United Wholesale Mortgage (UWM), a major lending company, is now offering free appraisals for some borrowers.
The perk is part of an oh-so-tempting 1-0 temporary rate buydown package, available to local mortgage consultants itching to help buyers break through the current housing standstill.
“So,” you ask… “What is a 1-0 buydown mortgage?” Successful loan applicants can hack 1% off whatever interest rate they locked in. They keep that discount for the first year of the loan. So, whatever the current rate is, cut that by 1%. If the rate is 8%, the borrower only pays 7%. After that first year, the regular rate kicks in.
UWM is putting some icing on the cake. It’s promising to pick up the tab for up to $600 in appraisal fees. Conventional and government-backed home loans can qualify. And the whole deal is good through March 31, 2024.
Continue reading “Mortgage Companies Are Antsy for People to Buy Again. Look Who’s Covering Appraisal Costs.”
Unless they’re lucky enough to assume someone else’s mortgage, current buyers are paying interest rates near 8%.
The media will report on this in all kinds of ways, because people want information and they want workarounds. But sometimes, in this click-driven media world, what’s packaged as news is really a distraction.
Let’s take a look at one of the latest things reporters have jumped on. It’s a TikTok account that posted a “hack” by which home buyers could cut their high mortgage rates for items they’ve wanted — like new cars or vacations.
Don’t believe it.
Continue reading “Does the TikTok Mortgage Hack Work?”
In February, Zillow said home prices had bottomed out. Was the market about to rally again?
Zillow predicted that U.S. home prices would climb at the healthy pace of 6.5%, from August 2023 to August 2024. Of course, home prices usually do go up over time.
Now, Zillow economists have slashed their predictions. Their new call? Expect U.S. property prices to be up only about 5% by the time we get to August 2024.
Meanwhile, Wells Fargo thinks most of the valuation gains homeowners made in 2023 will melt back down. And then we’ll go into 2024 with prices down almost 3% from the market’s 2022 peak.
Why so gloomy? It’s about the mortgage rates.
Continue reading ““Mortgage Companies Are Desperate”: What’s Next for Homes and Mortgages in 2024?”
The massive building company Lennar has been giving out 30-year mortgages fixed at a 4.25% rate in Denver.
Too good to be true?
No, it’s a real offer, from a company doing what it must to attract customers when it’s so hard to afford a home. Colorado buyers have to close by Halloween 2023 to get the deal. But it’s a sign of the times. Here’s why it’s happening, and how buyers can keep alert for more offers like this.
Continue reading “Another Shot at a Cheap Mortgage? Builder Offers 4.25% Rate in Some Cities”
Interest on a 30-year mortgage has topped 7%, bringing rates up to levels not seen since 2002. And with the prices of homes as high as they are right now, it’s harder to buy a home today than at any time in the past 40 years.
Prices will stay high because of demand for homes — that owners aren’t selling. Owners don’t want to jump back into today’s market. No surprise there!
Meanwhile, those overwhelmed by rising rents find it hard to save enough for down payments. To draw potential buyers into a market like this, mortgage companies are creating incentives. Zillow Home Loans LLC, Rocket Mortgage®, and United Wholesale Mortgage are all advertising new, 1% down payment mortgages.
Continue reading “Arizona and Florida Buyers: Now There’s a 1% Down Payment Option”
Once you get a deed to your own home, you have special wealth-building powers. Pay off the mortgage faithfully month by month, and you own increasing home equity. This is how your home turns into value you can tap when you need or want it.
A home equity line of credit (HELOC) gives you an account to tap for ongoing or surprise expenses —costs like tuition, medical or accessibility needs, starting a new business, or anything else you’d like to pay for without putting debt on a credit card. You use your home equity as collateral. This means banks offer interest rates as low as 9%. That’s a lot lower than credit card rates.
While HELOC rates might start off seemingly low, they can turn into trouble.
Continue reading “The Big Tease: Look Out for Rising Interest on a Home Equity Line of Credit”
Got a government-backed mortgage with an assumable loan? If you decide to sell, a buyer might jump at the chance to get, say, a 3% interest rate instead of something between 6% and 7%.
An assumable loan lets the mortgage stay on the home, even though you transfer the home’s deed to a new owner. So, you can transfer your existing mortgage along with your home’s title. Lucky buyer!
If you’re selling a home, you might point to a possible mortgage assumption among the features you advertise in your listing. And if you’re looking to buy, it could be worth the effort to seek out a home with an assumable loan in 2023 and beyond.
Continue reading ““Assume” Makes a Great Deal for You and Me, Right? What to Know About Your Assumable Mortgage”
Conventional mortgage backers Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have solidified updated policies for loans to condo buyers. There are a few new requirements now going into effect, to be part of these loan-backing giants’ permanent rules.
They’d only been temporary provisions until now.
Here’s a Q&A to answer some basic questions on the new rules.
Continue reading “Fall of Florida’s Champlain Towers South Prompts Changes in Condo Loan Rules”
Those were the days? Before the New Deal in the 1930s, a well-paid working person had to put somewhere around 40% down to buy a home. It would be up to a building and loan association (B&L) to say yes to the loan.
The borrower made large loan payments twice a year. The lender would expect repayment in just ten or twelve years. If that was not possible, the borrowers would need to refinance with the B&L.
During that time, a borrower would shoulder significant risk. If a B&L failed, so did its borrowers.
Things have changed. How did the mortgage evolve into what we have today?
Continue reading “Our Mortgage Loans: How They Became What They Are Today”
In 2020, a federal law called the CARES Act offered support for homeowners and renters coping with the impacts of a pandemic. Millions of homeowners requested and received mortgage forbearance.
Most recently, in March 2023, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac renewed and enhanced their plans that let hard-hit homeowners defer up to six months of mortgage payments until their final payoff time.
Government-backed mortgage holders received similar support this year.
Continue reading “Mortgage Forbearance, Continued: Is Pandemic Assistance Still Available?”