Study finds fewer homeowners heading for foreclosure

Housing statistics gradually improvingCredit demand and the rate of delinquency in mortgage loans fell off at the end of 2010, according to TransUnion, marking the fourth consecutive quarter in which those statistics moved in a positive direction.

However, a slowdown in the rate at which delinquency rates dropped is a concern, according to TransUnion group vice president of the U.S. housing market Tim Martin.

"Although the increase in January's consumer confidence index is good news for the consumer as well as the fourth quarter GDP number of 3.2 percent, real estate prices …. have been consistently falling since the end of second quarter. What we hoped was a temporary third quarter price adjustment due to the ending of the home buyer tax credit appears now to be more systemic," he said.

For those interested in Houston real estate, it may be encouraging to learn that TransUnion's data shows the state delinquency rate at 5.19 percent, below the national average of 6.44 percent.

The continued stabilization of the market, overall, must still be considered good news for real estate professionals, other analysts say.

There is still time to take part in Tax Credit for First Time Home Buyers! Program ends April 30th.

As part of its plan to stimulate the U.S. housing market and address the economic challenges facing our nation, Congress has passed new legislation that:

Extended the First-Time Home Buyer Tax Credit of up to $8,000 to first-time home buyers until April 30, 2010.
Expands the credit to grant up to $6,500 credit to current home owners purchasing a new or existing home between November 7, 2009 and April 30, 2010.
Here is more information about how the Extended Home Buyer Tax Credit can help prospective home buyers become part of the American dream. If you have specific questions or need additional information, please contact a tax professional or the Internal Revenue Service at 800-829-1040.

Recent news:
Who Qualifies for the Extended Credit?
First-time home buyers who purchase homes between November 7, 2009 and April 30, 2010.

Current home owners purchasing a home between November 7, 2009 and April 30, 2010, who have used the home being sold or vacated as a principal residence for five consecutive years within the last eight.
To qualify as a “first-time home buyer” the purchaser or his/her spouse may not have owned a residence during the three years prior to the purchase.

If you purchased a home between January 1, 2009 and November 6, 2009, please see: 2009 First-Time Home Buyer Tax Credit.

Which Properties Are Eligible?
The Extended Home Buyer Tax Credit may be applied to primary residences, including: single-family homes, condos, townhomes, and co-ops.

How Much Is Available?
The maximum allowable credit for first-time home buyers is $8,000.
The maximum allowable credit for current homeowners is $6,500.

How is a Buyer’s Credit Amount Determined?
Each home buyer’s tax credit is determined by two additional factors:
*The price of the home.
*The buyer’s income.
Price
Under the Extended Home Buyer Tax Credit, credit may only be awarded on homes purchased for $800,000 or less.

Buyer Income
Under the Extended Home Buyer Tax Credit, which is effective on November 7, 2009, single buyers with incomes up to $125,000 and married couples with incomes up to $225,000—may receive the maximum tax credit.

These income limits have changed from the 2009 First-Time Home Buyer Tax Credit limits. If you purchased a home between January 1, 2009 and November 6, 2009, please see 2009 First-Time Home Buyer Tax Credit.

If the Buyer(s)’ Income Exceeds These Limits, Can He/She Still Get a Credit?
Yes, some buyers may still be eligible for the credit.

The credit decreases for buyers who earn between $125,000 and $145,000 for single buyers and between $225,000 and $245,000 for home buyers filing jointly. The amount of the tax credit decreases as his/her income approaches the maximum limit. Home buyers earning more than the maximum qualifying income—over $145,000 for singles and over $245,000 for couples are not eligible for the credit.

Can a Buyer Still Qualify If He/She Closes After April 30, 2010?
Under the Extended Home Buyer Tax Credit, as long as a written binding contract to purchase is in effect on April 30, 2010, the purchaser will have until July 1, 2010 to close.

Will the Tax Credit Need to Be Repaid?
No. The buyer does not need to repay the tax credit, if he/she occupies the home for three years or more. However, if the property is sold during this three-year period, the full amount credit will be recouped on the sale.

Tax Credit being offered on FHA Loans to First Time Home Buyers

Have you heard about the tax credit recently created to help first time home buyers or buyers that have not owned a home in over 3 years. This is only on FHA (Federal Housing Administration) loans and according to the secretary of H.U.D., home buyers will be allowed to use the $8,000 first-time homebuyer tax credit towards their DOWN PAYMENT on purchases financed by FHA loans. FHA will allow approved lenders, nonprofits, and government agencies to advance the funds in the form of interest free bridge loans that buyers would use for down payments. Buyers would repay the loans after they receive their tax refunds. More information is to come from FHA soon.

If you are interested in this new tax credit or have questions regarding real estate send me a email/comment and I will work to answer your question.

Have you heard about the upcoming new Bill that offers a Tax Credit for First Time Home Buyers?

