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On Par GSF Blog

Manufactured or Modular - What's the Difference?

Manufactured and modular homes are growing in popularity and have dramatically changed in appearance and quality over the years. 

Determining Interest Rates

Mortgage rates have a significant role in how much home you can afford.  If you feel like you missed getting a low mortgage rate, keep in mind current rates are still lower than they were 10 years ago and historically, they are still very good.

Who needs 20% down? Not you!

Home buyers may overestimate the down payment funds needed to qualify for a home loan.  Also, the misconception exists that 20 percent is needed for a down payment, or you can’t qualify for a mortgage.  

What's Included in your Monthly Mortgage Payment?

When buying a home, it’s important to know what your monthly mortgage payment will be, but also what goes into that payment.  By understanding what goes into that payment, you can better understand what you can afford and what your new home will really cost.

Turn Equity Into Cash

A cash-out refinance allows the homeowner to pull out equity from their property in the form of cash. With a cash-out refinance, the homeowner can lower their interest rate or change the loan term length if current interest rates allow. 

How Does a Single Close Construction Loan Work?

A Construction-to-Permanent Single Closed loan can provide financing for both the construction loan and the permanent loan.  The benefits of a single close option is there is only one closing and no re-qualifying for the permanent loan, saving customers time and money.  Additionally, depending on the permanent loan product selected, the customer may also benefit by not having to make any payments during the...

Top 10 Things to Avoid When Buying a Home

As you start the process for buying your home, it’s important to avoid actions that could change your credit. Your credit score is one of the most important things in securing financing and determining your interest rate.  The following list of items could impact your credit if they change unexpectedly during the mortgage process.

The Journey to Homeownership

Buying a home is an exciting adventure and likely one of the biggest purchases you’ll ever make.  With multiple steps along the way, it may feel overwhelming.  Here are few highlights of the process to help give you a better idea of what to expect.

What's More Important Than Rates?

Let’s be realistic, who can offer you the lowest rates is what you look for in a mortgage lender.  But in such a competitive market, is there more?   How do you decide when rates are similar?

New Construction Loan Too Expensive - Think Again!

With inventory still low in many markets, finding your dream home may be a problem. Maybe it’s time to think about building your dream home. 

Using the Right Tools

Digital tools are changing the mortgage industry from a paper intensive process into a lean and streamlined process. Submitting documents and paying online are some of the ways consumers want digital tools to give them more control over their borrowing experience.

It’s Not Just The Temperatures Cooling Down

As summer winds down, is the market experiencing a cool down too?  Existing home sales slipped 0.7 percent in July according to the National Association of Realtors (NAR) but that doesn’t mean it’s a buyer’s market yet.  

What Are Mortgage Points Anyway?

A home is a lot more than a structure held together by wood and nails. It is a part of the world stage that holds your stories, your memories and your milestones. We can all agree that purchasing a house is one of the biggest financial decisions that you will make in your life. When you’re spending that amount of money, you want to make sure that you’re getting a bang for your buck.

Painting Your Home Can Boost it's Value

If you’re planning to list your home on the market, one of the easiest and most cost-effective ways that can help to increase its value is also one of the simplest: paint.

5 Questions to Ask Before You Buy the House

We can all agree that purchasing a house is one of the biggest financial decisions that you will make in your life. When you’re spending that amount of money, you expect that the house will be in tip-top condition. Here is a list of five questions which will help you figure out if there are any problems with the house that need to be resolved before you buy it:

4 REAL Reasons Why We Buy A Home!

How Long Do Most Families Live in a House?

Homes More Affordable Today than 1985-2000

Pros and Cons to Buying a Fixer-Upper

7 Quick Tips for Homebuyers

Should You Buy or Rent?

Homeownership has been a cornerstone of the American Dream for decades and is something many people look forward to as a sort of rite of passage into adulthood. But is buying a home the right choice for you? Are there certain instances where you’re actually better off renting?

Homes are More Affordable in 44 out of 50 States

80% of Renters Believe Homeownership is a Part of Their American Dream

Parents Say Kids’ Opinions Matter Big When Buying a Home

A recent survey conducted by Harris Poll found that “55% of homeowners with a child under the age of 18 at the time when they purchased their home said that the opinion of their offspring played a major role in their home buying decision.”

Don’t Wait to Sell Your House! Buyers Are Out Now

5 Reasons Why to Sell This Summer!

4 Steps to Follow When Presenting an Offer in Today’s Market!

Millennials Are Skipping Starter Homes for Their Dream Homes

A new trend has begun to emerge. With home prices skyrocketing in the starter home category, many first-time homebuyers are skipping the traditional starter homes and moving right into their dream homes. What’s a Starter Home? According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), simply put, a starter home is a one or two-bedroom home (sometimes even a small, three bedroom). “Prices vary widely by market but...

Home Inspections: What to Expect

3 Tips for Making Your Dream of Owning a Home a Reality [INFOGRAPHIC]

5 Ways Tax Reform Has Impacted the 2018 Housing Market

4 Reasons Why Today’s Housing Market is NOT 2006 All Over Again

Why Home Prices Are Increasing

New Study Shows ‘Best States for Millennials’

A new study by WalletHub used “30 key metrics, ranging from share of millennials to millennial unemployment rate to millennial voter-turnout rate” to find out which states are the ‘Best States for Millennials.’ The Top 5 Best States for Millennials are: Washington, D.C. (also ranks highest in percentage of millennials already living there!) North Dakota (lowest unemployment rate) Minnesota (highest millennial...

GSF Mortgage Welcomes High Powered Mortgage Team in Delaware

Brookfield, Wis. April 24, 2018— GSF Mortgage Corporation is pleased to welcome branch manager Christopher Patille and his team to the New Castle, Delaware office. The team has a strong online presence and in addition to being part of several real estate and mortgage lending groups on LinkedIn, Patille hosts a weekly mortgage podcast focused on getting first-time homebuyers acquainted with the process of purchasing...

How Much Do You Need to Make to Buy a Home in Your State?

The COST of Your Next Home Will Be LESS Than Your Parents’ Home Was

What is Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI)? 

You Can Save for a Down Payment Faster Than You Think!

GSF Mortgage Corporation Welcomes Terri Wickstrom

Brookfield, Wis. March 14, 2018— GSF Mortgage Corporation is pleased to announce the addition of Mortgage Loan Originator Terri Wickstrom. She is based in Norton Shores, Michigan and is licensed in both Michigan and Florida.  She has been in the mortgage business for 34 years and has experience in all facets of the industry including processing, closing, and underwriting. 

4 Reasons Spring is a Great Time to Buy a Home!

Housing Market Expected To “Spring Forward” This Year

It’s Tax Season… Use Your Refund to Jump Start Your Down Payment Savings!

According to data released by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), Americans can expect an estimated average refund of $2,840 this year when filing their taxes. This is down slightly from the average refund of $2,895, last year.

Which Comes First… Marriage or Mortgage?

Calm Down! The Real Estate Market is NOT Falling Apart

The biggest mistake millennials are making is not buying their first home!

FICO® Scores on Approved Home Loans Drop Again

According to Ellie Mae’s latest Origination Report, the average FICO® Score on all closed loans dropped to 722 which is its lowest mark since April. The average includes all approved refinance and purchase loans. FHA and VA loans showed the most opportunity for millennials looking to enter the market with low down payments and even lower FICO® Score requirements. Ellie Mae’s Millennial Tracker revealed that those...

What Impact Will the New Tax Code Have on Home Values?

Wondering If You Can Buy Your First Home?

FICO® Scores on Approved Home Loans Drop Again

Top 4 REAL Reasons We Buy a Home

We often talk about the financial reasons why buying a home makes sense. But, more often than not, the emotional reasons are the more powerful or compelling reasons.

3 Tips for Making Your Dream Home a Reality [INFOGRAPHIC]

Before You Make an Offer, Here Are 4 Tips for Success!

The Real Reason Home Prices are Increasing

The Cost of NOT Owning Your Home

Owning a home has great financial benefits, yet many continue to rent! Today, let’s look at the financial reasons why owning a home of your own has been a part of the American Dream for as long as America has existed.

Top 4 Home Renovations for Maximum ROI [INFOGRAPHIC]

Some Highlights:

Your Friends Are Crazy Wrong If They're Telling You Not to Buy

The current narrative is that home prices have risen so much so that it is no longer a smart idea to purchase a home. Your family and friends might suggest that buying a home right now (whether a first-time home or a move-up home) makes absolutely no sense from an affordability standpoint. They are wrong! Homes are more affordable right now than at almost any time in our country’s history except for the foreclosure...

Millennials Flock Towards Low Down Payment Programs

A report released by Down Payment Resource shows that 61% of first-time homebuyers purchased their homes with a down payment of 6% or less.

Should I Buy a Home Now? Or Wait Until Next Year? [INFOGRAPHIC]

Some Highlights: The Cost of Waiting to Buy is defined as the additional funds it would take to buy a home if prices & interest rates were to increase over a period of time. Freddie Mac predicts interest rates to rise to 4.4% by next year. CoreLogic predicts home prices to appreciate by 5.0% over the next 12 months. If you are ready and willing to buy your dream home, find out if you are able to! by the KCM Crew

Don't Let Fear Stop You from Applying for a Mortgage

A considerable number of potential buyers shy away from jumping into the real estate market due to their uncertainty about the buying process. A specific cause for concern tends to be mortgage qualification.

Buying a Home Can Be Scary... Unless You Know the Facts [INFOGRAPHIC]

Some Highlights:

How to Save on a Mortgage Payment Whether Buying or Selling

In Trulia’s recent report, Rent vs. Buy: Roommate Edition, they examined the impact that renting with a roommate has in determining whether it is more expensive to rent or buy. The study explains:

Buying Remains Cheaper Than Renting in 39 States!

In the latest Rent vs. Buy Report from Trulia, they explained that homeownership remains cheaper than renting with a traditional 30-year fixed rate mortgage in the 100 largest metro areas in the United States.

The Mortgage Process: What You Need to Know [INFOGRAPHIC]

Some Highlights: Many buyers are purchasing a home with a down payment as little as 3%. You may already qualify for a loan, even if you don't have perfect credit. Take advantage of the knowledge of your local professionals who are there to help you determine how much you can afford. by the KCM Crew

Which Homes Have Increased in Value the Most?

Home values have risen dramatically over the last twelve months. The latest Existing Home Sales Reportfrom the National Association of Realtors puts the annual increase in the median existing-home price at 5.6%. CoreLogic, in their most recent Home Price Index Report, revealed that national home prices have increased by 6.7% year-over-year.

More Than Half of All Buyers Are Surprised by Closing Costs

According to a survey conducted by ClosingCorp, over half of all homebuyers are surprised by the closing costs required to obtain their mortgage. After surveying 1,000 first-time and repeat homebuyers, the results revealed that 17% of homebuyers were surprised that closing costs were required at all, while another 35% were stunned by how much higher the fees were than expected. “Homebuyers reported being most...

Happily Ever Homeowner

Married couples once again dominated the first-time homebuyer statistics last year at 66% of all buyers, according to the most recent Profile of Home Buyers & Sellers. It is no surprise that having two incomes to save for down payments and contribute to monthly housing costs makes buying a home more attainable.

Why Are So Few Homes for Sale?

There is no doubt that the largest challenge in today’s housing market is a lack of housing inventory for sale. This challenge has been defined as an “overwhelming lack of supply,” and even a “straight up inventory crisis.”

Top 5 Reasons Why Millennials Choose to Buy [INFOGRAPHIC]

Some Highlights: “The majority of millennials said they consider owning a home more sensible than renting for both financial and lifestyle reasons — including control of living space, flexibility in future decisions, privacy and security, and living in a nice home.” The top reason millennials choose to buy is to have control over their living space, at 93%. Many millennials who rent a home or apartment prior to...

4 Reasons to Buy a Home This Fall

Looking for Your Dream Home? Know What You Want vs. What You Need

Number of Buyers Putting Down Less Than 10% Hits 7-Year High

Don’t Disqualify Yourself… 52% of Approved Loans Have A FICO® Score Under 750

Want to Keep up with the Joneses? Now's the Time

What Would You Sacrifice to Save For Your Next Home? [INFOGRAPHIC]

How Long Do Most Families Stay in Their Home?

The National Association of Realtors (NAR) keeps historical data on many aspects of homeownership. One of the data points that has changed dramatically is the median tenure of a family in a home, meaning how long a family stays in a home prior to moving. As the graph below shows, for over twenty years (1985-2008), the median tenure averaged exactly six years. However, since 2008, that average is almost nine years –...

Do Your Future Plans Include a Move? What's Stopping You from Listing Now?

             

Is Now a Good Time to Rent?

Rising Home Prices Mean Great News for Homeowners

Recently there has been a lot of talk about home prices and if they are accelerating too quickly. As we mentioned before, in some areas of the country, seller supply (homes for sale) cannot keep up with the number of buyers who are out looking for homes, which has caused prices to rise.

Can Your Real Estate Agent Answer These Important Questions?

2 Myths Holding Back Home Buyers

In Realtor.com’s recent article, “Home Buyers’ Top Mortgage Fears: Which One Scares You?” they mention that “46% of potential home buyers fear they won’t qualify for a mortgage to the point that they don’t even try.” Myth #1: “I Need a 20% Down Payment” Buyers overestimate the down payment funds needed to qualify for a home loan. According to the First Quarter 2017 Homeownership Program Index (HPI) from Down Payment...

The 5 Greatest Benefits of Homeownership

Do You Know How Much Equity You Have in Your Home?

Be Thankful You Don’t Have to Pay Mom and Dad’s Interest Rate

4 Reasons to Buy This Summer!

Top Home Renovations for Maximum ROI [INFOGRAPHIC]

Buying Is Now 33.1% Cheaper Than Renting in the US

69% of Buyers are Wrong About Down Payment Needs

According to a recent survey conducted by Genworth Financial Inc. at the Annual Mortgage Bankers’ Association Secondary Market Conference, mortgage professionals say that first-time buyers still believe a 20% down payment is necessary to buy in today’s market.

4 Tips for Effectively Making an Offer

So, you’ve been searching for that perfect house to call a ‘home,’ and you finally found one! The price is right, and in such a competitive market, you want to make sure that you make a good offer so that you can guarantee that your dream of making this house yours comes true!

The Connection Between Home Prices & Family Wealth

 

What Would a Millennial Baby Boom Mean for Housing?

Recently released data from the National Center for Health Statistics revealed that 1.3 million Millennial women gave birth for the first time in 2015. There are now over 16 million women in this generation who have become mothers. “All told, Millennial women (those born between 1981 to 1997) accounted for about eight in ten (82%) of U.S. births in 2015.” The data also shows that this generation has waited until...

Why Pre-Approval Should Be Your First Step

In many markets across the country, the number of buyers searching for their dream homes greatly outnumbers the amount of homes for sale. This has led to a competitive marketplace where buyers often need to stand out. One way to show you are serious about buying your dream home is to get pre-qualified or pre-approved for a mortgage before starting your search. Even if you are in a market that is not as competitive,...

Homeowner’s Net Worth Is 45x Greater Than A Renter’s

Every three years, the Federal Reserve conducts a Survey of Consumer Finances in which they collect data across all economic and social groups. The latest survey, which includes data from 2010-2013, reports that a homeowner’s net worth is 36 times greater than that of a renter ($194,500 vs. $5,400). In a Forbes article, the National Association of Realtors’ (NAR) Chief Economist Lawrence Yun predicts that by the end...

Existing Home Sales Surge Through The Holidays [INFOGRAPHIC]

Some Highlights: November’s Existing Home Sales report revealed that sales are now at an annual pace of 5.61 million which is “now the highest since February 2007 (5.79 million) and is 15.4% higher than a year ago (4.86 million).” Total housing inventory (or the inventory of homes for sale) fell 8.0% from last month and is now 9.3% lower than November 2015. Inventory has dropped year-over-year for the last 18...

Whether You Rent or Buy: Either Way You’re Paying a Mortgage

There are some renters who have not yet purchased a home because they are uncomfortable taking on the obligation of a mortgage. Everyone should realize that, unless you are living with your parents rent free, you are paying a mortgage - either yours or your landlord’s. As an owner, your mortgage payment is a form of ‘forced savings’ that allows you to build equity in your home that you can tap into later in life. As...

Why You Shouldn't Take Your House Off the Market During the Holidays

   If you are one of the many homeowners who is debating taking your home off the market for the next few weeks, don't! You will miss the great opportunity you have right now!

5 Reasons Why Homeownership Is a Good Financial Investment

According to a recent report by Trulia, "buying is cheaper than renting in 100 of the largest metro areas by an average of 37.7%." That may have some thinking about buying a home instead of signing another lease extension. But, does that make sense from a financial perspective?

How Historically Low Interest Rates Increase Your Purchasing Power

 

Homeownership as an Investment: The Role of Price Appreciation

 

Home Sales Expected to Increase Nicely in 2017

The National Association of Realtors, The Mortgage Bankers' Association, Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae are all projecting that home sales will increase in 2017. Here is a chart showing what each entity is projecting in sales for this year and the next.

Stop Paying Your Landlord’s Mortgage!

There are some people that have not purchased a home because they are uncomfortable taking on the obligation of a mortgage. Everyone should realize that, unless you are living with your parents rent free, you are paying a mortgage - either your mortgage or your landlord’s. As The Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University explains: “Households must consume housing whether they own or rent. Not even...

You Can Never Have TMI about PMI

  When it comes to buying a home, whether it is your first time or your fifth, it is always important to know all the facts. With the large number of mortgage programs available that allow buyers to purchase a home with a down payment below 20%, you can never have Too Much Information (TMI) about Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI).

The Impact of Presidential Elections on Mortgage Rates and the Housing Market

The Truth About Housing Affordability

From a purely economic perspective, this is one of the best times in American history to buy a home. Black Night Financial Services discusses this in their most recent Monthly Mortgage Monitor.

It's Not Always Marriage Before Mortgage

There are many people sitting on the sidelines trying to decide if they should purchase a home or sign a rental lease. Some might wonder if it makes sense to purchase a house before they are married and have a family. Others may think they are too young. And still, others might think their current income would never enable them to qualify for a mortgage.

What to Expect When Home Inspecting

So you made an offer, it was accepted, and now your next task is to have the home inspected prior to closing. More often than not, your agent may have made your offer contingent on a clean home inspection.

Think All Millennials Live in Their Parent's Basement? Think Again!

