Do we always need an appraiser to tell us what a house is worth? The two biggest sources of mortgage financing in the country – Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae – think not.
They were all the rage – then the scourge – of the housing boom and bust. Now they’re back, big time: home mortgages that require tiny or zero-down payments from buyers.
It’s the No. 1 reason why mortgage applicants nationwide get rejected: They’re carrying too much debt relative to their monthly incomes.
If you’ve heard that some people might get a magic boost to their FICO credit scores in the 10-point range – without having to do anything – you’re right. But hundreds of thousands of consumers’ increases will be much larger.
Could condominiums financed with low down payment government-backed mortgages stage a surprise comeback under the Trump administration, which generally seeks to reduce federal involvement in housing?
It’s often the biggest pot of gold available to any homeowner, yet its fate remains unclear under the main tax code overhaul plans proposed so far on Capitol Hill
It was bound to happen: A homeowner has filed suit against online realty giant Zillow, claiming the company’s controversial “Zestimate” tool repeatedly undervalued her home, creating a “tremendous road block” to its sale.
Here’s some good news for homebuyers and owners burdened with costly student loan debts: Mortgage investor Fannie Mae has just made sweeping rule changes that should make it easier for you to purchase a first home or do a “cash-out” refinancing to pay off your student debt.
Most homebuyers and sellers don’t think much about what might derail their purchase or sale.
It’s a real estate question that historically has had an easy answer: Do single-family detached homes appreciate in value faster than condominiums?
They’re either a valuable financial tool for homeowners or a harbinger of trouble on the horizon: Cash-out refinancings, which were wildly popular during the housing boom years and contributed to the severity of the crash, are on the rise again.
With the health care bill back-burnered on Capitol Hill, the focus has shifted to tax reform. Among the key financial matters in play: Homeowners’ prized mortgage interest and property tax deductions.
Are you getting fleeced on appraisal charges when you buy a house or refinance?
It could be a boon for some homebuyers – their credit scores will get a surprise boost – but worrisome for mortgage lenders, landlords and others who depend on credit reports to evaluate their potential customers.
Could getting a home mortgage under today’s post-housing bust regulations and procedures be even remotely comparable to going to the dentist to get drilled? Or anything like having your annual physical, where every body part potentially is subject to inspection and prodding?
Everyone knows that financing and closing on a home purchase can be complicated. Which is why more than a year ago the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau issued a set of new disclosures and rules designed to bring greater clarity – and certainty – to transactions.
If you’re like millions of homeowners, you recently received a familiar, innocuous-looking document from your lender. It’s called Form 1098 and it totes up how much interest you paid on your mortgage last year. Your lender is required by law to fill it out and send it to the IRS.
If your real estate agent requires you to get a mortgage pre-approval from one specific lender as a condition of submitting an offer to buy a house – even if another lender already pre-approved you – would you think something is fishy?
How tough is it to get approved for a mortgage? How low can your FICO credit score go before your lender shows you the door? And how much monthly debt can you be shouldering – credit cards, student loans, auto payments – but still walk away with the mortgage you’re seeking?
The small-scale owners of millions of rental homes, parcels of investment land and income-producing commercial and business real estate might not know it, but one of their key financial planning and tax tools is in danger of disappearing on Capitol Hill.