Financing-home loans, Real Estate, The Market

Lock Your Mortgage Rate: New Loan Fees Expected Within Days

Article sent from a lender partner: Will and Nancy Jacobs with First Heritage Mortgage in Virginia

Starting soon, nearly all home buyers and refinancing households nationwide will pay higher mortgage loan fees. Congress has made it law.

13 months ago, as part of the Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization, and Job Creation Act of 2010, Congress enacted a one-year cut to FICA payroll taxes.

FICA stands for Federal Insurance Contributions Act. Taxes collected under FICA fund such programs as Social Security and Medicare.

The stimulus plan temporarily lowered tax rates for salaried workers from 6.2% to 4.2%; and for self-employed persons from 12.4% to 10.4%. Effective January 1, 2012, “regular” tax rates were to return.

That is, until late-December 2011. In one of its last moves of the year, Congress passed a temporary, two-month extension to the payroll tax cut, extending it through February 29, 2012. The expected cost to the U.S. Treasury is $33 billion.

To recoup those costs, Congress has turned to Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and the FHA.

Each entity has been ordered to collect news fees on each new mortgage is backs, and has been told to forward said fees to U.S. Treasury directly. There’s no “workaround” allowed or forgiveness applied — each new loan is subject to the payment.

The rules are listed on page 17 of the law’s final draft, in a section unambiguously titled “Title IV — Mortgage Fees and Premiums”.

According to the law :

*  Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac must collect an average fee of no less than 10 basis points (0.1%) per new loan

The FHA must raise its monthly mortgage insurance premiums 10 basis points for all new loans

The expected cost to consumers is no less than $10 monthly per $100,000 borrowed. Some analysts, however, expect Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to collect more than is minimally required. This could add an additional $30-50 to your monthly mortgage payment per $100,000 borrowed.

Therefore, if you’ve been shopping for a home or for mortgage rates , take advantage. Within days, lenders are expected to start collecting Payroll Tax Extension fees from mortgage applicants — a move that will cost you money.

Lock today to avoid the big fees. Save yourself money.

Financing-home loans, Investing, Real Estate, The Market

Looks like the FHA loan limits will go back to $729,750

Logo of the Federal Housing Administration.
Image via Wikipedia

Looks like the FHA loan limits will go back to $729,750, not Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac limits though at this point.  It isn’t a done deal yet…the president still needs to sign it into law but this is a good sign!  See article below.

NOVEMBER 18, 2011
Congress Increases the Ceiling on Size of Mortgages
By ALAN ZIBEL
WASHINGTON—U.S. lawmakers moved Thursday to increase the maximum size of loans that can be guaranteed by the Federal Housing Administration.
Congress passed a broad spending bill that included a provision to restore to $729,750 the maximum size of mortgage that can be backed by the FHA, giving some borrowers the option of putting less money down to obtain a mortgage in expensive cities.  FHA-backed loans currently account for a third of new mortgages for home purchases and can be made with down payments of as little as 3.5%, compared with the 20% industry standard.  The bill goes next to President Barack Obama to be signed into law.
The loan limits fell to $625,500 on Oct. 1 in expensive markets like New York, San Francisco and Washington. They declined in around 250 counties for loans guaranteed by mortgage-finance companies Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and in around 600 counties for FHA-backed loans. In some cases, the FHA loan limits fell below those of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.
The housing lobby pushed for Congress to reinstate loan limits for Fannie, Freddie and FHA, citing concerns that any steps to raise borrowing costs might be too much for fragile housing markets to bear. Limits for Fannie and Freddie loans were not restored.  Sen. Robert Menendez (D., N.J.) said that restoring the loan limits will benefit the housing market at a time when it is weak. Doing so, he said, “won’t cost taxpayers a dime” and will benefit the housing market in many other parts of the country besides those cities.
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Tim McLaughlin
Senior Vice President, Secondary Marketing

Weichert Financial Services
225 Littleton Road, Morris Plains, NJ 07950

Homes for Sale, Investing, Real Estate, The Market

Internet Home Valuations…fact or fiction?

