HARP extended through 2016

MortgagePorter-HARP2Earlier this week, Director of the FHFA, Mel Watts announced that HARP (the Home Affordable Refinance Program) will be extended for one more year. From his prepared remarks:

“The HARP program allows borrowers, including those who are underwater on their mortgage and who are regularly making their mortgage payments, to refinance their loans to take advantage of historically low interest rates.

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What would you do with an extra $372?

Money in pocket$372 is the average monthly savings that my clients who have closed on their refi’s so far in March. With higher appraised values, thanks to the hot real estate market driving up home prices, many clients are also eliminating mortgage insurance with their refi.

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What is Delayed Financing?

MortgagePorterHourGlassHouseIn today’s competitive housing market, we are seeing more buyers using “all cash” to purchase their homes. Delayed financing allows home buyers who pay cash for a home to obtain cash out, using a refinance, without it being priced or treated as a “cash out” refi. A “cash-out” refi has stricter requirements, including having to wait 6 months after closing before being able to refi, lower loan to value requirements and “cash out” refi’s have higher pricing than a “rate term” refi. Delayed financing allows home owners to recoup the cash used to purchase the home at current rates and terms as a “rate-term” refi.

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Lower FHA Mortgage Insurance + Low Mortgage Rates = FHA Streamline Refi’s

Money in pocketHUD recently reduced annual mortgage insurance premiums for FHA 30 year fixed rate mortgages by 50 basis points. The annual mortgage insurance premium is part of the monthly mortgage payment and 50 basis is a dramatic reduction. If you have a $400,000 loan amount, this is a monthly savings of $166.67 (400,000 x 0.50% divided by 12 months).

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Money Saving Tips You Can Do Now for the New Year

mortgageporterraiseThe other day, Get Rich Slowly published 14 Smart Money Moves to Make Before the End of the Year which I liked enough to share on my Facebook page and to also included here on my blog. :)  There are a couple “smart money moves” that are missing on this post that I would like to suggest for home owners.

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Refinancing after paying cash for your home

MortgagePorterHourGlassHouseThe greater Seattle – Bellevue competitive housing markets have been experiencing a higher amount of buyers paying “all cash” for homes. Refinancing after you’ve paid cash for a home is also referred to as “delayed financing”. Delayed financing may also take place when a person is buying a foreclosed home at auction at the court house. Historically, “all-cash” buyers who want to refinance after closing to re-coup the cash they used to purchase their homes had to wait six months after the purchase before they can do a “cash-out” refi. Now, home buyers who used “all-cash” to buy their home no longer have to wait months to refinance to get their cash back.

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Another extension for HARP…so what

MortgagePorter-HARP2According to Housing Wire, it looks like HARP (aka the Home Affordable Refinance Program) may once again be extended through 2016. The HARP program was created for home owners who have conventional Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac mortgages and who had lost equity in their homes due to the mortgage meltdown, making it impossible to refinance. With HARP, appraisals are often not required and over the past few years, underwriting guidelines have become more relaxed with this program.  So why the “so what”?

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Is it time to refi your FHA mortgage?

mortgageporter-thinkingWith the appreciation homes are seeing in the greater Seattle – King County area, home owners who purchased their home a couple years ago using an FHA mortgage may now be able to refinance into a conventional mortgage. FHA mortgages are often used when a home buyer needs a lower down payment option or if credit scores are lower. FHA jumbo mortgages offer home buyers lower down payment with higher loan amounts than what conforming mortgages will permit. There are many reasons why someone might opt for an FHA mortgage when buying a home.

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