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Hot Topic #1

Mortgage Loan Limits for 2016, With Charts

Loan limits for 2016 will remain stable and static. The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) has determined that “the maximum conforming loan limits for mortgages acquired by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in 2016 will remain at existing levels, except in 39 high-cost counties where they will increase. In most of the country, the loan […]

| November 25th, 2015 | Continued

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Hot Topic #2

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 #3

What’s A Qualified Mortgage (QM)?

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 #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

The Latest News

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FHA Mortgages Recover From Bush-era Losses

Those who support FHA mortgages and the ability of homebuyers to purchase real estate with as little as 3.5 percent down got extremely good news this week: the latest annual report from the FHA showed that the program has now recovered from the policies of the Bush Administration and the massive losses they produced. For […]

November 23rd, 2015 | | 0 comments | Continued
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Should We Ban Smoking In Public Housing?

It’s been a big week in the world of real estate and smoking. It’s been announced that the adult smoking rate has fallen to 16.8 percent in 2014, the lowest rate on record and down from 20.9 percent in 2004. At the same time, HUD wants to lower the rate to zero in more than […]

November 16th, 2015 | | 0 comments | Continued
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Mortgage Rates: Hike Not A Sure Bet

Mortgage rates have turned higher during the past few weeks and with a December Fed rate hike predicted by many it seems possible that millions of Americans are about to face steeper real estate costs. The catch is that by “steeper” we may not see much of an increase at all. Despite whatever it is […]

November 9th, 2015 | | 0 comments | Continued
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Why Legacy Mortgages Still Boost Foreclosure Totals

The mortgage meltdown ended in 2008. That’s a long time ago and yet it is the loans from mortgage lending’s go-go era from 2000 to 2008 which continue to screw up the real estate market even today. No, certainly, we are not seeing the foreclosure levels which dominated the marketplace once it became apparent that […]

November 2nd, 2015 | | 1 comment | Continued
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Money: How Rare Is Donald Trump?

With the 2016 presidential race firming up there is no more interesting candidate then TV star and billionaire Donald Trump, for the moment an individual to be considered in terms of the oddity of his circumstances. There’s no doubt that in America we think long and hard about great wealth. Each week millions of us […]

October 19th, 2015 | | 0 comments | Continued
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Mortgage Rates: Back In The Dumper Again

For all the talk about the Federal Reserve and raising interest rates the fact is that mortgage rates have been headed downward for some time. As of October 8th the cost of a 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage was 3.76 percent according to Freddie Mac, down significantly from the 4.19 percent we saw a year ago. That […]

October 12th, 2015 | | 0 comments | Continued
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Why Real Estate Drones Face Big Limits

The government this week announced that it would seek $1.9 million from a company that flew drones in New York City and Chicago. Given the size of the proposed fine you might think that thousands of flights were involved but that’s not the case, instead the Federal Aviation Administration says it’s going after SkyPan International, […]

October 7th, 2015 | | 0 comments | Continued
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Why Credit Unions Show Huge Mortgage Growth

It’s a great time to be a credit union. The latest figures from the CUNA Mutual Group, an industry trade association, show that loan balances at the nation’s 6,000+ credit unions have grown by 10.4 percent during the past year. Most remarkably, the association reports that credit union first-mortgage originations “are on pace to reach […]

October 6th, 2015 | | 0 comments | Continued
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Mortgages: Why The 1 Percent Sometimes Get A Loan

According to the National Association of Realtors the typical existing home sold for $228,700 in August, a curious figure given that a large percentage of all mortgages are substantially larger. Even if we consider new homes, which now have a typical sale price of $292,700, lots of Americans are still in the market for very […]

October 5th, 2015 | | 0 comments | Continued