Adjustable-rate mortgage

Will Higher Interest Rates Kill HOME SALES?


Sotheby’s Realty Newton, MA.  Top 20 Agents Network

 

Will Higher Interest Rates Kill HOME SALES?

Posted: 11 Dec 2014 02:00 AM EST

Will Higher Interest Rates Kill HOME SALES? | Keeping Current Matters

The Mortgage Bankers Association, the National Association of Realtors, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are each projecting mortgage interest rates to increase substantially over the next twelve months. What will that mean to the housing market in 2015? Last week, we posted a graph showing that home prices appreciated each of the last four times mortgage interest rates dramatically increased. Today, we want to talk about the impact higher rates might have on the number of home sales. The reason many experts are calling for a rise in rates is because they see a stabilizing economy. With the economy beginning to improve, they expect the employment situation to regain some ground lost during the recession, incomes to grow and for consumer confidence to improve.

What will that mean to home sales next year?

In its November 2014 U.S. Economic & Housing Market Outlook, Freddie Mac explains:

“While higher interest rates generally detract from housing activity, when they occur with strong job and income growth the net result can be increases in household formations, construction, and home sales. Our view for 2015 is exactly that, namely, income and job growth offset the negative effect of higher interest rates and translate into gains for the nation’s housing market.”

Bottom Line

Even with mortgage rates increasing, home sales and home appreciation should be just fine in 2015.


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The Tricks or Treats of Credit


Posted by Margaret Szerlip October 28, 2014 Newton, MA.

Top Brokers in Newton, MA.  Sotheby’s Realty Newton, MA.

 

Many thanks to Amy Slotnick for providing these credit goodies!

 

Amy Slotnick
Amy Slotnick
Vice President
Fairway Independent Mortgage
MLO#27030
(781) 719-4670
amy@amyslotnick.com


The Tricks or Treats of Credit!


Happy Halloween!

Your credit is one of the most important criteria in determining your mortgage eligibility- it impacts the interest rate that will apply to you and, in a worst case scenario, could affect your ability to qualify at all.

Below are some Treats; ways to improve your credit score before you search for a home, and Tricks; things to avoid when qualifying for a home loan.

Treats: Ways to increase your credit score

  • Look for past due balances on a credit report and bring them current.
  • Reduce all outstanding debt to as close to zero as possible-try to keep credit balances at less than 50% of available credit.
  • If married, keep separate credit card accounts-this provides flexibility in transferring some or all balances to one spouse to increase the credit score of another, and allows one spouse to become the sole borrower if necessary.
  • Request an increase in available credit lines on credit cards to reduce debt ration-but only if the credit card company can do this without a hard credit inquiry.
  • Past due and charge offs-pay only those within the last two years. Once it is beyond two years, there will be no impact on your credit score if wiped out, and could even bring it down temporarily.
  • If you have an outstanding debt that has been incorrectly charged to you or has yet to be cleared, notify the creditor and credit bureau with a request that it be deleted. They have an obligation to act within 30 days.

Tricks: When applying for a loan-avoid these pitfalls at all costs!

  • Don’t buy or lease an auto-it will impact your debt to income ratio.
  • Don’t move assets from one bank account to another. It will show as a new deposit a need additional verification, complicating the application process.
  • Don’t change jobs-there may be a probationary period in which income from your new job cannot be considered.
  • Don’t buy new furniture or major appliances-this may increase the amount of debt you are responsible for on a monthly basis and could disqualify you from a loan or cut down on the available funds you will need at closing.
  • Don’t attempt to consolidate bills before speaking with your loan consultant. It may not be necessary to do this.
  • Don’t pack or ship important financial information needed for loan application-obtaining duplicate copies can take weeks and slow down the transaction.

Need help obtaining a credit report? Your loan consultant can help you with this, or you can get one, for free, from any of the 3 main credit reporting agencies:EquifaxExperian, TransUnion

Want to learn more? Click here for information on what goes into a credit score.

As always, we are happy to answer any questions! Info940@fairwaymc.com or 781-719-4664

Here’s hoping your Halloween is all treats!

State of Real Estate in Newton and Brookline, MA.


blog pictures

 

 

 

Posted by Margaret Szerlip October 26, 2014 Newton, MA.