  According to the Census Bureau, millennials have overtaken baby boomers as the largest generation in U.S. History. Millennials, or America's youth born between 1982-2000, now represent more than one quarter of the nation's population, totaling 83.1 million.

How Long Do Families Stay in a Home?

  The National Association of Realtors (NAR) keeps historic data on many aspects of homeownership. One of the data points that has changed dramatically is the median tenure of a family in a home. As the graph below shows, for over twenty years (1985-2008), the median tenure averaged exactly six years. However, since 2008, that average is almost nine years - an increase of almost 50%.

Taking the Fear Out of the Mortgage Process

A considerable number of potential buyers shy away from jumping into the real estate market due to their uncertainty about the buying process. A specific cause for concern tends to be mortgage qualification. For many, the mortgage process can be scary, but it doesn’t have to be! In order to qualify in today’s market, you’ll need to have saved for a down payment (the average down payment on all loans was 11% last...

Buying is Now 37.7% Cheaper Than Renting in the US

The results of the latest Rent vs. Buy Report from Trulia show that homeownership remains cheaper than renting with a traditional 30-year fixed rate mortgage in the 100 largest metro areas in the United States.

Whether You Rent or Buy, You're Paying a Mortgage

There are some people that have not purchased a home because they are uncomfortable taking on the obligation of a mortgage. Everyone should realize that, unless you are living with your parents rent free, you are paying a mortgage - either yours or your landlord's.

Study Again Finds Homeownership to be a Better Way of Producing Wealth

According to the latest Beracha, Hardin & Johnson Buy vs. Rent (BH&J) Index homeownership is a better way to produce greater wealth, on average, than renting. The BH&J Index is a quarterly report that attempts to answer the question:   Is it better to rent or buy a home in today’s housing market? The index examines the entire US housing market and then isolates 23 major markets for comparison. The researchers use a...

Starting to Look for a Home? Know What You WANT vs. What You NEED

In this day and age of being able to shop for anything anywhere, it is really important to know what you're looking for when you start your home search.

The 'Great News' About Rising Prices

Recently there has been a lot of talk about home prices and if they are accelerating too quickly. In some areas of the country, seller supply (homes for sale) cannot keep up with the number of buyers out looking for a home, which has caused prices to rise.

Feature: Forward Thinking

Written by Jessica Guerin As seen in The Reverse Review

Don’t Disqualify Yourself… Over Half of All Loans Approved Have a FICO Score Under 750

3 Questions to Ask Before Buying Your Dream Home

 

Mortgage Rates by Decade Compared to Today [INFOGRAPHIC]

Weekly Wrap: Mortgage News Roundup

Have You Put Aside Enough for Closing Costs?

The Importance of Home Equity to a Family

76% Of US Homeowners Now Have at Least 20% Equity in Their Homes!

  CoreLogic’s latest Equity Report revealed that 91.1% of all mortgaged properties are now in a positive equity situation, while 75.9% now have significant equity (defined as more than 20%)! The report also revealed that 548,000 households regained equity in the second quarter of 2016 and are no longer under water.

Weekly Wrap: Mortgage News Roundup

Ready to Make an Offer? 4 Tips for Success

So you’ve been searching for that perfect house to call a ‘home’ and you finally found one! The price is right, and in such a competitive market you want to make sure you make a good offer so that you can guarantee your dream of making this house yours comes true! Freddie Mac covered “4 Tips for Making an Offer” in their latest Executive Perspective. Here are the 4 Tips they covered along with some additional...

The Cost of NOT Owning Your Home

Owning a home has great financial benefits. Because of this, more and more experts are growing concerned about the ramifications of a falling homeownership rate. Today, let's look at the financial reasons why owning a home of your own has been a part of the American Dream for as long as America has existed.

Why Getting Pre-Approved Should Be Your First Step

Interest Rates Remain at Historic Lows… But for How Long?

The interest rate you pay on your home mortgage has a direct impact on your monthly payment: The higher the rate, the greater your payment will be. That is why it is important to look at where the experts believe rates are headed when deciding to buy now or wait until next year.

Don’t Get Caught in the Rental Trap!

There are many benefits to homeownership. One of the top ones is being able to protect yourself from rising rents and lock in your housing cost for the life of your mortgage. Don’t Become Trapped Jonathan Smoke, Chief Economist at realtor.com,reported on what he calls a “Rental Affordability Crisis.” He warns that, “Low rental vacancies and a lack of new rental construction are pushing up rents, and we expect that...

Weekly Wrap: Mortgage News Roundup

Mortgage Rates Wonder Higher but Remain Near Yearly Lows Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen’s speech last week had little effect on mortgage rates. The speech at a Jackson Hole, Wyoming economics conferenced signaled that the central bank is moving closer to raising its benchmark rate. The Fed last raised the Federal Funds rate in December.

Why Is There So Much Paperwork to Sign to Get a Mortgage?

We are often asked why there is so much paperwork mandated by the bank for a mortgage loan application when buying a home today. It seems that the bank needs to know everything about us and requires three separate sources to validate each and every entry on the application form.

Weekly Wrap: Mortgage News Roundup

Mortgage Rates Stall at Yearly Lows as Summer Winds Down It was another quite week in the mortgage market with rates leveling off at yearly lows.

2 Myths About Mortgages That May Be Holding Back Buyers

Fannie Mae’s “What do consumers know about the Mortgage Qualification Criteria?” Study revealed that Americans are misinformed about what is required to qualify for a mortgage when purchasing a home. Myth #1: “I Need a 20% Down Payment” Fannie Mae’s survey revealed that consumers overestimate the down payment funds needed to qualify for a home loan. According to the report, 76% of Americans either don’t know (40%)...

'Old Millennials' Are Diving Head-First into Homeownership [INFOGRAPHIC]

Weekly Wrap: Mortgage News Roundup

27 Months in a Row: VA Mortgage Rates Beat Everything For mortgage applicants with military backgrounds, it can be downright cheap to get a loan.

Real Life vs. Reality TV: 5 Myths Explained

Have you ever been flipping through the channels, only to find yourself glued to the couch in an HGTV ‘show hole’*? We’ve all been there… watching entire seasons of “Love it or List it,” “Fixer Upper,” “House Hunters,” “Flip or Flop,” “Property Brothers,” and so many more, just in one sitting. When you’re in the middle of your real estate themed show marathon, you might start to think that everything you see on TV...

What States Give You the Most ‘Bang for Your Buck’? [INFOGRAPHIC]

 

2 Tips For Getting The Most Money When Selling Your House

Every homeowner wants to make sure they get the best price when selling their home. But how do you guarantee that you receive maximum value for your house? Here are two keys to ensuring you get the highest price possible. 1. Price it a LITTLE LOW This may seem counterintuitive. However, let’s look at this concept for a moment. Many homeowners think that pricing their home a little OVER market value will leave them...

Do You Know the Impact Your Interest Rate Makes? [INFOGRAPHIC]

 

Weekly Wrap: Mortgage News Roundup

Mortgage Rates: Borrowing Just Got Even Cheaper – And Easier Mortgage rates fell this week for the first time in a month, averaging 3.43 percent for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage, down from 3.48 percent. A year ago, rates averaged 3.91 percent, according to Freddie Mac’s weekly survey.

Rents Skyrocket at Highest Rate in Almost a Decade

The Consumer Price Index (CPI) was released by the Labor Department last week. An analysis by Market Watch revealed the cost of rent was 3.8% higher than a year ago for the second straight month in June. That’s the strongest yearly price gain since 2007.

Home Sales Accelerate During The “Dog Days of Summer” [INFOGRAPHIC]

Some Highlights:

Weekly Wrap: Mortgage News Roundup

Homeowners Still Have Time to Refinance Mortgage interest rates ticked up again this week, creating greater urgency for homeowners who haven’t yet refinanced and homebuyers who haven’t yet locked a rate.

3 Questions Every Buyer Should Ask Themselves

If you are debating purchasing a home right now, you are probably getting a lot of advice. Though your friends and family will have your best interest at heart, they may not be fully aware of your needs and what is currently happening in the real estate market.

Brexit 1 Month Later: The Impact on Mortgage Rates

Just over a month ago, the United Kingdom decided to withdraw from the European Union in a decision commonly known as Brexit. At that time there was a lot of speculation on how that decision would impact the U.S. residential mortgage market. Today, we want to look at the impact of the first 30 days.

Weekly Wrap: Mortgage News Roundup

Mortgage Rates Move Higher for Second Week in a Row Mortgage rates moved higher for the second week in a row as financial markets leveled off after a rocky start to the summer.

Automation: The Blessing, the Curse, and the Way to Use It to Your Best Advantage

by President Chad Jampedro 

3 Crucial Questions Most Home Buyers Don’t Know the Answer To...DO YOU?

Whether you are considering the purchase of your first home or trading up to the home your family frequently fantasizes about, there are three crucial questions you must know the answer to:

Would You Qualify for a Mortgage Now?

The widespread myth that perfect credit and large down payments are necessary to buy a home are holding many potential home buyers on the sidelines. According to Ellie Mae’s latest Origination Report, the average FICO score for all closed loans in May was 724, far lower than the 750 or 800 that many buyers believe to be true. Below is a graph of the distribution of FICO scores of approved loans in May (the latest...

Saving To Buy A Home? What Would You Sacrifice? [INFOGRAPHIC]

 

BREXIT: What’s the FIXIT for U.S. Home Buyers and Sellers?

Now that much of the dust has settled and the panic has waned, let’s take a look at what impact Britain’s exit from the European Union may have on the U.S. housing market.

Weekly Wrap: Mortgage News Roundup

Mortgage Rates This Week Mortgage rates are mixed today. The average on a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage rose and the average on a 15-year fixed-rate mortgage fell.

Serious About Home Buying? Get Pre-Approved

In many markets across the country, the amount of buyers searching for their dream home greatly outnumbers the amount of homes for sale. This has led to a competitive marketplace where buyers often need to stand out. One way to show you are serious about buying your dream home is to get pre-qualified or pre-approved for a mortgage before starting your search.

Is Your First Home Within Your Grasp Now?

There are many people sitting on the sidelines trying to decide if they should purchase a home or sign a rental lease. Some might wonder if it makes sense to purchase a house before they are married and have a family. Others may think they are too young. And still others might think their current income would never enable them to qualify for a mortgage. We want to share what the typical first-time homebuyer actually...

Weekly Wrap: Mortgage News Roundup

Mortgage Rates Rise Amid Market Speculation Over Interest Rates Mortgage rates moved up again this week, according to the data released Thursday, reacting to recent speculation in the market that a Federal Reserve-imposed interest rate increase could be imminent.

A ‘Buyer’ in Hand Is Worth Two in the Bush

In today’s highly competitive seller’s market where there are more buyers than there are listings for them to purchase, some sellers may feel like the ball is in their court.

When Is It A Good Time To Rent? Definitely NOT NOW!

People often ask whether or not now is a good time to buy a home. No one ever asks when a good time to rent is. However, we want to make certain that everyone understands that today is NOT a good time to rent.

Don’t Wait! Move Up To Your Dream Home Now!

Now that the housing market has stabilized, more and more homeowners are considering moving up to the home they have always dreamed of. Prices are still below those of a few years ago and interest rates have stayed near historic lows.

Weekly Wrap: Mortgage News Roundup

Mortgage Rates Keep Falling, Inviting More Buyers to a Crowded Market Mortgage interest rates this week slipped to their lowest levels in three years, adding fuel to an already sizzling spring housing market.

Are the Kids Finally Moving Out?

During the recession, many young adults graduating from college were forced to move back in with their parents. This caused new household formations to drop dramatically from the long term average of 1.2 million formations annually to half that number. However, this may be the year this turns back around.

The Key to Driving Your Mortgage Business Forward? You.

By Chad Jampedro, President at GSF Mortgage Corp. As seen in National Mortgage Professional

The Importance of Home Equity to a Family

There has been much written about how dramatically home values have increased over the last several years. With the increase in values, comes an increase in the equity each home owning family now has. The Joint Center of Housing Studies at Harvard University recently reported that, after taking inflation into account, aggregate home equity has increased 60% since 2010. Home equity is the major component of most...

One More Time… You Do Not Need 20% Down To Buy NOW

A survey by Ipsos found that the American public is still somewhat confused about what is actually necessary to qualify for a home mortgage loan in today’s housing market. The study pointed out two major misconceptions that we want to address today.  1. Down Payment The survey revealed that consumers overestimate the down payment funds needed to qualify for a home loan. According to the report, 36% think a 20% down...

Rents Still Skyrocketing

Zillow recently revealed that the 43 million renter households in the US spent $535 billion on rent in 2015. Aggregate numbers like these often make it difficult to truly assess a situation. For more clarity, we want to share some points that were made in a Wall Street Journal article earlier this month.

Don’t Wait To Buy Your Dream Home

As a seller, you will be most concerned about ‘short term price’ – where home values are headed over the next six months. As either a first-time or repeat buyer, you must not be concerned only about price but also about the ‘long term cost’ of the home.

Weekly Wrap: Mortgage News Roundup

 

The Top Reasons Why Americans Buy Homes

Last week, the inaugural “Homebuyer Insights Report” was released by the Bank of America. The report revealed the reasons why consumers purchase homes and what their feelings are regarding homeownership.

You Can Save for a Down Payment Faster Than You Think

In a study conducted by Builder.com, researchers determined that nationwide, it would take “nearly eight years” for a first-time buyer to save enough for a down payment on their dream home.

Weekly Wrap: Mortgage News Roundup

Mortgage Rates Plummet to Lows Not Seen in More Than a Year Mortgage rates followed long-term Treasury yields downward, plummeting to lows not seen in more than a year.

Do You Know The Difference Your Interest Rate Makes? [INFOGRAPHIC]

Some Highlights:

The Domino Effect of Compliance

Regulatory requirements have set off a chain reaction of events in the mortgage industry, causing mortgage companies to ramp up their compliance efforts, implement innovative technology, and plan for the future.

What If I Wait Until Next Year To Buy A Home?

As a seller, you will be most concerned about ‘short term price’ – where home values are headed over the next six months. As either a first-time or repeat buyer, you must not be concerned only about price but also about the ‘long term cost’ of the home.

Weekly Wrap: Mortgage News Roundup

Mortgage Rates Fall Back and Remain in Refinance Territory for Many Borrowers Mortgage rates fell this week after the Federal Reserve kept rates unchanged and the Brussels terror attacks disrupted international markets.

The Mortgage Process: What You Need To Know [INFOGRAPHIC]

Some Highlights:

Put Your Housing Cost To Work For You!

There are many young people debating whether they should renew the lease on their apartment or sign a contract to purchase their first home. As we have said before, mortgage interest rates are still near historic lows and rents continue to rise.

Weekly Wrap: Mortgage News Roundup

Mortgage Rates Move Higher For Second Straight Week Mortgage rates moved higher for the second week in a row, according to the latest data released Thursday by Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corp.

Do You Know How Much Equity You Have In Your Home? You May Be Surprised!

CoreLogic’s latest Equity Report revealed that 256,000 properties regained equity in the third quarter of 2015. This is great news for the country, as 92% of all mortgaged properties are now in a positive equity situation.

Home Is Where The Heart Is

We have discussed the reasons why homeownership makes sense, financially. Now we wanted to touch on the emotional or ‘real’ reasons that many Americans strive to become homeowners.

Thinking of Buying A Home? What Are You Waiting For?

With spring right around the corner, you may be wondering if you should wait to enter the housing market. Here are four great reasons to consider buying a home today instead of waiting.

Weekly Wrap: Mortgage News Roundup

U.S. Mortgage Rates Fall For Sixth Straight Week The New Year continues to offer good tidings for prospective home buyers as U.S mortgage rates fell again, according to Freddie Mac.

Millennials Have a Credit Problem

As seen on the MReport

HOW REAL ESTATE PROS MAKE THEIR CUSTOMERS FEEL THE LOVE

As seen on thehomestory.com

Singles Are Falling For Their Dream Home [INFOGRAPHIC]

Some Highlights: 

Where Are Americans Moving? [INFOGRAPHIC]

 

Weekly Wrap: Mortgage News Roundup

Average 30-year Mortgage Rates Falls for Fifth Straight Week Average long-term U.S. mortgage rates fell for the fifth straight week amid volatility in would financial markets.

What Do You Actually Need to Get a Mortgage?

Fannie Mae recently released their “What do consumers know about the Mortgage Qualification Criteria?” Study. The study revealed that Americans are misinformed about what is required to qualify for a mortgage when purchasing a home. Here are three takeaways:

Weekly Wrap: Mortgage News Roundup

Mortgage Rates Fall For Fourth Week in a Row Continued volatility in the financial markets pushed mortgage rates lower again, according to the latest data released Thursday by Freddie Mac.

The Most Appealing Aspects of Homeownership

The National Association of Realtors (NAR) just released their first issue of the Housing Opportunities & Market Experience Survey (HOME). In the report, NAR revealed what Americans believe to be the most appealing aspects of homeownership.

Weekly Wrap: Mortgage News Roundup

Mortgage Rates Continue Falling Over Global Economic Concerns Turmoil in the global markets has been good for mortgage rates. China’s slowdown and cratering oil prices have created volatility in the markets and spurred investors to flee to safety in government bonds.

Are You Wondering What It Takes To Buy Your First Home?

There are many people sitting on the sidelines trying to decide if they should purchase a home or sign a rental lease. Some might wonder if it makes sense to purchase a house before they are married and have a family. Others may think they are too young. And still others might think their current income would never enable them to qualify for a mortgage. We want to share what the typical first time homebuyer actually...

Weekly Wrap: Mortgage News Roundup

Zillow: Mortgage Rates Lower Now Than Before Fed Rate Hike While Freddie Mac’s latest Primary Mortgage Market Survey had the 30-year mortgage interest rate below 4 percent again, borrowers on Zillow were quoted interest rates will below that.

When Is It A Good Time To Rent? NOT Now!

People often ask whether or not now is a good time to buy a home. No one ever asks when a good time to rent is. However, we want to make certain that everyone understands that today is NOT a good time to rent.

Thinking of Buying a Home? 3 Questions Every Buyer Should Answer First

If you are debating purchasing a home right now, you are probably getting a lot of advice. Though your friends and family will have your best interest at heart, they may not be fully aware of your needs and what is currently happening in the real estate market.

Obstacles to Homeownership: Perceived or Real?

