Shopping for Your Home

Sunday, November 23, 2008

What an Obama Administration Means to Your Mortgage

The debates are done, the election is over, and on January 20, 2009, Barack Obama will be inaugurated as President of the United States. No matter where you fall in the political spectrum, no one knows for sure exactly what this will mean to the future of our country. With this in mind, let's put all politics aside, and take a closer look at Obama's plan for our future. And since a home is still the biggest, most important investment you'll ever make, we'll focus on Obama's basic housing measures.

More Economic Stimulus – Since trouble in the economy won't wait until January 20th, plans for another economic stimulus package are already in the works, so we might even see this happen, in one form or another, before Obama takes office.
Obama has also discussed a housing stimulus as well, to stem the tide of foreclosures, including a temporary 90–day freeze on foreclosures, as well as measures to address the demand side of the housing issue. This package includes $25 billion in state fiscal relief, which Mortgage Law Central says will help avoid "painful property tax increases."
Obama also wants to "aggressively and comprehensively" implement the recently–passed rescue plan and the Hope for Homeowners Act. This means the Treasury, HUD, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and all of the banks and loan servicers who benefit from the rescue bill will continue to coordinate broad mortgage restructurings and loan modifications for struggling homeowners. No one knows for sure exactly how this will be implemented or what it even looks like yet, but we'll keep you updated as the details are released.
Reformed Bankruptcy Laws – Obama has promised to repeal the 2005 bankruptcy bill. A controversial measure, this will allow judges to alter mortgage terms during a bankruptcy, providing more protection for struggling homeowners.
New Mortgage Interest Tax Credit – Obama is expected to create a 10% universal mortgage interest credit for those who don't currently itemize. This means about $500 in savings for 10 million American homeowners.
Protection Against Mortgage Fraud and Predatory Lending – During the campaign, Obama blamed the financial crisis on lax government regulations, so look for tougher regulations, new criminal penalties for mortgage fraud violators, more funding for enforcement programs, more detailed loan disclosure laws, new counseling programs and other consumer protections, including a new Home Obligation Made Explicit (HOME) score (kind of like a new APR calculation) to help borrowers better understand and compare mortgage costs during the mortgage process.
This will go a long way in protecting new home buyers from the opportunists that have given my industry a bad name in the last few years. The good news is a lot of these people are now out of business. We all hope that any new measures introduced by the Obama administration will help keep a new breed of copycats from invading our industry as the real estate market begins to change for the better in 2009 and beyond.
See you around the neighborhood!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Top 3 Benefits of HR 3221

The Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008 is a $300 Billion rescue plan aimed at helping struggling homeowners avoid foreclosure. Although the bill is several hundred pages long and contains a number of far-reaching provisions, here are the top three changes that may benefit you:

1. Tax credits. First-time home buyers who purchase their primary residence between April 8, 2008 and July 1, 2009 are eligible for up to $7,500 in tax credit, provided they haven't owned a home in the last three years and fit certain income parameters. The credit is generous, but it is actually an interest-free loan that is paid back over 15 years at $500 per year when taxes are filed.

2. Larger loans at lower rates. This is a great benefit for homeowners with "jumbo" mortgages, which range between $417,000 and $625,000. If you are considering purchasing a home in that price range, this provision may be ideal for you. Please call or email to schedule a meeting to discuss your options.

3. FHA Hope for Homeowners. This provision is designed to help homeowners who are "upside down" on their mortgage - that is, people who owe more on their house than they can sell it for in today's market. Essentially, this plan allows borrowers who meet specific requirements to refinance their mortgages to new 30-year fixed FHA mortgages. If you're upside down on your mortgage and struggling in today's economy, this is an option worth exploring

Michael Fawver
Manager / Sr. Loan Consultant
International City Mortgage
Phone: (562) 754-4744
Fax: (562) 683-0427

More great info from my number one mortgage guy Mike. Please contact me for more info!!!

See you around the neighborhood!