Tough Real Estate Market? What are buyers and sellers supposed to do?

The real estate market today is one of the toughest in recent history. A large number of foreclosed homes on the market is marking it tough on the traditional home seller. While every market is different, most areas have seen a significant drop in value.

The mortgage industry has tighten lending, with a virtual elimination of all non-traditional financing and “creative” zero down type options (although VA and USDA are still around and great zero down options). Most programs today require 3.5% to 5% down MINIMUM and good credit. Gone are the days of easy lending.

Washington has tried “fixing” mortgage lending, but has essentially failed with bad programs like FHA Secure, Help For Home Owners, HARP, and HAMP. They’ve made industry changes that have cost home buyers more money, like HVCC, and LO Compensation. They’ve created more confusion with the new three page Good Faith Estimate, and the whopper of them all… Only requiring half of the Loan Officers to have a license!

Traditional sellers have the upper hand and an easier time in most cases in the “condition of the property” category versus a foreclosure, but it is still very tough when the banks are liquidating foreclosed properties, and the prices they are giving some of them away at.

So, what is a seller and buyer to do? How does a seller sell and a buyer buy in today’s market?

First, understand that because of the large volume of foreclosed properties, it is a great time to be a buyer, whether you are a move-up buyer or a first-time buyer.

For sellers, now is not the time to try and sell your own property. You need the help of a FULL-TIME, experienced Realtor to help guide you through the process. Buyers need the same help to guide them through the maze of properties, both traditional and bank-owned. Having a good agent is extremely important. Take some time to interview your Realtor. How long have they been in business? How many sales have they completed? How many buyers have they helped? Can you get references? Don’t just pick your agent from an open house, or use your sisters best friend who got her license last month.

For move-up buyers, you may have to give in to a lower than you like selling price, but you should reap a nice reward on any new home you buy. This is especially true if you are moving from the low $200k to the mid $300k range, as homes that were selling in the $400k range are now in the $350k. Therefore, even if you have to give up a little on your current sale price, you should more than make up for it on the buy side. Remember, a house priced right, and realistic, will sell even in today’s market right away. Furthermore, with today’s standard fixed rates hovering around 5%, you can still lock in historically great rates!

For first-time buyers, it is a great time to find aggressively priced homes, whether it is a bank-owned foreclosure, or a motivated traditional seller. Not all buyers are ready, or want to tackle “AS IS” foreclosures, so be sure to be honest with yourself about what you are doing to avoid a potential disaster down the road.

Today’s prices are again extremely affordable in the first-time buyer starter home category. Even though most zero down programs are no longer available, with proper negotiation, you can get the seller to pay most, if not all of your closing costs.

This means you can buy a $150k home for just $5250 out-of-pocket. With programs like FHA, the entire down payment can be a gift from family members, or community assistance programs. That is how it was always done prior to about 1999… and somehow people bought houses then, so don’t sit back waiting. NOW is the time to buy!

Finally, one of the first things you should do is get pre-approved with a quality lender who will discuss with you your qualifying ability and program options in today’s market. Someone who has the knowledge, expertise, and full range of programs (like FHA) to bring you to a successful no surprises closing. This is never the guy on the internet posting the lowest rate, or the unlicensed bank representative at the 1-800 number bank call center.

A word of caution. If you are shopping for a lender based on rate, be prepared to get screwed. Be sure to read these informative articles for more information: “Rate Shopping – How to do it right“, and “Lender Shopping – How to do it right“.

No matter what your real estate needs are, buying or selling, with the proper guidance of full-time professional Realtor and Loan Officer, you should be able to have your dreams come true.


Fannie Mae HomePath offers 3.5% in closing costs (temporarily)

Fannie Mae temporarily offers 3.5% in closing cost incentive to home buyers purchasing a Fannie Mae HomePath eligible foreclosed home.

But wait,  beware of the small print… this is a limited time special incentive offer…. Watch to learn more

Mortgages Unlimited is a HomePath Lender in the Minneapolis and St Paul area, and for all of Minnesota and Wisconsin.

Search for HomePath Homes in MN and WI

Thoughts? Log in and post!


Fed Rule on Compensation – The insanity explained

CONSUMERS: The Federal Reserve just made loans more expensive…

The Federal Reserve Bank (which is NOT a government agency, but a PRIVATE BANK) was able to convince the Courts to allow their asinine sweeping new lender rules to take effect (April 5th) while the case winds it’s way through the court system. Below is simple video from TBWS Daily which puts the rule into perspective.

