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July 31st, 2011

Weekly Recap (7/25/11-7/30/11)




Rent foreclosures…back to the previous homeowners?

A new bipartisan bill introduced just yesterday aims to reduce the number of vacant foreclosures as a means to stabilize and increase home prices.

The Neighborhood Preservation Act of 2011 was introduced by California Republican Congressman Gary Miller, and co-sponsored by Congressman Spencer Bachus, an Alabama Republican, and Congressman Barney Frank, a Massachusetts Democrat.

The bill aims to reduce the glut of distressed real estate by encouraging banks as well as Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to become landlords


Three new home loan facts you should know

1. Rates vary from lender to lender (a lot more than you think)

Experts at the Mortgage Industry Advisory Corporation discovered that between different lenders, current mortgage rates vary within a range of 0.25 percent (conforming and government loans) to over 0.50 percent (jumbo and other loans). Other studies have concluded that overall, mortgage rates can vary by about 0.35 percent from one lender to another.

If you don’t collect mortgage quotes from several lenders, you simply risk paying more. How much more?


Let’s ask the right questions about foreclosure help

A new study tells us that a lot of homeowners would be better off with cheaper homes.

The results of this study reflect common sense.

Individuals who cannot afford their mortgage payments should be living in cheaper digs. We all pretty much understand the concept of not living beyond one’s means.

But I’m not sure the survey really asks the right questions.


Are your pets soiling your resale value?

Boston-area broker David Crowley told Boston.com blogger Scott Van Voorhis (coming soon: Scott’s first contribution to HSH.com, “7 problems with online listings”) that he saw a condo go for $20,000-$30,000 less because of “cat issues.”

For those of you out there familiar with the smell of cat urine, it’s potent, it stains and it’s an instant turn-off for buyers trying to envision themselves in a particular home.

For those still doubting me on the potential impact cats and other pets can have on your home’s resale value, understand that your home doesn’t have to resemble the ramshackle dwelling of the neighborhood cat lady.


Is the CFPB already helping banks not borrowers?

The newly-formed Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has just come out with a ruling that will bind state banks more closely to the federal system.

This may not be the best strategy for a consumer agency, given that state rules are sometimes tougher than federal standards.


The Alternative Mortgage Transaction Parity Act (AMTPA) was passed in 1982 for a very strange reason: banks wanted the right to make adjustable-rate mortgages even when state rules said they couldn’t.


Mortgage rates change little, but are jumbos in trouble?”

While mortgage rates are pretty flat at the moment, at least some folks are starting to worry about the coming market for jumbo loans.

A change in the maximum loan sizes that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac can buy (or that the FHA can back) is the culprit. It is only the first of what will be many changes in the market in the months to come.

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One Response to “Weekly Recap (7/25/11-7/30/11)”

  1. dan Says: July 31st, 2011 at 2:03 pm

    I am interested in hearing more about the bipartisan bill. On my block alone there are 7 vacant foreclosures.

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About the HSH Blog

HSH.com's daily blog focuses on the latest developments in the mortgage and housing markets. Our mission is to relate how changes in mortgage rates and housing policy, as well as the latest financial news, impacts consumers, homebuyers and industry insiders alike. Our 30-plus years of experience in the mortgage industry gives us an edge as we break down the latest changes in an ever-changing market.

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Tim Manni

Tim Manni is the Managing Editor of HSH.com and the author of their daily blog, which concentrates on the latest developments in the mortgage and housing markets.

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