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If My Mortgage Lender Fails, Are My Payments Still Due? - 09/26/08 04:42 PM
Thursday, federal regulators seized mortgage lender Washington Mutual. The Seattle-based thrift became the third "big name" lender to close its doors since July, joining IndyMac and Lehman Brothers. In 2007, these 3 lenders represented about 10 percent of the mortgage market and their subsequent failures are confusing American homeowners. The most prevalent question: If my mortgage lender fails, are my payments still due? And the answer is an unequivocal "yes". If a mortgage lender is seized, goes bankrupt, or is otherwise closed, it doesn't change the terms of the bank's mortgages whatsoever -- just maybe the mailing address. This is because a mortgage (and its (1 comments)
FHA Makes Homeownership More Affordable -- But Not Until October 1, 2008 - 09/25/08 02:06 AM
Earlier this year -- and for the first time in its history -- the FHA changed its funding fees and mortgage insurance structure. Effective October 1, 2008, it's repealing those changes. Partly to keep FHA loans affordable, and partly to comply with new laws, the FHA is rolling back its up-front fees and ongoing mortgage loan insurance requirements and replacing them with new ones. The new up-front FHA loan fees are as follows: 1.750% : All purchase and "standard" refinances 1.500% : All "streamline" refinances 3.000% : All FHASecure programs for delinquent mortgagors These fees are paid as a one-time cost at (2 comments)
How To Lower Your Mortgage Rate Every Time The Market Dips - 09/20/08 03:10 AM
Getting a great, low mortgage rate is often a combination of luck and preparation. Consider what happened in conforming mortgages this week: Monday, mortgage rates plunged to their lowest levels of the year Tuesday, they bounced back in full Wednesday, they clicked higher by a eighth-percent Thursday, they clicked higher by another eighth-percent And so, here we on are Friday, four days after the best rates of the year, and the mortgage market barely resembles itself. Despite what the papers tell you, mortgage rates are not low anymore. That's the luck element -- you can't plan for rates moving up and (0 comments)
What's Good For Home Sellers Is Bad For Home Buyers : Builders Are Dialing It Back - 09/18/08 11:56 PM
In August, home builders broke ground on the fewest number of homes since January 1991. It was the 16th straight month in which Housing Starts declined. But, although the press labels these statistics indicative of a recession, home sellers nationwide quietly applaud them. With fewer new homes coming on the market, home sellers are finding that there's less competition for buyers, helping them to command higher prices for their homes. It's Supply and Demand in its most basic form. But that's not all that home buyers have to worry about. The most recent Existing Home Sales report showed an increase in sales nationwide, (0 comments)
For the third consecutive meeting, the Federal Open Market Committee left the Fed Funds Rate unchanged at 2.000 percent. Of interest to mortgage rate shoppers, the FOMC led its press release with comments about the health of the financial and labor markets, calling them "strained" and "weakened", respectively. The relative weakness in both of these areas has contributed to low mortgage rates of late. The FOMC also noted in its release that, although economic growth has slowed this year, the historically-low 2.000% Fed Funds Rate should foster "moderate economic growth" in the future. In the wake of the announcement, Wall Street (0 comments)
On all principal + interest home loans, the first few years of payments include a lot more money going to interest than to principal. This is because mortgage loans repayment schedules are front-loaded with interest, meaning large-volume principal reduction won't occur until late in the mortgage loan lifecycle. Comparing products at a 6% mortgage rate, did you know that after 15 years: A 15-year mortgage will be paid in full A 20-year mortgage will have 41.21% of its loan balance remaining A 30-year mortgage will have 73.19% of its loan balance remaining Of course, this doesn't mean that 15-year mortgages are better (5 comments)
When comparing two investments with equal risk, a rational person will choose the investment with a higher rate of return. This behavior is called Risk Aversion and is a basic tenet of personal investing. An off-shoot of Risk Aversion is that a rational person will only invest in an instrument of greater risk if the returns are greater, too. The chart at right illustrates this concept, comparing return rates on two investments: U.S. Government bonds Mortgage-backed bonds The difference in investment return rates is sometimes called a "spread" and the historical spread between government debt and mortgage debt is somewhere near (2 comments)
Conforming Loan Limits Set To Decrease In Certain High-Cost Areas - 09/12/08 01:59 AM
Conforming mortgages are limited by loan size, based on "typical" housing costs around the country. Since 1980, as home prices have increased, so have conforming loan limits. The current conforming limit on a single-unit property is $417,000. Earlier this year, as part of the Economic Stimulus Act of 2008, Congress authorized conforming loan limits increase in "high-cost" areas around the country. In Los Angeles County, for example, a mortgage can be as large as $729,750 and still be considered "conforming". But beginning in 2009, those increases roll-back. Effective January 1, conforming mortgage in high-cost areas will be limited to $625,500. Changes to (0 comments)
Mortgage Rates Fall As The Unemployment Rate Rises - 09/05/08 04:59 PM
On the first Friday of every month, the government releases its Non-Farm Payrolls report. More commonly called the "jobs report", the two-page analysis examines the nooks and crannies of the U.S. economy to see which industries are hiring and which are firing. The August jobs report was released this morning and it shows that the U.S. economy shed 81,000 jobs in August. This marks the eighth straight month in which payrolls declined and puts the annual job loss total at 605,000. The Unemployment Rate jumped to 6.1% -- its highest level in 5 years. For American workers, this is bad news. (0 comments)
Simple Real Estate Definitions : Home Inspection - 09/04/08 11:50 PM
A home inspection is a complete, top-to-bottom, visual check-up of the structure and systems of a house. It is meant to be an objective determination of a home's condition. A home inspection usually takes 3-6 hours to complete, depending on the size of the home. During the inspection process, the inspector will examine all of the following components of a home: Home exterior including doors, decks, and vegetation Heating and cooling systems for leaks and efficiency Electrical systems for safety and soundness of design Plumbing systems for venting, distribution, and drainage In addition, the inspector will review the roofing system, the home's interior, (0 comments)
Mortgage loan rates are hugely important to household budgets. Lower mortgage rates free up household cash for spending and long- and short-term saving. Higher mortgage loan rates, of course, do the opposite. Unfortunately, it's impossible to predict the future of mortgage rates with any bit of certainty. This is because there are countless influences on mortgage markets, ranging from the obvious to the obscure. Some obvious influences include: The strength of the U.S. dollar The rate of inflation in the U.S. economy The relative performance of the U.S. housing market And some of the obscure influences include policy decisions by (0 comments)
Rates this Week : September 2, 2008 - 09/02/08 02:34 PM
For the first time in 4 weeks, mortgage rates closing a week lower than where they opened it Markets shrugged off uncertainty about Hurricane Gustav and chose to rally on the backs of strong economic data. Overall, rates were down by about 0.125 percent, or $96 per year per $100,000 borrowed. Markets were influenced by a handful of positive news last week -- two pieces of housing data gave markets reason to celebrate, as did an upbeat consumer confidence survey. Sales of "new" homes is reducing the glut of builder homes Sales of "used" homes is showing stability Americans, in general, are (1 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.