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Letter to America’s Seniors from the National Reverse Mortgage Lenders Assoc.

We often get asked many questions about how a reverse mortgage works and what are the pros and cons. Many questions are asked in a skeptical manner as if to say “what’s the catch?”. Richard Cordray of the National Reverse Mortgage Lenders Association has written a letter to those interested in learning more about reverse mortgages and tells how to get a publication that the NRMLA has written, too.

To America’s Seniors and Their Families:

Last week, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau released a report highlighting the confusion many consumers have about reverse mortgages.

WASHINGTON, D.C. – July 9, 2012 – (RealEstateRama) — “Because reverse mortgages can help older homeowners ease the strain of retirement, this product can be beneficial if seniors choose it based on a solid understanding of how it works,” CFPB Director Richard Cordray said. He added, however, that many seniors “struggle greatly to understand this complicated product and the tradeoffs involved.”

Through our ongoing public education efforts, the National Reverse Mortgage Lenders Association is aggressively trying to help seniors avoid short-sighted or misinformed choices.  We share the CFPB’s concern that seniors and their adult children need a more in-depth understanding of reverse mortgages.

To address that issue, NRMLA has developed a series of tools to help seniors better understand the facts aboutreverse mortgages before they choose to use this complex financial product.

In order to provide straightforward and easy-to-understand information, NRMLA has worked with key stakeholders over the past year to develop a comprehensive public education effort called Borrow with Confidence.

The members of the National Reverse Mortgage Lenders Association agree that a reverse mortgage is not the right choice for everyone. It is a significant financial and emotional decision about a complex product.  Borrow with Confidence provides the facts so consumers have a clear understanding of the reverse mortgage process.

Consumers may find Borrow with Confidence at www.ReverseMortgage.org or they may request a booklet by calling (866) 264-4466.

It clearly explains the reverse mortgage product, application process, fees, qualification criteria, borrower responsibilities, the potential risks and offers advice for adult children of borrowers. There is also a glossary of terms, answers to frequently asked questions, and the truth about many common misperceptions about reverse mortgages.

Potential borrowers are encouraged to ask their own questions – either via the Website or a toll-free telephone number – about any aspect of reverse mortgages that they find confusing.

Additionally, Borrow with Confidence includes a 19-point pledge to borrowers that clearly explains borrowers’ rights and confirms the high level of integrity they should expect. NRMLA members are bound by a strict code of ethics, which, among other things, clearly forbids “false or misleading or deceptive or unfair communications or advertisements.”

The National Reverse Mortgage Lenders Association wants consumers to have the resources they need to make informed and deliberate decisions about their retirement security.  We want them to borrow with the confidence that they know the facts.  We want them to borrow with confidence because they know what to expect.

Clear and honest information can help seniors and their families make the best decisions for their own situations.  The National Reverse Mortgage Lenders Association will continue to work with the CFPB to achieve that goal.

Sincerely Yours,

Peter H. Bell
President & CEO

About Reverse Mortgages

Reverse Mortgages are available to seniors 62 years old and older with significant home equity. They are designed to enable elderly homeowners to borrow against the equity in their homes without having to make monthly payments as is required with a traditional “forward” mortgage or home equity loan. Under a reverse mortgage, funds are advanced to the borrower and interest accrues, but the outstanding balance is not due until the last borrower leaves the home, sells or passes away. Borrowers may draw down funds as a lump sum at loan origination, establish a line of credit or request fixed monthly payments for as long as they continue to live in the home.  To date, more than 750,000 senior households have utilized an FHA-insured reverse mortgage.

About the National Reverse Mortgage Lenders Association

The National Reverse Mortgage Lenders Association (NRMLA) is a membership organization comprised of more than 300 companies and more than 1,000 people participating in the reverse mortgage industry.  With a membership responsible for more than 90 percent of reverse mortgage transactions in the United States, NRMLA serves as the national voice for the industry.  It serves as an educational resource, policy advocate and public affairs center for lenders and related professionals. NRMLA was established in 1997 to enhance the professionalism of the reverse mortgagebusiness.  All NRMLA member companies commit themselves to our Code of Ethics & Professional Responsibility.

Read full article here.

