Financing

There are currently 17 blog entries related to this category.

Why Getting Pre-Approved Should Be Your First Step | Simplifying The Market

In many markets across the country, the amount of buyers searching for their dream homes greatly outnumbers the amount of homes for sale. This has led to a competitive marketplace where buyers often need to stand out. One way to show you are serious about buying your dream home is to get pre-qualified or pre-approved for a mortgage before starting your search.

Even if you are in a market that is not as competitive, knowing your budget will give you the confidence of knowing if your dream home is within your reach.

Freddie Mac lays out the advantages of pre-approval in the My Home section of their website:

“It’s highly recommended that you work with your lender to get pre-approved before you begin house hunting. Pre-approval will tell you how

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Interest Rates Remain at Historic Lows… But for How Long? | Simplifying The Market

The interest rate you pay on your home mortgage has a direct impact on your monthly payment; The higher the rate, the greater your payment will be. That is why it is important to look at where the experts believe rates are headed when deciding to buy now or wait until next year.

The 30-year fixed mortgage rate has fallen half a percentage point since the beginning of the year and has remained at or below 3.5% for the last 11 weeks according to Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey.

The chart below shows how far rates have fallen this year (on the left), and uses an average of the projections from Freddie Mac, Fannie Mae, the Mortgage Bankers Association and National Association of Realtors (on the right). As you can see, interest rates are

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Average long-term U.S. mortgage rates rose this week for the first time in two months as global economic anxiety and market turbulence eased.

Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac said Thursday the average rate on a 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage increased to 3.64 percent from 3.62 percent last week. The benchmark rate remains below the 3.75 percent level it marked a year ago.

The average rate on 15-year fixed-rate mortgages edged up to 2.94 percent from 2.93 percent last week.

Economists saw some positive signs in new data. The U.S. stock market started recouping losses from a brutal start to the year and ended last Friday with a second straight weekly gain. That brought a break in the recent trend of U.S. government bond prices

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Impacts from new federal guidelines were felt in November, creating additional time requirements to close on a mortgage for home buyers.  Home sales were down in November, with home which otherwise have closed in November to be pushed into December. 

The average time to close on a mortgage was 49 days in November, the longest timeline since February 2013, according to Ellie Mae's latest Origination Insight Report. Conventional and FHA loans each averaged 49 days while VA loans averaged 50 days.

The National Association of Realtors® has flagged the new RESPA-TILA "Know Before You Owe" mortgage regulations, which took effect Oct. 3, as the likely culprit for the longer closing times.

NAR reported last month that

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The real estate picture is improving nationwide.  Florida, a state which lead the nation in foreclosures and distressed properties is the most improved state in the nation.  In a city-by-city comparison, Orlando leads the nation in both a month-to-month and year-to-year comparison, and only one non-Florida city makes the top five list for either timeframe.

Florida metro comparisons

Orlando topped all city lists from Freddie Mac. Month-to-month, Orlando improved 2.6 percent, followed by Greenville, S.C. (+2.55%), Cape Coral (+2.51%), Tampa (+2.19%) and Jacksonville (+2.12%).

Year-to-year, Orlando improved 18.27 percent, followed by Cape Coral (+17.75%), Tampa (+15.99%), Palm Bay (+14.98%) and North Port (+14.77%).

"Florida

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With home prices on the rise again, so is the value of the Save Our Homes break. The 20-year-old tax policy, voted into Florida's constitution, says a homesteaded property's taxable value can't rise by more than 3 percent a year.

The break will shield $23.5 billion from property taxes, up from $16.5 billion last year, it is estimated.

Florida voters in 2008 approved "portability," which lets homesteaded owners take $500,000 of their Save Our Homes break to a new homestead, thereby reducing taxable amounts at the new residence as well.

Save Our Homes benefits longtime property owners with homestead exemptions. But the cost is shifted to recent buyers of homes, apartment tenants, snowbirds, owners of malls and office buildings,

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