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As of December 1, 2020, the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) has introduced a new refinancing fee, otherwise known as the adverse market refinance fee. The new fee was created to help offset some of the losses experienced by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, two government lending companies, during the COVID-19 pandemic. The New Refinancing Fee, Explained The adverse market refinance fee is equal to 0.5% of your mortgage principal, meaning that you’ll be paying $500 for every $100,000 you borrow, not including interest. However, there are some exemptions from the fee: If your refinanced mortgage is less than $125,000 If your government mortgage is backed by the FHA, VA, or USDA If you have a non-conforming mortgage, such as a jumbo loan The FHFA is charging the refinance fee directly to lenders, not to borrowers. Lenders may elect to roll the fee into the interest rate or add it as a one-time expense to be included with closing costs. If your loan is likely to be subject to the new refinance fee, it’s important to make sure a refinance makes sense for you. As a general rule, there should be at least a full percentage point between your current interest rate and your refinance rate for the change to be worth it. If you’ll be saving more than a full percentage point, there’s a good chance that you’ll still be saving enough to outweigh the additional refinance fee. Is it Still a Good Time to Refinance Your Mortgage? Mortgage rates have seen record lows in 2020 and are expected to stay at similar rates well into 2021. If your financial profile ...
The housing market was a shining star in 2020, fueling the economic turnaround throughout the country. As we look forward to 2021, can we expect real estate to continue showing such promise? Here's what four experts have to say about the year ahead. Lawrence Yun, Chief Economist , National Association of Realtors (NAR) In 2021, I think rates will be similar or modestly higher, maybe 3%…So, mortgage rates will continue to be historically favorable . Danielle Hale, Chief Economist , realtor.com We expect sales to grow 7 percent and prices to rise another 5.7 percent on top of 2020's already high levels . Robert Dietz, Senior Vice President and Chief Economist , National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) With home builder confidence near record highs, we expect continued gains for single-family construction , albeit at a lower growth rate than in 2019. Some slowing of new home sales growth will occur due to the fact that a growing share of sales has come from homes that have not started construction. Nonetheless, buyer traffic will remain strong given favorable demographics, a shifting geography of housing demand to lower-density markets and historically low interest rates. Mark Fleming, Chief Economist, First American Mortgage rates are expected to remain low for the foreseeable future and millennials will continue forming households, keeping demand robust , even if income growth moderates. Despite the best intentions of home builders to provide more housing ...
Student loan debt can discourage potential homebuyers in a variety of ways. Between raising your debt-to-income ratio and making it harder to save for a down payment, securing a mortgage can often seem out of reach. Despite the obstacles that come with paying off any amount of debt, your student loans don’t automatically disqualify you from becoming a homeowner. According to a 2019 survey conducted by Bankrate, 61% of millennials don’t own a home , with nearly a quarter of them saying their student loan debt is preventing them from making the purchase. However, mortgage lenders expect that you may be carrying debt. Whether it’s from your student loans, a car, or credit cards, lenders fully understand that borrowers are typically managing a variety of expenses, which is why becoming a homeowner may be more within reach than you’d expect. Managing Your Debts Some reports have indicated that credit card debt carries more weight than your student loans when it comes to buying a home. And while it’s important to stay on top of your student loan payments, shifting your budget’s focus towards tackling any credit card balances may improve your odds of securing a mortgage. Paying off your high-interest consumer debts is typically quicker and easier than eliminating your student loans. Managing your credit card debt will improve your debt-to-income ratios while providing you with additional funds to put towards your student loans or a down payment. How to Increase Your Credit Score Mortgage lenders pay close attention to your credit score when determining your eligibility ...
Jumbo mortgage interest rates have hit record lows twice in the past month. With rates hovering around 3.48%, many are considering the opportunities that come with taking out a jumbo loan. And while big banks such as Wells Fargo, JPMorgan Chase, and more have influenced the jumbo market for the past few years, independent mortgage bankers are gaining significant traction in the jumbo space by offering equal or lower rates while providing superior customer service and greater flexibility. What are Jumbo Loans? Also known as a non-conforming loan, jumbo loans exceed the maximum Fannie Mae high-balance loan limit for the county the subject property is located in. While this figure is dependent on where you live, the 2021 Fannie Mae loan limit in most high-cost areas is $822,375. Unlike conventional mortgages, jumbo loans traditionally require greater down payments. Many of the big banks are requiring a 20-25% down payment when it comes to buying a home. Independent mortgage bankers such as NJ Lenders are offering competitive rates at 20% down with the possibility for only 10% to be required of qualifying homebuyers. If you can secure one, jumbo loans offer a fair amount of flexibility and allow you to purchase a higher-quality property. So What’s Changed? Historically, money center banks have been looking to establish long-term relationships that allow them to manage some or all of the borrower’s assets. However, an increase in liquidity in the secondary market has allowed mortgage bankers to offer competitive rates while not requiring an ongoing banking relationship. Any larger banks that are still offering ...
This year’s record-low mortgage rates sparked high demand among homebuyers. Current homeowners, however, haven’t put their houses on the market so quickly. This makes finding a home to buy today challenging for many potential buyers. With an obstacle like this, those searching for their dream homes may be pressing pause on their searches as we approach the end of the year, but that could be a big mistake for many hopeful house hunters. Here’s why. According to the most recent Housing Trends Report from the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB): “The length of time spent searching for a home continues to grow.” The report indicates that 62% of buyers now spend 3 months or more looking for a home, an increase from 58% one year ago. A primary cause for the delay is the heavy competition today’s buyers face when making an offer on a home. Based on recent data from the National Association of Realtors (NAR), the average house in today’s market receives 3.4 offers before it’s sold. This means for every buyer who purchases a home, there are on average two or three buyers who have to begin their search all over again. Compared to this time last year, the NAHB report shows that buyers are having more success finding homes in their price range. However, it also notes the percentage of buyers saying they’re getting outbid when they make an offer has jumped from 15% to 27%. Buyers are indicating that bidding wars are a major obstacle to finding their dream home (See graph ...