I am asked all the time where I think home prices are headed, what about interest rates.  I usually respond that if I knew for sure I would be a very rich woman.  But I do feel good about the current housing market here in the western suburbs of Boston.  Inventory remains very low, prices are rising but not at the frenzied pace of last spring.  Interest rates are dropping.  Jumbo loans under 4% again!  7/1 Arms are under 3%!  Good stuff  — For the first time in 2 years I also see some real movement in the over 3 million dollar market.  I know most of you don’t care about what happens in the over 3 million dollar market, but I believe it is an important indicator of the overall health of the real estate market.  For the last two years we have been in a trickle up market.  The 500K houses pushed the 750K and they in turn pushed the 1M houses.  For some reason the push up never really got past the 1.5 million price point.  A trickle down real estate market is more broad and sustainable.  What happened last fall and spring in the under 1 million dollar price point was scary.  Houses seemed to be selling  20% higher than 2 years prior while houses over 2 million were sitting on the market.  It was very difficult for contentious brokers to advise their buyer clients.  The truth is you can’t really under price a house because the market will raise it to where it should be.  This fact is indisputable –over pricing has more serious consequences to the seller.  I told my buyer clients that I really couldn’t comp a house to a certain price, that if they really wanted a house they had to pick the price they were willing to pay, but that number was emotional.  One house I listed for $899K  had 9 offers and went 180,00 over asking!

So, I am optimistic about the housing market.  The stock market is taking a hit and when people pull their money out of the market they have to put it somewhere. Many buy a more expensive home.  What I would really like to see is more people buying beautiful older homes and not just new or like new.  Remember, in 10 years your house is neither new or charmingly old.

 

When looking at future housing values, Home Price Expectation Survey provides a fair assessment. Every quarter, Pulsenomics surveys a nationwide panel of over one hundred economists, real estate experts and investment & market strategists about where prices are headed over the next five years. They then average the projections of all 100+ experts into a single number. Here is what the experts projected in the latest survey:

  • Home values will appreciate by 4% in 2015.
  • The cumulative appreciation will be 19.5% by 2018.
  • Even the experts making up the most bearish quartile of the survey still are projecting a cumulative appreciation of over 11.2% by 2018.

Now is the time to buy or sell a home.

 

How Much Should I Put Down


Realtor, Newton, MA.  homes for sale

Another great article from the KCM Crew—–

Like most questions, the answer is “it depends”. Today, I thought I’d give you some things to consider.

Let’s begin the discussion with loans that don’t require Mortgage Insurance. The suggestion is to borrow as much as you can afford. As an example, borrowing $310,000, as opposed to $300,000, will increase your mortgage payment by about $51 at 4.5%. Recognize that by doing so, you will have $10,000 in the bank. It is my experience that it is easier to find $50 more every month than it is to save $10,000. Even if you had the discipline to set aside the $50 monthly, it would take you 200 months to re-accumulate the $10,000 in principal (longer with lost interest).

Understand too, that the interest paid on the extra money borrowed is tax-deductible. In a 25% tax bracket the $51 additional has a real cost of about $38!

 

Having the $10,000 liquid has other potential advantages as well:

  1. If rates go up in the future, you could potentially make more interest than you are spending.
  2. If you can avoid using credit cards for furniture, home improvements, etc., you can save a bundle on those non-tax deductible interest rate costs.
  3. In a world where home values have declined, the more you borrow, the less you have at risk. You transfer the risk of the future value of the home to the lender.

Now, many borrowers today will need some sort of Mortgage Insurance, whether it’s a Conventional Loan with less than 20% down or an FHA Mortgage. These borrowers should sit with their loan officer and run the numbers because the cost of the Mortgage Insurance can vary based on loan-to-value and other factors. Examine the costs and the relative benefits.

Mortgage rates fall, applications rise


The Latest Mortgage Mortgage Rates Refinance Rates News

Mortgage rates fall, applications rise

By Max Thompson
April 20th, 2011

Posted in: MortgageMortgage RatesRefinance Rates

Mortgage rates fall, applications rise

After four straight weeks of increases, fixed mortgage rates recently decreased, according to data from the Mortgage Bankers Association’s latest Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey.

For the week ending April 15, 2011, the average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed mortgages fell to 4.83 percent, down from 4.98 percent the previous week. Average rates for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages has shown increases for four consecutive weeksbefore the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) published its latest report this morning.

The average rate for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages saw a significant decrease, as well. The average contract interest rate for 15-year fixed loans declined to 4.07 percent from 4.17 percent the prior week, the MBA said.

Average points for 30-year fixed mortgages increased to 1.07 from 0.93 the previous week, while average points for 15-year fixed loans decreased to 1.02, down from 1.22 the prior week.

Mortgage applicants increase

In addition to observing the decreases in average fixed mortgage rates, the MBA also noted an increase in mortgage applications week over week. For the week ending April 15, 2011, mortgage applications rose 5.3 percent from one week earlier.

“Purchase application volume jumped last week largely due to another sharp increase in applications for government loans,” Michael Fratantoni, MBA’s Vice President of Research and Economics, said. “Borrowers were likely motivated to apply for loans before the scheduled increase in FHA insurance premiums.”

