How can buyers get a lower mortgage rate? (1/10/2017)
Buyers can still get a lower interest rate by paying points on a loan, but they should weigh the pros and cons to determine if that’s their smartest alternative.
FHA lowers borrowers’ mortgage insurance premiums (1/9/2017)
The low-downpayment mortgage should be more appealing to first-time buyers after FHA breathed “new life into the program” by reducing costs, says NAR.
Three reverse mortgage firms fined for deceptive ads (1/6/2017)
Reverse lenders promised owners that they “could never be forced from their home,” but CFPB says that’s not true if they stop paying property taxes and HOA dues.
1 in 5 borrowers think they chose the wrong lender (12/20/2016)
21% of mortgage borrowers regret their lender choice; of first-timers, 27% have regrets. Along with poor communication and unmet promise complaints, however, many also got a better rate than they would have with a service-oriented bank.
Failure to qualify for a mortgage: Top 3 reasons (12/19/2016)
One out of eight mortgage applications end in rejection, with a Fed study finding a high debt-to-income ratio as the top reason (23.4%) followed by credit score problems (20.4%) and issues with the property valuation (13.7%).
‘Homeownership investors’ help with downpayments (12/9/2016)
Investors give buyers money toward a purchase without mandatory payments or interest. In return, buyers pay it back at resale plus a percentage of their profits.
Lenders say it’s easier to get a mortgage (11/30/2016)
Genworth Survey: 50% of industry executives think underwriting standards are still overly restrictive, but that’s down from 61% who said so last year.
Conforming mortgage limits go up in 2017 (11/28/2016)
For the first time since 2006, the federal government has increased the maximum amount of a conforming loan by $7,100, boosting it to $424,100 in most regions.
Buyers afraid of rising rates? Put it in perspective (11/28/2016)
Higher interest rates could hurt buyers shopping for homes at their budget’s upper limit, but rates are still historically low even after the recent increases.
FHA found financial footing – ready for more buyers (11/16/2016)
New 2016 report finds that FHA lending is good to go. It passed mandated backup-funding levels for the second year in a row, and NAR says FHA is ready to help even more borrowers secure a mortgage.
Fla. has 238 downpayment assistance programs (11/14/2016)
Only Calif. has more, though the number of programs varies by area. And while down nationally, more areas are launching programs for community service workers.
1 in 5 mortgage borrowers regret their decision (11/10/2016)
The rate is even higher – 1 in 4 – among first-time buyers. Some regrets stem from poor customer service; others feel they weren’t told about all their options.
HUD sets FHA requirements for condo financing (10/27/2016)
If a condo buyer wants FHA funding in a low-occupancy complex, the developer must show higher reserves, few dues in arrears and proof of its long-term stability.
Fannie and Freddie plan to streamline underwriting (10/25/2016)
Mortgage loans could be less expensive and underwritten faster under new Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac guidelines. The new rules could affect over half of all mortgages originated in the U.S.
Faster approval for rural housing loans? Not yet (10/12/2016)
The new law that boosts condo financing also contained a provision to speed up Sec. 502 rural home loan processing – but it could take years for the agency to get plans approved and update its computer system.
Challenge remains for FHA condo financing (9/28/2016)
HUD released rules on condo financing that could open up more Fla. units to first-time buyers, but NAR says a still-high owner-occupancy threshold needs work.
Average time to close? 46 days (9/28/2016)
A year ago, new mortgage disclosures threatened to delay closings, but lenders have found their feet: The average contract-to-close time is settling at 46 days.
CoreLogic: 548,000 U.S. homeowners regained equity in 2Q 2016 (9/15/2016)
Nationwide, the percentage of homes with positive equity rose to 92.9% of all mortgaged properties. At 14%, Fla. ranked 2nd among states for the highest percentage of mortgaged properties in negative equity.
Why aren’t mortgage applications higher? (9/7/2016)
Some housing analysts point out that slowing job growth, a short supply of homes for sale and higher prices are having an impact, while many homeowners have already taken advantage of refinancing.
Homeowners using Airbnb face refi snags (8/31/2016)
While some owners consider short-term rentals a bonus and include that extra income on a mortgage refi, many lenders say the home is now investment property.
Attention, jumbo-mortgage shoppers: Deals ahead (8/26/2016)
More lenders are now offering jumbo loans. The high-end loans made up 20.3% of all first mortgages originated in the first quarter 2016, up from 18.9% a year ago.
Fannie and Freddie redesign mortgage applications (8/23/2016)
The Uniform Residential Loan Application gets a new look on Jan. 1, 2018, that includes simpler terminology and new data fields – its first upgrade in 20 years.
Appraisers, 10 associations oppose PACE loan changes (8/17/2016)
Along with NAR, the Appraisal Institute objects to the energy-efficient program’s costs taking precedence over the mortgage debt on FHA- and VA-backed loans.
Average 30-year mortgage rate declines to 3.43% (8/5/2016)
Mortgage rates dropped this week after rising for three straight weeks, perhaps due in part to sluggish economic signs. The 15-year FRM dipped to 2.74%.
CFPB to update mortgage disclosure rules (7/29/2016)
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau proposed updates to its “Know Before You Owe” rule to “provide greater clarity and certainty.” One proposal: Include a way for agents to get a copy of the buyer’s mortgage disclosure.
HUD to investigate downpayment aid programs (7/25/2016)
HUD switched direction. It now says it will look for cases where lenders failed to fully inform FHA buyers on loan terms, charged improper fees or used coercion.
Green energy boost: FHA to back some PACE mortgages (7/20/2016)
FHA says it will now approve purchase and refinance mortgage applications in states that treat clean-energy program (PACE) funding as a special assessment that homeowners pay like property taxes.