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Real Estate

VA Loan Limits Rise In High Cost Areas – New Rules Help Veterans And Their Families

The Honoring America’s Veterans and Caring for Camp Lejeune Families Act of 2012 was recently signed into law. The act provides for the needs of veterans, their families, and survivors through improved healthcare, housing, education, and memorial services. For Veterans who own a home or are considering buying a home the act has several benefits. A major change has been made to the VA Loan Limits in high cost areas. Late last year the were reduced by significant amounts in some areas. Read the rest of this entry »

Is The “Perfect Storm” In Real Estate Coming To An End?

Is The "Perfect Storm" In Real Estate Coming To An End?

For a long time the news was full of stories about residential real estate values and the downward spiral they were in.

Things have changed recently and the news is becoming full of stories about real estate prices stabilizing and starting to rise and how houses listed for sale are now receiving multiple offers with escalation clauses.

It appears the "Perfect Storm" in real estate with a combination of low home prices and low interest rates is coming to an end.

Recently The Washington Post ran an article titled "How to buy a house in D.C.’s sellers’ market" The article states "Sellers are in heaven; buyers are feeling the stress. These days you can go to any open house of a home in good condition in a desirable neighborhood, and you’ll find you’re one of a steady stream of potential buyers. Sleep on it before making an offer? Too late; houses that are in good condition and well-located (especially walking distance to Metro or major bus routes) are under contract in one to two days."

Home prices in many area have started to stabilize and some are even showing appreciation. Now a recent article in USA Today is predicting that home prices will start rising 4% per year for the next 5 years.

In another recent Washington Post article stated that "Home prices increased by the greatest amount over the past year since 2006, according to a report released Thursday by Real Estate Business Intelligence.

“Pricing in the D.C. metro area continued recent positive trends with a year-over-year median sale price gain of 11.2 percent, the highest annual gain in more than six years,” the firm reported. RBI suggests this might mean all the talk of a shadow inventory of to-be-foreclosed homes didn’t impact home prices much."

Here's what huffingtonpost.com said recently "Rising Home Prices: Coming to a Market Near You." "Not only are rising prices starting to look like a real trend, they're also coming to a market near you -- if they haven't already. Asking prices increased year-over-year in 44 out of the 100 largest metropolitan areas, with Miami and Phoenix leading the charge." Bethesda-Rockville-Frederick, MD was listed as number 9 in Top 10 Metros With Largest Price Increases.

Again, back to The Washington Post in an article titled "House hunters find it’s a jungle" stated that "For in-demand properties, bidding wars are common. For Redfin’s listings, 53 percent of homes for sale had multiple offers in D.C. last quarter, while in an area such as Atlanta, that only happened 31 percent of the time."

So what does this mean to home buyers looking for their first home or for people looking to move-up? Now may be the time to get off the fence and into the market.

Home prices are stabilizing and starting to move up and mortgage interest rates are at historic lows. You can't expect interest rates to stay this low for long. With rising rental rates it appears to be a god time to buy a home.

What do you thing? Leave your comments below.

Google Me Is The Perfect Storm In Real Estate Coming To An End?

Your source for Conventional, FHA and VA loan information.

My direct line is 240.813.0614. So let me hear from you! Remember...it doesn't cost a penny to talk...so call right now and I will answer all your questions.

Alan Gross

Senior Mortgage Consultant

PrimeLending, A PlainsCapital Company
704 Quince Orchard Rd., Suite 230
Gaithersburg, MD 20878

Home Office: 240.813.0614
Email: agross@primelending.com
Web: www.mtg-info.net
Web: www.DCMilitaryVALoans.com
NMLS#217388

What’s A Picture Worth In Real Estate Sales? Facebook Thinks Pictures Are Worth $1 Billion!

What's A Picture Worth In Real Estate Sales? Facebook Thinks Pictures Are Worth $1 Billion! You've probably seen the news. Facebook bought Instagram for $1 Billion. Now this is company that has 12 employees that was started in 2010 and has no revenue. So what's worth $1 Billion. Instagram allows pictures to be shared on a number of social networking services. Read the rest of this entry »

Thinking of Buying a New Home? Why Wait? Residential Real Estate Is Ready to Recover!

Thinking of Buying a New Home? Why Wait? Residential Real Estate Is Ready to Recover! The news in residential real estate hasn't been good for the past few years but things are starting to change. If you've been sitting on the sidelines thinking about buying a new home now may be the time to jump into the game. Read the rest of this entry »

What’s In The President’s Plan To Help Responsible Homeowners and Heal The Housing Market?

What's In The President's Plan To Help Responsible Homeowners and Heal The Housing Market?

I make my living in the housing industry. The whole country has suffered the past few years because of the problems created by the mortgage mess. The housing industry is still struggling to get back on it's feet.

In his State of the Union address and in subsequent speeches President Obama has been talking about his "Blueprint for an America Built to Last."

I got a copy of the plan to see what it is all about. To see a copy click on:

President Obama's Plan to Help Responsible Homeowners and Heal the Housing Market

While I want as much as anyone for the housing market to come back reading the plan I have to wonder if it's a plan for recovery or a political document to help with getting elected.

A big talking point has been the Homeowner Bill of Rights.

The first two points are:

Access to a simple mortgage disclosure form, so borrowers understand the loans they are taking out.

