Judie Docs, Executive Officer, North Coast Building Industry Association (NCBIA), CSP, MCSP, CGP, CMP, MIRM
With the outbreak of COVID-19 this spring, several states across the country issued stay-at-home orders, forcing most Americans to spend much more time in their homes than ever before. As a result, homes have taken on a new meaning as they became our new offices, playgrounds, sporting fields, entertainment venues and a safe refuge during this challenging time.
The good news is the U.S. homeownership rate increased at the beginning of this year, according to a new analysis by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB). The Census Bureau’s Housing Vacancy Survey (HVS) shows the number of homeowners rose by 2.6 million in the first quarter of 2020, bringing the U.S. homeownership rate to 65.3 percent. The number of homeowner households has been climbing since the third quarter of 2015 and homeownership rates among all age groups increased in the first quarter 2020. The data reveals that millions of families were able to hunker down in a place they owned as the pandemic unfolded.
Homeowners who are experiencing financial hardship because of COVID-19 should be aware of mortgage payment options available. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development recommends that homeowners should continue to make their monthly mortgage payments if they can. However, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac announced options for homeowners if their ability to pay their mortgage is impacted by COVID-19. If a loan is owned by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac, borrowers may be eligible to delay making their monthly mortgage payments for a temporary period during in which late fees will not be incurred and foreclosure and other legal proceedings will be suspended.
You can check online to see if your loan is owned by either of these entities:
- Fannie Mae: knowyouroptions.com/loanlookup
- Freddie Mac: freddiemac.com/loanlookup/
Borrowers impacted by the coronavirus are encouraged to contact their mortgage service providers to discuss mortgage assistance and relief options.
In times of economic uncertainty, homeowners must be vigilant and steer clear of bad actors who may want to steal personal information related to their property. The Federal Housing Finance Agency is urging consumers to watch out for fraudulent calls, emails or text messages posing as Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac, requests for upfront cash for mortgage relief, or unsolicited offers for mortgage assistance.
We are your local not-for-profit trade association representing member companies involved in all aspects of home building, remodeling, and other aspects of services available to help you in the future as well as more information on the above topic. So, you can see it is for your protection that you use a NCBIA member. If you are unsure that your contractor is a member of the NCBIA or you are looking for a list of NCBIA members, you can visit our website at www.ncbia.com or call 440-934-1090. We also have a job posting board (under the Industry tab).
Just Built! Our 24/7 Virtual Parade of Homes!!! Allows you to look at some of our builders’ new homes and communities on your mobile device or computer at your leisure (including our remodelers). We know time is our greatest asset and via our NCBIA Virtual Parade of Homes, we save you time looking for a new home or a community that fits your lifestyle. The Virtual Parade of Homes is open online 24/7. Many of the homes featured in our ALL NEW Virtual Parade host regular open house hours for those consumers who are looking to tour the actual homes. You can click through to builder websites to see what they have to offer. Click here to visit the Virtual Parade of Homes.
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Homeownership is truly a cornerstone of the American way of life. North Coast Building Industry – Come Build with Us!