About Government Refinance and Home Purchase Programs

Information and Updates on Government Mortgage Programs

Archive for March, 2013...

Filed under HARP Program Loans or The Obama Refinance Program

The Home Affordable Refinance Programs, or HARP, was launched in 2009. The program got off the ground fairly slowly but has been picking up steam ever since. The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) recently announced that in 2012, 1.1 million HARP refinances were completed. That is as many HARP loans as were completed between 2009 and 2011 combined.

Several factors have contributed to the upswing in HARP refinances: 1) Lenders finally became comfortable with the program and started approving more HARP loans, 2) Interest rates hovered near all time lows for much of 2012, and 3) The HARP 2.0 program went live in the summer of 2012 and that opened the program to many new candidates.

As we progress into 2013, all of the factors that made 2012 a banner year for the HARP program are still in place. Rates are still near all time lows, it is easier now to qualify for a HARP loan than ever before, and the infrastructure to get HARP loans completed is better than ever. Contact us in the sidebar to learn if the HARP program (or one the the other government refinance programs) can help your family.

Comments Off on HARP refinance program is stronger than ever Posted by G.R.A. Admin on Sunday, March 24th, 2013

Filed under Government Mortgage Financing Programs News

Mortgage interest rates in the US have been moving lower the last few days thanks to troubles in a tiny Mediterranean island country.

As we have noted, the recent rally in the US stock markets caused mortgage interest rates to rise for the last month or so. That stock market rally was slowed this week on news that the tiny European country of Cyprus was in financial dire straits. The startling news was that Cyprus was planning to basically take a cut out of all the money deposited in its banks. It’s hard for us Americans to imagine the government coming in and taking a percentage of the money we have in stored in our bank accounts but that is pretty much what Cyprus was proposing. The very idea of such a move spooked investors all over the world on fears that starting down that slippery slope could eventually lead to a panic and a run on banks in Europe. So far Cyprus has not enacted that plan but the entire episode has cooled the rally in stocks and has sent many investors back into safer US treasury bonds. More people buying bonds drives yields on the 10 year T-bill lower and mortgage rate have followed. As a result, this weeks rates have been better then they were the previous few weeks.

If you have been considering refinancing to a better interest rate now is the time to investigate the various government refinance programs available. Rates are near all time lows for now but can’t stay this low forever. Contact us today by filling in the contact form to the right.

Comments Off on Bad news for Cyprus is good news for US mortgage interest rates Posted by G.R.A. Admin on Friday, March 22nd, 2013

Filed under Government Mortgage Financing Programs News

The FHA has been slowly going broke ever since the housing bubble burst in 2007. After sub-prime lending went extinct in 2007 the alternative for many borrowers and lenders was FHA loans. FHA loans became popular because they require little money down for purchases, they usually have low interest rates, and they allow for lower credit scores than conventional loans. The problem for the FHA was that housing prices continued to drop for several years after the FHA boom in 2007. Many of the loans the FHA had insured ended up defaulting and the FHA has been on the hook to pay the lenders off. That has led to a depletion of the FHA insurance funds.

To raise more money, the FHA has raised their mortgage insurance fees numerous times in the last few years. The next scheduled change will make the monthly FHA mortgage insurance fees last for the life of the loan rather than for the minimum 5 years that is in place now. This change in policy means that anyone looking to refinance their current FHA loan to the current all time low rates should get the process started in May to avoid the upcoming mortgage insurance change.

Borrowers with FHA loans should contact us today to get an estimate on an FHA streamline. Rates on 30 year fixed FHA streamlines have been in the mid to low 3’s in recent weeks. And while FHA streamlines will still exist after the coming change on June 3rd, the FHA rules are less expensive right now than they will be next month.

Comments Off on If you have an FHA loan, streamline to a much lower rate before June arrives! Posted by G.R.A. Admin on Saturday, March 16th, 2013

Filed under Government Mortgage Financing Programs News

The Dow has surged to all time highs in the last few weeks on the heels of better than expected news on US jobs as well as encouraging signs from Europe. While a surging stock market is great for investors, it normally leads to higher mortgage interest rates. In this case the pattern only partially held. The Fed continues to go to great lengths to compress mortgage interest rates and those efforts are largely keeping rates from quickly rising. Rates are still holding near all time lows for now, but the efforts of the Fed won’t hold rates down forever.

If you have looked into a refinance in the past, or if your are considering researching a refinance now, we recommend you contact us right away while rates are still near all time lows and while several government-backed refinance programs are still in full swing. While an improved economy is desirable overall, it will also mean a return to the higher interest rates we have traditionally seen over the last four decades. Borrowers who refinance now will enjoy the benefits of record low interest rates even after the economy finally gets fully healthy. Contact us in the form on the right to get more info.

Comments (1) Posted by G.R.A. Admin on Sunday, March 10th, 2013

Filed under Government Mortgage Financing Programs News

After hitting all time lows last November, mortgage interest rates have been slowly inching higher for about three months since then. That trend higher reversed last week as volatility in the stock market sent investors back into government bonds which in turn pushed mortgage interest rates lower. As we have discussed in the past, the yield on the 10 year T-Note tends to mirror mortgage interest rates. So in general, when government bonds gets more popular with investors, mortgage rates dip.

Of course markets are famously unpredictable so there is no telling if this latest dip in rates will last. So contact us in the sidebar now to get more information on the government-backed programs that are available and perhaps get an estimate.

Comments (2) Posted by G.R.A. Admin on Friday, March 1st, 2013