Mortgage Closing Costs Are Shrinking

Thanks to a recent tightening of federal regulations, homebuyers are paying less in closing costs, according to the latest survey by Bankrate.com. The average amount a buyer paid in closing costs on a $200,000 home loan with a 20 percent down payment in June 2012 was down 7.4 percent to $3,754, from one year earlier. That's a savings of roughly $300 from June 2011. "This is the third year lenders are required to estimate closing costs within 10 percent of the final costs," says Holden Lewis,financial analyst at Read more [...]

Help For Struggling Homeowners | Government Gives $1 Billion Away

Another new government program has just begun for homeowners on the brink of foreclosure. ELHP, or Emergency Homeowners' Loan Program, provides a staggering $1 billion in FREE money for homeowners who are facing foreclosure due to job loss or unexpected medical expenses. It gives these mortgage borrowers mortgage payment subsidies of up to $50,000 for no more than two years. Here's an example from the Washington Post about Teri Ware, a single mom in Maryland whose daughter was born a year ago Read more [...]

Have We Seen the Last of the Mortgage Deduction?

President Obama's budget deficit commission is considering one option for reducing the national debt: reducing or eliminating the mortgage interest tax deduction. The idea has made no small stir in the mortgage market community. The current mortgage tax break is one of the costliest for the U.S. government. It is used by 35 million American homeowners each year, enabling them to deduct all the interest paid on their mortgage for their primary residence and a certain percentage of interest paid Read more [...]

Is Loan Recasting Right for You?

A piece in the Wall Street Journal's website today exposed the well-kept banking secret known as loan "recasting" or "re-amortizing," a strategy that can help mortgage borrowers lower their monthly payments and save on interest. And I can see why its not talked about that much - it's just not that useful to most homeowners. This is the rundown: A borrower petitions his lender and/or mortgage servicer to allow him to make a sizeable contribution to the principal of the loan after which the lender Read more [...]

No Chance of Higher Rates Anytime Soon, According to Fed Officials

Recent comments from top Federal Reserve Officials are making it clear they are not yet worried about inflation and they certainly expect to leave their target interest rate alone for quite awhile. Atlanta Federal Reserve President Dennis Lockhart, in a speech before the Rotary Club of Nashville, said: "Certainly we have low interest rates today…I would expect that to continue for some time." He was also upbeat about the coming recovery of the markets. "The economy is stabilizing and recovery Read more [...]

Mortgage Rates Fall to Fourth Consecutive Record Low

Federal Reserve efforts helped long-term mortgage interest rates drop to their lowest point on record, for the fourth straight week, according to mortgage giant Freddie Mace Thursday. "Interest rates for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages fell for the tenth week to a fourth consecutive record low due in part to the Federal Reserve's recent purchases of mortgage-backed securities issued by Freddie Mac, Fannie Mae and Ginnie Mae," said Frank Nothaft, Freddie Mac vice president and chief economist. "On Read more [...]

Existing U.S. Home Sales Fell in August

Amid the flurry of banking bailout talks and stock market worries, the National Association of Realtors released a report Wednesday showing a decrease in existing home sales nationally last month. The Associated found that sales of previously owned homes, including single-family, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops, dropped a seasonally adjusted 2.2 percent to an annual rate of 4.91 million units from a rate of 5.02 million in July. August figures are also down 10.7 percent from the same time last Read more [...]

Mortgage Interest Rates Hit 5-Month Low, Subprime Loans Still Hard to Come By

Mortgage giant Freddie Mac reported Thursday that interest rates on 30-year fixed rate mortgages made their largest week-to-week decrease this week in almost 28 years , falling 0.42 percentage point. On news of the Federal Government's bailout of Freddie Mac and sister corporation Fannie Mae, the national average rate dropped to a five-month low of 5.93 percent, with an average 0.7 discount point, during the week ended Sept. 11 from 6.35 percent the previous week and from 6.31 percent on year Read more [...]

Federal Reserve Interest Rate Hikes Unlikely Until 2009

Even in the face of rising inflation, the Federal Reserve is unlikely to raise their target interest rate through the end of 2008, based on comments Friday from Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke. “The Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) has maintained a relatively low target for the federal funds rate despite an increase in inflationary pressures,” Bernanke said in a speech at the annual economic symposium in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. He explained that this strategy is based on the Fed's expectation Read more [...]