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Good Morning!

There can be some confusion in the minds of the average consumer about interest rates, especially as it relates to the Federal Open Market Committee, or FOMC, meetings. About every six weeks, the FOMC meets to discuss the current state of the economy with an eye toward the future. One important task is to monitor and adjust the cost of funds. In general, the “Fed” tries to keep inflation in check and in theory raise or lower the cost of funds. They do so by adjusting the Federal Funds rate and this is the rate that gets so much press each time the FOMC meets.

The Federal Funds rate is the rate banks can charge one another for short term lending. Short term as in overnight. Why does a bank need to borrow money on such a short notice? Banks are required to keep a certain amount of liquid capital, in other words “cash,” at the end of each business day. These funds are essentially demand funds. When a consumer wants to withdraw some cash either at the bank or at any automated teller, there needs to be cash available to meet those withdrawal requests. If the bank sees their reserves to meet these requests do not meet the reserve requirements, banks seek out a short term loan from another depository institution to meet the reserve requirements. This is what the Fed adjusts, the overnight lending rate. But the Fed doesn’t directly impact the everyday 30 year conforming fixed rate mortgage.

When lenders set their rates each day, they refer to a specific mortgage bond. For example, with a 30 year fixed conforming loan underwritten to Fannie Mae standards, the lender will review the current yield on the FNMA 30-yr 3.0 mortgage bond. Just like any bond, with the price of the bond goes up, the yield will fall. And when the price goes down, the yield will rise. Investors buy bonds, all types of bonds, as a safe place to park cash. When the economy appears to falter, investors can get a little skittish and pull some funds from the stock market and transfer those funds into bonds, including mortgage bonds. If on the other hand the economy is healthy and improving, the opposite will occur.

When the Fed makes an announcement at the end of their two-day meetings, investors are anxious to hear if the Fed raised, lowered or kept rates the same. If the Fed announces they decided to raise the cost of funds by 0.25%, it can tell investors the FOMC decided the economy is doing rather well but to hold of any potential inflation, it will raise the cost of funds that banks will pay for short term lending. It’s not a direct affect on mortgage rates, but definitely an indirect one.

Have an awesome week!

THIS WEEK'S HOT HOME LISTING!

825 SAND AVE

Price: $550,000    Beds: 3    Baths: 2    Sq Ft: 2344

Grand very well-maintained home! Light filled vaulted open layout w/ large windows & skylights. Living rm w/ gas fireplace opens to dining area. Office/bonus rm w/ exterior entrance & Shoji sliding dr/rm divider. Massive kitchen w/ cook island, pant...View this property >>

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What Is A Piggyback Mortgage and Is It Right For You?

by Galand Haas

Good Morning!

A loan program that was popular several years ago is making a comeback and many lenders are now offering options for a mortgage loan program called "the Piggyback mortgage".

The following will give you some insight into just what a Piggyback mortgage is and also it will give you some information to help you decide if a "Piggyback" loan is a good option for you, if you are searching for a home loan.

Definition of a Piggyback Mortgage

Also called a “purchase money second mortgage,” a piggyback loan is used by homebuyers with less than 20 percent down to avoid paying for private mortgage insurance (PMI).

Types of Packages

Typical packages might be called 80-10-10 (80 percent first mortgage, 10 percent second mortgage, and 10 percent down payment from the buyer), 80-15-5 (a 15 percent second mortgage, and a five percent down payment) or even an 80-20 (80 percent first mortgage, 20 percent second mortgage, and no down payment from the buyer).

Buyers considering this financing should compare the costs of a second mortgage (they do have higher interest rates than first mortgages) with the cost of a bigger first mortgage plus mortgage insurance. They should compare the after tax costs, because borrowers with higher incomes may not be able to deduct mortgage insurance, but they may still be able to write off mortgage interest.

Piggyback Loan Explained

Essentially, a piggyback loan helps homebuyers who don't have the traditional 20 percent down payment when applying for a mortgage.

A piggyback loan occurs when a borrower takes out two loans simultaneously: one for 80 percent of a home's value, and the other to make up for whatever cash is lacking to make up a 20 percent down payment. This is used as an alternative to private mortgage insurance. A piggyback loan is also known as a second trust loan.

