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Fannie Mae Reduces Fees for Some Borrowers

Accessibility Trends Shortly after taking office as the Director of FHFA, Mel Watts put a halt to an attempted increase in loan level price adjustments for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac loans. The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) oversees Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. In January 2014, Mr. Watts gave us the first glimpse of his attitude toward making home loans more accessible to borrowers, and has now moved to reverse that first attempt, with a fee cut to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac risk...

The 10 Commandments of Pre-Approval Preservation

Financial Lockdown Once you’ve received a Pre-Approval from your lender, it is vitally important that Nothing Changes in terms of your income, assets or credit that would cause a change in your approval status. Too many times do I see a homebuyer that moved money from one bank account to another, or took money from a friend or relative, or deposited cash into your bank account. Some things can't be helped, like a forced change in employment, or a planned advancement in employment (if...

Southern California 2015 Real Estate Trends and Predictions

3 Year Highs Real Estate activity is measured many different ways.  If you are a buyer, you're looking for patterns and that are favorable to you. If you are a home seller, these patterns and trends mean something completely different.  What is good for one, is usually bad for the other. Spring and Summer are often called "Buying Season", because the best time for a family to move, is while the kids are out of school. To leave a school district, and get settled in...

Calculating Student Loan Payments for a Home Loan Application

Education Expenses Lasting far beyond your actual time in school, student loans can follow you for years.  With recent changes to home loan qualifying guidelines, even deferred payments become a factor. Unless you are lucky enough to land a large signing bonus straight out of school, it's likely that these payments affect your ability to purchase a home in the future. Student loans are fully amortized loans, very much like a home mortgage, with payments typically spread out over 20 years.  If you consolidate,...

How to Buy Using Conventional Financing after Financial Hardship

Second Chance Since August 2014, Fannie Mae has made major changes in it's guidelines regarding buying after a financial hardship. I have written extensively about these changes, and after a recent clarification that came out last week, and I want to consolidate all of these guidelines into one article for easier reference. Buying a Home After Bankruptcy The waiting period for buying after a Bankruptcy begins from the Discharge Date that appears on your court documents.  There may be a discharge month and year...

Four Financial Questions Many Newlyweds Ask

What Now? Soon after the wedding is over – and the chaos of planning had subsided – many newlyweds start asking themselves questions related to their financial situation. Should we buy a home? Should we merge accounts? Who pays the electric bill? How much should we be saving for a rainy day? Can we afford to take a trip? It’s smart for newlyweds to take some time to focus on establishing their new financial lives together. Here are the answers to four common...

How to Buy a Home After a Foreclosure

Easier Than You Think? Buying a home after a foreclosure may be easier than you think.  During the past 8 years, many thousands of California homeowners fell victim to foreclosure. Bad things happen to good people all the time.  In the aftermath of one of the worst real estate crashes in recent history, foreclosure, short sale, or bankruptcy are a reality that hit many California households. Temporary Setback There is a common misunderstand out there that if you have a foreclosure, you are unable to...

What Falling Oil Prices and a Rising Dollar Mean for You

Two of the most notable economic developments of recent months are the dramatic decline in oil prices and the resurgence in the value of the U.S. dollar against other currencies. Both have an economic impact, which could translate to an investment impact as well. Let’s consider how these two trends might affect the investment markets. Cheaper oil – the pluses and minuses The price for a barrel of light crude oil on the New York Mercantile Exchange dropped from $107.30 on June...

Reinventing Yourself in Retirement

Retirement offers people a great opportunity to start something new. In addition, life expectancy trends indicate that an increasing number of baby boomers should be prepared for a long life in retirement. While this is good news, it also creates a few things to think about: Financial resources may need to extend for a retirement that could last two-to-three decades or longer Healthy, vibrant individuals may not be prepared to “shut down” and enter into a traditional retirement In light of these dual considerations,...

Lower Inventories of Long Beach Condos Causing Bidding Wars

This month is crazy in Long Beach, California.  My clients are experiencing a shortage of Long Beach condos on the market for sale in March 2015.  Currently, there are only 220 condos for sale in the city priced between $100,250 to $1,895,000.  The average selling price is $321,275 for a condo or townhome in Long Beach. 220 Long Beach condos is not a lot for a city of 456,000 residents.  And when I start to break down the price ranges...there tends to be a...

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