Tag Archive: Business and Economy

President Obama’s federal loan modification program called “Making Home Affordable” is offering two basic programs for the struggling homeowners. The first program is the streamlined refinance program and the second one is the standardized loan modification program. One may be qualified for help under any of these two programs. Below given is the information regarding the program and how can you qualify for these programs.

The Home Affordable Refinance Plan is designed to help the homeowners who are present on their mortgages, but they are unable to refinance because of the reduction in their home value. This program will offer 30 to 15 year of term and it will be subjected to the closing costs and the current market rates.

Here are the eligibility requirements for the Home affordable refinance program

• The applicant can’t have delinquent for more than 30 days in the last 12 months.

• The applicant must be living in the home as his primary residence.

• Loan is controlled by the Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac.

• The applicant should be able to prove his income to support his new mortgage payments.

• The applicant owes no more than the 1255 of the home current value.

If a person meets the above all requirements than the federal loan modification refinance program is the best option for him. One should keep in mind that if his current loan has a negative amortization with low rate then his payment can increase. The main aim of this program is to offer chance to the homeowners to get a fixed interest rate loan. The home affordable loan modification plan has different requirement for the approval process. The home loan does not have to be serviced by Fannie or Freddie but one should meet some other criteria. Basic criteria to be met for the home loan modification plan.

Below given are the eligibility requirements for the home loan modification plan

• The applicant must live in his home as his primary residence.

• The principal balance must be less than $729,750 for a single unit building.

• The mortgage loan modification should not be originated prior to January 1, 2009.

• The current payment including the insurance, taxes, current payment and the homeowners dues must equal or more than 31% of the monthly income.

• The applicant must be able to prove his financial hardships.

If the applicant answer yes to the above all the items then he would be eligible for the loan modification plan. Lenders are more motivated to help homeowners under this program because they are paid by the treasury department for every qualified loan. One doesn’t have to be late on his payments to apply, but should show that hardships exists which cause future delinquencies.

Second loans are also eligible for the home affordable modification program. Here the interest rate can be reduced as low as 1% and some loan can be forgiven by the Treasury Department. To apply for the loan modification program, one will be asked to prepare an application providing less documentation. One must be sure to complete the forms correctly so that one clearly demonstrates his ability to pay and maintain the new modified payment. The lenders decision is mainly on the information which is provided to them. Thus one should assure that he is providing the right information.

Read more: http://www.articlesbase.com/mortgage-articles/which-one-you-should-choose-loan-modification-or-obama-refinance-plan-3670934.html#ixzz15NElO2Tz
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Luxury Homes in Tampa

What luxurious for you may not consider as the same to another individual. It is depend on ones interests and taste for a certain color, design, texture and size. How luxurious a home should look like really depends on finding comfort and pleasure at the same time. On the other hand, there are definite features that most people would agree such luxury homes should have.

There is no need of exaggerated decors or furnished with complicated fixtures for a home to be called luxurious. Actually lots of people nowadays have chosen to go minimalist with their home décor.The most important thing to consider when looking for an ideal luxury home is the space and simplicity that it offers.

Most people love to have their own personal space and to be in control of their environment. The common today is the Zen– like approaches, as people desire to change their houses into homes where they can find comfort and be away from competitiveness of this stressful world. This is the reason why lots and lots of people have planned their luxury homes to have glass fixtures among white and beige as their master themes, or also known as earthy colors.

Most of homeowners today choose the long and wide windows that overlook their gardens or backyards; they also want a fancy kitchen with attractive designs to entertain guests and as well as huge walk in closets for their collection of clothes and shoes. Therefore, it is depend on the way your luxury home is designed and structured for it to be called luxurious.

The luxury homes usually have more than two bedrooms with a matching number of bathrooms. Mostly, they have high ceilings and are carpeted or tiled with marble or granite flooring. The more expensive luxury home would also consist of swimming pools, garages and gardens and of course, together with security services.

There are many types of luxury homes today, some of these are condominiums, high- rise apartments, private houses, semi- detached houses, and serviced apartments. These houses provide to different needs and offer different things depend on the needs of the buyer.It is very important take into consideration the location, the facilities offered and the price as well when choosing the ideal luxury home for you. Look on the advantages and disadvantages of the luxury homes you have considered and see which more worthy of your money is.

