Joke of the Week

If you want to know exactly where the property line is, just watch the neighbor cut the grass.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Mortgage Rates as of Tuesday

Yes, rates have improved again today. Many people thought we would see a slow but steady rise in the coming months, which may still happen, but with the economic uncertainty in Europe and more specifically Greece driving concerns in the market today the reverse has happened. The treasury yields moved lower as investors rushed to risk averse assets, this pushed MBS prices higher and allowed the lenders to pass along the savings. Par 30 yr conventional rates are still averaging between 4.875% & 5.125% to qualified borrowers. If you were thinking of refinancing I would suggest moving quickly while the market is favorable.

As always, if you have any questions, feel free to contact me, John.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

California Homebuyers Tax Credit

With the end of the Federal Housing Tax Credit coming to an end on April 30Th, homebuyers in California can still take advantage of the State Program. Here are the details:

The eligible taxpayer who purchases a qualified personal residence on and after May 1, 2010, and on or before Dec. 31, 2010, or who purchases a qualified principal residence on and after Dec. 31, 2010, and closes the sale before Aug. 1, 2011, will be able to take the allowed tax credit. The credit is equal to the lesser of 5 percent of the purchase price or $10,000, in equal installments over three consecutive years. Purchasers will be required to live in the home for at least two years or forfeit -repay the credit. (As always, please consult your legal/tax professional for eligibility and actual benefit.)

Recommended Steps to Home Ownership

When buying a home, following a few steps in the right order can save you a lot of time & possible disappointment. If you are not set up to act quickly when buying a property, especially a Short Sale or REO property, the opportunity can vanish in a very short time period. By following these steps I hope it will streamline the process and get you that home your looking for:

  1. Get a Loan Pre-Approval - This means you have met with a loan officer who has reviewed your income & credit documentation and believes you can readily qualify for a home loan. A Pre-Approval letter will show your borrowing power.
  2. Get A Real Estate Agent - Now that your financing is in order, a Real Estate Agent knows the property he/she can show you based on your Pre-Approval Letter.
  3. Look At Homes
  4. Choose A Home
  5. Secure Your Funding
  6. Make An Offer
  7. Get Insurance
  8. Close Your Loan

Please let me know if you have any questions or I can offer any assistance, John Tihanyi.

Monday, April 19, 2010

A common question I get is "how much does it cost me to sell my home?". It's very common for these costs to be between 4 & 7 percent of the homes sales price. Once you receive an offer or even when you sign your listing agreement with your Realtor, ask for a Estimated Net Proceeds worksheet to give you a good idea of all the costs that will be deducted when you close.

Here are some of the general costs you will encounter:

1.Mortgage Payoff Balance: These include 1ST & 2ND mortgages and/or equity lines of credit. Call your lenders for an accurate payoff amount.

2.Lien Release Document: Liens on your property for money owed on property taxes, court judgements or liens from contractors.

3.Recording Fees: If you owe money on the property, this fee covers the costs to show your debts have been paid in full.

4.Commissions for Listing & Selling Agents: This is generally 6% or less depending on what you negotiate with your agent.

5.Notary Fees: This fee is charged by a notary to verify your identity and make sure all documents are executed properly.

6.Escrow Fees: The escrow company is the intermediary between you and the buyer and they make sure the money is handled properly. These costs may be split between you and the buyer.

7.Seller Concession: If you and the Buyer agree to cover a percent of the closing costs on the purchase, this amount is added to the selling price and you then give back the amount to the seller to pay for closing costs.

8.Repairs: If required by the Buyer or as a condition of the lender.

9.Home Warranty: Sometimes the buyer will require a warranty that covers the home for the first year that they are in the home.

There are of course other possible costs with selling your home so you will want to ask your Realtor about them early on in the process. It's always nice to limit the surprises as much as possible.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Today's Mortgage Outlook

After a two day losing streak, mortgage rates have improved for the better after a rally in the benchmark Treasury market helped move mortgage-backed security prices higher causing lenders to reprice mortgage rates for the better.

There were two main factors which attributed to this this week. First, the Department of Commerce released monthly Housing Starts and Building Permits data. Secondly, the Consumer Sentiment Report was released which surveys 500 households about their personel finances and feelings about the economy.

Today’s released indicated both housing starts and permits were better than expected in March. Housing starts moved higher by 1.6% this month to it's highest level since November 08. Be cautious however, bad weather in February as well as the expiration of the Federal Homebuyers Tax credit at the end on the month could very well affect those numbers.

The Consumer Report, released twice monthly showed a decline from 75 to 69.5 which is being blamed on the job market reports which showed unemployment at still higher than anticipated rates.

Right now, rates are still at historic low's with the 30yr Fixed hovering at 4.875% and the 15yr Fixed at 4.25%. 5/1 ARM's continue to be attractive at 3.625%.