The most common type of piggyback loan is an 80/10/10 where a first mortgage is taken out for 80 percent of the home’s value, a down payment of 10 percent is made and another 10 percent is financed in a second trust loan at a higher interest rate. In some cases, you may even qualify for a piggyback loan with as little as a 5 percent down payment (known as an 80/15/5).

Many lenders will finance loans with down payments of less than 20 percent, but you'll pay a price. Usually, the lender insists you buy private mortgage insurance (PMI) which guarantees that the outstanding balance of your loan will be paid off if you default. You will either pay a lump sum each year for PMI or add the cost to your monthly mortgage payments.

Piggyback loans eliminate the need for PMI. You combine this loan with your down payment to reach the 20 percent down needed for a conventional mortgage. This can significantly lower the interest rate of your mortgage.

If you get a piggyback loan, you will close on it the same time as you close on the mortgage. You will most likely have to pay closing costs, which will require additional upfront cash.

You will probably also have to make two loan payments each month — one for your mortgage and one for the piggyback loan. The interest rate on the piggyback loan will probably be higher. But, the monthly payments of both loans are often still less than they would be if you were paying PMI.

Another benefit of a piggyback loan is that the interest may be tax-deductible, potentially saving you even more money. Check with a tax adviser on how a piggyback loan would affect your tax situation.

Have an awesome week!

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Mortgage Interest Rates Holding Steady and May Even Decline

by Galand Haas

Good Monday Morning!

Finally, some bright news for would-be homebuyers. Mortgage interest rates are holding steady and may even see a decline. This trend may help take heat off of a housing market that continues to be over priced for many buyers.

Borrowers saw a slight cool down in mortgage rates this week following last week’s seven-year high. The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage dipped for the first time after five consecutive weeks of increases, averaging 4.71 percent.

But the higher rates may be deterring some would-be home buyers. “The strength in the economy has failed to translate to gains in the housing market as higher mortgage rates have contributed to the decrease in home purchase applications, which are down from a year ago,” says Sam Khater, Freddie Mac’s chief economist. “With mortgage rates expected to track higher, it’s going to be a challenge for the housing market to regain momentum.”

Freddie Mac reports the following national averages with mortgage rates for the week ending Oct. 4:
(Scroll over interactive data chart)

30-year fixed-rate mortgages: averaged 4.71 percent, with an average 0.4 point, falling slightly from last week’s 4.72 percent average. Last year at this time, 30-year rates averaged 3.85 percent.

15-year fixed-rate mortgages: averaged 4.15 percent, with an average 0.4 point, decreasing from last week’s 4.16 percent average. A year ago, 15-year rates averaged 3.15 percent.

5-year hybrid adjustable-rate mortgages: averaged 4.01 percent, with an average 0.3 point, rising from last week’s 3.97 percent average. A year ago, 5-year ARMs averaged 3.18 percent.

Have an awesome week!

 

THIS WEEK'S HOT HOME LISTING!

6997 GLACIER DR

Price: $359,900    Beds: 4    Baths: 2 ½   Sq Ft: 2406

Completely remodeled! Fresh interior & exterior paint. All new carpet, vinyl wood floors, LED lights w/ Decora switches, heat pump, furnace, hot water heater. Large lower level bonus space (not included in SF) w/ lots of potential; could make a grea... View this property >>

 

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Good Morning!

As a homebuyer, having a competitive edge during our current housing market is an important part of the homebuying process.  I am often asked as to whether it is better to be a pre-approved buyer or a pre-qualified buyer for mortgage financing. The followng article from U.S. News will give you details on both and help you get that competitive edge.

Before you can buy a house, you have to know how you’ll pay for it. For 88 percent of homebuyers, that means financing the purchase with a loan, according to the National Association of Realtors' 2018 Home Buyer and Seller Generational Trends Report.

A major part of finding the right lender and knowing what you can afford is providing information to the bank, credit union or other lender to prove you can continue to pay back the loan, with interest, over time.

There are two options to find out what a bank is willing to lend you, as long as everything checks out once you’ve picked a house: prequalification and preapproval.

Prequalification. Having a prequalification letter from a lender means you’re conditionally approved to purchase a home up to a certain price, based on basic information about your income, debt and how much you have saved for a down payment.

While prequalification doesn’t require the documentation and proof of funds needed for a preapproval, it’s particularly helpful for homebuyers who have no idea about their budget for a home. “Prequalification gets them in a position to shop,” says John Pataky, executive vice president at TIAA Bank.