In 2009 the government designed and mandated that the lending industry use the current Good Faith Estimate now given to borrowers. I took hours of classes learning to complete it correctly and real estate agents took hours of classes learning the new HUD1 form. I'd welcome a simple form but blaming the industry for the current confusion is just wrong.

Full disclosure of fees and penalties.

It seems they don't know they also passed legislation holding lenders responsible for the fees that are disclosed to a borrower at application. A lender is financially responsible for under disclosingfees (even fees they don't control) including those charged by title companies and state and count recording fees. Anyone who has been to a settlement is familiar with "Charges That Cannot Increase, Charges That in Total Cannot Increase More Than 10% and Charges That Can Change."

The plan also calls for Moving the Market to Provide a Full Year of Forbearance for Borrowers Looking for Work.

Now don't get me wrong. This crisis has created a lot of pain for a lot of people and they need help. But is letting them not pay their mortgage for a year a solution to the problem or are we "kicking the can down the road" for someone else to worry about.

Who hasn't heard Congress and the President rail against the abusive loans that caused the crisis. (A side note: all the loan types weren't bad. They just got to liberal in underwriting and approving them)

The plan calls for Providing Non-GSE Borrowers Access to Simple, Low-Cost Refinancing. It has been proposed that "The refinancing program will be open to all non-GSE borrowers with standard (non-jumbo) loans who have been keeping up with their mortgage payments. The program will be operated through the FHA."

Simple and straightforward eligibility criteria. Any borrower with a loan that is not currently guaranteed by the GSEs can qualify if they meet the following criteria:

* They are current on their mortgage: Borrowers will need to have been current on their loan for the past 6 months and have missed no more that one payment in the 6 months prior. (Sounds reasonable to me.)

* They meet a minimum credit score. Borrowers must have a current FICO score of 580 to be eligible. Approximately 9 in 10 borrowers will have a credit score adequate to meet that requirement. (If you want to get a new loan most loan programs want a minimum 640 FICO score. By meeting certain criteria you can lower the FICO score to 620.)

Streamlined application process: "To determine a borrower's eligibility a lender need only confirm that the borrower is employed." (Sound's like the no-doc or no-income loan they have said were bad and don't allow any more.) "Those who are not employed may be eligible if they meet other requirements and present limited credit risk." (I'd love to know what those requirements will be.)

The program will be funded by "Creating a separate fund for new streamlined refinancing program. This will help FHA better track and manage the risk involved and ensure that it has no effect on the operation of the existing Mutual Mortgage Insurance (MMI) fund." (So were taking loans that were made in the private sector and giving them a government guarantee and if they lose money well take it out of the left pocket instead of the right pocket? To me a loss is a loss)

Now to pay for the program the Refinancing Plan Will Be Fully Paid For By a Portion of Fee on Largest Financial Institutions: The Administration estimates the cost of its refinancing plan will be in the range of $5 to $10 billion, depending on exact parameters and take-up. The cost will be fully offset by using a portion of the President's proposed Financial Crisis Responsibility Fee, which imposes a fee on the largest financial institutions based on their size and the riskiness of their activities - ensuring that the program does not add a dome to the deficit. (And do you thing "the largest financial institutions" are going to absorb that fee or is it more likely to be passed on to all consumers through higher fees and other cost. Are you aware the "Two month tax holiday passed in December is being paid with higher fees being charged by Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and FHA. The new fees will be in effect for 10 years to pay for a 2 month thx holiday.)

I've been getting a lot of questions about HARP2 refinancing program which was announced in November. It's my understanding that the automated engines used to underwrite these loans will be ready in mid-March. I still an waiting to get details of what the requirements will be.

I'd love to hear your feedback on the proposed Plan To Help Responsible Homeowners and Heal The Housing Market.

 

Google Me Whats In The Presidents Plan To Help Responsible Homeowners and Heal The Housing Market?

Your source for Conventional, FHA and VA loan information.

My direct line is 240.813.0614. So let me hear from you! Remember...it doesn't cost a penny to talk...so call right now and I will answer all your questions.

Alan Gross

Senior Mortgage Consultant

PrimeLending, A PlainsCapital Company
704 Quince Orchard Rd., Suite 230
Gaithersburg, MD 20878

Home Office: 240.813.0614
Email: agross@primelending.com
Web: www.mtg-info.net
Web: www.DCMilitaryVALoans.com
NMLS#217388

Home Prices and Affordability – Is Now The Time To Consider Buying A New Home?

Home Prices and Affordability – Is Now The Time To Consider Buying A New Home? I've been saying for the past 6 months or so that we have been in the "Perfect Storm" to buy a home with the combination of low home prices and low interest rates. It seems that the storm is starting to subside. Home prices in many markets are starting to show appreciation. Read the rest of this entry »

Are Home Prices Going Up In The Washington DC Area? Has Housing Finally Bottomed Out?

Are Home Prices Going Up In The Washington DC Area? Has Housing Finally Bottomed Out? In the New York and Portland areas, prices edged up 0.1 percent. Prices rose 1.2 percent in the Washington, D.C., area. Read the rest of this entry »

What Is The Housing Affordability Index and Why Should It Matter To You?

What Is The Housing Affordability Index and Why Should It Matter To You? Read the rest of this entry »
PrimeLending 11.9.2009

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