The government has submitted a new program which offers $7,500 tax credit for first-time home buyers. While this is one of the most talked about measures in the upcoming new bill, it is also the most confusing. Simply, the government has created a monetary incentive, a tax credit for first-time home buyers, as a tool to stimulate the housing market. The tax credit will be 10% of the purchase price of a home, up to a maximum of $7,500. That means if the home costs more than $75,000 first-time home buyers (anyone who hasn’t owned a home in the last three (3) years) will receive the full $7,500 tax credit, this is not a new idea. Back in the 1970’s the government offered a similar program with one major difference: this new tax credit will have to be paid back over a period of 15 years, beginning two years after the credit is taken. Basically, the government is providing first time home buyers an interest-free loan  up to $7,500 to help them buy a home! If the home owner happens to sell the home before the 15 years is up, the remaining credit is due upon sale from the profit of the home sale. However, and here’s the best part, if there is insufficient profit, after the sale of the home, then the remaining credit due is forgiven. You really have nothing to lose. There are, of course, income limits to qualify for this incentive. With this new tax credit and down payment assistance, you are finally in the driver’s seat in a buyer’s market with some of the best interest rates to date. Let me help you find your dream home.

Interest Rates – How they are derived from your Credit Score

I wanted to touch base on one of the major issues people deal with when trying to make a major purchase such as a home.  The interest rate you are quoted when purchasing a home is based on your credit score that is pulled from the 3 major Credit Reporting agencies. These agencies get this calculated information from different companies who lend credit and if paid on time it gives you a rating, the higher the better!  With help from Wikipedia I want to get the word out to individuals how important it is to try and maintain your credit.

Credit ratings are determined differently in each country, but the factors are similar, and may include:

  • Payment record – a record of bills being overdue will lower the credit rating.
  • Control of debt – Lenders want to see that borrowers are not living beyond their means. Experts estimate that non-mortgage credit payments each month should not exceed more than 15 percent of the borrower’s after tax income.
  • Signs of responsibility and stability – Lenders perceive things such as longevity in the borrower’s home and job (at least two years) as signs of stability. Having a respected profession can improve a credit rating.
  • Credit inquiries – An inquiry is a notation on a credit history file. There are several kinds of notations that may or may not have an adverse effect on the credit score. Soft pulls don’t affect the credit score and are characteristic of the following examples:

A credit bureau may sell a person’s contact information to an advertiser purchasing a list of people with similar characteristics, like homeowners with excellent credit. A creditor can check a person’s credit periodically. Or, a credit counseling agency, with the client’s permission, can obtain a client’s credit report with no adverse action. Each of the preceding examples are commonly referred to as a “soft” credit pull.

However “hard” credit inquiries are made by lenders. Lenders, when granted a permissible purpose by a borrower for the purposes of extending his credit, can check his credit history. Hard inquiries from lenders directly affect the borrower’s credit score. Keeping credit inquiries to a minimum can help a person’s credit rating. A lender may perceive many inquiries on a person’s report as a signal that the person is looking for loans and will possibly consider that person a poor credit risk.

  • Credit cards that are not used – Although it is believed that having too many credit cards can have an adverse effect on a credit score, closing these lines of credit will not improve your score. The credit rating formula looks at the difference between the amount of credit a person has and the amount being used, so closing one or more accounts will reduce your total available credit. And the lower the percentage of available credit, the more the credit score will drop. The credit formula also factors in the length of time credit accounts have been open, so closing an account with several years of history is another avoidable credit mistake.

Consequences

The information in a credit report is sold by credit agencies to organizations that are considering whether to offer credit to individuals or companies. It is also available to other entities with a “permissible purpose.” The consequence of a negative credit rating is typically a reduction in the likelihood that a lender will approve an application for credit under favorable terms, if at all. Interest rates on loans are significantly affected by credit history—the higher the credit rating, the lower the interest while the lower the credit rating, the higher the interest. The increased interest is used to offset the higher rate of default within the low credit rating group of individuals.

In the United States, in certain cases, insurance, housing, and employment can also be denied based on a negative credit rating.

Note that is not the credit reporting agencies that decide whether a credit history is “adverse.” It is the individual lender or creditor which makes that decision, each lender has its own policy on what scores fall within their guidelines. The specific scores that fall within a lender’s guidelines is most often NOT disclosed to the applicant due to its nature as a trade secret. In the United States, a creditor is required to give a reason for denying credit to an applicant immediately and must also provide the name and address of the credit reporting agency who provided data that was used to make the decision.

Credit Bureaus

Several credit reporting companies: Equifax (http://www NULL.equifax NULL.com/home/), Experian (http://www NULL.experiangroup NULL.com/)TransUnion (http://www NULL.transunion NULL.com/) .

I know that this is a lot of information to take in, but the lower the interest rate the more home you can purchase. I will let you absorb this information and then blog more on the various mortgage notes based on the interest rate.

If you have guestion email me at pattimace@sbcglobal.net (pattimace null@null sbcglobal NULL.net).  Hope to see you subscribe to my blog at www.pattimace.com (http://www NULL.pattimace NULL.com).

Chat again soon,

Patti

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