Archives for January 2014

The Fed says Easy Squeezy $10B

2012-08-20-0845Yesterday wrapped up the Fed’s two day meeting and, as expected, there was no change to Fed Funds rate. They did announce in their statement they will ease off another cool $10 Billion per month starting in February of their mortgage backed security purchase program.

From the press release:

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Mortgage Insurance is Tax Deductible for 2013

Home owners who acquired their home after 2006 and who have mortgage insurance may be able to treat the mortgage insurance premiums as they would their mortgage interest deduction when they file their 2013 income taxes. This is per IRS Publication 936.

Here are some basic requirements:

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What May Impact Mortgage Rates this Week: January 27, 2014

2014-01-27_0929What does this grainy picture of me and Coach Knox have to do with mortgage rates? Nothing… but this week has everything to do with the Seattle Seahawks as we count the minutes down to the Super Bowl!!  This photo was taken in 1986 for a calendar back when I worked in a title unit at Chicago Title… I’m wearing Kenny Easley’s uniform and yes, that is really Chuck!

This week is packed full of economic indicators that my impact the direction of mortgage interest rates. Also, mortgage rates are based on bonds (mortgage backed securities) and when there is a sell off in the stock market, we tend to see mortgage rates improve. This is because investors will seek the safety of bonds over the volatility sometimes found with stocks. We’re seeing a bit of that now with mortgage rates trending lower.

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Seattle RE Chat: Qualified Mortgage (QM) and Ability to Repay (ATR) Rules

In this episode of Seattle Real Estate Chat, Jim Reppond and I discuss recent changes to mortgages with “qualified mortgage” and “ability to repay” which rolled out earlier this month.

Seattle RE Chat is a weekly live show that Jim Reppond and I co-host every Tuesday morning at 10:00 am PST at via a Google Hangout.  Join us next Tuesday!

What May Impact Mortgage Rates this Week: January 20, 2014

1560492_10151836164426046_1986095200_nWoooo whoooo SEAHAWKS!! Okay, I know that winning the NFC Championship against the 49er’s has nothing to do with mortgage interest rates… I just couldn’t help myself 🙂

This week’s economic calendar is very light. Markets, as well as our office, were closed yesterday to observe Martin Luther King Day.

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Why would anyone want an FHA mortgage?

mortgageporter-thinkingLet me start by saying there’s nothing wrong with having an FHA insured mortgage. FHA mortgages have been a resource for first time home buyers and borrowers who lack significant down payment since their inception 40 years ago…. BUT with the increases to the upfront and monthly mortgage insurance premiums and the reduced loan limits, many borrowers could be better off considering loans other than FHA.

When I’m working with a home buyer who’s considering an FHA mortgage, here are some of the other mortgage programs I suggest they consider:

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USDA Income Limits for Washington State

USDA has published updated income limits for their zero down mortgage program which is available in rural areas. Other mortgage programs, like FHA or conventional, has loan limits which limits availability. USDA does not have loan limits, the program is restricted by household income. 

USDA offers a government backed program that allows zero down payment on homes that are in a designated rural community for families earning less than a certain income. A majority of Washington State single family residences (homes and condos) qualify…of course if you live in metropolitan areas like Seattle or Bellevue, odds are your home will not. However, if you’re considering areas like Duvall, parts of Maple Valley, Vashon or Bainbridge Island, it may qualify for zero down financing.

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What May Impact Mortgage Rates this Week: January 13, 2014

mortgageporter-economyMortgage rates are improved  following Friday’s disappointing Jobs Report.

Mortgage rates are based on bonds (mortgage backed securities) which can react in reverse to stocks. If stocks are on a hot streak, you may see investors trade of safety of bonds for the potentially quicker return found in stocks (the reverse is also probable). Signs of inflation may also cause mortgage rates to trend higher.

Here are the economic indicators scheduled to be released this week (no indicators are scheduled for today):

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