Archive for the ‘Mortgage Rates’ 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 BankRate.com 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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Rental market getting pricey, yet another reason to buy; if you’re not one of the reasons rental prices are rising

Sunday, October 21st, 2012

With the real estate market in a distressed state for the last five years generating a ton of foreclosures and short sales, those former home owners still need a place to live, which has been steadily causing the rental market to heat up. As the Oregonian, on their online outlet OregonLive.com, reports the vacancy rate is a tiny 3.63% and rents have increased an average of 6.1% since the same time last year. Another reason cited for the rise in rental rates and decline in vacancies is more and more young people are living by themselves which has lent to a 30% rise in rates for studio apartments over the last two years! That’s huge!

Early in the article it pegs the average one bedroom rental at $774/month then later pegs the average Portland rent at $831/month. This of course brings me full circle back to real estate as I’m NOT a believer in renting (but I am a believer in owning rentals) and that’s not just because I’m a Realtor, it’s because renting is a waste of money. Of course, if you know your next living space will be temporary and fairly short term, then heck, yes, rent (I would, and I don’t like renting anything). However, if you know you will be in the area for a number of years, credit is reasonable and you have a stable job, that same $831/month can get you into any number of homes available out there for up to around $185,000 at current rates and the down payments are still small (and in rural USDA areas, like Sandy, Estacada etc there are STILL ZERO down loan programs folks). So why are you still renting? You pay $X/month every month and get nothing, zero, zip in return when you move where as when you buy, historically, at the very least will get most of what you paid out of pocket back when you sell the house (or, often, more!) essentially meaning you lived there for free, or made money living there…a heck of a lot better then renting!

Of course, there’s always the risk that we can end up back in the market that we have been in for the last five years and you lose money instead…however, that loss is only “realized” if you sell. If you stay, make you’re payments and weather the storm of a troubled market, you’ll likely do fine selling it down the road or you could make that home you’re first rental when you’re ready to move.

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Portland Short Sale Real Estate: February Will Bring New Rules to Ease Short Sale Transactions

Wednesday, January 26th, 2011

Starting February 1st, there will be some new rules from the Home Affordable Foreclosure Alternatives Program that should help ease the pain of buying or selling a short sale in Portland. First, “Once a sales contract has been initiated, loan servicers then have 30 days to approve or reject the transaction.”  This should speed up the rate at which it takes to close on a short sale.  Right now there are twice as many short sale listings than bank owned listings on the active market, but there are 2-3 times as many sale pending bank owned properties than short sale properties.  It’s pretty obvious what’s more attractive to buyers. Also, “Another big change: Loan servicers will no longer be restricted on paying second-lien holders, allowing them more freedom particularly when dealing with second-lien holders when borrowers owe less than $100,000. Loan servicers used to be restricted to paying second-lien holders no more than 6 percent of outstanding loan balance (with an overall limit of $6,000) in exchange for releasing subordinate liens. Second-lien holders have been another big obstacle to completing short sale transactions.”

What is a Short Sale? A Short Sale is when the seller is trying to sell their home for less than what is owed on it. If the seller will be unable to pay the difference at the time of closing then he will need to obtain the bank/lenders approval (“3rd party approval”) to “sell short” of what he owes before the home can be sold to another party. A home isn’t necessarily in pre-foreclosure for it to be a short sale; they may have been able to keep up with the payments avoiding the pre-foreclosure process.

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McDonald Group Real Estate Trends: It’s Still a Buyer’s Market in Portland

Wednesday, September 15th, 2010

The latest market report for the Portland Real Estate market shows a steady level of continued price reductions on homes for sale around the Portland Metro area. Back in August we talked here on the McDonald Group Real Estate blog about the Portland Business Journal article stating that thirty-two percent of Portland homes for sale in early summer experienced at least one price reduction, ranking  Portland No. 16 on Trulia’s list of price reductions in America’s 50 largest cities. Those numbers are sticking around.