We have discussed the belief Americans have in homeownership and their desire to partake in this piece of the American Dream. We also discussed some of the obstacles preventing them from attaining that goal. However, studies have shown that that many of the obstacles mentioned are perceived, not real.

Don’t Let Rising Rents Trap You!

There are many benefits to homeownership. One of the top ones is being able to protect yourself from rising rents and lock in your housing cost for the life of your mortgage.

Weekly Wrap: Mortgage News Roundup

Mortgage Rates Inch Higher Amid Fred Rate Hike U.S. mortgage rates inched up this week as the job market improves and the economy continues to show resilience, a point underscored by the Federal Reserve’s Wednesday hike of its short-term interest rates.

How Long Does It Take To Save A Down Payment?

In a recent study conducted by Builder.com, researchers determined that nationwide it would take “nearly eight years” for a first-time buyer to save enough for a down payment on their dream home.

Buying A Home? Do You Know The Difference Between Cost & Price?

As a seller, you will be most concerned about ‘short term price’ – where home values are headed over the next six months. As a buyer, you must be concerned not about price but instead about the ‘long term cost’ of the home.

Weekly Wrap: Mortgage News Roundup

Mortgage Rates Rise Modestly Mortgage rates increased this week in preparation for an increasingly likely rate hike next week by the Federal Reserve’s policy-setting committee and in response to a favorable employment report.

2016: Homeowner’s Net Worth Will Be 45x Greater Than a Renter

Every three years the Federal Reserve conducts a Survey of Consumer Finances in which they collect data across all economic and social groups. The latest survey, which includes data from 2010-2013, reports that a homeowner’s net worth is 36 times greater than that of a renter ($194,500 vs. $5,400).

What You Really Need To Qualify For A Mortgage

A recent survey by Ipsos found that the American public is still somewhat confused about what is actually necessary to qualify for a home mortgage loan in today’s housing market. The study pointed out two major misconceptions that we want to address today.

Weekly Wrap: Mortgage News Roundup

Mortgage Rates Fall for Third Week in a Row Mortgage rates wondered down for the third week in a row, according to the latest data released Thursday by Freddie Mac.

Rent vs. Buy: Either Way You’re Paying A Mortgage

There are some people that have not purchased a home because they are uncomfortable taking on the obligation of a mortgage. Everyone should realize that, unless you are living with your parents rent free, you are paying a mortgage - either your mortgage or your landlord’s.

Millennials: What FICO Score is Needed to Buy a Home?

In a recent article by the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania, it was revealed that some Millennials are not looking to purchase a home simply because they don’t believe they can qualify for a mortgage.

Weekly Wrap: Mortgage News Roundup

Mortgage Rates Stabilize After Last Week’s Jump After a jump on October’s strong job reports last week, mortgage rates stabilized this week, according to Freddie Mac’s weekly rate report.

Should I Pay a Mortgage Interest Rate over 4%?

Mortgage interest rates, as reported by Freddie Mac, have increased over the last several weeks. Along with Freddie Mac, Fannie Mae, the Mortgage Bankers Association and theNational Association of Realtors are all calling for mortgage rates to continue to rise over the next four quarters.

Weekly Wrap: Mortgage News Roundup

Average Mortgage Rate Jumps Higher Average long-term U.S. mortgage rates this week rose sharply for a second straight week as expectations grew that the Federal Reserve may soon raise its key short-term interest rate.

Weekly Wrap: Mortgage News Roundup

Mortgage Rates Jump This Week Average long-term mortgage rates rose sharply this week amid growing expectations that the Federal Reserve may soon raise its short-term interest rate.

Do You Know The Cost of Renting vs. Buying? [INFOGRAPHIC]

 

Weekly Wrap: Mortgage News Roundup

Average U.S. rate on 30-year Mortgage Slips Average long-term U.S. mortgage rates were slightly lower to unchanged this week amid expectations that the Federal Reserve isn’t ready yet to raise its key short-term interest rate.

Applying For A Mortgage: Why So Much Paperwork?

We are often asked why there is so much paperwork mandated by the bank for a mortgage loan application when buying a home today. It seems that the bank needs to know everything about us and requires three separate sources to validate each and every entry on the application form.

Weekly Wrap: Mortgage News Roundup

Mortgage Rates Back Down to 6-Month Lows Mortgage rates continued lower, largely getting caught up with underlying market movements. Lenders were likely being cautious due to prospects for volatility in today’s trading, not to mention the increased volatility seen on Tuesday and Wednesday. All things being equal, mortgage rates will be lower if volatility is lower because fluctuations in bond markets (which include...

Weekly Wrap-Week of Oct. 16, 2015

Mortgage Rates Barely Drop Interest rates on mortgages moved slightly lower this week as worrisome economic data from the United States and China startled markets.

Do You Really Think Your Landlord Pays for Repairs?

A recent article that appeared on Nasdaq.com addressed the issue of whether it is best to buy or rent in today’s real estate environment. The article was very fair in discussing both options.

You Want to Raise My Rent How Much?

We recently reported that investment purchases in 2014 fell 7.4% for the year, that combined with a diminished supply of distressed inventory allowing for big profits, has real estate investors looking for a new way to make more money in 2015.

Weekly Wrap: Mortgage News Roundup

Down, Down, Down: 30-Year Mortgage Rates Decline Average long-term U.S. mortgage rates fell sharply this week amid concern over a labor market that has shown recent signs of weakness.

Debunking Some Myths about Mortgage Availability

There seems to be a growing chasm between what the public believes to be needed and what is actually needed to qualify for a residential home loan. A recent survey by Ipsos reported that:

Weekly Wrap: Mortgage News Roundup

Mortgage Rates Stand Still While Home Prices Keep Rising Mortgage rates were unchanged this week as stock market volatility continued and new data revealed the growth in home prices seems to be sticking around. The benchmark 30-year fixed-rate mortgage inched up to 4.01 percent from 4 percent, according to Bankrate.com. A year ago, mortgage rates hovered around 4.27 percent. The benchmark 15-year fixed-rate mortgage...

Renters: It Is About to Get A Lot Worse

We often promote homeownership over renting when a family is ready, willing and able to purchase. There are both financial and non-financial benefits to owning a home of your own. Based on the headlines below, many news outlets agreed with us after they reviewed a recent report from the Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies andEnterprise Community Partners.

Weekly Wrap: Mortgage News Roundup

Average U.S. Mortgage Rate Dips Following the Fed’s Decision Average long-term U.S. mortgage rates declined this week following the Federal Reserve’s decision to keep interest rates at record lows for now.

Is Qualifying for a Mortgage Getting Easier?

There has been a lot of talk about how difficult it is to get a home mortgage in today’s lending environment. However, three recent reports have revealed that lending standards are beginning to ease. This is great news for both first time buyers and current homeowners looking to move or buy a second vacation/retirement home. Let’s look at the three reports:

Economic Impact of Every Home Sold [INFOGRAPHIC]

Every time a home is sold, it sets off a series of events that generates an economic impact on the area around it. From the process of actually buying the house, to moving in and making it a home, to exploring what the new location has to offer – money is being spent!

Weekly Wrap: Mortgage News Roundup

Mortgage Rates Rise Ahead of Fed’s Decision Interest rates on mortgages inched higher this week, just a day before the Federal Reserve’s policy-setting committee decides whether the federal funds rate will increase for the first time in nearly a decade.

Why You Should Stop Renting & Buy Today!

There are many young people debating whether they should renew the lease on their apartment or sign a contract to purchase their first home.

What Do You Really Need to Qualify for a Mortgage?

A recent survey by Ipsos found that the American public is still somewhat confused about what is actually necessary to qualify for a home mortgage loan in today’s housing market. The study pointed out two major misconceptions that we want to address today.

Weekly Wrap: Mortgage News Roundup

Mortgage Rates Inch Higher Average long-term U.S. mortgage rates inched up this week as financial markets awaited the Federal Reserve’s crucial decision next week on interest rates.

Weekly Wrap: Mortgage News Roundup

Mortgage Rates Rise Heading Into Holiday Weekend Mortgage rates moved higher ahead of the holiday weekend, according to the latest data released Thursday by Freddie Mac.

More Home Buyers Putting Less Down

A recent post by the National Association of Realtors (NAR) revealed that in the months of December 2014 through February 2015, there was an increase in the number of first-time buyers making a down payment of 6% or less as compared to last year:

New York Times: Homeownership is Best Way To Build Wealth

The housing market has made a strong recovery, not only in sales and prices, but also in the confidence of consumers and experts as an investment. In a New York Times editorial entitled, “Homeownership and Wealth Creation” they explain:

Weekly Wrap: Mortgage News Roundup

Mortgage Rates Drop to Lowest Levels Since May Average long-term U.S. mortgage rates dropped this week to their lowest levels since May, in a week marked by turmoil in global markets that were stoked by economic developments in China.

Should I Wait to Put Down a Bigger Down Payment?

Some experts are advising that first time and move-up buyers wait until they save up 20% before they move forward with their decision to purchase a home. One of the main reasons they suggest waiting is that a buyer must purchase private mortgage insurance if they have less than the 20%. That increases the monthly payment the buyer will be responsible for. In a recent article, Freddie Mac explained what this would...

Weekly Wrap: Mortgage News Roundup

Mortgage Rates Hold Steady This Week Mortgage rates held steady this week, according to the latest data released Thursday by Freddie Mac.

64.2% of Millennials Put Down Less than 20%

Digital Risk recently polled Millennials about the housing market. Among their findings was the fact that nearly two-thirds of the generation who have recently purchased a home, have done so with less than 20% down; with 36% putting down less than 5%!

When is it a Good Time to Rent?

People often ask whether or not now is a good time to buy a home. No one ever asks when a good time to rent is. However, we want to make certain that everyone understands that today is NOT a good time to rent.

Weekly Wrap: Mortgage News Roundup

Mortgage Rates Drop After China Devalues Its Currency Mortgage rates fell this week after China’s economy suffered a major setback that disrupted international markets and U.S. consumers lost some optimism in their outlook on the housing climate.

What You Need to Know About the Mortgage Process [INFOGRAPHIC]

What you will need in order to qualify in today's market:

Weekly Wrap: Mortgage News Roundup

Average Rates For 30-Year Fixed Mortgages Fall to 3.91% Mortgage rates fell again and stayed under 4 percent for the second consecutive week as uncertainty around Federal Reserve interest rate hikes drove Treasury yields lower, according to a survey of lender’s most popular mortgages.

This Is NOT Your Parents’ 3% Down Payment Plan

In their latest Housing Market Insight & Outlook report, Freddie Mac revealed that recent low down payment initiatives have raised concerns that we may be returning to the same lax mortgage qualifications that caused the housing crisis from which we are just now recovering.

GSF Mortgage Welcomes Military Veteran in Alexandria, Virginia

Brookfield, Wis. Aug. 4, 2015—GSF Mortgage is pleased to welcome Leon Story as a mortgage loan originator in Alexandria, Virginia. He joins TeamGO with 17 years of mortgage industry experience. Story will work under Stephen Trye, branch manager.

Home Sales Will Remain Hot This Summer

People always talk about the “spring buying season” when they talk real estate. However, this year it appears as though the summer real estate market will be just as hot.

Weekly Wrap: Mortgage News Roundup

Mortgage Rates Fall Below 4% Thirty-year fixed-rate mortgages averaged 3.98 percent for the week. The report marks the first time the average has ducked below 4 percent since early June, after trending low for the first half of 2015. The continuing low rates suggest loan will stay at historically, relatively inexpensive levels for at least he immediate future.

GSF Mortgage Welcomes Mortgage Loan Originator in St. Petersburg

Brookfield, Wis. July 28, 2015—GSF Mortgage is pleased to welcome Ray Rau as mortgage loan originator in St. Petersburg, Florida. Although Rau is new to the mortgage industry, he has owned rental properties for more than 20 years. While seeking new opportunities, he joined GSF Mortgage after talking with Warren Herman, who did his mortgage transactions on his rental properties.

Weekly Wrap: Mortgage News Roundup

30-year Mortgage Rates Fall The average rate for a 30- year fixed-rate mortgage fell to 4.04 percent this week from 4.09 percent last week, which was the highest rate since October, according to a Thursday report from federally controlled mortgage buyer Freddie Mac. Last year, the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage was at 4.13 percent.

What If I Wait Until Next Year to Buy a Home?

First-time homebuyers are flocking to the housing market in greater numbers than any time in the last few years. Renters who are ready and willing to buy are now realizing that they are also able to as well. Many first-time buyers are Millennials (born between 1981 – 1997).

5 Reasons to Hire a Real Estate Professional Today!

Whether you are buying or selling a home, it can be quite an adventurous journey. You need an experienced Real Estate Professional to lead you to your ultimate goal. In this world of instant gratification and internet searches, many sellers think that they can For Sale by Owner or FSBO.

Weekly Wrap: Mortgage News Roundup

Freddie Mac: Mortgage Rates Continue to Fluctuate Mortgage rates continue to fluctuate and moved to their highest level this year amid volatility in the bond markets. The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 4.09 percent this week, up from 4.04 percent last week. One year ago rates averaged 4.13 percent.

Homeownership: A Key to Well-Being in Retirement

There has been much talk about homeownership and whether it is a true vehicle for building wealth. A new report looks at the impact owning a home has on the financial wellbeing of people closing in on their retirement years (ages 55-64).

The Tipping Point

With the economy improving, are consumers once again being swayed toward homeownership? By Chad Jampedro, president As seen in The MReport  At the kickoff of the spring homebuying season, the country faced a daunting reality: Would-be buyers were still struggling to get access to credit, and worse, the homeownership relate had fallen to just 63.8 percent -- it's lowest since President George H.W. Bush had taken over...

Weekly Wrap: Mortgage News Roundup

A Small Drop in Mortgage Rates Brings in the Buyers and Even Some Refinancers Mortgage rates fell this week as economic turmoil in Greece continued wreaking havoc on international markets. The lower rates have been persuading customers to jump on the homebuying bandwagon.

BIG NEWS: You DO NOT need a 20% down payment!

A recent survey by Ipsos found that the American public is still somewhat confused about what is actually necessary to qualify for a home mortgage loan in today’s housing market. The study pointed out two major misconceptions that we want to address today.

Weekly Wrap: Mortgage News Roundup

Mortgage Rates Fall, Then Stage a Comeback in Greek Melodrama Mortgage rates rose slightly this week following mixed news from Greece that disrupted markets worldwide. The threat of increasing mortgage rates meant more business for lenders as buyers took advantage of favorable borrowing terms.

Buy vs Rent: What Really Creates Family Wealth?

There has been recent press regarding whether or not it makes better financial sense to rent rather than buy in today’s housing market. As an example, the recently released June Summary of the BH&J Buy vs. Rent Index reported:

Weekly Wrap: Mortgage News Roundup

Mortgage Rates Rise as Housing Flourishes Mortgage rates floated higher this week after the Federal Reserve signaled that at least one interest rate hike is on its way later this year. The uptick comes as the housing market’s momentum strengthens.

GSF Mortgage President Named Among 100 Most Influential Mortgage Executives For Second Year

Brookfield, Wis. June 25, 2015—GSF Mortgage is honored to announce that its president, Chad Jampedro, has been named among Mortgage Executive Magazine’s 100 Most Influential Mortgage Executives for the second year in a row.

Do I Need Perfect Credit to Buy a Home? [INFOGRAPHIC]

Many first time homebuyers believe that they have to have a 'perfect' credit score and 15-20 percent for a down payment. Check out the infographic below to see the loans that have been approved and what exactly it took to secure them.

2 Out of 3 Renters Want to Own. What’s Holding Them Back?

The Federal Reserve Bank of New York recently released the 2015 SCE Housing Survey. The survey revealed that most current renters would prefer owning and that 61.9% of them plan to buy a home within the next five years.

GSF Mortgage Welcomes Well-Recognized Branch Manager in Colorado

Brookfield, Wis. June 11, 2015—GSF Mortgage is pleased to welcome Carla Starkie as branch manager in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Starkie joins TeamGO with more than 20 years of combined experience in real estate, title insurance and mortgage lending. She began her career as a real estate agent and worked her way up to become a top producer. After she started a family, she needed something more 9-to-5 and made the...

Weekly Wrap: Mortgage News Roundup

30-Year Fixed-Rate Mortgage Remains Highest Since Late 2014 The average rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage remained at 3.87 percent this week, matching last week’s reading, which was the highest since the end of 2014, according to a report from Freddie Mac. Last year the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage was at 4.14 percent.

Guess Where Residential Rents are Heading?

“Where are rents headed?”  -  This is one of the questions that must be answered each month before people make a decision of renewing their rental lease for another year or purchasing their first home.

Today Kicks Off National Homeownership Month!

National Homeownership Month actually started as a week-long celebration of homeownership during the Clinton administration in 1995. In 2002, President George W. Bush proclaimed June as the  National Homeownership Month. Here is an excerpt from his  proclamation:

Weekly Wrap: Mortgage News Roundup

Fixed Mortgage Rates Soar to Their Highest Levels of the Year Fixed mortgage rates soared to their highest levels of the year, according to the latest data released Thursday by Freddie Mac.

Do You Have Talented Managers on Board?

by Chad Jampedro, president

Weekly Wrap: Mortgage News Roundup

Mortgage Rates Wonder Upward for the Third Week in a Row Pushed up the Treasury yields, mortgage rates wondered upward for the third week in a row, according to the latest data released Thursday by Freddie Mac.

Deal of the Century: If You Are Planning to Purchase a Home, Now's the Time!

Recently, Freddie Mac published a blog post titled Mortgage Rates: Still the Deal of the Century. They explained that, if you are planning to purchase a home, now may be the time:

Weekly Wrap: Mortgage News Roundup

Mortgage Rates Move Higher For Second Week in a Row  Mortgage rates moved higher for the second week in a row, according to the latest data released Thursday by Freddie Mac.

The Difference A Year Can Make [INFOGRAPHIC]

Weekly Wrap: Mortgage News Roundup

Mortgage Rates Rise, Even in a Weak Economy  Mortgage rates increased this week as yields on government bonds spiked. Still, rates will likely stay low down the road as an economy recovering from a severe winter keeps the Federal Reserve from rising interest rates too soon.

There's No Place Like Home

Last week, we reported on the financial reasons purchasing a home in today’s market makes sense. The Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University performs a study every year surveying participants for the reasons that American’s feelings are most important in regards to homeownership. The top 4 reasons to own a home cited by respondents were not financial.

