Single Women and Homeownership

By anchorwave on .

This infographic shows the differences between single men and women home buyers, and the findings might surprise you! One quarter of women spend more than half of their annual income on housing costs!single women

Home Prices over 30 Years

By Todd Abelson NMLS #180858 on .

How have home prices changed over the past 30 years? How will trends likely continue into the future? Average annual appreciation percentage is shown in this easy to read infographic from Tucson Mortgages.


The CFPB: Ineffective, Dictatorial, and Unaccountable

By Todd Abelson NMLS #180858 on .

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau was formed as part of the Dodd–Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, signed into law by President Obama in the wake of the 2008-2009 financial crisis. But official titles of government agencies can be misleading, and to characterize the CFPB’s activities as “protection” may be downright deceptive. The bureau’s ostensible purpose is to “promote fairness and transparency for mortgages, credit cards, and other consumer financial products and services.” It is true that some institutions were and still are engaging in predatory lending practices, but is this bureaucratic boondoggle really the answer? It would seem not.

The CFPB is subject to very little oversight, be it congressional or presidential. No government agency should be permitted to wield power without being accountable to the people or their elected representatives. Furthermore, the CFPB’s disturbingly wide jurisdiction (not to mention their power to levy $1,000,000 fines against companies as well as individuals) has instilled a sense of paranoia in many lenders. These lenders are now unwilling to loan to otherwise qualified consumers for fear of doing something wrong without malice. This reduction in consumer choice has been exacerbated by the CFPB judging certain lending programs as “abusive” and forcing companies to discontinue them. Isn’t the consumer in a better position to decide what type of loan is best for them rather than a bureaucrat in an office on the other side of the country?

The foremost criticism of the CFPB is that most of the abuses that it was formed to handle are already under the jurisdiction of other federal agencies. Furthermore, it has so far failed to address the worst abuses in the consumer financial industry. Some critics even contend that the creation of the bureau was simply political grandstanding by Obama in order to improve his odds of re-election. In any case, the CFPB is a fine example of how ham-fisted government regulation of financial services can hamper consumer freedoms while completely neglecting the problems that it was intended to solve.

Need guidance through the complicated world of mortgage and real estate? Don’t hesitate to contact Todd Ableson at Tucson Mortgages, the experts on Tucson mortgage rates.

Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act extension???

By Todd Abelson NMLS #180858 on .

tax_medium_2[1]January 1 2014 marks the end of the Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief act extension that exempted debt forgiven due to foreclosure from taxation (yes, you ARE normally taxed on the “benefit” you received, which was forgiven). There is talk that when Congress gets back together next year, this provision could be extended but that is far from certain at this point. Failure to extend this provision would leave homeowners working through the short-sale process with significant tax liability after the sale of their home.

Keeping in mind how decisions are made in Washington, here’s the uphill battle homeowners (and the Real Estate industry in general) are facing to extend the provision:

1. The chairmen of both tax committees have committed to passing comprehensive tax reform legislation this Congress. As part of tax reform, they have both indicated that they plan to go through the long list of expiring items and cull those that are not worthy of permanence and make all the “worthy” ones a permanent part of the tax law. However, tax reform is still months away from completion. If they were to extend the expiring provisions now, it might appear that they were giving up on tax reform. This is not the message they wish to convey.

2. There are over 50 such expiring tax provisions (often referred to as “extenders”). Congress rarely passes single tax provisions by themselves. The rules in both the House (and especially the Senate) could allow for added amendments that would turn a simple bill with wide support into a politically divisive bill.

3. In Congress’ view, there are no real “must do” items that must be done before the end of the year. In past years, some of these tax provisions have been added to “must pass” legislation as amendments.

4. The extension of the tax relief provision “costs” money to the Treasury. The Joint Committee on Taxation estimates that a one-year extension of the mortgage debt cancellation relief would “cost” $3.7 BILLION. Some members of Congress will insist that amount be offset by raising taxes elsewhere or cuts in spending – an ongoing debate in Congress.

