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Friday, April 20 2012

The 15-year fixed-rate mortgage, often the top choice of home refinancers, reached a new all-time record low of 3.11 percent this week, Freddie Mac reports in this week’s mortgage market survey. The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage also sank lower this week, hovering near it’s all-time low.

"Fixed mortgage rates eased for the third consecutive week following long-term Treasury bond yields lower after a weaker than expected employment report for March,” Freddie Mac’s Chief Economist Frank Nothaft says.

Here’s how rates fared for the week ending April 12:

  • 30-year fixed-rate mortgages: averaged 3.88 percent, with an average 0.7 point, down slightly from last week’s 3.98 percent average. A year ago at this time, 30-year rates averaged 4.91 percent.
  • 15-year fixed-rate mortgages: averaged a new record low of 3.11 percent, with an average 0.7 point, dropping from last week’s 3.21 percent average. The 15-year mortgage rate’s previous record low was 3.13 percent, which was set on March 8 of this year. Last year at this time, 15-year rates averaged 4.13 percent.
  • 5-year adjustable-rate mortgages: averaged 2.85 percent this week, with an average 0.7 point, also falling from last week, in which it averaged 2.86 percent. Last year at this time, 5-year ARMs averaged 3.78 percent.
  • 1-year ARMs: averaged 2.80 percent this week, with an average 0.6 point, rising from last week’s 2.78 percent average. A year ago, 1-year ARMs averaged 3.25 percent.

Source: Freddie Mac

Posted by: Rolando Trentini AT 08:00 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Thursday, August 04 2011


When you sign papers to buy a new home, your thoughts might immediately drift to what you’d like to buy to turn it into your perfect place. New appliances, new furniture, it all adds up. Before you pull out the credit cards you may want to consider the advice of Tuval Mor, a broker with Keller Williams in New York City, New York who cautions new home buyers about spending during the ‘quiet period:’

Ah, the thrill of purchasing your dream home can inspire you to go out shopping for the perfect living room set with matching drapes, before the closing. If you planned on doing that with credit, best to wait till after the closing. Due to high foreclosure rates throughout the nation, Fannie Mae has instituted a new Loan Quality Initiative which requires that any lender determine that “borrower liabilities incurred up to, and concurrent with, closing are disclosed and evaluated in qualifying the borrower for the loan.”

This period between the approval and the closing is usually called “the quiet period.” Lenders can vary in how they enforce this new initiative that just came into effect, but in many cases what this means is a second credit report pull right before closing. Did you buy a new professional cookware set for your new kitchen on a new Sears’s card that the cashier talked you into for the 10% discount? Well if you use the entire $1000 limit on your purchase, this seemingly innocuous purchase could throw your debt-to-income ratio off.

Fannie Mae and others have done studies and found consumer behavior patterns correlating with mortgage losses and as a result have incorporated sophisticated new credit surveillance systems into the mortgage industry. It is important for home buyers, and also those looking to refinance their mortgage, to be aware that unlike the boom years, today every action that pertains to their credit will be considered until the closing, and that credit splurges during the quiet period are a clear no-no in today’s mortgage environment.

The good news is that if you put those credit cards on ice until your new home is really yours, you should have a smooth closing. And with all the thousands of dollars you’ll be saving with these historically low interest rates (around 4%), you can afford to splurge on the perfect furnishings and accessories… just wait a little bit, until after the mortgage is closed!

Read more: Hold Off On Big Purchases For Your New Home During The 'Quiet Period' |® Blogs
Posted by: Rolando Trentini AT 08:00 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Tuesday, March 29 2011

Home buyers and -sellers alike often bristle with anticipatory irritation at the mere thought of all the paperwork they expect they’ll have to come up with to do their transaction, above and beyond the basic loan application, contract, disclosures and closing docs. And these worries start way in advance; it’s as though, before they even start visiting open houses, buyers begin to visualize - and dread - spending hours upon hours in the dank catacombs of the Vatican (à la Da Vinci Code) combing through ancient files, seeking some rare and precious artifact documenting their childhood dental history or genealogy.

In some respects, this vision of the experience of obtaining a home loan might not be far off - there are oodles of hoops through which to jump and, occasionally, the loan underwriter requests something sort of bizarre. But more commonly, there’s a pretty finite universe of documents you’ll really need to scrounge up to get your home bought - or sold. Here they are:

