Friday, August 15, 2008

Current loan rates

Thanks to Troy Chambers of Arboretum Mortgage for the following info on current loan rates.

Here's his take on mortgage rate activity for this past week:

Not Too Bad!
After an “up and down” week, rates have settled in about an eighth lower than where they were last week. As the bond market rallied upon opening up this morning (08/15), there is a good chance that we will see slightly better rates later today, or perhaps early next week. Things are looking good from a rate standpoint, so please call me if you know of anyone looking to refinance or purchase. I am available at all times on my cell phone, 425-418-5103.

Click here to see a chart of current loan rates.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

More Unmarried Couples Buying Homes

Reprinted from:
Daily Real Estate News | August 8, 2008

Unmarried couples made up 7 percent of home buyers last year, according to the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®, making up the second-fastest growing buyer segment.

Such arrangements make sense in that there are two people contributing to the down payment and monthly expenses, and both parties can take advantage of the tax benefits of homeownership.

However, there are numerous factors that an unmarried couple must consider before finalizing the purchase, such as a plan in case one owner dies or wants to sell.

Experts recommend that each buyer have a will stating that their share of the property goes to the surviving owner upon his or her death, but they also should consider including joint tenancy with the right of survivorship in the deed.

They also must understand that obtaining a mortgage requires full financial disclosure, meaning that their past credit histories will be out in the open. Moreover, buyers must understand that in the event of a breakup, the mortgage must be refinanced for it to be removed from one's credit report.

Monday, August 11, 2008

In's & Out's of First-Time Buyer Tax Credit

Reprinted from:
Daily Real Estate News | August 4, 2008

Under the new housing bill, home buyers who have not owned a home in the last three years will be eligible for a tax credit equal to 10 percent of the property up to a maximum of $7,500.

Here’s how it works:
  • The credit is $3,750 for married couples filing separately. Unmarried people who jointly purchase a home will be able to divide the $7,500 credit.
  • This program is actually a loan, which home buyers must repay over 15 years at zero percent interest beginning in the second year after they purchase the home. A home buyer who qualified for the whole credit would pay $500 for 15 years or about $41.67 per month.
  • The credit applies only to homes purchased on or after April 9, 2008, and before July 1, 2009.
  • High-income home buyers don’t qualify: Eligibility begins phasing out for single filers with adjusted income of more than $75,000 and $150,000 for joint filers. It completely phases out at $95,000 for singles and $170,000 for married couples filing jointly.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Is Now the Right Time to Buy?

You probably won't be surprised to hear that I believe the answer to that question is "yes." Following is the argument put forth by Senior Loan Officer, David Todd, of Northwest Mortgage Alliance.

Real Estate Professionals today are often asked: "Should I buy now or
will the prices keep dropping?" While none of us has the magic answer, part of
this question can be addressed in terms of Interest Rate.

On May 2nd, 2008 you could get a 30 Year Fixed Rate at 5.5%. On July 2nd , 2008 the
30 Year Fixed Rate was 6.375%.
How does this rate increase translate for a homebuyer? Take a look at the examples below:

Example 1:
May 2nd , 2008 offer accepted at $400,000
Rate locked at 5.5%
200/o down payment
Loan amount of $320,000
Principle and interest payment:

Example 2:
July 2nd , 2008 offer accepted at $385,000
Rate locked at 6.5%
20% down payment
Loan amount of $308,000
Principle and interest payment:

By waiting for a lower price, the borrower’s monthly payments increased by $129.84 per month, $1,558.19 per year or $46,745.82 over the life of the loan.

There is a strong consensus among economists that rates will continue to rise. The best time to buy varies from buyer to buyer. However, if a consumer is trying to time the market, rising rates make the argument clear. Going by the numbers, now IS the time to buy.