Last Updated on June 5, 2017 by Taylor Welshe
Residents of North Dakota have plenty of options when it comes to recreation. Much thanks to its diverse natural resources, locals and tourists alike get to enjoy horseback riding, canoeing, fishing, and hiking. But these aren’t the only reasons people stay – and want to move here. There’s also the state’s thriving industries, such as research, manufacturing, and technology, which contribute to its impressive employment rate. And of course, the many charming cities it boasts of, including Bismarck, Grand Forks, and Fargo. (Source: Livability.com)
Value and price of real estate
Home buyers planning to invest on a property in The Peace Garden State should note that real estate here costs more than the national average, although just slightly. The median home value in the state is $203,100, whereas the countrywide median is $195,300. (Source: Zillow)
The higher prices of housing haven’t stopped consumers though, seeing as 61.8% of all homes here are owned and occupied. (Source: U. S. Bureau of Census)
It is also worthy to note that the price still depends on the specific type of dwelling one will purchase. For instance, townhomes are the least expensive, with an average value of $103,917.56, followed by condominiums, averaging at $105,321.25. Single-family homes, on average, have a value of $135,360.59, while PUD homes are the costliest, at $151,756.35.
Mortgages in the state
Like anywhere else in the country, the two primary types of mortgages offered in ND are the fixed-rate and adjustable-rate (also known as variable-rate) loans. Jumbo loans are also available, although only a small percentage of buyers opt for them.
Before applying for a housing loan, one should take into consideration several critical factors first. Determining and establishing future housing needs, length of occupancy time, financial stability, down payment affordability, and credit score rating will help buyers make the right choice between the two major types of housing loans.
Fixed-rate mortgages: Their benefits
Fixed-rate mortgages remain the most popular and sought-after housing loan, particularly those that come with the 30-year term. Arguably the greatest reason for this is the security it provides. These loans have an interest rate that doesn’t change throughout the life of the contract, so borrowers don’t have to stress themselves out against potentially exorbitant monthly mortgage payments.
However, because borrowers have to repay these loans only within the term they choose, for example, three decades for a 30-year term, they are recommended for consumers who have long-term plans of staying in the same house.
Advantages of adjustable-rate mortgages
Adjustable-rate mortgages (ARMs, variable-rate mortgages) have interest rates that can change on a regular basis, even month to month. Initially though, lenders offer them with an interest rate much lower than those of the fixed-rate loans. This lower upfront rate can last anywhere from a year to five, depending on the borrower-lender agreement. It is only after this period expires wherein the rates can adjust, based on market performance.
Saving for a down payment
A down payment serves as a “deposit,” so that the seller will secure the house for the buyer. In most cases, at least 20% of the property’s selling price is required, although some individuals may qualify for a no-down-payment mortgage or one that comes with a lower amount requirement.
So for a house that sells for $100,000, buyers should put down at least $20,000. If this isn’t met, the lending institution may only qualify a borrower for a mortgage upon the purchase of mortgage insurance.
Assistance for those having difficulties securing a mortgage
Consumers who have a hard time finding a mortgage with an interest rate they can afford can turn to several institutions for help. Some of these organizations include the North Dakota Housing Finance Agency, the USDA Rural Development, and the Home Affordable Refinance Program.
North Dakota Housing Finance Agency
USDA Rural Development – Single family loans
Home Affordable Refinance Program