A buyers market is one in which there are more homes available that there are people ready and willing to purchase them. With so many options to choose from in the Portland Real Estate market, buyers have the opportunity to pick up ridiculous deals on homes for sale in Portland that would otherwise be snapped up for much more. The buyers market means more options, lower prices, and higher competition amongst sellers, which makes homeowners and Portland real estate agents more willing to compromise and negotiate price reductions on all types of homes.

Signs of a buyers market in Portland are everywhere – this is the time to upsize or move into a more desirable area, as there are literally hundreds of gorgeous homes at rock bottom prices, including luxury foreclosures, high-end short-sales, bank-owned homes, and affordable listing prices on homes priced well below their previous market value. A balanced buyer/seller market has around 5 or 6 months of inventory. The Portland Real Estate market is currently just below 11 months. If you’re trying to sell a home in Portland, you’re going to need to price competitively and think about upgrades to make your house more attractive to the increasingly savvy buyers. The average sale price in the Portland Real Estate market is around $297,000 and homes for sale in Portland typically stay on the market for around 121 days. There’s really no good way to tell how long this buyers market will last, so be sure to take advantage of these record low prices, record low interest rates, and the amazing supply of affordable dream homes out there on the Portland Real Estate Market.

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Portland Real Estate Trends: Homeowners Slashing Prices

Thursday, August 12th, 2010

In a report published in the Portland Business Journal yesterday, we learned that thirty-two percent of Portland homes for sale, listed since the beginning of this month, experienced at least one price reduction. That ranked Portland No. 16 on the website Trulia’s list of price reductions in America’s 50 largest cities.

The average reduction for Portland homes was 9 percent, just under the national average of a 10 percent reduction on 25 percent of newly listed homes. With historically low interest rates, cutting-edge sustainability renovation rebates and low remodeling costs, and a high supply of beautiful homes for sale with great Walk Scores, this is a perfect time to grab a great deal.

As Scott McDonald of the McDonald Group said back in June, “We all know mortgage rates are low right now, but Freddie Mac really put a light on it by saying they are currently lower than they have been since they began tracking this data in 1971 and MSNBC.com states the last time they were this low was in the 1950′s. Yup, the economy stinks right now, but if you’re in a position that’s somewhat insulated from economic trends and are thinking of buying a home, now really is the time.”

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Real Estate Legistlation: FHA Attempting to Save Buyers Money by Charging Buyers More – September 7th Deadline

Monday, August 9th, 2010

FHA is about to begin charging a higher percentage for mortgage insurance on case numbers created after September 7th 2010. The claim is that the amount of the loan will be less because the fees will be less, which is true. Problem is they are off-setting that savings to buyers by increasing the mortgage insurance rates; initially only by a slight amount but with the “authority” to just about double that increase at any point in the future. Even at the slight difference in percentage rate it easily negates the savings on the loan itself within just a few years and at the higher rate they could raise it to those savings would be negated within 1-2 years.

Bottom line this could effect your monthly payment by up to an additional $150+/month on a $200,000 purchase (close to a 15% increase in your house payment). If you want to avoid this you need to get into a deal and get an FHA case number for the property your buying before September 7th 2010.

Here’s more information on it from Think Big Work Small

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Interest Rates: they won’t be going down but they will be heading up…

Friday, April 16th, 2010

There’s a great article in the New York  Times touching on this very topic.  I have many clients waiting for home prices to further drop before finding their home match but the reduced home prices should be balanced with the rising interest rates.  Unless you are paying cash you may pay in an interest rate what you’d be saving in a reduced home price AND all the while missing the time you could be spending in your new home!  A great lender, Steve Nassar of Alpine Mortgage says:

  • A 1% increase in the interest rate can add as much as 19 percent to the total cost of the home
  • The Mortgage Bankers Association expects the rise to continue, with the 30-year mortgage rate going to 5.5% by late summer and as high as 6% by the end of the year.  
  • Some firms, like Morgan Stanley, are predicting that rates could rise by a percentage point and a half by the end of the year.

