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Mortgage Updates

There are currently 13 blog entries related to this category.

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As a mortgage professional with over 20 years in the industry I’m often asked two questions.

In almost any social setting I’m asked the very simple icebreaker question.  “So… What are rates going to do?”  The simple and accurate answer to this question is.  “I really don’t know.”  That’s because nobody knows the answer to that question.  There are so many factors that determine the direction of interest rates that a prediction is at best a guess.  Some of the major factors that determine mortgage rates include: inflation, the stock market, the job market, commodity pricing such as OIL, foreign currency exchange rates, Geopolitical events, and the overall health of the world economy.  These factors are constantly changing and are extremely volatile.

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Nearly a full third of households are still renting. If you’re one of them, you could be paying a hefty price.

Before talking about purchasing a house, it’s important to note two things. First—and this is extremely important—the housing market is very localized. So the outlook in your hometown may be different than another city across the state or on the other side of the country. Second, home prices are tied to employment. For example, if someone feels like their job is in jeopardy, it might be enough to stop them from making a move. So, if your local job market is feeling a pinch, the home prices in your area may be down as well.

But with all those factors under consideration, it still makes sense to buy instead of rent. In fact, renting may be

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Have you ever struggled to get a home mortgage? Have you ever felt like the deck was stacked against you?
This blog post is dedicated to all of our clients who share those concerns and our TREG Associates who help make the home buying process (including the mortgage!) as smooth as possible. You are not alone. Seriously.
Earlier this week, Bloomberg reported that Ben Bernanke, the former Federal Reserve Chairman in a Q and A portion of an interview in Chicago said:  "I recently tried to refinance my mortgage and I was unsuccessful in doing so."  And yes, the irony of that brought some snickers from the audience. "I'm not making that up." he continued. (wow! Take a look at the Bloomberg news post about it!)
So while we know the mortgage market is tight, we…
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Overview of First-time Homebuyer Savings Plans

A First-time Homebuyer Savings Plan allows any Virginian to set aside up to $50,000 toward the costs of closing on a new home. The earnings on those funds — interest and capital gains — are free from Virginia state taxes forever.

FHSPs are a great way for future homeowners to start saving early for the costs of buying a home.

These accounts are simple and easy to set up, because not only can you open a new one, you can also designate almost any existing account as an FHSP. To create an FHSP, you simply include a form when you file your state taxes. (It will indicate that you should not be taxed on any earnings — e.g., interest or capital gains — because of the account’s FHSP status.)

After you use

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A well-worn debate has been “is it wiser to purchase a home in cash or take out a mortgage?”  Now although the obvious answer seems to be “if you have the cash, pay in full.”, but taking out a mortgage may need another look when a potential home owner is considering buying options.

Paying for a home in full does have its benefits: Eliminating the need of a loan and thus eliminating interest. When it comes to negotiations, those buying with cash will often have the upper-hand when haggling over a home’s price. Completely owning your property can mean being able to use that property as collateral for a loan if ever the homeowner is in need of cash.

Now, notwithstanding, there are also some advantages to taking out a mortgage and things to consider

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Contributed by Mike Miller, Regional Home Mortgage

Did you know that in February of 2008, the average 30 year fixed rate mortgage was just under 6% at 5.92%? Coincidentally, the average 30 year fixed rate mortgage was nearly the same four years earlier in August of 2004. In my opinion, those two years were polar opposites. 2004 was a year full of opportunities and by 2008 the market had started to take a downward turn, but yet interest rates were fairly similar.

Comparing those rates to today’s national average of 3.53% with less than a 1 pt. fee will give you a little perspective. These “sky is falling” media types that are using headlines to gain advertising dollars have consumers believing that we’re all going to go belly up if rates climb. Our

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This is a guest blog post by Regional Home Mortgage

So what is mortgage insurance? Unfortunately, mortgage insurance is a necessary evil unless you’re making a 20% down payment on a conventional loan.

The mortgage insurance on an FHA loan is by far the most expensive mortgage insurance on the market because borrowers must pay both an up-front mortgage insurance premium and a monthly mortgage insurance premium; this is otherwise known as a split premium. The up-front mortgage insurance premium is financed into the loan so it’s not an out-of-pocket expense, but it is a cost that borrowers incur nonetheless. Also, borrowers cannot get around paying the mortgage insurance on an FHA loan regardless of the down payment, whether it’s 5%, 20%, or more.

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Released yesterday, Fannie Mae's monthly economic outlook, which reflecting a still uncertain economic recovery overall, was definitely bullish on the housing market and its prospects for 2013. Referring to recent performance in the housing sector as a "Tailwind to Growth," the report also noted that consumer confidence is growing monthly with regards to housing. This confidence, in turn, is expected to be reflected in a rise in home prices over the coming months. Good news overall, and this provides hope as we get ready for the Spring selling season in 2013. 

Read Inman's take on the report here. If you'd like to read the full Fannie Mae report, click here. 

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The Federal Housing Authority (FHA) recently announced that they will be raising their mortgage insurance premiums and changing mortgage insurance rules in 2013 on FHA loans. Because of their ability to aid those who find it difficult to save up the often large downpayments required by conventional loans, FHA loans have supported the housing market in times of struggle. The FHA was created during the Great Depression to aid the tough housing market at that time, and those looking to buy during our most recent economic downturn often turned to FHA when loans were unavailable elsewhere. Therefore, any change to FHA loans definitely makes economists take notice, but as a recent FHA audit made clear, the FHA is in danger of not being self-funded for the first

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This is a guest blog post by Regional Home Mortgage Vice President Michael Miller. 

Own a home? Considering becoming a landlord? You are not alone.    Many potential home sellers are finding themselves in a position where they can’t sell their place because they are upside down and don’t want to or can’t stroke a check in order to sell. A natural option to consider is to rent out the property instead. This is not a blog post about the benefits and pitfalls of having tenants in your house; for every horror story out there about tenants trashing your once meticulously cared for home, there is another story about the little old lady tenant that paid her rent on time every month for 20 years. Instead, this is about whether or not you can utilize the new…
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