I hope this message finds you doing well and staying healthy. Here are a few highlights from this past week affecting our state and real estate industry:


FL Governor DeSantis Team to Create Plan for Reopening State

Also Florida Realtors and 30+ advocacy groups announced a task force created to help the state reopen. The goal: Find a path that boosts the economy without undue risk. Read more A few beaches and parks in our state are starting to open with social distancing guidelines. There is still a vacation rental ban through April 30th. It does not apply to long-term rentals (rentals of 30 days or more) or hotels and resorts. Read more

Mortgage Rates Drop Again – 30-Year at 3.31%

Rates are hovering near all-time lows for the third week in a row as economists and businesses try to weigh the economic damage caused by the pandemic. Some lenders are holding capital and approving fewer mortgage loans. Banks that fear the unknown post-pandemic are trying to retain capital and, as a result, tightening loan standards by raising minimum credit scores and down payments. JP Morgan Chase, for example, now requires a 20% down payment and minimum credit score of 700. Read more

However, the local lenders I spoke with this past week, indicated they are still offering plenty of low down payment mortgage options on conventional loans for primary and secondary residences, with reasonable loan terms and closing times running between 30-45 days. Those with steady W-2 employment shouldn’t see much of a difference in their loan process these days. Self-employed folks and those with rental income, may find a more challenging time qualifying with IRS transcripts being difficult to obtain for underwriting income verification. Investment financing has also tightened up, requiring larger down payments.

For those of you waiting to make a purchase, you may want to consider the financing options available to you today. I would expect the mortgage industry to tighten and tweak its underwriting guidelines for the time being which may limit your financing options in the near future. Right now there are great loan products available with very competitive rates and terms for those who qualify. Some builders are also offering some very nice incentives.

As always, I welcome the opportunity to talk with you and to share what I know about the ever changing real estate market and to be a good resource for you. Please let me know if there is anything I may do for you.

I hope for health and prosperity for you and your families. As we are all hunkered down, staying in our homes, remember that in 9 months from now, when there’s a baby boom and you need a bigger house, I am your Realtor!

Be safe, be well. Chris J