Homes with Heart – Heather Coombs-Perez

As the economy continues to hold almost steady and markets see-saw up and down, it should come as no surprise that there is both good and bad news when it comes to real estate.
According to Fannie Mae’s August National Housing Survey, 78 percent of Americans say the economy is on the wrong track and 27 percent think housing prices will go down over the next year. This is the greatest degree of pessimism since August 2010. The survey also found that 69 percent said it was a good time to buy a home, with only 9 percent saying they would sell in this market.
On the flip-side, mortgages continue to remain stable at record lows with a 30 year fixed rate of 3.875 percent, and 15 year fixed rates of 3.250 percent for conforming mortgages. 5/1 adjustable rate mortgages are sitting at 2.625 percent. All rates are available with a 0.7 to 1 point origination fee. FHA mortgages continue to be on the rise as people look at the benefits of this kind of financing—easier credit, lower down payments, and the ability to use approved gifts, housing grants and bonds.
Interestingly, even though foreclosure filings and sales were up this past month, Freddie Mac also announced a new loan modification program to help distressed homeowners. Bank of America, Wells Fargo and US Bank all saw increases in the number of foreclosure starts in August, while filings by JP Morgan Chase and Citibank were flat. The number of REO properties, also known as Properties Sold Back to Bank, also increased 12.3 percent from the prior month, while Properties Sold to Third parties increased 9.9 percent from last month, and 10.8 percent year-over-year.
Freddie Mac is replacing the Debt Coverage Ratio program with a new option called Standard Modification which is available to homeowners who do not qualify for the federal government’s HAMP initiative. Under this program, homeowners will have their interest rates set to 5 percent and the amortization period extended to 40 years from the time of modification. They would also see their principal and monthly payments reduced by at least10 percent, making their payments more affordable.
In such a complex market it’s really important to have someone with expertise looking out for you and making sure you get the most out of your investment. For help with refinance, obtaining a home loan, or other assistance, visit or drop us a line at [email protected]. You can also call or text direct to 310-259-7419.

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