Home Buyers Changing:

With married couples comprising less than 50% of all US households, home buyers are changing.  A growing number of non-family households, according to a report from John Burns Real Estate Consulting are on the increase.  Non-family households where no one is related to the house holder have increased nearly five times in the last 50 years from 7.9 to 39.2 million.

 A lot of non-family households are looking at SMALL HOMES: preferring a home under 2500 sf with three or fewer bedrooms.  LOCATION:  the proximity to work and entertainment over home size and they are less interested in media rooms and pools.

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Homeownership Purchasing Hurdles

Harris Interactive, a market research firm’s bi-annual survey on purchasing a home found the following from a recent online survey: 

Among renters, 59% said they aspired to own a home, but of those, 51% said saving enough for a down payment was their biggest obstacle. 

Those in the 18-34 age group cited the following concerns:   62% saving down payment, 36% qualifying for a mortgage, 34% having poor credit, 31% in ability to pay off existing debt, 29% not having a stable job and 13% declining home values.  

Both the 18-34 and over 55+ age groups expressed preferences that indicate they prefer to live in urban centers:  The younger group preferred short commutes to work and the older group preferred the proximity to restaurants and shops. 

The majority, 70% of respondents said owing a home is part of their American dream.  This attitude toward homeownership rose with age, from 65% of 18-34 year olds to 76% of those 55 +. 

Among current homeowners, 80% said they plan to buy another home in the future and 57% said owning a home is among the best long term investments.

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Tips when applying for Loan Modification

The following tips were given by Stephfan Nurse, CEO of Consumer Education, makers of mortgage reduction software designed to help people thru the modification process: 

1)      When faxing or sending in your paperwork to your lender, make sure that your loan number is printed on every page you are sending in.  Lenders received thousands of papers a day and sometimes the cover sheet gets lost or the fax gets misplaced.  If you have the loan number on every page, they can make sure it gets in your file.

2)      Make sure that ALL of the requested paperwork is included in the file.  If you are missing just one required document, they will show your account is incomplete and your file sometimes goes to the bottom of the pile.

3)      Follow up every week with your lender to make sure all of the documents they have are up to date.   Don’t worry about being a pest; this usually keeps your file moving along.

 These tips are the same tips we use when submitting Short Sales.  The complete packages move along much quicker then the packages submitted with missing documents.  Some lenders even tell us to keep sending in pay stubs and bank statements so the file is kept current at all times.

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August Foreclosure Statistics

Foreclosure filings rose in August, as more homeowners fell behind on their mortgage payments.  

Filing were up 7% compared to July, but were still 33% lower than a year ago. 

According to Realty Tract’s report, 228,098 homes in the US received some kind of foreclosure filing in August.  Foreclosure auctions and bank repossessions, which come later in the process, both fell slightly. 

The increased in default notices may signal that lenders are starting to finally push through foreclosure paperwork that was previously delayed by “robo-signing”. 

The good news is that bank repossessions have been falling.  Lenders repossessed 64,813 homes in August, a six-month low and a 37% decline after they hit a peak in September last year. 

Meanwhile, foreclosure auctions were scheduled for 84,405 homes, the lowest number in more than three years. 

Nevada, California and Arizona housing markets are the hardest hit by foreclosures. 

Information from CNNMoney.com

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Loan Modification Scammers

One in 240 California housing units was in foreclosure in April 2011, according to Realty Trac, a statistic that places California foreclosures about 2.5 times higher than the national average.  Those statistics alone make the state a ripe market for loan modification scammers.

The Lawyer’s Committee is starting to file complaints against Nathanson Law Center and other alleged loan mod scammers.  The suit claims that the defendants lured desperate homeowners into paying up-front fees to secure them loan mods, and then did little or no work to follow up on their promised services.  While homeowners were offered 100% guarantees that their funds would be returned if a modification could not be obtained, the defendants later refused to turn their fees.  Many of the victims lost thousands of dollars – or worse, their homes. 

If you believe you have been the victim of a loan mod scam, you are encouraged to call (888) 995-HOPE or visit www.preventloanscams.org and click “Report a Scam!”  Victims are being represented free of charge.

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Home Buyers Changing

Keys.
Image by Bohman via Flickr

With married couples comprising less than 50% of all US households, home buyers are changing.  A growing number of non-family households, according to a report from John Burns Real Estate Consulting are on the increase.  Non-family households where no one is related to the house holder have increased nearly five times in the last 50 years from 7.9 to 39.2 million. 

A lot of non-family households are looking at SMALL HOMES: preferring a home under 2500 sf with three or fewer bedrooms.  LOCATION:  the proximity to work and entertainment over home size and they are less interested in media rooms and pools.

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What you Should Know Before Buying a Home

This past week, I have posted several articles on credit reports.  Below are a few things you should know before buying a home:

1)  Get Pre-Qualfied – you will need to find out what you can qualify for and obtain a Pre-Approval letter before going out to look at homes.

2)  If you have marginal or bad credit, consult your lenderthey will be able to advise you on whether your credit history will prevent you from qualifying for a home loan.

