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Hot Topic #1

Why Subprime Mortgages Are Back

Subprime mortgages – once the bad boys of real estate lending – are coming back. Figures from the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis show that between 2007 and the start of 2013 subprime mortgages fell off the radar for most banks but now they have begun to make a significant comeback. What happened to […]

| February 3rd, 2014 | Continued

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Hot Topic #2

What’s A Qualified Mortgage In Real Estate

One of the better ideas to come out of the Wall Street Reform Act was to create something called a “qualified residential mortgage.” You want to know about such financing because most lenders will offer nothing else — and that’s good news for borrowers. Under Wall Street reform several federal agencies are supposed to work […]

| September 21st, 2010 | Continued

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Hot Topic #3

How To Read The HUD-1

Since January 1st, 2010, all real estate transactions have been settled using a new HUD-1. The HUD-1 is a standardized form which allows real estate buyers and sellers to clearly understand the costs of their transaction. The original HUD-1 was developed as a by-product of the Real Estate Settlement and Procedures Act of 1974 — […]

| November 8th, 2009 | Continued

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Hot Topic #4

How Do We Get Rid of the FHA Mortgage Insurance Premium?

Question: I bought a home with FHA financing. We have a monthly insurance premium (MIP) with each payment. How do we get rid of this cost? Answer: When you bought your home you purchased with little money up front, perhaps 3.5 percent down. This means a lender put up as much as 96.5 percent of […]

| October 20th, 2008 | Continued

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Hot Topic #5

What Are “Front” and “Back” Ratios?

Different loan programs use different calculations, or ratios, to qualify would-be borrowers. The “front” ratio is generally equal to your monthly costs for principal, interest, property taxes, and property insurance (what lenders call “PITI”). The “back” ratio includes the front ratio plus all regular monthly costs such as credit card payments and auto payments. For […]

| August 28th, 2008 | Continued

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Hot Topic #6

What’s A Title insurance Re-issue Rate?

It sometimes happens that a property is sold or refinanced more than once within a five- or ten-year period. In such instances, if title insurance is obtained from the same firm, it’s often possible to get a re-issue (discount) rate. The discount can represent a significant savings, thus it is worthwhile to ask if such […]

| August 26th, 2008 | Continued

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5 Financial Missteps That Can Torpedo A Loan Application

Being preapproved for a mortgage and actually getting one can be two very different things. From the time you start the loan application process all the way to closing day, every financial move you make could affect whether that loan is approved or denied. Guarantees are hard to come by in the mortgage industry. Let’s […]

April 14th, 2014 | | 0 comments | Continued
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Real Estate: Can Falling Pay Support Rising Home Values?

The real estate market is always a jumble of facts, stats and rumors. Each year seems to produce a fresh and fertile crop of worries and troubles, so I’d like to take a look at today’s pressing issues to see what’s real and what’s not. And get ready because there is one worry which is […]

April 8th, 2014 | | 0 comments | Continued
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Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Stuck On Capitol Hill

If you’re wondering why the impact of the foreclosure crisis lingers on you might want to consider what’s happening on Capitol Hill. In 2007, in a fit of common sense, Congress passed the Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act. This was an important piece of legislation because it corrected an obvious wrong. Let me explain: Traditionally, […]

April 7th, 2014 | | 0 comments | Continued
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Subprime mortgages are back, but is that a good thing?

Subprime loans seen today are very different from their cousins from 2000 through 2008. Under Dodd-Frank, lenders must show that borrowers have the ability to repay their loans, an absolutely obvious standard but one which was too often abandoned during the go-go mortgage era, a time infested with no-doc loan applications, subprime mortgages with prepayment […]

March 24th, 2014 | | 0 comments | Continued
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Real Estate: How Down Payment Gifts Really Work

If coming up with a down payment on your own is a bit of a stretch, you may be able to buy a home using gift funds for the down payment. Gifts can be perfectly acceptable under the lending guidelines for most types of mortgage financing available today, but it’s super important that they are […]

March 17th, 2014 | | 0 comments | Continued
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Zombie Foreclosures Fill US Neighborhoods

Zombie foreclosures and vampire real estate are clogging America’s neighborhoods. Look around and you can see such homes just about everywhere. According to RealtyTrac, there were 152,033 zombie foreclosures lurking in cities and suburbs as of the first quarter of 2014. Zombie foreclosures are properties which are in the foreclosure process but not yet foreclosed. […]

March 13th, 2014 | | 0 comments | Continued
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Real Estate: Why Are Homes So Damn Big?

Big homes have been in the news lately. On one side we have Viktor Yanukovych, the former Ukrainian president, who managed to acquire a mammoth palace clad almost entirely in marble all while earning $50,000 a year. You have to wonder how Mrs. Yanukovych had time to dust such real estate, maybe the in-laws stopped by […]

March 3rd, 2014 | | 0 comments | Continued
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Foreclosure & Short Sale Buying Slows, Says RealtyTrac

Foreclosures and short sales are getting less attention on two fronts, according to RealtyTrac’s Residential & Foreclosure Sales Report for January. First, institutional investors — entities which purchase at least ten properties per year — accounted for 5.2 percent of all U.S. residential property sales in January, down from 8.2 percent in January 2013. The […]

February 27th, 2014 | | 0 comments | Continued
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Subprime Mortgages: 50 Shades of Risk

Subprime mortgages continue to be the riskiest type of mortgage you can get — and yet things are looking better for both subprime borrowers and subprime lenders. How can that be? Subprime mortgages are a form of financing designed for those with impaired credit. That’s a polite term for individuals who have low credit scores, […]

February 24th, 2014 | | 0 comments | Continued
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Are Mortgages On The Way Out?

Writing about mortgages and tiny houses, futurist Thomas Frey explains that “one of the biggest boat anchors for our lives tends to be our home and the gigantic home mortgage that comes with it. We sacrifice much for the sake of paying our mortgage.” (See: Why the Tiny Home Movement May Not Be So Tiny) […]

February 18th, 2014 | | 1 comment | Continued