Getting a Mortgage That Will Put You At Ease, Not On Edge

One of the most common questions for homebuyers is 'how much can I afford?' While it is important to know the ultimate limits of your financial resources, there may be a better question to be asking. 'How much mortgage am I comfortable with?' is a much more useful query. The problem with asking 'how much can I afford?' was made abundantly clear during the mortgage meltdown. A few years earlier, lenders and borrowers had been willing to stretch to the farthest edge in order to make and qualify, Read more [...]

Get Ready for Tighter Reverse Mortgage Standards

If you've been planning to get a reverse mortgage, be prepared to meet higher loan requirements in the near future. At least that's what officials at the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) are saying. At this point basically any homeowner over the age of 62 can qualify for a reverse mortgage, but after many defaulted during the housing market crash, the FHA is looking to tighten up the rules on these loans. A reverse mortgage is a way for retirement-age homeowners to tap into their home's Read more [...]

Increase Your Mortgage IQ

If you are ready to buy a house, do you know what its going to take to finance your purchase? Roughly a third of American homebuyers are confused about even the most basic mortgage questions, according to a recent survey from real estate website Zillow. Learning from their wrong answers can improve your mortgage IQ and help you get the best mortgage terms possible. Here's what the survey's 1,000 current and prospective homebuyers didn't know: 34 percent of respondents did not understand the Read more [...]

How to Buy Smart in a Sellers Market

Existing home sales have soared to the highest pace in three-and-a-half years, inventory has been sparse, and prices have made a monumental comeback, rising 11 percent  in the past year. Yep, it's officially a seller's market. While this might make plenty of buyers nervous, it is still possible to score a great home in the midst of a booming market. Get Pre-Approved Start by having your mortgage financing completely in place. Don't waste your time with a pre-qualification; sellers certainly Read more [...]

New Mortgage Rules May Encourage More Lending Among Small Banks

The federal government established a new mortgage rule this week governing how much debt borrowers can have. While critics fear that this may close doors to many first-time home buyers and low-income borrowers, others say the rule's exceptions would just send those consumers to community banks and credit unions. The new rule, one of many released Thursday, forbids lenders from making mortgages to borrowers with debts greater than 43 percent of their income. The hope is that only those who can Read more [...]

Even As Housing Recovers, Consumers May Opt for Rentals

The demand for renting is likely to increase dramatically during the next decade, according to the Bipartisan Policy Center, leaving questions as to how that will affect the recently recovering housing market. "There is clearly an unmet demand for homeownership among young households," Barry Zigas, director of Housing Policy for Consumer Federation of America, said in a HousingWire article. "Those households are running up against a number of constraints." The Bipartisan Policy Center projects Read more [...]

New Home Sales Post Signs of Housing Recovery

Sales of new U.S. homes rose to a two-year high in September, according to the Commerce Department last week, another sign the housing market is moving in the right direction. In September, new homes sold at an annual pace of 389,000, up 5.7 percent from August and up a dramatic 27.1 percent from one year ago. The U.S. housing market has not seen such a high sales rate since April 2010, when they were temporarily inflated by a home-buyer tax credit. And new home sales have now risen on a yearly Read more [...]

NY Fed President Blames Housing Industry for Slow Recovery

Even though the Federal Reserve just started another round of economic stimulus, at least one Fed member does not think it is doing enough, mainly because of the housing market. Federal Reserve Bank of New York President William Dudley said recently that "with the benefit of hindsight, monetary policy needed to be still more aggressive." In September, the Fed began its third stage of quantitative easing, or QE3, a policy of buying up $40 billion worth of mortgage-backed securities each month Read more [...]

Low Appraisals Cause Heartache for Mortgage Seekers

Mortgage funding has been extremely tight since the housing crisis, with lenders requiring top-notch credit and stellar down payments. And while strict credit standards do remain an obstacle for many borrowers, the National Association of Realtors says that a new problem is also putting the kibosh on plenty of loans - inaccurate home appraisals. After potential buyers have their offer accepted, they must wait for an independent appraiser to go through and value the house. Because there are so Read more [...]

Buying Still Makes Sense Over Renting

It is more affordable to buy a home than rent one these days, according to real estate data search engine Trulia, but many U.S. consumers are not taking advantage of the opportunity. Trulia reported that in 98 of the top 100 housing markets, buying makes more financial sense than renting. (The only two housing market outside the trend are Honolulu and San Francisco. )And rent prices look to be continuing their rise for the near future, while home prices are very near bottomed out. Plus, mortgage Read more [...]