Weekly Recap (01/17/11-01/22/11)by Tim Manni
Even though we’re still a few months away from the busiest homebuying season of the year, if you’re thinking about buying a home in 2011, it’s time to start preparing a list of do’s and don’ts.
Do: Check Your Credit
Many credit reports contain erroneous data. If one exists, it can lower your credit score and cost you thousands of dollars, or even keep you from getting a loan. Check out Fannie Mae’s Loan Level Pricing Adjustment matrix. A mortgage with a 679 FICO score can cost a full point more than the same loan with a 680 score. That’s an extra $3,000 for a $300,000 loan. You can get your credit report for free from www.annualcreditreport.com, and pay the nominal fee to get your credit score as well. Your score will give you a better idea of how mortgage lenders will evaluate you, and you may be able to correct errors and raise your score a few points before applying for your home loan…
Jane Blume’s story is one many middle-aged Americans can relate to: Her aging parent was beginning to run out of money. The money her mother spent her whole life saving was quickly dwindling. When Social Security was no longer enough to help Blume’s mother cover her bills, maintain her home and pay for her every-day expenses, she suggested her mom apply for a reverse mortgage.
“Older Americans born in the pre-war era have a stigma about reverse mortgages,” says Eric Declercq, national retail leader for reverse mortgages at MetLife. “They [don't] want to strip their equity”…
It’s safe to say that the optimism surrounding a significant improvement in home sales in 2011 is still muted. We’re hoping to see improving trends, but are holding our breath in terms of a large audience returning to the market at a time when the job market is still unstable and credit conditions remain stringent.
December’s existing-home sales numbers were another indication of an improving trend, but yet another reminder that home sales still have a lot of recovering to do. December’s existing-sales saw a sizeable 12.3 percent increase from November, but still remain nearly three percent below December 2009 levels. The National Association of Realtors Chief Economist Lawrence Yun said he expects December’s figures to be indicative of what we can expect throughout 2011…
Even though Canadian officials say they see no signs of a housing bubble forming, they still decided to take steps to “cool” the housing market:
Canada moved on Monday to tighten its mortgage rules for the second time in less than a year, citing the need to prevent the kind of housing market problems that led other countries into financial crisis.
The new rules, designed to ensure Canadians don’t take on more debt than they can handle, took aim at mortgage amortization, refinancing and the use of lines of credit secured by homes…
It has been a while since we last mentioned our Value Gap Refinance plan here on the blog — it was September 2010 to be exact. Yet, Eugene Ludwig, founder and the chief executive of Promontory Financial Group LLC, recently wrote an article in National Mortgage News about his plan to end foreclosures which reminded us a lot of our plan.
While Ludwig didn’t mention HSH.com’s plan specifically, he outlined an idea that was extremely similar to ours. On January 10, 2011 Ludwig wrote…
The end of 2010 brought us an increase in mortgage rates. So far, the first couple weeks of 2011 have brought declining mortgage rates. This is certainly good news for those who made a New Year’s resolution to buy a home or refinance their current mortgage: