Should You Follow Dave Ramsey’s Advice on Mortgages?

Dave Ramsey is someone a lot of people follow for financial advise. Lately he’s been showing up A LOT in my Facebook stream pushing his thoughts on mortgages, home ownership and credit. Some of his ideas, I don’t totally disagree with. In fact, I shared a post that came from his group encouraging people to continue to pay rent and make their mortgage payments during the pandemic if at all possible (ie nothing is for free). However, I don’t support what he instructs his followers who are considering buying a home and I also have an issue with anyone who pushes their “team of vetted real estate agents”…I would be really surprised if there is not some sort of financial relationship associated with this referral arrangement.

Let’s take a look at what he encourages his followers to do with regards to buying a home or getting a mortgage. [Read more…]

There Once was a Renter

I was just reviewing one of my client’s mortgages and thought I’d share a happy story with you. I’m REALLY proud of them. I first met Ryan and Rachel Renton (yes, I made up the names…but the rest of the story is true), at a home buyers class that I was teaching. Home buyers interested in the down payment assistance programs offered by the Washington State Housing Finance Commission are required to take a “live” class or an online class in order to qualify for the down payment assistance (dpa). [Read more…]

Mortgage Payment Breakdown

Your mortgage payment typically includes principal and interest and may also include property taxes, home owners insurance. This is often referred to as PITI in the mortgage industry (principal, interest, taxes and insurance). If you have less than 20% down payment or home equity, then you probably have some form of mortgage insurance as well (unless you qualify for a VA mortgage). Some portions of the mortgage payment may change over time. [Read more…]

HUD’s reducing Mortgage Insurance on FHA Mortgages

iStock-000018668640XSmallUPDATE January 20, 2016: HUD has suspended the reduction to FHA mortgage insurance effective immediately.

HUD has announced today that mortgage insurance will be reduced on most FHA mortgages. FHA mortgages have two types of “mortgage insurance” the borrowers pay regardless of loan to value. There is the upfront mortgage insurance (currently 1.75% of the loan amount) that is typically added to the base loan amount and financed over the life of the loan and there is the annual mortgage insurance that is actually paid as part of the monthly mortgage payment. This reduction of 25 basis points is on the annual mortgage insurance premium.

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Mortgage Insurance Tax Deductible for 2015 and 2016

Money in pocketI’m receiving gleeful emails from various private mortgage insurance companies announcing that mortgage insurance will once again be tax deductible. This is thanks to the PATH Act extending certain tax benefits to eligible home owners.

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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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It’s Official: FHA Mortgage Insurance to be reduced

Today HUD issued Mortgagee Letter 2015-01 officially reducing FHA mortgage insurance effective on case numbers issued on or after January 26, 2015. HUD is also allowing existing case numbers (with the current higher mortgage insurance) to be cancelled as long as they were ordered within 30 days from today.

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President Obama to announce drop in FHA Mortgage Insurance Premiums

2013-08-06_0653Tomorrow President Obama is expected to announce a reduction in the mortgage insurance premiums for new FHA mortgage loans.

From Bloomberg News:

As part of an effort to expand homeownership among entry-level buyers, President Barack Obama will announce a cut in Federal Housing Administration mortgage-insurance premiums during a speech in Phoenix tomorrow, according to three people with direct knowledge of his plans.

The annual fees the agency charges to guarantee mortgages will be cut by 0.5 percentage points, said two of the people, who asked not to be identified because the White House hasn’t yet made the announcement.

[Read more…]