Preapproval. With preapproval, you’re providing the details about your employment and financial information and letting the lender pull your credit history to learn more about you as a borrower. A preapproval means the lender is stating confidence in lending you a certain amount of money to purchase a home, pending any issues with the house itself or unforeseen circumstances with your finances.

While the differences between preapproval and prequalification are merely a matter of reporting financial information versus providing documentation for it, a preapproval letter can be far more powerful when it comes time to place an offer on a home. That's because with preapproval, the seller has proof of your lender's confidence in you as a borrower. While prequalification makes it easier to shop for a home you can more realistically afford, preapproval gives you the strength to negotiate a purchase price, Pataky says.

Brian Simmons, founder and CEO of Ask a Lender, an online platform to help consumers shop lenders and loans and get financial advice, echoes the preference for preapproval: “One of the first things a buyer should do when they begin looking at homes is getting preapproved for a mortgage.”

If your local housing market is seeing frequent bidding wars and multiple offers on houses, a preapproval could help keep you from being overlooked by sellers who have many options to choose from when it comes to sale terms and price. Still, there are times when prequalification may be your best option to begin house hunting

Here are five things to keep in mind as you decide whether prequalification or preapproval is the best move for you.

To shop lenders, prequalify. You may not have decided on the lender you’d like to work with yet, and shopping around by inquiring with three lenders or so is always recommended. Rather than just talking to a loan officer about available programs, you can use the prequalification process to gauge how much a lender would be able to lend to you. Of course, don’t base your choice of lender solely on the maximum price you prequalify for. Also consider what terms, rates and other details will best suit you in the long run.

Don’t get preapproved by too many lenders. Preapproval includes a full review of your financial background, including your credit history. As a result, that inquiry is noted in your credit report and can negatively impact your credit score if you have too many recent checks into your credit history.

“It doesn’t necessarily reflect well on you,” Pataky says. If you’re unsure which lender you want to work with, ask more questions and consider trying out prequalification first, then apply for preapproval once you’ve made your decision.

Neither guarantees a rate lock. The interest rate on your mortgage may be a deciding factor in whether you can afford a certain house. But your ability to secure a desirable interest rate through a rate lock, which guarantees your rate will not increase over a set time period – typically between 30 and 90 days – often only happens when you’ve found the house you want to buy.

Rate locks vary based on lender practices, but prequalification rarely offers a rate lock, and preapproval often doesn’t include a rate lock until you’ve identified the house you wish to purchase – or even until the seller has accepted your offer. 

Ask your lender what’s required to ensure a rate lock and how long that rate lock lasts. In many cases, the lock is limited to 30 days, which is just enough time to get through the contract period on a house.

Preapproval still isn’t a done deal. Even if your lender is impressed by your salary and pristine history of paying off debt, no preapproval is a guarantee that a mortgage will be approved once you’ve found the house you want. There are still other factors at play, the first of which focuses on whether your financial situation has changed.

“The factors by which you were preapproved have to be maintained,” Pataky says. That means not quitting your job, not buying a Maserati to keep up with the Joneses in your new neighborhood and not opening up five credit cards in the last two weeks, he explains.

Another factor standing between you and mortgage approval is the house’s condition and appraised value. Even if you’re preapproved to buy a house for $400,000 and agree to that same price with the seller, if the house appraised for only $375,000, your lender will likely only approve you for a mortgage on the house at $375,000. You’re then tasked with trying to renegotiate on price with the seller, coming up with the extra cash on your own or starting your search for a home all over again.

Keep asking your lender questions. Even if you’ve bought a home with a mortgage before, it’s likely been at least a few years, and the process will feel different. At every step of the way, you shouldn’t be afraid to ask your lender about expectations, timing and documents you should have ready to help streamline the process as much as possible.

“During the preapproval process, the buyer will need to provide some of the documentation their loan officer will use when it’s time to underwrite the loan,” Simmons says. “This is a good opportunity to ask the lender questions about the process and get a checklist of documents the lender will need, such as pay stubs, bank statements and tax documents.”

Have an awesome week!

 

THIS WEEK'S HOT HOME LISTING!

