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Blog by Philip Jones

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No Need To Panic


          Lately, the news has been focusing on a five year low in existing home sales, the difficulties in the subprime mortgage market, and “jumbo” loans. One would think the whole world of residential real estate is crashing, but that is not true.  The national statistics are just that, “national,” and they reflect conditions in ultra high growth markets where builders have over expanded. Here in Augusta transactions are moderately less and prices are modestly impacted. Don’t panic because of the headlines, there is still good local news.

            Borrowers with good credit scores, good jobs, and a down payment, still have ready access to 30-year "conforming" loans — those funded through banks and mortgage brokerages by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the giant federally chartered companies that fund the bulk of the nation's mortgages.

            Real estate still remains one of the best performing and consistent long-term investments.  The larger inventory of homes for sale right now gives buyers more to choose from and a greater capacity for negotiation.