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Interest rates climbing, doubtful we’ll see a return to sub-5% rates anytime soon

Tuesday, June 9th, 2009

Interest rates are well over 5% now, roughly 5.3% last week now at 5.5% and still climbing. Yesterday in fact there were several rate increases climbing_interest_ratesthroughout the day with some lenders stating their base rates are now at 5.75%. Several lenders we work with feel there could be another slight dip in rates later this year however that would jeopardize the tax credit for those of you in the market to take advantage of it, in other words waiting *might* get you a half point lower rate if those lenders are correct however it will cause you to miss the tax credit deadline to be closed on a home purchase.

Historically rates are still very low however we’re about to move back into “typical” waters with rates and could see them begin to climb rapidly. With the debt load on the country and the massive spending over the last year, and continuing, inflation is bound to pick up pace and as a result we’re likely to see rates rise sharply to stem inflation. We can only hope we don’t see late 70′s early 80′s rates in the high teens but it is possible and some economists are warning it’s already unavoidable; time will tell. If that does happen we’ll be moving from one devastated market into another; here’s to hoping those worst fears from some economists are wrong.

~Scott McDonald : Your Oregon Real Estate Resource

Still waiting to buy a home? Your ship is sailing…

Thursday, May 28th, 2009

Here’s a cartoon that says it all:

falling1

We’ve been talking about it here for a few months now and even though a few months ago it was primarily optimism on our part speaking now it’s the majority of economists and media outlets speaking, about:  Hitting bottom, recovery, the end of the recession. If you haven’t taken the hints by now you’ve probably missed the boat because one of the signs that the “best time to buy” boat is sailing is interest rates going up and guess what, they’re climbing – FAST. Been hearing of 4.5% rates? They’re gone now and are not likely to return anytime soon, from 4.98% last week (which by the way was up from the week before that), to over 5% now (according to bankrate.com). Home prices? Yup, those are climbing again too and housing inventory is decreasing which shows we are moving to a more stable market, take a look at our RMLS Market Action Report commentary page on our main site to get those reports.

It’s easy to think that when the Realtor you look to for real estate advice says they think we’ve hit bottom, now is the time to buy that it may just be that Realtor wants you to buy so they can get another paycheck, problem is we don’t work that way. We frequently tell people NOT to buy or NOT to sell if we don’t think it’s in their best interest to do so in their situation; we’ve converted a lot of home owners into landlords in the last two years with our advice. Regardless people should always look to multiple sources for information so here’s a few:

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/30988937/

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Recovery? We’ve Hit Bottom? Whats that you’re saying Bernanke?

Wednesday, May 6th, 2009

I meant to get to this post yesterday as that’s well, when the story came out…however my cell phone tends to agree with Bernanke that bernankethings are looking up because it’s been going nutts recently…today was even worse (umm, errr - Better!), but I had to get this in.

Aside from mentioning he expects further job cuts Fed Chariman Ben Bernanke told the Congressional Joint Economic Committtee that he see signs of a recovery and feels we’ve hit bottom citing an uptick in home sales and consumer confidence in recent months.

Being an optimist I’ve felt for quite a while that 2009 was going to be the year we see improvement, moving up the other side so to speak, but I keep hearing others, economists, politicians, neighbors, media personalities etc saying they feel we’re going to see a bump and then the “real crash” (sounds scary doesn’t it? Me thinks some are playing to the fear factor) after this current bump which is not inline with Bernanke’s comments. I remain cautiously optimistic, on the one hand I wouldn’t be entirely surprised to see a future slump, maybe even more significant, but on the other hand consumer spending, real estate etc is a large chunk of what drives a healthy US economy and if those are increasing; well that’s a sign of improvement. I think it would take something fairly significant to happen to send us back down again, thus I remain optimistic that Bernanke’s comments are accurate showing signs that 2009 will indeed be the year we see a recovery or at least the beginning.

Here’s an MSNBC.com article on Bernanke’s comments to the Joint Economic Committee

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Bruce Howard with Landover Mortgage: Daily Market Commentary – May 5th 2009

Tuesday, May 5th, 2009

landover_01In a widely circulated story, Barack Obama was apparently misquoted. Leading publications state that he said, “Wait a minute now, I didn’t authorize attacks on the Pirates, I authorized a tax on the pirates.”