In summary, getting this provisional extension passed by year-end is not impossible, but is a very steep climb.

What can you do?

First, you can contact your Representatives and Senators to urge them to act on this bills. If you know someone that will be affected by this change, urge them to do so as well. The more our Politicians hear from constituents, the better.

Second, check with your Professional Tax Accountant before making any decisions – there may be options for you (hey! I’m not a Tax Accountant so don’t take my word!).

Call Todd Abelson at Sunstreet Mortgage for all your Mortgage Needs! (520) 331-LEND (5363)

Tips on Selling Your Home in a Bad Market

By Todd Abelson NMLS #180858 on .

If you are considering the option to sell your home but you are concerned about the current market, it can be difficult to move forward with the process. Utilizing a few tips to help sell your home in a bad market can allow you to move forward with your life and into a better property that is right for you. Implementing tips and tricks to sell your home in a bad market not only helps to save time when it comes to selling your house, but it also expedites the process of moving to a new one.

Curb Appeal

Consider updating the overall curb appeal of the home you are trying to sell before you list it on the market. Most potential buyers who may be interested in your house are likely to drive by the neighborhood and the home itself before requesting a meeting or attending an open house. By ensuring your home’s curb appeal is up to standards, you help to draw and attract more attention to your house and its sale.

Rid Clutter

This will appeal to those seeking new property for a great value in a down economy. Ridding the clutter from your home not only helps to make it appear clean and organized, but it also helps to improve how spacious it appears to onlookers and those who are dropping in for open houses you host.

Add a New Coat of Paint

This is a simple and inexpensive way to improve your home’s overall appearance. Using a white, off-white or another neutral color such as beige is highly recommended to increase buyer’s interest in the home and the house’s overall spacious atmosphere.

Be a Good Host

Be sure to enjoy yourself and be kind to all of those who stop in. Serving beverages and appetizers is a way to keep guests from leaving too early while maintaining their interest in your home and what it has to offer. Don’t follow prospects around but do make yourself available to answer any questions that might come up (short and simple is the best tact!).

Seeking out the right mortgage solution for you can mean the difference between selling your home and moving into a new property or finding yourself stuck. For more information and to learn more, call me, Todd Abelson at at 520-331-LEND (5363) today.

The Truth About Payday Loans

By Todd Abelson NMLS #180858 on .

In times of need over the last few years, consumers have turned to payday loans, an extremely accessible source for cash in the form of an advance against their paychecks. Unfortunately, what is helpful in concept, has been deemed predatory due to high fees and has been outlawed by at least 12 states in the US.

Payday loans can be issued by financial establishments including banks and those that cash checks, and require a minimal background check. It’s this accessibility that has landed many consumers in the endless cycle of payday loan borrowing, though.

The problem that arises from payday loans is the associated fee. A payday loan is a loan, so interest is charged, but instead of it being a percentage of the amount, a flat dollar amount is charged. That fee has been known to be as high as 390% based on annual percentage rate. The fees accrue quickly if the loan is not paid back within the allotted time of anywhere between 2 weeks to 35 days.

Emergencies happen and payday loans have been there for consumers in times of need, but if someone falls into a cash hole, this financial instrument makes it extremely difficult to get back to even. If a borrower does not have the cash they need now, there is little chance that that they will have it after paying back the loan with fees. For consumers that fall into this category, it’s time to start planning for a better financial “plan B” now, starting first by creating a budget of income vs expenses. Then, they should get to know their credit score. Depending on credit history, a personal line of credit may be an option. Visit your bank to find out what other options may be available. If other forms of credit cannot be granted, then it’s time to tighten the belt and start to contribute to a savings account.

Payday loans are never a good idea. Consumers that borrow against their paychecks, will typically find themselves in a deeper hole and an endless cycle of borrowing, so check out your other options today.

Need guidance while navigating the complicated world of mortgages and real estate? Look no further than Todd Ableson of Tucson Mortgages, the experts on Tucson Mortgage Rates.