Year-End Pick-Up in Activity

The Limits of Statisticsin Valuing HomesIt’s only Wednesday, and I’ve already fielded three calls this week from appraisers wanting “scoop” on recent, closed sales that I’ve handled. A year-end pick-up in deals? Well, that, too. However, in each case the appraiser was working on a refinancing application. To approve the new loan, the lender needed...
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Flight to Safety = Rate Drop

Market Melt-Down Creates Refinancing Opportunity No, it’s not good when already volatile markets lurch downward like they’ve done the last couple days. However, astute financial observers know that such turbulence is also accompanied by a “flight to safety” — in this case, U.S. debt. Doesn’t the U.S. have a $13 trillion (and counting) deficit, and...
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Refinancing "Ostriches": Pain Avoidance?

Top 4 Obstacles Water, water everywhere, but nary a drop to drink. –Samuel Taylor Coleridge, “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner” Substitute “money” for “water” and you have a good sum-up of today’s lending environment. With mortgage rates at record lows — around 4.75% for a 30 year mortgage — you’d figure that anyone paying,...
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Option-ARM with 12 Zeroes?

The Mother of All Re-Financing Risks? Taking on new debt is an action that has implications for the true cost of the U.S. government’s financial rescue initiatives. This cost may have significant refinancing risk.” –Special Inspector General Neil Barofsky Let’s see . . . one of the main story lines of the housing bubble involves...
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Cause(s) of Interest Rate Volatility

Interest Rate Level as Regulator Valve Anyone in the market for a new mortgage — or trying to refinance an existing one — can attest to how volatile interest rates are today. Certainly, one key ingredient is the unprecedented uncertainty in the credit markets. However, another, more recent factor is understaffed lenders. According to local...
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$3,000 ATM Fee?

Cheap Money Elusive for Many While rates are falling, borrowers face higher costs every step of the way, from rising fees for mortgage insurance to added costs that drive up the mortgage rate. At the same time, lenders have become more cautious about who they will lend to, as more people lose their jobs, watch...
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