GMAC Financial Services reported a first quarter 2009 net loss of $675 million, compared to a net loss of $589 million in the first quarter of 2008. They attributed the losses to “continued pressure in mortgage operations related to valuation adjustments on mortgage servicing assets, weaker credit performance on both auto and mortgage assets, mark-to-market adjustments on derivatives, and an original issue discount related to the fourth quarter debt exchange.” In similar fashion, Radian Group (the #2 mortgage insurer) posted a first-quarter loss of $217 million, hurt by unrealized loss on derivatives and continued increase in mortgage-insurance defaults.

Back to the markets! As long as the Federal Reserve Bank of New York keeps buying agency MBS’s, everything is ok, right? Let’s hope so, since they continue to be the dominant buyer by far. Last week they had “net purchases” of $23.1 billion, gross purchases of $59.6 billion. 97% of purchase activity is limited to 4.0% and 4.5% MBS’s, which typically encompass 4.25-5.125% mortgages – and only 7% of the securities are Ginnies comprised of FHA and VA loans.

Yesterday we had some good economic news, and the markets moved accordingly. Pending Home Sales rose 3.2%, and the Housing Affordability Index remained near record highs – certainly much higher than it was a year ago. Construction Spending was +.3% in March, which is the first increase in six months. Yes, most of it was increases in commercial and government projects, but we’ll take what we can get. Today we have the small issue of selling $35 billion in 3-yr Treasury notes, which may keep rates a little high in spite of the market being technically oversold. Currently the 3-yr yield is 1.39%, the 10-yr is 3.15%, and mortgage prices are better by .125-.250. Bernanke’s testimony had little impact on MBS prices.

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Bruce Howard / Landover Mortgage Daily Market Commentary – May 4th 2009

Monday, May 4th, 2009

bruce1Before we launch into the plethora of investor updates, let’s take a look at the market. With the absence of any bond-market news, the focus continues to be on stocks. Asian stocks rallied last night back to levels last seen in October. To many, in spite of the poor earnings results by many companies, it would appear that investors don’t want to miss out on a rally, and seem to be putting cash to work in the stock market. From last week, the Michigan Consumer Sentiment Index rose for the second straight gain, from 57.3 in March. Today we have Construction Spending and Pending Home Sales. Tomorrow the ISM Services number, Thursday our old friend Jobless Claims, and then on Friday we can get fired up about all of the Unemployment data. Hourly Earnings are expected to be up .2%, Nonfarm Payrolls -663,000, and the Unemployment Rate expected around 8.5%. The results of the government’s stress tests for 19 large financial institutions will be released on Thursday. We also have the Treasury selling over $70 billion in securities Tuesday-Thursday, which is weighing on the bond market. 10-yr is at 3.14% and mortgage prices are a shade better than Friday afternoon.

 

Fannie Mae came out with the details on their new mortgage loan data requirements. ”Fannie Mae has issued Announcement 09-11: Mortgage Loan Data Requirements. To comply with Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) requirements, Fannie Mae will now be requiring loan origination identifiers and appraiser data elements for mortgage loan applications dated on or after January 1, 2010. This Announcement provides detail on the following: The Secure and Fair Enforcement Mortgage Licensing Act (S.A.F.E. Act) requires all states to implement a system to license and register mortgage loan originators. The Nationwide Mortgage Licensing System and Registry (NMLS) has been developed to implement the S.A.F.E Act. The NMLS will issue unique identifiers for loan originators and loan origination companies. Updates to the 2000-Character Loan Delivery Files – To support the requirements referenced above, Fannie Mae has updated our 2000-Character File Format and 2000-Character File Format Field Definitions documents with fields for the loan originator’s unique identifier, loan company’s unique identifier, appraiser’s state license number, and supervisory appraiser’s state license number. Updates to the Uniform Residential Loan Application (Form 1003) – Form 1003 will be updated shortly to capture the identification for both the loan originator and the loan originator company. We are working with Freddie Mac on changes to this joint Fannie Mae / Freddie Mac form, and additional information will be forthcoming. Form 1003 already includes fields for the capture of the other required identifiers.”