I Need A VACATION… Home! [INFOGRAPHIC]

If you are daydreaming about owning a vacation home, contact us to get pre-approved today!  1-800-444-RATE by The KCM Crew 

Weekly Wrap: Mortgage News Roundup

Mortgage Rates Continue to Decrease Low rates are bringing out the spring homebuyers. The average 30-year fixed-rate mortgage was 3.65 percent, down from 3.67 percent from last week. A year ago, 30-year rates averaged 4.33 percent. A 15-year fixed-rate mortgage fell to 2.92 percent this week.

Good News for ‘Typical’ Home Buyers

In a speech delivered earlier this year, Secretary for HUD Julián Castro, called 2015“A Year of Housing Opportunity”. A recent report by The National Association of Realtors (NAR) revealed that investment home sales decreased 7.4% in 2014 to an estimated 1.02 million.

Does Homeownership Make Sense Financially?

Everyone knows the social advantages of homeownership, however, some question the financial benefits of owning a home. Three recent studies shed some light on the issue.

Weekly Wrap: Mortgage News Roundup

Mortgage Rates Slip This Week as Retail Sales Falter Mortgage rates slipped this week after it became clear that Americans shopped less than expected in March, convincing investors that an interest rate hike remains further down the road than they previously had thought.

Is Getting a Mortgage Getting Easier?

There has been a lot of discussion about how difficult it is to get a home mortgage in this market. There is no doubt that the process is not as easy as it was eight to ten years ago and that’s probably good news. However, it does appear that availability to mortgage money is increasing with each passing day. The Mortgage Bankers’ Association publishes the Mortgage Credit Availability Index (MCAI). According to...

Weekly Wrap: Mortgage News Roundup

Mortgage Rates Stay Low As Homebuying Heats Up The rate on the most common mortgage was unchanged this week, while others slipped slightly. The low rates brought in more potential homebuyers and follow a disappointing jobs report, which may help delay an interest rate hike by the Federal Reserve.

Housing Market is Healthiest in Years!

According to Nationwide’s recently unveiled, Health of Housing Market (HoHM) Report, the US housing market is at it’s healthiest levels since the index’s creation in 2001.

New Study: Homeownership Creates Family Wealth

Matthew Rognlie, from the Department of Economics at MIT, recently released a paper:Deciphering the Fall and Rise in the Net Capital Share.

GSF Mortgage Welcomes Christy Hembree in Florida

Brookfield, Wis. April 7, 2015—GSF Mortgage is pleased to welcome Christy Hembree to its branch in Sarasota, Florida. She will work under Ruth Watkins, Regional Manager. Hembree joins TeamGO with 12 years of mortgage industry experience.

Weekly Wrap: Mortgage News Roundup

Mortgage Rates Nudge Slightly Higher  The light increase in mortgage rates this week comes as more borrowers shop for mortgages in hopes of buying homes or refinancing their current loans. The volume of mortgage applications last week rose 4.6 percent from the previous week, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association.

It's All About Location, Location, Location

A recent Demand Institute report revealed “nearly half of all American households plan to move at some point in the future.”

Weekly Wrap: Mortgage News Roundup

Mortgage Rates Fall as Spring Homebuying Season Gets Going Mortgage rates declined for a second week, sending costs for 30-year loans to their lowest in more than a month as the busiest homebuying season gets under way. The average rate for a 30-year fixed mortgage was 3.69 percent, down from 3.78 percent last week.

Freddie Mac’s New 3% Down Program

Today, Freddie Mac is scheduled to start buying mortgages with down payments of only three percent – the first time down payments have been this low on Freddie Mac loans in nearly five years. The program is called Freddie Mac Home Possible AdvantageSM.

Don’t Let Your “Luck” Run Out

The 30-year fixed mortgage interest rate is currently still below 4%. Many buyers may be on the fence as to whether to act now and purchase a new home, or wait until next year, believing they still have time to lock in a low rate. If you look at what the experts are predicting over the course of the next 12 months, it may make the decision for you.

Weekly Wrap: Mortgage News Roundup

Mortgage Rates Get Worse, Then Get Better Mortgage rates crept higher this week following a roller-coaster ride.

A Snapshot of Homebuyers [INFOGRAPHIC]

"Homeownership is still the cornerstone of the American Dream-- a fact you can see in the lives of everyday folks. It's a source of pride. It's a source of wealth, providing both a nest and a nest egg. It strengthens communities and fuels growth in the overall economy," --Julian Castro, Secretary for HUD

Owning a home is the “American Dream” for a Reason

There have been some who have voiced doubt as to whether or not the younger generations still consider buying a home as being part of the “American Dream”. A recent study by Merrill Lynch puts that doubt to rest. According to their research, every living generation still maintains that owning a home is in fact important. Here are the numbers:

Is the Housing Market Back? Ask Lowes & Home Depot!

A recent Bloomberg Business article reports that both Lowes & Home Depot experienced fourth quarter profits that beat revenue projections by the most in six quarters. So what does that mean to the housing market?

The Difference an Hour Makes [INFOGRAPHIC]

As we adjust our clocks for Daylight Savings Time this weekend to "spring forward", let's look at what happens every hour in the housing market!

Weekly Wrap: Mortgage News Roundup

Mortgage Rates Fall for First Time in Four Weeks  Mortgage rates have dropped for the first time in four weeks, according to Freddie Mac’s weekly survey.

New Construction = New Competition

For the last several years, home sellers had to compete with huge inventories of distressed properties (foreclosures and short sales). The great news is that the supply of these properties is falling like a rock in the vast majority of housing markets (only 11% of homes sold in January).

Recruiting in a Blue Ocean

As seen in the National Mortgage Professional When it comes to growing your mortgage lending business, it can sometimes feel like you're searching the ocean for the right employees. It's easy to go on a hiring spree when the capital is in place to do so, but simply bringing on folks who have "experience" in the mortgage industry isn't going to elevate your business. Nor is having great employees with lackluster...

Weekly Wrap: Mortgage News Roundup

Freddie Mac: Mortgage Rates Increase Three Weeks Straight  Although mortgage rates grew for the third consecutive week, they still remain near lows experienced in late may 2013, the latest Freddie Mac Primary Mortgage Rate Survey found.

Where Are Mortgage Rates Headed?

The interest rate you pay on your home mortgage has a direct impact on your monthly payment. The higher the rate the greater the payment will be. That is why it is important to look at where rates are headed when deciding to buy now or wait until next year. Below is a chart created using Freddie Mac’s February 2015 U.S. Economic & Housing Marketing Outlook. As you can see interest rates are projected to increase...

2015: A Year of Housing Opportunity

Many believed that when the housing market crashed, so too would the desire of American’s to own a home again. Many reports have shown that, especially among younger generations, the American Dream of homeownership is still very much alive.

Thinking of Buying? What are you waiting for?

If you are planning on becoming a homeowner, or moving up to the home of your dreams in 2015, here are four great reasons to consider buying a home now, instead of waiting until spring.

The Truth About US Homeownership Rates [INFOGRAPHIC]

 

Weekly Wrap: Mortgage News Roundup

Mortgage Rates Move Higher Mortgage rates moved higher again this week, according to the latest data released Thursday by Freddie Mac.

Weekly Wrap: Mortgage News Roundup

Average 30-Year Fixed-Rate Mortgage Jumps to 3.69% Average long-term mortgage rates rose this week, yet remained near historically low levels.

Stand Out From the Competition

Harnessing customer service metrics can improve your bottom line By Chad Jampedro As seen in the Scotsman Guide 

Weekly Wrap: Mortgage News Roundup

Mortgage Rates Stall and Home Prices Rise Home prices are on the rise but potential homebuyers will still find mortgage rates are still at a low if they are applying for a mortgage this week. The benchmark 30-year fixed-rate mortgage fell to 3.8 percent from 3.81 percent last week. One year ago, the rate was 4.5 percent and four weeks ago, mortgage rates were 3.99 percent. The benchmark 15-year fixed-rate mortgage...

The Difference Between A Home’s Cost vs. Price

As a seller, you will be most concerned about ‘short term price’ – where home values are headed over the next six months. As either a first time or repeat buyer, you must not be concerned only about price but also about the ‘long term cost’ of the home.

No Matter What the Groundhog Says… You Should Sell Before Spring!

Is spring closer than we think? Depending on which Groundhog you witnessed today, you may have less time than you think to get your home on the market before the busy spring season. Many sellers feel that the spring is the best time to place their home on the market as buyer demand traditionally increases at that time of year. However, the next six weeks before spring hits also have their own advantages.

Why Have Interest Rates Dropped?

The headlines agree, mortgage interest rates have dropped substantially below initial projections. Many who are considering purchasing a home, or moving up to their dream home, might think that they should wait to buy, because rates may continue to fall.

Buying A House? Is This Is The Time?

There are many people deciding on whether to sign a new lease on a rental property or take the dive into homeownership. Every situation is different. However, with rents, home values and mortgage interest rates projected to rise, buying now might make a lot more sense than waiting until next year. Here are others who seem to agree: An article at NPR:

Weekly Wrap: Mortgage News Roundup

No Siesta for Mortgage Refinance Fiesta  Mortgage rates edged up this week but still remain near the bottom as an increasing numbers of homeowners seek to refinance their mortgage to take advantage of the situation.

3 Questions to Ask Before Buying a Home

If you are thinking about purchasing a home right now, you are surely getting a lot of advice. Though your friends and family have your best interests at heart, they may not be fully aware of your needs and what is currently happening in real estate. Let’s look at whether or not now is actually a good time for you to buy a home.

Don’t Wait! Move To The House You Always Wanted

Now that the housing market has stabilized, more and more homeowners are considering moving up to the home they have always dreamed of. In most areas, prices are still below those of a few years ago. Also, interest rates are still near 4%. However, sellers should realize that waiting to make the move while mortgage rates are increasing probably doesn’t make sense. As rates increase, the price of the house you can...

Weekly Wrap: Mortgage News Roundup

Mortgage Rates Decline Causing Refinancings to Surge Mortgage interest rates fell for the third consecutive week and borrowers have taken note—mortgage applications surged last week mostly because of an increase in refinancing activity. The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.66 percent.

Did It Make Sense to Wait to Get a Mortgage?

There are many people out there who debated purchasing a home over the course of the last year, but ultimately did not. Whatever their reasons were for delaying, let’s look at whether the decision to wait to buy made sense.

New Fannie Mae Appraisal Program: Helping or Hurting?

Every home must be sold TWICE! Once to the buyer, and once to the bank appraiser if a mortgage is involved.

A Stunning $441 Billion Paid in Rent

A recently released study revealed that a whopping $441 Billion was spent on rents in the U.S. in 2014. This represents an increase of over $20 Billion from the year before. As shown on the chart below, rents have increased consistently over the last 20+ years.

Weekly Wrap: Mortgage News Roundup

Mortgage Rates Hit New Lows  Average mortgage rates started the year by dipping to new lows, with the benchmark 30-year mortgage rate marking its lowest level since May 2013. This week the nationwide average rate on a 30-year loan fell to 3.73 percent, down from 3.87 percent last week, Freddie Mac reported.  A year ago, the 30-year mortgage stood at 4.51 percent.

4 Reasons to Buy Before Spring

The holiday season is behind us, time to focus on what exciting new experiences 2015 can bring! If you are planning on becoming a homeowner, or moving up to the home of your dreams in 2015, here are four great reasons to consider buying a home now, instead of waiting until spring.

Weekly Wrap: Mortgage Rates News Roundup

Mortgage Rates Finish Year On An Up Note  Mortgage rates increased slightly this week but remain low as they enter 2015, offering a second chance to borrowers who were not able to get a mortgage refinance in 2014. The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage rose to 3.99 percent, up from 3.96 percent last week. One year ago, that rate was 4.69 percent.

The 5 REAL Reasons Americans Buy a Home

Last week, we reported on the financial reasons that the New York Times felt that homeownership was important. The Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University performs a study every year surveying participants for the reasons that American’s feel are most important in regards to homeownership.

Do You Fit the Description of the Typical First Time Homebuyer?

There are many people sitting on the sidelines trying to decide if they should purchase a home or sign a rental lease. Some might wonder if it makes sense to purchase a house before they are married and have a family. Others may think they are too young. And still others might think their current income would never enable them to qualify for a mortgage.

Weekly Wrap: Mortgage News Roundup

Fixed Mortgage Rates Sink To Yearly Low  According to the latest data released Thursday by Freddie Mac, the 30-year fixed mortgage rate slid to its lowest levels of the year, 3.8 percent. It is down from 3.93 percent a week ago and down from 4.47 percent a year ago. The 30-year fixed mortgage rate has remained below 4 percent for all but two weeks since October 16. It is the lowest level since May 23, 3013 when the...

Two Great Reasons to Buy, Not Rent

There are many young people debating whether they should renew the lease on their apartment or sign a contract to purchase their first home. Based on a recent study, here are two reasons buying a home might make more sense:

2015: The Return of the Millennial Home Buyer

Earlier this month, Zillow predicted that millennial buyers (under the age of 35) will become the largest group of buyers, overtaking Gen X (35-50 years old) by the end of 2015. Dr. Stan Humphries, Zillow Chief Economist, explained:

New York Times: Homeownership is Best Way To Build Wealth

The New York Times recently published an editorial entitled, “Homeownership and Wealth Creation.” The housing market has made a strong recovery, not only in sales and prices, but also in the confidence of consumers and experts as an investment.

Weekly Wrap: Mortgage News Roundup

Mortgage Rates Inch Higher but Still Remain Under 4 Percent  Average fixed mortgage rates are slightly up from last week but the average 30-year fixed-rate mortgage remaining below 4 percent. Freddie Mac says that 30-year fixed-rate mortgages averaged 3.93 percent, up from last week when it averaged 3.89 percent. A year ago at this time, the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 4.42 percent.

The New Urbanism: Millennials Return to the Suburbs

"Despite the conventional wisdom, the pull of the big city on this new generation may not be as strong as once believed. It's a notable achievement--for many millennials homeownership remains just out of reach--but it's also a sign that slowly but surely, millennials are vying for their place in the housing market."

Breaking News: Fannie and Freddie formally announce 3% Down Programs

Yesterday, HousingWire reported that both Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac formally announced their 3% down options on home purchases. Fannie Mae’s plan will be effective December 13, 2014 while the Freddie Mac plan will be available March 23, 2015. The HW article quotes FHFA Director Mel Watt:

Rent Increases Expected to Continue through 2015

CNBC’s Diana Olick recently reported that rents in the residential housing sector continued to rise in 2014. She interviewed Jed Kolko, Chief Economist at Trulia, who revealed:

Weekly Wrap: Mortgage News Roundup

30-Year Mortgage Rates Fall For Fourth Week in a Row Freddie Mac reported that the nationwide average fro a 30-year mortgage declined to 3.89 percent this week, from 3.97 percent last week. Rates have not been this low since May 2013.

Will an Increase in Interest Rates Crush Home Prices?

There are some who are calling for a substantial drop in home prices should mortgage interest rates begin to rise rapidly. Intuitively that makes sense. The cost of a home is determined by the price of the home and the price of financing that home. If mortgage interest rates increase, less people will be able to buy. The logic says prices will fall if demand decreases.

Freddie Mac: Buy Sooner Rather than Later

In a recent video update on the housing market, Frank Nothaft, Freddie Mac’s chief economist, stated that with both mortgage interest rates and home prices projected to increase in 2015 buying now makes sense.

Debunking 4 Myths about Buying a Home

A recent study by the Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University revealed when renters were asked why they do not plan to own in the future, financial constraints were a more common response than the perceived lifestyle benefits they may receive from renting. Today, we want to go over those financial challenges and see if we can put some fears to rest and also clear up some misconceptions. Here are the...

Weekly Wrap: Mortgage News Roundup

Mortgage Rates Stay Steady Mortgage rates barely budged this week, falling slightly after a jobs report last week came in below expectations but still signaled a largely growing economy. The benchmark 30-year fixed-rate mortgage fell to 4.13 percent from 4.14 percent last week, according to the Bankrate.com national survey of large lenders, down rom 4.48 percent from last year. 

4 Reasons to Buy Before Winter

It's that time of year, the seasons are changing and with them bring thoughts of the upcoming holidays, family get togethers, and planning for a new year. Those who are on the fence about whether now is the right time to buy don't have to look much farther to find four great reasons to consider buying a home now, instead of waiting.

Weekly Wrap: Mortgage News Roundup

Mortgage Rates Increased Just A Smidge Mortgage company Freddie Mac said Thursday that the nationwide average for a 30-year mortgage increased to 4.02 percent from 3.98 percent last week. Still, at 4.02 percent the rate remains at its lowest level since June 2013.

Buying a Home Remains 38% Less Expensive than Renting!

In Trulia’s latest Rent vs. Buy Report, they explained that homeownership remains cheaper than renting with a traditional 30-year fixed rate mortgage throughout the 100 largest metro areas in the United States.

Buying a Home with as Little as 3-5% Down Payment

We have recently reported on the misconception that many buyers have regarding the down payment necessary to purchase a home. Multiple studies reveal that 40-50% of Americans believe you need between 15-20% of a down payment to be eligible to purchase a home. This misconception came about as the government just last year debated new guidelines for residential mortgages because of the housing collapse in 2007. Some...

Weekly Wrap: Mortgage News Roundup

Mortgage Rates Shivered Higher This Week Mortgage rates inched up this week after stock and bond activity normalized, and as the Federal Reserve ended its third round of economic stimulus, as anticipated. The benchmark 30-year fixed-rate mortgage rose to 4.1 percent last week, down from 4.27 percent last year.

Taking the Spooky Out of the Mortgage Process [INFOGRAPHIC]

3 Questions to Ask Before Buying a Home

If you are thinking about purchasing a home right now, you are surely getting a lot of advice. Though your friends and family have your best interests at heart, they may not be fully aware of your needs and what is currently happening in real estate. Let’s look at whether or not now is actually a good time for you to buy a home. There are three questions you should ask before purchasing in today’s market: 

Weekly Wrap: Mortgage News Roundup

Mortgage Rates Do A “Rollback” of Their Own Mortgage rates this week fell to their lowest level since June 2013, mortgage-finance company Freddie Mac said Thursday, as the jitters being felt in the stock and bond markets ripple throughout the economy.

