Quick tip:

Agents,

I hope all the father’s out there had a great and relaxing day yesterday. The summer is finally here and I could certainly tell this weekend by the heat. The heat is certainly turning on for the bond market as well as interest rates are getting a little bit better today.

Quick tip: When applying for an FHA loan for a married couple you must run the spouses credit report and count total household debt even if they are not going on the loan. Call me with questions.

Make it a great week!
Oh by the way, I’m never too busy for any of your referrals.

Happy Father’s Day!

Happy Father’s Day!

If you like real-time updates follow me on my http://www.twitter.com/seanlarue. I’m constantly updating it and getting the latest information out to you. This week’s rate sheet is attached.

Quick Tip:
If you’re in escrow on a property, and the buyer is using an FHA loan advise your seller not to transfer title in any way, shape, or form during the escrow process. FHA has a 90 day flip rule in place that prevents a sale if the title is passed from one person to another… even changing it from a single owner to joint ownership. This does not apply for REO properties. If you don’t follow this rule it will stall your escrow. Call me with questions.

Mortgage Hotline:
Tune in to AM 970, 1140, or 1250 on Sunday 11:00am to 12:00pm to here me talk about your credit report. What you need to know about getting your score up or keeping your score up. Also, I’ll be talking about the 203k rehab construction loan and some of the details and opportunity that lies within. You can also listen online at http://www.knewsradio.com

I’m never too busy for any of your referrals and I’m looking forward to hearing from you.

Tax Credit for Homebuyers

First-time homebuyers who purchase homes from the start of the year until the end of November 2009 may be eligible for the lower of an $8,000 or 10% of the value of the home tax credit. Remember a tax credit is very different than a tax deduction – a tax credit is equivalent to money in your hand, as opposed to a tax deduction which only reduces your taxable income.
The tax credit starts phasing out for couples with incomes above $150,000 and single filers with incomes above $75,000. Buyers will have to repay the credit if they sell their homes within three years.
Tax Credit Versus Tax Deduction
It’s important to remember that the $8,000 tax credit is just that… a tax credit. The benefit of a tax credit is that it’s a dollar-for-dollar tax reduction, rather than a reduction in a tax liability that would only save you $1,000 to $1,500 when all was said and done. So, if a homebuyer were to owe $8,000 in income taxes and would qualify for the $8,000 tax credit, they would owe nothing.

Better still, the tax credit is refundable, which means the homebuyer can receive a check for the credit if he or she has little income tax liability. For example, if a homebuyer is liable for $4,000 in income tax, he can offset that $4,000 with half of the tax credit… and still receive a check for the remaining $4,000!
Phase-out Examples
According to the plan, the tax credit starts phasing out for couples with incomes above $150,000 and single filers with incomes above $75,000.

To break down what this phase-out means to homebuyers who are over those amounts, the National Association of Homebuilders (NAHB) offers the following examples:

Example 1: Assume that a married couple has a modified adjusted gross income of $160,000. The applicable phase-out to qualify for the tax credit is $150,000, and the couple is $10,000 over this amount. Dividing $10,000 by $20,000 yields 0.5. When you subtract 0.5 from 1.0, the result is 0.5. To determine the amount of the partial first-time homebuyer tax credit that is available to this couple, multiply $8,000 by 0.5. The result is $4,000.

Example 2: Assume that an individual homebuyer has a modified adjusted gross income of $88,000. The buyer’s income exceeds $75,000 by $13,000. Dividing $13,000 by $20,000 yields 0.65. When you subtract 0.65 from 1.0, the result is 0.35. Multiplying $8,000 by 0.35 shows that the buyer is eligible for a partial tax credit of $2,800.

Remember, these are general examples. You should always consult your tax advisor for information relating to your specific circumstances.
Homes that Qualify
The tax credit is applicable to any home that will be used as a principle residence. Based on that guideline, qualifying homes include single-family detached homes, as well as attached homes such as townhouses and condominiums. In addition, manufactured or homes and houseboats used for principle residence also qualify.

