Home Affordability Via Loan Rates

April 9, 2015 Posted by Andre Hemmersbach

Interest rates are the key factor in home affordability, not the home sales price. Home buyers mistakenly think that high real estate prices are keeping them from affording a mortgage payment, however, the biggest variable in home buyers affording a home are mortgage interest rates. (See chart below)

Given an annual income of $70,000 between a husband and wife, at the industry standard of 38% debt-to-income (DTI) ratio a couple could afford a mortgage loan of $525,700 at a rate of 3%. For every 1% increase in mortgage rates the borrower’s affordability drops another 10%. If rates were to merely raise 3% a borrower could not afford more than a home loan of $369,700.

Chart

Rate Affordability Chart

 

Please call me for a free consultation to see what size home loan you qualify for.

 

Big Rate Drop Thanks To Oil Prices

January 8, 2015 Posted by Andre Hemmersbach

Big Rate Drop Lower Gas Prices

Lower Gas Prices Big Rate Drop

 

Look at the big rate drop that the mortgage market has served up if you thought that the good news was the $25 you were saving at the pumps. Lower oil prices are deflationary and that has been great news for the big rate drop in the mortgage rates over the last 3 weeks. Coupled with weak economic news out of Europe and another Greek Currency hiccup the change in oil prices have really moved the home loan rates in the right direction is you are looking for a home loan to purchase a home or are currently in a mortgage over 4.25%.

Rates on a 30 year fixed rate have dropped to below 3.625% on the very best borrower profiles (APR 3.689). Many of my clients are also considering a term reduction to really kick up the savings. Refinancing from a 4.25%, 30 year fixed rate taken out last year to a new 20 year fixed rate at 3.375% will save a borrower over $131,000 in interest over those 20 years.

If you would like to see if a refinance would make financial sense, please call me I would be happy to perform a free review your current mortgage through my proprietary mortgage calculator.

Payment Increases on Equity Lines

August 14, 2014 Posted by Andre Hemmersbach

During the last five years millions of homeowners have taken advantage of the government’s Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP) or in the case of mortgages that did not fall under HAMP,  lenders’ proprietary modification programs. These Loan Modification programs (Loan Mods) were initiated to offer relief to desperate homeowners who were facing foreclosure due to various circumstances through temporary rate reductions or interest rate abatements. The key term in the above statement is “temporary”!  Loan Mods along with Home Equity Lines Of Credit (HELOC), a mortgage that is similar to a credit card, will see upward rate and payment adjustments, sending some homeowners back to the brink of financial crisis. (More on HELOCs later.)

To qualify for a Loan Modification borrowers were asked to submit an income and asset package to the lender proving a hardship and current stable income. If the borrower qualified, the lender dropped the interest rate as much as 3 or 4 percentage points and renegotiated a monthly mortgage payment that would represent about 45% of the borrower’s monthly gross income. Via the modification agreement, the borrower usually promised to return to the original rate and terms of the mortgage through 1% annual increases after a five year period.

The Real Estate Bubble burst in late 2008 and the loan modification programs started to gain momentum in 2009 and hit full stride in 2010 through 2012, therefore the first round of the notices for payment increases via the loan modification agreements are starting to be sent out.

Borrowers facing this issue today may have some additional alternatives that were not available to them back in the middle of the recession. At least in Southern California, equity positions have seen healthy gains and the job/income outlook have improved slightly. Options homeowners may consider are: refinancing to current low mortgage rates (albeit at higher rates than their modified rate but lower than their final rate), making the new higher payments via their modification agreement, selling their home to downsize or rent.

As a whole, HELOCs mortgage payments will also be increasing. The basic issue is that the 10 year interest only introductory period, typical in these mortgage products, is now coming due. Homeowner’s with balances on their HELOC will on the 10th anniversary move to a fully amortized 20 year loan and experience a fairly large payment increase. I have previously blogged about the dangers of HELOCs and you can read the remainder of the article at https://cahomehunters.com/real-estate-time-bomb/.

