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Archive for October, 2009...

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With the increased loan limits on FHA and Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac loans set to expire at the end of 2009, congress passed a resolution extending the loan limit increase for another year. The loan limit increase is seen as crucial to keep the economic recovery on track and to bolster home sales and refinances throughout the country. President Obama is expected to sign the resolution next week.

Comments Off on Congress votes to extend increased loan limits on FHA and Fannie/Freddie mortgages Posted by G.R.A. Admin on Saturday, October 31st, 2009

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There was an interesting article over at Business Week recently speculating on how soon mortgage interest rates will go up. The short answer is this author thinks we might have relatively low rates through the winter. Here are some excerpts:

When the economy—and the real estate market—tumbled in 2008, the Fed stepped in to lower interest rates. As we have seen throughout history, lower interest rates makes housing more affordable, increase the likelihood of transactions, and ultimately produce stabilization in the residential real estate market. A major clue to where the residential real estate market is headed lies in the question of where interest rates might be headed.

You and I aren’t the only ones doing the watching. If you see the 30-year mortgage rate start to climb relative to other interest rates, it’s a sure indication that your friendly neighborhood mortgage broker thinks a Fed rate hike is on its way—and that mortgages rates will climb.

So if you are thinking of buying or refinancing a home, this is a pretty good time to move, before rates begin to rise again.

Comments Off on Rates will go up, but how soon? Posted by G.R.A. Admin on Wednesday, October 28th, 2009

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There have been several changes to the FHA rules lately. One of those changes will make it harder for consumers to purchase condos with an FHA loan. Here is an excerpt from a recent Bankrate.com/Detroit News article on this subject:

The new rules were supposed to take effect Oct. 1. But the FHA has announced it would delay implementation of the new rules until Nov. 2, and says it might modify some of the policies.

Of the several new rules and requirements, there are four that most directly affect people who want to buy condos with FHA-insured mortgages:

– “Spot approvals” are eliminated, and now the entire condominium project has to meet FHA approval before a borrower can get an FHA-insured loan.

– A maximum of 30 percent of the units can have FHA-insured mortgages (there was no such limitation previously).

– Before the FHA will insure a mortgage on a condo, at least half the units must have already been sold (again, there was no such limitation previously).

– At least half of the project’s owners will have to occupy their units, down from 51 percent.

Comments (1) Posted by G.R.A. Admin on Monday, October 26th, 2009

Filed under Government Mortgage Financing Programs News

A recent article over at CNNmoney.com cited recently released data on the continuing drop of home prices in most markets in the US. If you are considering a refinance to a fixed rate or just a better rate now is the time to contact us in the sidebar to look into a refinance while you still have equity in your home. If you are considering a government-backed mortgage to purchase a home some time soon the price drops work in your favor so you can contact us about government-backed purchase loans as well.

Here are some excerpts from the article:

If you thought home prices were bottoming out, you may be wrong. They’re expected to head a lot lower.

Home values are predicted to drop in 342 out of 381 markets during the next year, according to a new forecast of real estate prices.

Overall, the national median home price is predicted to drop 11.3% by June 30, 2010, according to Fiserv, a financial information and analysis firm. For the following year, the firm anticipates some stabilization with prices rising 3.6%.

Hunter also sees a new wave of foreclosure problems coming from higher priced loans and prime mortgages. He expects a high failure rate for option ARM loans that were issued to prime customers so they could buy homes in bubble markets, such as California and Florida. In those areas, prices for even modest homes had skyrocketed.

Comments Off on Home prices drop another 11% and are predicted to fall further in most states Posted by G.R.A. Admin on Tuesday, October 20th, 2009

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We get this from a recent AP story on a joint press release from earlier today:

The Obama administration is unveiling a new program to provide support to state and local housing agencies to provide help to thousands of home buyers and renters.

The administration said the new program would help to support low mortgage rates and expand resources for low and middle income borrowers who want to buy or rent a home.

The program will feature two parts — a new bond purchase program to support new lending by housing finance agencies and a temporary credit and liquidity program to improve access by housing agencies to credit sources for their existing bonds.

Comments Off on Government announces new housing aid via local agencies Posted by G.R.A. Admin on Monday, October 19th, 2009

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Legislation has been proposed in congress that among other things would increase the minimum down payment requirement for FHA-backed home purchase loans from 3.5% to 5%. The head of the FHA recently came out in opposition of this plan. Here are some bits from a WSJ blog on the subject:

The head of the Federal Housing Administration warned that raising down payment requirements or taking similar steps to limit the pool of eligible buyers for FHA-backed loans would hamstring a fragile housing recovery.

“If it weren’t for this program, assuming that risk is being protected, this would forestall recovery of key metropolitan markets across the nation,” said David Stevens, the FHA commissioner, during a panel session at the Mortgage Bankers Association annual convention in San Diego on Monday.

Rep. Scott Garrett (R., N.J.) introduced a measure in Congress earlier this month that would require minimum down payments of 5%, up from 3.5%, on loans backed by the FHA. (See FHA Should’ve Done This Long Ago.)

Comments Off on FHA chief against 5% downpayment legislation Posted by G.R.A. Admin on Thursday, October 15th, 2009

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The folks at the FHA insist the answer is no. The guy in the following interview over at Yahoo is skeptical of that claim.

Whatever the case, the FHA is the best program around for folks with less than 700 credit scores or less than 20% equity in their home.

Comments Off on Is FHA going to need a bailout? Posted by G.R.A. Admin on Tuesday, October 13th, 2009

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There were some encouraging signals from the Fed recently. Here are some excerpt from a recent AP story on the subject:

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke sent a fresh signal Thursday that he’s in no rush to reverse course and start boosting interest rates.

The Fed’s key bank lending rate is now at a record low near zero and will probably stay there for an “extended period,” Bernanke said in a speech to a Fed conference here.

That echoed the pledge he and his colleagues made at their meeting in late September. The goal: super-low rates will entice people and businesses to spend more, nurturing the budding recovery.

Still, Bernanke made clear on Thursday that when the time is right the Fed will have the tools and the political will to reel in the unprecedented amount of money it has pumped into the economy to avoid unleashing inflation.

“At some point, however, as economic recovery takes hold, we will need to tighten monetary policy to prevent the emergence of an inflation problem down the road,” Bernanke said.

Comments Off on Fed not in a rush to raise rates Posted by G.R.A. Admin on Thursday, October 8th, 2009

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There has been a lot of news lately on the recent dip in mortgage interest rates. In many cases rates are as low as 5% and FHA streamline loans are currently coming in between 5% and 5.5%. There is no telling how long this dip in rates will last but odds are that it won’t be very long so if your have a rate of 5.75% or higher contact us in the sidebar today.

Comments Off on Rates dip to around 5% Posted by G.R.A. Admin on Tuesday, October 6th, 2009

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See an interesting AP article on the subject here. With lending standards tightening even further it won’t be surprising in the the number of denied applications increases even further in 2009.

Comments Off on A third of mortgage applications denied in 2008 Posted by G.R.A. Admin on Saturday, October 3rd, 2009