Monday, August 20, 2012

Stop Spending, what a concept!

I was reading the following article and had to stop because I was so frustrated.  It refers to Senators and Representatives coming up with  3 bills to fix America's housing problems.  First, I need to say that I think the government has done enough and they need to back off and let housing fix itself.  The investor's had removed certain loans, and had tightened up underwriting before the government came up with the HVCC rules, the Frank/Dodd bill, the HAMP, HARP, and several other bills.  HVCC made it so that loan officers were not to speak to the appraiser to influence their opinion of value.  This has increased the costs of the appraisals to the client along with increasing turn times.  It has also reduced the income received by they appraiser, but it did start a nice little 3rd party servicing company opportunity referred to as Appraisal Management Companies.  Not what our industry needed, but helped create jobs I guess.  Then the Frank/Dodd rulings, coming from two men who both obtained loans from Freddie Mac fraudulently, nice.  HAMP and HARP were designed for delinquent borrowers and non-delinquent borrowers (respectively) to try and save or refinance their underwater home instead of turning to foreclosure. 
Here is what I would like the public to know.  The first HARP program was not successful.  It had to many limitations and especially in the San Joaquin Valley our values had dropped so significantly that the program didn't have a chance.  In October 2011, HARP 2.0 was rolled out, but guidelines were not presented until December and investors didn't start lending until March.  In the article it states that 423,000 people have been helped in 2012, but in essense that number really didn't start until April.  Now they want to revamp the program to help more people.  Let's just give it a full 12 months before we start throwing more money and time at  something that has really just kicked off.  And Senator Feinstein, FHA has something called an FHA Streamline.  We don't get an appraisal, if the FHA client is on time, and is working we will refinance their loan.  We don't need $6 billion in a fund to insure those loans, FHA already has the money. 
I was discussing the upcoming election issues with my daughter and her idea was just stop tax cuts, and start doing what we are supposed to do.  The elderly should not have to worry about their medicare benefits. 
I asked her, what about keeping tax cuts that will eventually benefit more people because there will be jobs created and just stop spending.  When I saw the bill from Senator Feinstein stating to just fund $6 Billion to insure it made me crazy.  Where are those funds going to come from?  Increased Upfront MI and monthly MI factors...great then we will see less and less people refinance or purchase.  For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.  We need to stop spending, we need to audit our books and see where there is waste.  It is not at the schools because we have them on shoestring budgets, it is not in the counties (except maybe the high end) because all programs are being trimmed and the offices are running on skeleton crews who keep taking cuts to their pay to keep their jobs. 
I don't mean to rant, but when a homeowner is feeling the pinch, they cut out bills, or lower the ones they have, Full cable to Basic cable, Unlimited usage of the phone to set minutes, get rid of the home phone, don't put the Air Conditioner on until after 7pm, eat in, purchase inexpensive foods-generic, rent videos, etc...Our government needs to learn how to cut back, we need to trim the fat, and save our country.  We don't need new bills, we just need to be frugal.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Fed Minutes Released

The meetings from the most recent Federal Reserve Board meeting were released today. There was still no mention of QE3 (good in my opinion), and the MBS (mortgage backed securities) market reacted very poorly to the news. At this posting the market is down 78 bps and has given back everything it gained in the last week. That all being said, rates are still amazing, and buying a house right now is a great idea. Banks, put your foreclosed houses on the market, they will move!

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Click Here for My Featured Chart

Click Here for My Featured Chart
This is a great chart to show how housing prices have decreased across the nation from Nov.11 to Dec. 2011. Let me know your thoughts!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Presidential Budget-How it effects homeowners

President Obama rolled out his proposed budget for the coming fiscal year. The part of the budget that catches my eye is that the Mortgage Interest Deduction is on the chopping block. If the Real Estate market has to turn around in order for our economy to turn around why would the President take away the one deduction that makes a difference between renters and home owners? I have not read the entire budget, and I received an alert telling me to be aware of his verbiage in the current draft. We HAVE TO encourage our representatives to have this wording removed from the budget. The only way to remove such an important deduction from the middle class, is to flat tax everyone, so that there is no benefit to being a homeowner.
I believe we are on a slippery slope and as Americans with the right to vote and the right to be heard, we need to be loud and in one voice, that the government needs to look for a budget cut, elsewhere.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Tax Time

It is that time of year again! Time to file your taxes. If you are currently considering purchasing a home a refund can be a great way to reach your down payment goals. Refund money does not have to be in your account for 2 months. A copy of your tax return, showing that the funds are owed to you, and a copy of the bank statement where the funds were deposited.
Don't waste your refund on a big screen t.v. or a new toy, use it to purchase YOUR new home!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

FHA to tighten up lending

In an announcement today, FHA is going to update regulations to strengthen the financial outlook of the agency:
"These new regulations strengthen the process by which FHA requires certain lenders to indemnify the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) for insurance claims paid on mortgages that are found not to meet the agency's guidelines. In addition, the final rule requires all lenders with the authority to insure mortgages on HUD’s behalf ("Lender Insurance" mortgagee) to meet stricter performance standards to gain and maintain their approval status..."
Further in the announcement the regulations discussed fraud, fraud detection, and having lenders be responsible for such fraud. I completely support that idea, but in the past 12 months FHA, Fannie Mae, and Freddie Mac have been able to find what they call fraud on a majority of the files that they own or insure.
I wonder if this is just a way to push unwanted debt onto the banks. If that is the case, the lending world just got a lot smaller.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Have You Called Yet?

We are in the third full week of January. Have you talked yourself out of calling because you don't think you have what it takes to buy a home. Over a third of my clients are always so surprised when they find out that their credit is much better than they thought, and they actually not only qualify, but qualify for more than they thought possible. Don't let another year slip away, call me today, and let's see if you can be in your own home in 2012.