Higher Loan Amounts
More good news – there is an extension on the additional tier of conforming loan amounts which had been first established in 2008. This tier of home loans are those greater than $417,000, and with a maximum that depends on the area, but is not greater than $729,750. These loans will again be eligible for rates that are slightly higher than conforming loan rates, but less expensive than the standard “jumbo” loan rates.
Additional Housing-Related Provisions
Tax Incentives to Spur Energy Savings and Green Jobs — This provision is designed to help promote energy-efficient investments in homes by extending and expanding tax credits through 2010 for purchases such as new furnaces, energy-efficient windows and doors, or insulation.
Landmark Energy Savings — This provision provides $5 Billion for energy efficient improvements for more than one million modest-income homes through weatherization. According to some estimates, this can help modest-income families save an average of $350 a year on heating and air conditioning bills.
Repairing Public Housing and Making Key Energy Efficiency Retrofits To HUD-Assisted Housing—This provision provides a total of $6.3 Billion for increasing energy efficiency in federally supported housing programs. Specifically, it establishes a new program to upgrade HUD-sponsored low-income housing (for elderly, disabled, and Section 8) to increase energy efficiency, including new insulation, windows, and frames.
Expanding Housing Assistance—This provision increases support for several critical housing programs. It includes $2 Billion for the Neighborhood Stabilization Program to help communities purchase and rehabilitate foreclosed, vacant properties.
More Help for Homeowners in the Future
Another thing to keep an eye on in the coming weeks is President Obama’s plan to help struggling borrowers before they are faced with a default on their mortgage.
According to reports, the Obama administration is discussing plans to help borrowers who are struggling to stay afloat, but who have not yet fallen behind on their payments. At this point, details are scarce; however, reports indicate that President Obama is looking to spend approximately $50 Billion to directly help homeowners before they face foreclosure and financial disaster.
While this is good news for individual homeowners, it will likely be good for the housing industry as a whole. That’s because, assisting struggling borrowers before they default should help stop the wave of foreclosures, which are estimated to top two million this year. That, in turn, will help stabilize home prices.
The Economic Stimulus Plan is huge, and impacts a number of industries. I’ve highlighted some of the major provisions that may impact you now and in the future.
As always, if you have any questions or would like to discuss how this may specifically impact you, I’d be happy to sit down with you. Just call or email me to set up an appointment.

1. If I’m qualified for the tax credit and buy a home in 2009, can I apply the tax credit against my 2008 tax return?
Yes. The law allows taxpayers to choose (“elect”) to treat qualified home purchases in 2009 as if the purchase occurred on December 31, 2008. This means that the 2008 income limit (MAGI) applies and the election accelerates when the credit can be claimed (tax filing for 2008 returns instead of for 2009 returns). A benefit of this election is that a home buyer in 2009 will know their 2008 MAGI with certainty, thereby helping the buyer know whether the income limit will reduce their credit amount.

1. Taxpayers buying a home who wish to claim it on their 2008 tax return, but who have already submitted their 2008 return to the IRS, may file an amended 2008 return claiming the tax credit. You should consult with a tax professional to determine how to arrange this.

2. For a home purchase in 2009, can I choose whether to treat the purchase as occurring in 2008 or 2009, depending on in which year my credit amount is the largest?
Yes. If the applicable income phaseout would reduce your home buyer tax credit amount in 2009 and a larger credit would be available using the 2008 MAGI amounts, then you can choose the year that yields the largest credit amount

Tax Credit for Homebuyers

Economic Stimulus Plan Benefits the Housing and Mortgage Industries
Revised February 17, 2009
Just signed and sealed…a $787 Billion Stimulus Plan made up of tax cuts and spending programs aims at reviving the US economy. Although the package was scaled down from nearly $1 Trillion, it still stands as the largest anti-recession effort since World War II.

Home owners and potential homebuyers stand to gain from key provisions in this stimulus plan. Here is what we know as of today…

The following discussions are intended for you to use directly with your client either in writing or verbally.

Tax Credit for Homebuyers
First-time homebuyers who purchase homes from the start of the year until the end of November 2009 may be eligible for the lower of an $8,000 or 10% of the value of the home tax credit. Remember a tax credit is very different than a tax deduction – a tax credit is equivalent to money in your hand, as opposed to a tax deduction which only reduces your taxable income.

The tax credit starts phasing out for couples with incomes above $150,000 and single filers with incomes above $75,000. Buyers will have to repay the credit if they sell their homes within three years.

Additional Housing-Related Provisions
Tax Incentives to Spur Energy Savings and Green Jobs — This provision is designed to help promote energy-efficient investments in homes by extending and expanding tax credits through 2010 for purchases such as new furnaces, energy-efficient windows and doors, or insulation.

Landmark Energy Savings — This provision provides $5 Billion for energy efficient improvements for more than one million modest-income homes through weatherization. According to some estimates, this can help modest-income families save an average of $350 a year on heating and air conditioning bills.

Repairing Public Housing and Making Key Energy Efficiency Retrofits To HUD-Assisted Housing—This provision provides a total of $6.3 Billion for increasing energy efficiency in federally supported housing programs.Specifically, it establishes a new program to upgrade HUD-sponsored low-income housing (for elderly, disabled, and Section 8) to increase energy efficiency, including new insulation, windows, and frames.

Expanding Housing Assistance—This provision increases support for several critical housing programs. It includes $2 Billion for the Neighborhood Stabilization Program to help communities purchase and rehabilitate foreclosed, vacant properties.

More Help for Homeowners in the Future
Another thing to keep an eye on in the coming weeks is President Obama’s plan to help struggling borrowers before they are faced with a default on their mortgage.

According to reports, the Obama administration is discussing plans to help borrowers who are struggling to stay afloat, but who have not yet fallen behind on their payments. At this point, details are scarce; however, reports indicate that President Obama is looking to spend approximately $50 Billion to directly help homeowners before they face foreclosure and financial disaster.

While this is good news for individual homeowners, it will likely be good for the housing industry as a whole. That’s because, assisting struggling borrowers before they default should help stop the wave of foreclosures, which are estimated to top two million this year. That, in turn, will help stabilize home prices.

