Month: November 2010

Comparing Sales of New and Existing Homes in October

When comparing existing home sales and new home sales announced for the same month, remember that these figures may be representing data during different months. Counting of New and Existing Home Sales Monthly data on new home sales are collected and announced by the U.S. Census Bureau while existing home sales are collated and announced by the National Association of…

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Vacation Homes – Dreams Fulfilled During the Downturn

A large number of people who’ve dreamed of buying a vacation home near the beach, beside a lake, in the mountains, or in the center of a resort city have fulfilled their dreams despite the economic downturn. In fact, it’s been the downturn that ironically made it easier for them to reach their home ownership dream. The dramatic drop in…

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Tampa Safest Among Five Most Populated Cities in Florida

Tampa had the lowest crime score among the five most populated cities in Florida, namely Jacksonville, Miami, Tampa, Saint Petersburg and Orlando last year, based on the FBI report “Crime in the United States 2009” released in September 2010. Based on charts of estimated population as of 2009, Jacksonville has a population of 810,064; Miami, 419,205; Tampa, 345,233; Saint Petersburg,…

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Higher Jumbo Loan Limits Extended to 2011

Prospective buyers of higher-priced homes in high-coast areas can still depend on Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac loans after the Federal Housing Finance Administration extended the granting of higher conforming loan limits to September 2011. Jumbo loans of $729,750 will still be available next year from mortgage lenders offering Fannie and Freddie loans for one-unit properties. For two-unit properties, the…

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Biggest Lenders Require Higher FICO Scores for FHA Loans

The country’s two biggest mortgage lenders have raised their standards for Federal Housing Administration loans. Weeks after the FHA increased its minimum FICO score requirement for its low down payment loans to 580, Wells Fargo and Bank of America increased their minimum FICO score requirement for FHA loans from 620 to 640. These large lenders, including several others, increased their…

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Freddie Borrowers Refinancing Into Fixed Rate Mortgages

Nearly all Freddie Mac-backed mortgage borrowers who refinanced their loans in previous quarters have chosen to shift from adjustable-rate to fixed-rate mortgages or to remain users of fixed-rate loans. In the third quarter, more than 95 percent of borrowers of Freddie-backed loans who refinanced mortgages moved into fixed-rate. Borrowers have been seeing the leverages they can get if they refinance…

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Half of 155 Large Metro Areas Posted Home Price Increases

Despite the continued price reduction impact of distressed homes nationwide, the prices of pre-owned single-family homes in 77 of 155 major metropolitan areas surveyed by the National Association of Realtors increased in the third quarter this year. Compared to the third quarter last year, these 77 metro markets posted increases in the median prices of existing single-family homes, with 11…

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Checklist for Documents You Need When Applying for a Home Loan

Gathering and organizing your financial documents before applying for a home loan benefit you in many ways. As you gather your data, you’ll see things you probably haven’t considered before, such as moving to a better-performing mutual fund, or you’ll notice errors you need to correct, such as erroneous items on your statements of accounts. Seeing your financial papers and…

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What Happens at Mortgage Closing?

Closing on your home is the last step you’ll undergo before you finally receive the keys to your new home. If you prepare well, closing day would be among the most exciting days in your life and that of your family, full of gladness and expectation. At closing, there are at least five things you will do: 1. Review and…

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Tax Deductions That You Can Claim After Buying a Home

There are at least four ways by which you can claim federal income tax deductions arising from your home ownership. You can deduct your mortgage interest, property tax, private mortgage insurance and a portion of your closing costs from your taxable income. Mortgage Interest You may be able to deduct all or part of the interest you’re paying on your…

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Discount Points — How Do They Help You as Homebuyer?

Discount points in mortgage are used to reduce interest rate. You purchase these points directly from your lender and you pay them at closing. Many lenders don’t incorporate points when they advertise their interest rates, but there are lenders that quote lower rates together with points. A home loan priced at 5 percent is not always costlier than a loan…

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Over 19 Million VA Home Loans Provided to Servicemembers

Since the start of the Home Loan Program of the U.S. Veterans Affairs Department in 1944, more than 19 million military personnel and veterans have acquired their homes under the program. Over the four year period from 2007 to 2010, the number of servicemen and servicewomen who purchased homes through the VA program surged sharply by 63 percent. Last year,…

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Choosing from Four Types of Reverse Mortgage Loan Programs

You not only need to think twice about taking out a reverse mortgage loan; you also need to think hard about which  type of reverse mortgage and which method of disbursement option to choose. The nation’s largest lenders are offering at least four types of reverse mortgage loans: Variable-Rate Reverse Mortgage Loan With this type, you can choose an interest…

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