Mortgage Update

Refinances and purchases are really picking up the market this week. With these low rates there’s no telling how busy you’re going to be!

Mortgage Update
· Check out my jumbo rates!!!
· Check out my 5 Year Fixed $$$$$ as well.
· Get your buyers off the fence with today’s Low Rates.

QUICK TIP 1: VA loans allow up to 4% towards sellers paid closing costs while FHA allows up to 6%!!

QUICK TIP 2: USDA loans allow for the buyer to finance closing costs and repairs if the appraised value comes in higher than the purchase price. You can use up to the appraised value.

These three programs will help you get more buyers!!

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

Interest rates are at a 4 month low

It’s shaping up to be a busy month! Interest rates are at a 4 month low and I’m continuing to watch the bond market for you. See the article attached as well as the newsletter for an industry update. Make it a great month and if I can help you are someone you know with a purchase mortgage or refinance. Attached is a free appraisal flyer for you to use or give to a friend.

Has the Housing Bubble Popped?
http://www.mortgagenewsdaily.com/09052008_Housing_Bubble.asp

Make it great!

Oh by the way, I’m never too busy for any of your referrals.

Rates Get Better

I mentioned on Friday that interest rates were on a roller coaster ride late last week. Fortunately, I noticed that mortgage bonds were overbought midweek and got my clients locked in saving most of them 0.125% on their 30 year fixed mortgages. This saved them anywhere from $25 and $40 per month. I look forward to helping your clients too. This weeks newsletter explains what happened last week.

Writing an FHA and Nehemiah Program Offer: Structuring the Purchase Agreement


These are the instructions for writing an FHA and Nehemiah offer.

First and foremost, the seller must pay the tax service fee of $81.00.

Check the FHA Loan box.

Page 1:

If asking the seller to pay for a closing cost credit FHA allows a 1-6% closing cost.

“Seller to contribute 3% for non-recurring and recurring closing costs.”

If asking the seller to contribute toward the Nehemiah Program the seller can be asked to contribute up to 6% plus a $599 processing fee for re-sell (Short Sale and Foreclosure) properties and $399 for new construction.

“Seller to contribute 3% of the sales price toward the Nehemiah Program plus $499 processing fee.”

Page 6: Other financing terms (line 24)

“The seller is aware the homebuyer is receiving downpayment assistance through the Nehemiah program as set forth in the related Participating Home Agreement.”

Addendum – Participating Home Agreement to be completed and submitted with the offer.

0. Print the attached Participating Home Agreement to complete and
submit with offer.
1. Calculate the percentage of downpayment assistance requesting
1-6%. Typically 3%.
2. Add the processing fee. $499 for re-sell properties and $399 for
new construction.
3. Add the two dollar amounts together for a total dollar amount due
to the Nehemiah Corporation of America.

Bear Stearns bailout

I hope you had a relaxing Easter weekend. This weeks update covers the news about last weeks Bear Stearns bailout. Ever thought about the Pros and Cons of buying a car versus leasing one? This week’s update covers it all! Also, just in case you didn’t get a chance to read why new mortgage rates go up after a Fed cut see the attached article.

I’d like to address one topic today. Have you ever noticed in the Desert Sun that many of the articles are written by the Associated Press? Ask your clients who wrote the articles they are reading and quoting and ask them if it’s a nationally related article or a local article. You may be surprised!



St. Patrick’s Day

I’m sure you’re off to a very green St. Patrick’s Day! Last week the financial markets were pretty green for you too with mortgage rates dropping by as much as 0.25% for most programs. But be careful! With inflation numbers down reported last week the Fed could cut Fed rates by another 0.75% in tomorrows meeting. These rates are tied to the Prime rate, consumer loans, and credit cards, but the Fed rates are what the Fed lends to banks overnight! With a Fed cut, inflation could rise and when inflation rises mortgage rates are likely to go up. I recently sent out an article explaining this. If you’d like to look at it again please let me know. Make it a great week!

