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Mortgages: Yet More Good News for Borrowers

December 22nd, 2008

Freddie Mac unveiled yet more good mortgage news for borrowers on Friday in its weekly survey of average rates. The figure for a 30-year loan was 5.19 percent, which the Wall Street Journal says is the lowest since records began in 1971, 37 years ago. New 15-year mortgages were averaging 4.92 percent.

The Journal also pointed out that mortgages generally closely track long-term government notes, and that these are also continuing to decline. This means that there’s every reason to expect mortgage rates to continue their downward trend.

All of this positivity is translating into a much larger volume of mortgage applications. The Mortgage Bankers Association reports that these are up 37.3 percent up on the same week last year. However, refinancing represents 76.9 percent of all activity, which may not be quite such good news.

More on that soon.

Mortgage Opportunities from Record Rate Cut

December 16th, 2008

Late yesterday (Tuesday) afternoon, the Federal Reserve slashed its target for the overnight federal funds rate to a range of 0 to 0.25 percent. That may sound like meaningless gobbledygook, but it’s not. It’s an all-time record low. Read the rest of this entry »

Home Valuation Conduct Codes: Good, Bad, and Ugly

May 5th, 2008

Home valuation conduct codes are rules that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are expected to put into effect in 2009. They will bring marked changes in real estate lending. Here’s what these changes may mean to a home buyer or home owner.

The Good:

No one who stands to gain financially from a real estate transaction — including loan officers, mortgage brokers, or Realtors — will be allowed to order an appraisal to get property financed or refinanced. Only the actual lender can order it, and those involved in the loan production area will be precluded from ordering an appraisal or communicating with the appraiser in any way. This effectively eliminates the chance of anyone having influence over an appraiser. No one involved gets to have any choice in who is hired to appraise the property. No one gets to communicate a desired valuation to the appraiser.

Read the rest of this entry »