What is title insurance? Do I need to have it? [Real Estate Insider]

May 23, 2020 7:17:06 PM / by Brett O'Daniell posted in home shopping, house hunting, title company, housing market, title, title insurance

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Selling Your House - Where Do You Start? [Real Estate Insider]

May 19, 2020 8:12:32 AM / by Brett O'Daniell posted in home purchase, housing market, selling agent, before you buy, homebuying, selling home, online home buying

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Things to Remember While Home-Shopping [Real Estate 2020]

May 18, 2020 9:14:49 AM / by Brett O'Daniell posted in home shopping, real estate, house hunting, touring homes, homebuyers, housing market, Zillow, housing demand, hometraq

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CARES Act Forbearance (COVID mortgage relief) details

May 10, 2020 10:20:58 AM / by Mark Gorman posted in housing market, buying a home, misconceptions, rent, income, asset, myths, loan, rates

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There’s little doubt that COVID-19 has changed our lives significantly over the last days and weeks. There has been so much information released as a result of these unprecedented times that it’s been hard to keep up. To keep things clear, and to help you sift through all the information you’re getting, we wanted to provide a resource so you can better understand recent legislation enacted to help homeowners impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

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The most unique spring housing market in ... Ever? [2020 Real Estate]

May 7, 2020 8:53:32 PM / by Mark Gorman posted in housing market, housing demand, summer, buying a home, moving, homebuying, rates

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Kicking off at the end of March, spring signals the start of homebuying season…at least it used to. As you know, the coronavirus pandemic has changed everything about this spring—including the real estate market.
 
The months of April through July traditionally account for more than 40% of all housing transactions. 2020 has been much different. This year's homebuying season started in January due to record low mortgage rates, low inventory and high demand. In fact, just prior to the pandemic, the housing market was hot—with sales at their best levels in over a decade and multiple offer situations part of the norm. 

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What the Federal Reserve's COVID response means for home buyers

Apr 30, 2020 8:51:13 PM / by Brett O'Daniell posted in Mortgage, Home Loan, housing market, mortgage payments

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Zero percent rates? Did you hear that right? You did, but they’re federal fund rates, not mortgage rates. 

On March 15, the Federal Reserve lowered the target range for the federal funds rate to 0 to ¼ percent, in an attempt to combat the current toll the coronavirus outbreak is having on the economy. The Federal Reserve explained, “This action will help support economic activity, strong labor market conditions, and inflation returning to the Committee’s symmetric 2 percent objective.” 

Zero percent mortgage rates, on the other hand, are indeed too good to be true—they don’t exist. Federal fund rates apply to overnight loans between U.S. financial institutions, not individual borrowers. 

Mortgage rates are dependent upon bonds which are traded thousands of times per day, and mortgage lenders typically update rates daily, while the Fed meets eight times per year (plus in the event of an emergency, such as the COVID-19 crisis) to discuss potential rate changes.

Despite mortgage rates not being completely slashed, as some misunderstood, they were still historically low, causing mass amounts of refinance applications to come through lenders’ doors. Those massive number of mortgages needed to be sold to investors in order for lenders to continue functioning, which in some instances overwhelmed investors, causing prices to fall and consumer rates to rise. Some lenders actually raised rates slightly as a means to slow down business.  

 

A recovery plan in the works

The Federal Reserve then announced it would buy unlimited amounts of treasuries and agency mortgages in order to help the credit markets. “While great uncertainty remains, it has become clear that our economy will face severe disruptions. Aggressive efforts must be taken across the public and private sectors to limit the losses to jobs and incomes and to promote a swift recovery once the disruptions abate,” the Federal Reserve explained, stating they’ll continue to purchase treasury securities and agency mortgage-backed securities. 

 

Where do mortgage rates stand? 

In early March, mortgage rates hit all-time lows, with the 30-year-fixed rate at 3.29 percent—the lowest average on record since Freddie Mac began tracking data in 1971—and have remained relatively low. While buyers strive to take advantage of these rates, competition will continue to increase, with inventory tightening and home prices rising. What can you do to help yourself stand out? 

A pre-approval* is a great place to start. In a matter of minutes, you can elevate yourself from the competition. Many of our lender partner's pre-approvals can be completed in 15 minutes or less.  You can also count on our lender partners to help you understand the ever-evolving market throughout this unprecedented and uncertain time. 

 

*“Pre-approval” means an automated underwriting system approval based upon credit information supplied by applicant and subject to the lender’s review of loan documents. Applicant subject to credit and underwriting approval. Not all applicants will be approved for financing. Receipt of application does not represent an approval for financing or interest rate guarantee. Restrictions may apply, contact lenders for current rates and for more information.

 

Sources: 

Federal Reserve

Mortgage News Daily

Mortgage News Daily

Housing Wire

Federal Reserve

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Handling The Home-Inspection [8 Pro Insights]

Mar 4, 2020 2:00:51 PM / by Brett O'Daniell posted in real estate, home inspection, homebuyers, housing market, homes for sale, selling agent, home tours, homebuying, selling home

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The App That is Changing The Real Estate Industry

Feb 28, 2020 7:03:50 PM / by Brett O'Daniell posted in real estate, housing market, buying a home, selling home, innovation

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Viewing a property can take longer than expected with balancing your schedule and the agents schedule, HomeTraq is designed to streamline your experience so to work for you!
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5 steps to get ready for your home search

Sep 15, 2019 7:43:00 AM / by Brett O'Daniell posted in Pre-Approval, home shopping, house hunting, home search, homebuyers, housing market, step-by-step, Credit, first-time, homeownership, home tours, home ownership, financing, before you buy, buying a home, moving checklist, homebuying, boosting credit, loan

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In a competitive market where homes can fly off the market in a week or less, it’s essential that buyers come to the table prepared. Here’s a list of steps every home buyer should consider in their search.

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6 game-changing FHA home loan features often overlooked...

Aug 31, 2019 8:39:00 PM / by Brett O'Daniell posted in Mortgage, Lending, FHA, Back to work, homebuyers, housing market, millennials, renovation, step-by-step, training, 203k, Credit, Credit Score, first-time

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