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Top Ten Refinancing Tips

With so many great mortgage refinancing options available at the moment, you should be considering refinancing your mortgage. There are a few things that you can do to help determine if this is a good course of action for your specific situation.

Below is a brief article that outlines some simple things you can check to see if this is right for you and what you can do to secure the best mortgage rate possible.

The Top Ten Refinancing Tips

Richard Barrington

Chances are that over the course of a typical mortgage, a home owner will have an opportunity for refinancing. Possible reasons to refinance a mortgage are compelling. They include:

  • Saving money by lowering the interest rate
  • Making monthly payments more manageable by stretching out the remaining loan term
  • Stabilizing the monthly payment by switching to a fixed-rate mortgage

With so many factors in favor of refinancing, it is a shame that anyone would fail to refinance a mortgage just because the process can seem complex at first.

10 Easy Ways to Streamline Refinancing a Mortgage

As with many things, refinancing can be broken down into a series of smaller steps, each of which is fairly simple on its own. For example, the following are ten tips that can help anyone refinance a mortgage successfully:

  1. Specify the reasons for refinancing. Is the purpose of this refinancing to lower the interest rate, reduce the monthly payment, or lock in a fixed monthly payment? The type and terms of the refinance mortgage needed will depend on which of these–or which combination of these–goals is in play.
  2. Define the refinance mortgage parameters. Based on the above goals, set targets for interest rates and monthly payments. Decide on the mortgage term and whether to apply for a fixed or adjustable-rate mortgage. A refinance mortgage calculator can help define these parameters.
  3. Check your credit rating. In particular, find out whether it has changed since you last applied for a mortgage. A low credit rating will affect the interest rate and the availability of a refinance mortgage.
  4. Determine changes in property value. A drastic drop in property value can make it difficult to refinance a mortgage unless that mortgage is old enough to have been paid down substantially.
  5. Research prepayment penalties on the existing mortgage. Some mortgages have penalties for early repayment, which includes refinancing. This is not necessarily a deal-killer, but it is important to know the amount of any penalty so it can be measured against the potential savings from refinancing. Also, the original lender might waive this fee if they handle the refinancing.
  6. Obtain refinance mortgage quotes from a variety of refinance mortgage lenders.Mortgage rates and lending standards vary from institution to another, so it is well worth researching multiple refinance mortgage lenders.
  7. Ask lenders for full disclosure of points, closing costs, and other fees. This will help with setting up apples-to-apples comparisons between refinance mortgage lenders. For example, the lender offering the lowest interest rate may also be charging the most in points. Try to request quotes with as nearly identical terms as possible for comparison purposes.
  8. Ask lenders how long they will commit to their rate quotes. Lenders can’t offer the same rate indefinitely, but they may commit to locking in a rate for a reasonable period of time to allow for the application process.
  9. Use a mortgage calculator to compare monthly payment savings with closing costs and other upfront fees. Besides comparing refinance mortgage quotes against each other, also compare them against your existing mortgage. It is likely that there will be a trade-off between paying upfront expenses to refinance a mortgage and achieving a savings in subsequent monthly payments. It is important to make sure the savings in monthly payments will, in time, adequately compensate for the upfront costs.
  10. Check for any prepayment penalties in the refinance mortgage. As mentioned in tip #5, prepayment penalties can dampen the benefits of refinancing. Since another refinancing opportunity may arise in the future, it would be helpful to avoid prepayment penalties in the refinance mortgage.

Again, each of the above is a simple step on its own, and taken together they will help clarify the process of refinancing a mortgage. Article source: http://www.guidetolenders.com/refinance_mortgage/articles/top-ten-refinancing-tips.jsp

These points are easy to do and can save you thousands (and sometimes ten of thousands) over the history of your mortgage. If you’d like to learn more about what type of refinance you can qualify for, contact one of our financing specialists for a free counseling session. We can answer any questions and help you decide what’s best for you. SLS Mortgage of Charlottesville (434) 260-7773

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Low Mortgage Rates Pump 11% Gain In Purchasing Power

Low interest rates have given your mortgage dollars more purchasing power and home affordability is at an all time high. There’s no question that now is one of the best times to buy a house or refinance a mortgage that we will likely ever see.

There are some really attractive statistics below about just how good a time it is right now to refinance or buy.

