USDA Upfront Guarantee Fee Increase

2014-09-03_usdaUSDA has increased the upfront funding fee (aka “upfront guarantee fee”) by an additional 0.75 percent as of October 1, 2015.  From USDA:

On October 1, 2015 the upfront guarantee fee for purchase and refinance loans will increase from 2 percent to 2.75 percent.  The annual fee will remain at 0.50 percent for purchase and refinance loans.  This change is necessary to maintain the program’s operational cost structure, which requires no congressional subsidy support to offset credit costs.

This fee is typically added to the USDA mortgage, similar to how FHA upfront mortgage insurance premiums are treated.

USDA mortgages do not require a down payment and are available to borrowers who meet the income limits. USDA is only available for homes located in what USDA designates as “rural”, like Arlington, Enumclaw, and North Bend.

If I can help you with a USDA (or any) mortgage for your home located in Washington state, please contact me!



What May Impact Mortgage Rates this Week: October 5, 2015 – RATES IMPROVED

10527303_10152476072701046_2911459444863856330_nWe don’t have a lot of economic indicators scheduled to be released this week. We do have the Seahawks on Monday Night Football!!!

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The Good Faith Estimate will retire today

hud_GFE_TOMBSTONE It is hard to believe that it was just five years ago when HUD created and required the use of their uniform Good Faith Estimate, often referred to as the 2010 GFE. HUD was very proud of this achievement despite obvious flaws with the document, including (and not limited to) no total monthly mortgage payment (PITI), no total funds due for closing and lenders having to disclose costs that the borrower did not have to pay (such as the owners title policy). The 2010 GFE, which was created to help borrowers shop lenders, was also severely flawed because a lender could not issue the GFE with having a “TBD” address for home shoppers. There was no wiggle room for lenders to re-issue the GFE to add an address.

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What may impact mortgage rates this week: September 28, 2015

MortgagePorter-JobsReportMortgage rates have been a little bouncy lately and remain very low. There has been a lot of “Fed speak” following last week’s Fed meeting with various flip flopping commentary on when the Fed Funds rates may be raised. This Friday we will have the Jobs Report, which tends to impact mortgage interest rates.  Today, the Dow closed down 312 points today at 16,001.

Here are some of the economic indicators scheduled to be released this week:

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When can an appraisal be ordered?

I Spy FisheyeIn Seattle’s competitive real estate market, we’re seeing offers coming in with shorter closing times, appraisals waived or even financing waived. It’s not unusual for me to have a Real Estate Broker say “the offer has been accepted, you can order the appraisal now!”  I recently had a Real Estate Broker from Seattle ask an excellent question:

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What May Impact Mortgage Rates this week: September 21, 2015

2015-09-19 10.22.38Tomorrow is officially the last day of summer. [sigh]

Here are some of the economic indicators scheduled to be released this week:

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The new Loan Estimate and Title Insurance Fees

speedbumpIn just a few weeks, the Good Faith Estimate that was created by HUD in 2010 will be replaced by CFPB’s Loan Estimate. The Loan Estimate will also replace the “Reg Z/Truth in Lending” document. When the samples of the “Loan Estimate” where first revealed, I was pretty excited. It appeared to be a significant improvement over the well intended but flawed 2010 Good Faith Estimate, which caused a lot of confusion for consumers. As I’m learning more and more about CFPB’s Loan Estimate, I can see that we are all in for a huge adjustment as we deal with not only implementing new documents and procedures, but also dealing with the flaws to the document and the procedures to the document.

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LIVE POST: Will the Fed Impact Mortgage Rates?

20140504_210758I like writing a “live post” with updates throughout the day to attempt to illustrate how mortgage rates (or the pricing of mortgage rates) can fluctuate throughout the day.

Today the two day Fed meeting wraps up and we’ll learn if the Fed is going to raise the Fed Funds Rate. Following the announcement from the Fed (around 11:00 am PST), we will have commentary from Fed Chair Janet Yellen.  While the Fed doesn’t directly dictate what mortgage rates will be, their actions certainly influences mortgage interest rates.

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