Homeowner Headquarters

How to's and money-saving tips from resident homeowner and mortgage expert, Cathy West

CFPB to review mortgage rules

,  Posted in - ( Purchasing a Home )

The CFPB will soon evaluate mortgage lending statutes in the Dodd-Frank Act.
President Obama signed into law the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act in 2010. The legislation, a direct response to the 2008 financial collapse, includes a number of lending-related regulations, most notably the qualified mortgage rule, according to Congressional records. The Consumer Protection Bureau will evaluate this statute and others in a matter of months as part of a built-in five-year review process set out in the bill, the CFPB Monitor reported.The QM equation QM, as its called, establishes common requirements for individuals seeking mortgage loans, ostensibly addressing predatory lending practices. Home...

Improper preparation biggest regret for homebuyers and sellers

,  Posted in - ( Helpful Homeowner Hints )

If homebuyers and sellers had to do it all over again, they'd put more efforts into preparing, according to a newly released survey.
If you're looking to enter the housing market, those who've been through the process have a few words of caution: Don't dilly-dally.When it comes to the biggest regret both buyers and sellers have as it pertains to home shopping season, participants wish they'd gotten things started sooner than they did, according to a newly released survey conducted by Zillow. More than 13,000 homeowners took part in the survey, each of whom had either bought a new home or sold one during the previous 12 months. Given that the listing procedure can take time, as can settling on the ideal home, buyers and sellers were like-minded in t...

Rising rates could counter years-long price increase trends

,  Posted in - ( Purchasing a Home )

Rising rates could counter years-long price increase trends
For a period of years, home prices have risen incrementally on a monthly basis and sharply from one year to the next. However, more recently, these increases have started to take off because economic improvement is bringing more buyers to the market, but current homeowners are still mostly uninterested in selling.Now, though, experts are starting to predict that rising mortgage rates - which are pushing toward pre-recession norms - might help to offset some of that home price growth in the near future, according to a report from MarketWatch. Given the way rates have moved in recent months, new data from Goldman Sachs suggests that home prices...

Consumer confidence increases in March

,  Posted in - ( Money-Saving Tips )

Consumer confidence is on the rise, meaning further growth could in store for the nationwide housing market as it continues to improve.
Consumer confidence is on the rise, meaning further growth could be in store for the nationwide housing market as it continues to improve. The Consumer Confidence Index increased to 125.6 in March, a major improvement over the February figure, which topped out at 116.1, according to The Conference Board at Nielsen. The Present Situation Index, which measures public sentiment toward domestic economic conditions, also moved upward from 134.4 to 143.1. These data suggest Americans are spending with more confidence and therefore positioned to make larger investments in housing and transportation."Consumer confidence increased sharply in...

Mortgage rates rise for second consecutive week

,  Posted in - ( Purchasing a Home )

Mortgage interest rates are heading higher. Experts, though, don't think the growth will lead to sticker shock.
For the second time in as many weeks, mortgage rates rose for housing market participants, many of whom are looking to lower their rates while they still can.For the seven-day period that concluded March 16, 30-year fixed-rate mortgages reached their highest point of 2017 so far, averaging 4.30 percent, according to Freddie Mac's latest Primary Mortgage Market Survey. Up appreciably from 4.21 percent a week earlier, 30-year FRMs hovered at 3.73 percent a year earlier during the same period.Not only did 30-year FRMs ascend, but the 15-year variety as well, which are typically used by borrowers who are looking to refinance. A year ago...

Are fewer foreclosures causing more inventory problems?

,  Posted in - ( Purchasing a Home )

Are fewer foreclosures causing more inventory problems?
Home prices have been rising steadily for years now, but have seemingly kicked into overdrive in recent months as more buyers come into the market and compete for an ever-dwindling number of homes for sale. This is good news for current homeowners in a number of ways, not the least of which is because the inventory is shrinking due to fewer homes being foreclosed upon. With a smaller number of these discounted options available, inventories are getting even more constricted.The latest housing market data in Denver highlights the issue well, according to the latest statistics from the Denver Metro Association of Realtors. Through the end of Fe...

Study says despite conditions, it’s still smarter to buy than rent

,  Posted in - ( Purchasing a Home )

In the eternal question of whether it's smarter to buy a house than rent an apartment, the signs largely point to the former.
Though home prices are rising, rental rates are as well, so much so that when it comes to buying versus renting, it's the former that serves as a more financially sagacious move, the results of a newly released study suggest.In nearly two dozen metropolitan statistical areas, it's a better bet to buy than it is to rent, due primarily to the return on investment being far greater. According to Florida Atlantic University's latest Beracha, Hardin and Johnson Buy vs. Rent Index, of the 23 cities tracked in the closing quarter of 2016, 15 were ideal buyers' markets. Those that were more conducive to renting were predominantly ...

Millennials find favor with suburban family life

,  Posted in - ( Money-Saving Tips )

Millennials are heading to the suburbs to raise their kids and be homeowners simultaneously.
It wasn't too long ago that older millennials were living at their parents', doing so to save money while going to college. But with many members of this generation now on their own and with a family to support, millennials are still looking to rein in their expenses by buying a new house in the suburbs, survey data suggests.Among millennials who serve as heads of household, 49 percent have a minimum of one child they're raising, according to newly released polling numbers from the National Association of Realtors. In 2016 when a similar survey was conducted, 45 percent of millennial homebuyers had one kid or mor...

Mortgages rates jump to new 2017 high in latest survey

,  Posted in - ( Purchasing a Home )

For the first time in 2017, mortgage rates are above 4.20 percent.
Less than three months into the new year, mortgage rates have reached a 2017 high, according to the latest data released by lending giant Freddie Mac.For the week concluding March 9, 30-year fixed-rate mortgages averaged 4.21 percent, based on Freddie Mac's Primary Mortgage Market Survey. That's up sharply from 4.10 percent this time last week and a substantial swing from one year earlier, when they averaged just under 3.7 percent.Since the latter portion of 2016, housing experts have prepared prospective buyers for the likelihood that rates would rise in 2017, due to a variety of real estate market dynamics and economic realit...

First-time buyers between a rock and a hard place in California

,  Posted in - ( Helpful Homeowner Hints )

San Francisco home prices are at levels that make homeownership extremely difficult for first-time buyers.
It's a tough row to hoe for first-time homebuyers these days. In addition to the fact that choices are limited because of inadequate supply, asking prices continue to climb, with the median now just shy of $229,000, according to the National Association of Realtors.But certain markets are more difficult to enter than others. And as a recent survey indicates, California is hands down the hardest.Financial website Bankrate.com ranks the Golden State as the most complicated housing market for aspiring buyers who have never owned before, due to a combination of factors. Chief among them is what single-family dwellings are going for. Acc...