Daily Archives :

October 30, 2015

Getting a mortgage may take longer under new rules

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The goal is to make the mind-numbing mortgage process much easier for consumers to understand. It’s called Know Before You Owe, which sounds simple enough. The means to that goal, however, is all-new paperwork and disclosure rules for lenders that went into effect this past Saturday and which some say could delay the mortgage process and cost consumers cash. The standardized forms spell out exactly how much a borrower must…

Homes as ATMs It’s starting again

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As home values rise, homeowners are gaining more equity on paper — and they’re taking it out in paper. Cash-out refinances jumped 68 percent in the second quarter from a year ago, according to Black Knight Financial Services. This is the highest volume of this type of refinance in five years. “People realize that refinancing these funds is extremely inexpensive and that rates will eventually rise, so they’re capitalizing on…

Mortgage applications surge 25% on regulation worry

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Another roller-coaster interest rate ride, combined with anxiety over new mortgage regulations, caused borrowers to rush to their lenders last week. Total mortgage application volume surged 25.5 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis for the week ending October 2nd compared to the previous week, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA). An ad for mortgages at a Citibank branch in New York. Both applications to refinance and to purchase a…

JPMorgan buys more mortgages from other lenders as market shrinks

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JPMorgan Chase, looking to stem falling revenue in its mortgage business as fewer Americans refinance, is increasingly buying loans from smaller lenders, a practice that competitors including Bank of America view as risky. In the first half of 2015, the bank bought 62 percent of the $58 billion in home loans it added to its books, compared with 56 percent in 2014 and 37 percent in 2011. While other big…

Is this the end of HK’s stratospheric property price rises?

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Hong Kong’s ever-climbing property prices have long made the city a global posterchild for unaffordable housing, but there are signs change may be afoot, if buyers would just believe it. Hong Kong’s property prices have more than doubled since 2009, consistently ranking the city among the world’s most expensive property markets. But now, property prices are “quite vulnerable. It’s going up only because of a general consensus that it will…

Don’t Wait Forever for ‘The One’

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When you’re dating, you can spend years searching for the perfect relationship only to—possibly—wait too long and miss out on something great. Suddenly, over your sad microwave meal and bottle of cheap red, you’re looking back on your life choices, wondering what could have been if you hadn’t been so darned picky. Well, the same goes for house hunting. You can drive yourself crazy searching for your dream home. You’ve…

The Case of the Missing Garbage Disposal, and Other New Home Horror Stories

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You’re a bona fide open-house warrior. You’ve seen all the places, clicked pics and shot video, sent a few Snapchats, made pros-and-cons lists. You know these homes like the back of your hand. Or do you? It might seem safe to assume your new home will come with all the essentials, but house hunting is a blur and it’s painfully easy to overlook the small things. Sometimes even thebig things. Now that…

5 Essential Questions to Ask Before Buying a Mid-Century Modern Home

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They’re those much-discussed, much sought-after, in some corners much drooled-over striking, iconic wood-and-glass structures with open floor plans, seamless integrations with their natural surroundings, and pedigrees from world-class architects whose very names—Eichler! Neutra! Wright!—send spasms of envy into the hearts of many home seekers. Owning an architecturally significant home from what’s become a visually fetishized era, the middle of the past century, can be the culmination of a lifelong dream—or a total rehab…

Yes, You Can Compete With All-Cash Buyers—Here’s How

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To some of us, all-cash buyers are the scourge of the superhot housing market: They swoop in, supervillain-like, and snatch up the most beloved and valuable properties from under our noses. Or at least the ones you might have loved, had you not been stuck with that pesky mortgage contingency. Competing with cash buyers isn’t impossible, just difficult. Sure, some sellers will take the major moolah every single time and there’s nothing you…