Mortgage Rates : Low Mortgage Rates Pump 11% Gain In Purchasing Power

For today’s refinancing households — whether via HARP, FHA Streamline Refinance, VA Streamline Refinance, or otherwise —  falling mortgage rates can lower monthly mortgage payments by a ton, adding money to household budgets and bank ledgers.

For home buyers, however, falling rates do something more.

Falling mortgage rates raise maximum purchase prices. In some cases, by a lot. Your mortgage dollar goes a lot farther than it used to.

Click here to get today’s mortgage rates.

For Home Buyers, Mortgage Rates On Sale

Home affordability is at an all-time high nationwide.

According to Freddie Mac’s most recent mortgage rate survey, the average 30-year fixed rate mortgage fell to 3.62% last week, down from 4.08% in March 2012, and down from 4.60% from one year ago.

And, this week, rates have moved lower still. From Marin County, California to Bethesda, Maryland to Miami, Florida, mortgage rates are easing and poised to register a new, all-time low for the third consecutive week. Mortgage rates have been down over consecutive days dating back to last week.

It’s a great time to be a buyer.

Purchasing Power Up 11% Since Last Year

Rapidly changing mortgage rates make for interesting personal economics. It can’t help but change the way a buyer looks at properties.

In a falling mortgage rate environment such as this one, it can make for a heady home shopping experience. Buyers can set their sights on a price range for a home, then watch as their corresponding monthly mortgage payment drops with the rates.

Or, buyers can go the other way.

For a buyer who’s set his monthly housing payment  as mortgage rates drop, home purchasing power goes up.

Since July 2011, that increase has been significant.

Assuming a principal + interest mortgage payment of $1,000 per month on a 30-year term, today’s home buyers can buy 11% “more home” as compared to 12 months ago.

  • July 2011 : Each $1,000 payment affords a maximum loan size of $197,130
  • July 2012 : Each $1,000 payment affords a maximum loan size of $219,409

That extra 11% can mean a lot of things. It can be an extra bathroom; an extra bedroom; a series of upgraded finishes. It could even mean a home on a different street, or with a different-sized lot.

The 11% increase in purchasing power can mean anything you want it to mean. It’s just great to have it available. There has never been a more affordable time to be a home owner.

From Washington State to Washington, D.C., homeownership is on sale.

Click here to get today’s mortgage rates.

Home Affordability : Tied To Low Mortgage Rates

Unfortunately, today’s buyer-friendly environment can’t last forever. Home prices have already started to rise nationwide, cutting into the rise in purchasing power afforded by low mortgage rates. And, as the economy recovers, mortgage rates will, too.

When mortgage rates move past 4 percent into the 5s, it will hit affordability hard.

For now, though, the market is a buyer’s oyster. Get started with a rate quote and see what you can buy.

See source here: http://themortgagereports.com/10608/mortgage-rates-low-mortgage-rates-push-11-gain-in-purchasing-power

Don’t let this amazing opportunity of either buying a home or refinancing your mortgage pass you by. SLS Mortgage of Culpeper has many great options to help you take advantage of the great mortgage rates currently available. Contact our team of mortgage professionals for a free consultation today. (540) 216-0665

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Low Mortgage Rates Pump 11% Gain In Purchasing Power

Low interest rates have given your mortgage dollars more purchasing power and home affordability is at an all time high. There’s no question that now is one of the best times to buy a house or refinance a mortgage that we will likely ever see.

There are some really attractive statistics below about just how good a time it is right now to refinance or buy.

Mortgage Rates : Low Mortgage Rates Pump 11% Gain In Purchasing Power

For today’s refinancing households — whether via HARP, FHA Streamline Refinance, VA Streamline Refinance, or otherwise —  falling mortgage rates can lower monthly mortgage payments by a ton, adding money to household budgets and bank ledgers.

For home buyers, however, falling rates do something more.

Falling mortgage rates raise maximum purchase prices. In some cases, by a lot. Your mortgage dollar goes a lot farther than it used to.

Click here to get today’s mortgage rates.

For Home Buyers, Mortgage Rates On Sale

Home affordability is at an all-time high nationwide.

According to Freddie Mac’s most recent mortgage rate survey, the average 30-year fixed rate mortgage fell to 3.62% last week, down from 4.08% in March 2012, and down from 4.60% from one year ago.

