FHA Waives 90-day Anti-flipping rule!

By Todd Abelson NMLS #180858 on .

Effective February 1, 2010 FHA is eliminating a rule that they FINALLY agree has been negatively affecting the Real Estate market given it’s current condition. Previously, a property was not eligible for FHA financing if it was being sold within 90-days of the last sale UNLESS it was a bona fide foreclosure from an institutional lender or non-profit agency (other limitations applied). The goal was to eliminate predatory “flipping” which did little more than jack up the price of housing.

However, there are MANY investors taking advantage of the current market by buying substandard homes acquired through foreclosure, then performing “floor to roof” remodels and selling to occupant buyers. Such ventures clearly helped homebuyers BUT these investors were prohibited from reselling for at least 91 days.

In the current ruling (click here for full excerpt), the 90-day seasoning requirement is being waived with the following new conditions:

  1. All transactions must be arms length (no relationship between seller and buyer).
  2. No “identity of interest” deals allowed (no parents-to-kids)
  3. If the sales price is 20% or more over the last sales price the lender must either: a) provide supporting documentation and/or a 2nd appraisal, and b) order an independant inspection on the property and include it with the loan file.

We await the official FHA Mortgagee Letter, but this is clearly great news guaranteed to help both Buyers and Investors!

Call Todd Abelson and Tyler Ford at Sunstreet Mortgage in Tucson Arizona for all your Mortgage needs!

What’s Ahead For Mortgage Rates This Week : January 19, 2010

By Todd Abelson NMLS #180858 on .

Inflation squeezes mortgage ratesMortgage markets showed little conviction last week, carving out just a narrow trading channel. There was very little data on which for markets to move, leaving mortgage rates momentum-bound.

Luckily for rate shoppers, mortgage rate momentum was favorable. Rates were slightly lower Monday through Thursday before breaking downward Friday afternoon. Home shoppers in Tucson this past weekend caught a nice break.

Last week marked the second straight week in which mortgage rates fell.

This week, in holiday-shortened trading and with little economic data set for release, expect mortgage rates to again move on momentum. The biggest report of the week is Wednesday’s Producer Price Index.

Producer Price Index is important to mortgage rates because of its role in inflation.  PPI is akin to a Cost of Living-type measurement, but for business.  As business costs rise, the thought goes, it’s not long before consumer costs rise, too. Businesses eventually pass on costs, after all.

In this manner, a rising Producer Price Index can foreshadow rising consumer prices, and, therefore, inflation.

Inflation is awful for mortgage rates.

PPI expectations have revised downward this month, especially because last week’s data showed a deceleration in consumer prices nationwide. If PPI isn’t as weak as expected, mortgage rates will rise.

Other influential data this week includes Housing Starts, Consumer Confidence and Initial Jobless Claims.

So far, 2010 has been for mortgage rates in Arizona and around the country. If you’re in need of a rate lock, this week may be a good time to take one.

Richard Snyder- ANOTHER Happy Tucson Homeowner!

By Todd Abelson NMLS #180858 on .

One of our many goals is to have happy homeowners upon closing.

Richard Snyder, to the right, of Tucson Arizona discussed his experience with Todd Abelson at Sunstreet Mortgage.

Click on the link below to listen in as to what Richard had to say about his experience with our Tucson mortgage team.

RealtyTrac’s 2009 Foreclosure Report Gives Reason For Optimism

By Todd Abelson NMLS #180858 on .

Foreclosure deltas for the ten most foreclosure-heavy states of 2009

Like real estate, it appears that foreclosure activity is a local phenomenon, too.

As reported by RealtyTrac.com, more than half of all foreclosure-related activity in 2009 came from just 4 states:

  1. California
  2. Florida
  3. Arizona
  4. Illinois

More than 1.4 million filings made in 2009 are attributed to the above states. Furthermore, each ranks in the Top 10 for 2009 Foreclosures Per Capita.

The other states are Nevada, Utah, Georgia, Idaho, Michigan and Colorado.

Versus 2008, foreclosures are up 21 percent nationwide and that’s a big number, but a deeper look at RealtyTrac’s annual reports reveals a more positive undertone on the housing market.

  1. 40 states fell below the national Foreclosures Per Capita average in 2009
  2. Foreclosure activity fell on an annual basis in 10 states as compared to 2008

Foreclosures are still prevalent, though, and buying homes in foreclosure in Tucson continues to be big business.  First-time buyers, move-up buyers, and real estate investors each are bidding aggressively.

Distressed homes account for one-third of home resale activity, according to an industry trade group.

That said, buying foreclosures can be tricky.

First, properties are often sold “as-is” and the cost of repairs may unwind the home’s status as a “value buy”.  Furthermore, a lender may require specific fixes to be made prior to closing and that, too, costs money.

Second, buying a foreclosed home in Arizona isn’t as streamlined as buying a “normal” home. Closing on a foreclosure can be a 120-day process or longer. A 4-month time-frame may not fit your schedule.

And, third, finding foreclosures can be difficult. Despite the growth in foreclosure search engines, it still takes a good real estate agent to uncover the best homes at the best prices.

Read the complete foreclosure report and take a peek at RealtyTrac’s foreclosure heat maps.  If you like what you see, talk to your real estate agent about what to do next.

There’s still good deals in the foreclosure market — you just have to know where to find them

Retail Sales Dropped In December And Now So Are Mortgage Rates

By Todd Abelson NMLS #180858 on .

