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 Will Hamm, "Where There's a Will, There's a Way!"
(Hamm Homes)
    A Look Into the Markets   This week, Fed Chair Jerome Powell spoke, and interest rates touched the lowest level in almost 3 months. Let's discuss what happened and look into the week ahead. "Help me get my feet back on the ground, Won't you please, please help me" - Help by The Beatles "Time To Moderate Pace of Rate Hikes May Come as Soon as December Meeting" - Fed Chair Powell Nov 30, 2022. On Wednesday, November 30th, the anniversary of the Fed flip-flopping on inflation and telling us they were wrong about its high nature, Powell delivered the most "dovish" speech in a year. The quote above is the one that really sent the markets soaring, as it confirms the Federal Reserve will lower the size of rate hikes going forward. Since June, The Fed has raised the Fed Funds Rate by .75% ...
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By Bob Elliot, 20+ Yrs Industry Experience
(eXp Realty)
Last week’s economic news included readings on home prices, inflation, and data on public and private-sector jobs. Weekly readings on mortgage rates and jobless claims were also released.S&P Case-Shiller Posts Lower Home Prices in SeptemberSeptember home prices fell in all cities tracked by Case-Shiller’s 20-City Home Price Index. Home prices were - 8.7 percent lower year-over-year in September than August’s reading of -10.40 percent. Home price declines showed signs of increasing after a period of rapidly rising home prices sidelined would-be home buyers.The Federal Housing Finance Agency Home Price Index rose by 0.90 percent in September as compared to home price depreciation of -7.50 percent posted in August. Home prices rose in all 50 states and the District of Columbia between Q3 2...
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By Bob Elliot, 20+ Yrs Industry Experience
(eXp Realty)
Ask any friend or family member that owns a home and they will share that it takes a bit of management to keep all the expenses under control. Let's explore the concept of PITI and why it is vital to have a clear picture of how much your home is costing you each month.Just What Is PITI, Anyway?PITI is an acronym that stands for "principal, interest, taxes and insurance," which are the four main components that make up your housing costs.Principal - this is the amount that you are paying against the total amount that you borrowed when you purchased the home. For example, if you used a mortgage to cover $200,000 of the home's purchase price, the remaining balance of that $200,000 is the principal. A part of your monthly mortgage payment goes to paying down the principal.Interest - this is...
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By Bob Elliot, 20+ Yrs Industry Experience
(eXp Realty)
If you are looking for a way to diversify your investment portfolio, there are different options available. One option is to invest in real estate. With so many different choices, how can you select the right one for your needs? There are a few key points to keep in mind. A Single-Family HomeOne of the first options you might be considering is a single-family home. This is a versatile option that you can use to host long-term renters or vacation visitors. Single-family homes come in many shapes and sizes, but the variation can also make it a bit of a challenge. You need to think about landscape maintenance, potential repairs, and real estate taxes. Single-family homes can also be expensive, so they might require more upfront cash to purchase.A DuplexAnother option you might want to cons...
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By Shayne Stone, "Your Rock Solid Choice Realtor"
(HomeSmart)
Mortgage Rates Will Come Down, Its Just a Matter of TimeThis past year, rising mortgage rates have slowed the red-hot housing market. Over the past nine months, we've seen fewer homes sold than the previous month as home price growth has slowed. All of this is due to the fact that the average 30-year fixed mortgage rate has doubled this year, severely limiting homebuying power for consumers. And, this month, the average rate for financing a home briefly rose over 7% before coming back down into the high 6% range. But were starting to see a hint of what mortgage interest rates could look like next year.Inflation Is the Enemy of Long-Term Interest RatesAs long as inflation is high, well see higher mortgage rates. Over the past couple of weeks, we've seen indications that inflation may be ...