It is okay to seek help from the experts in this field like the real estate agents and advisors. They can help you a lot in so many ways in terms of choosing the right luxury home for you.

Always remember that you do not have to be limited to the designs of the luxury home that you want to purchase. It is because renovating or re- modeling your house is something that you could always do, if you want to give your home a new look depends on what you wish. Do not be afraid to make a huge transformation to the appearance of your house. Reconstructing is a common practice that takes place prior to moving in to a new place.
There are lots of luxury homes today where you can find peace, comfort and contentment of living in one. Therefore, you can say that a home is luxurious ultimately depends on how you design and make it out to be look like one.

Read more: http://www.articlesbase.com/real-estate-articles/when-can-you-say-that-a-home-is-luxurious-3628710.html#ixzz14l3WTg4a
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Tampa Safe Place

Being in a safe community is one of the most important factors that buyers consider when purchasing a home, condo or any other type of real estate. So where are America’s most secure places to live? The Farmers Insurance Group of Companies has released its third annual ranking of top 20 ‘Most Secure U.S. Places to Live’.

Bert Sperling, a database expert with http://bestplaces.net, compiled the Farmers rankings based on data from 379 U.S. municipalities. Factors such as crime statistics, unemployment rates and risks of environmental hazards, terrorism threats, natural disasters and extreme weather conditions, were taken into consideration.

The communities were divided into three groups – large metropolitan areas (above 500,000 residents), mid-size cities (between 150,000 and 500,000 residents), and small towns (fewer than 150,000 residents).

According to the survey, the most secure community to live in the U.S. among large metropolitan areas are the adjacent communities of Boise City and Nampa (both in Idaho), which topped all large metro areas. Located among the foothills of the Rocky Mountains, the area has one of the lowest unemployment rates and enjoys a wonderful climate.

Among the Mid-size cities, those with a population between 150,000 and 500,000, the safest community to live is Las Cruces, New Mexico. Las Cruces was the first among mid-size cities in low unemployment rate and favorable climate categories.

St. George in Utah topped all small cities with populations of 150,000 or fewer in the survey. The city has 110,515 residents who enjoy a mild climate, clean air and low annual precipitation. It also has the lowest crime rates of all the 379 communities surveyed. St. George stands first in employment rate among the 138 small towns in the Farmers study.

The following are top 20 communities of America’s most secure places to live among large metropolitan areas, mid-size cities and small towns:

The top 20 safest communities to live among the large metro areas are:

1. Boise City-Nampa, Idaho
2. Portland-South Portland-Biddeford, Maine
3. Las Vegas-Paradise, Nevada
4. Honolulu, Hawaii
5. Sacramento-Arden-Arcade-Roseville, California
6. Scranton-Wilkes-Barre-Hazelton, Pennsylvania
7. San Diego-Carlsbad-San Marcos, California
8. Bethesda-Gaithersburg-Frederick, Maryland
9. Syracuse, New York
10. Santa Ana-Anaheim-Irvine, California
11. El Paso, Texas
12. Albany-Troy-Schenectady, New York
13. Rochester, New York
14. Buffalo-Niagara Falls, New York
15. Oxnard-Thousand Oaks- Ventura, California
16. Poughkeepsie-Newburgh-Middletown, New York
17. Nassau-Suffolk, New York
18. Harrisburg-Carlisle, Pennsylvania
19. Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk, Connecticut.
20. New Haven-Milford, Connecticut.

The top 20 safest places to live among mid-size cities are:

1. Las Cruces, New Mexico
2. Rockingham County-Strafford County, New Hampshire
3. Huntington, West Virginia.-Ashland, Kentucky
4. Bellingham, Washington
5. Burlington-South Burlington, Vermont
6. Lynchburg, Virginia
7. Medford, Oregon
8. Prescott, Arizona
9. San Luis Obispo-Paso Robles, California
10. Binghamton, New York
11. Provo-Orem, Utah
12. St. Cloud, Minnesota
13. Fargo, North Dakota
14. Hagerstown, Maryland -Martinsburg, West Virginia
15. Olympia, Washington
16. Charlottesville, Virginia
17. Chico, California
18. Richland-Kennewick-Pasco, Washington
19. Manchester-Nashua, New Hampshire
20. Duluth, Minnesota

