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Wild Week for Mortgage News

January 31st, 2008

It was a wild week for mortgage news:

In the through-the-looking-glass world of interest rates, where bad economic news is often welcomed as a harbinger of lower rates, the consensus seemed to be rates would continue to fall. However, mortgage shoppers would be wise not to hold out for too long, because the story may not be as simple as all that.

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Personal Finance - How to get a free education

January 28th, 2008

Many of us read the daily news and some of us browse the “Personal Finance” sections that are filled with valuable advice and multiple how-to sections. However, most of those sections either assume that the reader has a certain level of knowledge on the topic or are tailored towards the very basics; thus, often providing common sense advice rather than the specific details on how to succeed in the given topic.

Beside the “Personal Finance” sections of the newspapers, there is an overwhelming amount of information regarding Personal Finance on the Internet. Plus, everyone is more than happy to provide financial advice - starting from family to coworkers to the gardener.

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Housing Market Stimulus Plan

January 25th, 2008

Washington’s new economic stimulus plan, made public this week, contains key provisions designed to stimulate the housing market. The greatest impact of this proposal is expected to occur in those markets that need it the most, according to CNNMoney. The proposal submitted by Congress and the Bush administration would place the majority of the focus on the hardest-hit markets like California and Florida by making it easier to purchase a house with a selling price in the range of $417,000 to $625,000.

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Whether or Not they Help the Economy, Lower Rates Are an Opportunity for Individuals

January 24th, 2008

This week’s news was dominated by the surprise move of the Federal Reserve to dramatically lower interest rates, but there were other news items of interest to the mortgage markets as well:

As much as the above were widely described as symptoms of economic weakness, a more forward-looking view would describe them as stepping stones toward recovery, for the economy in general and the housing market in particular.

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Mortgage Applications Rise as Interest Rates Fall

January 22nd, 2008

Last week’s Mortgage Bankers Association Survey, mortgage applications rose significantly (8.3% in one week), primarily due to refinance loans fueled by dropping interest rates.  In addition to the increase in applications, overall mortgage volumes increased as well. With the average fixed rate mortgage (FRM) on the true-blue 30-yr traditional running just below 5.5%, it’s easy to see why so many people are discovering this to be a great time to refinance. Rates are lower than they’ve been in the last two and a half years. Those that have potentially the most to gain are people who acquired their existing loan within the past two and a half years.  Those with older loans may qualify for a better rate if their credit rating has improved. And no matter when the current loan was originated, anyone with an ARM loan heading toward an increase should look to see whether this is the right time to refinance.

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Fixed Rate Mortgages Gaining in Popularity

January 18th, 2008

Borrowers and lenders alike appear to be shifting their attention from Adjustable Rate Mortgages (ARM) to Fixed Rate Loans (FRM). Although 3/1 and 5/1 hybrid ARMs continue to do well, overall, FRMs are gaining momentum.

The news was revealed this week when Freddie Mac announced the results of its annual survey of prime loan Adjustable Rate Mortgages (ARM loans). Based on data collected just before Christmas, the survey revealed the following.

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Lower Mortgage Rates Bring January Thaw

January 17th, 2008

Mid-January news stories brought some rays of sunshine into the mortgage and housing markets:

This wave of stories included some good news for homeowners and new buyers alike, but perhaps should be best received by existing mortgage holders.

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Existing Loan Holders: Know Your Options

January 16th, 2008

Yesterday, a pertinent message to loan holders was published on The Mortgage Reports on the importance to evaluating your current loan situation right away to see if you may be in need of a refinance. Why? If you’ve held your current loan for three years or more, and your credit rating is reasonable, there are two very important reasons to do this as soon as possible.

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Are We Being Too Gloomy?

January 15th, 2008

This week, Forbes Financial Columnist, Ken Fisher, published an article alleging that we’re all being a bit too gloomy about America’s economic prospects for 2008. In this article, titles, We’re Too Gloomy, he reminds us how connected the US economy is with world markets. “Since the foreign economy is twice America’s size, and is strong, America should do well in 2008 — better, at any rate, than people expect,” says Fisher.

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Bank of America to the rescue - no longer a rumor…

January 11th, 2008

According to WSJ, Cnn, and all other financial sections of the newspaper world, Bank of America Corp. has agreed to buy the mortgage giant, Countrywide Financial in a $4 billion all-stock deal. The deal would give Countrywide stock holders 0.1822 shares of Bank of America for each share that they own.

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