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U.S. HOUSING RECOVERY AHEAD? Mortgage Insurers Thin "Declining Markets" List, Require Less Down Payment!
Is increased lender confidence - key to a housing market turnaround, in Chicago and elsewhere - returning?
In some markets across the U.S., that seems to be the case.  Until very recently, virtually every home market across the country insisted on higher down payments, suggesting local housing prices were still sliding downward.
But now, according to an article by Ruth Simon in the December 16th Wall Street Journal, Private Mortgage Insurance Companies, including larger insurer MGIC, seem to be feeling better about market conditions in many areas, and have taken several mid-sized markets off their "watch list."  
For homes in markets removed from their list, borrowers need a minimum FICO Credit Score of 680 to finance 95% of a home's value.  Those still on the list - including, unfortunately, the Chicago Metropolitan Area - the minimum FICO Score remains at 700 for such high-leverage financing.
New markets removed from the watch list, and thus eligible for mortgage financing with as little as 5% down, include Dover DE, Akron OK, Denver CO, St. Louis MO, and New Orleans LA.  Here's a link to the MGIC Special Underwriting Guidelines, via their website,
Back in September, Genworth Financial, another Mortgage Insurance Company, reduced its ... more

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