Category: Mortgage + Real Estate Tips

FHA Loan Limit Increase on the Way for 2018

Good news!  Yesterday, the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) announced an increase to loan limits for FHA loans in 2018.  This comes as a sigh of relief for homebuyers in 3,011 counties.  For the past three years, the FHA has increased the number of counties to benefit from higher loan limits, with the biggest bump in 2017.  For 2018, we will see an additional 63 counties added to the list, thus bringing the number of counties up to 3,011.  Thanks to the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008, the FHA sets the single family forward loan limits at 115% of the median house price.  It’s subject to floor and ceiling limits therefore check with your loan officer for more information. 

So how much is the increase?  Well, in some high end areas, such as Los Angeles County, the ceiling will increase from $636,150 to $679,650.  That is a 6.8% increase and it adjusts to meet the lending needs of homebuyers in areas where the cost of homes has grown significantly.  The floor increases as well from $275,665 to $294,515.  Even though most of the counties in the U.S will benefit from the increase, 228 counties won’t be positively impacted.  Loan limits in those counties will remain the same. 

 Along with FHA loans, the FHA insured Home Equity Conversion Mortgages (HECM) or reverse mortgages will see an increase as well.  HECM adjustments aren’t done on a county basis; therefore, it’s only a single assessment for the whole nation.  That number will go up from $636,150 to $679,650 and this is great for those who qualify for the program.  

If you’re in the market today and need to find a lender to work with, give me a call to help you finance your next mortgage transaction.  I’m ready to help you with your financing questions, and I’ve got plenty of experience with loan limits, mortgage products, and market information to help you make the right choice.  

Increase in Loan Limit on the Horizon for 2018

The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) recently released the home-price index for the third quarter and their findings are quite interesting.  It looks like the U.S real estate market continues to grow with an increase of 6.5% in the past year.  With a healthy and vibrant economy, the real estate market moves forward as demand continues to increase as well.

So, what does this mean for home buyers who are looking to finance their next home?  Well, the same agency that released the real estate data also determines the direction for Fannie and Freddie conforming loan limits.  The FHFA will be increasing the limits for 2018, and if you’re looking for your next home, know that there is some relief in sight. For example, the loan limit in Los Angeles County will increase to $679,650 and in Dallas County the loan limit will increase to $453,100. Click here to look up your county. This adjustment will help alleviate the burden for homebuyers seeking to take advantage of lower interest rates through conforming loan programs.

If you’re in the market today and need to find a lender to work with, give me a call and I can help you finance your next mortgage transaction. I’m ready to answer your financing questions, and I have plenty of experience with loan limits, mortgage products and market information to help you make the right choice. Give me a call or shoot me an email if you’re ready to get started or if you have any questions.

Source: Federal Housing Finance Agency

How to Change the Mortgage Industry From the Inside

We constantly talk about regulations, compliance, and technology, among other things. But a mortgage is intended for a person whose sole function isn’t to spend days faxing documents.

Improving the user experience benefits everyone, from the borrower to the originator. One idea is to change the way that things are done behind the scenes, starting with the underwriting process. And that’s exactly what cloudvirga, Skyline’s sister company, has been doing.

Recently, National Mortgage News published an article about how cloudvirga and others are changing the process. Click here to view the article to see what’s being done and what the future will look like.

Equifax Hack and How to Protect Yourself

Internet connectivity has brought many benefits to modern society, but one of the drawbacks is that internet users and companies are vulnerable to information breaches.

Recently, credit bureau Equifax was hacked with 143 million people potentially affected by the data breach. Many details about the hack aren’t available, and though this news is unfortunate, there are things that can be done to safeguard your credit.

First thing’s first, check to see if you were affected by the hack. Click on the link below to get a step-by-step guide.

https://www.cnet.com/google-amp/news/equifax-data-breach-find-out-if-you-were-one-of-143-million-hacked/

Whether you were affected or not, it’s a good idea to protect yourself. Many things can happen that may put you at risk.

Here are a few steps that you could take to keep your credit safe: 

  • Set up alerts with the three big credit reporting agencies to see if someone is using your credit. Same goes for credit and debit cards. You can even have push notifications set up.
  • Look into freezing your credit so that new companies that you don’t currently work with will not be able to access your credit.
  • Keep an eye on your credit history.
  • Consider a credit monitoring service. Right now, Equifax is offering a year of credit monitoring for free, but make sure you look into the fine print.

 

Source: New York Times, Sept 10, 2017

What the Interest Rate Hike Means for Homebuyers

Today, the Federal Reserve announced that they were raising interest rates. This is the third consecutive interest rate hike, and the Fed is citing a strong economy and low unemployment as reasons for this decision.

However, potential homebuyers don’t need to worry about mortgage rates increasing as the Fed makes their announcement.

The Fed raised short-term interest rates today, but mortgage rates, particularly for the 30-year fixed rate mortgage, are determined by the 10-year Treasury bond. Bonds are influenced by market conditions, global events, etc. and not by the Federal Reserve.

For those considering buying a home, know that though mortgage rates can increase at any moment, they won’t go up just because the Fed raised interest rates.

Source: HousingWire.com, June 14, 2017

It’s a Good Time to Trade Your Student Debt for Home Debt

Fannie Mae, the government-controlled mortgage giant, is taking steps to make it easier for millions of student loan borrowers to own a home or refinance a mortgage. Student debt has become an increasing concern, amid worries that borrowers burdened by education loans are postponing home buying , causing a drag on the economy. The average undergraduate now leaves college with more than $30,000 in student debt, according to the Institute for College Access and Success.

Fannie Mae, which buys home loans originated by lenders that meet its standards, said Tuesday that it was easing the path for student loan borrowers — and those who may have co-signed such loans — in three ways, said Jonathan Lawless, vice president for customer solutions at Fannie Mae.

 

Read the source article at The New York Times

Mortgage rates tumble to fresh 2017 low

Yesterday, interest rates fell to the lowest they’ve been all year! This is great news for those who are ready to purchase a home or are considering refinancing.

Mortgage rates can change at any moment; that’s why it’s so important to strike while the iron is hot.

Rates for home loans fell in line with Treasury yields, nudging mortgage rates to the lowest level of the year, Freddie Mac said Thursday.

The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 4.08%, down 2 basis points during the week. The 15-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.34%, down from 3.36%. The 5-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage averaged 3.18%, down one basis point.

Those rates don’t include fees associated with obtaining mortgage loans.

The 10-year Treasury yield fell five basis points during the week as investors continue to re-assess the expectations for fiscal stimulus and economic growth that followed the November election even as fresh geopolitical worries flared. The benchmark government bond breached a key technical level, 2.30%, twice during the week.

Read the source article at MarketWatch