November 2009

There are 129 blog entries for November 2009.

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Should You Consider A 15-Year Fixed Mortgage?

Friday, November 20th, 2009 at 12:10pm. 520 Views, 0 Comments.

Comparing 15-year mortgage rates to 30-year mortgage rates

For today's home buyers and homeowners that can manage the higher monthly payments, 15-year fixed rate mortgage rates look attractive as compared to comparable 30-year products.

The 15-year/30-year interest rate spread is near its 5-year high.

Despite lower rates, however, homeowners opting for a 15-year fixed mortgage should be prepared for its higher monthly payments.  This is because the principal balance of a 15-year fixed is repaid in half the years as with a standard, 30-year amortizing product.

As compared to 30-year terms, 15-year products repay 3 times as much principal each month.

Versus a 30-year, 15-year fixed mortgages have a few downsides worth noting.  The first is that, because 15-year mortgages are heavy on principal and light on interest,…


Congress Expands And Extends The First-Time Home Buyer Tax Credit

Tuesday, November 10th, 2009 at 12:06pm. 435 Views, 0 Comments.

First-Time Home Buyer expanded and extendedCongress both extended and expanded the First-Time Home Buyer Tax Credit program Thursday. The bill was signed by Presiden Obama on Friday.

The up-to-$8000 tax credit's expiration date has been pushed forward to spring, requiring homebuyers to be under contract by April 30, 2010, and to be closed by June 30, 2010.

The program's basic eligibility requirements remain the same:

  • Buyers can't purchase the home from a parent, spouse, or child
  • Buyers can't purchase the home from an entity in which they're a majority owner
  • Buyers can't acquire the home by gift or inheritance
  • All parties to the purchase must meet eligibility requirements

The new law includes some notable updates, however. 

For one, the definition of "first-time home buyer" has been expanded to include…


What's Ahead For Mortgage Rates This Week : November 9, 2009

Monday, November 9th, 2009 at 1:15pm. 427 Views, 0 Comments.

As the economy improves slowly, mortgage rates benefitMortgage markets were extremely volatile last week, carving out a wide range between Monday and Friday. 

Thankfully for rate shoppers, the overall momentum was positive.

Mortgage rates fell for the second time in as many weeks. Rates still sit higher versus their early-October lows.

For pure "news", last week was a busy one:

  • The Federal Reserve held the Fed Funds Rate near 0.000 percent
  • The Unemployment Rate crossed 10 percent
  • The First-Time Home Buyer Tax Credit was extended to April 2010

Combined, the 3 events reinforced the growing belief on Wall Street that the U.S. economy is in recovery, but not yet out of the woods.  This particular philosophy has been excellent for mortgage rates, helping to hold conforming 30-year fixed mortgage rates near 5.250…


Because Of The Federal Reserve, You Should Lock Before 2:15 PM ET Today

Wednesday, November 4th, 2009 at 10:03am. 424 Views, 0 Comments.

Fed Funds Rate 2006-2009The Federal Open Market Committee caps off a scheduled, 2-day meeting today in the nation's capital, its 8th meeting of the year.

The group adjourns at 2:15 PM ET and, as is customary, will issue a press release reviewing its monetary policy and the health of the U.S. economy. 

The FOMC's post-meeting statements are brief but comprehensive. They're a window into the mind of the Federal Reserve and Wall Street picks apart every sentence for clues.

It's why FOMC meetings tend to shake up the mortgage markets -- for good and for bad. 

After its September 2009 meeting, the FOMC said in its press release:

  • Financial markets have improved
  • Housing activity has increased
  • Economic activity has "picked up"
  • Since September, the momentum has picked up.  Credit risks have…


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