6997 GLACIER DR

Price: $359,900    Beds: 4    Baths: 2.5    Sq Ft: 2406

Completely remodeled! Fresh interior & exterior paint. All new carpet, vinyl wood floors, LED lights w/ Decora switches, heat pump, furnace, hot water heater. Large lower level bonus space (not included in SF) w/ lots of potential; could make a grea...View this property >> 



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Mortgage Applications Down 2.5% vs. Previous Week

by Galand Haas

Good Monday Morning!


 

The combination of rising home prices and slightly higher mortgage interest rates is beginning to have an impact on the housing market.  It is clear that we are now seeing fewer buyers entering the market due to home affordability.  This may be the beginning of an end to the heated homes sales market that we have been in for several years.  A slow down in buyer numbers is usually the first indication of a shifting market.


Have an awesome week!

 

THIS WEEK'S HOT HOME LISTING 

6997 Glacier Drive

Price: $375,000    Beds: 4    Baths: 2.5   Sq.Ft.: 2,406

Completely remodeled! Fresh interior and exterior paint. All new: carpet, vinyl wood floors, LED lighting with Decora switches, heat pump, furnace, hot water heater. Large lower level bonus space (not included in SF) with lots of potential; it could make a great mother-in-law suite. Private master suite...View this property>>


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Demand for Housing Remains Strong Even As Home Prices Rise

by Galand Haas

Good Morning!

Mortgage interest rates declined slightly and are now holding steady. This has brought some relief to a national housing market that is continuing to see prices on the rise. Demand for housing remains very strong, even though home prices are rising faster than wages. Please watch the video for further details. If the attached video does not play, view it HERE.

Have An Awesome Week!

THIS WEEK'S HOT HOME LISTING!

36946 PARSONS CREEK RD

Price: $380,000     Beds: 3     Baths: 1     Partial Baths: 1     Sq Ft: 1890

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Boomerang Buyers Hitting The Market

by Galand Haas

Good Monday Morning!

The national housing market could be very close to seeing a huge surge in the number of homebuyers actively looking for and purchasing new homes.  This is a surge that is sure to hit the housing markets acrosss the nation and have a huge impact at some time soon.  The following is an interesting article about "Boomerang" buyers from "Realty Times".

Remember all those people who defaulted on their homes during the last housing crisis? Well, those bankruptcies are about to be discharged, or they already have been, and that means we could soon see an avalanche of homebuyers hitting the market.

Just what constitutes an avalanche? "More than 12.8 million homes entered the foreclosure process - roughly 29 percent of all homes with a mortgage," between 2007 and 2014," said The BIG Picture. "At the peak of foreclosures in 2009, more than 650,000 homes, 1.5 percent of those with a mortgage, entered foreclosure in a single quarter."

According to CoreLogic, this is a key year for boomerang buyers because seven years have passed since the peak of foreclosures in 2010. A whopping "1.9 million homeowners who faced owner-occupied foreclosures between the start of the housing crisis in 2007 through 2010 will have met the seven-year period after which the Fair Credit Reporting Act requires derogatory information to be removed," they said. "By the end of 2020, another 1.2 million homeowners who lost their homes to foreclosure between 2011 and 2013 will become eligible."

A new TransUnion Study Found that, "1.5 million homeowners negatively impacted by the mortgage crisis could re-enter the housing market in the next three years."

But do they want back in?

Many think so.

"The chief attraction is strong motivation, Kent Temple, broker/owner of Keller Williams Realty - The Temple Team in Mooresville, N.C., said on Bankrate. "If you've been through a foreclosure, you've already been a homeowner. "You know what it's about. You know the process. You've been through hell sometime in the last seven years, and if you really want to buy a house, you are so willing to do whatever it takes."

But some aren't so sure.

"As those foreclosures began to clear, many observers speculated that a slew of ‘boomerang buyers' was poised to return to the housing market," said The BIG Picture. "Those buyers have been slow to materialize. So what's hindering their return?"

Oh, little things like:

  • Rising home prices
  • Rising mortgage rates
  • Low inventory
  • More stringent lending requirements
  • Credit scores that haven't jumped back up to where they need to be because of other delinquency issues

There may also be the fear factor. Do buyers who lost a home to foreclosure once before want to take the risk again? If they do, they are largely looking to be more careful this time around, said Jami Harich, a real estate agent with Avery-Hess Realtors in Fredericksburg, VA, in the Washington Post. "Most buyers I work with now, especially if they lost a home in the past, don't want to get in over their heads. They start with a monthly payment that they want to stick to, and then I show them what they can find on the market that fits in that budget."