Oh by the way, I’m never too busy for any of your purchase or refinance mortgage referrals! Have a safe and fun St. Patrick’s Day!

MMG Weekly For the week of Mar 17, 2008 — Vol. 6, Issue 12
“JUST WHEN I THOUGHT I WAS OUT…THEY PULL ME BACK IN.” Al Pacino in the 1990 film, The Godfather III And if Bonds and home loan rates thought they were out of the days of volatility…they got pulled right back in, as last week brought daily price swings of almost historic proportions. For the week overall, fixed home loan rates improved by about .25%.

What led to the dramatic action this week? The bipolar emotional state of the markets began deeply depressed on Monday, but then were filled with joy Tuesday, when the Fed made an interesting move by announcing the creation of the new Term Securities Lending Facility (TSLF). The TSLF will provide borrowing banks with $200 Billion to draw on to help inject liquidity into the credit markets, and further, will accept some mortgage-backed securities as collateral, which effectively may help to “upgrade” the value and perception of battered Mortgage Bonds.

But in the meantime…struggles are still being played out related to the downgrade and losses experienced by companies holding massive amounts of mortgage-backed securities. Headlines hit on Thursday about The Carlyle Group, which manages a portfolio of mortgage-backed securities, not being able to meet a margin call and being forced to sell off large amounts of mortgage paper into the markets at great financial losses. Then on Friday, the news broke that financial brokerage and investment banking giant, Bear Stearns had suffered enormous losses, and their lack of liquidity endangered them from going out of business…or “sleeping with the fishes”. The new aforementioned TSLF is designed to help this type of liquidity problem, but it will not go into effect for a few weeks, and Bear Stearns would not last that long. Coming to the rescue with loans were both the NY Fed and JP Morgan Chase. These sure are exciting times.

One bright spot for the financial markets was a low consumer inflation reading. The Overall and Core Consumer Price Index (CPI) figures were reported unchanged, far cooler than the expected increases of 0.3% and 0.2% respectively. These tame inflation numbers give the Fed a green light to cut the Fed Funds Rate by another .75% at Tuesday’s meeting…but read on to understand exactly how this cut may impact YOU.

IF THE IDEA OF KEEPING BUSINESS IN THE “FAMILY” CONJURES UP IMAGES OF MICHAEL CORLEONE AND OFFERS THAT CAN’T BE REFUSED – YOU’LL WANT TO READ THIS WEEK’S MORTGAGE MARKET VIEW TO LEARN SOME TIPS ON RUNNING A SUCCESSFUL FAMILY BUSINESS, WHERE YOU LIKELY WON’T HAVE TO WORRY ABOUT EITHER GUNS OR CANNOLI’S.

Forecast for the Week

So if you love all the excitement, drama, intrigue and crazy volatility of late…you’ll love the week ahead, as it is loaded full with market movers. We’ll get the latest readings on the health of the manufacturing and housing sectors, but the main event will take place on Tuesday when the Federal Reserve announces its latest interest rate decision and Policy Statement.

The Fed is expected to cut the Fed Funds Rate by another .75%. However, as we’ve seen following every Fed rate cut in the recent cycle, chances are very good that Bond pricing will worsen following the cut…which results in higher home loan rates. This happens because Fed rate cuts help to stimulate the economy, by making it less expensive to finance personal and business purchases…and this in turn fuels inflation, the arch-enemy of fixed return assets like Bonds, which home loan rates are based on.

So a word to the wise – if you or someone you know has been ready to move forward on a purchase or refinance, there’s no time like the present. Be sure to get in touch with me, so I can explain your options and help plan a great strategy for your home loan.

