Category: Mortgage and Financing

Should I Buy a Home Now? Or Wait Until Next Year?

Should I Buy a Home Now? Or Wait Until Next Year? [INFOGRAPHIC]| Keeping Current Matters

Some Highlights:

  • The Cost of Waiting to Buy is defined as the additional funds it would take to buy a home if prices & interest rates were to increase over a period of time.
  • Freddie Mac predicts interest rates to rise to 4.4% by next year.
  • CoreLogic predicts home prices to appreciate by 5.0% over the next 12 months.
  • If you are ready and willing to buy your dream home, find out if you are able to!

What to Do After the Equifax Data Breach

(via Thefederalsavingsbank.com )

On Sept. 7, credit bureau Equifax announced it discovered a data breach, which gave hackers access to personal information on about 143 million U.S. consumers, plus that of some Canadian and U.K. citizens.

The data breach lasted from mid-May through July. Hackers could see names, dates of birth, addresses, Social Security numbers and some driver’s license numbers. Further, about 209,000 U.S. consumers’ credit card numbers and about 182,000 U.S. consumers’ dispute documents –
which contain personal identifying information – were accessed.

In short, hackers may have accessed enough information to open unauthorized accounts or lines of credit.

Consumers can protect themselves by taking matters into their own hands. Here’s what you can do to keep your personal and financial information under wraps:

Step 1: Find out if you were affected

Equifax created a website – www.equifaxsecurity2017.com – so consumers could determine if they were one of the 143 million whose personal information was accessed. The site requires your last name and the final six digits of your Social Security number.

Whenever you’re entering sensitive information – partial Social Security numbers, credit card numbers, or answering any security questions – it’s not wise to be on a public Wi-Fi network. Do this at home or on a secure network you trust; the hotspot at your favorite cafe doesn’t count.

Security blogger Brian Krebs wrote that some consumers found that, after entering the same information at different times, received different results. Krebs notes that it might be prudent to just assume that you are one of the many who were affected.

Step 2: Pull your credit report

There’s an easy way consumers can find out if someone has tried to open an account or line of credit in their name. This is through annualcreditreport.com, a website mandated by Congress so that consumers can access one free credit report every year from each of the major three credit bureaus: Equifax, TransUnion and Experian.

Everyone should make a habit of doing this anyway. Now is the perfect time to start if you aren’t doing this already.

Step 3: Sign up for credit monitoring

Equifax is offering free credit monitoring services to consumers through www.equifaxsecurity2017.com. Krebs explains that these types of services alert you if someone steals your identity, but doesn’t prevent the theft from occurring in the first place.

Still, it can help you take the right steps in the aftermath of identity theft.

Step 4: Initiate a credit freeze

A credit freeze prevents anyone who has your personal information (yourself included) from opening an account or line of credit in your name. This is the most secure way to protect yourself from fraud or identity theft.

According to the Federal Trade Commission, to initiate a credit freeze, you need to contact each of the three credit bureaus individually by phone. Here are their numbers:

Equifax: 1-800-349-9960
TransUnion: 1-888-397-3742
Experian: 1-888-909-8872

You’ll need to provide information like your name, Social Security number, address and birth date.

When you freeze your credit, you’ll receive a unique PIN. This is the key you’ll use to unlock your credit if you decide to open a new account. Keep this in a secure location.

If you have any questions about how this breach may affect the mortgage lending process, reach out to The Federal Savings Bank.

I specialize in helping clients purchase and refinance homes in all 50 states.
I can finance your primary residence, vacation home, and investment property.
Please call or email me today if I can help you or anyone you know!

 

Brian Kohlstedt Photo Brian Kohlstedt
Senior Vice President, NMLS# 216947
direct:(312) 738-8440
fax:(312) 491-5303
briank@thefederalsavingsbank.com
http://www.thefederalsavingsbank.com/briankohlstedt
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Equal Housing Lender Member FDIC

Number of Buyers Putting Down Less Than 10% Hits 7-Year High

Number of Buyers Putting Down Less Than 10% Hits 7-Year High | Keeping Current Matters

According to Black Knight Financial Service’s Mortgage Monitor Report, 1.5 million Americans have purchased a home with down payments under than 10% over the last 12 months. This is great news for buyers as this marks a 7-year high.

Many mortgage programs offered by agencies like Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae allow buyers to put down as low as 3% to purchase their dream homes. The strength of the housing market has aided buyers who used low-down-payment programs to buy. As a recent CNBC article points out,

“Defaults on recent low down payment loans, so far, are slow, but that is as much a factor of the good credit quality as it is the strength of the housing market. Home prices are rising incredibly fast, meaning those borrowers are gaining equity in their homes quickly.”

Low down payments aren’t just great for first-time homebuyers. These programs have allowed homeowners who want to capitalize on the equity they have in their homes to use the profit from their sale to pay off high-interest credit cards, fund education or even start a business.

According to a new Census Report, the Annual Survey of Entrepreneurs , home equity was used to start 7.3% of all businesses in the United States, which equates to over 284,000! The industries that saw the most growth from home equity are accommodation & food services, manufacturing and, retail trade.

Bottom Line

Gone are the days of ‘20% down or no mortgage.’ What could you build with the equity in your house? Contact us today – (708) 529-5839 cell –  real estate professionals who can evaluate your ability to achieve your dreams. We work with many first-time home buyers.