Whatever their reasoning, "History says not all those buyers are likely to come back," said The BIG Picture.

"According to a 2016 study by CoreLogic, fewer than half of those who lost a home in 2000 or later have purchased new homes, even among those 16 years past a foreclosure." The boomerang rate has been especially low so far for people who lost their homes during the crisis. A little over 30 percent of borrowers who lost their homes in 2000 had purchased another home seven years after the event. But only about 15 percent to 20 percent of borrowers who lost a home between 2006 and 2008 had returned to the housing market after seven years."

Quick or slow

Perhaps it's the rate at which boomerang buyers have been returning (or not) to the market that has surprised industry experts the most. Instead of the rapid return like many had predicted, the boomerang effect has been more tempered, according to CoreLogic.

"While millions of former homeowners reentering the buying market would have a significant impact on home sales, historical data shows a more gradual return rate for these so-called boomerang buyers, with less than half returning to homeownership even 16 years after the foreclosures were completed. Historical return rates show recent incremental volumes of 150,000 boomerang buyers returning per year, or 12,500 per month. Of the 4.4 million owner-occupied foreclosures completed since 2000, 1 million foreclosed homeowners have returned."

Have An Awesome Week!

THIS WEEK'S HOT HOME LISTING!

 

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56324 MCKENZIE HWY
Price: $349,000 Beds: 3 Baths: 2 Sq Ft: 2070
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Which Mortgage Is Best: Low or High Down Payment?

by Galand Haas

Good Morning!

I am often asked about home mortgages and what home loans are the best way to go.  There are many options out there today and some options are certainly better than others depending on your situation.  The following article is from "Realty Times" and it talks about the differences between loans with low down payments and those with higher downs.  

The minimum down payment on an FHA loan is 3.5 percent, which makes it a popular choice among those who don't have the funds for a large down payment (and also those who don't meet the higher credit score requirements for other types of loans). And that's not even the lowest you can go. Loans like this one require only three percent down, and if you're a veteran or are buying a home in a rural area, you may be able to buy a home for nothing down. But should you go that low just because you can, or are you better off making a larger down payment? We're breaking it down.

The case for 20 percent

There are several advantages to putting down 20 percent when buying a home, like:

  • Since the bank will generally consider you a lower risk because you have "more skin in the game," you may be able to get a lower interest rate than you would with other types of loans—as long as you have the credit score to support it.
  • You'll have built-in equity as soon as you move in.

    You can avoid paying private mortgage insurance (PMI).

  • It's that last part that drives a number of people to strive for that 20 percent down payment since PMI can add several hundred dollars to a new homeowner's monthly payment, and it can be hard to get rid of it. "If you can put 20% down and avoid PMI, that is ideal, said certified financial planner Sophia Bera on Business Insider.

 

The case for as little down as possible

The biggest roadblock to homeownership for many people is coming up with the down payment, so minimizing that expense sounds great, right? "The good news is a first-time buyer can purchase a home for a little as three percent down - and even no money down in some cases," said U.S. News.

But is that a smart move?

"The less you put down, the higher the mortgage insurance is," Casey Fleming, author of "The Loan Guide: How to Get the Best Possible Mortgage" and a mortgage professional in the San Francisco Bay Area, told them. "With five percent down, the mortgage insurance is quite high." 

Yep, there's that pesky PMI again, which, for many first-time buyers, pushes their monthly payment to a level they're not comfortable with. Another bummer about PMI: "If you need to pay PMI, the size loan you can get will be slightly smaller, to allow for the bigger payment," they said.

You may also have trouble qualifying for a loan even if you have a high enough credit score because you don't have enough cash reserves; if you are using all your savings for the down payment and the lender questions where the funds for your closing costs, taxes and insurance, and any needed repairs are coming from, you could have a problem.

But, on the flip side, a smaller down payment will up your rate of return, said The Mortgage Reports. "Consider a home which appreciates at the national average of near five percent. Today, your home is worth $400,000. In a year, it's worth $420,000.

Irrespective of your down payment, the home is worth twenty-thousand dollars more. That down payment affected your rate of return. With 20 percent down on the home - $80,000 - your rate of return is 25 percent. With three percent down on the home - $12,000 - your rate of return is 167 percent."