Buying A Home? You Don’t Need To Do It Alone

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Weekly Wrap: Mortgage News Roundup

Mortgage Rates On A Roller Coaster This Week According to Bankrate, mortgage rates decreased again this week after an array of economic reports suggested that inflation concerns had all but disappeared.  The benchmark 30-year fixed-rate mortgage fell to 4.18 percent from 4.27 percent last week.

What You Don't Know About Your Credit Score Could Cost You!

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America's Youth & Homeownership [INFOGRAPHIC]

Two recently released reports indicate that both young adults (Millennials) and teenagers (Generation Z) still see homeownership as an important piece of their future success. It seems that the belief that homeownership as a huge part of the American Dream still beats in the hearts of the young people of this country.

Weekly Wrap: Mortgage News Roundup

Bankrate Reports Slight Decline of Mortgage Rates This Week According to Bankrate.com’s weekly survey of rates, 30-year mortgages slipped back to an average of 4.3 percent, down from 4.33 percent last week. Mortgage rates have dropped thus far in 2014. At the close of 2013, they were hovering around 4.69 percent.

The Truth About Buying a Home: You DON'T Need 20% Down

 

Home Sales Generate $52,205 Impact on Economy

The National Association of Realtors (NAR) compiled data from research conducted by the Bureau of Economic Analysis & Macroeconomic Advisors on the economic impact of a home purchase. After reviewing the data, they concluded that the total economic impact of a typical home sale in the United States is an astonishing $52,205. Here is the breakdown of their report: 

4 Reasons to Buy Before Winter

It's that time of year, the seasons are changing and with them bring thoughts of the upcoming holidays, family get togethers, and planning for a new year. Those who are on the fence about whether now is the right time to buy don't have to look much farther to find four great reasons to consider buying a home now, instead of waiting.

Weekly Wrap: Mortgage News Roundup

Mortgage Rates Squeak Above 4 Percent According to AP, average long-term U.S. mortgage rates rose slightly this week but remained near their lows for the year. Mortgage company Freddie Mac said Thursday that the nationwide average for a 30-year loan edged up to 4.12 percent from 4.10 percent last week, where it had stayed for three straight weeks. The average for a 15-year mortgage, a popular choice for people who...

The Cost of Renting vs. Buying [INFOGRAPHIC]

Weekly Wrap: Mortgage News Roundup

Mortgage Crowdfunding? Yep, looks like someone if trying to crowdfund the purchase of a home and their mortgage. Before you say, “That’s crazy”, remember the guy who crowdfunded his potato salad recipe and made $55,000.  Crowdfunding experts say it's possible.

Don’t Get Caught in the ‘Renter’s Trap’

In a recent press release, Zillow stated that the affordability of the nation’s rental inventory is currently much worse than affordability of the country’s home sale inventory. The release revealed two things: 

Things to Consider When Buying A Home (Spanish)

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Things to Consider When Buying A Home

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Weekly Wrap: Mortgage News Roundup

Time is of the Essence When Buying a New Home If rates go up even a fraction of a percentage point, it can affect your mortgage balance for years to come. Mortgage experts say a homebuyer’s biggest priority should be getting their financial houses in order and get a trusted mortgage professional to explain and educate the subtleties and true costs of buying a mortgage.

Still a Great Time to Buy a Home…but HURRY!!

Kevin Kelly, Chairman of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), recently explained that:

Either Way, You're Still Paying a Mortgage

There are some people that have not purchased a home because they are uncomfortable taking on the obligation of a mortgage. Everyone should realize that, unless you are living with your parents rent free, you are paying a mortgage - either your mortgage or your landlord’s. As a paper from the Joint Center for Housing Studiesat Harvard University explains:

Moving Past Millennials’ Struggle To Buy Homes

It’s no secret that Millennials — the generation now aged between 18-34 — have struggled to buy their first homes. The lingering effects of the housing bubble and the recession have put many people in this group between a rock and a hard place.

It's a Bird ... It's a Plane ... It's Mobile Commerce

As originally published in Scotsman Guide

Zillow + Trulia: Why it is NOT the End for Agents

Yesterday, Zillow announced the acquisition of Trulia. Some industry experts are predicting the end of the real estate business as we know it. They used words like “checkmate” and “kill shot”. Though we agree that aspects of the industry will be forced to evolve perhaps quicker than they had hoped, we believe this will be an evolution...not a revolution. No one needs to die.

Weekly Wrap: Mortgage News Roundup

Mortgage Rates Largely Flat 

Now That You're Settled In: 3 Tips on Dinner Party Planning

After you purchase your new home, you can't wait to show it off to all of your friends and family! What better way to do so than to throw a dinner party.

Weekly Wrap: Mortgage News Roundup

Mortgage Rates Drop This Week

How Much of a Down Payment do You Actually Need?

A recent survey by Zelman & Associates revealed that 38 percent of those between the ages of 25-29 years old and 42 percent of those between the ages of 30-34 years old believe that a minimum of 15 percent is required as a down payment to purchase a home. A recent questionnaire administered by Freddie Mac showed that over 50 percent of all respondents thought 20% was required as a down payment.

6 Tips For Preventing Water Damage

Each year one of the biggest homeowner property insurance claims is water damage – and this is not just in those areas of the country where flooding is common. Many times the water damage is actually caused by slow leaks from appliances and the house's plumbing that simply go unnoticed until it's too late. With this in mind, here are a few water maintenance tips that in the long run could save you thousands of...

Weekly Wrap: Mortgage News Roundup

Mortgage News: Rates Move Up Slightly Mortgage rates were little unchanged this week, following a slight rise in rates one week ago, said mortgage financier, Freddie Mac, in its weekly report. The increase came on the heels of a better than expected jobs report, it added.

Are You Ready To Own A Home? (Quiz)

FHA Loan Rules For School Debt: A Reader Question

A reader asks, “My dad took out a Parent plus loan for me while I was in college. The loan is in his name but I make the monthly payment. My husband and I are applying for a mortgage and I was wondering if the monthly payment I make is going to count against my debt to income ratio in the lenders eyes even if the loan is in my dad’s name and not on my credit?”

FHA Loans - Bankruptcy and Foreclosure

Bankruptcy and Foreclosure Updates A reader asks, "I had a FHA mortgage with my previous home. Because of circumstances beyond my control, I had to file bankruptcy and my home was foreclosed on. It has been almost 2 years since the bankruptcy was discharged. Would I be eligible for another FHA mortgage and if so, when could I apply? Also my sister wants to buy the new home with me. Could she be a second borrower?"

First Time Home Buyer Information - Step 1

This article will begin a new four part series designed to clear up some of the confusion and misconceptions about the mortgage process for first time home buyers.  Many people think that getting a mortgage loan is just as simple as a car loan.  However, nothing could be further from the truth.  A mortgage is a very detailed loan that requires a number of documents and the correct procedures in order to complete the...

Weekly Wrap: Mortgage News Roundup

Mortgage Rates Mostly Flat

What not to do with your assets before you purchase

Steps for Handling Bank Accounts Prior to Home Purchase Most people, regardless of their age, gender, location, background, or any other demographic feature, are real particular about their money.  Each person has their own system and methods for documenting and tracking their money coming in and their money going out.  However, when it comes to preparing for a mortgage, there is one general rule that applies to...

Average Credit and Mortgage Pre-Qualification

Has less than perfect credit left you in the dark?  

Jumbo Mortgage Loans - What You Need To Know

Jumbo Mortgage Loans  

Buying a Home? Know ALL Of Your Options

In a post earlier this week, we suggested that the Millennial generation struggles with student debt and the overarching concept of homeownership are not the reasons for so many first time buyers hesitating to move forward with the purchase of their first home. Now there is another firm suggesting the same. The asset management company, Nomura, came out with strong guidance to their investors. According to an...

Homebuyer's Handbook

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USDA Rural Development Mortgage Guidelines

100% Financing...No Money Down Home Loans

Millennials and Student Debt: We Knew They Were Wrong!

For almost a year now, we have been trying to debunk the myth that student debt is keeping the vast majority of Millennials from purchasing a home.

First Time Home Buyer

Weekly Wrap: Mortgage News Roundup

Fixed Mortgage Rates Lower Than One Year Ago

Home Sales Increase: Are Sellers Selling Sooner?

After a slow start in the first quarter, April’s figures are something to cheer about. Existing home sales increased for the first time in 2014, while inventory and home prices also rose. Figures show the number of completed transactions jumped from 4.59 million in March to 4.65 million in April, which was a seasonally-adjusted increase of 1.3 percent.

National Homeownership Month: 10 Reasons to Own A Home

Own a Home vs. Renting Renting is a very frustrating way of life so it's time to own a home. The money you pay every month disappears, leaving you with few benefits other than a roof over your head. Compared to owning a home, renting is a futile exercise that leaves you with nothing after your lease is up. It’s no surprise that people want to get out of the rent race and here are 10 reasons why people decide to buy...

Weekly Wrap: Mortgage News Roundup

Mortgage Rates Nudge Lower

Getting a Mortgage: Why SO MUCH Paperwork?

We are often asked why there is so much paperwork mandated by the bank for a mortgage loan application when buying a home today. It seems that the bank needs to know everything about us and requires three separate sources to validate each and every entry on the application form. Many buyers are being told by friends and family that the process was a hundred times easier when they bought their home ten to twenty...

Numbers Make for a Horror Story

 Give your marketing a personal touch to connect with customers  

Weekly Wrap: Mortgage News Roundup

Mortgage Rates Climb

Get Creative With Saving

When it comes to saving for a mortgage down payment, it seems Millennials are having a tough time stashing away their pennies. And it isn’t just about the unfortunate circumstances that have come with this generation’s era of “delayed adulthood” — it’s also their hesitation to let go of small luxuries, such as lattes and Netflix subscriptions in order to save, says a new survey from online real estate portal, Trulia.

Dr. Dre Samples Real Estate Beats

A Day In the Life Of... Chad Jampedro

Chad Jampedro President, GSF Mortgage Corp Address:15430 W Capitol Dr, Brookfield, WI 53005 Phone:(262) 373-0790 Web:www.GoGSF.com

June is National Homeownership Month!

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Weekly Wrap: Mortgage News Roundup

30-Year-FRM Drops To Lowest Point Since October

Don't Make That Big Deposit or Transfer

 What You Need to Know If You're Buying a Home! You've probably heard the saying, "When you fail to plan, you plan to fail." That is especially true when it comes to buying a home today. Underwriters are following strict guidelines–and that means even things like bank deposits and transfers are under scrutiny.

Be Ready When Disaster Hits: 3 Tips to Help Create a Home Emergency Kit

It's that time of year again when Mother Nature can be as unpredictable as well---the weather. Think your family is ready for the next unforeseeable disaster? If not, then get prepared in case of fire or natural disaster. You'll thank yourselves if and when the time comes.

Weekly Wrap: Mortgage News Roundup

Mortgage Rates Hold Steady

Americans Believe Real Estate is BEST Long-Term Investment [INFOGRAPHIC]

 Real Estate Trumps All - Investment News Gold was the most popular long-term investment among Americans in 2011 -- a time when gold was at its highest market price and real estate and stock values were lower than they are today. Gold prices dropped significantly after that and it lost favor with Americans. The 24% of Americans who currently name gold as the best long-term investment ties with the 24% who choose...

5 Tips for a Beautiful Lawn and Garden

Whether you have a green thumb or you're barely able to keep a cactus alive, it never hurts to review a little helpful advice for giving your home some great curb appeal.

Weekly Wrap: Mortgage News Roundup

Homeownership vs. Renting

Homeownership vs. Renting Debated  

Weekly Wrap: Mortgage News Roundup

Gallup Poll: Real Estate Best Long Term Investment

Real Estate IS the ANSWER  

Moving On Up: Timing is Everything... But Not in the Way You Think

Moving...What's The Best Time It's a question every home buyer faces: When's the best time to purchase a home?

Weekly Wrap: Mortgage News Roundup

Vacation Home Property Sales Surge

The American desire to own a second home as a vacation home is alive and well! The National Association of Realtors analysis of U.S. Census Bureau data shows there are approximately 8 million vacation homes in the U.S. Their 2014 Investment and Vacation Home Buyers Survey shows vacation home sales improved substantially in 2013.

Either Way, You’re Still Paying a Mortgage

There are some people that have not purchased a home because they are uncomfortable taking on the obligation of a mortgage. Everyone should realize that, unless you are living with your parents rent free, you are paying a mortgage - either your mortgage or your landlord’s.

Weekly Wrap: Mortgage Rates News Roundup

Mortgage Rates Slide

A Snapshot of Homebuyers

Homebuyers... "Growth in the equity markets has greatly benefited high net-worth households, thereby providing the wherewithal and confidence to purchase recreational property." -Lawrence Yun, NAR Chief Economist

Mortgage Executive Magazine's 50 Best Companies To Work For

We are honored to be named among Mortgage Executive Magazine's 50 Best Companies To Work For!

Homeownership's Impact on Net Worth

Net Worth and Homeownership Facts Over the last six years, homeownership has lost some of its allure as a financial investment. As homeowners suffered through the housing bust, more and more began to question whether owning a home was truly a good way to build wealth. A study by the Federal Reserve formally answered this question.

Home Cost vs. Price Explained

Home Cost vs. Price and Projection Tool  

What Is Equity?

Equity is the value YOU own in property such as a house.  

What Are Real Estate Commissions?

Like the video says - real estate agents aren’t paid by the hour! They’re paid a percentage of the purchase price in a successful real estate transaction.

What Is "Prime" and how does it effect rates?

The Prime Lending Rate - sometimes just called “Prime”  - is the interest rate that banks charge each other for overnight loans. Some consumer rates - like ARMs - are set in relation to Prime.

Weekly Wrap: Mortgage News Roundup

Closing Costs Explained Visually

Purchasing a home is exciting. Once escrow begins, the excitement can change to frustration, particularly if you are not ready for the closing costs that quickly accumulate.

Title Insurance Explained Visually

What is title insurance and why should any buyer get it when purchasing a home (single family, townhouse, condo, apartment, or whatever format your home purchase takes)? Doesn’t the attorney or settlement company handling the closing see to it that you have a clear title? Isn’t this just another way for someone to siphon a few coins off a real estate transaction?

Weekly Wrap: Mortgage News Roundup

How Should I Prepare For Internet Showing?

Internet Showing These days, your first “showing” will be on the Internet - you're watching this on the Internet, right?

How Should I Prepare The Outside For An Open House?

Professional “staging” for an open house may include the exterior, but if you’re doing it all yourself, try the five things outlined in this video.

How Should I Prepare The Inside For An Open House?

For many homes and markets, professional help from someone in “staging” an open house makes good financial sense.  Like this video says, check your staging options first.

Which Square Footage Figure Should I Use?

Home size is one of the key figures used in comparisons.

6 Selling Mistakes

If you’re selling, don’t do these things - take some notes from the video!

For Sale By Owner?

Most people don’t know enough to sell their own house.

What Is An Appraisal?

Every house is unique; appraisers are trained and licensed for expertise in putting a value on properties.

How Do I Calculate My Price?

The best answer is “get help from a real estate professional.”

What Does The Closing Meeting Involve For The Seller?

Watch this video to get a quick idea of the seller's side of  closing. Also known as “settlement” and “escrow”  the closing is a meeting where property, money, title and liens are exchanged between all the parties involved.

What Does The Closing Process Involve When I Sell?

As this video explains, a signed sales contract doesn’t mean your house is sold. There are still financial, contractual and legal steps for both sides.

Steve's Test Vantage Post

In This Issue...  

Weekly Wrap: Mortgage News Roundup

 Mortgage Rates Stay Within 2014 1st Quarter Range

Weekly Wrap: Mortgage News Roundup

Buying a Home Less Expensive than Renting – by 38%!

Trulia released their Rent vs. Buy Report last week. The report explained that homeownership remains cheaper than renting in all of the 100 largest metro areas by an average of 38%!

Weekly Wrap: Mortgage News Roundup

Mortgage Rates Sink Lower

Just Who Are Homeowners in the United States?

 Interesting Stats On Homeowners in the United States With mortgage credit score requirements dropping, 100% - no money down financing still available, and record low interest rates...many are taking advantage of this great time to purchase a home.

Weekly Wrap: Mortgage News Roundup

Should You Buy or Rent that Home?

Here is one simple chart that explains why we think buying a home makes more sense than renting one.  Buy or Rent, you make the choice.

Weekly Wrap: Mortgage News Roundup

5 Financial Reasons to Buy

Cold Outside? Real Estate and Moving WARM

Buying a Home: Should You Do it Now or Later?

Last month, the Federal Reserve, in a unanimous vote, decided to further decrease its bond purchasing. The bond purchases were the government’s stimulus package created to keep long term mortgage interest rates artificially low in order to help drive the housing market. Most experts believe that tapering will cause interest rates to increase as we move through the year.

Weekly Wrap: Mortgage News Roundup

5 Reasons to Buy a Home Now Instead of Spring

Based on prices, mortgage rates and soaring rents, there may have never been a better time in real estate history to purchase a home than right now. Here are five reasons purchasers should consider buying before the spring market arrives:

NAR's Existing Home Sales Report [INFOGRAPHIC]

Janet Yellen Becomes the First Woman as Chief of the U.S. Federal Reserve Today

The top spot at the Federal Reserve Bank of the U.S. switches to former Vice Chair Janet Yellen from outgoing Chief Ben Bernanke today. Ms. Yellen is the first woman to be the Chairperson in its 100-year history and will guide the nation through the post recession era of the U.S. economy.

Weekly Wrap: Mortgage News Roundup

Fed Chairman Bernanke Bids Adieu, Janet Yellen Takes Over

Consumers opened their wallets in December and spent on holiday shopping across the nation. Personal Spending rose by 0.4% last month, above the 0.2% expected. However, Personal Incomes were unchanged and below the 0.2% expected. Digging into the report it revealed that consumer inflation pressures were almost non-existent.

President Obama Proposes a "myRA"

The Mortgage Bankers Association reported this morning that its Market Composite Index, a measure of total loan application volume, fell by a meager 0.2% in the latest week as home loan rates remained steady and still at historically low levels. The refinance index fell by 2% and now makes up 62% of total applications, down from 64% in the previous week. The purchase index gained 2% from one week earlier.

Don’t Wait! Move to the Home You Always Wanted

Now that the housing market has stabilized, more and more homeowners are considering moving up to the home they have always dreamed of. Prices are still below those of a few years ago and interest rates are still below 5%.

