Home Mortgage and Finance

There are currently 137 blog entries related to this category.

  How will the fiscal cliff resolution impact Denver Real Estate? It seems like all we heard about on the news for months was the Fiscal Cliff. Now that there seems to be a resolution, at least for the time being, I thought it would be helpful to take a look at what the compromise means for the Real Estate market in Denver in the coming years.

The first positive to come of the resolution is the extension of the Mortgage Forgiveness Act.  If this hadn’t been extended, principal balances written off by lenders to help homeowners with underwater mortgages would have been treated as ordinary taxable income. This would have seriously reduced the number of successful short sales we are seeing and would have led to more foreclosures on the market. With
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"I love my bank." That's said about as often as, "I hope I get the Swine Flu," and with good reason.

Four or five years ago, when the sky fell in the world of mortgage lending, banks understandably slashed their workforce. Now that rates are crazy low and demand for new mortgages and refinanced loans is crazy high, lenders aren't staffing up to handle the demand. With fewer employees and lower costs, banks are now making more than twice the usual margin on their loans. That makes them and their shareholders happy, but what does that mean for the rest of us?

That means hurry up and wait. Whereas the standard for closing a home purchase used to be 30 days, it's now 45 days, at least. Refi's can take even longer. So adjust your expectations if you're

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Well not really. But maybe.

There's some rumors flying around about this controversial tax that was slipped into the health care bill at the 11th hour.

Here's a good article from the National Association of Realtors that clarifies it.


Bottom line is: It will only affect households with an annual income of $250,000 or more and those that earn a gain (not sales price) of more than $500,000, any amount of gain above the exclusion would be plugged into a formula to see if it’s taxable. If it turns out that it’s taxable, then the amount could be subject to the 3.8 percent tax. 

If you plan on

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What do interest rates look like? Where are interest rates going? Are interest rates going to get any lower? After, “how’s the market doing,” these have to be the most common Real Estate related questions that I get. I try to keep track of the rates as best as possible but with them changing daily, it is hard to know and predict without watching them constantly what direction they are headed.

So instead of trying to guess on my end, I decided to ask a professional. Tracey McVicker is a senior mortgage consultant with SWBC Mortgage Company here in Denver. Tracey is constantly tracking mortgage rates and I thought who better to ask about what makes them go up and down than the expert who consistently gets my clients the best interest rates possible.

To best
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Can interest rates get any lower?  I keep going to closing after closing and I'm amazed at the interest rates that buyers are currently getting.  2.75% for a 15 year fixed....seriously?  That is free money folks, I can't imagine a better time to buy a house then right now!

Forbes forecast for 2012-2013 states that the short-term interest rates will remain in microscopic territory through 2013. Mortgage rates surged lower again today, continuing an ongoing push into lower all-time lows.  Can you believe a 30-year fixed is 3.25%?  Not to date myself, but I can remember when we had mortgages in the 12% range....so today's low rates are really a bargain.  If you have been on the fence it's time to jump off and take the plunge into home ownership.  With

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Have you heard of the Section 184 Indian Housing Loan Guarantee Program? The program was designed to offer home-ownership and rehabilitation opportunities for eligible Native American individuals, families, Tribes and Tribally Designated Housing Entities (including Indian Housing Authorities) on their native lands and within an approved Indian area as defined in HUD. It is one of the best mortgage products out there and the best part is that it applies to all homes in Colorado.

I spoke with a lender recently, Todd McManigal, who specializes in this program and he raved about all the benefits it provides. Looking over the highlights below, I see why. It is near impossible to find a loan with this low of down payment, no mortgage insurance and no maximum
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A short sale is a situation when the current owners of a home owe more than the home is worth and are behind on mortgage payments. Since they can't sell the home and get out from under it, as an alternative, the homeowner can go to the servicer of their loan and ask them to accept less than what is owed on the home if the homeowner can find a buyer for it. Oftentimes, the bank who holds the loan will agree to selling short on the home or taking less than what is owed on it for a number of reasons.

If a home goes to foreclosure, it ends up costing the bank a significant amount of money. First, they will rack up about $40,000 in legal fees. Second, they have to sit on the home for an average of 9 months or so while the foreclosure process goes through the
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Buying a home in Denver is 56% cheaper than renting according to a new study by Trulia.com. I did a double take when I read this, like I imagine you might be doing now. Could that possibly be true? I knew the rental market in Denver was on fire, but so is the Real Estate market.

The article is eye opening and it appears that buying in every large metro area in the U.S. right now is cheaper than renting. These figures are run with a 20% down payment on a home which certainly isn’t realistic for all home buyers. But even with the minimum 3.5% down it works out to still be cheaper to buy in Denver than rent. To read the full article in detail, click here. Below is a breakdown of how they calculated this figure of 56%. Once again, just more reasons why now is
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In the Real Estate industry, credit score is king. You can get a loan with an average credit score, but to see the absolute best rates possible, you really need to have a good or great credit score, something above 720. Getting above this magic number of 720 can change your interest rate by as much as a half percent and when you are talking interest paid on $300,000, that is quite a bit over the life of a loan.

I had always wondered what influences credit scores the most. I had always heard the obvious, paying your bills on time, but there is much more to it than that. How long you have had an account open, how much debt you have, the types of loans and diversity of loans in your portfolio all factor into the all important credit score. I found an
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When I was in high school, I was on my way out of the house when I heard my parents and some friends talking about insurance over cocktails. I thought, "If I end up talking about insurance over cocktails when I grow up, I really hope somebody takes me out back and shoots me."

Since I don't currently have a cocktail, let me tell you something about insurance. If you have a homeowners association (HOA) where you live, ask your insurance pusher about special assessment insurance.  When HOAs have large upcoming expenditures (new roof, boiler, road paving in a subdivision) and not enough money to cover it, they can charge a special assessment to all homeowners. Sometimes this amount can be in the thousands, and don't think you can blow it off. HOAs have the

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