Mortgage insurance will increase for all buyers using FHA loans after April 1, 2013. The Mortgage Insurance Premium (MIP) will increase .1% of the loan amount.
The BIG news is Mortgage Insurance CANNOT be canceled. Buyers using FHA loans with less than 10% down will have to refinance to a conventional loan in order to get rid of the insurance. Mortgage Insurance on FHA loans with 10% or more down payment will end after 11 years.
If you are under contract and your lender has filed for an FHA case number before April 1, 2013 you will not pay the increased mortgage premium and you will still be able to cancel your mortgage insurance after 5 years and 22% equity. Contact your mortgage lender for more information about FHA Mortgage Insurance.
Inventory in the Washington region continues to shrink. In May, the level of active listings was at its lowest May-level since 2005. Additionally, the number of distressed property listings (foreclosures and short sales) is at the lowest level since MRIS began tracking this metric in April 2009. The reduction in supply is putting upward pressure on prices, as evidenced by the 11 percent rise in the median sales price from May 2011. This price gain reflects the fourth consecutive year-over-year gain, and the second consecutive double-digit increase for home prices in the region. These trends, coupled with decreasing Days on Market (average down 17.6 percent from May 2011), and an increasing sale-to-list price ratio (up 1.9 percent from May 2011) signal that it is a Seller’s market heading into the summer months.--Source RBI Real Estate Data
"Want a chart for your zip code? I would be happy to provide it, just email us."-Jim
Renting your current home out and buying a new one is a great way for some buyers to take advantage of the low sales prices and interest rates. This strategy may work, especially for homeowners that owe more than their home is worth. There are new lender regulation, however, that make this process longer.
Formally, lenders would credit 75% of the monthly rent towards the owners mortgage expense. This reduces the homeowners debit to income ratio, helping them qualify for a second home.
Buyers that need a mortgage however, will have to wait at least one year before they can buy their next home. Banks want to see at least one year of rental history before they will give the borrower credit for the rental income. This means the homeowner must rent out their current home for
Lenders give borrowers credit for the rental income they receive to offset a portion of their mortgage debit, reducing the borrower debit to income ratio.
Details of the National Mortgage Settlement are announced. The settlement will affect thousands of borrowers that were foreclosed on from January 1 2008 to December 31, 2011. The settlement excludes anyone foreclosed on in the state of Oklahoma, the only state to opt out of the settlement. Loans owned by Freddie Mac or Fannie Mae are not impacted by the settlement. See other FAQ Here.
You maybe surprised to know a real estate agent cannot tell you about: Schools, Crime, Religious, Ethnic or Income demographics of a neighborhood. See the video below to understand more.
From AOL Real Estate--A good real estate agent is very familiar with the neighborhoods where he or she shows properties. But because of legislation called the Fair Housing Act, the agent can't legally share all of that information with you.
Why the restrictions? The government wants to make sure that home purchase decisions are based on a property's fair market value and not factors such as race, religion or ethnicity. In other words, the law is meant to stop agents from steering clients toward or away from certain neighborhoods.
What can't a real estate agent discuss with a buyer? We asked Scott Klein, an agent based in New York City, to give us a rundown on the topics that are off-limits.
The Do-Not-Ask List
Household income: Wondering if a neighborhood is considered upscale? Don't bother asking your agent. Klein says he can't discuss economic class with prospective buyers.
But it's relatively easy to find demographic information online, including average household income for a particular area. At Neighborhood Scout, for example, you can get a description of a neighborhood's "look, feel and character" that includes information about residents' age, income level, ethnicity and other factors.
Schools: As with income level, sharing information about schools "might be perceived as steering someone into a certain neighborhood," says Klein. "However, as a Realtor I can direct people to sources of information about education in that area."
Here, too, the web offers prospective home buyers a wealth of information. Buyers can find useful school statistics, including enrollment, class size, and reading and math scores, at sites like School Matters and Great Schools.
Religion: The religious makeup of a neighborhood is another topic that's off-limits for real estate agents to discuss. If a buyer wants to find out about active religious communities in a particular neighborhood, Klein directs them to local houses of worship for information.
Crime statistics: Surely an agent can answer questions about local crime statistics, right? That's pretty public information. But it turns out that even this data is considered a sensitive topic under the Fair Housing Act.
Once again, buyers have to do their own research to find out if a certain neighborhood is considered safe. Homebuyers can find crime statistics online, including where sex offenders live, by logging onto Family Watchdog.
Klein also recommends that his clients pay a visit to the local police precinct and walk around the neighborhood to get a feel for it at during different times of the day.
Environmental concerns: A buyer would want to know if, say, a home is located near a Superfund site. In general, a real estate agent isn't going to be much help when it comes to neighborhood environmental issues. Buyers will need to figure this out on their own. One way is to visit the EPA's web site, which includes a database of environmental information, searchable by Zip code.
The one exception to this rule is if there is an environmental problem with a specific home. "If it pertains to that particular property, and it's something I have knowledge of, I am required to disclose that," Klein says.
So why use an agent if you have to do so much information-gathering yourself? An agent can show you homes, guide you through the buying process from start to finish and help you negotiate the best deals with sellers.
The winter market is starting off strong. We just listed a wonderful home at 4007 Gypsum Hill Rd in Haymarket Va. The owners priced the home appropriately and received an offer in one day! Now they dont' have to worry about showing their home over the holidays.