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Displaying blog entries 21-30 of 58

Freddie Mac Will Soon Cease Purchases of Interest Only Mortgages

by Madeleine Tingen

Freddie Mac announced Thursday, February 25 that on or about September 1, 2010, the company will cease purchasing and securitizing "interest only" mortgages--including Freddie Mac Initial Interest fixed-rate and adjustable-rate mortgages.

Interest only mortgages, including Freddie Mac initial interest mortgages, provide for interest-only payments for a specified period of time beginning with the first monthly payment after the note date, and principal and interest payments on a fully amortizing basis for the remainder of the mortgage term.

Freddie Mac was established by Congress in 1970 to provide liquidity, stability and affordability to the nation's residential mortgage markets.  Freddie Mac supports communities across the nation by providing mortgage capital to lenders. over the years, Freddie Mac has made home possible for one in six homebuyers and more than five million renters.

More Foreclosure Opportunities Available in 2010

by Madeleine Tingen

The current real estate market conditions make it a perfect time for a small investor to purchase one or more foreclosure properties for their private residence, rental or resale.  During economic downturns such as these, a variety of homes go into foreclosure—including those falling into the moderate to upscale priced market. So the idea that foreclosure homes are only available in undesirable areas is inaccurate.

A current snapshot of the number of U.S. households facing foreclosure in January 2010 increased 15% from the same month last year, and a surge in cash-strapped homeowners who’ve fallen behind on mortgages could be on the way.

According to a recent report by RealtyTrac, more than 315,000 households received a foreclosure-related notice in January.  Although high, that number is down nearly 10% from 349,000 in December—the third highest total since the company began tracking foreclosure date in 2005.

In January, one in 409 homes were sent a filing—which includes default notices, scheduled foreclosure auctions and bank repossessions. The numbers could stay above that level as unemployed homeowners who have tried to keep up with their mortgages finally start missing monthly payments.

Fannie Mae, the Federal National Mortgage Association, reported in late January that the rate of borrowers who have a conventional loan on a house and are seriously delinquent was 5.29% in November—more than doubling the rate of 2.13% in November 2008. Borrowers are considered seriously delinquent if they are past due by three months or more, or are in foreclosure.

On a local level, Pitt County, Greenville, NC and surrounding areas also continue to experience a growing number of foreclosures. On Saturday, February 27, The Pistol Tingen Real Estate Team will conduct a free, educational/Q & A seminar on how to buy foreclosures as a first-time home buyer, move-up buyer or investor. The seminar is free to the public and will take place from 9am-12pm at the Prudential Prime Properties office building located at 2625 Charles Blvd., Greenville, NC.  Attendees may expect to receive current statistics, locations and prices of specific foreclosure properties, and tips on how best to find and purchase foreclosures.  Both group and individual questions will be addressed by local experienced foreclosure specialists and lenders. Space is limited and reservations for the seminar are suggested.  Please contact The Pistol Tingen Team at (252) 321-6161 for more information.

An Overview of Buying Your Home in 5 Steps (Video)

by Anthony Litz

Home Buyer Tax Credits Explained (Video)

by Anthony Litz

Buying a Home with Federal Tax Credits–Quick Facts

by Pistol Tingen

Who is Eligible

• First-time home buyers, who are defined by the law as buyers who have not owned a principal residence during the three-year period prior to the purchase, may be eligible for a tax credit of 10% of the home purchase price, up to a maximum of $8,000. 

• Existing home owners who have been residing in their principal residence for five consecutive years out of the last eight and are purchasing a home to be their principal residence (“repeat buyer”), may be eligible for a tax credit of 10% of the home purchase price, up to a maximum of $6,500.

• All U.S. citizens who file taxes are eligible to participate in the program.
Income Limits

• Home buyers who file as single or head-of-household taxpayers can claim the full credit ($8,000 for first-time buyers and $6,500 for repeat buyers) if their modified adjusted gross income (MAGI) is less than $125,000. 

• For married couples filing a joint return, the combined income limit is $225,000.

• Single or head-of-household taxpayers who earn between $125,000 and $145,000, and married couples who earn between $225,000 and $245,000 are eligible to receive a partial credit. 

• The credit is not available for single taxpayers whose MAGI is greater than $145,000 and married couples with a MAGI that exceeds $245,000.

Effective Dates

• The eligibility period for the tax credit is for homes purchased after Nov. 6, 2009, and before May 1, 2010. However, home purchases subject to a binding sales contract signed by April 30, 2010, will qualify for the tax credit provided closing occurs prior to July 1, 2010. 