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Mortgage Rates by Decade Compared to Today

Mortgage Rates by Decade Compared to Today [INFOGRAPHIC] | Keeping Current Matters

Some Highlights:

  • The interest rate you secure for your mortgage greatly influences your monthly housing costs.
  • In the 1980s, 30-year fixed mortgage rates averaged in the high 12s making the monthly principal and interest payment over $2,000.
  • Interest rates are still at historic lows; this is a great time lock in your housing cost and protect yourself from increasing rents, or refinance your current mortgage.

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Thinking of Buying a Home? This Should Be Your First Step…

…getting a loan pre-approval so you know what you can truly afford (what you should know about the mortgage process.)

(or getting the proof of funds letter from your bank if you are not taking out a loan – cash buyer).

 In many markets across the country, the amount of buyers searching for their dream homes greatly outnumbers the amount of homes for sale. This has led to a competitive marketplace where buyers often need to stand out. One way to show you are serious about buying your dream home is to get pre-qualified or pre-approved for a mortgage before starting your search. Even if you are in a market that is not as competitive, knowing your budget will give you the confidence of knowing if your dream home is within your reach. Freddie Mac lays out the advantages of pre-approval in the My Home section of their website:

“It’s highly recommended that you work with your lender to get pre-approved before you begin house hunting. Pre-approval will tell you how much home you can afford and can help you move faster, and with greater confidence, in competitive markets.”

One of the many advantages of working with a local real estate professional is that many have relationships with lenders who will be able to help you with this process. Once you have selected a lender, you will need to fill out their loan application and provide them with important information regarding “your credit, debt, work history, down payment and residential history.” Freddie Mac describes the 4 Cs that help determine the amount you will be qualified to borrow:

  1. Capacity: Your current and future ability to make your payments
  2. Capital or cash reserves: The money, savings and investments you have that can be sold quickly for cash
  3. Collateral: The home, or type of home, that you would like to purchase
  4. Credit: Your history of paying bills and other debts on time

Getting pre-approved is one of many steps that will show home sellers that you are serious about buying, and it often helps speed up the process once your offer has been accepted.

What you should do (and not do) when applying for a loan.

Bottom Line

Many potential home buyers overestimate the down payment and credit scores needed to qualify for a mortgage today. If you are ready and willing to buy, you may be pleasantly surprised at your ability to do so as well.

Mortgage Interest Rates Remain At Historic Lows

…but for how long?

Interest Rates Remain at Historic Lows... But for How Long? | Keeping Current Matters

The interest rate you pay on your home mortgage has a direct impact on your monthly payment; The higher the rate, the greater your payment will be. That is why it is important to look at where the experts believe rates are headed when deciding to buy now or wait until next year. The 30-year fixed mortgage rate has fallen half a percentage point since the beginning of the year and has remained at or below 3.5% for the last 11 weeks according to Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey. The chart below shows how far rates have fallen this year (on the left), and uses an average of the projections from Freddie Mac, Fannie Mae, the Mortgage Bankers Association and National Association of Realtors (on the right). As you can see, interest rates are projected to increase steadily over the course of the next 12 months.

Interest Rates Remain at Historic Lows... But for How Long? | Keeping Current Matters

How Will This Impact Your Mortgage Payment?

Depending on the amount of the loan that you secure, a half of a percent (.5%) increase in interest rate can increase your monthly mortgage payment significantly. According to CoreLogic’s latest Home Price Index, national home prices have appreciated 6.0% over the last year and are predicted to be 5.4% higher next year. If both the predictions of home prices and interest rate increases become a reality, families will wind up paying considerably more for their next home.

Bottom Line

Even a small increase in interest rate can impact your family’s wealth. Meet with a local real estate professional to evaluate your ability to purchase your dream home.

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How to Read Your Credit Report

How to Read Your Credit Report

Do you know your current credit score? Before you even look at properties, if you are taking out a home loan, you will need to obtain a loan pre-approval. There are various factors that determine what you can afford and your credit score plays a big factor. Some buyers think they can afford more, or that their credit score is better than it is, so it is a good idea to obtain your credit score as soon as possible.

Learn more about your credit report from this Time video:

Dos and Don’ts When Applying for a Mortgage

You will have to obtain a home loan pre-approval (if you are taking out a loan) or provide proof of funds (if you are cash/not taking out a loan) in order to look at properties; however, a loan pre-approval is not always a loan approval…mainly because applicants may not always follow important steps in obtaining a loan and being qualified.

Make your loan application process go more smoothly by starting with this as a guideline, provided by Rebecca Mott and her team at Guaranteed Rate. This is just a start – talk with your lender in detail and look around to find the best lender for your needs.

Dos and Donts of Mortgage

(click image to enlarge)

Rebecca Mott
VP of Mortgage Lending/New Construction Specialist
rebecca.mott@guaranteedrate.com
Phone: 630.969.4607
http://www.guaranteedrate.com/rebeccamott

Inventory Rises To Meet Demand For Housing

The Federal Saving Bank shares reports on how housing inventory is rising to meet demand.

According to a July 17th joint release from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the U.S. Department of Commerce, construction increased in June 2015. The Federal Savings Bank thinks this jump in construction will also meet the rising demand for housing as first-time home buyers decide to invest in real estate.

Construction increases in June
The volume of building permits in June jumped 7.4 percent when compared to the previous month. The number of authorized privately-owned housing units was also 30 percent higher on a year-over-year basis.

In addition to building permits increasing during the month of June, the total number of housing starts rose 26.6 percent from the previous year.

The joint press release also indicated housing completions of privately-owned structures increased 22 percent when compared to June 2014.

According to The Wall Street Journal in a July 17th release titled “Apartment Demand Drives Home Construction”, multi-family housing was the primary driver of new construction. In fact, the number of new condos and apartments increased 29.4 percent in June when compared to the previous month.