Even when you add in the PMI and a higher interest rate, the equation comes out in favor of the lower down payment. "With three percent down, and making adjustments for rate and PMI, the rate of return on a low-down-payment loan is still 106 percent - much higher than if you made a large down payment. The less you put down, then, the larger your potential return on investment."

The case for somewhere in between

Finding that balance between down payment and savings is a challenge for many homebuyers, and the sweet spot will be different for everyone depending on their unique circumstances and financial situation. Most financial experts will say that saving and scrounging to get together 20 percent at the risk of depleted savings and zero emergency funds is a shaky strategy, at best.

"If putting 20 percent down means that you use all of your savings, then don't do it! I would much rather see people put five percent down, wipe out all their other debt with cash, and still have three months of emergency savings versus putting 20 percent down on a house," said Bera.

Especially when you consider all the added costs you may be facing once you buy: "yard work, home repairs, renovation costs, property taxes, insurance, etc. It's important to consider all of the costs and not just compare the monthly mortgage payment to your current rent amount," she said.

Another thing to consider when evaluating how much you should put down is what would happen if you had an emergency. It's easy to lose sight of real-life issues that can arise when you are so driven to buy a home and focused on saving the money to get there.

"A financial event can leave you wishing you had access to the money without selling," said The Mortgage Reports. "Say you lose a job for three months. An extra $20,000 would be a nice safety cushion. And, if you lose your source of income, you can't take home equity out via a cash-out refinance or home equity line of credit (HELOC). Lenders won't approve a new loan to someone between jobs. In short, the more you need to get at the money, the less access you have to it."

If you have further questions on home loans, contact me.  I work with some of the best mortgage professonals in the Eugene and Springfield area and I can get you connected with one of them.

Have an awesome day!

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1350 DAVID AVE
Price: $227,500 Beds: 3 Baths: 2 Sq Ft: 1920
Spacious and bright! Triple-wide manufactured home on its own lot. Features an open layout, vaulted/high ceilings & lots of natural light. Large living rm plus family rm. Kitchen w/ island & eating bar. Large open dining area. Master suite with 2 cl...

Mortgage Interest Rates Remain Low

by Galand Haas

Good Morning!

Most people do not realize how low mortgage interest rates remain.  Not only have rates declined, but they are now close to the historic low rates of the past year.  Here is a recent article that gives you some insight into where home loan rates currently are.

The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage continues to hover around 4 percent for the fourth consecutive week.

“Mixed economic reports over the last week have anchored the 30-year mortgage rate around the 4 percent mark,” says Sean Becketti, Freddie Mac’s chief economist.

Freddie Mac reports the following national averages for the week ending May 11:

  • 30-year fixed-rate mortgages: averaged 4.05 percent, with an average 0.5 point, rising from last week’s 4.02 percent average. Last year at this time, 30-year rates averaged 3.57 percent.
  • 15-year fixed-rate mortgages: averaged 3.29 percent, with an average 0.5 point, rising from last week’s 3.27 percent. A year ago, 15-year rates averaged 2.81 percent.
  • 5-year hybrid adjustable-rate mortgages: averaged 3.14 percent, with an average 0.5 point, rising from last week’s 3.13 percent average. Last year at this time, 5-year ARMs averaged 2.78 percent.

Have An Awesome Week!



THIS WEEKS HOT HOME LISTING!
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6420 FOREST RIDGE DR
Price: $625,000 Beds: 5 Baths: 4 Half Baths: 1 Sq Ft: 4654
Magnificent Thurston hills custom home! Enjoy privacy & serenity w/ beautiful tree view. Travertine tile & marble flrs, granite counters, 10ft ceilings, main & lower level wired for surround sound, theater rm w/ full wet bar, bonus rm, office, wine ...

 


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Mortgage Loan Mistakes Than Can Cost You Real Money

by Galand Haas

Good Morning!

With mortgage loans remaining at historic low levels and the brisk housing market, I find many home buyers making huge mortgage loan mistakes.  Here is a recent article from "Realty Times", that just might help you if you are in the market for a mortgage loan.

