Recent News

Going Off The Beaten Path To Find Low Mortgage Rates On “Jumbo” Mortgages

How do you avoid paying jumbo mortgage rates on a jumbo-sized mortgage? You go off the beaten path to find a lender, that's how. It's pretty simple when we break it down. The word

You Have 3 Hours, 11 Minutes To Shop For Your Mortgage Rate, Or Else You’ll Have To Start The Process Over Again

October 2008 was among the most volatile months in Wall Street's history and mortgage markets got hit by the chaos badly. As investors moved cash in-and-out of stocks, bonds, and treasuries to keep ahead of financial turmoil, home buyers in Cincinnati, Chicago and elsewhere saw their mortgage rate quotes expire...

Where To Find Mortgage Rates Clues Amid A Global Stock Selloff

I've been getting a disproportionate amount of

How The Rising Cost Of Private Mortgage Insurance Is Offsetting Falling Mortgage Rates

Another day, another piece of evidence that

Starting December 13, 2008, Many Mortgage Approvals Will Require Larger Downpayments And More Home Equity

In a move that will stymie thousands of would-be home buyers and homeowners, Fannie Mae announced another round of mortgage guidelines changes last week. Unlike past revisions in which Fannie Mae tightened debt ratio and credit scoring requirements, however, the newest underwriting updates zero in home equity and home buyer...

Mortgage Rates And 10-Year Treasury Rates Don’t Move In Lockstep

Mortgage bond markets are signaling a slight return to risk this morning. If you're watching the wrong market indicators, though, you probably didn't get the memo. Looking at the chart above, we see that as of 9:02 AM ET: Mortgage-backed securities are improved by 28 basis points 10-year U.S. treasury...

International Real Estate Investors Should Consider Buying U.S. Real Estate In 2008 Instead Of 2012

When foreign national buyers consider investing in U.S. real estate, they often focus on projects set to deliver 2-4 years out as opposed to projects that are ready to deliver today. Considering the path of the world's economy , this long-term investment strategy may be a bit short-sighted. For non-U.S....

Open Letter To Congress: Your Indecision Is Making Rates Rise On A Day When They Should Be Falling

Dear Congress, My clients are shopping for mortgages and your ongoing debates are causing problems. Mortgage rates are rising this week when all the data points to them falling. This is happening because the whole world is waiting for your vote. For example, the September jobs report showed extreme weakness...

Mortgage Rates Are Falling On The Combined Impact Of The Bailout Bill And The Washington Mutual And Wachovia Seizures

With mortgage rates moving faster than the Spread HD offense this morning, let's take a few minutes to recap what's going on, and what's causing rates to fall. First, the bailout. Late Sunday, Congress drafted the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008 bill and it goes to vote sometime today....

What To Do When Your Mortgage Lender Goes Out Of Business

Today's lesson from the Washington Mutual's seizure comes in the form of a haiku: Mortgage guys "retire" and never tell their clients, who then miss rate dips. Story goes like this, folks. Mortgage guys are leaving the business in droves. Some leave because their company failed, but many more leave...

Mortgage Rates Respond To A Rapidly-Devaluing U.S. Dollar

Monday, Wall Street made its verdict in the case of Government vs The Credit Markets, a knock-down, drag-out fight that may have ended last Friday. Government wins, but not without inflation. To an economist, inflation is the general increase in the price of everyday goods and services that occurs over...

How Mortgage Rates Are Responding To Lehman Brothers, Merrill Lynch, And AIG

After writing yesterday's blog post, my ThinkPad went blue. Cue the video above. It's a shame because the post went deep on Wall Street's recent troubles and how each piece of bad news actually helps everyday homeowners. When I went to publish, the post vanished. And by that point, markets...

Signs That The U.S. Foreclosure Rate May Be Cresting

RealtyTrac released its foreclosure data for August 2008, its headline reading in the usual Armageddon-like style: FORECLOSURE ACTIVITY INCREASES 12 PERCENT IN AUGUST Activity Up 27 Percent From August 2007 But, as is also typical, the news isn't nearly as dire as the headline would make us believe. Looking at...

Fannie Mae’s Last Act : New Loan Fees And Maximum Property Restrictions For Real Estate Investors

For owners of investment properties, the mortgage market is getting ugly. In its last act as a semi-private company, Fannie Mae updated its lending guidelines Friday, this time slapping new restrictions and additional fees on income-producing properties. The most impactful change is Fannie Mae's new, 4-property limitation. Based on the...

Explaining What The Government’s Takeover Of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac Means To Mortgage Rates (In 265 Words)

Sunday, the government announced that it will takeover Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and assume their respective operations. Mortgage-backed debt is now government debt. But for all the front page stories today, there's suprisingly little coverage about how the news impacts homeowners in need of a mortgage. Mortgage rates are...

Interview With First Business : New Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac Loan Fees

I spoke with Beejal Patel of First Business last week on Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac's new mandatory loan fees. The story is especially timely because mortgage servicing data showed that a greater number of "prime" mortgages defaulted in July 2008 than sub-prime ones. Now, the data is somewhat misleading...

Why Economic Weakness In Europe Is Causing Mortgage Rates To Fall

In the United States, tales of economic gloom in Europe barely register in our business newspapers let alone our local ones. But, for Americans in need of a mortgage, what happens economically across the Atlantic Ocean can have a big impact on mortgage rates here in the United States. It...

What Is A “Conforming Mortgage”?

Lately, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have been in the news every day as economists and lawmakers question the future of conforming mortgages. But among everyday Americans, a more common question is: "What is a conforming mortgage?" A conforming mortgage is one that adheres to the mortgage guidelines set forth...

What The Surprising Strength Of The U.S. Dollar Is Doing To Mortgage Rates

Before getting marked-up, mortgage rates are based on the price of mortgage bonds, a complex debt security that can be dramatically simplified in three bullet points: An investor buys for the bond for, say, $10,000 He collects regular interest payments on his $10,000 When the bond "matures", he gets his...

How Foreign National Real Estate Investors Can Leverage The U.S. Dollar For Better Returns

The U.S. dollar is gaining value rapidly, changing the financials for foreigners buying U.S. property. The rising Greenback makes a case for Irish, British and Canadian foreign nationals to make as large a downpayment as possible on their next investment unit. It's a mortgage strategy reversal for the international real...