sometimes work from home or have a home office but rather to those who operate a business primarily from your residential business space.
9. Deduction of Rental Expenses
If you choose to rent out a portion of your home then you can qualify for a deduction from the cost of rental expenses. Instead of directly deducing these expenses from your itemized report, the cost will be subtracted from your taxable rental income. A rental expense can be considered an expense that is related to operating and maintaining the rented portion of your home.
10. Credits for Energy-Saving Improvements
Both the federal and state governments are adamant about providing incentives to get homeowners to have energy-saving improvements installed on their property. Tax breaks for homeowners are no exception as the federal government offers a 30% tax credit for the cost of energy-efficient equipment. Currently, in 2022, an additional $500 tax credit is offered for the cost of installing energy-efficient appliances and upgrades to things like doors, roofs, and windows.
11. First-Time Homebuyer Tax Credit
The first-time homebuyer tax credit is a government-funded program that assists first-time buyers to pay for their new homes by reducing the amount of taxes owed. It does not have to be your first time purchasing a home to qualify. You are considered a first-time buyer as long as you haven’t owned a home or have been a cosigner, in the past three years. Those who are eligible can potentially receive a tax credit worth up to 10% of the home’s purchase price with a maximum threshold of $15,000.
Maximize your Tax Savings with Federal Hill Mortgage
By taking full advantage of the available tax breaks for homeowners, you could potentially save thousands of dollars on your tax returns. Using all of the tax breaks listed above can be tricky as the complexities of filing for deductions can often be daunting to someone who is not familiar with itemizing their deductions. Thankfully, Federal Hill Mortgage is here to help. Our team of mortgage professionals will walk you through every step of the mortgage process offering expert guidance throughout. If you would like to ensure that you maximize your tax savings, call or contact the team at Federal Hill Mortgage today to get started.
Buying your first home can be a daunting process, especially when common knowledge dictates you need a 20% down payment. However, this is far from the truth. With all of the available grants and incentives offered at the state, federal and private levels, affording your first home becomes much more feasible. By understanding all of the available incentives and grant options, you will be able to find out what you qualify for and make an educated plan to purchase your first home. With a wide variety of options, it is important to find out which one benefits you the most. To do so, we will go over all of the grants and incentives offered to first-time home buyers in Maryland.
Maryland First-Time Home Buyer Programs
Maryland Mortgage Program
Offered by the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development, or DHCD, the Maryland Mortgage Program offers first-time home buyers in Maryland competitive loan terms, which can make the difference between being able to purchase and continuing to rent. To qualify, you don’t have to be a first-time buyer but you must not own any real estate when you apply. You also must purchase a home in the state of Maryland, have a household income at or below the local income limit, choose from one of the DHCDs lenders and live in the house once you have bought it.
1st Time Advantage
Specifically for first-time home buyers in Maryland, the 1st Time Advantage program offers competitive interest rates. Within the 1st Time Advantage Program, there are options for down payment assistance, either $5000 or 3% of the purchase price.
The SmartBuy 3.0 program assists first-time home buyers in Maryland with student debt in purchasing a home. SmartBuy financing will give 15% of the home’s purchase price so that the borrower can pay off their outstanding student debts. This program is limited to $30,000, comes with zero interest, and is forgivable over 5 years. To qualify, you must have at least $1000 in student debt, your entire student loan must be paid off by the time you purchase, earn a homeownership counseling certificate, live in the home as your primary residence and contribute at least 5% of the sales price from your funds.
If you or a member of your household is currently living with a disability, you qualify for Maryland’s HomeAbility Program. This program offers two separate loans. The first is one for 80% of the home’s purchase price and another zero-interest loan for up to 25% of the price. HomeAbility comes with no mortgage insurance requirement and lower limits than other loan programs.
Maryland First-Time Home Buyer Loans & Grants
Partner Match allows participating partners to provide financial assistance to borrowers who are eligible and meet the criteria set by the partner. The DHCD matches the funds up to $2,500 as a 0% deferred loan which must be repaid when the home is sold or when the first mortgage ends.
