NAR real estate forecast: Better times ahead

NEW ORLEANS – Nov. 10, 2014 – Existing-home sales are expected to be higher next year, and prices will remain at a healthier level of growth that benefits both buyers and sellers, according to an economic forecast during the 2014 Realtors® Conference & Expo. Director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) Mel Watt joined …

Read More

All Settlement Providers Involved in Transaction Encouraged to Implement Best Practices

No matter what function an entity provides in completing a mortgage transaction, it’s important for all settlement service providers—including title and settlement agents, escrow companies, Notaries, mobile closers and attorneys—to understand the heightened regulatory demands and additional liability being placed on lenders. “Service providers must be proactive and aware of how the industry will operate …

Read More

How to finance a fixer-upper

If you’re buying a home that needs a little TLC, a typical fixed-rate mortgage isn’t going to help you pay for repairs. Your lender, for instance, isn’t going to approve a $300,000 loan to buy a home that’s only worth $250,000. And, while homeowners sometimes use home equity loans to remodel, you can’t get a …

Read More

Beginning September 2, 2014, the Florida Department of Insurance has mandated that every title insurance policy issued in Florida will have an added surcharge of $3.28.

Why the assessment? The surcharge is mandated by Florida law. The Florida Office of Insurance Regulation (“OIR”), which regulates title insurance underwriters in Florida, is required to implement and enforce collection of the surcharge. These funds will be used for the payment of claims and administration expenses for two failed domestic underwriters that are currently …

Read More

Why 2014 is a great year to buy a house

Right now is a great time to buy a house. To understand why, I encourage you to spend a moment contemplating the chart above. What it shows is that the interest rate you pay on a mortgage matters a lot when it comes to the ultimate price of the American dream. Let’s assume you buy …

Read More

Why the housing recovery is over, in four charts

If you’re waiting to sell your house because you think prices will continue to rise, don’t. The housing recovery that began in 2012 came on almost as quickly and forcefully as the real estate crash that preceded it. The combination of low interest rates, investor interest, and good, old-fashioned confidence conspired to cause a rapid …

Read More

6 Ways to Save on Home Closing Costs

The process of securing a home loan can be confusing and daunting, especially when it comes to the laundry list of fees associated with your mortgage. It can be very difficult to understand all the fees and closing costs and whether or not you’re being overcharged. Shopping around for the lowest closing costs could save you thousands …

Read More