President Obama Holds News Conference, Unveils Housing Plan

 
WASHINGTON – March 6, 2012 – President Barack Obama is aiming mortgage relief at members of the military as well as homeowners with government-insured loans, the administration’s latest efforts to address a persistent housing crisis. In his first full news conference of the year Tuesday, Obama was to announce plans to let borrowers with mortgages insured by the Federal Housing Administration refinance at lower rates, saving the average homeowner more than $1,000 a year. Obama also was detailing an agreement with major lenders to compensate service members and veterans who were wrongfully foreclosed upon or denied lower interest rates.A senior administration official described Obama’s proposals to The Associated Press on the condition of anonymity to discuss them ahead of the announcement.The efforts Obama is announcing do not require congressional approval and are limited in comparison with the vast expansion of government assistance to homeowners that he asked Congress to approve last month. That $5 billion to $10 billion plan would make it easier for more borrowers with burdensome mortgages to refinance their loans.

Obama is holding the news conference in the midst of a modestly improving economy. But international challenges as well as a stubbornly depressed housing market remain threats to the current recovery and to his presidency.

Obama has not held a full news conference since November.

Under the housing plans Obama was to announce Tuesday, FHA-insured borrowers would be able to refinance their loans at half the fee that the FHA currently charges. FHA borrowers who want to refinance now must pay a fee of 1.15 percent of their balance every year. Officials say those fees make refinancing unappealing to many borrowers. The new plan will reduce that charge to 0.55 percent.

With mortgage rates at about 4 percent, the administration estimates a typical FHA borrower with $175,000 still owed on a home could reduce monthly payments to $915 a month and save $100 a month more than the borrower would have under current FHA fees.

Though 2 million to 3 million borrowers would be eligible, the administration official would not speculate how many would actually seek to benefit from the program. The FHA provides mortgage insurance on loans made by FHA-approved lenders throughout the United States and its territories. The loans typically go to homeowners who do not have enough equity to qualify for standard mortgages. It is the largest insurer of mortgages in the world.

For service members and veterans, Obama will announce that major lenders will review foreclosures to determine whether they were done properly. If wrongly foreclosed upon, service members and veterans would be paid their lost equity and also be entitled to an additional $116,785 in compensation. That was a figure reached through an agreement with major lenders by the federal government and 49 state attorneys general.

Under the agreement, the lenders also would compensate service members who lost value in their homes when they were forced to sell them due to a military reassignment.
AP Logo Copyright © 2012 The Associated Press, Jim Kuhnhenn. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Related Topics: Foreclosures
 
Real estate is a serious business, call a PRO!
 

Kate Smith, Realtor®, ABR, CRS, E-Pro,TRC, LHM, SFR, CDPE
Luxury Homes and Distressed Properties Specialist, Brosda & Bentley Realtors
Cell: 786.412.8510; Fax: 954.923.4554;
kate@hollywood-beach-real-estate.com
http://www.hollywood-beach-real-estate.com
http://www.BrosdaandBentley.com
blog: http://4realestate.wordpress.com
http://www.linkedin.com/in/miamirealtorkatesmith

“Some make it happen, some watch it happen, and some say, what happened?”

Lenders Embrace More Short Sales

NEW YORK – Feb. 20, 2012 – Lenders are allowing more short sales by financially strapped homeowners and a few people are even getting cash to complete the sale.

Short sales have been increasing for months, but the financial incentives – which Realtors say are random and infrequent – are a newer wrinkle.

Examples:

• JPMorgan Chase went national with short-sale incentive offers last year, paying up to $35,000 in some cases.

• Bank of America is testing incentives from $5,000 to $25,000 in Florida to see if they should be expanded to more states. The Florida program began last fall, spokesman Richard Simon says.

• Wells Fargo’s incentive offers range from less than $3,000 to $20,000, spokesman James Hines says.

Short sales, even with incentive payments to borrowers, can save lenders money compared with the expenses involved in completing foreclosures. In states such as Florida where foreclosures go through the courts, 50 percent of loans in foreclosure are more than two years past due, says a January report by mortgage tracker LPS Applied Analytics.

“It’s a lot cheaper to shell out $10,000 or $20,000 to someone than it is to go through a long foreclosure,” says Jim Gillespie, chief executive of Coldwell Banker.

Banks are more willing to do short sales now than in the past, Gillespie says. Cash incentives appear to be “limited but increasing” in number, he adds.

“When a loan modification isn’t possible, a short sale may be a better and faster solution” than foreclosure, says JPMorgan Chase spokesman Thomas Kelly.

The lenders won’t say how often they extend such incentives.

“If you have two similar sellers, one might get it and another may not,” says Colleen Badagliacco of Altera Real Estate in San Jose. “It’s very random.”

Typically, short sale incentives are more common for loans in states where foreclosures take more time, Hines says.

