Home appraisals no longer derailing sales

Julie C. Nichols General

CNNMoney – Les Christie Consider this one more sign that the housing market is heating up: Appraisers are putting higher values on homes again, allowing for more deals to go through. During the housing bust, sales were often derailed by low-ball appraisals that fell far shy of a home’s selling price. For example, if a home cost $500,000 and required …

One-Third of Homebuyers Lack Basic Mortgage Knowledge

Julie C. Nichols General

The M Report – Tory Barringer According to Zillow, homebuyers participating in its Mortgage Marketplace Survey answered basic questions on mortgage information incorrectly nearly one-third (32.5%) of the time. For example, 34% of first-time homebuyers are not aware that they might be able to get a home loan with a down payment of less than 5 percent. According to Zillow, …

Borrowing Against The House, Once Again

Julie C. Nichols General

MortgageOrb.com – Nora Caley According to the Equifax March National Consumer Credit Trends Report, for home equity lines of credit, new credit originated in January 2013 totaled $6.2 billion, which was an increase of 20% compared to the $5.1 billion in January 2012. It was the strongest start to a calendar year since 2009. One reason why homeowners can borrow …

Survey Suggests Continued Shift Toward Urban Living

Julie C. Nichols General

MBA Newslink – Mike Sorohan A new Urban Land Institute survey, underscoring the influence of Generation Y roughly–those Americans born between 1983 and 2000–as well as the nation’s growing African-American and Latino populations. According to the results of the study, forget the cul-de-sac in the suburb; the fastest-growing demographic groups in the U.S. want to live compact, mixed-use communities with …

Dallas area lags in taking home mortgage tax deduction

Julie C. Nichols General

Dallas Morning News – Alexandria Baca About 22 percent of tax filers nationwide last year claimed the deduction for a total of $68 billion, making it the third-most-expensive tax break in 2011, according to the Joint Committee on Taxation. But Dallas-area homeowners are lagging, a recent study by the Pew Charitable Trusts shows, and when they do take the deduction, …

Will Dodd-Frank Save Capitalism?

Julie C. Nichols General

The Washington Post – Robert Samuelson Throughout history, the government has stepped into intervene a few times to save capitalism, including when former President Woodrow Wilson created the Federal Reserve in 1913 to improve financial stability. According to Robert Samuelson in a blog on The Washington Post, Dodd-Frank might not have been so inevitable, with America incapable of focusing on …

Survey: Large Number of Americans Know Little About Credit Scores

Julie C. Nichols General

MBA Newslink – Mike Sorohan Nearly two-fifths of adult Americans incorrectly answered wide-ranging questions about credit scores, the Consumer Federation of America said yesterday. The consumer survey by CFA and VantageScore Solutions said 42 percent of respondents did not know that mortgage lenders use credit scores in decisions about credit availability and pricing; 40 percent said they did not know …

Many Americans have misconceptions about homeowners insurance

Julie C. Nichols General

HousingWire – The Ticker Forty-one percent of Americans believe their homeowners insurance policy protects them against mold, according to a new study from InsuranceQuotes.com. That’s more than two in five Americans, and an example of how often consumers remain unaware of what their homeowners insurance policies truly cover, InsuranceQuotes claims in its report. Mold mediation also is not covered, but …

Fannie, Freddie profits could sap will in Congress to reform mortgage giants

Julie C. Nichols General

The Hill – Vicki Needham Growing profits for the mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac could cause Congress to lose interest in overhauling the agencies. Lawmakers and housing industry experts have called for reforms in the mortgage finance system to shift the lead role from the government to the private sector. But any efforts to reduce Fannie and Freddie’s …