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By Marcus Anderson, Mortgage Broker & Agent | Westside Los Angeles, CA
(MortgageBrokerSantaMonica.com)
Is it better to go through a mortgage broker or direct to a bank?A mortgage broker is an intermediary between you and the lender. Their job is to find you the best deal. They have a selection of hundreds of different lenders.A bank can only show you what they have to offer. A mortgage broker can show you what that bank has to offer, as well as all of the other options available to you and your needs. Their knowledge of your specific situation and goals combined with their abundance of resources enables them to find the perfect deal for you.A mortgage broker’s pre-approval letter can mean the difference between having your offer accepted or losing out to another potential buyer. This is because listing agents are familiar with a bank’s bureaucracy, which causes them to be slower. But, mo...
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By Bill Gassett, Metrowest Massachusetts Real Estate
(RE/MAX Executive Realty)
There comes a time in your life when you'll decide living with your parents or renting an apartment is no longer your best bet. There will likely be a striking moment when you realize that owning real estate is an excellent idea.When it comes to buying a home, you want to make sure you have everything in order before you make an offer. There are a few things you can do to make sure that happens.One of the most vital things is understanding how to get a mortgage. Maximum Real Estate Exposure provides some excellent advice on how to prepare.Before applying for a mortgage, it makes sense to have a firm grasp of what you want. Once you have that nailed down, starting the mortgage process will be necessary.Let's go over what you need to do before making your mortgage application so you'll be...
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By Brian Skaar, Purchase Loan Specialist - VA, FHA, Conventional
(VanDyk Mortgage - VA, FHA, Conventional, VA Jumbo, Jumbo, Purchase Loans, & Refinance, Direct Lender)
Nashville Tennessee is becoming more popular every year.  This is evidenced by Nashville's robust housing market, where houses sell for much more than other parts of Tennessee.   The nightlife, professional sports, employment opportunities, as well as good old Tennessee countryside make Nashville what it is today. 2023 Home loan limits for Nashville are much higher than the rest of the state.   For example, conforming loans are available in 2023 up to $890,100 for Nashville homebuyers.  This is $163,900 higher than the rest of the state.   Nashville FHA Loans also cap out at $890,100, which is a whopping $418,070 more than most of Tennessee.   Nashville VA Loans actually have no limit for Veterans with full VA Entitlement available.  However, there is a Nashville VA Loan Limit for 2023 ...
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By Ron Trzcinski, 410-935-5844
(410-935-5844 Office)
Conforming Loan Limits to IncreaseThe Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) will increase conforming loan limits, effective January 1, 2023, by about 12.2%The FHFA determines the amount of the increases once it has received the third quarter housing sales numbers.For most counties in the country, the limit will increase from $647,200 to $726,200.The highest conforming loan limit, which will be available in 99 counties in the country, will be $1,089,300.Note, these limits are based on home prices and not on interest rates, affordability, wages, inflation and so on.In Maryland, the high limit of $1,089,300 applies to five counties: Calvert, Charles, Frederick, Montgomery, and Prince George's.Check with your lender to determine the limits for the area where you are looking to purchase.If y...
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By Laura Sellers, www.AuburnOpelikaALRealEstate.com
(Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Preferred Real Estate, Inc.; www.AuburnOpelikaALRealEstate.com)
Auburn Preservation League's Annual Loveliest Village Christmas Tour 2022Don't miss touring the lovely homes that are on tour this year. For a complete list of the homes on tour please click here.Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Preferred Real Estate, Best Auburn Realtors, Best Opelika Realtors, Relocate to Auburn, Move to Auburn, Homes for sale in Auburn, Homes for Sale near me, Houses for Sale Opelika, Luxury Homes for Sale Auburnwww.AuburnOpelikaALRealEstate
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By Jerry Newman, Texas REALTOR, San Antonio Military Relocation
(Brown Realty, 210-789-4216,)
You’ve most likely heard the rule: Save for a 20-percent down payment before you buy a home. The logic behind saving 20 percent is solid, as it shows that you have the financial discipline and stability to save for a long-term goal. It also helps you get favorable rates from lenders.But there can actually be financial benefits to putting down a small down payment—as low as three percent—rather than parting with so much cash up front, even if you have the money available. Many first-time home buyers are only able to qualify for the government's FHA loan that required 3.5 percent down. Some lenders do offer a 3 percent down payment for a conventional loan, but higher credit scores are required. THE DOWNSIDEThe downsides of a small down payment are pretty well known. You’ll have to pay Pri...
