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Displaying blog entries 11-15 of 15

Rates Creep Up

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A recent survey and a rate increase could mean more competition for homes

Recent indication is that first time home buyers are getting tired of sitting on the sidelines. According to a recent online poll taken by the National Apartment Association, 17 percent of renters plan to make the jump to home ownership in the next year; 41 percent of the 2,041 respondents planned to be home owners within two years. Only 31 percent planned to still be paying rent five years from now.

Another factor that could very soon contribute to an increase in home buying could be rising mortgage costs. Fixed-rate mortgage rates rose to 6.32 percent, the highest it has been since October. After months of aggressively dropping interest rates, many lenders are worried that the Fed will be forced to raise rates back up. As interest rates rise, so do mortgage rates. According to a press release on freddiemac.com, Frank Nothaft, Freddie Mac vice president and chief economist said that, "Mortgage rates jumped this week after a number of Federal Reserve officials, most notably Chairman [Ben] Bernanke and Vice Chair [Donald] Kohn, expressed concern over a threat of inflation." We may very well be seeing the beginning of the end of the super-low mortgage and potential buyers may realize that with rising rates, now may be the time to jump in. Nothaft added, "Moreover, pending home sales for April unexpectedly rose by 6.3% and mortgage applications for home purchases ... were also up last week."

“What do you think about rates … should I lock in now or wait to see if they fall further?” Think I’ve been asked that a time or two over the past 18 years? You better believe it.  It’s a good question—one that goes through every single buyer’s head at some stage. 

A quoted interest rate is no good unless you’ve confirmed, in writing, that your loan is indeed “locked,” or guaranteed for a designated period of time. You need to be proactive with your locked rate as well and don’t assume that your loan officer already locked you in. In fact, your loan officer shouldn’t lock in your rate without your specific instructions. If it was locked in and rates went down you’d be pretty mad, wouldn’t you?

While neither real estate agents nor loan officers are in the business of predicting the future, it’s still possible to make a prudent choice in the face of uncertainty. Would you rather lock in your rate and watch rates fall or not lock in your rate and see rates go up?

If you decided to lock and rates go down, you’ve secured the market rate that you were happy with. But if rates went up and you didn’t lock, you’d be paying for that mistake for the rest of the loan.

There is an even worse possible scenario: After not locking in your rate, rates shoot up and you no longer qualify for the loan. So it’s important to ask yourself:  “Which way would I rather be wrong?”

If you are comfortable with the rate you’ve been quoted, talk to your real estate agent about the possible consequences of waiting to lock it in.

Written by David Reed, author of Mortgage 101 and Mortgage Confidential.

Taming the Jumbo Mortgage

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Everyone knows the jumbo loan market has been out of whack for nearly 18 months. “jumbo” loans, those amounting to more than $417,000, took it on the chin when mortgage investors stopped buying subprime and alternative loans. For that reason, jumbo rates can be as much as 1.50 percent higher than conforming rates. Historically, jumbo rates were only about a quarter of a percent higher than a conforming rate, but this new spread has kept many out of the housing market: especially those that I call, “just jumbo.”

So what exactly is “just jumbo?” It’s a loan amount that just exceeds the conforming limit of $417,000 and typically reflects a sales price in the $500,000­­–$600,000 range. Many local markets offer homes in this price category, but the marked difference in rate from conforming to jumbo is slowing down sales. What is the difference in payment between a conforming loan at 6 percent and a jumbo loan at 7.50 percent? On a $500,000 jumbo loan, mortgage payments jump from $2,997 to $3,496 a month. That’s almost $500 more!

Fortunately, with some changes in strategy, we can put a major dent in that increase in payment by buying a property with two loans — a first mortgage and a second. With the first mortgage at or below the conforming limit, the second mortgage then eliminates the need for private mortgage insurance, or PMI. And still, with only 10 percent down on a $500,000 sale.

For example, let’s say we have a sales price of $500,000 and you put 10 percent down. With a jumbo loan at 7.50 percent, the monthly payment on a 30-year note is $3,146 plus a PMI payment of about $188, for a total of $3,334. Using a 40 percent debt ratio means that you need to make about $9,700 per month to qualify.

