Monday, June 10, 2019 / by Amy McLeod
Freddie Mac recently released a report entitled, “Perceptions of Down Payment Consumer Research.” Their research revealed that,
“For many prospective homebuyers, saving for a down payment is the largest barrier to achieving the goal of homeownership. Part of the challenge for those planning to purchase a home is their perception of how much they will need to save for the down payment…
…Based on our recent survey of individuals planning to purchase a home in the next three years, nearly a third think they need to put more than 20% down.”
Myth #1: “I Need a 20% Down Payment”
Buyers often overestimate the funds needed to qualify for a home loan. According to the same report:
22% of renters and 31% of homeowners believe lenders require 20% or more of a home’s sale price as a down payment for a typical mortgage today. And,
“If a 20% down payment was required, 70% o ...
Monday, June 3, 2019 / by Amy McLeod
Buying a home is a complicated process that involves sharing sensitive information with multiple people. And the latest major data leak highlights the risk consumers take on when they share that information.
Roughly 885 million mortgage-related files stretching back over a decade were exposed by First American Financial Corp., one of the country’s largest title insurance companies, thanks to a flaw in the design of a website that stored the files.
The files, which could accessed if someone had the proper URL, contained a wide array of personal information for parties to thousands of real-estate transactions, including bank-account numbers and statements, mortgage and tax records, Social Security Numbers, wire-transaction receipts, and driver’s license images.
The data leak was first reported by the watchdog website KrebsonSecurity.com.
First American confirmed that the information was leaked and said it rectified the situation once it was notified of it ...
Monday, May 13, 2019 / by Amy McLeod
Applying for a mortgage these days can be accomplished entirely online—no need to schlep to a bank and suffer hand cramps filling out paperwork.
Instead, you can punch some basic info into an online mortgage site, and up pops a bunch of loan choices. An industry renowned for being slow and cumbersome is now wooing customers with the promise of ease, speed, and transparency. Rocket Mortgage, Quicken Loan's online platform, for example, promises qualified customers approval in as little as eight minutes.
But taking out a six-figure loan is one of the most complicated and substantial financial transactions most people will ever make. Does it really make sense to handle it by pushing a few buttons on your smartphone?
Maybe for those with a typical 9-to-5 job and good credit.
"If you are a salaried employee with no overtime, no bonus—no funky income, if you will—just a plain-vanilla borrowe ...
Wednesday, May 1, 2019 / by Amy McLeod
Two positive trends have started to emerge that impact the 2019 Spring Housing Market. Mortgage interest rates for a 30-year fixed rate loan have dropped to new lows, right as reports show that wages have increased at their highest rate in decades!
These two factors have helped keep housing affordable despite low supply of houses for sale driving up prices. First American’s Chief Economist, Mark Fleming, explains the impact,
“Ongoing supply shortages remain the main driver of the performance gap as the housing market continues to face an inventory impasse – you can’t buy what’s not for sale.
However, an unexpected affordability surge, driven primarily by lower-than-anticipated mortgage rates, rising wages and favorable demographics, has boosted housing demand.”
Mortgage interest rates had been on the rise for most of 2018 before reaching their peak in November at 4.94%. According to Freddie Mac ...
Monday, April 29, 2019 / by Amy McLeod
Conventional wisdom dictates that one of the more successful tactics out there to convince a home seller to accept your offer is get personal: Include some sweet and heartfelt information to them in a note, expressing why you're just dying to buy the house.
“A personal letter from a buyer can make an offer shine,” says Nancy Newquist-Nolan, a real estate agent with Berkshire Hathaway in Santa Barbara, CA.
However, attaching a so-called “love letter” to your offer also gives you the opportunity to stick your foot in your mouth, warns Bryan Zuetel, a real estate attorney and managing broker of Esquire Real Estate in Irvine, CA. Say the wrong thing, and it could turn off or even offend the seller so much that they don't even want your money.
Trust me: I’ve been a real estate agent for the past six years, and I’ve read dozens of offer letters . ...