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By Brian Skaar, Purchase Loan Specialist - VA, FHA, Conventional
(VanDyk Mortgage - VA, FHA, Conventional, VA Jumbo, Jumbo, Purchase Loans, & Refinance, Direct Lender)
VA removes private road and shared driveway hurdles for VeteransPrivate roads and shared driveways, especially non-paved surfaces such as dirt or gravel drives have been a hurdle for Veteran buyers for many years.  The VA Lender Handbook required that the Lender (and Veteran by association) document that the private road or shared driveway had an existing maintenance agreement so the Veteran has proper access to their property.Documenting the private road or shared driveway was accomplished via Homeowners association maintenance agreement,  or a joint agreement with the owners of other properties accessed by the private road or shared driveway.    Surprisingly, many of these properties had no formal maintenance agreement in place, creating both a time and cost burden for the Veteran, as...
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By Brian Skaar, Purchase Loan Specialist - VA, FHA, Conventional
(VanDyk Mortgage - VA, FHA, Conventional, VA Jumbo, Jumbo, Purchase Loans, & Refinance, Direct Lender)
VA Loan Down Payment Assistance for California Veterans and Active Duty MilitaryWhy would someone need down payment assistance for a VA Loan in California? The answer is closing, settlement, and prepaid costs associated with a home purchase loan.  VA loans, just like any other home purchase loan,  will incur costs including closing costs from both the Lender and third parties such as title insurance, escrow agents, notary, recording, appraisal,  prepaid property taxes and homeowners insurance to set up your impound account. Many Veterans have the income and credit character to qualify for a VA home loan, but don't have the funds saved up for the closing, settlement and prepaid costs.That is where our VA Loan Down Payment Assistance for California Veterans and Active Duty Military Member...
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By Melissa Thompson, I'm a real estate agent helping buyers and sellers
(Thompson Real Estate)
Are you facing the heart-wrenching reality that your home is going into foreclosure?In 2007, 1.5 million American properties fell into foreclosure. As the mortgages got more expensive and the regulations got tighter, more and more people found themselves in this challenging situation.Can you sell a house in foreclosure? Are you hoping to sell the house to the bank and move on? Read on to learn all about selling a home in foreclosure.Can You Sell a House in Foreclosure: Don't Give UpIf you are in the foreclosure process, you may be wondering if you can still sell your house. The answer is yes; you can still sell your home, even if it is in foreclosure.There are a few things to keep in mind, however, if you plan to sell your home in foreclosure. First, you will need to find a buyer willin...
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By Jeff Masich-Scottsdale AZ Associate Broker,MBA,GRI, Arizona Homes and Land Group/ Buy or Sell
(HomeSmart Real Estate)
Exciting news to help with your home purchase!  "HUD has increased the popular 3.5% down payment FHA loan limits for 2023" per Ryan Spencer of AZ Mortgage Group, LLC.  Specifically, "Maricopa County (Phoenix Metro) FHA loan limits will increase from $441,600 to $530,150 for single-family residences.  This is a $88,550 increase that goes into effect on January 1st, 2023." (Photo: Family White 77 from Pixabay)   Maricopa County Arizona FHA Loan Limit Breakdown:          $530,150               Single Family          $648,700              Two-Family          $820,350              Three-Family          $1,019,55               Four-FamilyFHA loans are eligible for single family, duplexes, triplexes and Fourplexes. Other Counties in Arizona will have different loan limits for 2023.FHA loans ca...
