As a consumer, you’re used to being the one with the power to judge the products and services you purchase and the companies that offer them. Read more
Monday, we told you that many experts are beginning to call a bottom in house prices. Why? Writing in the Financial Times, Roger Altman, former deputy Treasury secretary, explained why he is so bullish on housing: Read more
Beginning June 15, real estate agents working with distressed homeowners whose loans are backed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac should expect to receive a decision on a short sale offer within 30-60 days.
The GSEs issued new guidelines Tuesday that fall under the Servicing Alignment Initiative rolled out last fall and aim to bring greater transparency to the short sale process and expedite decisions related to these pre-foreclosure sales. Read more
If you haven’t had your home appraised in a while, here are three important things you need to know because the process has changed — dramatically. And while appraisal qualifications haven’t changed over the past few years, the process has says Ken Chitester, the Appraisal Institute’s spokesperson.
1. Relationship between lenders and appraisers removed
The biggest change is that lenders and appraisers no longer work together — a method that many say was a breeding ground for appraisal fraud. “Lenders used to put all this pressure on the appraiser to inflate home values to hit certain numbers so that it was a win-win for all,” says Chitester. At its core, the HVCC (Home Valuation Code of Conduct), which took effect May 1, 2009, was designed to prohibit mortgage professionals from hand-picking appraisers in lieu of using appraisal management companies (AMCs). And while fraudulent activity is down as a result of the HVCC, says Tim Coyle, a senior director at Real Estate & Mortgage Solutions, new problems have arisen (See next item). Read more
Reducing your debt-load can be the next, and biggest step, towards owning a home of your own. This is because you must have a strong credit score to buy in today’s market and a strong credit score comes from healthy spending habits and low debt ratio.
Credit used to be something different than it is today. Some reports show that the volume of consumer loans more than doubled in from 1990 to 2000. Changes in credit were happening long before this decade, though. People used to buy only what they had the cash to use. Times have changed. Read more
Mortgage rates were back to hitting record lows again, pushing housing affordability even higher to home buyers, Freddie Mac reports in its weekly mortgage market survey. For the sixth consecutive week, the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage, the most popular choice among buyers, has averaged below 4 percent — unheard of until a few weeks ago. Read more
Mortgage rates for 30-year fixed mortgages fell this week, with the current rate borrowers were quoted on Zillow Mortgage Marketplace at 3.73 percent, down from 3.81 percent at this same time last week. Read more
NEW YORK (CNNMoney) — Mortgage rates hit yet another record low this week amid ongoing economic concerns both at home and in Europe.
The average rate for a 30-year, fixed-rate loan fell to 4.09% this week, its lowest level in 60 years, according to mortgage giant Freddie Mac. Last week, the 30-year fixed averaged 4.12%. The average rate for a 15-year fixed mortgage — a popular option among those who wish to refinance — sunk to 3.30%, down from 3.33% last week, Freddie reported.
“Continued investor concerns over the state of the European debt markets kept U.S. Treasury bond yields low and allowed mortgage rates to ease once more this week,” said Frank Nothaft, vice president and chief economist, Freddie Mac in a statement.
The low rates have done little to boost the beleaguered housing market, however. While mortgage applications increased 6.3% last week, only 23% of applicants intended to use the loan to buy a home, according to a weekly mortgage survey from the Mortgage Bankers Association. The remainder of applicants were homeowners seeking to refinance existing, higher-rate mortgages.