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.
Housing ‘relief’ left scars for many (7/18/2016)
Since 2010, thousands of homeowners contend they were cheated by people they trusted to help renegotiate mortgage loans or stave off foreclosure.
NAR-backed condo legislation passes Senate (7/15/2016)
Success: Many Realtors responded to a recent Call for Action, and Congress approved a plan to help FHA buyers secure a condo. It now only needs Obama’s signature.
Think twice before using your house as ATM (7/12/2016)
Low interest rates and higher home values are once again enticing homeowners to tap into their increased equity – but it’s a risky move, financial experts say.
‘Jumbo’ mortgages now cheaper than smaller loans (7/1/2016)
When it comes to mortgage rates, it’s cheaper loan-wise to buy a big home. Higher-priced loans once required a higher interest rate, but the average rates have currently dropped below those for conventional loans.
Big banks have almost abandoned FHA loans (6/30/2016)
Buyers looking for an FHA loan? They’ll have better luck with a non-bank lender. Four years ago, big banks originated 65% of buyers’ FHA loans. Today it’s 20%.
Quicken quietly offers 1% downpayment loans (6/29/2016)
Quicken uses Freddie’s Home Possible mortgage program that requires 3% down, but it “grants” qualified buyers 2%, making the out-of-pocket downpayment only 1%.
Have a lower credit score? Apply for a mortgage (6/27/2016)
It seems illogical: Lenders say they’ll now approve loans to buyers with lower credit scores, but the average score of people actually approved continues to rise.
Downpayment assistance programs keep on giving (6/9/2016)
With downpayment assistance, it’s not just about dollar value. By lowering the total mortgage amount, some Fla. owners can save $50K over the life of the loan.
FHA wants to strengthen reverse mortgages (6/7/2016)
If a proposed rule is approved, lenders who offer reverse mortgages must cap ARM rates, prove that counseling took place and help at-risk owners exit gracefully.
Banks rush to offer 3% downpayment loans (5/31/2016)
If one major bank starts to offer 3% downpayment loans, others often follow. So far, Wells Fargo, Chase and BofA are offering non-FHA, low-downpayment products.
Does your buyer qualify for special financing? (5/31/2016)
Financial help is out there through programs offered by private firms or federal, state and local governments. Overall, a Fla. buyer could potentially find up to 230 special assistance programs available.
Problems related to new TRID rules seem to be over (5/23/2016)
For the second consecutive month, the average time to close all loans was 44 days, suggesting that lenders worked out kinks in the new truth-in-lending laws.
FHA may be reopening doors to condo financing (5/23/2016)
At one time, FHA offered “spot” condo loans even if a complex wasn’t certified, and while those may or may not be coming back, some changes are in the works.
‘Finding a good Realtor’ a transaction high point (5/10/2016)
TD Bank survey: When it comes to mortgages, buyers want access to information online, better training for frontline staff and more seminars or workshops.
Downpayment insurance helps recession-leery buyers (5/4/2016)
For the first time, buyers can purchase insurance that protects their downpayment if real estate values fall. One Fla. bank offers it now but more should follow.
CFPB focuses on mortgage complaints (4/27/2016)
The national consumer advocate says people still complain about mortgage servicers with “dead ends and obstacles resolving issues.” Top one: late payment issues.
TRID delays may be over as lenders boost efficiency (4/22/2016)
Per Ellie Mae’s latest report, the average loan took 44 days to close last month – less time than it did a year ago before truth in lending rules went into effect.
HELOCs are back – but are they safe? (4/18/2016)
Some say home equity lines of credit helped cause the housing meltdown as owners treated their home like an ATM. But for some owners, HELOCs are a good thing.
Homeowners fight FHA mortgage-interest overcharges (4/18/2016)
FHA charges sellers a full-month’s interest at early-month closings, and a group of owners are suing four banks over the practice, including BofA and SunTrust.
Buyers’ top mortgage complaint? Tax data errors (4/13/2016)
A home can receive six separate tax estimates between listing and an owner’s first mortgage payment, and some estimates are more accurate than others.