The top 20 safest communities to live among the small towns are:

1. St. George, Utah
2. Bend, Oregon
3. Blacksburg-Christiansburg-Radford, Virginia
4. Coeur d’Alene, Idaho
5. Ithaca, New York
6. Morgantown, West Virginia
7. Logan, Utah
8. Winchester, Virginia
9. Harrisonburg, Virginia
10. Idaho Falls, Idaho
11. Madera, California
12. Glens Falls, New York
13. Wenatchee, Washington
14. Bangor, Maine
15. Lewiston-Auburn, Maine
16. State College, Pennsylvania
17. Billings, Montana
18. Cumberland, Maryland
19. Lewiston, Idaho
20. Pocatello, Idaho

If you are looking to settle down in any of these great cities, contact a good real estate agent who will help you purchase the home or condo of your choice.

(ArticlesBase SC #84379)

Read more: http://www.articlesbase.com/real-estate-articles/where-are-the-safest-places-to-live-in-the-united-states-84379.html#ixzz14ef3Y1dc
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Are you on the search for a new home? Are you a first-time home buyer ready to enter the market? Then a buyers market is right where you want to be!


Recent years have turned many real estate markets on their heads. One-time hotbeds for rapid appreciation and booming sales have turned into areas rampant with dropping prices and foreclosures. Making matters even more complicated, is the realization that every market is different. Even neighborhoods within cities have varying markets.How can you tell if you are living in an area experiencing a buyers market?Key Indicators:

  • More than six month’s worth of inventory on the market 
  • Median sales price is down 
  • Fewer buyers on the market 
  • Relative large supply of homes and relative low prices

As a buyer, how can you maneuver yourself to take full advantage of a market which is stacked in your favor?All of the market indicators translate into more choice for buyers. Prices become more negotiable. You have more homes to choose from.One of your first steps is to hire a real estate agent. An agent can supply you with market statistics, including days on market, pricing, and neighborhood comparables. They can also direct you to home listings on the MLS.With such economic uncertainty today, buyers are scared to venture into the market. They fear prices may drop after they buy, leaving them upside down in a home. They fear the market will not pick up for years, leaving them stuck in a home. That fear works in your favor, should you choose to buy. Interest rates are at historic lows. And buyer fear actually translates into more homes for you to choose from. It means sellers may be more willing to drop their price to make a sale.In negotiating, foreclosures wreak havoc on a neighborhood. Foreclosures can lower values on an entire street. If a home has been sitting on the market for months, the likelihood that the seller will make concessions increases.And even when a price won’t budge, you can always discuss who will pay closing costs.Deciding when to buy can be a big decision, but buying during a buyers market can give you many advantages over other markets.


The opportunity for personal recreation is excellent, with swimming, surfing, fishing and other types of facilities. There is something for every age and interest. The current Florida real estate market is a chance that will never come again for a person to own a home in an ideal location that cannot be matched anywhere else in the world. The current price of homes and low interest rate make it possible for anyone to own the home of their dreams and no longer be obligated to pay rent. Many times the loan payment is less than the rent one is currently paying, offering an opportunity to have a home that is dream come true.

Florida is a fantastic place to live. The access to its many beautiful beaches and its ideal weather makes it a very attractive place to spend one’s life. If children are involved, there are excellent educational  facilities available from kindergarten through college. With a number of large cities, as well as open country, one has the opportunity to live in either location.

The opportunity for personal recreation is excellent, with swimming, surfing, fishing and other types of facilities. There is something for every age and interest. The current Florida real estate market is a chance that will never come again for a person to own a home in an ideal location that cannot be matched anywhere else in the world. The current price of homes and low interest rate make it possible for anyone to own the home of their dreams and no longer be obligated to pay rent. Many times the loan payment is less than the rent one is currently paying, offering an opportunity to have a home that is dream come true.


The National Association of Realtors released the Pending Home Sales Index for August today.

