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Monday, February 10, 2014   /   by David Monroe

Real Estate Tips: Four Reasons You May Want to Use a Buyer’s Agent

In many ways, the Internet has made buying a homeeasier. Instead of relying on a real estate agent to mine the best listings for you, you can simply plug in your search criteria to a national or local real estate listing site to see what’s available in your area. You can also apply for and prequalify for a mortgage, check out neighborhoods, and track home prices over time.
Once you’ve found a home, you can find many of the services you need—including inspectors, movers, remodelers, and settlement services—online as well.
Still, navigating the housing market can be a challenge. Here are four reasons you might want to consider using a real estate agent:
1. In some markets, homes aren’t available.According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), while 92 percent of buyers searched for a home online, 89 percent also used a real estate agent. This is due in part to the fact that prices are rising and inventories are slim in many parts of the coun ...

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Monday, February 10, 2014   /   by David Monroe

Things to Know About Getting a Mortgage Under the New QM Rule

Things to Know About Getting a Mortgage Under the New QM Rule
Written by Steve Cook 



Home financing regulations have become a little more clear. New federal rules—which are intended to prevent the risky loans that sank the housing market—went into effect Jan. 10, and consumers may need to do a bit more work to get a mortgage.
The QM rule is designed to ensure that lenders only make loans to borrowers who can repay them, meaning you may have to do more to prove that you really can afford that home loan.
Here is what you need to know about the new rules:
You may have trouble finding “riskier” loans. The QM rules make it more difficult and more expensive for borrowers looking for alternative financing (such as the risky loans available during the housing boom).
That’s because under the new rules, if a lender makes risky loans—those that require borrowers to spend 43 percent or more of the ...

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Sunday, February 2, 2014   /   by David Monroe

Interest Rates for 2/3/2014

Sample Interest from Lenders
30 year fixed - 4.25%
15 year fixed - 3.375%
Jumbo 30 Year fixed - 4.625%
Fha/Va 30 year fixed - 3.75%
7/1 ARM - 3.375%
10/1 ARM -3.75%

Market Comment

Mortgage bond prices finished the week higher which helped mortgage interest rates fall. Rates were worse the first portion of the week in response to mixed data. Durable goods orders fell 4.3% versus the expected 2% increase. This was very rate friendly and initially helped rates improve but those gains were quickly erased in response to stronger than expected consumer confidence data. Consumer confidence came in at 80.7 versus the expected 78 mark. Rates improved Wednesday in response to weaker stocks. Personal income was unchanged versus the expected 0.2% increase. Spending rose 0.4% versus the expected 0.2% increase. Core PCE, an inflation indicator, rose 0.1% as expected. This was rate neutral as tame inflation readings generally help to keep rates in check. Q4 ...

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Monday, January 27, 2014   /   by David Monroe

Real Estate Market Predictions: What Will Happen in 2014

Last year was the year of the housing recovery. Home prices increased almost 12 percent over in 2013—almost twice what they did in 2012—bringing some markets back up to pre-crisis levels, according to Santa Ana, Calif.-based real estate analytics firm CoreLogic.
The housing market may not return to normal in 2014, and it may face new challenges as the year progresses. However, despite some potential headwinds, it’s unlikely the real estate market will experience the drastic highs and lows it has over the last few years. Here are somereal estate market predictions for the coming year:
The economy will continue to recover.
The housing market still hinges on economic growth. Frank Nothaft, chief economist at Freddie Mac, said in awebinar presented by HousingWire and Equifax, that economic growth is expected to increase from 2.5 percent to 3 percent—half a point better than expected.
“With that better rate of growth, that should quicke ...

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