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
Government-sponsored enterprises Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have been working through the REO inventory load they hold on their books, a move that helped them report a profit yet again in the latest quarter.In the second quarter of this year, Fannie Mae’s REO inventory stood at 96,796 compared to 166,787 properties it held in the third quarter of 2010. Freddie Mac is also reporting a large...
Read Post [Posted on 08/21/2014 By John Askins]
FICO, the nation’s most popular credit-scoring system, announced it is tweaking some of the criteria used in coming up with consumers’ scores, which could help consumers save more money in qualifying for mortgages and other types of loans.The changes include reducing the toll that overdue medical bills can take on credit scores, as well as removing other past penalties from consumers w...
Read Post [Posted on 08/21/2014 By John Askins]
If the bank or government can’t save a person from foreclosure, can a crowd? “Crowdfunding” sites are on the rise as desperate home owners turn to trying to raise money from friends, family, and strangers to try to stay current with their mortgage payments.  “Listings asking donors to ‘Help save my children's home’ and ‘Help avoid foreclosure’ are popping up across dozens of fundrais...
Read Post [Posted on 08/21/2014 By John Askins]
Homeowners who fall behind on their property taxes may be tempted to take out a loan to pay off those taxes. However, the Better Business Bureau (BBB) strongly recommends doing a little homework first.According to the BBB, the homeowner should: Call the taxing agency first. Most government agencies are willing to create payment plans and make other arrangements with those behind on t...
Read Post [Posted on 08/21/2014 By John Askins]
FICO Changing How it Figures Credit ScoresWASHINGTON, D.C. (Realtor.org) – Many Americans may soon find it easier to qualify for home loans thanks to changes FICO is making in how it calculates credit scores.The changes, which take effect this fall, include reducing the toll that overdue medical bills can take on credit scores and removing penalties from consumers who have paid off debts that had ...
Read Post [Posted on 08/19/2014 By Philip Hsiau]
While mortgage rates have been rising the last few months, they are still historically low compared to the trend over the last four decades, Freddie Mac says. But rates as low as they were in November 2012 — when the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage reached an all-time low of 3.31 percent — aren’t likely to return any time soon, the mortgage giant says. Still, Freddie assures borrowers that ...
Read Post [Posted on 08/19/2014 By John Askins]
U.S. housing affordability is slowly falling due to higher home prices and qualifying income levels, despite borrowing costs from mortgage rates remaining at their lowest readings of the year, according to the National Association of REALTORS® latest reading on its Housing Affordability Index. The median price for a single-family home in June rose 4.5 percent year-over-year to $224,300. B...
Read Post [Posted on 08/18/2014 By John Askins]
The Loan Process made simple....In 10 Easy Steps (plus, interest rates for home loans have recently decreased to 4.1%... even more reason to get on the bandwagon and get pre-approved today!)The loan process can seem daunting at first... however, it doesn't have to be!There are two main people you need to have on your side to ensure that this process is stress-free:  • Realtor• Loan Offic...
Read Post [Posted on 08/17/2014 By Gail Medina]
Consumers didn't shop much this summer, as weak retail sales revealed. But business inventory levels remained steady. Meanwhile, industrial production has strengthened thanks to improvements in manufacturing. Automakers were key to the pickup.For the week ended August 15, 2014, the S&P 500 Index was up 1.2% to 1,955 (for a year-to-date total return—including price change plus divid...
Read Post [Posted on 08/17/2014 By John Askins]
Mortgage foul-ups are accounting for a growing number of complaints recently filed with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. During the year the most complaints were about mortgages, loan modifications, and foreclosure activities by servicers. CFPB also has been sending investigators into mortgage-servicing firms to check their accounts and uncover any “unfair and deceptive practices...
Read Post [Posted on 08/17/2014 By John Askins]
Smart Financial Planning Must Come Before Homeownership Whether you’ve got house envy about your best friend’s new place or just want to start building equity instead of renting, the first time you think about becoming a homeowner is the moment you should start financial planning. While it may be tempting to begin looking at homes for sale, you need to be financially prepared...
Read Post [Posted on 08/15/2014 By Michelle Cannon]
There are four rules home buyers should follow if they want sellers to accept their offer. Be nice: While money is important, buyers should also be likable and avoid making negative comments about the house or discussing their renovation plans in front of the seller, keeping in mind that sellers have an emotional connection to the property. "Don't tell someone how bad, ugly, stupid, ...
Read Post [Posted on 08/15/2014 By John Askins]
Unemployment may be taking center stage during the presidential election, but home values and the housing market woes affect more people, according to a policy brief from the Progressive Policy Institute, a Washington think tank.While fewer than 1 in 10 Americans are unemployed, more than two-thirds are home owners, PPI says. In 16 presidential election battleground states (Nevada, Arizona, C...
Read Post [Posted on 08/14/2014 By Garrett McWhorter]
Home owners who’ve made their mortgage payments on time could take advantage of record low interest rates under a plan unveiled by President Obama in his State of the Union speech last night.The proposed plan would cover home owners with mortgage loans guaranteed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, as well as retail banks. Obama must seek Congressional approval to go forward with the plan.“I’...
Read Post [Posted on 08/14/2014 By Garrett McWhorter]
By: G. M. Filisko Published: February 25, 2010 Here’s how to clean up your credit so you get the least-expensive home loan possible. Getting the loan that suits your situation at the best possible price and terms makes homebuying easier and more affordable. Here are seven ways to boost your credit score so you can do just that. 1. Know your credit score Credit scores range from 300 to 850, an...
Read Post [Posted on 08/14/2014 By Susan Roddy]
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