 Types of Homes that Qualify

• All homes with a purchase price of less than $800,000 qualify, including newly-constructed or resale, and single-family detached, townhomes or condominiums, provided that the home will be used as their principal residence. Vacation home and rental property purchases do NOT qualify.  
 

Tax Credit is Refundable

• A refundable credit means that if the amount of income taxes you owe is less than the credit amount you qualify for, the government will send you a check for the difference.

• For example:   
> A first-time buyer who qualifies for the full $8,000 credit who owes $5,000 in federal income taxes would pay nothing to the IRS and receive a $3,000 payment from the government. If you are due to receive a $1,000 refund, you would receive $9,000 ($1,000 plus the $8,000 tax credit).  
> A repeat buyer who owes $5,000 would pay nothing to the IRS and receive $1,500 back from the government. If you are due to get a $1,000 refund, you would get $7,500 ($1,000 plus the $6,500 tax credit).

• All qualified home buyers can take the tax credit on their 2009 or 2010 income tax return.

Payback Provisions

• The tax credit is a true credit. It does not have to be repaid unless the home owner sells or stops using the home as their principal residence within three years after the purchase.

Homes Available in the Pitt County and Greenville, NC Area

For more information regarding The Federal Housing Tax Credit or homes available in the Pitt County or Greenville, NC area, please call The Pistol Tingen Team at (252) 321-6161.

Information provided by The National Association of Home Builders.

Act Fast to Receive $8,000 First-Time Home Buyer Tax Credit

by Madeleine Tingen

Time is quickly running out for first-time home buyers to receive a tax credit of up to $8,000.  There is tremendous urgency for first-time home buyers to choose a home, put it under contract and actually close or finalize the sale immediately.

 

Even though the tax credit doesn't expire until November 30, today's home purchases take approximately 45 to 60 days to close as the underwriting and appraisal process is taking longer because lenders are being more cautious.  For the serious first-time buyer that means their offer really needs to be made this month or at the very latest early in October.

 

Real estate groups are urging Congress to extend the credit beyond its current deadline and expand the tax credit to up to $15,000. 

 

Legislation exists in both the Senate and the House that would expand the tax credit.  A proposal by Sen. Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., would raise the credit amount to a maximum of $15,000 for any buyer of any home over the next year.  It would remove the caps that currently apply (those limits are now $75,000 for an individual and $150,000 on couples).

 

"I think we've got a realistic chance of doing this," Isakson says.  "Our problem is not with the first-time home buyer, it's with the move-up buyer."

 

Lawrence Yun, chief economist at the National Association of Realtors, says extending or raising the tax credit would spur the housing recovery, which in turn would help bolster the economy.

 

Under the existing legislation, as the deadline looms, Realtors say they are seeing a market upswing in interest by first-time home buyers. 

 

For more information regarding the $8,000 first-time buyer tax credit or assistance purchasing a home within the Greenville, NC or Pitt County area, please call The Pistol Tingen Team at (252) 321-6161.

Help for America’s Homeowners - You May Be Eligible

by Pistol Tingen

On April 28, the Obama Administration announced details of new efforts to help bring relief to responsible homeowners under the Making Home Affordable Program, including an effort to achieve greater affordability for homeowners by lowering payments on their second mortgages as well as a set of measures to help underwater borrowers stay in their homes.

Continuing to bolster its outreach around the program, the Administration also announced last week a new effort to engage directly with homeowners via MakingHomeAffordable.gov. Starting April 28, homeowners will have the ability to submit individual questions through the website to the Administration’s housing team. Members of the Treasury and HUD staffs will periodically select commonly asked questions and post responses on MakingHomeAffordable.gov. To submit a question, homeowners can visit www.MakingHomeAffordable.gov/feedback.html.  Selected questions from homeowners across the country and responses from the Administration will be available at www.MakingHomeAffordable.gov/asked-and-answered.html.

The consumer website, www.MakingHomeAffordable.gov, provides homeowners with detailed information about refinancing and mortgage modification programs. On the site, homeowners will find self-assessment tools and calculators to empower themselves with the resources they need to determine whether they might be eligible for a modification or a refinance under the Administration's program. Through this website, borrowers can also connect with free counseling resources to help with outstanding questions; locate homeowner events in their communities; find a handy checklist of key documents and materials to have ready when making that important call to their servicer as well as FAQs from borrowers in similar circumstances, and much more.