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By Mike & Cindy Jones, Real Estate - (904) 874-0422 - Jacksonville, Fl
(Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Florida Network Realty)
Thanks to Meredith Medvec and Prosperity Home Mortgage for these 5 easy ways to pay off your mortgage. Paying your mortgage off early will provide a feeling you will not regret not to mention can save you thousands in mortgage interest.Connect with Meredith Search Homes for sale in North East Florida Mike & Cindy Jones, Realtors, Jacksonville Real Estate Agents904 874-0422MikeAndCindyJones.comBerkshire Hathaway HomeServicesFlorida Network Realty
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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 verifyWednesday, November 30, 2022  Lender Term/Type Interest Rate % Points % *APR Acclaim Capital Mortgage808-383-5931NMLS#304090 15-YR Fixed 4.750 1.939 5.138 30-YR Fixed 5.500 1.824 5.717 5-YR ARM       Aloha Pacific Federal Credit Union808-531-3711NMLS#377314 15-YR Fixed 5.000 2.000 5.482 30-YR Fixed 5.750 1.750 6.021 5-YR ARM 4.875 1.750 5.129 American Savings Bank808-593-1226NMLS#423168 15-YR Fixed 5.000 2.000 5.431 30-YR Fixed 5.875 1.875 6.132 5-YR ARM 4.875 1.875 6.114 Bank of Hawaii877-616-2636 15-YR Fixed 5.125 2.250 5.473 30-YR Fixed 5.875 2.125 6.075 5-YR ARM 4.625 2.375 5.940 Central Pac...
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By Rob Spinosa, SVP of Mortgage Lending, Marin County
(Guaranteed Rate, Marin County, CA)
How to Rock the 2023 Conforming Loan Limits!!!  I ain't foolin'! Even though there's been a whole lotta interest rate hikes in 2022.  And even though there's been a whole lotta rumbling about home values declining in some areas, the FHFA will again be increasing the conforming loan limits into 2023. This means that where the one-unit conforming limit was $647,200 in 2022, it will become $726,200 in 2023. And in high-cost (aka high balance) metropolitan statistical areas like much of CA, NY and other housing-expensive counties, you may see the conforming limit go from $970,800 all the way up to $1,089,300. Note that FHA and VA loan limits fall outside of this change, so if you need to know the specific loan maximums for any program, in any area, just get in touch!  Been a long time!  Rob...
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By Dick Betts, REALTOR® The Villages, Florida
(TOUCHSTONE REAL ESTATE)
Today I posted below on all of our listing in both public comments and Realtor remarks.“With full price offer, seller is amenable to a buyer credit in order to effectuate a 2/1 rate buy down, if financed.  Specific terms to be fully negotiated between buyer and seller at the time of buyer offer.”With interest rates where they are today we need to find creative ways to finance purchasing a home.  The experts can’t agree on whether rates are going up or down or moderating so what can Realtors and lenders do in this market?  Get creative which is what the 2-1 Buy Down is all about.  Many Realtors recommend price cuts why not find a way to make home buying more attractive in today’s market other than slashing prices.  Interest rates is one of the leading reasons people are delaying buying a...
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By Melissa Thompson, I'm a real estate agent helping buyers and sellers
(Thompson Real Estate)
Do you keep hearing that buying investment properties is a great opportunity? Have you been looking into it, but aren't sure if it's something you want to do? This is common.Investing in real estate can be a great opportunity, but it can be a little scary to jump into something if you aren't sure where to begin. But it turns out that jumping in is actually the easiest part. Once you understand the advantages of investing in real estate, you'll wonder why you didn't already have properties.Here is a quick guide to why you should invest in real estate and the many benefits you'll receive. Keep reading!1. Tax BenefitsThere are numerous tax advantages to owning investment properties, including the ability to deduct mortgage interest, property taxes, and many of the operating expenses associ...
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