August 2014

Found 17 blog entries for August 2014.

                 Mortgage Rates Still Very Near Lowest Levels of the Year

According to Matthew Graham - Chief Operating Officer, Mortgage News Daily / MBS Live - Mortgage rates moved lower for a second straight day following a much-anticipated speech from Federal Reserve Chair Yellen in Jackson Hole.  While she didn't break any new ground in terms of what we should expect from Fed policy, there was some temporary volatility in the markets that underlie mortgage rates late this morning. 

Headlines concerning Ukraine/Russia tension and European market movements all contributed, but by early afternoon, it was all for nothing.  Bond markets (which include the mortgage-backed-securities that dictate mortgage rates), settled down quite a bit as the

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Going Back to the Rates in May 2014?


Mortgage rates dipped slightly for the week ended Aug. 14, reversing any increase made the week prior, according to the latest Freddie Mac Primary Mortgage Market Survey. The 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage averaged 4.12%, down from 4.14% a week ago and 4.40% a year prior. In addition, the 15-year, FRM fell from 3.27% last week to 3.24%, and is also down from 3.44% in 2013.

The 5-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage came in at 2.97%, compared to 2.98% the previous week and 3.23% the previous year. The 1-year Treasury-indexed ARM averaged 2.36% for the week, marginally up from 2.35% last week but down from 2.67% last year. 

“Mortgage rates were down slightly amid a week of light economic

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Wealthy homebuyers can now get mortgages

cheaper than everyone else.

 What's crazy is lenders offering rates on jumbo mortgages that are more than a quarter of a percentage point lower than those on the conforming loans backed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. The government-run agencies require conforming loans to be below $417,000, unless they are for homes in high-cost areas like New York or Los Angeles, where the limit is $625,500.

Jumbo loans exceed those dollar limits and, historically, banks charge higher rates on them -- about 0.25 percentage points more -- than they do for conforming loans, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association. But over the past couple of months, the tables have turned.

This week, Wells

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You Don't Have to Break the Bank

Home improvement projects don’t have to include large budgets. Many homeowners think they need major construction to make a difference, but minor alterations have the potential to update and freshen your home.

 Check out these six do-it-yourself projects that empty your bank account:

1. Paint 

It may seem minor, but painting can drastically change the appearance of a room. Neutral colors are the go-to for staging homes, but fun patterns are great for everyday living. Paint doesn’t have to be limited to walls, either. Try adding fresh shades to overlooked accent areas. “I thought that painting the baseboards and doors would be more aesthetically pleasing, but I didn’t realize how much lighter and more open

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What the Experts are Saying

 (MainStreet) — Economists and housing experts are predicting a drab real estate market over the next several years, a new survey says. According to Zillow's Home Price Expectations Survey, which polled 104 experts, rising mortgage rates is expected to slow the housing market. The experts polled expect 30-year fixed mortgage rates to reach 5.3% in two years. Last week, Freddie Mac said such rates average 4.12%, compared to 4.40% at this time last year. Some 62% said higher rates would have a "somewhat negative" or "significantly negative" impact on the volume of homes purchased.

Mortgage rates are expected to rise largely because of two factors relating to the Federal Reserve. First, the central bank's bond stimulus,

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Ignore Paid Collection Accounts?


For consumers with collection accounts on their credit reports, you may be hopeful about the new FICO Score 9 — the new version of FICO scores that will be available to lenders in the fall of 2014.

FICO 9 will ignore paid collection accounts, giving consumers with past credit problems a real chance of rebuilding their credit if they can resolve their debts. It will also give less weight to medical collection accounts than it does to other types of accounts in collection. This can significantly benefit consumers who have otherwise paid their bills on time but ran into a problem with a doctor or hospital bill.

But just because the new model is available to lenders doesn’t mean it will be used by them. The

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The Housing Market is Recovering Slowly

Home prices are rising, but the housing market isn’t exactly getting that much better. In the second half of the year, four major factors will continue to weigh on the housing market as it continues its slow recovery, said Tom Showalter, chief analytics officer for Digital Risk, a company that provides quality control, due diligence and valuations services for the financial market.

Strong metropolitan areas versus the rest of the country

The housing market is divided into two categories: those markets that will appreciate aggressively and those where the bulk of homes won’t gain nearly as much in value, Showalter said.

Micro economies doing well include the New York metropolitan area; Washington,

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Mortgage Lenders Needing Clients

According to Rueters mortgage applicants who can't provide tax returns or pay stubs to show their income are getting stated income loans again as companies such as Unity West Lending and Westport Mortgage chase customers they can no longer afford to ignore.

Lenders say these aren't the same products also known as "liar loans" that were pervasive before the housing bust. Instead, the loans are going to borrowers such as small business owners or investors buying properties they intend to rent who can demonstrate an ability to repay, verifiable through bank or brokerage statements. Lenders said they look for enough assets to pay six to 12 months of payments, while also demanding high down payments to reduce the

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Be Vigilant

Buyers often assume a flipped home is like new... that it is move-in ready and free from hassles. The newly renovated home gets top dollar, and the buyer assumes it is perfect. Most buyers, however, don’t realize that some contractors or property “flippers” are anxious to move on to the next job, and their work may be rushed and subpar as a result. If you’re buying a flipped house, consider taking the following steps to ensure you don’t get any unpleasant surprises after your closing.

Be observant

As tempting as it can be, try not to get caught up in the excitement of new appliances, marble baths and other fancy bells and whistles. By looking closely at the details, you can learn a lot about the quality of work done on

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Operation Mis-Modification


There are only a few are more frightening predicaments than losing your home, some shady mortgage assistance relief servicers know all too well. From false promises to scare tactics, these companies manage to bilk millions of dollars from consumers desperate to keep their homes. Unfortunately, their “services” leave consumers worse off than when they started.

The Federal Trade Commission has cracked down on six mortgage relief operations, alleging that these outfits preyed on distressed homeowners by falsely promising to lower their mortgage payments or help them prevent foreclosure. In each case, the FTC said it is seeking to “stop these illegal practices” and freeze their assets pending outcomes in court.

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