Consumer Confidence Is Rising But What Is In Store For The Future?

Economic news was abundant today with various agencies reporting numbers. In housing, the Case Shiller 20-city Home rose by 13.7% on a year-over-year basis, just below the 13.8% expected. From October to November, the 20-city Index fell 0.1%, which was the first monthly decline since November 2012. Higher home prices and mortgage rates were cited as the cause behind the monthly decline.

Weekly Wrap: Mortgage News Roundup

Banks Are Rethinking Payday Loans

With little economic data this week to influence trading in the capital markets, Stock prices are mixed to start the holiday shortened week, while Mortgage Bonds are trading near unchanged levels. All markets were closed yesterday in observance of Martin Luther King Day. The two reports that will be released will be Thursday's Weekly Initial Claims report and Existing Home Sales data.

3 Questions to Ask Before Buying a Home

If you are thinking about purchasing a home right now, you are surely getting a lot of advice. Though your friends and family have your best interests at heart, they may not be fully aware of your needs and what is currently happening in real estate. Let’s look at whether or not now is actually a good time for you to buy a home.

'Boomerang' Buyers Flying Back

 Former homeowners are flooding back in to the market and purchasing homes again.  Below are some interesting statistics on the so called "Boomerang Buyers".

Weekly Wrap: Mortgage News Roundup

S&P 500 at All-Time High and Mortgage Applications Surge

Positive economic news and solid earnings reports are pushing Bond prices lower today, while buoying the Stock markets midweek. The closely watched S&P 500 Stock Index is at an all-time high of 1,850, due to an improving economy coupled with the Federal Reserve's massive stimulus program.

What Happens If Interest Rates Decrease And I Have A Fixed Rate Loan?

Like the video shows, if interest rates drop significantly, you may want to investigate refinancing.

What Steps Need To Be Taken To Secure A Loan?

You’ll see some pictures in this video to help you remember all the steps later, but the first step in securing a loan is to complete a loan application.

What Is An Escrow Account? Do I Need One?

As we show you in this video, an escrow account is an account, established by your lender, to set aside a portion of your monthly mortgage payment to cover annual charges for homeowner's insurance, mortgage insurance (if applicable), and property taxes.

What Are Discount Points?

Discount points allow you to lower your interest rate.“Points” are essentially prepaid interest with each point equaling 1% of the total loan amount. Watch this video to find out more.

When Do Adjustable Rate Mortgages Make Sense?

In this video, we will find out if an ARM makes sense. Let's find out if:

What Types Of Mortgage Loans Are Available?

This video tells you about the most common mortgage loans: Fixed Rate, ARM, Balloon and 2-Step.

What Is Loan To Value (LTV) And How Does It Affect The Size Of My Loan?

While this video simplifies things to help you remember, the loan to value ratio (LTV) is the amount of money you borrow compared with the price or appraised value of the home you are purchasing.

What Is Included In A Monthly Mortgage Payment?

The monthly mortgage payment mainly pays off principal and interest. But most lenders also include local real estate taxes, homeowner's insurance, and mortgage insurance, if applicable.

How Large A Down Payment Do I Need?

There are mortgage options now available that only require a down payment of 5% or less of the purchase price. You’ll see some pictures in this video to help you remember later - the larger the down payment, the less you have to borrow and the more equity you'll have.

How Does The Interest Rate Factor In Securing A Mortgage Loan?

As you’ll see in the video, a lower interest rate allows you to borrow more money than a high rate with the same monthly payment.

Can I Pay Off My Loan Ahead Of Schedule?

Usually, Yes. Like the guy in the video says, by sending in extra money each month or making an extra payment at the end of the year, you can accelerate the process of paying off the loan.

What Is A Mortgage?

The original phrase “mort gage” translates as “death pledge”! But as this video explains, a mortgage is a loan obtained to purchase real estate.

What Factors Affect Mortgage Payments?

Well, as this story shows, the amount of the down payment, the size of the mortgage loan, the interest rate,the length of the repayment term and the payment schedule will all affect the size of your mortgage payment.

What Are The Advantages Of 15- And 30-Year Fixed-Rate Mortgages?

As we show you in this video, compared with other options,housing costs won’t be affected by interest rate changes and inflation, if you currently have a fixed rate.

What Other Issues Should I Consider Before I Buy My Home?

Watch this video and take a few notes!

How Do I Make An Offer?

Watch this video and it’ll make sense. Your real estate agent will assist you in making an offer which will include the following information:

Are There Special Mortgages For First-Time Homebuyers?

Yes. Like the video shows, lenders now offer several affordable mortgage options which can help first-time homebuyers overcome obstacles that made purchasing a home difficult in the past.

What Steps Could I Take To Lower My Homeowner's Insurance Costs?

You’ll see some pictures in this video to help you remember later, but basically, be sure to get quotes from several insurance companies. Also, consider the cost of insurance when you look at homes. Newer homes and homes constructed with materials, like brick, tend to have lower premiums.

What Is Earnest Money? How Much Should I Set Aside?

Like the video shows, “earnest money” is money you put down to demonstrate your seriousness about buying a home. It must be substantial enough to demonstrate good faith and is usually between 1-5% of the purchase price,though the amount can vary with local customs and conditions.

What Are "Home Warranties"? Should I Consider Them?

You’ll see some pictures in this video to help you remember but essentially, home warranties offer you protection for a specific period of time, such as one year and protect you against potentially costly problems like unexpected repairs on appliances or home systems which are not covered by homeowner's insurance.

What About A Home Located In A Flood Plain?

A flood plain is an area of land adjacent to a stream or river that experiences flooding during periods of high discharge. Watch this video and it’ll make sense.

How Do I Determine The Initial Offer?

As you’ll see in this video, unless you have a buyer's agent, remember that your agent works for the seller. Make a point of asking him or her to keep your discussions and information confidential.

Do I Really Need Homeowner's Insurance?

The video puts this question in more visual terms, but yes! A paid homeowner's insurance policy (or a paid receipt for one) is required at closing, so arrangements will have to be made prior to that day.

What Questions Should I Ask When Looking At Homes?

As you’ll see in this video, many of your questions should focus on potential problems and maintenance issues.

What Should I Look For When Walking Through A Home?

As we show you in this video, in addition to comparing the home to your minimum requirement and wish lists use the HUD Home Scorecard and consider the following:

What Is An Inspection Clause?

Remember this pointer from the video: you may want to include an inspection clause in the offer when negotiating for a home.

What Does A Home Inspector Do, And How Does An Inspection Figure In The Purchase Of A Home?

As we show you in this video, an inspector checks the safety of your potential new home.

Is An Older Home A Better Value Than A New One?

Well, as this story shows, there isn't a definitive answer to this question. You should look at each home for its individual characteristics.

How Can I Keep Track Of All The Homes I See?

There are some great tips in this video, like:

How Can I Find Information On The Property Tax's Of My Potential Home?

This video tells you about it. The total amount of the previous year's property taxes is usually included in the listing information. If it's not, ask the seller for a tax receipt or contact the local assessor's office.

Do I Need To Be There For The Inspection?

It's not required, but it's a good idea.  As this story shows, let the inspector do their job while you take notes and pictures.

Do I Need A Lawyer To Buy A Home?

As we show you in this video, laws vary by state.

What Is A Credit Bureau Score And How Do Lenders Use Them?

As we show you in this video, a credit bureau score, or “credit score” is a number based upon your credit history that represents the probability that you will be able to repay a loan.

What If I Find A Mistake In My Credit History?

Like the guy in the video says, simple mistakes are easily corrected by writing to the reporting company, pointing out the error and providing proof of the mistake.

How Are Pre-Qualifying And Pre-Approval Different?

Watch this video and the differences between pre-qualifying for a mortgage and a pre-approval will make sense.

How Does Purchasing A Home Compare With Renting?

Like the guy in the video says, the two don't really compare at all.

How Do Lenders Decide The Maximum Loan Amount That Buyers Can Afford?

As you’ll see in the video, lenders consider your debt-to-income ratio, which is a comparison of your gross (pre-tax) income to housing and non-housing expenses.

How Do I Know If I'm Ready To Buy A Home?

As you’ll see in this video, you can find out by asking yourself some questions:

What Should I Look For When Deciding On A Community?

This video tells you what any real estate professional would tell you - select a community that will allow you to best live your daily life.

What Should I Do If I'm Feeling Excluded From Certain Neighborhoods?

Like the video says, immediately contact the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) if you ever feel excluded from a neighborhood or particular house.

How Do I Begin The Process Of Buying A Home?

Remember these pointers from the video: Use them to start by thinking about your situation.

How Can I Find Out Information About My Credit History?

Watch this video and take a few notes! There are three major credit reporting companies:

When Should I Sell?

As you’ll see in this video, real estate marketplaces are generally most active in summer because families with children want to move in before school starts. Which also means more homes are typically available in summer as well.

What Is The Best Way To Compare Loan Terms Between Lenders?

Watch this video and take a few notes!

What Is PMI?

This video tells you all about PMI. PMI stands for Private Mortgage Insurance or Insurer. These are privately-owned companies that provide mortgage insurance. They offer both standard and special affordable programs for borrowers.

What Is A Good Faith Estimate And How Does It Help Me?

You’ll see some pictures in this video to help you remember later, but a good faith estimate lists all fees paid before closing, all closing costs, and any escrow costs you will encounter when purchasing a home.

How Is A Home Marketed?

As you’ll see in the video, every home and market is a unique situation. Good marketing plans are specific to both. But every plan will include: Preparation, Pricing and Marketing Activities.

How Does HUD Help Homebuyers And Homeowners?

HUD helps people by administering a variety of programs that develop and support affordable housing. As you’ll see in the video, HUD plays a large role in homeownership by making loans available for lower- and moderate-income families through its FHA mortgage insurance program and its HUD Homes program.

How Do I Set The Price On My House?

This video simplifies things to help you remember one thing: your aim is to get the best price AND terms in your market during the period you’re selling.

How Do I Make A Home Ready To Sell?

As we show you in this video, start several months before the property is made available. Remember to look through the eyes of a buyer...

What Do I Get At My Real Estate Closing?

As we show you in this video, you will receive these documents at closing:

What Are 203(B) And 203(K) Loans?

The video puts this in more visual terms, but 203(b) is the most commonly used FHA program. It offers a low down payment, flexible qualifying guidelines, limited lender's fees, and a maximum loan amount.

How Can I Improve My Credit Score?

Like the video says, there really aren't any easy ways to improve your credit score but you can work to keep it acceptable by maintaining a good credit history.

Why Use A REALTOR

REALTORS ® are committed to treat all parties to a transaction honestly. REALTORS ® subscribe to a strict Code of Ethics and are expected to maintain a higher level of knowledge of the process of buying and selling real estate. An independent survey reported that 84% of home buyers would use the same REALTOR ® again. A state license is required to sell real estate. But roughly half of those licensed take the...

What Is Mortgage Insurance?

Like the video shows, mortgage insurance is a policy that protects lenders against some or most of the losses that result from defaults on home mortgages. Like home or auto insurance, mortgage insurance requires payment of a premium, is for protection against loss, and is used in the event of an emergency.

What Is A Counter-Offer?

The video puts this in more visual terms, but basically, a seller can respond to a buyer’s offer with changes - a “counter” - that improves or changes the terms in the initial offer.

How Do I Select An Broker To Help Me Sell My Home?

Like the video shows, it’s a good idea to compare several real estate professionals when it comes time to sell your home. Ask these questions:

How Do I Evaluate An Offer?

Well, as this story shows, there’s more to an offer than the price tag. Factors you should consider:

What Details Can I Ask Brokers In Advance?

This video tells you what any real estate professional would be able to share with you. Ask them:

How Can I Improve My Home's Value?

Buyers generally seek the least expensive home in the best neighborhood they can handle. Like the guy in the video says, you want to present a home that fits in the neighborhood but doesn’t stand out too much.

What Types Of Closing Costs Are Associated With FHA-Insured Loans?

This video simplifies things to help you remember. Except for the addition of an FHA mortgage insurance premium, FHA closing costs are similar to those of a conventional loan.

What Responsibilities Do I Have During The Lending Process?

To ensure you won't fall victim to loan fraud, as you’ll see in this video, be sure to follow all of these steps as you apply for a loan:

What Qualifies As An Income Source For The FHA?

Watch this video and take a few notes:

What Makes Up Closing Costs?

What you’ll see in this video is, there may be closing costs customary or unique to a certain locality but closing costs are usually made up of the following:

What Is The Debt-To-Income Ratio For FHA Loans?

Remember the pointers from this video: as of 2013, the FHA allows you to use 29% of your income towards housing costs and 41% towards housing expenses and other long-term debt.

What Is RESPA?

RESPA stands for the Federal Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act. This video tells you about it all.

What Is HUD?

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development - also known as HUD - was established in 1965 to develop national policies and programs to address housing needs in the U.S.

How Does My Credit History Impact My Ability To Qualify?

The FHA is generally more flexible than conventional lenders in its credit qualifying guidelines. As we show you in this video, the FHA allows you to re-establish credit if:

What Should I Look Out For During The Final Walk-Through?

Well, as this story shows, this will likely be the first opportunity to examine the house without furniture, giving you a clear view of everything.

What Costs or Fees Are Associated With Loan Origination?

Yes, loan origination involves costs and fees. As you’ll see in the video, when you turn in your application you'll be required to pay fees to cover the costs of underwriting the loan. These fees pay for the home appraisal, a copy of your credit report and any additional charges that may be necessary.

What Are The Steps Involved In The FHA Loan Process?

The video puts this in more visual terms, but with the exception of a few additional forms, the FHA loan application process is similar to that of a conventional loan.

How Do I Choose The Best Loan Program For Me?

The video puts this in more visual terms, but your personal situation will determine the best kind of loan for you.

How Can The FHA Assist Me In Buying A Home?

Remember these points from the video:the FHA works to make homeownership a possibility for more Americans. With the FHA, you don't need perfect credit or a high-paying job to qualify for a loan. The FHA also makes loans more accessible by requiring smaller down payments than conventional loans.

What Can I Expect To Happen On Closing Day?

This video simplifies things to help you remember: you'll present your paid homeowner's insurance policy or a binder and receipt showing that the premium has been paid. The closing agent will then list the money you owe the seller: remainder of down payment, prepaid taxes, and so on. Then the money the seller owes you, unpaid taxes and prepaid rent, if applicable.

What Happens After I've Applied For My Loan?

It usually takes a lender between 1-6 weeks to complete the evaluation of your application.

Are Power Lines A Health Hazard?

The idea that living near high-voltage power lines is bad for your health has been around for many years. Illnesses attributed to power lines include childhood leukemias, other cancers, abnormal heart rhythms, miscarriages, low birth weight, birth defects, and other illnesses that might lead to premature death. Despite the conclusions of many studies that find no detectable risk, many people remain unconvinced about...

How Can I Protect My Family From Lead In a Home?

As you’ll see in this video, if the house you're considering was built before 1978 and you have children under the age of seven you will want to have an inspection for lead-based paint.

How Can I Find Out About Schools & Community Resources?

The video puts this in more visual terms, but basically, Schools and Community Resources can be found through the local Chamber of Commerce for promotional literature or talk to your real estate agent about welcome kits, maps, and other information.

How Can I Determine My Housing Needs Before I Begin The Search?

Like the video shows, your home should fit the way you live, with spaces and features that appeal to the whole family.

Special Report: New Mortgage Rules Go Into Effect

New mortgage reforms are set to go into effect today, in a move that aims to protect borrowers from lender abuses and ensure they can repay back their loans.

Mortgage Application Volume Rises

The job markets received good news this morning after it was reported that job growth in December was better than expected. ADP announced that private employers added 238,000 new jobs in December, above the 203,000 that was expected. The gains were broad based across all industries with heavy concentrations in construction and manufacturing.

The Weekly Wrap: Mortgage News Roundup

Consumer Confidence Pushes Mortgage Rates Higher

2014 Housing Report Looks Positive While The Risk For A Recession Is Low

Standard & Poor's published its U.S. Housing and Residential Finance outlook for 2014 forecasting that the S&P Case Shiller 20-City Home Price Index should rise by 6% in 2014. S&P sees a 15% - 20% risk of a recession, but the overall housing report is very positive and the risk is low for a recession.

Learning a Thing or Two from Silicon Valley

Follow these tips to find -- and retain -- millennial employees  Chad Jampedro, president, GSF Mortgage Corp. 

The Dow Is On Track For Best Year Since 1996

Pending Home Sales in November increased slightly by 0.2%, as contracts in the South and West rose offsetting declines in the Northeast and Midwest, reported the National Association of Realtors (NAR) yesterday. A spokesman for the NAR said that recent price gains coupled with higher home loan rates could mean the market may be flattening. Sales fell from the October reading of 1.2% and below the 1% expected.

The Housing Sector Has Had A Good Year

The U.S. markets have been generally quiet between Christmas and New Year’s as investors took end of year vacations. The only economic report today is November’s Pending Home Sales data where it is expected that sales rose by 1.5%. The housing sector has had a good year as home prices have risen by double digits year-over-year, while the foreclosure rate continues to decline.

Tapering Begins

The Fed announced they would be tapering by pulling back some of their stimulus package which has helped the housing market by keeping long term mortgage rates at historic lows for the last few years. This should come as no surprise, though.

G-fee Hikes Are Being Delayed And Consumer Spending Is Rising

The big news this past weekend came on Friday night when incoming Federal Housing Finance Agency Chief Mel Watt said that he will delay the upcoming g-fee hikes that are supposed to begin in March 2014. The higher fees are typically passed on to borrowers in the form of higher interest rates.

Weekly Wrap: Mortgage News Roundup

U.S. Growth Surges In Q3 2013

The Bureau of Economic Analysis reported that the final reading on 3rd quarter Gross Domestic Product rose by 4.1%, above the 3.6% from the second reading and above the expectation of 3.6%. The 4.1% was the highest level since Q4 2011 of 4.9%. The rise was due in part to an increase in consumer spending to 2% from 1.4%, a buildup in business inventories and business spending in software.

GSF Mortgage President Makes MPA’s Hot 100 List

Foreclosures Continue To Decline And Home Builder Confidence Rises

The home foreclosure front received some good news this morning as the sector digs out of a big hole left by the Great Recession. CoreLogic reported that completed foreclosures fell by 30% from October 2012 (68,000) to October 2013 (48,000). In addition, 791,000 residential properties returned to positive equity in the third quarter of this year, but nearly 6.4 million residential properties still have negative...

