Federal Eviction Moratorium – Extended!

The eviction clock started ticking on July 31st – the day the federal eviction moratorium expired. Millions of renters became riddled with panic as wonderment hit – were they finally going to be evicted due to the non-payment of rent? Was someone going to show up at their door with the final straw eviction notice? DON’T PANIC! This past week, the Biden Administration extended the federal eviction moratorium until October 3, 2021. Renters rejoice! (Shhhh, don’t let the Landlords hear you).

The extension comes with a more limited scope, though. The extension, now, will only apply to areas/locations hit hardest by the Coronavirus. According to CNN, the moratorium extension will now only protect those in areas of the Country with “high” or “substantial” transmission of Covid-19 based on the CDC’s tracking of the virus. The limited scope comes with little drawback though, since as of August 1st, more than 80% of US counties were still being tacked as areas of “high” or “substantial” transmission.

To move forward easy enough, the CDC offers a tool where renters can check the applicability of the eviction moratorium according to county – which can be found by clicking here

Check away, renters!

Want That House? PLAN BITCOIN

Prior to the pandemic, the real estate market had barely even begun to digest the thought of opening their gates to cryptocurrencies, such as Bitcoin.  Slowly but surely though, the real estate market is seeing Bitcoin make its way in as a form of payment for the home buying process

Listed just last week, Treehouse Nightclub in Miami Beach is willing to accept cash OR cryptocurrency for payment.  Will this sale make it to closing using Bitcoin as a form of payment? And will this transaction end up paving the way for future cryptocurrency transactions in the real estate market?  Can’t wait to see! 

Let’s pump the brakes for a second though, speedy Sally – Million dollar question – What about the volatility of Bitcoin’s worth?  The home sale process takes time.  After an offer, then comes acceptance, and then comes a whole slew of other tasks that must take place prior to the actual closing date.  Bitcoin’s value could very well drop – and drastically at that – before closing.  AHEM, then what?  I’m positive litigation sparks will a-fly. 

Along with volatility, there still seems to be a rather large stack of regulatory issues lingering when it comes to matching a real estate purchase with a cryptocurrency form of payment.  A large enough stack that I’m not quite sure cryptocurrency will ever be a valid form of payment for real estate in the eyes of the legal world.  

But, we all shall remain curious. For as the saying goes – all is fair in love and war.

Rate up, Rate down, Take it Back Now

After nearly a full year of record lows, mortgage rates seem to be back on the rise, and with a steady climb at that. This past week, mortgage rates were the highest they had been since this past July. AH!

According to the latest data released by Freddie Mac, the weekly U.S. average for a 30-yr. fixed rate mortgage as of March 11, 2021 stands at 3.05%.

How come you ask? I’d like to say that there’s some economic positivity coming our way – the workforce is getting back out there, vaccines are continuing to make their way through the population, and there’s another round of stimulus payments getting dumped into the population. Win on a lot of fronts, but not necessarily for the current home buyer when it comes to their mortgage rate – the rate they could possibly be stuck with for the next 30 years.

What’s this mean if you’re a home buyer? GET MOVING, SALLY. Spend time looking, NOW. Find your new home and put your offer on the table. Get your rate locked in before rates continue their steady climb.

What’s on the legal front? Let’s chat about a mortgage rate lock and what that means. Protecting against rising rates and market fluctuations, a mortgage lender may provide a rate lock guarantee assuring you’re able to receive a certain mortgage rate so long as you use said mortgage company and your closing happens before a specified date. With a forecasted steady climb in mortgage rates, this is definitely something that can be leveraged to your benefit. But what if it isn’t? What if rates unexpectedly fall to 2.5% again after you’ve locked your rate in at 3.05%? Can you back out? In simple form, YUP. It’s great to know that the only party bound to the agreement is the lender or broker. How exactly do you go about breaking the rate lock you ask? Easy – simply don’t proceed with the application or loan officer – go elsewhere! Do keep in mind that switching lenders after a certain point in the closing process can be detrimental – but if it’s early on and rates unexpectedly lower, I say GO FOR IT.