Date Archives: October 2015

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October
29

Averages on fixed-rate mortgages dropped lower this week, continuing to provide a benefit to home buyers and refinancers, Freddie Mac reports.   ratesink   Freddie Mac reports the following national averages with mortgage rates for the week ending Oct. 22:    
  • 30-year fixed-rate mortgages: averaged 3.79 percent, with an average 0.6 point, dropping from last week's 3.82 percent average. Last year at this time, 30-year rates averaged 3.92 percent.
  • 15-year fixed-rate mortgages: averaged 2.98 percent, with an average 0.5 point, falling from a 3.03 percent average. A year ago, 15-year rates averaged 3.08 percent.
  • 5-year hybrid adjustable-rate mortgages: averaged 2.89 percent, with an average 0.4 point, rising from last week's 2.88 percent average. A year ago, 5-year ARMs averaged 2.91 percent.
  • 1-year ARMs: averaged 2.62 percent, with an average 0.2 point, rising from 2.54 percent last week. Last year at this time, 1-year ARMs averaged 2.41 percent.
Source: Freddie Mac
October
22

(BPT) - The home loan process can seem intimidating, especially for a first-time homebuyer. It is not a simple process, but it doesn't have to be too complicated. There are many resources available to help you prepare for your home buying journey, and your mortgage lender can answer the questions you have throughout the process.   mortsteps   'We're finding that many of our customers come into the home loan process with limited knowledge of how the home loan process works,' says Eric Hamilton, President of Vanderbilt Mortgage and Finance. 'It's important to take the time to familiarize yourself with the process so you know what to expect.'   Here are some of the key steps to the home loan process, as well as some tips to help you understand what you can expect:   1. Preparation and self-assessment Before you dive head-first into buying a home, make sure that you know how much you can afford. The first step is to calculate your 'debt-to-income ratio.' You can do this by adding up your current monthly bills then subtracting your total current income. This will help you determine whether you can afford a mortgage payment, and if so, what amount might fit into your budget. Using an online mortgage calculator is a good way to help you determine what the estimated cost of your monthly mortgage payment will be. Doing these calculations first will help you assess your resources and determine your budget to purchase a home.   2. The loan application Download a blank loan application ahead of time so you can look it over and familiarize yourself with it. This will give you an idea of the information you need when completing and submitting the application. The necessary documents may include: proof of income, proof of employment for the past two years, proof of identity, proof of residency and your social security card.   3. Origination and Underwriting Origination - The loan officer will review your financing options, work with you to complete the credit application and create the loan account. Underwriting - An underwriter will review the application and determine the level of credit risk you represent based on your credit score, income, existing debt and down payment. You may be asked to provide additional information about your finances during this step.   4. Satisfying loan conditions and full loan approval In this step, you will receive a 'conditions to approval' list from your lender, which outlines the tasks you must complete before the loan can be closed. For example, the lender may ask for additional documentation to verify income, savings or emergency funds or other proof that you can afford to repay the loan. At this point in the process the lender may offer a conditional loan approval and start the document verification process. If you accept the conditional loan approval offer, once all conditions have been met, the lender will issue a full loan approval.   5. Processing Once you've selected your dream home, you'll sign a purchase agreement with the seller. The purchase agreement tells the lender how much you have agreed to pay to purchase the home. The lender may then have the home appraised and will provide you with a copy of the appraisal.   6. Closing In the final step of the process, the lender works with a title company to obtain and review a title report and then finalize your title on the home. The titling company receives a closing package, which contains the documents that need to be signed, recorded and become part of your mortgage loan file. At the closing, you will sign all closing documents and pay any closing costs. The lender then receives all of this signed paperwork to complete the process. Once this process is complete, you're ready to move into your dream home. The home loan process may take some time, but these steps are well worth the wait. For more mortgage and loan resources, visit: www.vmfhomeloan.com.  
October
15

