For this week’s round-up, we have the good news/bad news scenario.
The good news is that it’s getting easier to qualify for a new mortgage or refinance your existing one. How do we know? The report from mortgage provider Ellie Mae states that the approved borrower credit score in March2013 was 743, which is the lowest since tracking began two years ago.
Other signs that it’s getting easier are that home values are increasing. If you have more equity in your home, it’s easier to refinance. Another one is that government programs such as HARP will be extended through December 31, 2015. Additionally, there are now two additional programs to help struggling homeowners: Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP) and Streamlined Modification Initiative (SMI). Both programs were designed to help underwater homeowners reduce their monthly payments. HAMP is only extended through the end of this year, and SMI is available starting July 1 and running through August 1, 2015.
Finally, loan approvals are increasing for applicants with low down payments and lower credit scores (680 and above). Each lender has different requirements, so find a professional mortgage loan officer to find out what is best for your situation.
So now the bad news. Interest rates are increasing rapidly. Freddie Mac reported today that the average rate on the 30-year fixed loan jumped to 4.46% last. That’s the highest level since June, 2011. So don’t wait too long to call the loan officer.
First Time Homebuyer Mistakes
Yahoo Finance published a great list of first time homeowner mistakes. We’ll summarize here, and definitely check out the article for more details.
- Being turned off by problems that are easily fixed.
- Overlooking hidden costs
- Failing to budget for DIY projects
- Misunderstanding new homeowners insurance coverage
10 Ways to Turn Off a Would-Be Homebuyer
Now for the other side of the coin, also from a Yahoo Finance article that you should read and we’ll summarize here.
- Old Fixtures
- Popcorn acoustic ceiling tiles
- Too many personal items
- Snoopy sellers
- Misrepresenting your home
- Poor curb appeal
We hope you enjoyed this roundup of mortgage news! Please leave a note in the comments if there are any additional areas you’d like to see us blog about.