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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
Your credit score is an important factor in qualifying for the lowest, most competitive interest rate when purchasing a home. A new analysis by the credit bureau Experian reveals which cities tend to be more creditworthy than others.  In Experian’s State of Credit list, it compiled rankings of the nation’s cities based on the average of residents’ VantageScore, which has credit scores that...
Read Post [Posted on 12/20/2014 By John Askins]
The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage dropped to its lowest point of the year as 10-year Treasury yields closed at their lowest level since May 2013, according to Freddie Mac.This week, the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage fell to 3.80%, down from 3.93% last week. A year ago this time, it was 4.47%, according to the Primary Mortgage Market Survey.“The temporary decline in rates will likely be short-lived,” s...
Read Post [Posted on 12/19/2014 By Michelle Cannon]
Your home is your castle, sure—but it’s also a great deal more than that. In addition to being the place where you relax after work, spend time with family, and generally live your life, it’s also the most substantial investment most people ever make. Much of its prominence is due to the many advantages home ownership brings in the personal financial realm.In addition to the ongoing tax savings it...
Read Post [Posted on 12/19/2014 By Connie Inmon]
Not spending money you don't have simply makes good (dollars and) sense. Just ask the City of Houston. The city spotlights it's "pay-as-you-go" ReBuild Houston program, which is designed to pay for street and drainage infrastructure improvements without the city incurring debt. Under program guidelines, a project is not started until enough cash is available to cover the costs from start to...
Read Post [Posted on 12/19/2014 By John Askins]
Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac announced they plan to suspend evictions on foreclosed single-family properties nationwide during the holidays, from Dec. 17, 2014 through Jan. 2, 2015. Legal and administrative proceedings for evictions may continue, as well as pre-foreclosure activities, but families who are living in foreclosed homes will be allowed to remain in their homes during that time...
Read Post [Posted on 12/18/2014 By John Askins]
Home buyers who make cash deposits to their checking accounts that don't come from payroll checks or income tax refunds during the processing of a mortgage likely will face delays in closing, lending experts warn. That's because lenders are required to investigate possible suspicious activity for deposits that are not documented or cannot be explained, slowing down the process. Scott Sheldon, a s...
Read Post [Posted on 12/18/2014 By John Askins]
Mortgage rates have been at record lows, but these rates didn't motivate many home buyers, nor did they successfully drive homeowners to remodel or take out money for other kinds of spending.In previous recessions, lowering interest rates has driven the economy upward. What's different this time around?One factor may be appraisals torpedoing the deals. With foreclosures a large share of prope...
Read Post [Posted on 12/18/2014 By John Askins]
If you've been watching your rental payments rise this year, I'm sure you've entertained the idea of buying a home. Here is some advice from Texas Association of Realtors on what to ask yourself before you begin your home search. I usually recommend that prospective buyers talk to a mortgage banker first. They can review your financial situation and show you the best options when it comes to mortg...
Read Post [Posted on 12/17/2014 By Holly Smith]
It is indeed a material world. When it comes to spending, the U.S. is a culture of consumption. The result: rising levels of consumer debt and declining household savings rates. For those who had been living beyond their means for years, it suddenly got a lot harder to make ends meet. And, although the government tends to encourage spending during economic downturn and statistics may lead us...
Read Post [Posted on 12/17/2014 By Christian Flakes]
The discrepancy between appraisers' and home owners' opinions of home values is narrowing. In November, appraisers valued homes 1.56 percent higher than home owners, according to Quicken Loans' Home Price Perception Index. "Mortgage financing often hinges on whether the appraised value coincides with the home values agreed upon by the home buyer and seller in the case of a home purchase,...
Read Post [Posted on 12/17/2014 By John Askins]
Some Americans who still owe more than what their house is currently worth are opting to walk away from their mortgage. But a survey finds Americans don’t agree with home owners who make that choice. Sixty-percent of Americans say it is “never OK” for home owners to stop making payments on their mortgage, according to a new survey of 1,000 American adults by FindLaw.com, a legal informat...
Read Post [Posted on 12/17/2014 By John Askins]
Sixty-five percent of home owners with private mortgage insurance say that the additional cost of PMI prompted them to pay a higher monthly mortgage payment than they had originally expected, according to a survey released by TD Bank of more than 2,000 Americans who purchased a home in the past 10 years.  "PMI has had a definitive impact on many home buyers – including making them re...
Read Post [Posted on 12/16/2014 By John Askins]
Even as the housing market gets back on track, the numbers of first-time buyers continue to disappoint. This is strongly associated with the tight credit requirements facing would-be buyers. Recent important government policy changes and the introduction of new low down-payment programs, however, should set the stage for increased first-time buyer activity in 2015.Clarity on Mortgage Qualification...
Read Post [Posted on 12/15/2014 By Michelle Cannon]
Mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have announced that first-time home buyers can now qualify for loans with down payments as low as 3 percent. That will expand credit for qualified home shoppers who may have been sidelined the last few years because of higher down-payment requirements, housing analysts say. Freddie Mac launched Home Possible Advantage, a conventional mortgage wi...
Read Post [Posted on 12/15/2014 By John Askins]
Helping someone close to you buy a low-cost property – $50,000 or less – is a fairly straight-forward transaction, although it may require specific legal advice, says Charles Carter, an attorney and a consultant at Haint Blue Realty in Mount Pleasant, S.C.Carter suggests that buying a property outright, using the gift exclusion ($13,000 for singles; $26,000 for married couples) to pay for a down p...
Read Post [Posted on 12/15/2014 By John Askins]
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