[Infographic] Home Values Continue Steep Climb in August

Home prices in the country, spurred by low mortgage rates, continue to forge ahead. On average, American home prices have recovered nearly all their losses from the 2006 crash, but when adjusted for inflation they still have some ground to cover at 20% below the 2006 peak. Home Price Index (HPI) indicates that home prices nationwide, including distressed sales, gained 1.1 percent from June and were 6 percent higher than in July 2015. Get Pre-Approved to buy a Home Oregon and Washington continue to top the charts with double digit annual increases of…continue reading →

Huge Mortgage Missteps to Avoid When Buying A Home

The process of buying a home is just that - a process. Like with any major process there are a multitude of potential missteps to avoid. Let's discuss three huge ones. Failing to Consider Your Spending Habits and Expenses Lenders qualify you for what you technically can afford based on review of income documents and debts listed on your credit report. Your monthly debt-to-income ratio is primarily calculated this way . Your disposable income -  passions, hobbies, habits and vices - is not part of the equation mortgage lenders, but it definitely should…continue reading →

Where is the Housing Inventory?

Home prices are soaring nationwide. Houses are flying off the market in record time. It sounds like sunshine and rainbows for the housing market right? Are home prices rising too fast though? Is it sustainable? In the super-hot markets - like San Francisco and San Jose, CA along with Austin, TX - median prices have risen to levels that are pricing average Americans out of the market. San Jose, CA recently became the first metropolitan area to cross the median home price of $1,000,000. In San Francisco, CA it’s $855,000. Yep, you are reading…continue reading →

Will Mortgage Rates Ever Go Back Up?

Some of you reading this will remember this number - 16.63 percent. That was the average mortgage rate in 1981. In fact, from 1980 to 1991 the average mortgage never dipped below 10 percent. The 1990’s were a little kinder for homebuyers and homeowners though - the average mortgage rate for that decade was a mere 8.11 percent. As we ushered in a new millennia in 2000 the average mortgage rate stood squarely at 8.05 percent before dipping into new territory in 2003 - the fives. New ground was broken yet again in…continue reading →

New Departure Residence Guidelines Helping More Buyers Qualify

  During the height of the financial chaos and housing meltdown, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac made some sweeping changes for current homeowners looking to buy a different home. Coined the “departure residence” - or “principal residence conversion -  by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the set of rules and guidelines put in place in early 2009 that prevented throngs of would be home buyers from making the jump. A mere 7 years later, both Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have finally decided to ditch their “temporary” and cumbersome departure residence guidelines for…continue reading →

The Insider Secret of a No Closing Cost Mortgage

Mortgage quotes come with options that you may not be aware exist, but definitely need to understand if you want the best mortgage for your unique situation. The terminology used by mortgage lenders to describe these options is probably foreign to most borrowers - par, above par and below par pricing. These mortgage terms also come with more consumer friendly names - especially above par pricing and below par pricing. Consider par pricing in golfing terms - if you make a par you are even. You neither pay more or less for the…continue reading →

[Infographic] Home Sales At Highest Pace in 9 Years

Existing home sales rose 1.8 percent in May - their highest pace since February 2007 - according to the National Association of Realtors (NAR) anticipated monthly report that came out this week. In total, 5.53 million single family, condo and townhome sales came to fruition. Strong numbers considering that inventory issues - especially on the low-end - continue to disrupt many housing markets. The lack of available homes means that many would-be buyers are struggling to get into the market. It also means home prices keep rising. The median price of an existing…continue reading →

What Brexit Means to the Mortgage Market

The United Kingdom - surprisingly and foolishly in my opinion - voted to exit the European Union yesterday. Brexit - dutifully dubbed by the acronym loving media - will have wide-ranging effects on multiple continents and countries - including right here in the USA. One of the biggest, and most immediate, effects for Americans is how it will change mortgage interest rates. In fact, the positive change in rates can already be felt - for now. In the typical “flight to safety” reaction by international investors, they moved assets from flailing equity markets…continue reading →

How Will Solar Panel Installation Affect My Mortgage?

Residential solar installations are rising dramatically -- up by 50 percent per year since 2012. One of the most popular ways to reduce your energy bills and your environmental footprint is through the installation of solar panels. Why not? Not only do homeowners reap the monthly energy savings, but they also may be eligible for sizable tax credits. A residential federal tax credit of 30% will remain in place until December 31st of 2016 at least, but that’s not all. Some states and municipalities also offer separate tax credits on top of the…continue reading →

Home Sales Data Continues to Show Housing Market Strength

The beat plays on for housing sales. Numbers for existing home sales - as reported by the National Association of Realtors every month - continued to show the strength of the American housing market in April 2016. I’m starting to sound a bit like a broken record. Despite the strong numbers, we would have seen even better numbers if the inventory was available to buy. The good news is that both building permits, housing starts and new home sales numbers showed increased activity in adding that inventory finally. April 2016 Existing Home Sales…continue reading →