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Lending / Financial

Buying real estate is even more challenging for those of us whose eyes glaze over at the mere mention of decimals, percentages or anything else that even hints of mathematics.


The financial aspect of purchasing the largest investment of your lifetime, though, is the most important. Nobody wants to lose money. Nobody wants to leave money on the table.


If you're in the market for information on mortgages, credit scores and interest rates, you've come to the right place. The financial and mortgage pros here at ActiveRain even tell you how to shop for and compare lenders, how to raise your credit score, how to get a mortgage after a short sale or foreclosure and how to get pre-approved for a mortgage loan. Even Mom and Dad can't give the great advice you'll find here at ActiveRain.


Plan to spend some time here because ActiveRain's content library is massive. Lucky for you we've arranged it so that it's über user-friendly. You'll be amazed at how easy it is to put your finger on just the information you're looking for without having to surf a million other pages.

Recent blogs on Lending / Financial
By Joe Metzler, Sr Loan Officer
(Cambria Mortgage)
Investing in real estate can be a highly profitable business, until you go to sell, then the tax man feels he can take a big chunk of your profits. Luckily for investors, Congress put rules in place over 100-years ago designed to defer your capital gain taxes, potentially indefinitely.A 1031 Exchange, very simply allows someone to exchange one property for another 'liked-kind' properties, and not pay any capital gain taxes on the sale. Furthermore, liked-kind is a little looser than the name implies.  For example, if you sell a duplex, you do not need to buy another duplex, but it does need to be real estate for real estate. You can even sale one property, and divide the gains to buy two or more properties, which is something I have done in the past personally.1031 Exchange TimelinesThe...
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By Joe Metzler, Sr Loan Officer
(Cambria Mortgage)
FHA announces 203k rehab loan improvementsThe Federal Housing Administration (FHA) has announced updates and improvements to it’s 203(k) rehab mortgage which are intended to reduce barriers to using the program.The FHA 203(k) rehab loan allows people to both buy a home, AND get the money needed to repair the home all in one loan.Enhancing the 203(k) Rehabilitation Mortgage Insurance Program (203(k) program) is an integral part of FHA’s goals to increase the supply of affordable housing, expand affordable financing options for homes in need of repair, and stabilize neighborhoods by reducing the blight of vacant and abandoned properties.FHA has now enhanced its 203(k) program guidelines to: Increase the Limited 203(k) total rehabilitation cost from a maximum of $35,000 to a maximum of $75...
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By Bob Elliot, 30+ Yrs Industry Experience
(eXp Realty)
With lofty expectations, the CPI delivered a lower-than-expected inflation increase, leading to a positive uptake across many lending partners and markets. However, the PPI was on the opposite end of that, with a higher-than-expected inflation rate increase, muting the positive response from the CPI data release.The outlook for a rate cut this year has changed, making the potential for it highly likely. Even Jerome Powell, who usually has a more hawkish response regarding rate cuts, is now leaving some room for this possibility. With the outlooks in favor of a rate cut, we’re seeing the impact across many markets as the potential change for rates is reduced long term.Consumer Price IndexThe cost of consumer goods and services fell in June for the first time since the pandemic in 2020, a...
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By Bob Elliot, 30+ Yrs Industry Experience
(eXp Realty)
With the FOMC Minutes coming precisely within expectations, there is once again a lot of optimism that the Federal Reserve may cut rates this year. Much of the Q2 data reports show favorable amounts of reduction in inflation as well as a more stable economic outlook for the rest of the year. With the larger reports in PMI Manufacturing numbers and Non-farm Payroll figures, the overall outlook seems to align with the rest of the data points, justifying the more recent optimism about potential rate cuts. This week should give the final results on Q2 inflation results with the new releases of CPI and PPI data reports.Global US Manufacturing PMIA key barometer of U.S. factories fell in June for the third month in a row, signaling that an ongoing slump in the industrial side of the economy s...
