Shmuel Shayowitz (NMLS#19871) is President and Chief Lending Officer at Approved Funding, a privately held local mortgage banker and direct lender. Shmuel has over two decades of industry experience, including licenses and certifications as a certified mortgage underwriter, residential review appraiser, licensed real estate agent, and direct FHA specialized underwriter. Shmuel provides a uniquely holistic approach to comprehensive real estate and financial matters that goes well beyond any single transaction. Shmuel is an award-winning financier recognized for maximizing the short-term and long-term objectives of his client. As a contributing writer to many local and regional newspapers and publications, his insights have been featured in the media for many topics, including mortgages, personal finance, appraisals, and real estate trends.

Over the past few weeks, we have seen an unusual dichotomy where mortgage rates have dropped, and home prices have continued to remain stable or even increase. There is no one right answer as to why mortgage rates have declined to lows that we haven’t seen in a while. Some will point to the weakening US economy, while others will attribute it to the geopolitical and international uncertainty, with so many variations in between. Regardless of how it came about, we are seeing the result of such a contrast starting to get many with an eye on real estate “off the fence.”

Home Buyers
Many homeowners can point to a house or property that they once previewed that turned out to be a regrettable lost opportunity. For some, the lack of research or guidance prevented them from seizing the moment and buying a home at a reduction, years in advance. For others, they didn’t have the right advice in knowing what it would take to acquire a house and maximize their financial returns. More often than not, home buyers are their own worst enemies in that they don’t realize that for $150 to $200 more a month, they can buy a house that is $50,000 to $75,000 more than what they settled for. The recent drop in interest rates is helping bridge the gap between homes that were once “out of range” to now more affordable levels even without sellers dropping their asking prices.

Home Owners
Homeownership affords many opportunities to leverage such a significant asset to help maximize financial objectives. With the recent drop in mortgage rates, we are starting to get inquiries from astute homeowners who want to take advantage of the market. Lowering your mortgage rate is just one of many benefits that a refinance can bring. Using equity that you have built towards a renovation, or to finally address home improvements that you have been neglecting is another highly advantageous thing to consider now. Consolidation of debts or other expensive, non-tax-beneficial obligations and burdens is so mething everyone is exploring now.

Real Estate Investors
When it comes to real estate opportunities, I often hear from friends and clients that they turned away opportunities to invest in real estate or buy a house at a substantial discount because they didn’t have the necessary funds. As an investment, real estate is one of the safest assets that can yield lucrative rewards for its owners. A brief consultation with a competent mortgage expert can help position almost anyone (regardless of their income or credit profile) to acquire investment real estate without the hassle and heartache that many expect. With the strong housing market and expanded availability of loan programs for investors, there is no better time to explore these valuable opportunities.

Now Is the Time
Regardless of what category you fall into, you have been given a “second chance” to capitalize on the financial opportunities in real estate and homeownership. I spoke to a handful of people this week alone who had mortgages that should have been refinanced months ago, who “never got around to it.” We have all experienced regret in not doing something and then missing the opportunity. This is the reminder for us all!

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