The Two-Day Federal Open Market Committee Meeting Will Kick Off Tomorrow

Worker productivity across the U.S. rose the most in four years in the third quarter of 2013 rising to 3.0% after a 1.8% increase in the second quarter. Productivity measures hourly output per worker. Within the report it showed that unit labor costs, a gauge of the labor related costs for any given unit of output, fell by 1.4%, signaling the lack of wage related inflation.

The Weekly Wrap: Mortgage News Roundup

The Average Loan Size For New Homes Climbed To $295,523

The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) reported today that despite applications for new home purchases falling by 18% in November from October, the average size of loans continued to trend higher. The average loan size for new homes climbed to $295,523. The MBA estimates that there were 32,000 homes sold last month, down from 40,000 in October.

Foreclosure Activity Declines

RealtyTrac reported this morning that foreclosure inventories declined by 15% from October to November and have declined by 37% from year ago levels. There were 113,454 foreclosure filings in November, which includes default notices, scheduled auctions and bank repossessions. November marked the largest month-over-month decline since November 2010, when activity fell by 21%.

The MBA Reported That Mortgage Applications Have Increased

The Mortgage Bankers Association reported today that its Market Composite Index, a measure of loan application volume, increased by 1% in the latest week, after the steep drop in the previous week. The refinance index increased by 2%, while the purchase index saw a 1% increase.

Harvard: 5 Financial Reasons To Buy A Home

Eric Belsky is Managing Director of the Joint Center of Housing Studies at Harvard University. He also currently serves on the editorial board of the Journal of Housing Research and Housing Policy Debate. This year he released a new paper on homeownership - The Dream Lives On: the Future of Homeownership in America. In his paper, Belsky reveals five financial reasons people should consider buying a home.

Stocks and Bonds begin the week modestly higher. Completed foreclosures continue to decline. US growth to increase in 2014.

There were no economic reports delivered today after last week's packed economic calendar. The markets begin the week with Stocks and Bonds modestly higher. Oil prices are at $97.46/barrel pegging the national average price for a regular gallon of gasoline at $3.26.

Knowing Your Options for the "Fixer-Upper"

The fixer-upper properties on the market will give you more purchasing power when shopping for a new home. Bargains can be found in homes that have been foreclosed, seized by the government or just fallen out of repair due to homeowner neglect. While it is true that you will save thousands of dollars on these homes that will need lots of work, there are hidden costs that buyers fail to consider. Ask yourself if it’s...

14,027 Houses Sell Every Day In The U.S.!

There are some homeowners that might consider waiting for the spring to sell their house thinking that no one buys a home during the winter months. What we should understand is that homes sell EVERY DAY. As a matter of fact, according to the latest Existing Homes Sales Report from the National Association of Realtors, on average 14,027 homes sell daily in this country.

Black Friday Sales Are Down While Home Loan Rates May Rise

The Institute for Supply Management reported today that its ISM Manufacturing Index, which covers activity across the nation, rose to its highest level since April of 2011 to 57.3. Within the report it showed that the employment component registered 58.3, an increase of 3.3%, which was the highest reading since April of 2012. Of the 18 manufacturing industries, 15 reported growth in November.

Credit Score Report History

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Building Permits Surge

Economic data was abundant today and zeroed in on the housing market. Housing prices continue to rise as evidenced by the Case Shiller 20-city Index gaining 13.3% year-over-year in September and was the largest annual gain in seven and a half years. From August to September, the index rose 1.3%.

5 Reasons to Buy A Home Now Instead Of Spring

Based on prices, mortgage rates and soaring rents, there may have never been a better time in real estate history to purchase a home than right now. Here are five major reasons purchasers should consider buying:

Americans Recover Home Equity at Record Pace: Mortgages

About 10.8 million homeowners were underwater on their mortgages in the third quarter, down from 12.2 million in the second quarter.

Home Buying for Unmarried Couples

Throughout the home buying process there can be various hurdles to jump over to make sure everything goes smoothly.  In today’s culture, we are finding more often unmarried couples are purchasing their first homes together.  Although this sounds like a great plan, there are precautions that need to be taken in order to make sure the process is done right.  Doing your research beforehand can alleviate any headaches....

Fannie Mae Glossary of Terms

When you buy a new house or consider refinancing there are many new terms and definitions you need to know. Here is a dictionary to help you navigate the process. if(!$_SESSION['ebooks-login']){ if($_SESSION['error'] !=''){ echo '

JPMorgan To Settle $13B Mortgage Bond Scandal With The Feds

Consumers across the nation flocked to malls for the Veteran's Day promotions, boosting sales in the latest week. The ICSC-Goldman Sachs Chain Store Sales Index was up 0.1% for the week ending November 16. On a year-over-year basis, there was a 2.8% increase, the biggest gain since October 19, 2013.

Buying a Home? Consider COST not just Price!

We have often talked about the difference between COST and PRICE. As a seller, you will be most concerned about ‘short term price’ – where home values are headed over the next six months. As a buyer, you must be concerned not about price but instead about the ‘long term cost’ of the home. Let us explain.

Home builders sentiment remained steady in November. Fewer shoppers to be out at malls on Black Friday. Stocks hit fresh record highs.

Economic news was light today with just a reading from the National Association of Home Builders reporting that its Housing Market Index was steady in November at 54, just below the 55 that was expected. The number for October was revised to 54 from 55. It was the sixth consecutive month that builders viewed market conditions as good rather than poor as readings above 50 signal conditions are positive.

Weekly Wrap: Mortgage News Roundup

S&P Hit Record High and Janet Yellen Will Become First Fed Chairwoman

The closely watched S&P 500 Stock Index hit yet another milestone yesterday, closing at a record high of 1,790 and has risen a whopping 25% this year. The gains come on the heels of an improving economy, solid corporate earnings and the Federal Reserves ongoing stimulus program. The S&P 500 is widely regarded as the best single gauge of large cap U.S. equities. The index includes 500 leading companies and is...

GSF Mortgage Runs The Bases at Miller Park With Frank Garay and Brian Stevens

"Race a sausage today!"

National Sales Director, Mike Maida with Frank Garay and Brian Stevens

Who knew we had a had celebrity among us! Watch for National Sales Director, Mike Maida as he makes his debut with Frank Garay and Brian Stevens from the National Real Estate Post.

U.S. Oil Output in Oct Surpasses Imports For First Time Since 1995

The Labor Department reported this morning that weekly state unemployment claims fell by 2,000 in the latest week to 339,000 and above the 330,000 that was expected. The four week moving average, which irons out any seasonal abnormalities, fell by 5,750 to 344,000. The labor markets are being weighed down by lackluster domestic demand for goods and services.

Ignoring Insurance Risks Can Be Costly

One of the first stages during the hunt for a new home is crunching the numbers to figure out your budget. And no matter how high or low that budget may be, prospective homebuyers should take into consideration the cost of insuring the home.

Mortgage delinquency rates continue to decline. More retailers announce Thanksgiving night openings. Prices at the pump drop.

Credit bureau TransUnion reported today that mortgage delinquency rates declined by 4.09% in the third quarter of 2013 and plunged almost 24% since the same period last year. TransUnion said the levels are still historically high, but the big year-over-year drop is positive news for lenders and homeowners.

Weekly Wrap: Mortgage News Roundup

U.S. Economy Grows More Than Expected and Twitter IPO Debuts

The U.S. economy grew more than expected in the 3rd quarter of this year as companies ramped up inventories, a pickup in spending at local and state governments and an increase in foreign trade. The Gross Domestic Product (GDP) rose by 2.8%, above the 2.5% recorded in the 2nd quarter and above the 1.9% expected. However, within the report it showed that consumer spending, the main driver of the U.S. economy, fell to...

The Weekly Wrap: Mortgage News Roundup Week of Nov. 1st, 2013

Mortgage Rates Dropped to a Four-Month Low

Mortgage Applications Rise as Home Loan Rates Decrease

Americans across the nation took advantage of the recent drop in home loan rates as mortgage application activity surged in the latest week. The Mortgage Bankers Association reported that its Market Composite Index, a measure of loan application volume, rose by 6.4% for the week ended October 25. The refinance index jumped 8.7% while the purchase index was up 2.3%.

The Week's Calendar is Packed With a Broad Array of Reports

The big event this week will be the 2-day Federal Open Market Committee's monetary policy statement that will be released at 2:00pm ET on Wednesday. The talks at the meeting will revolve around when to begin easing back on the Fed's massive stimulus program, which comes in the form of the Fed purchasing $85 billion per month in Treasury and Mortgage Backed Securities. Due to the government shutdown and the somewhat...

The Weekly Wrap: Mortgage News Roundup

Mortgage Rates Dropped to a Four-Month Low

Why Do We Buy Real Estate?

Why do you own your home? Why do you want to buy a home? According to Fannie Mae the top five reasons people buy a home or aspire to buy a home are: To have a better place to raise their children; A place where their family can feel safe; To have more space; Freedom to renovate to their own taste; and Owning is a better investment. Does this hold true for you? How about for a friend or family member you are close...

Forbes: Buy Now or Pay More Later?

Even though no one at KCM actively lists or sells real estate, some of our readers believe that there is an inherent bias toward the real estate community in our writing. For that reason, we want to quote a third party source today. Forbes, in their online edition last week, spoke to the importance of buying a home now rather than waiting.

The Stock Market Hits New Highs

America, the numbers are finally in and have been counted. The Labor Department reported that employers added 148,000 jobs in September, below the 183,000 expected while the July and August data was revised higher by a total of 9,000. The Unemployment Rate fell to 7.2%, the lowest level since November 2008 due to people finding work and those who have fallen off the unemployment insurance rolls. The Labor Department...

This Is Why You Need A Real Estate Agent

At the height of the Great Recession and in the years following, nearly one-third of Millennials — or those people born after 1980 — were shacking up with Mom and Dad. This phenomena of “delayed adulthood,” put a clamp on thousands of would-be first time homebuyers, so it’s no surprise what Millennials are craving most: independence and financial stability.

Weekly Wrap: Mortgage News Roundup

Zillow Says More Homes Came on the Market, Meaning Less Competition Among Buyers

There were no economic data points to influence the markets today as both Stocks and Bonds are near unchanged levels. After two weeks of uncertainty surrounding the trials and tribulations in D.C., the capital markets can get back to what should be driving sentiment, economic data and corporate earnings.

Government Shutdown Ends, Debt Ceiling Limit Extended

The government shutdown has ended and the debt ceiling limit has been extended. The government is now funded through January 15, 2014 while the debt ceiling is extended through February 7, 2014. All furloughed government employees will be reporting for work on Thursday and all national parks and monuments have been re-opened.

The Curious Case of the Jumbo Mortgage

Though it may feel like yesterday, it's been about half a decade since the housing bubble burst and the subprime mortgage crisis hit. In September 2008, the United States government took over Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Since then, the mortgage industry has undergone fundamental changes, experiencing both increased regulation and a large shift toward nationalization. To give you an idea of the size of these changes,...

There's No Place Like (YOUR FIRST) Home

Hannah did a fantastic job putting seminar, along with educating first time homebuyers! Everyone who attended received great one-on-one assistance from our Loan Officers,  Jenni and Josh. Guests were able to walk away with enough knowledge to make a great decision when purchasing their first home. GoGSF!

Homeownership’s Impact on Net Worth

Over the last five years, homeownership has lost some of its allure as a financial investment. As homeowners suffered through the housing bust, more and more began to question whether owning a home was truly a good way to build wealth. A recent study by the Federal Reserve formally answered this question.

Special Report: Mortgage Rates Hold Steady As Shutdown Continues

Various news agencies this morning have reported a break in the stalemate that has paralyzed Congressional leaders, after highly publicized infighting led to a partial government shutdown 11 days ago.

The Housing Market Is Hot. See Why A Pre-Approval Letter Can Help You Stay Cool

One of the first steps in the homebuying process is to get pre-approved for a mortgage loan. A pre-approval letter shows you how much house you can afford, what your payments may be and demonstrates to the lender that you are serious about securing a home loan.

Brookfield company helps build Habitat home

17 Interesting Facts about Moving

Interesting Facts About Moving Are you getting ready to move? Whether you’re moving across town or across the country, moving for a new opportunity or just wanting to upgrade from your current home, moving can seem like a daunting task. Why not make it fun and learn some useful and informative moving facts to help streamline your move. Do you know the best and worst days to move?

Don't Let Technology Take Away the Human Touch

Price Increases Vary Region by Region

U.S. home prices are on the rise in almost all major cities and up 12.4 percent from last August, according to the CoreLogic Home Price Index report. How are the prices affecting your region?

Buyers: Window of Opportunity Still Open

The Fed recently announced they would continue their current pace of purchasing bonds until the economy was stronger. This bond purchasing program is the reason that mortgage interest rates are at historic lows. Rates began to increase over the last several months just on the anticipation that the Fed would announce that they would be reducing the level of bond purchases last month. When that didn’t happen, rates...

The Weekly Wrap: Mortgage News Roundup

Mortgage Rates Slide To Nine-Week-Low 

Credit Score and Affects on Homeowners Insurance Premiums

It's All About The Credit Score Right?  

The Housing Sector Received Good News Today

The housing sector received some good news today as New Home Sales rose by nearly 8% in August, despite the recent rise in home loan rates. Sales came in at an annual rate of 421,000, above the 415,000 expected and up from the 390,000 recorded in July. The median sales price fell to $254,600 in August from $257,200 in July.

Spending vs. Financial Home Loan Freedom?

Fed Member Looks For a Possible October taper of QE III

With the Fed statement still hot on the fire from Wednesday, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis President James Bullard said today that the Fed could begin to taper its current massive Bond buying program as early as next month. On Wednesday, the Fed stated that it would not begin to ease back on the program due to recent weakness in economic data.

What to Consider When Buying a Second Home

Sooner or later you may reach a point in your life where you are financially stable and plan to purchase a second home. For the most part, people who look to buy a second home are either looking at it as an investment or somewhere to vacation.  It is important to become familiar with the process when looking for and making the decision to purchase a second home.

Federal Reserve Members Say 'No' To Tapering

The Federal Reserve said yesterday that it will not begin to pull back on its massive Bond purchase program that is geared towards promoting economic and job growth. The news sparked a massive rally in both the Stock and Bond markets as the S&P 500 (1,725) and the Dow (15,676) both closed at record high levels.

Economic Update

In a move that caught the country off guard, today, the Federal Reserve announced that it would not begin to taper its bond purchases — even as the economy hovers in a moderate recovery.

Legends of Lending

National Mortgage Professional's Legends of Lending: GSF's Flame Keeper, Chad Jampedro Being considered a "legend" in any pursuit in life is quite an accomplishment.  It signifies more than simply longevity...it signifies extraordinary achievement as well.  That is certainly true of National Mortgage Professional Magazine's "Legends of Lending" designee for September 2013, GSF Mortgage Corporation.  Formed in 1995...

Mortgage Applications Rise, Refinancing Surges

After showing negative numbers in the past month or so, the Mortgage Bankers Association reported that its Market Composite Index, a measure of total loan application volume, rose by 11.2% in the latest survey. The refinance index jumped by 18% while the purchase index rose by 3%. The recent rise in home loan rates is one of the main reasons for the recent drop off in applications.

Home Builders Are Still Optimistic

Home Builders Smiling Consumer inflation levels continued to run lower in August due to a decline in energy prices with slightly higher prices seen in housing and food costs. The Consumer Price Index (CPI) rose by 0.1% in last month versus the 0.2% expected and down from the 0.2% recorded in July. When stripping out food and energy, the Core CPI also rose by 0.1%, below the 0.2% anticipated.

Housing Inventory Making a Comeback

The shortage of homes for sale earlier in the year created an imbalance of supply to demand which resulted in double digit year-over-year price increases nationally. According to a recent Wall Street Journal article, the inventory of homes for sale is now beginning to reach more normal levels. The article reported:

Big news on the Candidates for the Federal Reserve Chairman

Big news on the candidates for the Federal Reserve Chairman post that is set to be vacated by current Chairman Ben Bernanke in January of 2014. One of the front runners, former Secretary of the Treasury Lawrence Summers, has withdrawn from the race. This paves the way for current Federal Reserve Vice Chairman Janet Yellen to become the front runner to be nominated for the position.

The Weekly Wrap

Young Adults Living at Home [INFOGRAPHIC]

 

Your House Is Made Out Of Money | Understanding Home Equity

For many, homeownership is the prize at the end of a long road: working through college, putting in long hours at a new job, saving and budgeting, paying down debts and establishing financial independence. It’s what most people dream about. And there’s no doubt that owning a home changes a person’s financial future for the better.

Homeowners Underwater on Their Mortgages Received Positive News Today

Homeowners underwater on their mortgages received positive news today as the recent gains in home prices have lifted 2.5 million residential properties into positive equity in the 2nd quarter of 2013. However, CoreLogic reports that 7.1 million residential properties still have negative equity and as home price appreciation moderates in the 2nd half, the pace of improvement will likely slow. Negative equity means...

National Housing Survey Shows Americans Are Well Attuned to the Direction in Which the Housing Market Is Moving

There have been no concrete plans out of Washington on the Syrian crisis. Congress returns today from its five-week vacation and will begin the debate over whether or not the U.S. will announce air strikes against the country.

Housing Data: Past & Future [INFOGRAPHIC]

Fannie Mae's housing forecast for the next 12 months.

Embracing the "Me Generation"

Millennial homebuyers have the power to change the mortgage industry

Harvard: Homeownership Still the American Dream

A big question facing the real estate industry over the last few years is how the housing crisis would impact the public’s belief in homeownership as a major component of the American Dream. Many felt the tragedy experienced by so many families would force them to reconsider their desire to ever be a homeowner again.

Should I Wait for Interest Rates to Come Back Down?

 

The Closely Watched Monthly Job Report Will Be the Big Event For the Week

The closely watched monthly jobs report is set to be released on Friday morning at 8:30am ET and will most likely prove to be the big event for the week. Is it expected that employers added 177,000 new workers in August, up from the 162,000 created in July. The report will be key in the decision making process for the Federal Reserve members as to whether or not to begin tapering Quantitative Easing (QE) sooner...

Inflation Remained Tame in July

Inflation remained tame in July as evidenced by the Core Personal Consumption Expenditure, which measures prices paid by consumers for goods and services, rising by 0.1%, inline with expectations and down from the 0.2% registered in June. Inflation has been running low and below the Federal Reserve's target levels.