Now, let’s make the first mortgage for $400,000 at 6 percent (conforming) with a second mortgage at 7 percent on a $50,000, 30-year note. The mortgage payments would be $2,398 and $332 respectively, for a combined total of $2,730. That’s a savings of over $600 per month, and now the income to qualify is almost $1,500 less at $8,200 per month! Do you think that has an impact on affordabilty? I do.

Here's another idea: sellers can carry back that second note to provide some additional income, providing an even better second rate for the buyer!

Written by David Reed, author of Mortgage 101 and Mortgage Confidential.

Mortgage Rates Stay Low to Start 2007

by Jana Caudill

From www.nwitimes.com

Rates on 30-year mortgages were unchanged in the first week of the new year after posting three consecutive increases to close out 2006.

Mortgage giant Freddie Mac reported Thursday that 30-year, fixed-rate mortgages averaged 6.18 percent this week, the same as last week.

Analysts said the markets in recent days have gotten some confusing messages about how serious the current economic slowdown will be.

"Currently, the market is waiting for a clearer signal on the direction in which the economy is headed," said Frank Nothaft, Freddie Mac's chief economist.

For 2006, 30-year mortgages peaked at 6.80 percent in late July with rates trending lower for most of the rest of the year. That decline was welcomed by the embattled housing industry, which is in the grips of a severe downturn after five boom years.

The Freddie Mac survey showed that other types of mortgage rates were mixed this week.

Rates on 15-year, fixed-rate mortgages, a popular choice for refinancing, edged up slightly to 5.94 percent, compared to 5.93 percent last week.

Five-year adjustable rate mortgages rose to 6.02 percent, up from 5.98 percent, but one-year adjustable rate mortgages fell to 5.42 percent, down from 5.47 percent last week.

The mortgage rates do not include add-on fees known as points. Thirty-year, 15-year and five-year mortgages each carried a nationwide average fee of 0.4 point. One-year ARMs carried a fee of 0.6 point.

A year ago, rates on 30-year mortgages stood at 6.21 percent while 15-year mortgages were at 5.76 percent, five-year ARMs averaged 5.78 percent and one-year ARMs were at 5.16 percent.

Mortgage Rates Drop Again...

by Jana Caudill

Courtesy: CNNMoney.com

Mortgage rates fell for the sixth week in a row, to nearly the lowest level of the year, as a slowing housing market helped keep rates down, a survey said Thursday.

The 30-year fixed mortgage rate fell to 6.11 percent in the week ended Dec. 7 from 6.14 percent in the prior week, according to Freddie Mac's (Charts) Primary Mortgage Market Survey.

It was the lowest the 30-year has been since the week of Jan. 19, when it averaged 6.10 percent. A year ago, the 30-year averaged 6.32 percent.

The 15-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 5.84 percent, down from 5.87 percent last week. A year ago, it averaged 5.87 percent. This is the lowest the 15-year FRM has been since the week ending Feb. 9, when it averaged 5.83 percent

Rates for five-year adjustable-rate mortgages (ARMs) came in at 5.92 percent this week, down from 5.95 percent last week. A year ago, the five-year ARM averaged 5.78 percent. It was the lowest since February, when it averaged 5.89 percent.

One-year ARMs averaged 5.43 percent, down from 5.46 percent last week. A year ago, the one-year ARM averaged 5.16 percent. This is the lowest it has been since March, when it averaged 5.41 percent

"Continued signs of slowing in the housing market and weakness in the manufacturing sector helped keep mortgage rates down this week," said Frank Nothaft, Freddie Mac vice president and chief economist.

"Looking forward in the housing market, we think that housing is about 2/3 of the way through the correction, and should stabilize by mid-year 2007," Nothaft said.

With a slowdown in the housing market near a bottom, homebuilders such as Toll Brothers (down $1.10 to $31.91, Charts), Pulte Homes (down $0.86 to $33.94, Charts), Lennar (down $0.77 to $53.40, Charts), KB Home (down $1.26 to $52.23, Charts), and D.R. Horton (down $0.41 to $27.12, Charts) have all seen their profits fall sharply, with many lowering their forecasts.

Displaying blog entries 11-15 of 15

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Photo of The Jana Caudill Team Real Estate
The Jana Caudill Team
Redkey Realty Leaders
503 East Summit St., Suite 2
Crown Point IN 46307
219-661-1256
Fax: 219-663-5949