Bottom-line…. homeowners with these types of mortgage products who do not have the ability to afford the payment increases, may have to make some difficult decisions in the near future.

If I can be of assistance in giving you or a friend advice or direction with these type of products please let me know, as I would be happy to help them.

Also see: http://newsroom.transunion.com/press-releases/transunion-study-identifies-framework-for-managing-1136135#.U-0un_ldV8E

http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/business/2014/01/29/rate-increases-for-hamp-loan-modifications-2009/4964701/

http://www.pwc.com/us/en/consumer-finance/publications/avoiding-default-risk-mortgage-modification-resets.jhtml

 

Removing Mortgage Insurance

July 29, 2014 Posted by Andre Hemmersbach

If you secured a home loan with less than a 20 percent down payment, chances are your lender required you to purchase mortgage insurance (MI) to cover its exposure in case you default.

Once your equity position in the home reaches 20 percent however, you can in some cases, petition the lender to remove the MI. If you have an FHA-insured loan, premium payments to the government are required for a minimum of 5 years and the loan balance must be lower than 78% based on the original sales price of the property. FHA loans after June of 2013 are required to have MI for the life of the loan barring some limited exceptions.

Know your rights
By law, your lender must tell you at closing how many years and months it will take you to pay down your loan sufficiently to cancel the MI.

Most home buyers ask that MI be canceled once they pay their loan balance down to 80 percent of the home’s original appraised value. When the balance drop to 78 percent, their mortgage servicer is required to cancel mortgage insurance for them. Mortgage servicers also must give borrowers an annual statement that shows who to call for information about canceling MI.

The law does allow lenders to require MI of a high-risk borrower until the balance shrinks to 50 percent of the home’s value. You may fall into this high-risk category if you have missed mortgage payments, so make sure your payments are up to date before asking your lender to drop the MI. Lenders may require a higher equity percentage if the property has been converted to rental use.

With equity of 20 percent or greater, you have a good case to rid yourself of mortgage insurance. If you can’t persuade your lender to drop the MI, consider refinancing. If your home value has increased enough, the new lender won’t require MI. Make sure, however, that your refinance costs don’t exceed the money you save by eliminating MI.
Here are steps you can take to get out from under mortgage insurance even sooner or strengthen your negotiating position:
•Get a new appraisal: Some lenders will consider a new appraisal instead of the original sales price or appraised value when deciding if you meet the 20 percent equity threshold. The cost of an appraisal generally runs from $300 to $500.
•Prepay on your loan: Even $50 a month can mean a dramatic drop in your loan balance over time.
•Remodel: Add a room or a pool to increase your home’s market value. Then ask the lender to recalculate your loan-to-value ratio using the new value figure.

I would be happy to help review your options.

Low Inventory Levels Help Sellers, Increase Prices

April 25, 2014 Posted by Andre Hemmersbach

Inventory levels of homes for sale in the Greater South Bay area are still at extremely low levels (see chart). Basic economic principals state that as supply dwindles prices will increase and will continue higher until buyers refuse to buy at the elevated levels and then supply increases and prices drop.

Property Inventory vs Sales Price

Greater South Bay Inventory vs Median Sales Price

Because foreclosures are currently at seven year lows, inventory during the spring and summer selling season is only expected to increase slightly.  As more buyers enter into an already saturated market, prices will most likely continue to increase. Some properties are selling within 3 days of being listed and typically at higher than the listed price. “Days On The Market” is a measure of how many days a property is for sale before going under contract (into escrow) and is a great indicator of how “hot” the real estate market is (See Chart). The less time it takes to sell the average property indicates a “Sellers’ Market” versus taking a long time to sell a property a “Buyers’ Market”

Tired of losing out to other offers? Call me to discuss a strategy to have your next offer look more competitive!

 

Days On The Market VS Median Sales Price

Greater South Bay Days on the Mkt vs Median Sales Price