For most buyers, the mortgage is the largest monthly expense they will have. Yet most borrowers will do little to no preparation, negotiation, or shopping to get the best deal. And they end up paying much more for their loans than they need to. You? You're smarter than that, or you wouldn't be reading this article. Here are five of the biggest mistakes that can cost you real money.

1. Believing advertised rates are what you'll pay

Unless you have perfect or near-perfect credit, most advertised rates are out of your league. To get boasting rights on a rate that good, you have to pay part of a point (one percent of the loan amount), or more to get the best rates.

Your lender will go over your credit with a fine-tooth comb to find anything to raise the rate. That includes qualifying you at the beginning of the transaction, and then running your credit again a day or two before you're supposed to close on the home and loan. If there's been any change in your debt-to-income ratio, goodbye low mortgage rate.

2. Not comparing lenders

Just like everyone knows two or three real estate agents or more, everyone knows a loan officer or a mortgage broker. A loan officer works for a bank or savings and loan and can only offer you loan packages that the bank has put together. A mortgage broker prequalifies you just like a loan officer, and shops your deal around to various lenders.

Whether you talk to a loan officer or a mortgage broker, you're going to have to share personal financial information in order to get a realistic rate. Reputable brokers will show you what certain banks and credit unions quoted and you can pick the loan you like best.

If you'd rather do your own shopping, consider talking to a local bank, a national bank, a credit union, and a savings and loan, but remember, unless you give them personal information and permission to run your credit, it's just talk.

3. Not paying attention to terms

Advertised rates even for those with perfect credit aren't what you will actually pay. The true cost of the loan is the APR or annual percentage rate, which includes fees from the lender.

Understanding loan terms is harder than shopping for a new mattress. There are so many ways lenders can inch up the fees. A loan origination fee is also called a processing fee. It pays the loan officer or mortgage broker, so this fee can vary widely. You may pay one lender more for an appraisal than another might charge you.

One lender may charge more for pulling your credit than another. It's all in your good faith estimate, which you don't get until you've applied for the loan.


All terms are negotiable, so don't be afraid to ask what a particular fee is for and can it be reduced or eliminated.

4. Waiting for a better rate

It's great to have bragging rights on a low rate, but you don't want to lose the home of your dreams over a quarter of a point in interest.

There's a big picture here you could be missing. No matter what your interest rate is, you're going to pay thousands of dollars in interest up front before you make any serious gain in equity. If you go all the way to the end of your loan's term, you'll pay so much interest that you could have bought the same home two or three times.

Instead of focusing on the percentage rate, work on how quickly you can build equity. Make one extra payment a year. Pay $25, $100, or $500 extra per month and you'll more than offset the rate you're paying.

Down the road, if rates drop through the floor, you can refinance, but even that's not an ideal solution. You'll pay loan origination fees, title search fees, appraisal fees and so on -- enough to equal the closing costs you paid the first time around.

And don't forget, you'll start the amortization schedule all over again -- with most of your payments going to interest instead of principal.

5. Choosing the wrong type of loan

Many families were hurt post-9/11 when lenders opened the spigots and gave a loan to almost anyone who could sign the paperwork. Suckers bought homes that were too expensive using balloon loans with low teaser rates.

The type of loan you choose should depend on current market conditions and how long you plan to stay in your home, not how much home you want to buy.

Current market conditions favor fixed rates, because rates are rising from all-time lows. Yes, they cost more than hybrid loans or adjustable rate loans, but the base amount is fixed and doesn't change. Only your taxes and hazard insurance will cost you more over the years.

If you get an adjustable rate mortgage, you are at the mercy of market conditions. While there's a cap on how high your interest rate can go, it's still a risk.

If you plan to stay in your home five years or more, get a fixed-rate mortgage. If you plan to sell your home sooner, you're taking a risk. It takes most borrowers five years just to earn back their original closing costs in equity.

Once you've narrowed your choice of lenders, ask them on the same day to give you a quote. If you wait even one day, rates may have changed, so you're no longer comparing apples to apples.

If you need a good lender, contact me.  I have a list of great local lenders that I can provide you with.

Have An Awesome Week!

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AND HERE'S YOUR MONDAY MORNING COFFEE!!

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Photo of Galand Haas Team  Real Estate
Galand Haas Team
Keller Williams Realty Eugene and Springfield
2644 Suzanne Way
Eugene OR 97408
Direct: (541) 349-2620
Fax: 541-687-6411

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