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Take a few moments and browse through the new copy of the 2009-2010 Residents' Guide that is inserted with this issue of the newsletter. There's a wealth of information at your fingertips with the Guide including City of Maple Grove departments, contact information, boards and commissions, parks, transit, elections, police, fire and much more! Also included are listings for County, State, and Federal government (including contact information for elected officials), community organizations, churches, schools, and health care. Having a garage sale this spring? Wondering if a permit is (0 comments)
The 5th annual Mayor's Prayer Breakfast will be held on Thursday, May 7, at 7:30 a.m. at Rush Creek Golf Club in Maple Grove. This community event is a chance for people to come together to celebrate a common spirituality and build bridges through the message of love, prayer and worship. This year's keynote speaker is former Minnesota Viking Jeff Siemon. Mr. Siemon spent his entire professional football career with the Minnesota Vikings. After the NFL he graduated from the Simon Greenleaf School of Law with a Master of Arts in Christian (0 comments)
Maple Grove Clean-Up Day! (Updated) - 03/27/09 04:02 PM
It's that Time of the Season - Clean-Up Day Returns Each year the city holds two clean up events in the spring and the fall. Each event usually involves a curb side pick up day and a drop off day where items are accepted at the Public Works Facility from 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon. Annual curbside pick up days are held in April and October and the clean up days are held in May and October. Dates are posted on our home page events section. If you have questions feel free to contact the engineering department at 763-494-6350. The chart below indicates items that are part of these programs and (0 comments)
FHA Cash Out Refinances Getting More Strict As Of April 1st, 2009 - 03/27/09 02:40 PM
If you're in want of a cash out refinance, the most liberal cash-out program in town is about to make qualification more difficult. Effective April 1, 2009, the FHA is reducing the maximum loan-to-value on cash-out refinances by 10 percent, dropping the loan size limit from 95% of the home's value to 85%. In its official press release, the FHA days it's making the change to "limit its exposure to undue risk". It also lists the following cash-out requirements: With less than 12 months since the purchase date, a home's value cannot exceed its original purchase price -- even if home (0 comments)
New Home Sales Figures Show Unexpected Improvement - 03/26/09 10:01 PM
The national housing market got its third piece of good news in 3 days: Monday:Existing Home Sales up. Tuesday:Home values appear higher nationally. Wednesday:New Home Sales up. And although national real estate statistics are irrelevant to the local markets in which real estate transactions happen, to a country of would-be and wanna-be home buyers, repeated positive news on housing can be a strong signal that it's time to get off the sidelines. At least, that's what the data is showing us. According to an industry trade group, first-time home buyers accounted for half of all sales of previously-owned homes. The stimulus package's (0 comments)
Watch Out For Mortgage Rates When Gas Prices Rise - 03/25/09 10:47 PM
Don't look now but oil prices are climbing. This should worry today's home buyers and would-be refinancers because some of the same forces that helped to push crude past $50 for the first time in 4 months also cause mortgage rates to rise. March 18, the Federal Reserve committed an additional $1.15 trillion to support the economy. Since the announcement, investors have questioned whether the Fed is purposefully spurring inflation. The Fed's total debt purchases now total $1.75 trillion. And to finance its purchases, the Federal Reserve is printing new money, devaluing the U.S. dollar along the way. This then leads to inflation which, all things (0 comments)
Monthly Home Sales Rise 230,000 In February 2009 - 03/24/09 08:51 PM
Each month, the National Association of REALTORS® releases a study called the Existing Home Sales report. It's a detailed look at "used" home sale data from all four regions of the country. Among the key findings of each Existing Home Sales report is something called the "median sales price", the statistical price point at which half of the homes in the U.S. sold for more, and half sold for less. Last month, the median sales price in the United States fell to $165,400, down 15.5 percent from a year ago. Nevertheless, just because the median sales price is lower from last year doesn't mean (0 comments)
What's Ahead For Mortgage Rates This Week: March 23rd, 2009 - 03/23/09 09:18 PM
Mortgage markets scored big gains last week, sparked by the Federal Reserve's pledge to buy $750 billion more mortgage-backed bonds in 2009. Conforming mortgage rates fell on the week, overall. But Federal Reserve intervention wasn't the only good news for rate shoppers last week. New evidence showed -- for the time being, at least -- that the U.S. economy may be reversing direction: Homebuilders are breaking ground on new homes again. First-time jobless claims are falling. Inflation is present and, therefore, deflation is not. Should the economy continue trend stronger through the summer, it will likely fuel stock market gains, drawing cash away (1 comments)
History As A Teacher: What To Do When Mortgage Rates Plummet? - 03/20/09 09:19 PM
For the fifth time in a year, rate shoppers learned an important lesson this week: When mortgage rates plummet unexpectedly, they often recover just as fast. Wednesday, the Federal Reserve's newest $750 billion mortgage market pledge helped to push conforming mortgage rates near their lowest levels since WWII. 24 hours later, however, those rates were expired. After considering the long-term implications of the Federal Reserve -- literally -- printing new money to service the recession, markets grew fearful that the Fed's interventions will eventually lead to inflation. Inflation, of course, is the enemy of mortgage rates. So, if you're looking for the (2 comments)