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Waiting for the Bottom? You’re Likely to Miss it & Miss Out…

Tuesday, April 28th, 2009

The big question, when will we hit bottom or have we already? As Realtors we and others in the industry that we work with daily are frequently hearing buyers saying they are waiting for the bottom to buy; hence the point of this blog entry. Keep in mind statisticsmandg_housing_market_freefall1 and trends are found and compiled after events, not before them thus if you are waiting for confirmation on hitting bottom you’re pretty much guaranteed to miss it. Additionally think about this, in Portland we’re seeing -2% to -7% depreciation rates, so lets say on a $300,000 home if you’re “waiting for the bottom” then you’re betting that home would be $285,000 in one year at -5% *if* (and that’s a huge if) we continue to see a solid decline for the next year, so you’d save $15,000 right?

You need to look at the whole picture: Last year at this time interest rates were around 6.2%, now interest rates are at record lows at around 4.8% so that home at $300,000 is going to cost you about $1,575/month in payments to buy it now. Considering this time last year interest rates were around 6.2%, it’s entirely possible they would be there again next year (or higher, 7%? 8%?) and most lenders would agree it’s very unlikely they will still be at current levels or lower. So lets say you’re gamble panned out, you can buy the same home for $285,000 in 2010, but then interest rates have since gone back up to 6.2%. While you didn’t “lose” $15,000 in equity in the first year you are now losing $200/month in interest to your loan instead due to the difference in interest rates (and if you’re a first time home buyer, you also missed the $8,000 tax credit chewing up more than half of that avoided $15,000 loss). Considering 4.8% is unlikely to be seen again for decades, you won’t be re-financing out of that extra $200/month anytime soon either. This bet could end up costing you much more in the long run.

By all means if you want to make that gamble be my guest, but look at all the angles, be informed both in current events, rates & markets but also historical events, rates and markets as well. We know what the current conditions are and everything across the board is screaming “buyers market!”; do you really want to continue gambling and risk losing out on the market of a lifetime or buy at a rate and price that is likely to be the lowest possible in your lifetime?

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Consumer Confidence Jumps Despite Pigs Flying

Tuesday, April 28th, 2009

Despite the outbreak of swine flu and the low level Air Force One fly over of NY city causing panic and evacuations yesterday and even in spite gk324_flying-pig-rgb-final_lr_webof the economy in general, guess what? Consumer confidence is up and not just up, but WAY UP. Economists expected an uptick, from 26.9 points in the NY Based Conference Board to 29.5, but it instead jumped to a whopping 39.2; yet another sign we may have hit bottom and are beginning to make the trek back up. I’ve been hearing more and more “we’ve hit bottom” from some economists and even a one liner in an article about 2 weeks back in the Oregonian home section, but this article with MSNBC.com mentions the same thing “another sign the housing crisis could be bottoming”, article available here. They mention in that same paragraph that home prices dropped sharply again in February but for the first time in 25 months it was not a record breaking drop.

 Good news seems to be coming more and more, given it’s not real rosey yet, but seems to be headed in the right direction. I began writing about “hitting bottom” in this post but it got a bit lengthy so I’ll be dedicating that to another post later today; check back because if you’re waiting for bottom you’ll want to read it.

~Scott McDonald – McDonald Group Realtors : Everything. Portland. Real Estate.

House Passes Stimulus, $15,000 Home Buyer Tax Credit Cut

Friday, February 13th, 2009

The house just passed the $787 Billion stimulus bill which will now go to the senate for final passage imagesthen to President Obama’s desk soon after that. The bill was shaved a bit, specifically and relevant to our business, the $15,000 tax credit for home buyers appears to have been cut however it’s unclear at this time (no, I have not read the 8 inch thick 1,071 page bill) as to the extent of the cut, so far as I can tell from reading through a few articles on it it seems as though income limits were placed on it, likely meaning higher income individuals and families and possibly higher purchase price homes will not qualify for the credit. Additonally the higher loan limits portion of the bill for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac appear to have survived.

As soon as we get word on exact details we’ll post another entry with them.

