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Our mission at The Spring Mortgage Team is to be your best resource for financial advice. Whether you are a buyer, seller, or investor, our team of professionals can answer any questions you might have about the lending process. Subscribe to this blog to get the latest news on loans for purchase, refinance, construction or cashout of residential and commercial property.

Monday, July 31, 2017

How the Fed’s Recent Rate Hike Impacts Our Market

The Fed’s recent rate hike shouldn’t have any significant impact on our market. In fact, it might actually stimulate it.

On June 14th, the Federal Reserve increased its federal funds interest rate by 0.25%. They’re also widely expected to raise rates once or twice more over the course of 2017. What does this mean for the real estate market?

While any action by the Fed always garners a lot of attention, I believe these increases will not have any significant impact on our market.

First of all, mortgage rates have actually trended lower in the wake of the Fed’s recent announcement. The 30-year mortgage rate recently hit 3.9%, the lowest level in 2017. In fact, it’s a common pattern for the mortgage rate and the Fed rate to move in opposite directions, and the same thing has happened the last two times the Fed raised rates. 

Second, the economy continues to do well. The Fed decided to increase its rate because unemployment and inflation are low, household spending is picking up, and we’ve seen steady growth for the past nine years. This is good news for the real estate market. As expected, we continue to see strong demand and a corresponding increase in home prices.

"These increases will not have any significant impact on our market."

Third, while the Fed’s rate increase is normally meant to cool off the economy, it might actually stimulate it in this case. Because interest rates were so low for such a long period of time, experts believe the recent increases might ease pressure on the financial system and encourage lending. 

Case in point: since the Fed started raising its rate in December 2016, total mortgages are up 2.5% year over year. 

In conclusion, while any move by the Fed is likely to lead to a lot of hand-wringing, I believe the real estate market will not be affected and will continue on its own healthy course. Nonetheless, it’s clear that right now is a uniquely good moment for everyone in the real estate market. Today’s low mortgage rates are good for homebuyers because they make homes more affordable.

If you have any questions about our market or you’re thinking of buying or selling a home, give me a call or send me an email. I’d love to help.

Friday, June 16, 2017

How Do Fannie Mae’s Recent Changes Affect Those With Student Debt?

Today I want to inform you about how Fannie Mae, the nation's largest underwriter of mortgages, recently introduced three new rules that will affect those with student debt.

If you have a student loan or you are a cosigner on one, I have some good new for you. 

Fannie Mae, the nation's largest underwriter of mortgages, recently introduced three new rules that will affect those with student debt.

These new rules can make it easier to get a mortgage, and they can make it easier to pay off your (or your kids’) student loans.

The first change is for those on income-based repayment plans, where having a high debt-to-income ratio is the No. 1 reason for not being approved for a mortgage. 

Fannie Mae previously used a very conservative 1% of the total loan instead of the actual monthly payment. This can drastically lower your debt-to-income ratio and give you a much better chance of qualifying for a mortgage.

Some folks are lucky enough to have their student debt paid by their parents or even by their employer. The thing is, Fannie Mae didn't take this into account when calculating the debt-to-income ratio. That's the second new change.

If your employer or your parents have been paying off your student debt and you can show evidence of this for the past 12 months, then this debt won’t be counted in your debt-to-income ratio. This makes it more likely you will qualify for a mortgage.

"If you can qualify for a mortgage right now, you definitely should."

If you can qualify for a mortgage right now, you definitely should. Rates are still at a historical low, and lots of great houses have recently come on the McKinney market.

Fannie Mae also makes it possible to refinance your mortgage for more than the value of your home. Normally, there is a 0.25% fee that applies to any cash you take out in this way.The third big change is that Fannie Mae will now waive that fee when you use this cash to pay off a student loan. 

This applies whether the loan is yours, or you're a cosigner. If the mortgage rate is significantly lower than the student loan rate, it can make sense to refinance in this way, and the new rule makes it cheaper to do so. 

If you need help understanding these new guidelines to see whether they’re right for you, or you have questions about putting them into practice, get in touch with me. I’ll be glad to help. 

I hope to hear from you soon!

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

You Don’t Need a Down Payment

Today, I want to share with you all the options you have for an affordable down payment as a homebuyer.

What's the biggest obstacle to homeownership?

According to a recent survey, "saving enough for a down payment" comes at the top of the list. A whopping 55% of prospective homebuyers cited this as their main stumbling block.

And with the continuing growth of home prices, things aren't getting any easier. In fact, homeownership rates reached a 20-year low last November.

It wasn't always like this. 

A decade ago, many lenders were offering easy, no-money-down mortgages. 

However, after the financial crisis, mortgage standards have become more restrictive. A typical mortgage now requires a 20% down payment. 

"55% cited the lack of a down payment as their main stumbling block."

Here's the good news. 

If you have decent credit and a steady income, you might be qualified for a number of specialized programs that require no or very little down payment. Here are a few of the top options.

First, there's the USDA loan, which is valid for homes in certain regions, such as rural and suburban areas. 

With zero money down and lenient credit requirements, the USDA loan can be a great choice for many homeowners. 

Second, there’s the VA loan, which you can apply for if you or your spouse served in a branch of the military.

It's possibly the most generous zero-money-down mortgage because of low interest rates and low closing costs.

Third, there's the FHA loan. It does require a 3.5% down payment — still drastically more achievable than the 20% required for a conventional mortgage. 

Finally, there are a number of credit unions and first-time homebuyer programs that might apply to your particular situation.

There’s one important thing you should know.  

If you get one of these no-money-down mortgages, chances are good you will be required to pay private mortgage insurance, which can drive up your monthly payments.

Fortunately, private mortgage insurance will disappear after your mortgage balance is under 80%. Also, the money you do pay will be tax deductible in most cases.

In short, there are lots of options to make owning a home a reality for you, even if you haven't saved up tens of thousands of dollars.

If you're considering buying a home, give me a call and we can discuss your options.

Buying a McKinney Home? Click here to complete your loan application.

And if you need more advice on getting a no-money-down loan, give us a call at 214-929-5810.