Mortgage News Roundup

February 20th, 2014

Real estate agentMortgage News Roundup

The consumer price index report will be released this morning. It will be interesting to see how the numbers have changed over the previous period.

So today, we have a few interesting stories for you ranging from “You know you’re really really ready to sell your home” to “the first steps to being a homeowner.” We hope you enjoy them.

Credit Issuers Making It Easier to Know Your Score

It’s now fairly easy to obtain your credit report every year for free. Some credit card companies like Discover are offering free FICO scores to help their members. Darlene Goins, senior director of scores at FICO, said the company began allowing firms that purchase scores to make them available free to consumers through an “open access” program, as part of an effort to “take the mystery out of credit scores,” she said. “We felt like there was a need in the marketplace, and this was the right thing to do to help educate consumers,” she added.

The first step to becoming a homeowner

USA Today partnered with the National Foundation for Credit Counseling to host six weekly Twitter chats answering the financial questions of Millennials. February 19th was Becoming a Homeowner with John Berry of Money Management International.

Here were some of the questions and answers:

Q: Should you look at more than one lender? How do you choose a lender?

A: Yes, you want to compare rates and terms to make sure you are getting the best deal. A good place to start is your local bank where you already have a relationship.

Q: What does someone need to take with them when they apply for a mortgage?

A: You can apply for a mortgage with just your information (name, date, Social Security number, place of employment). To get pre-approved, you may need more, such as proof of income, pay stubs, tax returns and proof of down payment.

Q: At what point do you “lock in” your mortgage rate?

A: Locking your rate allows you a certain amount of time to find a home without fear of increased rates. Rates are typically locked for periods of 30 or 90 days, but determined by the lender.

The next chat is Feb. 26 on  Finance in your relationship: How to handle debt and credit with your significant other with Soneyet Muhammad of Clarifi.

Freddie Mac Offers Up Cash Incentives to Agents

The mortgage giants are adding more incentives for real estate professionals and buyers of foreclosed homes to kick off the spring-selling season. The latest one announced: Freddie Mac is offering cash incentives to real estate agents who list or sell a foreclosed home owned by Freddie Mac’s HomeSteps sales division in 23 states.

“HomeSteps’ 2014 winter sales promotion is focused on firing up sales in ‘cold weather’ states and condominium deals everywhere,” says Chris Bowden, HomeSteps’ senior vice president.“With mortgage rates still low and home inventories tightening, the 2014 HomeSteps Winter Sales Promotion is a great opportunity for families ready to buy and real estate agents ready to sell.”

The incentive isn’t available in all states. If you’re looking to invest in one of the states, it could be a great opportunity to find a motivated real estate agent.

You Know You’re Ready to Sell Your Home When …

You’re ready to sell and start a new adventure somewhere especially with lower mortgage rates and home prices still below average. But you hesitate. How do you know you’re really ready to sell?

  1. You have a game plan. You know when you want to sell, where you want to move, how much you can afford, etc.
  2. You’re no longer emotionally attached to the house. Sellers have to view their home as a product, no longer their home,
  3. You’re financially ready to make the leap.
  4. You’re ready to make changes. Everyone has different reasons. Some people love buying houses and fixing them up. Once it’s done, they’re ready to tackle the next house. Others are ready for a smaller or larger home. You need to be clear what you’re doing, and why.

We hope you enjoyed the news blurbs. Let us know what you enjoyed the most in the comments.

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