Millennials More Likely than Gen Xers to Be Saving, But Not For Down Payments

The country’s youngest adult generation, those aged 18 to 34, otherwise known as Millennials are more likely than both Generation Xers and Baby Boomers to be saving for short and long term financial goals, but saving a for a house is low on the priority list. The latest quarterly renters survey from mortgage giant Freddie Mac found that 92 percent of Millennials are saving for a major purchase (not necessarily a house though) and 94 percent are saving for a vacation. Those rates among Boomers Read more [...]

Existing Home Sales Dip for Sixth Time in Seven Months

Sales of existing U.S. homes fell slightly again in February, while the median home price edged up, according to the National Association of Realtors. Total existing home sales slipped 0.4 percent last month to a seasonally adjusted annual pace of 4.60 million homes compared with a 4.62 million pace in January. Sales are also down 7.1 percent from February 2013. “We had ongoing unusual weather disruptions across much of the country last month, with the continuing frictions of constrained Read more [...]

Banks Seek to Take Back Low-Down Payment Market

After five years of almost no competition, the Federal Housing Administration’s share of the low-down payment mortgage market is finally being challenged. Since the mortgage meltdown, most private lenders stopped making loans to people with a less than 20 percent down payment. They couldn’t afford to take on any more risk after facing serious losses from toxic loans. The FHA filled in the gap, guaranteeing essentially all low-down payment mortgages, even those with as little as 3.5 percent. Read more [...]

Lenders Make Homeownership More Attainable

We are finally starting to see some of the first verifiable signs of looser lending standards in the mortgage market since the housing collapse. That’s good news for those who have been scrimping and saving to get into a home of their own. As mortgage lenders saw their refinance traffic slow dramatically after this summer’s spike in interest rates, many tried to drum up extra business on the purchase side, by lower credit score requirements and down payment thresholds. Mortgage data tracker Read more [...]

Getting a Normal Mortgage in a Not-Yet Normal Market

The U.S. housing market is recovering, but is a ways off yet from returning to “normal” levels. In fact, the market is now 64 percent back to normal, according to real estate data company Trulia. While that is certainly more than half way there, it means there are still some challenges when it comes to mortgages. Home loan lenders are only recently starting to ease up on their credit standards. Since the housing bubble popped several years ago, lenders have been reeling from the aftermath Read more [...]

FHA Loans Could Be Your Solution to Rising Rates

After bumping along at record lows for several years, mortgage interest rates have finally started rising again. And they are making quick progress, having jumped up an entire percentage point in just a few months. During the latest week, the average rate on a 30-year fixed rate mortgage rose to 4.58 percent, up from 4.40 percent the week before, according to mortgage finance company Freddie Mac. That is the highest level in over two years. “Fixed mortgage rates continued to follow bond yields Read more [...]

Down Payment Help: Gift v. Loan

Many first time homebuyers receive financial help from their parents to qualify for a mortgage. That’s definitely understandable in the wake of the mortgage meltdown as lenders require more money down. In fact, a recent National Association of Realtors survey found that between the years 2009 and 2012, roughly 25 percent of all rookie homebuyers used gifts from family or friends to finance their down payments. Another roughly seven percent of first-timers received loans from relatives to cover 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 [...]

Mortgage After Foreclosure? Yes, But Be Prepared To Wait

Since the financial crisis hit in September 2008, there have been roughly 4.2 million completed foreclosures across the U.S. through February 2013, according to housing data company CoreLogic. That means there are an awful lot of former homeowners out there hoping to buy a home again someday. And the good news for those folks is that mortgage lenders are perfectly willing to lend to borrowers after a foreclosure – as long as they wait long enough, that is. “The biggest hurdles for borrowers 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 [...]