Archive for the ‘Mortgage News’ Category

Interest Rates Starting to Climb a Bit, Still Low

Tuesday, November 4th, 2014

Checking interest rates today it looks like rates are beginning to climb a bit again with showing 4.10% for a standard 30 year fixed and 3.27 for 15 year fixed rate. Both are up from rates in the previous two weeks, however they are still historically very low and lower than we’ve seen in months.

This means if you’re sitting on the fence, hoping for lower interest rates, you need to make a decision soon as this trend of increasing rates could continue for the next few weeks or months and get back into the 4.5%+ range soon.


Mortgage rates 30-year fixed 15-year fixed 5/1 ARM 30-year jumbo
10/29/2014 4.10 3.27 3.11 4.11
10/22/2014 4.05 3.21 3.14 4.10
10/15/2014 4.01 3.23 3.09 4.09
10/8/2014 4.18 3.37 3.27 4.21
10/1/2014 4.27 3.44 3.29 4.29
9/24/2014 4.30 3.46 3.32 4.31
9/17/2014 4.33 3.46 3.35 4.37
9/10/2014 4.27 3.42 3.29 4.35
9/3/2014 4.24 3.37 3.25 4.29
8/27/2014 4.23 3.38 3.32 4.29


USDA Areas Zero Down Home Loans to Remain Secure Through 2020

Tuesday, February 25th, 2014

Recently a farm bill was passed that significantly and positively impacts rural areas; some of which aren’t so rural, in many ways, zero down loans being one of them.

Areas like Sandy, Estacada and Newberg qualify for what are called USDA loans (yes, that’s the US Department of Agriculture) that offer very competitive rates and to many, more importantly, 0% down to buy a home in these areas.

When I was working a large development in Estacada (and another smaller one in Sandy) these USDA loans were making up a large number of buyers home loans in those developments, new home, “in town” (well, Estacada and Sandy anyway), and nothing down. You could even still have the seller cover some closing costs and end up paying very close to nothing to get into a home.


Bankers Committing Suicide? Whats Going on?

Wednesday, February 19th, 2014

This is not the usual content for this site and honestly just posting this is tip-toeing in the realm of conspiracy theory, but this is a little too coincidental; is it not?

In the last month eight high level bankers, three of which worked for JP Morgan Chase, have committed suicide or otherwise died in a questionable manner with suicide being the top suspect:

  • William Broeksmit, 58 with Deutsche Bank, found dead from suicide in his home in London, January 26th
  • Karl Slym, 51 with Tata Motors, found dead on January 27th
  • Also on January 27th, Gabriel Magee, 39 with JP Morgan Chase, “fell off the roof” of the JP Morgan Chase European headquarters.
  • Mike Dueker, 50 with US Investment Bank found dead near the Tacoma Narrows bridge in Washington.
  • Richard Talley. 57, founder of American Title Services, dead after SHOOTING HIMSELF WITH A NAILGUN!
  • Tim Dickenson, with Swiss RE AG, also found dead last month
  • Ryan Henry Crane, 37 again, with JP Morgan Chase, died in an “alleged” suicide last month
  • And now yesterday, Li Junjie, 33, another JP Morgan Chase one, jumped from the JP Morgan headquarters in Hong Kong

My condolences to the families.

With that said, what the heck is going on? Why would this be happening?


Fannie Mae’s 3.5% First Look Program is Available

Thursday, February 13th, 2014

Just got a reminder email from Fannie Mae that their 3.5% closing costs program is available again and thought it could be of interest to potential buyers out there. This is a program that offers 3.5% in closing costs assistance towards the purchase of a fannie mae foreclosed home for owner occupant buyers. I looked up how many qualifying fannie mae properties there are currently in the city of Portland alone and found 65 currently available, so once you take into consideration surrounding suburbs we’re likely in the realm of around 200 or so in the area that are eligible for this program.

You can find the programs details here, could be worth a look!

Scott McDonald


New Creative Financing for Short Sellers and Foreclosure”e”‘s (I know, not a word)

Monday, February 10th, 2014

Typically I don’t post on hearsay or other “through the grapevine” type stuff but this one peeked my interest as I have a number of clients currently waiting for short sales or foreclosures on their record to “time out” before they can buy a home again and this; if it becomes reality, could really help them get into a home sooner.

Essentially the deal is this company buys the house for them, they pay 8% down,  make monthly payments and it’s their home, they can remodel it, add a pool; whatever…with the option to buy it later from said company that bought it for them with a 2%/year appreciation; which isn’t bad at all assuming the market isn’t going down.

The details are still a big unknown, however the National Real Estate Post (which I obviously frequently check into) has the warm and fuzzies in regard to this as of yet unknown company…Could be great? Could be…nothing…Keep an eye out for it though; once i hear anything more concrete on it I’ll post it up here.