Offered by the Maryland Mortgage Program, the Flex 5000 is a $5000 grant that can be used for a down payment or closing costs. To qualify you will need a credit score of at least 620. All of the flex loans and grants provided by the Maryland Mortgage Program come with zero percent interest and can be repaid once the first mortgage ends.
Flex 4% Grant
The Flex 4% grant is offered through the Maryland Mortgage Program and includes an outright grant of 4% of the total loan amount. This grant is used for down payment or closing costs and does not need to be repaid.
Flex 3% Grant
Similar to the Flex 4% grant but easier to qualify for, the Flex 3% grant is 3% of the total value of the mortgage loan and does not have to be repaid.
Flex 3% Loan
Another form of down payment or closing cost assistance is in the form of a loan, worth 3% of the first mortgage and is structured as a 0% interest deferred on the second lien.
Eligibility for Maryland Mortgage Program Flex Loans and Grants
To be considered eligible for the Maryland Mortgage Programs Flex Loans and Grants you must have completed a homeownership counseling program, not own any other properties at the time of closing, live in the home as your primary residence, have a household income below the Maryland Mortgage Program limit and your mortgage cannot exceed Maryland Mortgage Program limits. The Maryland Mortgage Program is not limited to first-time home buyers in Maryland, however, it is a valuable tool for making your first home purchase a reality.
Federal First-Time Buyer Programs
An FHA Loan is a mortgage backed by the Federal Housing Administration. Their main attraction is their low down payments, starting at only 3.5%, and a requirement for credit scores as low as 580. If you can afford to pay 10% or more down, the credit score range decreases to the 500-579 range. FHA Loans have total home price limits set by the federal government, as well as income limitations. FHA Loans may require private mortgage insurance depending on the amount you are able to pay down.
A USDA Loan is reserved for those wishing to purchase a home in a region that is designated as a rural area. These loans are for low to moderate-income households that require zero down payment, at least a 640 credit score and offer low mortgage insurance rates.
With a Conventional 97 Loan, you can borrow 97% of the home’s cost, resulting in a 3% down payment. Conventional 97’s are a good alternative to FHA loans if you have good credit and want a lower down payment. To qualify for a Conventional 97, you must have a credit score of at least 620, meet income limits, and plan to live in the purchased property as your primary residence.
Reserved for veterans and active service members, a VA loan requires no down payment and a credit score of at least 620. VA loans have some of the best mortgage attributes, with competitively low-interest rates, limited closing costs, and no requirement for private mortgage insurance.
Local and County Based Incentives
Buying Into Baltimore
Buying into Baltimore works like a lottery, providing $5000 for downpayment and closing costs that are forgiven over five years to 20 lucky winners every year. This program has no household income limits.
Baltimore City Employee Homeownership Program
A $5000 loan is offered to full-time, permanent Baltimore City staff to purchase a home. The loan is forgiven over five years.
Reserved for those purchasing a home in the Brooklyn and Curtis Bay neighborhoods in Baltimore. Depending on your household income, you can receive a $10,000 or $20,500 interest-free loan with no monthly payments. You must pay this loan back when your first mortgage ends.
Columbia Down Payment Assistance Program
Provided by Howard County, the Columbia Down Payment Assistance Program offers interest-free loans with no limit where the borrower pays a low rate of 2 points below the primary mortgage interest rate. The loans are due at the end of the first mortgage.
Germantown First-Time Home Buyers
Provided by Montgomery County, Germantown first-time home buyers can borrow 5% of their purchase price up to $10,000 using the Revolving Closing Cost Assistance Program. This comes as a loan with a 5% interest rate that the borrower must pay back in equal installments over ten years with their main mortgage.
Buy Your First Home With Help From Maryland’s Best Mortgage Brokers and Lenders
As you can see there are various incentives and assistance options available to assist in purchasing your first home as a first-time homebuyer in Maryland. With so many choices, it may be difficult to boil down which is best for you. Thankfully, at Federal Hill Mortgage, our team of mortgage professionals is ready to provide you with transparent guidance so that you can get the most out of the incentives and assistance programs. We will be by your side every step of the way so that every aspect of your mortgage is clearly explained and expert advice is given. Get the most out of your first home-buying experience with Federal Hill Mortgage. Call or contact us today to get started.