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By Dorie Dillard Austin TX, NW Austin ~ Canyon Creek and Spicewood/Balcones
(Coldwell Banker Realty ~ 512.750.6899)
I was listening to a podcast the other day, and they were discussing how our young people will need to make financial plans differently from those currently retiring. Even some retiring now find their retirement plans need to be updated to adjust for living longer than expected.In 1900, the average life expectancy in the US was 47 years, and in 1950, it grew to 68 years. According to Macro Trends, the average life expectancy in 2024 is 79.25 years. With life expectancy steadily increasing, it’s crucial for the next generation to be equipped with the financial literacy necessary to navigate their extended futures.Unfortunately, our schools have gotten off track and are not adequately preparing our children for the world we live in. Values and attitudes begin at home with parenting and ar...
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By Charles Stallions, 850-476-4494 - Pensacola, Pace or Gulf Breeze, Fl.
(Charles Stallions Real Estate Services )
A 3-2-1 buydown is a mortgage financing technique that temporarily reduces a borrower's interest rate. This is achieved by paying an upfront fee or getting a credit from the seller or builder. The interest rate is reduced for the first three years of the loan before reverting to the original rate for the remainder of the term.Here's a breakdown of how a 3-2-1 buydown works, along with an example:Explanation: Year 1: The interest rate is reduced by 3 percentage points. Year 2: The interest rate is reduced by 2 percentage points. Year 3: The interest rate is reduced by 1 percentage point. Year 4 onward: The interest rate returns to the original rate agreed upon when the loan was taken out. Example:Let's say a borrower is taking out a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage of $300,000 at an interest ...
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By Charles Stallions, 850-476-4494 - Pensacola, Pace or Gulf Breeze, Fl.
(Charles Stallions Real Estate Services )
The conventional loan limits for Pensacola, Pace, and Gulf Breeze, Florida, are set by the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) and generally align with the conforming loan limits applicable to most of the United States. For 2024, a single-family home's baseline conforming loan limit is $726,200.However, the limits can vary depending on the county and whether the area is considered high-cost, which typically increases the limit. Escambia County (Pensacola), Santa Rosa County (Pace and Gulf Breeze), and many parts of Florida generally follow the standard conforming loan limit.For the most accurate and up-to-date information, check with local lenders or the FHFA website.Mortgage 101: Thinking of financing, refinancing, or just needing to understand how the process works? It all starts he...
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By Charles Stallions, 850-476-4494 - Pensacola, Pace or Gulf Breeze, Fl.
(Charles Stallions Real Estate Services )
Discover the benefits of an FHA Assumption. With new mortgage rates approaching 8%, many buyers have decided to wait for rates to come down.  While there may be some easing in the fourth quarter of 2023 and 2024, assuming an existing FHA mortgage with a lower rate made in the last three or four years might be a much better alternative. Since December 1, 1986, FHA has had the right to approve the purchaser of an existing FHA loan.  Before that, anyone could assume an existing FHA loan regardless of creditworthiness or other qualifications.  Existing FHA mortgages are assumable at the current interest rate for owner-occupied buyers.  The benefit is that the rate could be much lower than a new mortgage.  The borrower must qualify for the loan under current FHA underwriting guidelines, but ...
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By Kimo Stowell, REALTOR Associate® RS-76763 - Honolulu Hawai'i
(HI Pro Realty LLC RB-21531 )
               Latest rates, based on 20 percent down, $200,000 owner-occupant mortgages. The rates and terms may vary; check with lenders for details. Rates may have changed click here to verifyPosted July 3rd  Lender Term/Type Interest Rate % Points % *APR American Savings Bank808-593-1226NMLS#423168 15-YR Fixed 5.625 1.875 6.050 30-YR Fixed 6.375 2.250 6.681 5-YR ARM 5.875 2.125 7.325 Bank of Hawaii877-616-2636 15-YR Fixed 6.375 0.875 6.514 30-YR Fixed 6.500 1.750 6.671 5-YR ARM 6.250 0.875 7.387 Central Pacific Bank808-544-0500NMLS#416603 15-YR Fixed 5.750 2.000 6.207 30-YR Fixed 6.375 2.000 6.661 5-YR ARM 7.000 0.000 7.849 Finance Factors808-548-3300NMLS#449916 15-YR Fixed 5.750 1.875 6.277 30-YR Fixed 6.375 1.750 6.692 5-YR ARM 6.375 1.500 7.728 First Hawaiian Bank808-643-4663 15-...