Target Security Breach and How it Could Affect Lending Soon

Wednesday, February 5th, 2014

Unless you’ve been sleeping under a rock for the last few months you’ve heard of the Target security breach that’s effected a whopping 1 in 5 people. Well an interesting question has been raised recently and that is how this breach will affect lending and the housing market in general when loan approvals start becoming loan denials due to some guy buying a new $3,000 4K flat screen on your card as a result of that breach.

The National Real Estate Post put up a video on this topic yesterday that I’d recommend taking a look at:

Your Realtor, Scott McDonald
Everything. Portland. Real Estate. Blog.

ARM’s Trending Upward as Traditional Fixed Rates Climb

Friday, January 31st, 2014

ARM’s were one of the many issues blamed for the housing market crash in 2007 and while they were indeed a problem; they weren’t the only problem and on their own wouldn’t have been…It was the fact that they were combined with NINJA’s that wreaked havoc.

No, I’m not talking about those Ninja’s, I’m talking about these NINJA’s.

It was primarily the No Income, No Job, No Assests “No Problem!” loans (AKA, “NINJA” Loans) that led to the 2007 crash so as long as those don’t return I think we’ll have a pretty stable market going forward.


As the economy picks up mortgage rates will begin climbing

Thursday, January 10th, 2013

Mortgage rates are still low compared to last year, however with the economy beginning to recover they are starting to climb again and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future. As cited by Inman News rates last week were 3.34% for a 30 year fixed mortgage and are now at 3.4% – not a huge jump, but tack on a few weeks/months and we’ll easily be back up over 4%.

Even though rates are climbing and will continue to do so, they are still at historical lows and they are not here to stay folks; we will get back to 5-7% rates within the next few years.

To give you an idea of how much of a difference rates make in what you can afford, at today’ current rate of 3.4% on a 30 year fixed, assuming $3,000/year for property taxes and $500/year for home owners insurance (both low estimates mind you) the payment on a $300,000 loan would be $1,622.11. That same scenario at 5.5% brings your payment to $1,995.03, an increase of $372.92 a month! Additionally, 5.5% sounds like a huge percentage rate these days, but consider, that’s actually a fairly reasonable rate historically and we are heading back to that soon.


Single buyers having a more difficult time obtaining financing NAR says, but zero down loans still exist!

Sunday, November 11th, 2012

With the meltdown over the last few years in the real estate market, lending, in case you haven’t heard, has been significantly more stringent and it’s hurting single buyers more while married buyers are having better luck qualifying as a whole.

Before 2010 market shares between single buyers, married buyers, men, women etc moved only 1-2 percent each year. This last year however the numbers have moved significantly into the favor of married couples, with 65% of all homes sales being married couples compared to just 58% a year ago and 20% last year were single this year it’s down to just 16%.

According to The National Association of Realtors Buyers and Sellers Profile, one of the many studies NAR does each year, married couples are the driving force of real estate sales this year in a less than forgiving lending climate. To me this isn’t much of a surprise as when you’re a married couple your combined income, credit reports, assets etc generally do look better to lenders then a single individual. What is surprising to me is that lending went from “ninja loans” (No Income, No Job, no Assets = “sure, we’ll give you a loan”) in 2006-2007 to, well, if I must be honest, where lending should never have strayed from in the first place; you need a good job, a good income and good credit score to get a loan.


US Bancorp Q3 profits way up

Wednesday, October 17th, 2012

On the heels of Wells Fargo and JP Morgan announcing record profits and a turning of the corner in the real estate market, US Bancorp is joining the ranks of big banks profits soaring thanks to mortgage lending citing a 16% increase in profits for Q3 thanks to growth within their mortgage lending business. Also, other banks like M&T are seeing similar results up to 60% in profit increases.

I more than know there are a lot of folks out there that do not like seeing big corporations “profiting” (for whatever reasons) but seeing the banks that were on the brink of collapse just a few short years ago doing so well now specifically from mortgage lending is yet another good sign that the current housing market recovery is moving forward; i.e. home owners that are in a home now they bought for $400,000 a few years ago that are now only worth $300,000; you are well on their way to being a good investment to buy rather than a loss. Sure, it will take a few years for home values to get completely back on track, but we’re well on our way and that’s great news!

~Scott McDonald

Here’s a good way to quickly put the breaks on the housing market recovery

Monday, October 15th, 2012

In a previous blog entry here on today I mentioned all it would take is a wrong “action” by the right person(s) to stall the current housing market recovery and that’s precisely what could happen next year with the MID (Mortgage Interest Deduction) as many in congress feel eliminating that or significantly reducing it will help make a dent in our massive national debt; but I simply ask, at what cost? Reversal of the currently delicate housing market recovery? Seriously?

I’m with NAR (National Association of Realtors) on this one, the MID is indeed vital especially in this housing market and even during the recovery. We need to keep home ownership incentives intact while on the path to recovery, not remove them or reduce them. If such incentives were reduced or eliminated that would almost certainly put the breaks on this recovery and that’s just bad for everyone.

~Scott McDonald