Not only do you have a place to live in, you also have a bunch of other benefits when owning your own home. Uncle Sam wants you to own your own home and help stimulate the economy at the same time. This is why there are still a few perks left in home ownership.
The Senate is proposing to change the FHA down payment to 5% and decrese the loan limits. Why make it harder to qualify for a loan when FHA is critical in providing affordable financing to help decrease the growing foreclosed properties. Currently the nation’s largest lending institutions own more then 872,000 homes which is twice that of 2007. It will take 400 days for lenders to foreclose on the home and 176 days to sell it. This will make our recovery even slower. Although financing isn’t the only factor to a recovery, it is one of the most important factor to decrease the ever growing inventory.
The California Housing Finance Agency (CalHFA) is administering $2 billion in federal funds for borrowers who are at risk of losing their homes. Borrowers who took out loans after January 1, 2009 are eligible for 4 different programs as long as the property is a primary resident, meet income requirements, and face a documented financial hardship.
The four programs are the following:
- The Unemployment Mortgage Assistance Program (UMA) which will help homeowners with their mortgage payments.
- The Mortgage Reinstatement Assistance Program (MRAP) which provides funds for homeowners who have fallen behind in their payments
- The Transition Assistance Program which provides relocation assistance
- The Principal Reduction Program (PRP) which provides funds to reduce the outstanding principal balance.
GMAC, Guild Mortgage, CalHFA, and California Dept. of Veterans Affairs are the organization that offers all 4 programs.
There are about 78,000 homes that are either vacant and for sale, or under construction. This is an improvement and with a normal level of buying, the homes would sell in 2 1/2 months. The study shows that there is a housing shortage brewing. If this happens, then it would change the market to a seller’s market and buyers will have a hard time purchasing again. The market today is still considered a buyer’s market and there are more bargain hunters out looking for deals. More investors are also very active making all cash purchases. There are 6 cities that are considered to be cheaper then renting the same house. All this may be history if unemployment rises, which it is decreasing today, interest rates continue to rise and become non deductible.
For the third month in a row, mortgage lates, 90 days or more, have declined. This could be another sign of recovery. With fewer defaults, the inventory level of REOs and short sales should go down as well. Could this be the bottom or is it a double dip situation. Only time will provide us with an answer. Either way, now is still a good time to purchase real estate.
Home prices declined 3.8% in February compared to last year, however they are up 4.2% from two years ago. Could this be a sign of our recovery or maybe the double dip is about to happen? It’s hard to say but it is a great time to purchase a property. Interest rates are still at all time lows, prices have gone down, there are a lot of properties to choose from, and you still have some tax benefits. When you’re ready, there are a lot of things to consider.
Ever wonder why it takes so long to finish a short sale transaction? It could take 3 to 4 times longer then a regular sale and there is no guarantee that the sale will be completed. This process is really between the buyer and seller, however there is another party, a lender of record, that has to cooperate with the purchase. They have their own proceedures to approve the purchase and could take a long time.
Everybody has gone shopping for one thing or another so this should apply to mortgage loans too. By taking the time to shop around for the best rates available, you could be saving thousands of dollars during the life time of the loan. So it pays to be aware of the cost associated in obtaining a loan. Not to mention, you will be more confident about affording and purchasing that home that says “buy me”.
After all, purchasing a property could be the most expensive thing you buy in your life time. Why not take the plunge now? With the lowest interest rates ever available and lots of homes to choose from, plus slow economic recovery of the market, this is the best time to do so.