Real Estate Information Archive


Displaying blog entries 1-6 of 6

927 Snowy Owl

by crussell
Stero with surround sound in basement, alarm system, fenced yard with gate, gorgeous landscaping [gallery]

New Tax Credit to Watch

by crussell
If you haven’t heard of the Housing and Recovery Act of 2008, listen up! It’s old news! There’s been a $7500 tax credit in place for all first time home buyers since the bill passed last year in April. It will expire in 2009. If you want some assistance getting moved in your new home, and you’re a first time buyer or haven’t bought a home in a while, then this is a great way to get help with moving expenses, etc. But the NEWS is about this bill that just passed the senate… • Provide a direct tax credit to any homebuyer who purchases any home • Amount of the tax credit would be $15,000 or 10 percent of the purchase price, whichever is less • Purchases must be made within one year of the legislation’s enactment • The tax credit would not have to be repaid • The amendment would allow taxpayers to claim the credit on their 2008 income tax return • Only purchases of a principal residence • Recapturing the credit if the home is sold within two years of purchase • Would sunset the current $7,500 housing tax credit on the date of enactment. This has passed the Senate, but the entire bill does need to go back to the House, and be signed by the President. There could be many changes before this happens, or not pass at all. But is it a bright piece for us in the Real Estate industry and would help the housing crisis immensely as you can imagine. Christian Russell writes a blog on the economy, real estate and success in business called My One Hundred Things.

Mortgage Market Update

by crussell
Presented by Jason Kenny Loans of Fifth Third Bank Mortgage The National Association of REALTORS reported in late September that recent sales for existing homes declined slightly, to an estimated annual volume of 4.91 million units for 2008. Recent tightening in mortgage lending has created challenges for some of today's home buyers. According to Freddie Mac, the thirty year fixed rate mortgage hovered in the mid 6 percent range. Officials are hoping that recent actions taken by the Federal government will create stability in the housing market. Lawrence Yun, chief economist for the National Association of REALTORS, says, "With higher loan limits and a beefing up of the FHA program, all the mechanisms have been falling into place to increase mortgage availability." In other news, the House of Representatives passed the Veterans Construction and Extension Act of 2008, which helps Veterans achieve their dreams of home ownership. The bill has been passed on to the Senate for finalization. If you're in the market for a home, contact us for information on FHA, VA, and other mortgage programs that might be right for you. Finance Q and A: Q: How does the $7500 tax credit work for today's first time buyers? A: The $7500 tax credit is not really a tax credit as much as it is a tax-free loan. As a first time buyer, you are allowed to apply 10 percent of your purchase price, or as much as $7500, as a tax credit on your return. This can put money in your pocket when you file your taxes, but keep in mind that this money will need to be paid back to the government in small installments over the next 15 years. Even so, this is a tremendous incentive for first time buyers looking to take advantage of today's market opportunities. Tip of the Month: With credit markets tightening as financial institutions deal with recent liquidity challenges, it is now more important than ever that home borrowers get their financial house in order when applying for a loan. Be sure to review your credit report with your mortgage professional and get pre-approved for your loan before making an offer on a home. A little preparation goes a long way and can mean all of the difference when it comes to closing on that dream home.

Mortgage Market Update

by crussell
Mortgage Market Update:

The US Treasury Department and the Federal reserve have outlined a proposal to aid Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae amidst their recent difficulty. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac own or back $5 trillion in home mortgages across the country. The financial health of these two companies is critical to the US housing recovery process.

Despite investor concerns that caused their stock price to fall, Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson expressed his support for helping these two companies maintain their roles in the lending marketplace. The Treasury is offering access to higher lines of credit, while the Fed is proposing that Fannie and Freddie be given access to funds through the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.

Fixed Rate mortgages for a 30 year loan have bumped up to the mid 6 percent range. The National Association of Realtors (NAR) reported a slight slowdown in existing home sales during the month of June. NAR is currently projecting annual home sales at 4.86 million units for 2008.

Finance Q and A:

Q: Is it wise to pay discount points up front to get a lower interest rate?

A: Depending on your plans for staying in the home, there are benefits to paying discount points to lower your interest rate. Over time, the savings realized from your lower interest rate will offset your initial expense of the lower rate loan. However, this strategy does not work well for buyers planning to move in a few years, who may want to opt for the higher rate. Consult with your mortgage planner today to compare options that work best for you.

Tip of the Month:

When buying a home, its good to get your financial house in order by doing a few small things ahead of time. Pay off small debts and get them off of your balance sheet, since the amount of outstanding credit can work against you when applying for larger loan amounts. You should also check your credit report for any blemishes or misreported items. You are entitled to receive a free credit report each year directly from the consumer credit reporting services. By reducing your debt and checking your credit report, you put yourself in the best position to acquiring a favorable mortgage.


Financing tip...

by crussell

The Indiana Bond Rate increased effective today to 6.375%.  Borrowers can still receive an 1/8th discount by taking the homebuyer education training at the Indiana Bond website, to reduce the rate to 6.25%.

Will Downpayment Assistance Go Away?

by crussell


For those of you not familiar with the recent housing bill that will eliminate downpayment assistance, please read up on this important issue. The Senate and House of Representatives are fast-tracking this bill. Many home buyers are familiar with the idea of getting into a home with no money down. Many home buyers are familiar with the idea of being able to have the seller of a home cover your closing costs and some or all of your down payment. This may be going away. 

In a recent quote from Scott C. Syphax, President & CEO of Nehemiah Corporation of America “By FHA's own estimates, down payment assistance (DPA) comprises nearly 40% of FHA's volume. This means more than 300,000 working class families will be locked out of homeownership in the next year alone.”

This is, in my opinion, an example of looking at certain facts but then drawing bad conclusions. If you give someone an option of getting into a house without spending any money, OF COURSE they’re going to take that option. The conclusion everyone seems to be drawing here is that the end of DPA would mean that all those people won’t buy houses if they’re required to make a down payment. In my experience, this is simply not true. Would they have to save a bit of money, borrow from family, be creative…etc? Yes. So what? People who understand the values of homeownership will buy homes. And they will buy homes within their means.

FHA estimates that 40% of their volume comes from DPA deals. So how many of those deals overextended buyers and put them into homes that they ultimately cannot afford or homes they can barely afford? How many of those homes will be on the reo list in 2-3 years? One thing that never gets said is that of all the foreclosures we’ve been seeing, the vast majority of them are from DPA and various 100% financing deals done in recent years. If DPA gets dropped, will it mean considerable change in the real estate world? Yes. Will it mean the end of civilization as we know it? No. C’mon guys, we have to stand back, take stock and realize we’ve become addicted to easy loans, easy purchases and easy sales. It’s understandable. But as I look out at the landscape of today’s market, I have to say that some change is welcome.

Displaying blog entries 1-6 of 6




Contact Information

Photo of Cathy Russell Real Estate
Cathy Russell
The Russell Company
2522 Covington St.
West Lafayette IN 47906
(765) 426-7000
(765) 335-5588
Fax: (765) 497-1003