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					       Sacramento Bee

Is a mortgage refinance right for you?
With rates for 30-year mortgages hovering below 4 percent since last October, all kinds of
homeowners are trying to get their monthly mortgages reduced, say lenders and mortgage
experts.

Along with months of record-breaking low interest rates, other factors are driving the refinancing
boom: a competitive lending market and changes in some federal refinancing programs for
struggling homeowners. It's prompted many established homeowners with old-school, high-
interest mortgages to decide it's time to refi.

Making sense of the story

      To determine whether you should refinance, look at how long you plan to be in your
       current home and whether the upfront costs outweigh the monthly savings. Generally
       the primary reasons for refinancing a mortgage are to:

           •   Lower monthly mortgage payments.
           •   Eliminate the unpredictability of an adjustable-rate mortgage by switching to a
               fixed rate.
           •   Free up home equity cash for home improvements, college costs or other
               expenses.
           •   Shorten the loan term, say from a 30- to a 15-year mortgage, which can save
               thousands in interest payments.

      It pays to compare quotes from several lenders because they offer different rates and
       fees. Start with your current lender or sit down with a local loan originator. You can also
       do refinance comparisons online, using mortgage calculators at sites like Bankrate.com
       or those of individual banks and lenders.
      If you're a struggling homeowner, ask your lender about changes in the federal Home
       Affordable Refinance Program and FHA refinance programs that have made refinancing
       options more plentiful.

Read the full story
http://www.sacbee.com/2012/08/26/4755335/personal-finance-is-a-mortgage.html




Sept. 13, 2012
In other news …


       Wall Street Journal

Housing on mend, but full recovery is far off
Home prices during the first half of 2012 posted their strongest gains in six years, the clearest
sign that more U.S. housing markets have hit bottom. But the housing market remains far from
normal. Hitting a bottom shouldn't be confused with a full-on recovery, which looks a ways off.

Read the full story
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10000872396390444301704577631252266351074.html



       U-T San Diego

Are jumbo home loans coming back?
Higher-dollar mortgages that typically finance bigger, pricier homes, widely called "jumbo loans,"
may be getting easier to obtain. Such loans became popular during the housing boom as home
prices soared and lending guidelines were lax. But they petered out after the housing bust,
when banks became extra cautious about lending.

Read the full story
http://www.utsandiego.com/news/2012/sep/10/are-jumbo-home-loans-coming-
back/?print&page=all



       Wall Street Journal

The new new-home market
Six years after the U.S. housing market tumbled into the abyss, demand for brand-new homes
is picking up. Sales are on the rise, and prices in many areas are inching higher.

Read the full story
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10000872396390443589304577633773199268632.html



       Los Angeles Times

Fannie-Freddie short-sale program may hurt sellers' credit scores
FICO scores for home sellers in a short sale can typically fall 150 points or more, complicating
sellers' credit scores for years and making additional borrowing — whether for auto loans, credit
cards or new mortgages — tougher and more expensive.

Read the full story
http://www.latimes.com/business/realestate/la-fi-harney-20120909,0,439292.story



Sept. 13, 2012
       Wall Street Journal

Why the candidates aren’t talking about housing
Few events have reshaped the nation over the last half-decade as much as the housing crisis—
particularly in key battleground states such as Florida, Ohio, and Nevada. But housing’s
absence from the presidential campaign debate has led to lots of head-scratching among
pundits, though there is an obvious explanation for why it has taken a back seat: housing is a
political loser.

Read the full story
http://blogs.wsj.com/developments/2012/09/06/why-the-candidates-arent-talking-about-housing/



       CNN Money

Surprise, Chase is refinancing your mortgage
While millions of struggling homeowners have had to jump through all sorts of hoops trying to
refinance their mortgages, some have barely had to lift a finger.

As part of 25 billion mortgage settlement that was struck between the nation's five biggest
banks and the state attorneys general and federal government, JP Morgan Chase had pledged
$4.2 billion in mortgage relief for tens of thousands of borrowers by either reducing the interest
rate or the principal owed (or both) on their loans.

Read the full story
http://money.cnn.com/2012/09/10/real_estate/chase-refinance-mortgage/index.html



       Los Angeles Times

Many signs point to a Bakersfield boom
The state's economic recovery has largely been concentrated on the coast, leaving behind
much of the hard-hit San Joaquin Valley. But Bakersfield, perhaps best known for oil, agriculture
and country music, has become the surprise star of the Central Valley and reclaimed an old title:
boomtown.


Read the full story
http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-bakersfield-boomtown-20120909,0,3243629.story




Sept. 13, 2012
What you should know

         Buying a home is one of the biggest financial decisions a person will ever make, and
          that means he should take time to not only get the best rate on an insurance policy,
          but also the best policy for his lifestyle and home.

         Because a home insurance policy will protect a homeowner against financial loss
          from things such as theft, fire, flood, and other liabilities on the property, it’s important
          to get the right policy.

         Purchase enough insurance in the event of a total loss, according to the Insurance
          Information Institute (III), which provides insurance information to the public, media,
          and government regulatory agencies.

         Because home insurance also covers a homeowner’s possessions, the contents of
          the home should also be included for the estimate.

         To get the best rate possible, a homeowner should take the highest deductible with
          which he’s comfortable. The deductible is the amount a homeowner pays out of
          pocket before insurance coverage is paid.

         The III says that since most people only file a claim every eight to 10 years, having a
          higher deductible saves money over time and preserves the insurance for when it’s
          really needed.




Sept. 13, 2012

				
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