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By Michael Elliott, Burlington, New Jersey Residential Sales
(Fathom Realty)
Mortgage 101: Thinking of financing, refinancing, or just needing to understand how the process works? It all starts here. We research whether it's a VA, FHA, conventional, or non-traditional loan for you. We can help simplify the process and remove the challenges. How to Get Mortgage Info and a FREE Credit Report Check out the latest Guide to Buying a Home. Check out the latest Guide to Selling Your Home. Are you looking to sell your home? Click here for a Free Appraisal and a Guide on Selling Your Home in the current market. Need to sell your home before you buy and are concerned about managing two payments? Click here to receive an instant offer today and see if it suits your needs. We charge a 1% Commission with no hidden fees or gimmicks—not the average 5, 6, or even 7% charged by...
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By Laura Sellers, www.AuburnOpelikaALRealEstate.com
(Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Preferred Real Estate, Inc.; www.AuburnOpelikaALRealEstate.com)
The Lenders That Make Real Estate a NightmareBeware of These Lenders: Don’t Let Your Dream Home Turn into a Nightmare!One of the most frustrating experiences for buyers, sellers, and realtors alike is dealing with lenders who seem to wait until the last minute to review and request essential documents. Despite having everything they need weeks in advance—appraisals, surveys, title work—some lenders only start their final review days before closing. This practice not only jeopardizes the transaction but also puts everyone involved in a highly stressful situation.The Last-Minute Scramble: Imagine having submitted every necessary document well ahead of time, only to be blindsided by a sudden request for additional information just days before closing. This last-minute scramble can turn wha...
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By Bob Elliot, 30+ Yrs Industry Experience
(eXp Realty)
Following the release of key data such as the FOMC rate decision and CPI and PPI inflation reports, only the PCE Index reports remained to set the course, which are coming in well within expectations. The Consumer Confidence Report is also a significant concern since it influences broader economic decisions when consumers hesitate to spend, usually due to rising living costs.Consumer Confidence ReportConsumers were slightly more optimistic about the economy at the end of June, but the effects of high inflation in the past few years still weighed on their minds. The final reading of the consumer sentiment index rose to 68.2 in June from a preliminary 65.6 earlier in the month, but it’s still the lowest level in seven months. The index also stands well below a pre-pandemic peak of 101. Al...
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By Charles Stallions, 850-476-4494 - Pensacola, Pace or Gulf Breeze, Fl.
(Charles Stallions Real Estate Services )
Mortgage relief scams often target homeowners who are facing financial difficulty. These scams can be very convincing, and homeowners may be desperate for help, making them vulnerable to these schemes. Scammers often pose as government officials or mortgage experts, promising homeowners they can help them avoid foreclosure or modify their mortgage loans. However, these promises are usually false, and homeowners who fall victim to these scams may lose their homes and money.   If you are facing financial difficulty and considering a mortgage relief program, it is essential to research and be very careful. Here are some tips to help you avoid becoming a victim of a mortgage relief scam: Work only with a HUD-approved housing counselor. You can find one by calling 1-888-995-HOPE (4673). Be ...
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By Bob Elliot, 30+ Yrs Industry Experience
(eXp Realty)
Currently, the Retail Sales Report is the sole report that has weight. With the passage of more optimistic inflation data reports, retail sales coming in slightly under expectations will have little to no bearing on the overall outlook. Given the last major reports indicating the economy's health and state of inflation, there is more optimism toward a potential rate cut this year. Lending partners have still been quick to continue cutting rates.Consumer Price IndexSales at U.S. retailers barely rose in May, suggesting Americans are feeling the weight of lingering inflation and high interest rates. Sales edged up 0.1% last month. They had been forecast to rise 0.2%, based on a Wall Street Journal poll of economists.Primary Mortgage Market Survey Index 15-Yr FRM rates are seeing a decreas...
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By Charles Stallions, 850-476-4494 - Pensacola, Pace or Gulf Breeze, Fl.
(Charles Stallions Real Estate Services )
Mortgage 101: Thinking of financing, refinancing, or just needing to understand how the process works? It all starts here. We research whether it's a VA, FHA, conventional, or non-traditional loan for you. We can help simplify the process and remove the challenges.How to Get Mortgage Info and a FREE Credit ReportCheck out the latest Guide to Buying a Home.Check out the latest Guide to Selling Your Home.Are you looking to sell your home? Click here for a Free Appraisal and a Guide on Selling Your Home in the current market.Need to sell your home before you buy and are concerned about managing two payments? Click here to receive an instant offer today and see if it suits your needs.We charge a 1% Commission with no hidden fees or gimmicks—not the average 5, 6, or even 7% charged by others...