Average mortgage rates across the board continue to remain below 4 percent, most recently falling due to weak employment numbers. According to Freddie Mac's Primary Mortgage Market Survey® (PMMS®), the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.76 percent with an average 0.6 point. The average 15-year fixed-rate mortgage dipped below 3 percent to 2.99 percent, also with an average 0.6 point.   Real estate investment   The PMMS® also reports the 5-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage averaged 2.88 percent (with an average 0.4 point), and the 1-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage averaged 2.55 percent (with an average 0.2 point).   "Calling the September jobs report disappointing is an understatement," says Sean Becketti, Freddie Mac's chief economist. "The sputtering U.S. economy added only 142,000 jobs. To make matters worse, there were downward revisions to the prior two months. Hourly wages were flat, and the labor force participation rate fell to 62.4 percent, the lowest rate since 1977. In response, Treasury yields dipped below 2 percent, triggering a 9 basis point tumble in the 30-year mortgage rate to 3.76 percent." Source: Freddie Mac Published with permission from RISMedia.
October
8

Many factors play a role in the process of purchasing a home – none understood less than title insurance. Put simply, title insurance protects your investment from title issues that may arise after buying or refinancing a home, such as lost, forged or incorrectly filed deeds or liens on a property, according to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC).   Title Insurance   To gain a clearer understanding of title insurance, take a look at the facts recently shared by the NAIC:  
  • Lenders typically require title insurance; however, you are not required to use their recommended title company or agent. Keep in mind that by federal law, affiliated (referral-based) relationships must be disclosed to you in writing.
  • Title insurance can be purchased from a licensed title insurance company or agent. Attorneys may also have the authority to sell title insurance, depending on their jurisdiction.
  • When comparison shopping, inquire about services and fees, both included in the title premium and not. Be sure to ask about discounts.
  • When selecting a policy, take time to assess your options. As stated above, your lender will likely require a lender's policy for the amount of the loan, which protects the lender from title issues that may occur after buying the home. Though you may have to pay the policy premium, coverage will decrease as the mortgage is paid off.
  • Though you are not required to buy one, an owner's policy for the full price of the home (and potential legal costs) protects you if title issues emerge after purchasing the home. Coverage will remain as long as you own an interest in the home.
  • Depending on your area, you may also have the option to purchase an enhanced owner's policy, which covers approximately 20 percent more than a standard owner's policy.
  • Policy endorsements may be available to you, as well. An endorsement, which you may or may not have to pay for, covers a specific issue, such as a mechanic's liens.
Source: NAIC Published with permission from RISMedia.
October
1

Buying a home for the first time can be cumbersome. You've never done it before, so it's normal to feel a bit overwhelmed. Luckily, we've pulled together some of the common mistakes first-time home buyers make. Learn from them, and you may have a smoother home buying process.  
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  • Forgetting About Costs:
Your mortgage will probably not be the only cost when it comes to buying a home. Smaller costs like property insurance, taxes, electric and water bills, and other fees may start to pile up. Before buying a house, you may need to look further into your savings to figure out if you can pay for all of these additional charges.
  • Looking for a Home Before the Loan:
Once you find a house and decide to buy it, you don't want to spend time wondering if you can afford it. Knowing your budget, and that you are a qualified buyer before you begin your search may make the process easier and more efficient. Once you decide that it's time to buy a home, get pre-approved for a loan.
  • Not Hiring Professionals:
Moving isn't as simple as packing up your stuff and renting a van. It takes a village to move into a new neighborhood. Your team can only be as good as your weakest link, so you may want to ensure that you have only the best players. Get your home buying team in place before starting the search.
  • Being Too Picky:
There's nothing wrong with knowing what you want when it comes to buying a home. But if your "must-have" list get too long and too specific, you may end up looking for your perfect house for a very long time. Also, remember that you can make changes once you move in. It may be wise to take the time to figure out what you really need versus what you want. If you are unsure where to start, our checklist may help!
  • Lacking Vision:
Some of the open houses you attend may not look move-in ready. But plenty of homes have hidden potential. When you look for a home, try to look past the 70's shag rugs and lava lamps. Imagine what the home will look like after you've moved in with all of your own belongings, or try to envision the structure of the home without the stuff inside it. This will be an important skill, especially if you're looking to buy a fixer-upper as your first home.
  • Ignoring the Future: 
If you plan on living in this house for a long time, you may want to think ahead. You may decide to have kids in a few years, and then you'll have to worry about another set of questions. Will there be enough bedrooms? Is the house located in a good school district? These may be things to think about when buying your home. So whether you're just starting to think about buying your first home, or you've already spent some time looking, there may be a lot to learn from this list of mistakes.
  Source: Century 21 Blog

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