Buying bananas, or buying a home… Consumers don’t care what the seller makes, they just care that they shopped, and got the best possible deal in the market. But take away competition (can your hear me Washington?), and everyone suffers.  In July, the Dodd/Frank Financial Reform law will come into play making mortgages even more expensive and costly to consumers with even less options, except going to the overpriced banks!


What are your thoughts?


No Closing Cost Mortgage Refinance? Good or Bad?

No Closing Cost Mortgage Refinance? BUYER BEWARE?
Good or Bad Idea? YOU DECIDE after reading thisJoe Metzler, MMS - (651) 552-3681

St Paul, MN: Mortgage interest rates are currently at historic lows. Your mailbox and the airwaves have become full with mortgage companies competing for your business. Many of these advertisements are for “No Cost” or “No Lender Fee” loans.

Are No Cost Loans a Deal? For most people, usually not.

One of the most confusing areas for consumers in a mortgage loan transaction are closing costs. Here I’ll explain the advantages and disadvantages of the highly advertised “no closing cost” or “low cost “loans.

First and foremost, there is no such thing as a NO Closing Cost Loan! Everyone knows there are costs associated with getting a mortgage loan; appraisal, credit reports, state taxes, county recording fees, title companies fees, lender fees, escrows, and more. Someone has to pay these fees, and it is always YOU. How you pay them is what this article tries to explain.

Homeowners in Minneapolis, St Paul, Madison, Milwaukee, and throughout all of Minnesota and Wisconsin need to understand that in a no lender fee or no closing cost mortgage loan, the lender simply uses “negative” points to offset your costs. In the example below, by having the 5.00% rate (versus the 4.5% rate), you can reduce (or offset through interest rate) $5,000 of closing costs. By choosing this option, it appear as if you saved thousands in closing costs. GREAT! But while lower costs always sounds good, you now have a significantly higher interest rate! OK, now what?

No matter what anyone says, a zero cost, or no lender fee loan is NOT automatically a great deal. Although it may sound so much better than adding thousands in closing fees to your principal balance, you have to analyze each individual loan and client situation to determine the benefits. Many lenders speak highly of the “thousands of dollars” you save in fees. They never discuss the fact that you may spend significantly more in interest over the full life of the loan than you ever saved in up-front closing costs! In the example below, you can pay $12,578 MORE for your no cost loan!

FACT: In a refinance loan, the vast majority of people roll the closing costs into the new loan.

View the following chart, then call us. We’ll run your personal numbers. Then you can decide if a no closing cost home loan is right or wrong for you.

Deal or No Deal? Most Common /
NORMAL
OK short-term
BAD long-term
Most CommonLow Cost Option
OK short-term
Very BAD long-term
Loan Amount $205,000 $203,000 $200,000
Interest Rate 4.50% 4.75% 5.00%
Principal & Interest Payment $1,038 (+$20) $1,058 (+ $45) $1,073 (+$60)
Closing Costs On Estimate $5,000 $3,000 $0
Out of Pocket Closing Cost Paid $0 – all rolled in loan $0. $2k in rate, $3k in loan $0. $5k in rate
Interest Paid over 5 years $48,192 $50,271 $52,054
Interest Paid over 15 years $121,743 $127,744 $133,002
Interest Paid over 30 years $172,932 ($373,935) $182,215 $190,491 ($386,513)

OK, so you are looking at the math, and maybe say “this isn’t so bad”, especially if you are in the home under 5-years.

But wait, here is a giant “Gotcha”

ANY LENDER who sells the no cost mortgage simultaneously sells a client into becoming a “serial refinancer,” which is not looking out for the client. They are “churning” the client and raking in fees year after year by fooling you into refinancing constantly at “no cost”, but always moving you BACKWARDS into a new 30-year loan. How many times have YOU gone backwards?

Factor in the monthly payments on all those additional “backward years” on all those “no cost” refinances, and that “biggest no brainer in history” no closing cost loan has actually cost you dearly.

Churning of home owner mortgages is illegal in most states

I hope this article has helped you to understand the varied measures used to determine the advantages and disadvantages of zero cost loans. Each borrower is different, and the evaluations must be made on a case-by-case basis. As you can see, there are many factors to consider when looking at the available options. With us as your personal Mortgage Consultants, we will be able to answer all of your questions, outline the costs and benefits, and even give you a few new ones to consider!

While everyone’s individual financial situation varies, let us show you the math so you make the correct choice. Of course, if a zero cost loan makes sense for your case, we will be happy to do one for you.


About the Metzler Mortgage Group at Mortgages Unlimited

About the Metzler Mortgage Group at Mortgages Unlimited. Why we are a great choice for getting your home mortgage loan.

Read moreAbout the Metzler Mortgage Group at Mortgages Unlimited