In November, short sales accounted for more than 9 percent of single family home sales and were up 32 percent from the year before, according to CoreLogic.

Market researcher Dataquick also shows short sales increasing from January 2011 through last month throughout California and in Phoenix, Miami and Seattle.

The federal government-run foreclosure prevention program also offers short sale incentives, at least $3,000 for sellers, but far more short sales are being done outside the government program.

“The trend is up,” says Moody’s Investors Service analyst William Fricke.

© Copyright 2012 USA TODAY, a division of Gannett Co. Inc.

Unprecedented Buyer’s Market: Mortgage Rates Sink to Lowest on Record!

Fixed mortgage rates fell to all-time record lows this week following the Federal Reserve’s announcement of  “Operation Twist.”

The central bank’s new stimulus policy entails reinvesting principal payments from its holdings of GSE debt and mortgage-backed securities back into new mortgage bonds issued by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. The Fed also intends to purchase $400 billion more of Treasury securities by the end of June 2012.

Data released by Freddie Mac Thursday puts the average 30-year fixed-rate mortgage at 4.01 percent (0.7 point)
for the week ending September 29. That’s down from 4.09 percent last week. A year ago at this time, the 30-year rate averaged 4.32 percent.

Isn’t real estate great? Low mortgage rates, abundant inventory, reasonable and better informed sellers- all of these combined together make it the best market ever. The market conditions are great not only for first time home buyers, but also for investors, retirees who are looking for a second home, or for all these people looking for that investment opportunity that is REAL- after experiencing the shocking disappointments resulting from lost 401-K’s, crashing stock markets, Ponzi schemes- the list goes on and on.

It is wise to remind ourselves that real estate was called “real” for a reason and it is time to “jump off” that fence and take advantage of this unprecedented opportunity.

Buying A Home: Avoiding Set Backs and Disappointment

I read an interview with Matt Bomer, the suave Neal Caffrey (White Collar), where he shared that he was looking for a house in LA a while back.

“There was a place I was interested in, but I couldn’t get in touch with its owners”. So he resolved to jumping their fence.

Well, Matt, I am surprised you have not thought of having a Realtor, to get you in through the front door!

Seriously, why ANY Buyer will be looking on their own, instead of having a Realtor working for them at no cost???

Here is what every HOME-Buyer should read.

Buying a Home- 10 Steps To Follow:

Use a Buyer’s Agent
Be Wary About the Listing Agent
Get Pre-Approved for Financing: Getting a Legitimate Lender
Do Not Make Any Major Credit Purchases
Find The Right Neighborhood
Find The Right Home: Finding the Right Seller
Build a Plan of Actions and Get Ready
Do Your Homework: Hot, Normal, and Cold Markets
Importance of Inspection
Avoiding Financial Stress

If you do not have an agent, please call me at 786-412-8510, or drop a note to obtain more details on each one of the steps, or assistance regarding your search at kate@hollywood-beach-real-estate.com. I’m here to assist you every step of the way.

Do You Want The Good News, Or The Bad News?

Do You Want The Good News, Or The Bad News?

First Time Home-Buyers  Should Not Wait Another Month!

Although the mortgage rates are at the lowest point in history, there are drastic changes in FHA Lending pending approval. If approved as anticipated, even fewer people would qualify for a mortgage.

The Good News: Rates on 30-year home loans fall to 4.99%

In a third straight week for declines, the 30-year mortgage rate again dropped below 5%. Read more.

The Bad News: Announced FHA Policy Changes:

  1. Mortgage insurance premium (MIP) will be increased to build up capital reserves and bring back private lending
  2. Update the combination of FICO scores and down payments for new borrowers.
    • New borrowers will now be required to have a minimum FICO score of 580 to qualify for FHA’s 3.5% down payment program. New borrowers with less than a 580 FICO score will be required to put down at least 10%.
  3. Reduce allowable seller concessions from 6% to 3%

And, More Bad News: The market is rapidly adjusting, as I am certain that those of you who have been watching and waiting, have seen nice 3-4 bedroom homes in nice school districts (West Miramar, Pembroke Pines, Davie, Cooper City) for less than 300,000. Yes, it was back then- several months ago. I have been monitoring this market segment closely during the months of November, December last year and January this year, for a few desperate clients of mine, who back then decided to wait. Now, their choices are very limited… and it is a bidding war.

If you are one of those buyers, shopping at this market level and you have been pre-approved for FHA financing, the clock is ticking. And, the rewards are there today: lowest rates, tax credit and still all benefits of the FHA!

I look forward to assisting you.

Cordially,

Kate

Kate Smith, Realtor®, ABR, CRS, E-Pro, TRC, LHM

Copyright © 2012 | Kate Smith, LLC | Information deemed reliable, but not guaranteed |