Chart: Fannie Mae 5.5% Mortgage Bond (Friday Mar 14, 2008)

The Mortgage Market View…

BUT DON’T EVER TAKE SIDES WITH ANYONE AGAINST THE FAMILY AGAIN…EVER

These lines spoken by Michael Corleone to his brother Fredo could very well apply to small family businesses, which are critical to the nation’s economy. In fact, according to the National Federation of Independent Businesses, more than 1.2 Million businesses across the country are owned and operated by spouses. While these thriving ventures in capitalism are great for the economy, they can cause a lot of stress on your family relationships. That’s why experts recommend you follow a few simple suggestions to keep the business–and your family life–running smooth!

Only Fools Rush In. Starting a family business is a huge commitment. Although it sounds romantic, it’s a lot of work to…well…make it work. Before you jump in, consider what type of business is truly right for you; how the business will impact your financial plans; and how you’ll still make sure you have time in your schedule to enjoy non-business related family time. Because, as The Don says, “a man who doesn’t spend time with his family can never be a real man”.

Put It In Writing. The first step to making your dream a reality is putting together a business plan. The Small Business Administration has a great website that can help you write your business plan. You’ll also need to apply for a business license, tax identification number, and even business loans. Again, you can find the most requested business documents on The Small Business Administration website.

Clarify Roles and Responsibilities. To help avoid frustrations and arguments in the future, make sure everyone agrees on who will be responsible for what. Give yourselves titles and draft job responsibilities…then make sure everyone is happy with their role, and that all of the important everyday duties are covered. Make sure you determine who will pay the bills, who will negotiate contracts, who’s in charge of the marketing plan, who does the hiring, and so on. You don’t want to risk overlooking something or arguing about it later.

Protect Yourself. More important than having Luca Brasi as your bodyguard is making sure you plan your finances and stock away plenty of money to hold you over, especially during the start up phase. Most experts recommend having three to six months worth of living expenses in savings, depending on whether one or two people in the family will be relying on the business as their main income. You’ll also want to meet with a financial planner to make sure your retirement and other financial plans stay on track – and if you need a referral to a great financial pro, just let me know.

Set Boundaries… and Stick to Them! It’s easy to let the business take over your family life. Little by little the business successes and setbacks slip into family conversations… it’s only natural. But don’t let them take over completely. To alleviate this problem, make sure you set up regular “business meetings” where you can talk about key issues and exchange ideas about the business. In addition, establish some off-limit times where you’ll devote yourselves to each other and your family life. After all, even family businesses need some time “away from the office.”

Starting a business with your spouse or family is an exciting time. The key is to harness that excitement while staying cool-headed enough to make smart personal and financial decisions. If you or someone you know needs help with these important details, please don’t hesitate to call. I’ll be happy to discuss your needs and put you in touch with other professionals that can help.

Fed Chair Ben Bernanke

Good Morning! Hope you’re off to a great week!

Last week in mortgage news we saw rates improve by about 0.25% to 0.375%. This was a result from Fed Chair Ben Bernanke and some bad news for the economy from several reports. Up and coming… the Economic Stimulus Package… do you know what to do with your tax rebates? See the tips below!

Oh by the way, if you have a family member or friend from work interested in buying or refinancing a home, I am never too busy for your referrals. Please call or email me their name and I’ll be happy to follow up with them!

Make it a great week!

-Sean

Core Personal Consumption Expenditure Index (PCE)

Happy Friday! Attached is my weekly rate update check it out!

This week was a step in the right direction as far as mortgage pricing was concerned. We’ve seen rates come back down about 0.25% across the board when compared to last week. 30 year fixed conforming rate is at 5.75% with 1 point.

Today, the Core Personal Consumption Expenditure Index (PCE), the Fed’s favored gauge of consumer inflation, was reported in line with estimates for the month of January. When inflation is high mortgage rates go up.

Still no word from HUD regarding conforming loan limit changes; HOWEVER, as soon as I hear what they are I will be sure to send you a special alert!

Make it a great weekend and remember I am never too busy for ANY of your purchase or refinance mortgage referrals!