Recent News

Spring 2010 FHA Changes : Higher Fees, Bigger Downpayments, And More Mortgage Insurance

Life as an FHA borrower is getting tougher. In an effort to shore up its flailing balance sheet and dwindling capital reserves, the Federal Housing Authority is rolling out sweeping financial changes. FHA borrowers have to look better on paper and be better credit risks. Mortgage insurance premiums are rising, too.

The Lowest Mortgage Rates of 2010 Will Be Locked In March And April

Mortgage rates tend to climb with the mercury. It's been the case in each of the last 3 years. As spring months turn into summer, the average 30-year fixed mortgage rate rises. This year should be no different.

A Real Estate And Mortgage Technology Conference You’ll Want To Attend

A fair number of my readers are mortgage- and/or real estate-related businesses. Consider this a public service announcement. REtechSouth is March 25-26, 2010 in Atlanta -- 4 weeks away. This is a show you should make time for.

Mortgage Markets Pass The Tipping Point; Mortgage Rates Up For Good?

Thursday, shortly after the markets closed, the Federal Reserve announced a 25 basis point increase to the Discount Rate. The Discount Rate is now 0.750%. Mortgage markets are selling off on the news. The Era of Low Mortgage Rates may be officially over.

You Can’t Get Your Mortgage News From A Newspaper. And Here’s The Proof.

There's a reason why everyone from first-time home buyers to bona fide investors hate the mortgage process -- the media tells them one thing about mortgage rates, and in-the-game loan officers tell them something else.

The Crystal Ball : Housing Market, Mortgage Rates, FHA Guidelines, And Investor Overlays

I gave a television interview with Beejal Patel of First Business this week and we covered a lot of ground topics like housing, mortgage rates, and the FHA.

FHA Mortgage Insurance Premiums : Don’t Confuse The FHA’s Wish List For Your Own Reality

This is a snippet from page 348 of the Special Topics sub-section in the 2011 Congressional Budget. It recaps the new FHA mortgage insurance guidelines for case numbers assigned after April 5, 2010. It also shows the FHA's request to have authority over its mortgage insurance premiums from Congress. According to the highlighted text, the FHA wants make two changes, pending congressional approval.

The Bankrate Mortgage Rate Trend Index Was Less than 25% Accurate In 2009

If you want to know where mortgage rates are headed in the future, you may be better off ignoring the experts. I conducted a 50-week study of the popular Bankrate.com Mortgage Rate Trend Index and it showed that the "expert consensus" on mortgage rates is wrong 3 times more often than it's right. That's not good.

The Future Of Mortgage Rates, Jumbo Mortgages And Portfolio Lending

Tuesday, I asked my Twitter friends what mortgage questions they'd like to have answered. I picked 3 replies and pushed it to video.

Foreclosure Distribution In The United States (2005-2009)

Clearly, some states are more foreclosure-heavy than others. And always have been.

Bring The Blog Video Tour | Mortgage And Real Estate Blog Content For Busy Professionals

Author's Note: This is the second in a week-long series of Bring the Blog promotional posts. Watch the Bring the Blog video tour and consider taking our 15-day, guaranteed-to-love-it trial. Bring the Blog makes blogging easier -- make it a part of your social marketing strategy for 2010.

9 Things To Watch While Waiting For Mortgage Rates To Dip A Bit More

Aside from mortgage rates, there's other factors that account for your final mortgage approval and none of them are within your control. Rates may fall back to 4.500 percent at some point in the future, but when they do, you might not be able to take advantage. Here's 9 things that can go wrong.

Moving In The Next 5 Years? Rethink Your Current Mortgage And Save 40% Per Month.

Planning to move in the next few years? Get smart about it. Swap out the high-rate, 30-year fixed you're carrying and convert it to something more appropriate. Refinancing to today's rate might save you 40 percent on your monthly payments.

The Jobs Report : Good For The Economy, Awful For Mortgage Rates

According to the government, the U.S. economy shed just 11,000 jobs in November, a 100,000 job improvement from October and the lowest tally since June 2007. Furthermore, the national Unemployment Rate dropped to 10.0 percent.

The data is building economic optimism on Wall Street, forcing a retracement of the flight-to-quality bets made since October. These safe-haven bond buys dropped rates to their lowest levels of all-time last week. This week, not so much.

There's a massive MBS sell-off in process. Rates unwound 3 weeks of improvement in the first 3 minutes of trading.

Using Consumer Confidence To Guess Where Mortgage Rates Are Going

Many analysts believe that confidence correlates to spending. Looking at the trendline chart, they've got good reason -- there relationship between sales and confidence appears to be direct. But there's some analysis worth doing, too.

Trends In Mortgage Rates : What The Fall Season Brings To Rate Shoppers

Like in 2006, 2007 and 2008, Autumn 2009 is marked by falling leaves and falling mortgage rates.

The trend looks more like a pattern.

Based on Freddie Mac data of the last 4 years, 30-year fixed mortgage rates rise from January through August, and fall through fall. There's 6 weeks left until January. The clock may be ticking for today's home buyers and rate shoppers.

Summarizing The New, Stricter FHA Streamline Refinance Program (Changes Effective November 17, 2009)

Want to refinance on the FHA Streamline Refi program? Better get a move on. Beginning in just 5 days -- November 17, 2009 -- the FHA changes over to new guidelines for its popular FHA-to-FHA refinance program. Getting approved for a Streamline Refi will be more difficult and more expensive.

FHA Mortgage Rates Are Lower Than Conventional Mortgage Rates

FHA mortgage rates are lower than conventional mortgage rates right now.

Talking Mortgage Rates To 6 Percent, FHA Streamlines, And The First-Time Home Buyer Tax Credit Extension

Earlier, I asked my Twitter followers what mortgage questions they'd like to have answered. I picked 3 of their replies and pushed it to video. The video is a quick 2 minutes.

Comparing FHA And Conventional Mortgages With Less Than 20% Downpayment

With foreclosures proliferating, PMI defaults are up 26 percent over last year and double the levels from 2007. Private mortgage insurers are paying out on many more claims than was expected and, as a result, are booking huge losses. Homeowners are about to pay the price. To shore up balance sheets and protect against future losses, mortgage insurers have raised insurance rates and toughened underwriting guidelines.