The Economic Stimulus Plan is huge, and impacts a number of industries. I’ve highlighted some of the major provisions that may impact you now and in the future.

As always, if you have any questions or would like to discuss how this may specifically impact you, I’d be happy to sit down with you. Just call or email me to set up an appointment.

Rates going to 4.5%?

There have been recent rumors of interest rates being brought down towards 4.5% by the Treasury. Rates are not going to 4.5% with the wave of a wand by Hank Paulson or Ben Bernanke. As a matter of fact, the massive borrowing to fund the TARP program has a negative effect on rates. This irresponsible release included no definitive plan, no indication of who might qualify, or what the restrictions would be. Remember, it may make sense for you to act now, and take advantage of current historically low rates…with the possibility of refinancing should rates decline further. Waiting for rates to fall to 4.5% may leave people sorely disappointed.

Canadian / Foreign National financing

Attached is a flyer for Canadian / Foreign National financing. No one else has this program at these loan to values!! So check it out.

Market Update

The November jobs report was released today showing some of the worst numbers in decades. Non-farm payrolls dropped 533,000 last month and was only the fourth time in 58 years that our economy lost over 500,000 jobs. The unemployment rate ticked up to 6.7%, the highest since October of 1993.

The news sent the Stock markets lower while the Bond markets didn’t have much of a reaction. We are currently in a bad economy and only news of a better report would have been a surprise.

Mortgage bonds are down a little today and we have had several reprices…. I am floating clients until Monday to see how the market continues.

More inflation news will follow

“THOSE WHO CAN SOAR TO THE HIGHEST HEIGHTS CAN ALSO PLUNGE TO THE DEEPEST DEPTHS.” Lucy Maud Montgomery. Despite all of the government’s efforts, markets here and around the world plunged this week as the financial crisis continues to grow.

On Tuesday, the Fed and Treasury Department announced plans to purchase short-term commercial paper that many companies rely on to finance their day-to-day operations, to help businesses with their short-term credit and funding needs. The government hoped this announcement would help ease uncertainty, restore confidence, and give Stocks a boost. They hoped for a similar result on Wednesday when the Federal Reserve cut the Fed Funds Rate by 50 basis points, and coordinated an emergency global interest rate cut with the European Central Bank, Canada, the UK, Switzerland and Sweden. The Central Banks in Asia followed suit and cut their benchmark interest rates overnight as well.

However, on Thursday, Stocks plummeted nearly 700 points to a five-year low, and on Friday Stocks ended the day another 126 points lower (after plunging 500 points three times throughout the day). Bonds and home loan rates also worsened sharply in the second part of the week, as Bonds dropped below several important floors of support, and home loan rates ended the week .50% higher than where they began.

From a historical perspective, we are in the midst of a brutal bear market that began on October 9th 2007. Remember that a decline of 20% constitutes a bear market…and a 10% decline is a “correction.” The last bear market occurred between March 24th of 2000 and October 9th 2002 saw a 49% drop. Overall, the average bear market lasts for 12.3 months, with the average decline being 32%. The current bear market is right in line with the average historical time frames, and the extent of the decline is worse than previous bear market averages, but still slightly better than the bottom made in 2002. So the historical data might suggest that we could be nearing a bottom. I will continue to monitor this situation closely, and let you know how this will impact home loan rates in the weeks and months ahead. One bright spot is that oil prices are also plunging, falling from a high of $147 per barrel last July to around $80 per barrel Friday morning…which at least makes a tr ip to fill up at the gas station slightly less painful.

PLUNGING PORTFOLIOS ARE SOMETHING WE NEVER WANT TO SEE HAPPEN, AND NEITHER ARE PLUNGING SAVINGS ACCOUNTS. CHECK OUT THIS WEEK’S MORTGAGE MARKET VIEW FOR SOME GREAT TIPS ON STAYING WITHIN YOUR BUDGET!

Forecast for the Week

Last week was a volatile one despite the lack of scheduled economic reports, and this week several big pending reports could add to the volatility…even with the markets being closed on Monday in observance of Columbus Day. Wednesday will bring the wholesale inflation measuring Producer Price Index and the Retail Sales report for September. The Retail Sales report is a measure of the total receipts of retail stores, and changes in these numbers are closely followed as a timely indicator of broad consumer spending patterns. It will be especially important to see what kind of impact the financial crisis has had on recent spending trends.

More inflation news will follow on Thursday, as September’s Consumer Price Index (CPI) report, which gives a read on inflation at the consumer level, will be released. CPI tells us how much more expensive goods and services are this month over last month, and this widely watched inflation indicator will definitely make headlines. And given what’s been happening in the markets, it will be important to note what’s happening in the housing sector, which Friday’s Housing Starts and Building Permits Report for September will reveal.

Remember when Bond prices move higher, home loan rates move lower…and vice versa. As you can see in the chart below, Bonds and home loan rates worsened this week, due to a variety of factors. I will be watching closely to see if Bonds and home loan rates can change direction.