WSJ REPORTS MORTGAGE RATES EDGE HIGHER


Mortgage rates mostly edged higher in the latest week, with the average on 30-year fixed-rate mortgages rising slightly to 4.87%, according to Freddie Mac’s weekly survey.

Mortgage rates generally track U.S. bond yields, which move inversely to Treasury prices. Rates have climbed this year after slumping most of last year when prices rallies on economic uncertainty.

Freddie Chief Economist Frank Nothaft noted that rates were little changed after what he called “an encouraging employment report” from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 4.87% in the week ended Thursday, up from 4.86% the prior week but down from 5.21% a year earlier. Rates on 15-year fixed-rate mortgages were 4.1%, up from 4.09% the previous week but down from 4.52% a year earlier.

Five-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgages averaged 3.72%, up from the prior week’s 3.7% but down from 4.25% a year earlier. One-year Treasury-indexed ARMs were 3.22%, down from 3.26% and 4.14%, respectively.

To obtain the rates, the five-year ARMs required payment of an average 0.6 point and the others required an average 0.7 point. A point is 1% of the mortgage amount, charged as prepaid interest.

More Borrowers Are Opting for Adjustable-Rate Mortgages


More Borrowers Are Opting for Adjustable-Rate Mortgages

The New York Times
By LYNNLEY BROWNING
Published: March 17, 2011
IN the years since the financial crisis, adjustable-rate mortgages, or ARMs, with their low initial interest rates that changed over time, have been considered riskier than fixed-rate loans and shunned by most buyers. But these days more people are being persuaded to give the loans a try.

This time around, lenders are rolling out more conservative ARM products — without the gimmicky extra-low “teaser” rates that adjust every six months, or the “pick-a-pay” and “option” features that allow borrowers to pay less than the monthly interest, only to be hit with a huge bill down the road.

Those ARMs were hallmarks of the subprime mortgage boom that fueled the soaring rate of mortgage defaults and home foreclosures nationwide.

“An adjustable now is basically a prime product,” said Michael Moskowitz, the president of Equity Now, a lender in New York. “There’s definitely a comeback in their popularity.”

Bank of America, for example, had nearly twice as many ARM transactions last month as it did a year ago, according to Terry H. Francisco, a spokesman, and ARMs now account for 10 percent of all its home loans.

Mortgage brokers and lenders say the loans most in demand are the “5/1” and “7/1,” in which the initial interest rate is fixed for the first five or seven years — after which many homeowners typically think about selling or refinancing anyway — then adjusted annually at a capped rate toward a maximum level.

In contrast to fixed-rate loans, whose interest rates never change, ARMs start out at one rate and then adjust typically once a year at a capped rate, often two percentage points, based on changes in the interest-rate indexes to which they are tied. The adjusted rates can go up or down, and the total increase over the life of the loan is capped.

According to Stephen Habetz, the vice president of DRB Mortgage, the lending division of Darien Rowayton Bank in Darien, Conn., the maximum caps are around 6 percent above the initial rate.Bankrate.com said the initial rate for a 5/1 ARM in the New York area averaged 4.04 percent as of Wednesday, compared with 3.74 percent nationally. For 7/1 ARMs, the average was 4.74 percent, versus 4.10 percent.

Starting rates are usually one to one and a half percentage points below those of 30-year fixed-rate loans.

But one catch is that getting an ARM may now be harder.

Last summer Fannie Mae, the government buyer of home loans, said lenders must qualify borrowers on either the initial rate plus two percentage points, or on the full index rate to which the initial rate is tied, whichever is greater.

Back in 1994, ARMs were used for around 70 percent of all home purchases, according to a study by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York released in December. By early 2009, after the onset of the financial crisis, the share had fallen to 2.3 percent, the study showed, but as of April 2010, it had climbed to about 4 percent.

Freddie Mac, another government-buyer of loans, said in January that it expected the share of ARMs for home purchases to rise to 9 percent this year.

Among those borrowers choosing adjustable-rate mortgages are buyers of property costing more than the $729,750 limit at which Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will buy back loans from lenders, said Mary Boudreau, the owner of Penfield Financial, a mortgage broker in Fairfield, Conn. (Without the government buyback, fewer lenders are willing to make these “jumbo” loans, which carry interest rates one or two points above those of conventional loans. The Fannie and Freddie limit is set to drop to $625,500 in October.)

With an ARM, the savings can be significant. Sean Bowler, a loan officer at DRB Mortgage, said someone borrowing $500,000 with a 5/1 ARM at 3.5 percent would save $42,507 in the first five years, before it adjusts, compared with a 30-year fixed-rate loan of 5.25 percent. A 7/1 ARM at 4.125 would save $38,330 over the first seven years.

A version of this article appeared in print on March 20, 2011, on page RE9 of the New York edition.