Real Estate and Mortgages

Fastest Growing State – Hands Down Texas!

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I sometimes ponder where I would move if I had to leave my current state (VA). And more and more, Texas seems to come to mind. This is because of three main factors – strong employment, housing affordability and quality of life (good weather, diverse cities, lower taxes etc). And clearly I am not alone based […]

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How Much Higher Will Mortgage Rates Go This Year

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With the tapering of the Fed’s Quantitative Easing (QE) program, economists are predicting that rates will continue rising for the remainder of 2013. This is based on the dramatic rise of the 10 year Treasury yield over the last month to which mortgage rates are loosely tied. The 30-year, fixed rate loan recently went above […]

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40 Year and Interest Only Mortgages Going Away

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Government sponsored/owned entities Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have announced that they will no longer be purchasing certain mortgages as directed by their regulator and in compliance with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s (CFPB) qualified mortgage (QM) and Ability-to-Repay (ATR) requirements. This is effective from Jan 10, 2014 and covers the following types of mortgages: […]

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Why Rising Rates Will Boost Rather Than Lower Home Prices and Purchases

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Thanks to recent announcements by the Federal Reserve around cutting back on quantitative easing (QE) stimulus measures interest rates have been rising, with the forecast for even higher rates by year end. Based on data from Quicken, America’s #1 Online Lender, rates have been rising consistently of late with the 30-year fixed rate averaging over 4.1%. That’s up […]

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2014 – 2015 HAMP Mortgage Modification Program Extension

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The Obama administration, via the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) has directed government sponsored entities Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to extend the Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP) through year-end 2015. The HAMP program allows struggling homeowners to refinance to a lower rate and stay in their homes. he HAMP program was scheduled to expire […]

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Another Housing Bubble Brewing On the Horizon

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The NY Fed has a great set of maps that show the dynamic return of the US housing market with home prices posting year over year double digit gains in many areas. Some experts are even saying that home prices in states like California, Florida and New York are rising so fast on an annualized […]

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2013 Housing Market Outlook

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My realtor who helped with buying my home a few years ago occasionally sends me newsletters on the state of the US housing market. For the most part this is marketing material looking for referrals and to keep her in mind if when I decide to sell or upgrade. But a recent newsletter she sent me had an […]

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2013 Conforming Loan Limits For Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac Remain Unchanged

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The maximum conforming loan limits for mortgages acquired by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in 2013 will remain at existing 2012 levels, per FHFA guidelines. In most of the country, the loan limit will be $417,000 for one-unit (single-family) properties. But in certain more expensive metro areas, the conforming limits are as high as $625,500. The confirming […]

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Help! Do I Have to Pay Back My First Time Home Buyer Credit

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I recently received the following question from Brian on my post that detailed the many versions of the first time home buyer tax credit: I purchased a home in January 2009. This is my primary residence after having purchased my first home in March 2002. My CPA put me in for the $6500 tax credit, […]

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Buying an American Visa For a $500,000 Home Purchase – A Solution to the Housing crisis?

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When someone mentioned this proposal to me, I thought it was nuts. Selling the right to live in America for $500,000? But then a quick search revealed that the Senate is indeed considering such an idea as part of a larger bipartisan provision of immigration measures (VISIT-USA Act), co-authored by Senators. Charles Schumer (D., N.Y.) […]

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