Margin of error-visual
Image via Wikipedia

I can’t tell you how often I hear people talk about what they want to offer on a home or what they want to sell their home for based on a website like zillow.com’s home value tool.  Unfortunately, these sites are notorious for giving inaccurate information regarding home values and have actually been reprimanded over it. They now have to disclose their margin of error on their site.  There is of course no “exact science” to pricing and appraising a home; however those sites are not able to take into account market trends, differences in homes such as upgrades, the difference between foreclosures/short sales vs. regular sales (and if they constitute the “norm” in a particular area), specific locality factors, etc that only a human would be able to do.  It can’t pick and choose the correct comps like a human would be able to do, it just pulls everything in a specific mile radius that has the same bedrooms and bathrooms which is wildly inaccurate especially in areas like ours (Northern VA and DC) where home values often vary between neighborhoods and even between streets within a very small vicinity.  Only a person who is familiar with an area can actually evaluate the comps on a more granular level and help you determine a range for an appropriate offering or listing price.  People are not perfect either but are at least able to analyze the data with a more keen understanding of the local market area and the variables that affect a particular home’s value.

A client of mine actually recently sent me a this article and (believe it or not) it supports my point :).  I found it pretty interesting…view it HERE

Happy house hunting or selling!

area info, Homes for Sale, LOCAL INFORMATION/NEWS, open houses, Real Estate, Things to Do

Alexandria VA Open House–Sunday, 11/13/11, 1-4pm–4BR, 3BA–Must See!

8230 RIVERSIDE RD
Alexandria, VA 22308 

4 BR, 3 Full Bath single family home.  Beautifully renovated kitchen and updated baths.  Large level back yard with trek deck off the kitchen.  Separate dining room and breakfast area in kitchen.  Large lower level family room with in-law suite.  New windows and washer/dryer. 3 blocks to popular Stratford Landing school, close to Ft Belvoir, Mt. Vernon, Old Town and easy commute to DC.  A must see!  To view more photos and info, visit: http://www.kfoleyhomes.com.z57preview.com/DC_metro__Alexandria_VA_listings/9537E5FA-D813-0E0D-010F824DEE85D0F5.shtml

area info, LOCAL INFORMATION/NEWS

Weichert Realtors 33rd Annual Holiday Toy Drive!

wrapped gifts under tree
Image by jimmiehomeschoolmom via Flickr

In its ongoing tradition of brightening the holiday season for children in need, Weichert has kicked off its 33rd Annual Holiday Toy Drive.

From now through Dec. 9, each of the company’s sales offices will be accepting new, unwrapped toys for distribution to financially and/or physically disadvantaged children within their local communities. Weichert employees throughout the United States will also participate in the yearly community service event.

At the conclusion of the toy drive, local charities that aid needy or underprivileged children will deliver the toys during the holidays. To date, Weichert’s Annual Holiday Toy Drive has yielded hundreds of thousands of toys for underprivileged children in the communities Weichert serves.

If you are interested in donating, please feel free to contact me or drop off a NEW, UNWRAPPED TOY at the Weichert Old Town Office at: 121 N. Pitt Street, Alexandria, VA 22314.

Thanks and HAPPY HOLIDAYS!

area info, Dining, DIY, Financing-home loans, home for rent, Homes for Sale, New Listing, open houses, Real Estate, The Market, Things to Do

Washington DC Open House-Chevy Chase-Sunday, October 30, 2011, 1-4pm

2908 LEGATION ST NW, WASHINGTON, DC 20015

4 br, 2.5 bath Cape Cod in sought after Chevy Chase.  This home sits on a quiet residential street, boasts an open floor plan, spacious living room with fireplace, airy sunroom, renovated kitchen with breakfast bar, finished lower level perfect for an in-law suite, and private hot tub just outside the back door. Close to Metro, Garage Parking and long driveway!  Metro Bus stops & shops/restaurants of Connecticut. Ave.

Come visit!

Financing-home loans

GSE and FHA Loan Limit Changes for 2011: Scope of Impact

Special Studies, June 1, 2011 
By Robert Dietz, Ph.D., and Natalia Siniavskaia, Ph.D.
Economics and Housing Policy Group
National Association of Home Builders

October 1, 2011, some mortgage loan limits for the government-sponsored enterprises Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac (GSEs) and the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) will drop from their current temporary levels to reduced limits based on permanent criteria established by Congress in 2008.[1]

Read the rest of the article here: http://www.nahb.org/generic.aspx?genericContentID=159279