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Mortgage Loan Limits to Rise in 2019 to Keep Pace With Home Prices

Conforming loan limits got a boost for 2019 in nearly every part of the U.S. The Federal Housing Finance Agency, a regulator for mortgage financing giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, announced that conforming loan limits will rise in 2019 to $484,350 in most parts of the country. That marks a 6.9 percent increase over this year’s $453,100. The FHFA limits set the maximum single-family mortgage amounts that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will finance, as well as limits for the Federal Housing Administration program. Penywise - Morguefile “These limits ... Read More

Timing a Black Friday-Like Sale When Buying a Home

Home buyers looking for the best deal of the year on housing may want to wait until the day after Christmas to close on a home. ATTOM Data Solutions, a real estate data firm, analyzed the best days and months for advantageous pricing at state and metro levels. Only 10 days of the year offer discounts below estimated market values—seven in December and one each in October, November, and February, according to the study. ATTOM Data Solutions “People closing on a home purchase on December 26 were submitting offers around Thanksgiving an... Read More

Turning Buyers Into an LLC

If you’re working with a couple interested in buying a second home as an investment property, you might suggest they talk to a lawyer about setting up a limited liability corporation or other legal entity before they buy. That way, if they’re sued by someone who was on the property after they bought it, they can limit their damages and protect their personal assets against losses. Suppose a contractor they hire makes negligent repairs to a deck and it collapses while tenants and guests are having a barbecue. The judgment in a case like this could easily e... Read More

3 Ways to Spruce Up a Home in the Winter

3 Ways to Spruce Up a Home in the Winter The colder months can make selling tougher. The home’s exterior can look dreary against a gray sky backdrop and buyers may want to go into hibernation rather than shop for homes in the chilly weather. But real estate and staging professionals say there’s still plenty you can do to make your listing stand out in the wintertime. Realtor.com® spotlighted a few of their ideas, including: 3 Subtle Holiday Staging Tips Pay attention to curb appeal. Don’t let the colder months be an excuse to not pay attention to your yard ma... Read More

Buyers May Find Relief in Cooling Housing Market Share

The housing market is showing several signs of slowing, providing a much-needed break for potential buyers who have been waiting to jump into the market. Existing-home sales were 2.4 percent lower in the third quarter than a year ago, and the drop comes at a time when many areas are starting to see an uptick in new listings. Home prices in many markets are no longer rising by double digits—or even single digits—annually. But with a strong economy and low unemployment, the housing dip is more of a rebalancing of the market than a sign of a downturn, housing analysts s... Read More

Forecasters: Home Buyers, Sellers May Have Tough Road Ahead

Rising mortgage rates and home prices may prove a bigger thorn to home buyers in 2019 as buying a home gets more expensive in the new year. Meanwhile, as more homeowners list their homes, sellers will face greater competition, possibly increasing the need for concessions. Mortgage rates are forecast to reach 5.5 percent by the end of the year, and monthly mortgage payments will increase 8 percent. That could put homeownership more out of reach to first-time home buyers, realtor.com® researchers predict. “Inventory will continue to increase next year, but unless there... Read More

More Buyers Turn to ARMs for Lower Borrowing Costs

Rising interest rates are prompting more home buyers to turn to adjustable-rate mortgages—which come with potential financial risks. Though these mortgages typically come with lower interest rates initially, they reset to market rates after five or seven years, potentially shocking borrowers with much higher costs. © MattZ90 - iStock/Getty Images Plus The percentage of borrowers with ARMs rose to 8.2 percent in October, up from 7.2 percent in September, according to Ellie Mae’s newly released Origination Insight Report. “As interest ... Read More

Side by Side Comparison of House & Senate Tax Legislation

Click here for the NAR Article. NAR is OPPOSED to H.R. 1, the “Tax Cut and Jobs Act” tax reform legislation. This bill is a direct threat to consumers, to homeowners and to our businesses. Not only will millions of homeowners not benefit from the proposal, many will get a tax increase. Additionally, homeowners could lose substantial equity from the more than 10% drop in home values likely to result if the bill is enacted. What the Legislation Would Do Limits the exemption on Capital Gains Tax from the sale of a primary residence New rules would require homeowners to live in t... Read More

Mortgage Tips for Newbie Buyers

DAILY REAL ESTATE NEWS | TUESDAY, JULY 18, 2017 The more your home buyers know about mortgages, the better prepared they’ll be. The Motley Fool recently featured a range of mortgage tips to help educate first-time buyers, including: Know their credit score. The credit score can be a big key to knowing how much buyers can afford and how much interest they’ll be paying. Home shoppers should be encouraged to check their credit report and FICO score before even starting the homebuying process. Estimate how much can be borrowed. Lenders generally don’t like to see a mont... Read More

Case-Shiller: Pace of Home Price Growth ‘Not Alarming’

Home prices in the U.S. hiked to their highest level in more than two years in December, posting a 5.8 percent annual gain, according to the recently released S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller U.S. National Home Price NSA Index. Their pace, though substantial, is not “not alarming,” says David M. Blitzer, S&P Dow Jones Index Committee chairman and managing director. “Home prices continue to advance, with the national average rising faster than at any time in the last two-and-a-half years,” Blitzer says. “With all 20 cities seeing prices rise over the last year, questions ab... Read More