Finance - Real Estate, Updates, News & Tips

Lawmakers Need REALTORS® on Tax Reform

The chairman of the tax-writing House Ways & Means Committee joined REALTORS® at NAR’s 2017 Federal Policy Conference in Washington yesterday and urged them to stay engaged over the next year while lawmakers in Congress look at a full-scale reform of the country’s tax code.This year, tax reform is expected to be high on the list of priorities Congress and the new Administration are expected to take up. Reform of the seco

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Expect More Gripes About Home Affordability

Housing affordability dropped to the lowest level in seven years at the end of 2016. It now takes 22.2 percent of a person’s median income to make the monthly principal and interest payment on a median-priced home, according to new findings from Black Knight Financial Services. That amounts to a 10 percent increase in the fourth quarter alone.Economists blame rising mortgage rates, price increases, and sluggish income growth for the growing hou

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Loan Demand Buoyed by Slight Drop in Rates

A slight decrease in mortgage rates last week gave home buyers a slight jolt to get moving. Total mortgage application volume, which includes refinancings and home purchases, increased 2.3 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis last week, the Mortgage Bankers Association reported Wednesday. That said, applications continue to run 23 percent below year-ago levels, mostly due to a big drop in refinancing applications.Last week, mortgage application

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The Best Places to Score a Mortgage

Sumter, Fla., is the best place in the country for a borrower to get a mortgage, according to a new study by SmartAsset.SmartAsset’s study considered four factors to pinpoint the best places in the country to get a mortgage: overall borrowing costs, ease of securing a mortgage, affordable property taxes, and affordable annual mortgage payments.Borrowing costs were analyzed by factoring in expected costs over the first five years of a $200,000 m

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44% of Markets Zoom to Record Price Highs

Among 201 metro areas with populations of at least 200,000, 89 of those metros – or 44 percent – reached new all-time home price peaks in 2016, according to new data released by ATTOM Data Solutions.Notably, markets reaching new price highs included: Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas: $230,571 Houston, Texas: $214,795 Atlanta, Ga.: $181,000 Boston, Mass.: $390,000 San Francisco: $720,000Several Ohio markets – Dayton, Columbus, and Cincinnati – als

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President Trump Seeks to Dismantle Dodd-Frank

President Donald Trump reportedly will sign an executive action Friday to scale back the regulatory system that was put in place in 2010 in response to the financial crisis. The Trump administration has set out to remove what it views as regulatory burdens by overhauling mortgage financing giants Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae and easing lending regulations."Americans are going to have better choices and Americans are going to have better products b

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Sellers See Biggest Profits Since 2007

Homeowners who sold in 2016 saw an average home price gain since purchase of $38,206 – or a 21 percent, on average, increase since purchase, ATTOM Data Solutions repots in its Year-End 2016 U.S. Home Sales Report. That's up from an average 13 percent gain in 2015, and it is the highest increase since 2007.The largest metro areas to see the highest average percent gain since purchase for home sellers in 2016 were: San Francisco, Calif.: 69% gain

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Mortgage Rates Take a Breather This Week

Mortgage rates barely budged this week compared to the previous week, as the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage held its 4.19 percent average, Freddie Mac reports."The 10-year Treasury yield fell 5 basis points this week following a tepid advance estimate of fourth-quarter GDP and the Fed's decision to leave rates unchanged,” says Sean Becketti, Freddie Mac’s chief economist. “The 30-year mortgage rate remained flat at 4.19 percent, starting the m

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Saving for a Down Payment? This is How Long It Will Take

Depending on where you live, saving for a down payment can take several years of financial planning. For example, in some markets, it may take the average person nearly a decade to save enough to buy a home. In California, that especially rings true.California is home to four of the five cities on a recent list by SmartAsset of the places where it takes the longest to save for a down payment: San Francisco, Los Angeles, San Jose, and San Diego.Sm

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Buy a Home With No Monthly Payments?

Reverse mortgages for purchases have been around a while but they stand to see more use as younger baby boomers hit retirement age. The mortgages are backed by FHA and they let households buy a home without having to make monthly mortgage payments. Instead, buyers put up a fairly sizable down payment and finance the rest with the reverse mortgage. The monthly payments then come out of the reverse mortgage each month, freeing up money for househol

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