Zombie Foreclosures Tumble From Previous Year

The number of U.S. ‘zombie’ foreclosures – vacant properties in the foreclosure process but not yet repossessed by the lender – plunged 43 percent in the third quarter from the year before, according to data from foreclosure data firm RealtyTrac. There were 20,050 zombie foreclosures in the third quarter of 2015, a 27 percent decrease from the second quarter. Foreclosures have declined on a broad scale over the past several years, leading to fewer vacant properties overall. Vacant properties, 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 [...]

Want the Best Mortgage Deal? Shop Around!

Mortgage interest rates are still near record lows, but that doesn't mean you will get the same deal from every lender. Even in an attractive rate atmosphere it's important to shop around to save yourself big time on your monthly payment as well as over the course of the loan. Contact Several Lenders Start your search by calling or emailing several different lenders. Your bank may be a good source of mortgage funding, but don't count out local credit unions and mortgage companies. You could 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 [...]

NAR Says Housing Market Generates Jobs

There has been plenty of talk lately and a few promises made about greatly reducing the government role in home ownership. In the wake of the housing collapse, many think the U.S. government should not involve itself so heavily in that market. Not every on feels that way though. The National Association of Realtors is advocating against dramatic changes in government housing policy right now, saying it would prevent or hamper economic recovery. "As the leading advocate for home ownership, NAR Read more [...]

Signs of Life: Private Mortgage Securities Re-Enter the Market

Last week, private mortgage-backed securities were officially put pack on the market for the first time in two-and-a-half years. Redwood Trust Inc., a Mill-Valley, Ca.-based company has partnered with Citigroup Inc. to package and sell $222 million worth of securities backed by jumbo residential mortgage loans. With the collapse of the housing market in 2007, investors so completely shunned these investments, that only government-sponsored entities, now government-controlled entities, Freddie Read more [...]

Where are Mortgage Rates Headed in September?

During the first two weeks of September 2009, mortgage interest rates have trended downward and are considerably lower than August's averages. According to mortgage company Freddie Mac, the average rate on a 30-year fixed rate loan last week, excluding points, was 5.07 percent, down from the average for all of August which was 5.19 percent. Is the lower trend likely to stick around for the rest of the month? It's always hard to say, especially because there are two big factors this month that Read more [...]

Have We Just Shifted the Mortgage Debt Burden?

A recent Washington Post article brings up how deeply involved the Federal government has become in the current housing market. In order to keep the mortgage markets from freezing up during the dire days of the housing crash, the government stepped in and took over Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, two of the nation's largest mortgage financiers. “While this made it possible for many borrowers to keep getting loans and helped protect the housing market from further damage, the government's newly dominant Read more [...]

Good News For U.S. Mortgage Market

There may be reason to hope that the housing market is starting to show signs of life again. Two recent housing reports have indicated that things are looking up. First, an article on the USAToday website reported that although demand for almost all consumer and business loans declined in the latest quarter, the Federal Reserve says that demand grew for prime mortgages, or good credit mortgages, marking the first increase since the first part of 2007. We can certainly attribute a great deal of Read more [...]

Boston Fed: Foreclosures Fueled By Unemployment, Not Interest Rates

Although the Obama Administration contends that high interest rates and inflated monthly payments are to blame for the current U.S. foreclosure epidemic, a study released recently from the Boston Federal Reserve suggests that rising unemployment rates may be the bigger cause/ The study named “Reducing Foreclosures,” conducted and authored by Boston Fed economists Christopher Foote and Paul Willen, Atlanta Fed economist Kristopher Gerardi and former Boston Fed economist Lorenz Goette, found Read more [...]