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By Nina Hollander, Broker, Your Greater Charlotte Realtor
(Coldwell Banker Realty)
 It's National Pink Day! Think Pink Today! "Pink is not just a color. It's a state of mind!"... Jessica Lynn Celebrated annually on June 23rd, today is dedicated to honoring the color pink in all its shades and splendor. From the soft blush of a blooming rose to the bold statement of fuchsia fashion, pink embodies a spectrum of emotions and expressions. Whether you’re a fan of pastel pinks or hot pink hues, National Pink Day is the perfect occasion to embrace this cheerful color.  “In a world full of colors, be the vibrant shade of pink.”... Alexandra Vasiliu Do you love the color pink? Anyone who knows me, knows I love, love, love pink. If I wear color (besides my usual black and white, which technically are not colors), it will be pink. I own pink handbags, my phone screen saver is pi...
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By Laura Sellers, www.AuburnOpelikaALRealEstate.com
(Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Preferred Real Estate, Inc.; www.AuburnOpelikaALRealEstate.com)
Why “Buy Now, Refinance Later” Might Not Be a Good IdeaIn the current real estate market, you might be tempted to buy a home now with plans to refinance later when rates are more favorable. While this strategy can seem appealing, it’s essential to consider the potential pitfalls before making such a decision.Avoid These Common Pitfalls of the “Buy Now, Refinance Later” StrategyBuying a home is a significant financial commitment, and the idea of refinancing later can sometimes lead to unexpected complications. Here are some reasons why this strategy might not be the best approach.Pitfalls of “Buy Now, Refinance Later” Uncertain Future Interest Rates:While interest rates might drop in the future, they could just as easily rise. Banking on a rate decrease can be risky and might leave you p...
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By Jerry Thomas-Construction Loans, Construction Loans in MI, OH, PA, CO VA, GA and FL
(Cranbrook Loans)
Building a home is a major undertaking. There are many costs and issues that people often overlook during the process. Here are some key ones to be aware of: Underestimating the Budget: One of the most common mistakes is not accurately estimating the total cost of building the home. You need to start by speaking with a few builders. There are so many costs that you can miss if you are not a builder, design costs, permits, inspections, local government fees and mortgage costs just to mention a few.  Not Researching the Builder: Choosing the wrong builder can lead to delays, cost overruns, and poor quality workmanship. It's crucial to thoroughly research builders before making a decision. If you are getting a loan to build your home the lender will want to vet the builder too. Most lender...
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By Bob Elliot, 30+ Yrs Industry Experience
(eXp Realty)
What Does the Origination Fee Cover?The mortgage origination fee covers various services provided by the lender, including: Loan Application Processing: Reviewing your application and documentation. Credit Checks: Obtaining and analyzing your credit report and score. Underwriting: Assessing your creditworthiness and the risk of lending to you. Preparation of Loan Documents: Creating and managing all necessary paperwork for your loan. Coordination with Other Parties: Communicating with real estate agents, appraisers, and other involved parties to ensure a smooth transaction. Is the Origination Fee Negotiable?Yes, you can negotiate the origination fee with your lender. It’s always a good idea to shop around and compare offers from different lenders. Sometimes, lenders might be willing to ...
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By Charles Stallions, 850-476-4494 - Pensacola, Pace or Gulf Breeze, Fl.
(Charles Stallions Real Estate Services )
How Rapid Rescoring Can Make a Difference Imagine you're on the verge of securing a mortgage, and a slightly higher credit score could mean a lower interest rate. The good news? There's a quicker way to make that possibility a reality. Mortgage loans are often more time-sensitive than other loans. If you find yourself in a situation where a slightly improved credit score could open doors to better rates, the solution might lie in rapid rescoring. When it comes to mortgage loans, time is of the essence. Your offer has been accepted, and you have a limited window to qualify for a new loan. But what if there was a way to boost your credit score swiftly and improve your chances of securing a lower interest rate? Enter rapid rescoring ... a powerful tool mortgage lenders use to diagnose pote...
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