conforming loan

“The Rip Van Winkle” Housing Market (aka, Upper Bracket in the Twin Cities)

Same Prices as a Decade Ago (or Longer) Even with the recent carnage, the stock market has more than doubled from its post-2008 Crash lows. Upper bracket housing? Not so much. At least in many choice Twin Cities neighborhoods, luxury homes can be had for the same prices they fetched a decade ago (or even...
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How to Get a $560k House for the Cost of a $525k House

Jumbo vs. Conforming Loans How do you get a $560k house for the cost of a $525k house? No, it has nothing to do with negotiation, bargain hunting, or otherwise outmaneuvering home sellers. Rather, it’s strictly a financing play. Namely, by moving up just a little in price, Buyers today can avail themselves of cheaper jumbo loans (over $417k),...
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Jumbo Loans Switch From Big Premium to Big Discount

Three Reasons Once upon a time — like in 2009, in the aftermath of The 2008 Crash — jumbo or “non-conforming” loans were significantly more expensive than conforming loans (under $417k in most parts of the country). When conforming loans were going for 5.5%, jumbo’s were fetching 6.25% or 6.5% — assuming you could find a...
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Cheap Money! or “A Call to ARM’s?”

Jumbo Mortgages for 4.75% The Federal Reserve anticipates that very low interest rates will be needed for an extended period. –Fed Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke Mortgage interest rates have been so low for so long (2 years?  5 years?) that it’s no longer perceived as “new news” — but actually, it is. Namely, jumbo mortgages (over...
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Downpayment Disparities

Market for Jumbo Loans Thaws (a Bit) The weakest part of the housing market right now is the upper end — specifically, homes in the upper six figures and above. Why? The soft economy, the stock market, 9.4% unemployment (make that 9.7% as of Fri.). However, arguably an even bigger factor is financing. Two Mortgage...
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The “It’s-All-I-Can-Afford” Offer

Buyer’s Budget as Negotiating Leverage I’m seeing and hearing more instances of Buyers, in the course of negotiating for a home, instruct their Realtors (including, sometimes, me!) to tell the Seller that “that’s all I can afford.” Is that a smart tactic? I discourage it, for three reasons. One. Sellers tend not to believe such...
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