Monday, June 24, 2013

What is Happening with Mortgage Rates?

The Short Answer is: They have gone up.

Of course, there are many reasons for this, but I mostly wanted to give a little perspective to these rates.
When you hear something so many times, over the course of a few years, you begin to believe it is the norm. Can you remember a single commercial or ad about mortgages over the last 5 years that didn't say; 'Rates are at Historical Lows!'?  Perspective is key here, especially for the thousands that are looking to purchase a new home.

Look at this chart to see the mortgage rates over the past 5 years... (Source:

You can see there has been an 'increase' in rates over the past 45 days or so, but notice that just takes us back to what the rates where 2 years ago.

I still think it is a great time to buy a home!  Even as the rates inch up, your new mortgage could still be less than a rent payment.

Do you want to read more about this?  Here is a link to another site that reflects on this issue daily.  And this an article that was written last week after Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, released his statement.

Monday, February 4, 2013

FHA Changes - Coming Very Soon...

There are some changes with FHA annual MIP (Mortgage Insurance Premium) rates that are coming soon.  If you have an FHA loan, expect to obtain an FHA loan, or know someone with an FHA loan, this is information that is worth noting.  If you are looking to purchase a home in 2013, and are curious to know about financing alternatives, please click on the right to contact me.  FHA loans are great loans, but they are not for everyone.  If you have good credit, and are able to come up with a 5% down payment, then you may have other alternatives that could be much better over the life of the loan.  But again, you need to discuss with a mortgage professional, so call me today!

So, Here are the changes that are coming;

These changes are effective for all FHA case numbers assigned on or after April 1st, 2013.

  • FHA is increasing annual MIP rates to match the following chart.  Upfront MIP rates will remain unchanged. 

For Loan Terms > 15 Years

Base Loan Amount
New MIP Amount
≤ $625,500
≤ 95%
130 bps
≤ $625,500
> 95%
135 bps
> $625,500
≤ 95%
150 bps
> $625,500
> 95%
155 bps

For Loan Terms < 15 Years

Base Loan Amount
New MIP Amount
≤ $625,500
78.01% - 90%
45 bps
≤ $625,500
> 90%
70 bps
> $625,500
78.01% - 90%
70 bps
> $625,500
> 90%
95 bps

The following changes are effective for all FHA case numbers assigned on or after June 3rd, 2013;
  • FHA is changing the duration for the collection of the MIP
    • For all mortgages with an original principal LTV of 90% or less, regardless of loan term, the annual MIP will be assessed for 11 years.
    • For all mortgages with an original principal LTV greater than 90%, regardless of loan term, the annual MIP will be assessed for the entire life of the loan.
  • Loans of 15 year terms or less with 78% or less with pay an MIP of 45 bps.
There is an exception - FHA Streamlines, when refinancing a loan prior to June 2009, will retain their current MIP amount, However, they are still subject to the increased duration of payment.

If you want to read the full release from FHA, click here. The full release also shows the comparison (Current vs. proposed).

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Home Inspection... Worth It?

The short answer - YES!

My personal perspective is this;  We buy insurance to cover our cars, our health, our death, our stuff, our wedding rings, even your stamp collection!  The Home Inspection is one of the best insurance policies that relates to the purchase of a new home.  Now, of course, you are not 'buying insurance', but the Home Inspection could turn up ANYTHING!  If the inspector finds something that is a deal killer, just imagine the headache, the time, and the money you have saved yourself by NOT buying that home!  Certainly worth the cost of the inspection!

Have you ever wondered what kind of crazy stuff home inspectors find?  If you are curious, you need to look at this link. It is a gallery of photos along with a quick explanation from the home inspector.

Still wondering if you should get a home inspection?

Here is a great place to find an inspector.  I would also suggest asking your Realtor for a good recommendation.

Happy House Hunting!

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Warning Signs of Refinancing Scams

Don't let low mortgage rates lure you into a refinancing scam. Take your time and research lenders to find the right deal for you. Use reputable sites to check on the business like Better Business Bureau and you can even check the licensing of your bank and loan officer on the NMLS site.

Historically low mortgage rates are making it possible for many homeowners to save big bucks on their home loans. However, homeowners eager to take advantage of low rates and shorter mortgage terms can become targets of refinancing scams.

Here are a few red flags that might indicate your refinancing offer isn't on the up-and-up:
  • A mortgage company that you have not ever worked with contacts you first. It's possible such a lender isn't trying to scam you, but it's not worth the risk of handing over your personal and financial information to find out. Do your research first.
  • You're pressured to sign right now. A lender may use sales tactics to convince you to do business with them, but they should not force you to sign a contract immediately to guarantee the offered interest rate. A real lender will provide more than one refinance option and give you time to consider their offer.  The normal processing of a loan should not require you to pay anything up-front, except for the cost of the appraisal (if applicable).
    Also Note: It is important to remember that rates move daily, so once you have the information you need to choose the option that's right for you, be sure to lock in that rate before the market adjusts.
  • You took the bait and got the switch. It's the oldest trick in the book, but that's because people fall for it. You get a great offer—that's the bait—but when it's time to sign, the lender presents new and much less beneficial loan terms.  Remember, if you feel like you have signed for something that you don't like, you have a 3 day right of rescission. (Owner-Occupied Refinance only).  If this is you, I encourage you to contact your lender before cancelling the loan.  Be very careful here, and again... Do your research. 
It's worth noting that a refinance of an underwater mortgage is rare—in fact, it's almost impossible. If you are contacted by anyone other than your current mortgage lender claiming they can refinance your underwater mortgage, you're probably dealing with a scammer.  There are loans that exist for this particular situation, but there are a lot of parameters that must be met before this is doable.  

If you are interested in refinancing your mortgage, research me and compare my offer with your bank. Ask people you trust for their recommendations as well. And always research lenders before you provide any personal or financial information. 

Monday, November 26, 2012

A Wonderful Math Lesson

Very creative!  I just had to share.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Should You Buy A Fixer-Upper?

Great article about the idea of buying a home to fix it up, and saving money (theoretically) in the process... I know some people who have tried this.  Some are very successful, while others... well, not-so-much.  The issue that I hear most common is - running out of cash before the projects are done.  So, get accurate estimates and then be sure to have a solid 'cushion' above and beyond.

Do you have a success story?  What about a not-so-successful story?  I would love to hear from you!