The Federal Open Market Committee voted to leave the Fed Funds Rate unchanged today, within the target range of 0.000-0.250 percent. This doesn't mean the Fed stood pat, however. On plan to resurrect the economy using "all available tools", today, the Fed announced a new, $1.5 trillion round of fiscal support for the treasury and mortgage markets. The stimulus will likely be Thursday morning's headline story. In its press release, the FOMC touched upon a few of the prevailing economic issues, using these points as a legitimizing backdrop for its newest debt load: Job losses and wealth loss are dragging (0 comments)
Today's Signal That Home Prices May Have Already Bottomed: Building Permits - 03/20/09 09:09 PM
There's a mixed message in February's Housing Starts data and it may be a good sign for home sellers in the near-term. As reported by the government, new home construction rose by 22 percent last month. The press is running with the headline number, calling it evidence of a market bottom. A more thorough inspection, however, reveals a different story. The 22 percent figure applies to all homes built -- including apartment building units. Isolating residential units, February's housing starts rose by just 1 percent. Furthermore, the data's margin of error is 11 percent. Statistically, we can't know if residential housing starts (0 comments)
The Federal Reserve Is Meeting And What It Means To Your Mortgage Rate. - 03/17/09 06:30 PM
The Federal Open Market Committee begins a scheduled, 2-day meeting today to discuss the country's monetary policy. As is custom, the groupwill issue a press release to the markets upon adjournment. There are 8 scheduled FOMC get-togethers annually and the post-meeting press releases are among the most powerful market-moving events of the year. It's not the Fed's actual policy changes that causes fortunes to be won or lost, though. These changes can predicted and traded -- and, therefore, hedged -- on Wall Street using Fed Funds Rate Futures. For example, Wall Street predicts with 97% certainty that the Federal Reserve will not make a policy (0 comments)
Visit msnbc.com for Breaking News, World News, and News about the Economy "Most of the biggest real estate fortunes were not made in good times, but in bad times like this" Barbara Corcoran reminds us in this talk with NBC. It's important perspective for Americans wondering how to invest in foreclosed properties without losing their cash or their credit rating. In the 4-minute interview, Corcoran quips on the basics and the essentials of foreclosure investing, "Everyone who loses their shirt loses it somewhere else." "Every big shark started small." "The house on the corner sets the tone for the block." (0 comments)
Market-to-Market: Corporate Accounting Might Impact Your Rate. - 03/16/09 03:01 PM
You know you're in the middle of an economic crisis when an accounting issue become Front Page News, and that's exactly where we're at today. Mark-to-market accounting is having its day in the sun and people in need of mortgage sometime soon would do well to pay attention. If you've never heard of mark-to-market accounting, don't worry. Not many people have. Mark-to-market is a method of valuing an asset based on its what-if-it-was-sold-today value. Mark-to-market is officially known as FASB Statement 157. Mark-to-market is one reason why bank balance sheets look so awful right now. Banks have to assign firesale-like values to their (0 comments)
Homes Listed For Sale Plummet Across 96% Of Major US Markets. - 03/13/09 03:20 PM
If you asked an economist why home prices have broadly fallen over the past 2 years, you'd get a short lesson in Supply and Demand. Too many homes for sale and not enough people to buy them pushed values lower until a balance point can be reached. Looking at the chart at right, that balance point may be fast approaching. According to data compiled by ZipRealty, the total number of homes listed for sale fell in February 2009 in 23 of 24 major housing markets. This is an especially important data point because home inventories typically rise in February, ahead of the Spring (0 comments)
Mortgage markets improved last week with investors' renewed aversion to risk. To the benefit of home buyers, as major stock indices touch 12-year lows, investors are moving investible cash to the bond market. For only second time this year, mortgage rates ended the week lower than where they opened. Some of the bigger stories that caused mortgage rates to fall last week included: Unemployment reaching 8.1 percent nationwide. The Fed reducingits economic outlook for 2009. Investor concerns for blue chip General Electric. In addition, US Bank and Wells Fargo cut dividends by roughly 85 percent each. Both banks are considered well-run and (0 comments)
USA Today ran this 2008 Foreclosures By State heatmap last week, reminding us of a simple truth: Headline statistics can be misleading. According to data compiled by RealtyTrac, 1 in 8 U.S. homes were in various stages of default or delinquency at the end of 2008. This is a fact and it was widely reported by the press. However, as the heatmap plainly shows, in stripping out just 35 of the nation's 3,232 counties, we can decrease the number of foreclosures nationally by half. In other words, yes, 1 in 8 U.S. homes face mortgage trouble. In your neighborhood, though, (0 comments)
Simple Real Estate Definitions : FICO - 03/12/09 11:46 PM
The basis of most mortgage lending is credit scoring. In general, the higher a person's credit score, the lower his offered mortgage interest rate. Despite the many credit scoring models in use today, however, just 3 are relevant to American homeowners: The Equifax BEACON® score. The Experian Fair Isaac Risk Model. The TransUnion EMPIRICA.® Generically, these scoring models generate what are commonly known as "FICO" scores. FICO scores are measurements of probability. The higher a person's credit score, by definition, the less likely a person is to default on his home loan. This is one reason why credit scoring has added importance lately (0 comments)
Disclaimer: ActiveRain Corp. does not necessarily endorse the real estate agents, loan officers and brokers listed on this site. These real estate profiles, blogs and blog entries are provided here as a courtesy to our visitors to help them make an informed decision when buying or selling a house. ActiveRain Corp. takes no responsibility for the content in these profiles, that are written by the members of this community.