Below are the two primary categories addressed on the consumer website:
Refinancing - Many homeowners pay their mortgages on time but are not able to refinance to take advantage of today’s lower mortgage rates perhaps due to a decrease in the value of their home.
Modification - Many homeowners are struggling to make their monthly mortgage payments perhaps because their interest rate has increased or they have less income.
Please use the self-assessment tools provided on MakingHomeAffordable.gov to see if you are among the 7 to 9 million homeowners who may be able to benefit from Making Home Affordable. 

Whether you would like more information about this particular program or current information on properties available within the Greenville, NC or Pitt County area, please contact The Pistol Tingen Team at (252) 321-6161.

30-Year Mortgage Rates Below 5% for Fifth Straight Week

by Pistol Tingen

Homebuyers, homeowners and investors are witnessing the fifth straight week where 30-year mortgage rates average below 5%.  Rates dipped this week after rising a week earlier and remain just above record lows.

Mortgage finance giant Freddie Mac said Thursday that average rates on 30-year fixed-rate mortgages fell to 4.82% this week from an average of 4.87% last week.  Rates have been below 5% for five consecutive weeks.

The all-time low of 4.78% was recorded on the week of April 2. Freddie Mac’s survey dates back to 1971.

Low rates have created a surge in refinancing activity, with nearly 80% of new home applications coming from borrowers seeking to refinance.  Freddie Mac’s sibling company, Fannie Mae, refinanced $77 billion in loans last month--nearly double February’s level and the best month for such activity since 2003, when the housing market was still surging.

According to Frank Nothaft, Freddie Mac’s chief economist, “The housing industry is starting to exhibit some positive signs.” But Nothaft noted in a statement that the signs were “scarce and too early to tell how permanent.”

Homebuilders are feeling a lot more optimistic that the worst housing downturn in decades may be finally starting to turn around. An index of builders’ confidence released Wednesday posted its biggest one-month jump in five years in April as many homebuyers seized on lower prices and incentives, and took advantage of lower interest rates and tax credits.

Freddie Mac collects mortgage rates on Monday through Wednesday of each week from lenders around the country.  Rates often fluctuate significantly, even within a given day.

For the most up-to-date mortgage and real estate information for the Greenville, NC and Pitt County area, please contact The Pistol Tingen Team at (252) 321-6161.

  2008                                                           2009
 
Single Family Homes
320 Closed                                          189 Closed (-40.9%)
$183,115 Average Sales Price          $168,285 Average Sales Price 
 
Townhomes                                              
102 Closed                                            52 Closed (-49%)  
$90,646 Average Sales Price            $97,044 Average Sales Price
 
Condominiums                                         
20 Closed                                              11 Closed (-45%)  
$97,356 Average Sales Price            $86,609 Average Sales Price

If you would like to know more information about the Pitt County-Greenville, NC real estate market, please contact The Pistol Tingen Team at (252) 321-6161.

Greenville, NC Ranked #2 City by Forbes Magazine

by Pistol Tingen

In a special report released on March 25 by Forbes Magazine, Greenville, NC ranked second in the category of the nation’s Best Small Metropolitan Area for Business and Careers.  Greenville is the 10th largest city in North Carolina. In 2008 Greenville ranked eighth in the same category by Forbes Magazine. 

Growth and stability continue for the developing city of Pitt County.  Research from East Carolina’s School of Business indicates that the local work force grew by more than 14 percent over the past five years—that’s more than double the growth experienced by the state as a whole.  Employment is essentially spread across these three sectors:  education, healthcare and manufacturing.

Education is the economy’s main engine. With an operating budget of close to $600 million, East Carolina University employs a diverse group of over 5,000 people, while Pitt Community College has more than 800 faculty and staff members.  The 6,000 people who work at University Health Systems of Eastern Carolina include over 400 physicians.  The approximately 100 manufacturing companies in the county employ 9,000 people.

In the larger metropolitan category, Forbes Magazine ranked Raleigh, NC as the nation’s top city for the third straight year -- awarded for its strong job growth, low business costs and highly educated workforce.

If you are interested in learning more about the Greenville, NC - Pitt County area—and especially relocation and real estate information, please contact The Pistol Tingen Team at (252) 321-6161.

Displaying blog entries 21-30 of 58

BERKSHIRE HATHAWAY HomeServices Prime Properties,   Greenville, NC, 2625 Charles Blvd.

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