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Nov 27

Which Is Better : 15-Year Fixed Rate Mortgage Or 30-Year Fixed Rate Mortgage?

As a home buyer or refinancing household in District of Columbia , you have choices with respect to your mortgage. You can choose a loan with accompanying discount points in exchange for lower mortgage rates; you can choose adjustable-rate loans over fixed rate ones; and, you can choose loans with principal + interest repayment schedules or repayments which are interest only, as examples. For borrowers using fixed rate loans, there's also the choice between the 30-year and 15-year fixed … [Read more...]

Nov 22

Maximum FHA Loan Limits Restored To $729,750

After a brief return to lower, pre-2009 levels, FHA loan limits have been restored. As signed into law last Friday, maximum FHA loan limits are -- once again -- as high as $729,750. The move creates additional mortgage financing possibilities in more than 650 U.S. counties, and promises to increase the FHA's mortgage market share, which has grown from 6% in 2007 to roughly 30% today. The change in FHA loan limits also marks the first time that FHA loan limits exceed those of conventional … [Read more...]

Nov 16

Government Releases Additional HARP Guidance For Underwater Homeowners

Tuesday, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac unveiled lender instructions for the government's revamped HARP program, kick-starting a potential refinance frenzy across District of Columbia and nationwide. HARP stands for Home Affordable Refinance Program. The updated program is meant to give "underwater homeowners" an opportunity to refinance at today's low mortgage rates. In the two-plus years since its launch, HARP's first iteration helped fewer than 900,000 homeowners. HARP II, by contrast, is … [Read more...]

Nov 09

This Holiday Season, Think Twice Before Saving 15 Percent At The Register

With Halloween behind us, retailers are in the Holiday Spirit. Businesses know that consumers spent a median $556 on holiday gifts last year and they want this year to be just as strong. That's why it's barely November and, already, Black Friday ads clog our mailboxes and the airwaves. Retailers want our dollars and they're offering great deals to early shoppers. There's one discount a smart shopper should think twice, however -- the ever-present "Open A Charge Card Today And Save 15%" … [Read more...]

Sep 08

After A Pause, Mortgage Guidelines Resume Tightening

Mortgage guidelines appear to be tightening with the nation's largest banks. In its quarterly survey to senior loan officers nationwide, the Federal Reserve uncovered that a small, but growing, portion of its member banks is making mortgage approvals more scarce for "prime" borrowers. A prime borrower is described as one with a well-documented payment history, high credit scores, and a low monthly debt-to-income ratio. Of the 53 responding "big banks", 3 reported that mortgage … [Read more...]

Jul 26

Is An FHA Mortgage Better Than A Conforming One?

The FHA is insuring a greater percentage of loans than during any time in recent history. In 2006, it insured roughly 5 percent of the purchase mortgage market. Today, it insures one-quarter. "Going FHA" is more common than ever before -- but is it better? The answer -- like most things in mortgage -- depends on your circumstance. Like its conforming counterpart, an FHA-insured mortgage is available as a fixed-rate loan and as an adjustable-rate one. Payments are made monthly and come … [Read more...]

Jul 12

What Is Annual Percentage Rate (APR)?

More commonly called APR, Annual Percentage Rate is a government-mandated mortgage comparison tool. It measures the total cost of borrowing over the life of a loan into dollars-and-cents. A loan's APR is printed in the top-left corner of the Federal Truth-In-Lending Disclosure, as shown above. When quoting an interest rate, loan officers are required by law to disclose a loan's APR, too. APR is meant to simplify the process of choosing between two or more loans. The theory is that the loan … [Read more...]