February 1, 2016 |
Here's a much-belated Christmas present from me to those of you who are first-time buyers and struggling to come up with a down payment and closing costs for Home No. 1: The U.S. Department of Agriculture's "rural" mortgage. This is not my first mention of this kind of mortgage, which, despite its name, does not require you to have a degree in animal husbandry. A year ago at Christmas, I wrote about a 25-year-old single first-time buyer, employed by a software company, who bought a house in Gloucester County.
January 22, 2016 |
A Woolwich Township man was sentenced Wednesday to six years in prison for scamming financially troubled homeowners and soliciting fake real estate investments, netting more than $3 million in illegal profits, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced Wednesday. Randy Poulson, 44, had been charged in May 2014 and later pleaded guilty to mail fraud before U.S. District Judge Renée Marie Bumb in Camden. Wednesday, Poulson was back before the judge. According to court documents, Poulson owned and operated Equity Capital Investments L.L.C.
January 4, 2016 |
Many wannabe house purchasers wonder whether they can afford the price quoted on the house they would like to buy. Or if they have not started their house shopping, they may be wondering what price range they should be exploring. If you intend to buy with cash, you can pretty much answer the affordability question on your own. But if you will need a mortgage, as most home buyers do, the decision is no longer yours alone. A lender is also involved, and behind the lender are multiple government agencies that set rules that the lenders are obliged to follow.
December 31, 2015 |
AS YOU BEGIN to plan for 2016, leave in the past some financial advice you may have learned. I wrote a column recently using Yoda from the Star Wars franchise as inspiration. In The Empire Strikes Back , he gave some advice to Luke Skywalker. The Jedi master told Luke: "You must unlearn what you have learned. " I had questions from readers about some things on my list that they should unlearn, so I wanted to further explain three pieces of financial advice. * Unlearn that there's good debt and bad debt.
November 8, 2015 |
Maybe it's my sense of humor, but this recent comment by Richard Cordray, director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, made me chuckle: "Despite strong protections that have been put in place to protect homeowners, this month's complaint report shows consumers are still having problems when dealing with their mortgages. " I'd like to think that all the federal government has to do is snap its collective fingers and all our problems will go away, but I wasn't born yesterday.
November 5, 2015 |
An investment fund operated by New York's Square Mile Capital Management has originated a $26.8 million mortgage loan for the Penrose Plaza shopping center in Southwest Philadelphia, the company said in a release on Tuesday. Square Mile Capital Partners is funding the center's recent acquisition and planned capital expenditures by a joint venture of Onyx Properties, Abrams Realty & Development, and Siguler Guff. The 261,000-square-foot property at 2900-3000 Island Ave. is anchored by a ShopRite supermarket.
November 1, 2015 |
All eyes were on the Fed in mid-September as members of the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) met to decide the future of interest rates. The federal funds rate, the interest rate at which depository institutions lend balances at the Federal Reserve to other banks overnight, was among those up for consideration. Changes in the fed funds rate trigger a chain of events that affect other short-term interest rates, foreign-exchange rates, long-term interest rates, the amount of money and credit, and, ultimately, a range of economic variables, including employment, output, and prices of goods and services.
October 25, 2015 |
FHA mortgages, with their low down payments and recently reduced insurance rates, continue to be the choice of many, especially first-time home buyers. But the Federal Housing Administration makes changes periodically in the rules. For example, effective Sept. 14, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development requires mortgage lenders "at first contact" to advise borrowers to get home inspections. On Sept. 15 came changes that can affect borrower eligibility. Because large numbers of buyers use FHA, I thought I would talk about some of those new rules: A buyer with a prior short sale may now purchase right away, rather than wait three years, as previously required.
October 7, 2015 |
Changes designed to make it easier for a borrower to understand the cost of getting a mortgage loan have gone into effect, after a two-month postponement intended to get real estate agents and lenders up to speed. Introduced Saturday by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the "Know Before You Owe" mortgage-disclosure rule replaces four disclosure forms with two new ones - the Loan Estimate and the Closing Disclosure. According to CFPB, the Loan Estimate makes it easier to compare offers from multiple mortgage lenders.
August 17, 2015 |
You can't tell the 2016 presidential hopefuls without a scorecard, but thanks to the Loan Depot, we know something about their houses and how much their mortgages are. I can't do them all in this space, so if anyone thinks I've slighted their favorite hopeful, you can view the full list here . Jeb and Columba Bush live in Coral Gables, in a 3,485-square-foot, four-bedroom, four-bath townhouse purchased in August 2011 for $1.3 million....