Friday, February 28, 2014

Phx homeowners lifted out of underwater

Fri Feb 28, 2014 9:44 AM
Higher home prices have lifted more metro Phoenix homeowners out from underwater on their mortgages.
Only about 22 percent of Valley homeowners owe more on their mortgage than their house is worth now, according to real estate brokerage and data firm That's down from a high of 36 percent during in the fall of 2011 after home prices plummeted to the lowest level during the housing crash.
But the rate isn't likely to drop by much more this year, according to real estate analysts forecasting a slower price appreciation for the region's housing market.
A breakdown of Phoenix-area underwater homeowners, and how much they owe:
-Fewer than 20 percent of homeowners underwater owe more than 42 percent of what their house is worth.
-A range of 21 to 40 percent owe 22 percent more than their house is worth.
-A range of 41 to 60 percent owe about 12 percent more than their house is worth.
-A range of 61 to 80 percent own 7 percent more than their house is worth.
-A range of 81 to 100 percent owe 4.4 percent more than their house is worth.
-About 13 percent of Valley homeowners owe more than double what their is house is currently rate.
Las Vegas has the highest negative equity rate for homeowners in the country at 35 percent.
Nationally negative equity has fallen for the past seven quarters, freeing almost 3.9 million homeowners nationwide in 2013. The U.S. rate for homeowners underwater is slightly below 20 percent.

Friday, February 21, 2014

Mortgage tips

5 Mortgage Tips for Home Buyers offers some tips for your home buyers on securing a mortgage, getting the best rate, and more.
  1. Be prepared to document your finances. Buyers should be prepared for extra review by lenders when underwriting mortgages due to new mortgage regulations that took effect in January, particularly in proving borrowers’ ability to repay their loans. Borrowers should be prepared to show bank statements, tax returns, W-2s, investment accounts, and documentation of any other assets they own. Also, they should be prepared to explain any large deposits to their accounts—even a $500 check from a family member during the holidays. If they can’t prove where the money came from, it has the potential to delay closing.
  2. Lock in a rate soon. Mortgage rates are expected to rise in 2014 as the Federal Reserve winds down its $85 billion per month bond-buying stimulus program. A rate lock is usually good for 30, 45, or 60 days, although that time period can vary among lenders.
  3. Shop around. Buyers may have the upper hand in 2014. Lenders have lost a large amount of their refinance business this year as rising rates encourage fewer home owners to refinance. That means they are turning their attention to home buyers and may be more willing to compete for their business. Home buyers will want to shop around for more than just the best interest rate on the loan, looking at points and closing costs as well.
  4. Pay careful attention to credit. The best mortgage rates often go to borrowers with credit scores of 720 or higher, Bankrate reports. While those with a credit score of 680 can still likely qualify for a loan, they may end up paying higher rates or higher closing costs.
  5. Watch your spending. Make sure your buyers aren’t tempted to go outfit their new home with all new furniture—on credit—before closing on the home loan. Lenders will be carefully scrutinizing their debt obligations, such as credit cards and student loans. Borrowers are advised to keep their monthly debt obligations, including mortgage and property taxes, to below 43 percent of their income.
Source: “10 Mortgage Tips for 2014,” (February 2014)
Read more

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

ASU report: Phoenix housing market slows
Phoenix-area home prices have been going up since they hit a low point in September 2011, but the increases have been slowing down in recent months, according to a new report from the W. P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University.  Things are still looking good in the luxury market -- homes priced at more than $500,000.  In December, the percentage of residential properties purchased by investors was 19.3%.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Jumbo Loans

Hurdles shrink for jumbo loan shoppers
You'll pay more for a big home nowadays, but a big mortgage should be less of a reach.  For the first time in over 20 years, rates on jumbo mortgages are at or below rates on conventional mortgages.  Jumbo rates usually run one-quarter to one-half of a percentage point higher, but lenders eager for wealthier customers are making deals.  And last year, Wells Fargo and Bank of America cut minimum down payments to 15% from 20%; some competitors did too.
Read article - CNN Money