Study: College debt delays homeownership (4/6/2016)
A Fed study found that for every 10% increase in student loan debt, the probability that a first-time buyer would apply for a mortgage went down by 1%.
Banks ramp up push for home-equity lines (4/6/2016)
Lenders are again touting cash-out refinances and home-equity lines of credit that allow homeowners to tap into their home equity when they need extra cash.
Fannie Mae debuts loan option for ‘green’ retrofits (4/1/2016)
Buyers who want green home options, such as solar panels, can now buy a non-green home, upgrade it and roll the installation cost into their mortgage.
5 uncommon ways to come up with a downpayment (3/30/2016)
Many people put a little money away each month toward a downpayment on a home “some day,” but additional options may help get them there faster.
Mortgage giants to reduce loan balances (3/24/2016)
About 50,000 struggling homeowners could be eligible to have their mortgage balances reduced under a new plan from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.
Do buyers like the new mortgage disclosure rules? (3/16/2016)
A survey of people who bought two homes – before and after the new TRID rules went into effect – found the process easier to understand but tougher to complete.
The online mortgage has finally arrived (3/7/2016)
A number of lenders now allow borrowers to apply for a loan, submit documents and track their mortgage without any human face-to-face contact.
Wells Fargo program offers downpayment help (3/2/2016)
The NeighborWorks-Wells Fargo downpayment-aid program offers help in 40 U.S. metros, including four in Fla.: Jacksonville, Miami, Orlando and Tampa.
Home loan caps could go away for veterans (3/2/2016)
VA loans are capped based on market area, but that could change as Congress considers updates to the federally backed, zero-downpayment mortgage program for veterans.
Google to end its mortgage tool in March (2/25/2016)
The Compare service offered to help consumers track down a mortgage, but Google said it wasn’t as successful as hoped – or as profitable.
BofA’s newest mortgage: 3% down, no PMI, no FHA (2/23/2016)
The new “marketplace alternative” loan that doesn’t require private mortgage insurance should attract traditional FHA borrowers, Bank of America says.
FHA steals Fannie’s thunder on low downpayment loans (2/22/2016)
Fannie Mae introduced a 3% downpayment mortgage as a way to attract first-time buyers, but FHA’s 3.5% downpayment mortgage still dominates the market.
It took longer to close in January (2/19/2016)
The average time in Jan. climbed to 50 total days – four days more since the “Know Before You Owe” mortgage disclosure rules took effect in Oct.
Florida has 231 programs that help low-income buyers (2/19/2016)
Down Payment Resource says 113 agencies administer those 231 programs, and 94.4% currently have funds available to help prospective homebuyers.
Banks start to ease 20% downpayment for jumbo loans (2/17/2016)
20% downpayments for a jumbo loan became an industry standard after the bust, but now lenders are starting to approve ones with 10% down – and sometimes less.
Lending disclosures delay 1 in 10 transactions (2/15/2016)
However, the disclosures, which went into effect last Oct., have derailed only 1% of transactions, according to a Realtor survey released by NAR.
Reverse mortgages a good option for certain buyers (2/15/2016)
Low-income retirees with cash from a previous home sale may be able to use a reverse mortgage that allows them to avoid any monthly mortgage payments.
Renovation mortgages a good fit for some buyers (2/9/2016)
Mortgages such as FHA’s 203K and Fannie Mae’s HomeStyle allow buyers to land a good deal on a fixer-upper and remodel it to fit their personal taste.
Subprime loans are back – but with changes (2/3/2016)
Credit firm Equifax says the number of subprime loans – borrowers have a 620 or below credit score – is rising. But lenders today focus more on ability to repay.
Home affordability still high – but for how long? (2/3/2016)
Housing is still affordable in most U.S. cities, but a report claims that could change within two years if home values keep rising at the current rate.
Bill to expand homeownership passes House (2/3/2016)
The NAR-supported H.R. 3700 bill eases some rules, including FHA condo loan restrictions, to help more buyers qualify for housing. It now goes to the Senate.