The Southern Maryland real estate market has remained buoyant throughout the past year. Driven by a steady influx of work-from-home professionals, trading the city life for a spacious living and work environment, with the region’s pristine untouched beauty further sweetening the deal.
According to numerous sources, the level of activity and interest in this region has been unprecedented in recent months. While often lagging behind the rest of the state when it comes to income and population levels, Southern Maryland has posted robust figures across the board during the past year.
With 8,271 units sold, worth $3.3 billion last year alone, an increase of 9.8% and 21.3%, respectively, on a year-over-year basis. Followed by record low inventory levels, and time on market at just 16 days, compared to 34 days a year ago, making it an undeniable seller’s market.
The pandemic has fundamentally altered the dynamics of residential real estate, with small towns and quiet outposts that have long been in decline, witnessing a resurgence. That being said, securing a mortgage in such regions isn’t as straightforward, and often comes with added complexity.
Most large mortgage lenders stay clear of small towns, mainly owing to the low unit values along with higher servicing costs and risks overall. With rural regions in constant decline, aside from the past two years, lenders face the prospect of losses and longer recovery times in the case of foreclosures.
This doesn’t mean that it is impossible to find a reliable mortgage lender in these regions. With competition intensifying and spreads tightening in cities, plenty of lenders are exploring newer avenues for growth, albeit with the increased uncertainties priced into their offerings.
Most lenders approach such mortgages on a case-by-case basis, but if you are still unable to find a reliable option, there are plenty of credit unions, and community banks that can help you out. Failing that you can try your luck with personal loans, or even peer-to-peer lending platforms.
USDA or the United States Department of Agriculture mortgage program is a mortgage assistance program for eligible rural homebuyers. Aimed at revitalizing and improving the quality of life in rural America, the program offers loan guarantees, direct loans, and cash grants for home improvement.
Offered in partnership with local lenders, borrowers can avail of zero down-payment mortgages at low-interest rates based on a USDA guarantee. To be eligible, borrowers must be US citizens, with monthly payments, including principal, interest, taxes, and insurance not exceed 29% of their total income.
There are a few other additional considerations, pertaining to credit scores, credit history, and the type of property, with the program only available for owner-occupied primary residences. Using this program, you can secure a mortgage in most rural areas, and even certain suburbs.
Many of America’s economic backwaters are increasingly rising to prominence as telecommute hubs, with high-speed internet, robust infrastructure, and less density, allowing for the high quality of life. With this, the dearth of funding in rural areas might come to an end over the next few years.
Even at the tail end of the pandemic, it is quite likely that remote work will continue to persist, adding substantial value to rural communities such as Southern Maryland. With prices on the rise, the best time to explore such properties was two years ago, the second-best time is now!