Category: Central Florida Home Buyer Updates
July 7, 2014 - No Comments
WASHINGTON – July 7, 2014 – The Federal Housing Administration (FHA) will end its public comment period in mid-August on a proposed program that would allow first-time home buyers to get a discounted mortgage if they enroll in housing counseling classes. The program, called Homeowners Armed with Knowledge (HAWK), was announced last month by the FHA as way to lower homebuyers' mortgage insurance premium costs. FHA is operating under the assumption that the more borrowers understand about homeownership, the less likely they are to default on their loans. That, in turn, lowers their lending risk.
June 27, 2014 - No Comments
ORLANDO, Fla. – June 27, 2014 – Citizens Property Insurance Corp. Board of Governors on Wednesday approved a 2015 rate package that reflects an overall average 2.9 percent statewide decrease for personal residential policyholders. Single-family homeowners will see an average drop of 3.2 percent for the coming year under a slate of rate recommendations that must be approved later by the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation. Overall, personal and commercial rates will decrease by 1 percent.
June 25, 2014 - No Comments
NEW YORK – June 25, 2014 – At the same time that institutional investors are scaling back on buying, all-cash home purchases are on the rise. So who's behind the increase? Joseph Rand, managing partner of Better Homes and Gardens Rand Realty in the New York City metro area, points to three main groups, which he dubs "regular investment buyers." One set of all-cash buyers is former homeowners coming back to the market after going through foreclosure, Rand says. They may have gone into foreclosure after they stopped paying their mortgage at the height of the housing crisis, and they've used the last few years to save enough money to pay cash on their next home purchase.
June 23, 2014 - No Comments
NEW YORK – June 23, 2014 – Large lenders generally offer only mortgage prequalifications, but smaller lenders are again offering mortgage preapprovals as a way to draw more borrowers. In fiercely competitive markets, a preapproval lends more certainty to a deal. While a pre-approval doesn't guarantee that a bank will make a loan, it comes close. "It essentially affords borrowers the ability to shop as a cash buyer," says Norman T. Koenigsberg with First Choice Loan Services in Morganville, New Jersey.
June 19, 2014 - No Comments
IRVINE, Calif. – June 18, 2014 – RealtyTrac released its first-ever Natural Disaster Housing Risk Report, which assigns a natural disaster risk score to more than 3,000 county housing markets nationwide. Scores assigned to each county's housing market were based on risk data for three natural disaster events – hurricanes, tornados and earthquakes – and each county was assigned to one of five risk categories based on their score: Very High, High, Medium, Low, and Very Low.
June 18, 2014 - No Comments
LOS ANGELES – June 16, 2014 – When Taylor Billington and her husband, Gary, set their goals 10 years ago, one of the items they included on their "vision board" was a vacation home. It was more than an idle fantasy. The Fort Lauderdale homeowners, who own a marketing firm, had traveled to Orange County many times, and they had a clear idea of what they were seeking. "The house had to have a water view," Taylor Billington said. "It had to be Zen. It had to be modern. It had to have a very organic feel." Earlier this year, they took the plunge, spending $2.9 million on a three-bedroom, 3,800-square-foot home overlooking the Pacific Ocean in Laguna Beach, where they'll celebrate July 4th.
June 17, 2014 - No Comments
NEW YORK – June 17, 2014 – About 7.2 million homes have been lost to foreclosure or short sale since the housing crash began, according to housing data from Black Knight Financial Services. That has forced millions of former homeowners into renting, as they work to rebuild their credit. But a government program launched last summer by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) is helping these new renters step back into homeownership in as little as one year after a foreclosure or short sale. The FHA's Back to Work program allows them to qualify for low interest rates with a minimum of a 3.5 percent down payment. Applicants must show that the main culprit behind losing their home was that they lost at least 20 percent of their household income for at least six months. They also must show they've worked to repair their credit for at least a year.
June 12, 2014 - No Comments
SAN FRANCISCO – June 11, 2014 – Sixty-five percent of homeowners with private mortgage insurance say that the additional cost of PMI prompted them to pay a higher monthly mortgage payment than they had originally expected, according to a new survey released by TD Bank of more than 2,000 Americans who purchased a home in the past 10 years. "PMI has had a definitive impact on many home buyers – including making them rethink or delay the purchase of a home in light of not being able to meet monthly mortgage payments," says Michael Copley, executive vice president of retail lending at TD Bank.
June 11, 2014 - No Comments
WASHINGTON (AP) – June 11, 2014 – City living has been a blessing for Tim Nelson. The Phoenix lawyer moved downtown a few months ago into a new $389,000 home with a warehouse-style floor plan, a Jacuzzi tub and kitchen counters made of Caesarstone quartz. His favorite coffee spot is three blocks away. When the Arizona Diamondbacks play on Friday nights, he can watch postgame fireworks from his deck. "I like the views," said Nelson, 50. "My commute is almost nonexistent." Nelson has plenty of company. Americans increasingly say they prefer to live near the centers of cities and towns, where commutes are typically shorter and culture, restaurants and entertainment close by. It marks a shift away from the yearning for open suburban space that drove U.S. home construction for decades.
June 11, 2014 - No Comments
WASHINGTON – June 11, 2014 – Where can you retire comfortably and still live on, say, $30,000 a year? AARP The Magazine recently compiled a list of the best places for retirees throughout the country, factoring in taxes, housing costs, and dining and entertainment options for retirees on strict budgets. The following cities topped the AARP list for 2014:
June 9, 2014 - No Comments
SIOUX CITY, Iowa – June 9, 2014 – Although house-hunters have different reasons for finally making an offer on a home, agents say there are some characteristics that appeal to many buyers. These include open floor plans, stone countertops, maple cabinets, updated kitchens, newly refinished hardwood floors, freshly painted walls, and flex rooms that can be used for a variety of purposes. Some buyers are swayed by beautiful landscaping, pools, or the views.