3)  You will need a down paymentDown payment requirements vary depending on the type of loan.  There are a few down payment assistance programs, but gone are the days of lots of  ZERO down loans, unless you are a Veteran.  Consult with a lender about the programs available in your area.

4)  You will need funds for closing costs – In addition to your down payment, you may need to have additional funds for closing costs (i.e. Escrow, title, mortgage insurance, taxes, loan fees and fire insurance).

5)  Some loans have “points” and some do not – A point is a loan origination fee equivalent to 1% of the loan amount.  Together with the interest rate they constitute the yield on your loan for the lender.  Some lenders charge a higher interest rate to compensate for charging no points.  It is important to comparison shop lenders to make sure your loan is at a competitive yield.

6)  Should you select a mortgage with a fixed rate or an adjustable rate?  It depends on whether mortgage rates are at a high or a low point when you purchase, and on how long you plan to live in the home.  If rates are low, a fixed rate would be more attractive and if rates are high, an  adjustable rate might be attractive since subsequent rate drops could reduce your monthly payments.  Also lenders may offer a low rate during the first few years of an adjustable mortgage to make it appealing to you.

7)  Be aware of the two main type of loan categories – Conventional Loans and Government Loans (FHA/VA) .  Both of these loan types are available with fixed or adjustable interest rates and some require mortgage insurance.

8)  If you are a low or moderate income home buyer – there are some local and state housing agencies, like the California Housing Finance Agency(CalHFA) that have special loan programs available.

9)  Why might I have to pay mortgage insurance?  Generally, conventional loans that require larger down payments do not require mortgage insurance.  Mortgage insurance is always required on FHA loans.  Mortgage insurance protects the lender from potential loss if you should default on your mortgage loan payment. 

10)  Many organizations offer home loan counseling to prospective home buyers– These organizations provide classes for home buyers to cover the steps to home ownership.  They will cover home selection, realtor services, lenders, loan programs, home ownership responsibilities, saving for a down payment, and other important pieces of information.  Many first-time home buyer programs require home buyers to attend this type of class to be eligible for selected programs.

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Watch out for these Credit Repair Scams

credit repair

So you have decided to purchase a home and have reviewed a copy of your credit report.  You have noticed that you have some items that you need credit repair to remove from your credit report.   I would strongly recommend using a credit repair company that you have previously used or have been referred to by either a loan officer or someone who has previously used a credit repair agency.  The following information was furnished by the Federal Trade Commission.

Unfortunately, there are a few scams out there that you need to be aware of:

  • The company wants you to pay for credit repair services before providing any services.  Under the Credit Repair Organizations Act, credit repair companies cannot require you to pay until they have completed the services they have promised.
  • The company doesn’t tell you your rights and what you can do yourself for free.
  • The company recommends that you DO NOT contact the three national credit report companies directly.
  • The company tells you they can get rid of most or all of the negative credit information in your credit report, even if it is accurate.
  • The company suggests that you try to invent a “new” credit identity and then, a new credit report by applying for an Employer Idenification Number to use instead of your Social Security Number.
  • The company advises you to dispute all of the information in your credit report, regardless of its accuracy or timelines.

 

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How does a Foreclosure, Deed-In-Lieu of Foreclosure & Short Sale Seller’s Credit Affected?

Fair Isaac released a report that says credit scores are affected about the same, whether a seller does a short sale or foreclosure. Fair Isaac says the average points lost on a FICO score are as follows:

  • 30 days late: 40 to 110 points
  • 90 days late: 70 to 135 points
  • Foreclosure, short sale or deed-in-lieu: 85 to 160
  • Bankruptcy: 130 to 240

Foreclosure or Deed-in-Lieu of Foreclosure
Both of these solutions affect credit the same, says David Steep of Vitek Mortgage. Sellers will take a hit of 200 to 300 points, depending on overall condition of credit. This means if a seller’s FICO score before foreclosure was 680, it could dip as low as 380.

Short Sale
Steep maintains that the effect of a short sale (providing the sellers are more than 59 days late) on a seller’s credit report is identical to that of a foreclosure. The ding on credit will show up as a pre-foreclosure in redemption status, Steep says, which will result in a loss of 200 to 300 points. This means a short sale seller with a previous FICO of 720 could see it fall from 520 to 420.   If your loan stays current during a short sale, your credit will not be effected as much as not making your payments and your chances of purchasing another home sooner than two years is possible.

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1/3 of Americans Unlikely to Qualify for a Mortgage Today

According to an analysis of more than 25,000 loan quotes and purchase request on Zillow Mortgage Marketplace during the first half of September; almost 1/3 of Americans are unlikely to qualify for a mortgage because their credit scores are too low. 

They found that 29.3% of borrowers have a credit score less than 620.  The lowest rates went to 47% of borrowers with excellent credit scores of 720 or above. 

Zillow Mortgage Marketplace quoted that during this period, borrowers with excellent scores got an average rate of 4.3% for conventional 30 year mortgages.  Mid range borrowers with credit scores between 620 and 719 received rates between 4.73% and 4.44%.  Those with credit scores below 620 received too few loans to calculate the interest rates received. 

For each 20-point credit score increase, the average annual percentage rate (APR) declines 0.12%.

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