Wednesday, November 26, 2008

2008 Cost vs. Value Report

Remodeling magazine's annual report shows that maintenance-related projects and moderately priced upgrades are providing stable paybacks, even in a slower market.
click here for more.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Albuquerque, N.M. and other Safe Havens in Real Estate

While other midsize cities have fallen prey to rampant speculation, Albuquerque has hovered below the national real estate radar and largely avoided the subprime mortgage debacle. An influx of tech companies such as Eclipse Aviation, Hewlett Packard and Intel has helped fuel this Southwestern city's economy and attracted a young creative class.
Active retirees and immigrants have also migrated to the area, ensuring a well-rounded housing market. Experts project 9% population growth between 2006 and 2011, compared to 6% nationally... click here for more.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Latest Housing Report on Sales, Prices

Find out which markets are posting the largest sales gains and declines, and a snapshot of sales by region, based on NAR's housing data. Read more >

Albuquerque Included in Top 10 Most Promising Housing Markets

Housing Predictor, which provides housing forecasts in 250 markets, has identified 10 markets that have avoided the subprime crisis and have thriving economies. Read more >

New Mexico Deeds of Trust

New Mexico officially became a Deeds of Trust State...
Click here for summary of differences.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Requirements for a Short Sale

Typically a Short Sale package (for a conventional loan) will include the following:
Hardship Letter, Copy of Listing Agreement, 2 Months Bank statements (all accounts including retirement and 401K), 2 months paycheck stubs, estimated HUD statement, payoff quote from senior lien, letter of authorization to release information to Realtor.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Housing Can Save the Economy
During a presentation at NAR’s Annual Conference, NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun predicts “If housing prices stabilize, the current recession could be mild and recovery could come in the second half of 2009.” Read more >

More First-Time Buyers Entering the Market
"First-time buyers are much more flexible because they aren't concerned about selling an existing home," says Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist. Read more >

Don't Get Tripped Up by Mortgage Fraud
With mortgage fraud schemes becoming more varied and complex, we need to remain vigilant about staying on the right side of the law. Read more >

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Big banks step up efforts to modify mortgages

Click here
Citigroup to help at-risk borrowers stay in homes
Gov't to announce new loan aid effort...
An industry official who worked on the plan said the new approach will allow lenders to modify more delinquent loans by establishing criteria to speed up the process. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because details had not been announced.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Beware of Unapproved Downpayment Programs
Federal law that took effect Oct. 1 prohibits FHA from accepting seller-funded downpayments. Be aware that programs are being created to get around this restriction. Some are being set up as earned-income programs in which a buyer asks a seller to enroll in a "property alliance" for a fee. After an administrative cost is paid to the program, the fee goes to the buyer as a commission that can theoretically be considered as earned income. While HUD does recognize earned income, these programs are not considered legitimate means of earned income for meeting the downpayment requirement for FHA-insured mortgages. For more info contact Jerome Nagy, 202/383-1233.

2009 Conforming Loan Limit Guidance
Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have each released guidance on conforming loan limits for high cost areas that are scheduled to take effect in 2009. Unless Congress acts during a lame-duck session after the election, conforming loan limits in some high cost areas will go down. For 2008, the loan limits are 125 percent of the area median house price, up to $729,750, but not less than $417,000. Starting in 2009, the limits will be 115 percent of area median, up to $625,5000, but not less than $417,000. NAR supports making the 2008 limits permanent. For more info contact Jeff Lischer, 202/383-1117.

2009 VA High-Cost Loan Limit Set at $1,094,625
The limit for loans backed by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs in high-cost areas like California and Washington, D.C., is equal to 125 percent of the local area median home price, capped at 175 percent of the conforming loan limit. For the remainder of 2008 that conforming loan limit is $729,750. For 2009, that limit will be $625,500. Therefore, the loan limit for 2009 will be $1,094,625. The limit could go higher in Alaska, Hawaii, Guam, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Access a VA notice on the loan limit online. For more info contact Megan Booth, 202/383-1222.