  1. ID (e.g., driver’s license, state-issued ID, passport).  Who must produce it?  Buyers and sellers.  Why?  Uh, hello!?!  Lender wants to know that you are who you say you are, buyers, and the title insurance company wants to make sure, sellers, that you actually have the right to sell the home.  Funny enough, this commonly goes unrequested until you get to the closing table, when the notary requests to see it before signing, but some mortgage brokers and even some real estate brokers and agents may ask to see it earlier on.
  2. Paycheck Stubs.  Who must produce it?  Any buyer financing their purchase with a mortgage.  Sellers, usually only in the case of a short sale.  Why? Buyers’ purchase price ranges are determined, in part, by their income. And short sellers have to prove an economic hardship.
  3. Two months’ bank account statements. Who must produce it?  Buyers getting financing; sellers selling short. Why? Buyers’ lenders now require proof of regular income and proof that the down payment money is your own.  Short sellers?  It’s all about the hardship.
  4. Two years’ W-2 forms or tax returns. Who must produce it?  Mortgage-seeking buyers and short selling sellers. Why? Banks want to see a stable, long-term income. They also limit you to claiming as income the amount on which you pay taxes (attn: all business owners!). And in short sales, again, they want documentation of every single facet of your finances.
  5. Updated everything. Who must produce it? Buyer/mortgage applicants. Why? Because things change, and because the time period between the first loan application and closing can be many months - even years! - on today’s market. During the time between contract and closing it’s not at all unusual for underwriters to demand buyers produce updated mortgage statements, checks stubs, and such - and its quite common for them to call your office the day before closing to request a last minute verification of employment!
  6. Quitclaim deed. Who must produce it?  Married buyers purchasing homes they plan to own as separate property.  Married sellers selling homes that they own separately, or joint owners selling their interests separately.  Why? With the Quitclaim Deed, the other spouse or owner signs any and all interests they even might have had in the property over the the selling owner, making it possible for the title insurer to guarantee clear, undisputed title is being transferred in the sale.
  7. Divorce decree.  Who must produce it? Buyers and sellers who need to document their solo status or the property-splitting terms of their divorce. Why? Again, to ensure that the seller has the right to sell.  Recently single buyers might need to prove that they shouldn’t be held to account for their ex’s separate debts or credit report dings.
  8. Gift letters.  Who must produce it? Buyers using gift money toward their down payment.  Why? The bank wants to be sure the gift came from a relative, and is their own money to give.  They also want the relative to confirm in writing that it’s a gift, not a loan - a loan would need to be factored into your debt load.
  9. Compliance certificates. Who must produce it? Usually sellers, but sometimes buyers, by contract. Why? Some local governments require various condition requirements be met before the property is transferred, like some cities which require a sewer line be video scoped and repaired, cities which require a checklist of items be met before a certificate of occupancy be issued (usually relevant to brand new and really old homes, the latter of which are often subject to lead paint concerns) and energy conservation ordinances which require low-flow toilets and shower heads to be installed. Ask your real estate pro for advice about which, if any, such ordinances apply in your area.
  10. Mortgage statements. Who must produce it?  Any seller with a mortgage. Why? the escrow holder or title company will need to use them to order payoff demands from any mortgage holder who has to get paid before the property’s title can be transferred.
Posted by: Rolando Trentini AT 08:00 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Saturday, April 17 2010

If you are shopping for home equity interest rates, there are a few things for you to consider. One of the most important decisions that you will have to make is whether to go with a fixed or variable rate. Here are a few things to think about when it comes to choosing between fixed or variable rates.

Fixed Interest Rates

One option that you will find when shopping for home equity loans is the fixed interest rate. With this type of rate, you will be able to lock in a particular payment over the life of the home equity loan. With this method, you will be locking in an interest rate based upon the prevailing rate in the market at the time that you close the loan.

Variable Interest Rates

Another type of loan that you will commonly find in the market is the variable interest rate home equity loan. With this type of loan, the interest rate will fluctuate based upon a market index such as the prime rate. When this happens, your monthly payment will fluctuate up and down with the interest rate as well.

Forecasting Rates

One of the most important things for you to consider when choosing between these two types of loans is what you think interest rates will do in the future. If you believe that interest rates are as low as they are going to get for many years, you would most likely be better off to get a fixed interest rate and lock it in. This way, if the interest rates in the market increase significantly in the coming years, you will not be negatively affected. However, if you expect interest rates to go down in the near future, you might be better off signing up for a variable interest rate.


Many people wish to avoid any uncertainty in their home equity loan. In this case, you would be better off to utilize a fixed rate of interest. With a fixed interest rate, you will not have to worry about your payment changing from one month to the next. You will be able to plan exactly how much your mortgage payment will be over the long term. In some cases, those that sign up for variable interest rate loans find that their monthly payment will go up significantly when interest increases. In fact, many people have noticed that their payments have doubled in only a few years. Many people would not be able to afford doubling their current home equity loan payment. Therefore, if you do not feel like taking any risks, it would be to your advantage to go ahead and get a fixed home equity loan.

Saving Money Initially

Other people prefer to save money on the front end of a transaction. If interest rates for variable loans are currently lower, it could be enticing to go with that type of loan. This can allow you to save money on the front end and worry about changing interest rates later.

Posted by: Rolando Trentini AT 03:10 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
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