And, this week, rates have moved lower still. From Marin County, California to Bethesda, Maryland to Miami, Florida, mortgage rates are easing and poised to register a new, all-time low for the third consecutive week. Mortgage rates have been down over consecutive days dating back to last week.

It’s a great time to be a buyer.

Purchasing Power Up 11% Since Last Year

Rapidly changing mortgage rates make for interesting personal economics. It can’t help but change the way a buyer looks at properties.

In a falling mortgage rate environment such as this one, it can make for a heady home shopping experience. Buyers can set their sights on a price range for a home, then watch as their corresponding monthly mortgage payment drops with the rates.

Or, buyers can go the other way.

For a buyer who’s set his monthly housing payment  as mortgage rates drop, home purchasing power goes up.

Since July 2011, that increase has been significant.

Assuming a principal + interest mortgage payment of $1,000 per month on a 30-year term, today’s home buyers can buy 11% “more home” as compared to 12 months ago.

  • July 2011 : Each $1,000 payment affords a maximum loan size of $197,130
  • July 2012 : Each $1,000 payment affords a maximum loan size of $219,409

That extra 11% can mean a lot of things. It can be an extra bathroom; an extra bedroom; a series of upgraded finishes. It could even mean a home on a different street, or with a different-sized lot.

The 11% increase in purchasing power can mean anything you want it to mean. It’s just great to have it available. There has never been a more affordable time to be a home owner.

From Washington State to Washington, D.C., homeownership is on sale.

Click here to get today’s mortgage rates.

Home Affordability : Tied To Low Mortgage Rates

Unfortunately, today’s buyer-friendly environment can’t last forever. Home prices have already started to rise nationwide, cutting into the rise in purchasing power afforded by low mortgage rates. And, as the economy recovers, mortgage rates will, too.

When mortgage rates move past 4 percent into the 5s, it will hit affordability hard.

For now, though, the market is a buyer’s oyster. Get started with a rate quote and see what you can buy.

See source here: http://themortgagereports.com/10608/mortgage-rates-low-mortgage-rates-push-11-gain-in-purchasing-power

Don’t let this amazing opportunity of either buying a home or refinancing your mortgage pass you by. SLS Mortgage of Culpeper has many great options to help you take advantage of the great mortgage rates currently available. Contact our team of mortgage professionals for a free consultation today. (540) 216-0665

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Dominion And Arlington County At Odds Over Tree Removal

This is an article that I found on ABC News Channel 7’s website that describes an example of what we as tree removal contractors have to deal with at times. We sometimes can’t remove a fallen tree until the power company gives us the okay. But sometimes the power company can’t work on their power lines until the tree is removed. It can be a catch 22 that ultimately hurts property owner’s, who are the ones that have to deal with no electricity.

A lot of people have been helping each other get through the aftermath of last week’s storms.

But, there have been a few situations where there has been a battle on what to about trees falling on power lines, like in Arlington, where Dominion Virginia Power and the county were reportedly at odds.

For those who live around the tree-choked street in the Claremont area, emotions are far exceeding the 100 degree conditions.

Friday’s derecho toppled a tree that entwined in Dominion’s power lines then crushed a car.

For five, miserable days, David Carr and hundreds of his neighbors have been without electricity.

Carr said, “We wake up at 2:30 in the morning just bathed in sweat unable to sleep anymore.”

David Hemenway blames dysfunction, adding that the utility company and the county can’t agree on how to proceed.

“At the very least that tree should have been removed by now, but the county says they can’t remove it until Dominion gives them permission. Dominion says they can’t do the wires until the tree is removed. Are you kidding me?,” Hemenway said.

His biggest fear is for his adopted daughter, Bekah, whose disability leaves her sensitive to stress. Her service dog, Griswald, can only do so much.

Hemenway added, “When we have a disruption like this for a long period of time, it does become a bit of a problem.”

Only a few hours after 7 On Your Side called Dominion, the utility giant sent out a supervisor who assured a tree removal crew would be dispatched.

And that’s exactly what happened.

In fact, Dominion officials say they’ll return Thursday morning to repair the mess and restore power.