$15k Home Buyer Tax Credit Hmmmm

Thursday, February 5th, 2009

box1I wanted to post on this real quick as it’s currently a hot topic in the headlines.  Part of the stimulus package being proposed is a $15,000 tax credit for all home buyers, both first time and repeat home buyers.  This would replace the $7,500 tax credit “loan” that is currently in effect.  A big difference between this new tax credit and the $7,500 one (more…)

New Mortgage & Lending Information Page

Thursday, December 18th, 2008

We have several resources on our site for buyers but nothing really detailed about lending, credit issues, points etc until now. Obviously there are a lot of sites on the internet that provide this information however we find most of the information out there is either sporadic bits and pieces here and there or far too extensive and confusing or just a page with limited information and riddled with ads. So in an effort to provide a “one stop” mortgage and lending information page for our clients and website users we put together the following page: http://www.yourroadmaptohome.com/mortgage_lending_information.htm. (more…)

There is a tax credit of $7500 waiting for you

Friday, August 8th, 2008

Catch It While You Can.  If you bought a home after April 9, 2008 or purchase one before July 1st, 2009.

There could be a tax credit of $7,500 waiting for you.
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Zero Down Loans Through Down Payment Assistance Programs

Friday, August 1st, 2008

Not long ago first time home buyers had the opportunity to purchase a home with zero down (no down payment). Setting aside whether this has contributed to our current mortgage melt-down, there were many buyers who benefited from such loans and would never have been able to purchase a home without them.

Now that such loans no longer exist (due to the inability to obtain mortgage insurance on such loans) the only options today are the “Seller Down Payment Assistance Programs”. The two prominent ones being the Nehemiah and the Ameridream.

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March 26th Oregonian Article – Our Response

Friday, March 28th, 2008

We initially posted a summary style comment/blog entry on the article “Portland Home Values Take First Dip” that was on the front page of the Oregonian on March 26th 2008. I want to further comment on this. Specifically I want to address, or rather point out, the media’s effect on the market and how this article is a great example of the problems we’re seeing.

As Realtors in Portland, we work with other Realtors, lenders and other real estate industry professionals every day. Whenever a conversation turns to the current market conditions we find most of us hold the same opinion about the media’s role in this market; they are a big part of the problem.

Is inventory high? Sure it is. Are prices falling? Sure they are. Nationally it really is a tough market, locally in Portland the real estate market is down, but not out. And thus what we hear from the media both locally and nationally is “the sky is falling!!!”…it’s not.

We are in a market that’s not good for sellers, prices are down, inventory is high, homes aren’t selling like they use to – all bad right? Wrong…bad for sellers, great for buyers!

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First Time Home Buyers Need to Get a Move on

Tuesday, March 18th, 2008

More and more we are hearing from our lenders that loan programs, especially for first time home buyers, are disappearing. 100% financing, 95% financing, even stated income programs are becoming endangered if not extinctDon’t let this prevent you from taking advantage of the current buyer’s market; there are still great programs available. Although the 100% financing options have disappeared, in it’s place we have the revived FHA program without the strict qualifications and requirements it demanded years prior, when combined with the down payment assistance program you essentially have the same 100% financing. Even an FHA loan without the down payment assistance program is still a great option, with only 3% down compared to the 15%-20% down payments we saw required years prior. Although lending options are changing almost daily, there are numerous programs available that include both low rates and fixed interest.  

If you are a first time home buyer, now is your time. No one can predict when the loan programs we’ve been seeing over the last few years will be available again, it’s been decades since we’ve had programs even remotely close to these, so an educated guess is it could be a VERY long time before we see these programs again.

Now is the time to make your move~

Mortgage rates increase after weeks of decline

Thursday, January 31st, 2008

After a month of declining rates, mortgage rates experienced a slight increase according to Freddie Mac’s weekly survey. The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 5.68% during the week ending Jan. 31, up from last week’s 5.48%. The mortgage averaged 6.34% a year ago. The 15-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 5.17%, up from 4.95%. The mortgage averaged 6.06% a year ago. Still, rates are significantly lower than in years past and times seem opportune for qualified buyers and some folks looking to refinance.