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Mortgage Minute | Current Housing Market

Photography provided by Kristen Ambos Team, Taken by Julie M. Gile

Kristen Ambos, our lending expert, is optimistic about the current housing market and the opportunities opening up for qualified borrowers, and she highlights how the recent influx of real estate agents in the area makes finding the right realtor difficult in this season’s Mortgage Minute.

Interest rates and the economy may have thinned the competition for homes, but Ambos is happy to see that people who do qualify to own a home are getting the opportunity to make offers. Last year, many hopeful buyers were quickly knocked out of consideration for needing an appraisal, being unable to increase their offer above the listing price, or wanting an inspection. Today, those who need a little more help in the market now have the opportunity to get into a home.

Finding a house to buy in a market like this may be easier, but the details get more complicated. When considering negotiations between buyers and sellers and additions of contingencies, seller credits, and other clauses, there are many nuances to both the construction of the offer and the underwriting of the loan. It’s a web of technicalities that’s easy to get tangled in, which is why Ambos recommends buyers seek out a seasoned real estate professional to work with.


It’s hard to know where to start - Northeast Wisconsin is flooded with agents. “In the past two years, 842 real estate agents became licensed in Brown County alone,” says Ambos. She encourages interviewing agents to find someone who has a good pulse on the market, a network of other industry professionals to collaborate with, and the buyer’s best interest in mind when navigating complicated deals. Newer agents haven’t had experience with contingencies as they weren’t really an option the past few years, and they may not know what possibilities are at hand.

Similar to real estate agents, many lenders seem like experts but have limited experience with a wider variety of products. It’s beneficial to enlist the help of a tenured officer who pursues all avenues, understands the available options, and actively searches for something truly fitting, rather than doing the bare minimum to get a buyer approved. If a roadblock comes up, they will have seen it before and already know the workarounds and next steps to find the right loan for their borrower’s situation.

“$200 a month for a single mom with five kids is life-changing. You want to find someone who is going to look out for you and what really works for what matters to you,” says Ambos, full of pride for what she can pull off for her clients and the network of resources she has created in the Midwest housing industry.

One option she is excited to bring back to

her borrowers is down payment assistance. Since the closing market was overinflated and offers were all over asking price the past few years, help with closing costs or down payments wasn’t an option before. Two local financing programs that Ambos works with on this are the Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority (WHEDA) and Neighborworks Green Bay, for which she serves on the Counseling and Lending Committee. While these programs aren’t new, they haven’t had the chance to be utilized much until recently.