NAR: Millennials in the Market

According to the National Association of Realtors’ 2013 Home Buyer and Seller Generational Trends study, the average Millennial home buyer (32 years old or younger) purchased a home within 8 miles of their previous home, whether leased or owned.

Positive Economic Data Hit the Wires This Morning

Positive economic data hit the wires this morning after several weeks of sub-par reports. The news is buoying Stocks in and capping Bond prices. With the holiday weekend looming, most of the heavy hitters will begin to close shop and head out today for an extended vacation.

Reverse Mortgage: A Loan Crafted Especially for Seniors

We talk a lot about first time homeownership — and the mortgage loans that fit that demographic best (usually Fixed-Rate Mortgages or Adjustable Rate Mortgages), but did you know there is a mortgage loan crafted especially for seniors?

Home Prices Continue to See Positive Gains

In the housing sector, the Case Shiller Home Price 20-city Index rose by 12.1% in the year ended in June, just below the 12.2% registered in May. From May to June there was a 2.2% increase, but that is down from the 2.5% recorded from April to May. The report signals that the housing recovery continues, but at a slower pace.

NAR’s August Existing Home Sales Report

 

2013 National Housing Pulse Survey: Homeownership Still a Priority for Renters

NAR recently released the 2013 National Housing Pulse Survey. The findings show that a strong majority (78%) of renters say that homeownership is a priority for them in the future, with 51% calling it one of their highest priorities.

Housing is Helping Rebuild the American Economy

Freddie Mac in their report, August 2013 U.S. Economic & Housing Market Outlook, explained the three reasons why housing is the key driving force to the overall economic recovery.

The FHA Has Recently Announced That It Will Begin Offering Mortgage Insurance to Troubled Borrowers

The Federal Housing Administration (FHA) has recently announced that it will begin offering mortgage insurance to troubled borrowers. Those who may have lost their homes through a foreclosure or short-sale or who may have filed for bankruptcy would have to be able to prove they are no longer financially challenged and meet other requirements set forth by the FHA.

Millennial Homebuyers Optimistic As Housing Continues To Improve

Ahh, the Millennials. If there is one thing they are known for it is rapid change. These highly educated, tech adopters have upended the status quo. They’ve toppled traditional businesses (hello, newspapers), created “modern families,” and brought foosball tables into the workplace. So, it’s quite a surprise that this group, born between 1980 and 2000, continue to cling to the dreams of homeownership.

GSF Selects Vantage Integrated Production's CRM Platform (VIP)

Centralized Sales, Marketing and Presentation Integration Expected to Create Efficiencies and Increase Conversions

The National Association of Home Builders Reports the Best Levels in Nearly Eight Years

The Labor Department reported this morning that Americans filing for unemployment benefits fell to six year lows. Weekly Initial Jobless Claims fell by 15,000 in the latest week to 320,000 and below the 339,000 that was expected. This signals a pickup in job growth and the Labor Department reported that there were no seasonal abnormalities associated with the numbers.

A Message to Millennials for Our Future

Today, we are honored to have Justin DeCesare, CEO of Middleton & Associates Real Estate in La Jolla, as our guest blogger. Justin has written a manual for new agents that is a must read for the new technology centered Real Estate market. It is available online in both print and Kindle editions. – The KCM Crew

Wholesale Inflation Declines Which Was Led Lower By a Drop in Energy Prices

The Labor Department reported this morning that inflation at the wholesale level fell in July due to a big decline in energy prices. The Producer Price Index (PPI) was unchanged in July and below the 0.3% rise that was expected. When stripping out volatile food and energy, the Core PPI rose by 0.1% when expectations were calling for a 0.2% gain. The PPI measures what companies pay for everything from fresh fruit to...

Cash You Never Knew You Had: Money Saving Tips

Last week, we discussed the Bittersweet Side of Homeownership, including expenditures that most people kinda-sorta forget about when they first purchase a home: Costs such as moving expenses, lawn and yard maintenance and home décor, for example. This week, we want to show you that all of those expenses don’t have to feel like an extra burden.

Home values and Where They're Headed

Ever Changing Home Values  

What Would YOU Do to Get That House?

Trulia Survey: 2 in 3 homebuyers would use aggressive tactics, including bidding above the asking price or paying seller's closing costs to get their dream house.

Corporate Earnings Beat Most Estimates

The capital markets are quiet today as the dog days of summer drag on with major players away for the month and traders escaping from their desks to start the weekend early. The major Stock indexes are set to close the week lower for the first time in two months, due to players taking profits after the recent record levels that were hit last week.

3 Reasons to Buy that House NOW!

Here are three great reasons to consider buying a home today instead of waiting.

Freddie Mac Reports That it Was Profitable for the Seventh Straight Quarter

The recent housing recovery has given new life to government sponsored entities Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Today, Freddie Mac reported that it earned $5 billion in the latest quarter, its seventh straight profitable quarter. Freddie now has a net worth of $7.4 billion and is required to pay all cash on hand above $3B after having been bailed out by the government to the tune of almost $100 billion during the...

The Bittersweet Side of Homeownership

Costs to consider

Home Prices Continued to Improve in the Latest Data

Housing news dominated the headlines this morning with positive home price data hitting the wires. First up was CoreLogic reporting that its national Home Price Index on a year-over-year basis in the month ended in June rose by nearly 12% as the sector continues to improve. From May to June, prices rose by almost 2%. In addition, home prices are expected to rise by 12.5% year-over-year basis in July. However, prices...

Moving Up? Do It Now!

New reports are revealing that the number of existing home owners purchasing a house is beginning to increase. Some are moving up, some are downsizing and others are making a lateral move. Another study shows that over 75% of these buyers will, in fact, be in that first category: a move-up buyer. We want to address this group of buyers in today’s blog post.

Economic Data Was Abundant Today and the Reports Were Slanted Towards the Positive Side

First up was the advanced reading for second quarter Gross Domestic Product (GDP) economic data showing that growth in the quarter rose by a rather dismal 1.7%. That was better than the 1.1% that was registered in the first quarter and above the 1.1% expected. The 1.1% in the first quarter was revised lower from 1.8%. The 1.7% economic data reflected an uptick in inventories and as consumer spending eased. GDP...

Senate Passed a Bill That Would Lower the Interest Rate of Student Loans

The country’s largest home loan lender, Wells Fargo, announced this week that it will be laying off 300 workers in its joint venture home lending unit due to new regulatory changes. The bank has withdrawn from eight joint mortgage ventures as state and federal laws have “increased the complexity and difficulty of operating mortgage joint ventures”, a spokesperson said.

Before Buying A Home, See What's Right For You

No matter what stage you're at in life, deciding where to live is an important part of your future. Buying the right home for you requires much thought, as each option has it's strengths and weaknesses.

New Home? Get Inspired on Pinterest

When you own a home, it becomes a reflection of you. In fact, one of the most exciting things about purchasing your first home is making it all yours. Your home shows off your style, your personality, your interests and your hobbies.

Economic Data Was Abundant Today and the Reports Were Slanted Towards the Positive Side

First up was the advanced reading for second quarter Gross Domestic Product (GDP) showing that growth in the quarter rose by a rather dismal 1.7%. That was more positive than the 1.1% that was registered in the first quarter and above the 1.1% expected. The 1.1% in the first quarter was revised lower from 1.8%. The 1.7% reflected an uptick in inventories and as consumer spending eased. GDP measures the market value...

Millennial Home Buyers [INFOGRAPHIC]

Top 5 Tips for Millennial Home Buyers

Buying a Home? Don’t Let Fear Get in Your Way

Our founder, Steve Harney, occasionally asks to do a personal post on what he sees as important to our industry. Today is one of those days. Enjoy! – The KCM Crew

New Home Sales Surge in June While Year-Over Gains Were the Highest Since 1992

Despite the recent rise in home loan sales rates, New Home Sales surged by 8.3% in June from May to an annual rate of 497,000 units. The 497,000 was above expectations of 483,000 and sales are now up 38% since June of 2012, the largest annual increase since 1992. However, sales in May were revised lower to a 459,000 annual rate from the initial number of 476,000.

S&P 500 Stock Index Hit Yet Another Closing Record High

Consumer bellwether United Parcel Service (UPS) reported that second quarter profits declined by 4% as customers moved to lower price shipping companies. Revenues came in at $13.51 billion versus the $13.59 billion expected. UPS is considered a bellwether along with FedEx due to the high volume and large assortment of goods they move around the globe.

So You've Found the Best Rates, Now What?

Be aggressive! Let them know that you are only going with the person that has the best rates for you!  Many factors play in to your end interest rate on a purchase or refinance mortgage so also keep that in mind.

Buying a Home? If You Can, Buy Two

John Paulson gave the keynote lunchtime address at the CNBC/Institutional Investor conference recently. He believes that housing will continue its strong recovery for the next 4 to 7 years saying:

Now Is The Time To Get Off The Fence and into The Purchase Market

Consumers are speeding up the home buying process to avoid higher mortgage rates down the road; this according to national mortgage buyer, Fannie Mae, in a July report released earlier this month. Fifty-seven percent of respondents in Fannie Mae’s National Housing Survey say they expect mortgage rates to continue to rise throughout the year.

The Dow and S&P Hit Record Highs

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (15,548) and the S&P 500 Index (1,689) both hit record high closing levels yesterday after Federal Reserve Chairman reaffirmed midweek that the current stimulus program dubbed QE III will be in place for the foreseeable future. The program is geared towards boosting the economy, promoting job growth and keeping interest rates at low levels.

Stocks at Record Highs After the Positive Economic Data

The Labor Department reported this morning that Americans filing for first time unemployment insurance fell in the latest week, a signal that the jobs market continues to make some headway. Weekly Initial Jobless Claims fell by 24,000 in the latest week to 334,000 and below the 348,000 that was expected. However, the number could be distorted by seasonal factors due to annual summer factory closings that occur each...

Fed Chairman Bernanke's Speech to the House Financial Services Committee was Released

Fed Chairman Bernanke's speech to the House Financial Services Committee was released this morning saying that that the Fed's asset purchases are by no means on a preset course. Mr. Bernanke went on to say that Bond buying could be reduced at faster pace, a slower pace, or even increased for a time, depending on outlook and they could begin later this year.

Shadow Inventory: Beginning to See the Light

One of the key obstacles to a housing recovery over the past five years has been the overhang of distressed properties about to come to market which has come to be known as shadow inventory.  Shadow inventory numbers are comprised of three separate categories of properties:

Retail Sales Are Still on the Rise but Still Lower Than Expected

Higher gasoline prices and a surge in sales of automobiles led Retail Sales higher in June, but the gains were offset by a decline in home improvement stores, bars and restaurants and department stores. Retail Sales rose by 0.4%, lower than the 0.7% expected and down from the 0.5% gain in May. Retail Sales account for 30% of consumer spending. When stripping out autos, sales were unchanged last month.

Are You Really Pre-Approved?

You have a piece of paper saying you're ready to go and buy a home, but is it a piece of paper or a pre-approved letter ? Find out here!

Higher Energy Costs Across the Nation Lead Wholesale Prices Higher in June

Higher energy costs across the nation led wholesale prices higher in June, which could lead to inflationary pressures down the road. The Labor Department reported that the Producer Price Index (PPI) rose by 0.8% in June, above the 0.3% expected and was the largest gain since September. The Core PPI, which strips out volatile food and energy, was up 0.2% and above the 0.1% forecasted. The PPI measures the average...

Mortgage Applications Continue to Decline as Home Loan Rates Hit Two-Year Highs

The Mortgage Bankers Association reported this morning that its Market Composite Index, a measure of mortgage application volume, fell by 4% in the latest week as home loan rates hit their highest levels in two years. The refi index fell 4% while the purchase index declined by 3%. Home loan rates have been rising since mid-May on comments from the Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke saying that it expects to wind down the...

Fannie Mae Reports That Potential Homebuyers May Jump into the Market Sooner Than Later

In its monthly National Housing Survey, Fannie Mae reported that homebuyers may enter the purchase market sooner rather than later as people feel that mortgage rates and home prices to rise. Within the survey it showed that those who feel that mortgage rates will go up in the next 12 months rose by 11% to 57%, the highest level in the three-year history of the survey.

Understanding the Benefits of Homeownership on Independence Day

“The American Dream is one of success, homeownership, college education for one’s children, and have a secure job to provide these and other goals.”

Mortgage Interest Rates: Where Are They Headed?

Today’s $20,000 question is…Where are mortgage interest rates headed in the near future? Most believe the rapid rise in rates experienced over the last month will not be sustained and that they will level off into a range between 4% and 5%.

Be Prepared — Not Scared of Your First Home Mortgage

Buying your first home can feel a little overwhelming. Not only do you have to decide if you’re ready to commit to a monthly mortgage payment, but you must also consider the recommended commitment of living in a home for three-to-five years, investing in the home’s regular maintenance and upkeep, and oh, yes — wrestle your way through all of the mortgage jargon to find the perfect home loan to get you through that...

Know Your Credit Score - We Can Help

Credit Score Knowledge  

Renting vs. Owning

As the economy continues to recover, people are working hard to be smarter about their money. Instead of squandering paychecks on lattes, new gadgets or exotic vacations, more and more Americans are working to pay off their student loans, credit cards and other debts.

Do I need an escrow account? It’s likely.

As if the home borrowing process wasn’t intimidating enough, first time home buyers might feel even more overwhelmed by the dictionary full of mortgage jargon that is floating around in the lending-sphere.

Is a 30-Year Fixed Mortgage Right for You?

When it comes to purchasing a home, there is no shortage of important decisions to make. You have to find the perfect home, the perfect neighborhood, and the perfect real estate agents. But, one of the most important decisions a new homebuyer will ever make involves choosing the right home mortgage loan. Finding the right mortgage product can determine everything from your lifestyle, to your equity, and your line of...

Huntersville, NC refinance customer says nobody could beat the offer!~ (Zillow)

Pam Gustafson- Loan Originator

What Are Lender Fees? We Can Explain

When you shop for a mortgage, many times you will see or hear about "Lender Fees".   We explain what the difference is and the best way to make sure you are comparing apples to apples when talking with lenders.  Mortgage lender fees are costs that are to be paid by the lender during the home buying process and at closing. Some typical lender fees paid for by the buyer include: fees for the attorneys, an application...

Be Prepared — Not Scared of Your First Home Mortgage

Buying your first home can feel a little overwhelming. Not only do you have to decide if you’re ready to commit to a monthly mortgage payment, but you must also consider the recommended commitment of living in a home for three-to-five years, investing in the home’s regular maintenance and upkeep, and oh, yes — wrestle your way through all of the mortgage jargon to find the perfect home loan to get you through that...

Is It A Good Time To Buy A Home?

It's not only a good time, but a GREAT time to buy a home! Many positive factors show that if you are considering buying a new home, now might be the best time!  

Homeownership Just Got a Little Sweeter

First time homebuyers rack up a third of home purchases, housing stays in recovery

Which Loan is Best for You?

When you buy a new house or consider refinancing, one of the first questions you ask yourself is "Which loan is best for me?" if(!$_SESSION['ebooks-login']){ if($_SESSION['error'] !=''){ echo '

Natick, MA refinance customer says she is really happy!~ (Zillow)

Sharyn DiCarlo- Loan Originator

Fort Atkinson, WI purchase customer says GSF was awesome!~ (Zillow)

Michael Cox- Loan Originator

Appleton, WI purchase customer says experience worry free!~ (Zillow)

Michael Cox- Loan Originator

Annville, PA refinancing customer says a Dream-Come-True!

Eileen Million - Loan Originator | Refinancing Testimonial "Eileen Million and GSF made our refinancing a dream-come-true! Refinancing was our only solution to an unfortunate chain of economic events. Eileen is a gracious, understanding, and dedicated professional. She turned our uncertain financial future into a life-changing celebration! I would highly recommend Ms. Million for any and all of your mortgage needs."

Plymouth, MN refinance customer says GSF pleasant and helpful!~ (Zillow)

Michael Cox- Loan Originator

Michael Cox- Loan Originator Customer Testimonial

Michael Cox- Loan Originator "We worked with Mike Cox for our home loan. He was very punctual, helpful, he described every aspect of our loan. He made himself available to answer questions, and address concerns. He made the whole process easy and painless. Got us the lowest rate."

Pearland, TX refinance customer says quick experience!~ (Zillow)

Sharyn DiCarlo- Loan Originator

Henderson, TX purchase customer says great experience!~ (Zillow)

Michael Cox- Loan Originator

Houston, TX refinance customer says GSF delivered!~ (Zillow)

Pam Gustafson- Loan Originator

Buda, TX customer says GoGSF stands out! ~ (LendingTree)

Jennifer Geiger- Loan Originator

Fredericksburg, VA says refinance went smoothly! (Zillow)

Eileen Million- Loan Originator

Roselle, IL refinance customer says exceptional! ~ (Zillow)

Eileen Million-Senior Loan Originator

Waltham, MA purchase customer says fast turnaround! ~ (Zillow)

Cory Metz- Loan Originator

Glen Allen, VA refinance customer says entire experience great! ~ (Zillow)

Eileen Million-Senior Loan Originator

Wexford, PA purchase customer says GoGSF makes purchasing a home simple! ~ (Zillow)

Andy Newman-Senior Loan Originator

Maple Grove, MN customer says you can have faster, less expensive and better! ~ (Zillow)

Pam Gustafson-Senior Loan Originator

Emmitsburg, MD customer says they couldn't be happier! ~ (Zillow)

Sharyn DiCarlo-Senior Loan Originator

Austin, TX customer says process was smooth and pleasant! ~ (Zillow)

Sharyn DiCarlo-Senior Loan Originator

Sunland, CA customer says best refinance/mortgage experience ever had! ~ (Zillow)

Jennifer Geiger-Senior Loan Originator

Kaukauna, WI customer says GoGSF made the process incredibly easy! ~ (Zillow)

Pam Gustafson-Senior Loan Originator

Flower Mound, TX customer says this refinance was as easy as humanly possible! ~ (Zillow)

Pam Gustafson-Senior Loan Originator

Emmitsburg, MD refinance customer says its easy with GSF! ~(Zillow)

Sharyn DiCarlo-Senior Loan Originator

Hummelstown, PA refinance customer says GoGSF does an exemplary job! ~(GoGSF)

Frank Papaleo-Senior Loan Originator