These widely available programs can help you afford to buy a home.
Buying your first home is an exciting process, but it can also be a nerve-racking experience. You invest a lot of time and energy seeking the right home in the right neighborhood. Then the real challenge begins: financing it.
Getting a mortgage loan requires you to have enough money in the bank to pay all of the costs associated with closing the loan, plus enough left over to convince the lender that you can actually afford to pay a monthly mortgage payment.
Brass is back, as are a few design trends we've seen this past year.
Home remodeling may have taken a backseat during the recession, but not anymore. According to a 2013 Hanley Wood survey, remodeling sales were up 10 percent compared to 2012, and 45 percent of remodelers surveyed expected another 10 percent growth in 2014.
Home remodeling is back in again, and with the desire to improve our homesteads comes a bunch of new and exciting trends we’ll start seeing next year.
Here's what would-be home buyers can expect when attempting to qualify for a mortgage this coming year.
Despite predictions to the contrary, mortgage rates have hovered at historic lows for three years now. After the Federal Reserve spooked the markets last summer over its intentions to stop propping up the mortgage and bond markets, the 30-year fixed rate spiked, to an average of 4.6 percent. But by late October it had fallen to 4.1 percent, according to Freddie Mac. (Editor's note: It is back up to 4.6 percent this week.)
Improvement in the economy will boost rates but probably not before mid-2014. Many forecast that 30-year fixed rates will be above 5 percent by then. Guy Cecala, publisher of Inside Mortgage Finance, however, says he thinks rates will bounce around 4 percent — give or take a quarter-point — for a while.
But home sales keep pace even as interest rates continue steady climb.
The average rate for a 30-year fixed mortgage was 4.46 percent this week, up from 4.29 percent, according to a statement on Thursday from Freddie Mac. The average 15-year rate rose to 3.47 percent from 3.3 percent, the McLean, Va.-based mortgage-finance company said.
For homes listed for less than $1 million, photo quality makes a difference.
With 92 percent of homebuyers using the Internet as part of their home search, listing photos are a critical factor in the selling price of your home, how quickly it sells and whether it sells at all.
Do you really want a prospective homebuyer to see your underwear on the floor?
Over the years, they learn a thing or two: why some houses sell while others linger on the market. Why some promising buyers never make it to the closing table. How to get a better deal on the mortgage. Even just how much the other agents stand to make on your home.
And the good news is, they want to share.
Whether you're a buyer, seller or both, here are six things real estate agents wish you already knew.
With bigger banks exiting the business, your next home loan may come from a small or regional bank.
As of the third quarter, smaller mortgage players held a 60 percent market share of the U.S. origination market, up from 39 percent in 2009, according to industry publication Inside Mortgage Finance.
In the third quarter alone, the smaller lenders, defined as those outside the top five, gained about six percentage points of market share, according to data compiled by Paul Miller, an analyst with FBR Capital Markets.
The trend is creating opportunities for small companies such as loanDepot.com LLC, regional banks such as M&T Bank Corp. and larger mortgage players such as Quicken Loans. The competition is benefiting consumers in some places, while helping find jobs for displaced workers. Some smaller lenders, looking to take advantage of the trend, have sold shares in initial public offerings.