The Dominion spokesperson stressed that there was never an issue between the county and the utility company. He says the blame rests on Dominion not moving quickly enough to respond to the area due to the overwhelming amount of work they have.

You can see how even slight miscommunication can bring cleanup and power restoration to a halt. It’s unfortunate but it does happen. If you have a fallen tree that still needs to be removed, call Fairfax Tree Service today for a free storm damage cleanup evaluation and to remove any trees that may hampering power restoration for you or your neighbors. (703) 688-3900

tree removal and cleanup

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Nonstandard Mortgage Refinancing

Nonstandard mortgage refinancing is an option for people that want to refinance their mortgage to take advantage of these incredible rates but don’t want to have to settle for a standard 15 or 30 year repayment term. While not very common, nonstandard mortgage refinancing is gaining popularity.

I found an interesting article explaining some of the reasons why people would want a nonstandard refinance. Read on…

Today’s record-low interest rates have lots of homeowners debating whether to refinance into 15- or 30-year mortgages, but few realize lenders offer products with all sorts of repayment periods — from five-year “balloon” mortgages to 29-year loans.

Although normal repayment terms are suitable for most homeowners, it isn’t the case for everyone. We have loan programs available for those who want nonstandard mortgage refinancing products. Contact one of our mortgage professionals at SLS Mortgage of Culpeper to discuss your nonstandard refinancing needs today. (540) 216-0665

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Fixed Mortgage Rates Continue To Fall

Mortgage rates continue to fall! This is a olden opportunity to secure a new home loan or refinance an existing mortgage. With record low interest rates, monthly mortgage payments are more affordable than ever.

The article below details the current mortgage rate trend and what these numbers mean for a current or future home owner.

Mortgage rates fell this week — again — as the biggest refinance boom since last decade continues. Freddie Mac reports that the average 30-year fixed rate mortgage rate nationwide fell four basis points to 3.62%, and that the average 15-year fixed rate mortgage rate fell to 2.89%.

Click here to get today’s mortgage rates.

Mortgage Rates On A 3-Year Slide

Freddie Mac’s survey is collected from more than 125 banks around the country with each bank reporting both its “going mortgage rate” as well as any accompanying discount points required to get that rate. The survey showed that banks offering the 3.62% mortgage rate are charging, on average, 0.8 discount points.

Discount points are a one-time closing cost. 1 discount point is equal to one percent of your loan size.

So, using this week’s survey as an example, if you are a borrower in Marin County, California; or Fairfax, Virginia, and you are borrowing up to the local conforming loan limit of $625,500, to account for your 0.7 discount points, you should expect to bring an additional $4,379 to closing, or to have that amount “rolled in” to your mortgaged amount for you.

If your loan size is smaller than $625,500, however, your discount points fee will be smaller. Homeowners borrowing at the Dallas, Texas local loan limit of $417,000, for example, would pay just $2,919.

Not everyone will want to pay discount points, however, and the good news is that you don’t have to. Mortgages without discount points are always available from banks — they’re just not offered at the 3.62% mortgage rate.

Get a mortgage rate quote with and without discount points to compare your costs and options.

Click here to get today’s mortgage rates.

 

15-Year Fixed Rate Mortgage Rate Falls To 2.89%

Freddie Mac’s weekly mortgage rate survey showed the following national numbers :

  • 30-year fixed rate mortgage : 3.62% with 0.8 discount points
  • 15-year fixed rate mortgage : 2.89% with 0.7 discount points
  • 5-year adjustable rate mortgage : 2.79% with 0.6 discount points

Note that the Freddie Mac mortgage rate survey does not differentiate between a purchase money mortgages and refinances. Some lenders offer slightly lower-than-average rates on a purchase transaction, and slightly higher-than-average for “special” refinance types including the HARP refinance program or loans for investors with more than 4 properties financed. Mortgage pricing policies vary from bank-to-bank.

….More at U.S. Mortgage Rates Fall To New Records

You can see from these numbers that there are many benefits to securing a home mortgage or a mortgage refinance with a broker instead of a bank. Brokers can get the lowest rates possible for the borrower. If you’d like to see what you’re able to qualify for, contact one of our mortgage professionals for a free consultation. SLS Mortgage of Charlottesville is here to answer any questions and help you select the best mortgage for your needs. Call us today (434) 260-7773