NAR’s Pending Home Sales Index measures the number of home purchase contracts that were signed in the monthly reporting period.  Once “pending” sales contracts are closed, they are considered an Existing Home Sale. Because the Pending Home Sales index tells us how many contracts were signed, it is considered a forward indicator of Existing Home Sales.  A signed contract is not counted as an  Existing Home Sale until the transaction actually closes. 

The data reflects contracts and not closings, which normally occur with a lag time of one or two months. However, many closings have been delayed recently from a rush of buyers into the system and slow processing of short sales, in addition to the heavy volume and a more thorough loan underwriting process.

The Pending Home Sales Index, a forward-looking indicator, rose 4.3 percent to 82.3 based on contracts signed in August from a downwardly revised 78.9 in July, but is 20.1 percent below August 2009 when it was 103.0. The data reflects contracts and not closings, which normally occur with a lag time of one or two months.

Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, said the latest data is consistent with a gradual improvement in home sales in upcoming months. “Attractive affordability conditions from very low mortgage interest rates appear to be bringing buyers back to the market,” he said. “However, the pace of a home sales recovery still depends more on job creation and an accompanying rise in consumer confidence.”

CONSUMER CONFIDENCE HIT A 7-MONTH LOW IN SEPTEMBER….this implies we shouldn’t be expecting another rise in Pending Home Sales when that data is released on November 5. It also means we should be expecting an uptick in Existing Home Sales. Get ’em to the table loan originators!

The PHSI in the Northeast declined 2.9 percent to 60.6 in August and remains 28.8 percent below August 2009. In the Midwest the index rose 2.1 percent in August to 68.0 but is 26.5 percent below a year ago. Pending home sales in the South increased 6.7 percent to an index of 90.8 but are 13.1 percent below August 2009. In the West the index rose 6.4 percent to 101.1 but remains 19.6 percent below a year ago.

Although Yun expects a continuing steady rise in home sales from favorable affordability conditions and some job creation, he cautioned any sudden rise in mortgage rates could slow the recovery. “Current low consumer price inflation has helped keep mortgage interest rates very attractive this year. However, recent rising trends in producer prices at the intermediate and early stages of production, along with very high commodity prices, are raising concerns about future inflation and future mortgage interest rates,” he said. “Higher inflation would mean higher mortgage interest rates. In the meantime, housing affordability is hovering near record highs.”

30-Year Mortgage Rate Ties Low While 15-Year Sets New Record.

1917 photograph of the board of the Federal Re...

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30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) averaged 4.32 percent with an average 0.8 point for the week ending September 30, 2010, down from last week when it averaged 4.37 percent. Last year at this time, the 30-year FRM averaged 4.94 percent.

15-year FRM this week averaged a record low of 3.75 percent with an average 0.7 point, down from last week when it averaged 3.82 percent. A year ago at this time, the 15-year FRM averaged 4.36 percent.

5-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) averaged 3.52 percent this week, with an average 0.6 point, down from last week when it averaged 3.54 percent. A year ago, the 5-year ARM averaged 4.42 percent.

1-year Treasury-indexed ARM averaged 3.48 percent this week with an average 0.7 point, up from last week when it averaged 3.46 percent. At this time last year, the 1-year ARM averaged 4.49 percent.

Frank Nothaft, vice president and chief economist at Freddie Mac, says, “Confidence in the state of the economy fell among consumers and businesses, which led to a decline in long-term bond yields and brought many mortgage rates to record lows this week. The September Consumer Confidence Index by the Conference Board fell to the lowest level since February of this year, while the Business Roundtable CEO Business Outlook for the third quarter was the weakest in the past four quarters. Consequently, rates for the 15-year fixed mortgage and the 5-year hybrid ARM reached new all-time lows and rates for 30-year fixed mortgages tied its record set just four weeks ago.”

“Homeowners have regained $1.0 trillion in home equity as of the second quarter of 2010 after losing more than $7.5 trillion over the three-year period ending in the first quarter of 2009, the Federal Reserve Board reported. This, in part, strengthened household balance sheets and reduced serious mortgage delinquencies. For instance, first mortgages 90-days delinquent or worse fell to 3.16 percent in August from 4.76 percent a year prior and was the lowest rate since June 2008, according to the S&P/Experian Consumer Credit Default Indices .”

Tools for New Homeowners.