Retail Sales December 2009

Mortgage rates are dropping this morning on weaker-than-expected Retail Sales data from December. Lower rates means more bang for your home-buying buck.

Excluding motor vehicles and parts, December’s “ex-auto” sales receipts were down roughly $500 million from November. Analysts had expected receipts to grow.

The relevance of Retail Sales to home affordability isn’t obvious, but it’s definitely logical.

Retail Sales is directly related to consumer spending and consumer spending accounts for the majority of the U.S. economy. When consumer spending slows, the economy often does, too. It leads investors to seek out “safe” investments.

It’s the reason why stock markets often drop on weak economic data — stocks are among the riskiest investment classes available.

Conversely, the best place to find safety is in the market of government-backed bonds.  This world includes products like U.S. Treasuries and many of the mortgage-backed bonds that help set mortgage rates for people in Tucson.  Weak economic data puts mortgage bonds in demand.

For rate shopper, this is good news.  More demand for mortgage bonds causes mortgage rates to fall.  Mortgage rates are lower this morning because Wall Street is shedding some risk.

December’s Retail Sales report closes out a year of generally-weak data.  2009 marks just the second time that Retail Sales fell year-over-year since the government started tracking it 40 years ago.  The other year was 2008.

For home buyers in Tucson and around the country, though, today may represent an opportune time to lock a mortgage rate.  Housing data is still improving and other economic indicators are showing strength.  Soon, Wall Street will shift from a “safe” mentality and move toward risk.

When it does, mortgage rates will rise.

TucsonMortgages.com WIN $100 CONTEST!

By Todd Abelson NMLS #180858 on .

So you want to win $100? GREAT!!!

Welcome to TucsonMortgages.com and TucsonMortgageBlog.com!

It’s easy to do, and there’s NO purchase required! All you have to do is complete the following items, and your name will be placed into the drawing, scheduled for Friday, Feb 26, 2010 which we will film and post on our blog.

To have a chance at winning $100 BUCKS please follow the steps below:

First, you must Comment on THIS blog post and then complete 2 of the following 3 items:

1. Subscribe to our RSS feed on this blog site

2. Subscribe to our Newsletter either on this blog or TucsonMortgages.com

3. Follow us on Twitter or become our friend on Facebook

In your Comment post, make sure to include your name and reference your Twitter -or- Facebook name (if applicable), or other direct contact information so we can get in touch with you.

The winner to be drawn randomly from the Comment post list on Friday, February 26, 2010.

If you’re in Arizona, we’ll meet with you, capture a brief presentation video and post the interview on this blogsite. Only one entry per person; employees of Sunstreet Mortgage or their families are not eligible – sorry!

While here, check out our “Categories” (on the right) and catch up on what you’re missing.

Don’t forget to check out our website and stay up-to-date on what’s going on in the Mortgage world with Todd Abelson and Tyler Ford, Sunstreet Mortgage, Tucson, Arizona.

Thanks for playing and GOOD LUCK!!!

10 Cities For Home Bargains – Tucson, AZ is on the list

By Todd Abelson NMLS #180858 on .

As the housing market improves across the country, certain cities are emerging as relative bargains.  Some areas, like Miami, were hit hard by the recession, and other areas are buoyed by good school systems and strong labor markets.

In this 5-minute video from The Today Show, 10 cities are highlighted for their home prices.  And they’re not “small towns”, either.

Among the featured cities:

  • Miami, Florida
  • Akron, Ohio
  • Tucson, Arizona
  • Minneapolis, Minnesota
  • Trenton, New Jersey

Now, this piece is about finding gems on a national scale.  They exist locally here in Tucson , too.  You just need to know what to look for.

With mortgage rates low and tax credits available, it’s not likely that bargains will last. Visit http://tucsonmortgage.wpengine.com to get pre-approved today.

The Bad Jobs Report Wasn’t All Bad — Mortgage Rates Fell

By Todd Abelson NMLS #180858 on .

Unemployment Rate 2007-2009Despite the headlines, it’s important to remember that December’s jobs report wasn’t all bad news.

Sure, the economy shed 85,000 jobs last month and the Unemployment Rate failed to dip below 10%, but for home buyers and rate shoppers in Tucson , the news was just fine.

The soft employment data led mortgage rates lower, making homes in Tucson, Arizona for example, more affordable for buyers.

There is two sides to every economic coin.

Since early-2008, the U.S workforce has been closely tied to home financing. As the economy slowed and jobs were lost, Wall Streeters pulled money from the risky stock markets and moved it to of the relative safety of bond markets, instead.

Safe haven buying led mortgage bond prices higher which, in turn, caused rates to fall. Mortgage rates fell to 6 all-time lows in 2009. In a related statistic, 4.2 million jobs were lost last year.

And this is why Friday’s non-farm payrolls report was so good for buyers.

See, in November, the economy added new jobs for the first time since 2007, housing looked strong, consumer confidence was growing.  The safe haven buying reversed and mortgage rates took off.  Analysts believed the nation’s economic turnaround was complete.

But now, after December’s jobs report returned to the red, Wall Street is forced to rethink its position. Safe haven buying is back and mortgage rates are lower because of it.

Over the next few months, expect a lot of this back-and-forth action in rates. In general, positive news for the economy will be met with higher mortgage rates and negative economic news will be met with lower mortgage rates.  There will be exceptions, but the general rule should hold.