Houston Real Estate Blogosphere
Houston Real Estate Blogosphere brings together all the blog posts of REALTORS from the Houston area in one place
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Mortgage & Finance

The most recently published posts in the Mortgage & Finance category
How much should you charge for a rental property? The Wall Street Journal’s real estate columnist June Fletcher suggests 1.1 percent of the home’s value up to about $100,000 or about $1,100 a month. After that demand and what the market will bear will affect values.She points to rental sites as a good clue for someone setting prices, particularly VRBO.com, Flipkey.com and Craigslist. She also...
Read Post [Posted on 10/19/2014 By John Askins]
Buyers needing financing for their home purchase often struggle to compete with other buyers willing to pay all cash to close the sale. All-cash buyers make up an large part of sales.Some lenders are helping buyers better compete. Known as “pre-underwriting,” they’re putting loan applications through a more thorough venting process before the buyer even enters into a contract for a home,...
Read Post [Posted on 10/18/2014 By John Askins]
Although U.S. foreclosure activity may be declining, the problem is far from over. There have been over 5 million foreclosures since 2007, reports the Center for Responsible Lending, which estimates that between 3 million and 5 million more will occur over the next couple of years.In 2003, one in 38 U.S. home owners were seriously delinquent on their mortgage payments or in foreclosure, but today ...
Read Post [Posted on 10/18/2014 By John Askins]
More women are starting real estate companies than ever before. Since 2002, the number of women-owned real estate firms has exceeded overall growth in the industry by an 11-point gap, bringing the total female-owned real estate companies from 504,014 in 2002 to 712,800 in 2014, according to the Womenable’s 2014 State of Women-Owned Businesses Report, commissioned by American Express OPE...
Read Post [Posted on 10/17/2014 By John Askins]
You see the ads in newspapers, on TV, and online. You hear them on the radio. You get fliers in the mail, email messages, and maybe even calls offering credit repair services. They all make the same claims:“Credit problems? No problem!”“We can remove bankruptcies, judgments, liens, and bad loans from your credit file forever!”“We can erase your bad credit — 100% guaranteed.”“Create a new credit id...
Read Post [Posted on 10/16/2014 By Susan Roddy]
What do you do if a friend or relative asks you to co-sign a loan? Before you say yes, think about the obligations involved and how they may affect your own finances and creditworthiness. When you agree to co-sign a loan, you’re taking a risk a lender won’t take.The Co-signer’s NoticeWhen you co-sign a loan, the lender (known as the “creditor”) must spell out your obligations in a co-signer’s noti...
Read Post [Posted on 10/16/2014 By Susan Roddy]
If you apply for a mortgage, your inbox, answering machine, and mailbox may fill up quickly with competing offers from other mortgage companies. It’s not that the company you applied to is selling or sharing your information. Rather, it’s that creditors – including mortgage companies – are taking advantage of a federal law that allows them to identify potential customers for the products they offe...
Read Post [Posted on 10/16/2014 By Susan Roddy]
New rules let you get back into homeownership sooner after foreclosure — in theory. Will lenders play alongFHA and Fannie Mae are making it easier for homeowners who lose a home to foreclosure or short sale to buy again, but it might not make much difference if lenders don’t go along with the changes — since they don’t have to.First, here’s what’s new at FHA and Fannie:FHA rules&nbs...
Read Post [Posted on 10/16/2014 By Garrett McWhorter]
Home equity lines of credit surged nearly 20 percent compared to a year ago and are now at the highest level since the 12 months ending in June 2009, according to RealtyTrac’s Home Equity Line of Credit (HELOC) Trends Report. HELOC originations comprised 15.4 percent of all loan originations nationwide during the first eight months of the year, the highest percentage since 2008.“This rec...
Read Post [Posted on 10/16/2014 By John Askins]
Tight mortgage lending standards continue to drastically curtail new-home sales and are causing a growing number of deals to be lost, according to a survey by the National Association of Home Builders. "While housing has seen some positive growth throughout the year, there is no denying that tight credit conditions are hindering a full, healthy housing recovery," says NAHB Chief Economist...
Read Post [Posted on 10/16/2014 By John Askins]
Eighty-two percent of independent landlords say they would rent to someone who had lost a home in foreclosure, if the applicant had otherwise good credit, according to a survey by The National Association of Independent Landlords."Landlords typically won't rent to applicants with poor credit--and a foreclosure will absolutely slam someone's scores,” says Tracey Benson, president of The National As...
Read Post [Posted on 10/16/2014 By John Askins]
USDA rural loans, FHA reverse mortgages, and Title 1 home improvement loans are another story.Until Congress agrees on a budget, USDA home loans will be suspended. Fortunately, FHA, VA, and Fannie and Freddie loan programs will remain open. Image: Dennis Flaherty/Photographer’s Choice RF/Getty ImagesIf you’re worried about the federal government shutdown because you’re refinancing your mortgage or...
Read Post [Posted on 10/15/2014 By Garrett McWhorter]
Reverse mortgages have always been a costly way to solve your financial problems when you have a lot of home equity and not so much cash during retirement. Now, changes in the program (some happening now, some happening in January 2014) mean some seniors will pay even more to get a smaller amount of money via their reverse mortgage.Still, if you’re house-rich, cash poor, 62 or older, and you want ...
Read Post [Posted on 10/15/2014 By Garrett McWhorter]
Houston will never have the natural beauty of San Francisco, the hipness of Portland or the luxury of New York. That's not what it should strive for, says author and academic Joel Kotkin, who was in Houston last week presenting his latest research on the city.For the most part, what makes Houston unique and what brings people here are jobs and an abundance of relatively inexpensive housing. What's...
Read Post [Posted on 10/15/2014 By John Askins]
Nearly half of the nation’s foreclosed homes are still occupied, according to a study by RealtyTrac. That percentage is even higher in some markets: 60 percent of foreclosed homes in Miami and Los Angeles are occupied. Because the owners or renters of these homes aren't being evicted until months or even years after the homes go into foreclosure, they continue to live in them without paying a mort...
Read Post [Posted on 10/15/2014 By John Askins]
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