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How Mortgage Technology Is Changing

Technology is an incredible thing, and there are things which our electronic devices can do now which our grandparents – or even parents – would have never fathomed to be possible in their lifetimes. For example, if you want to go somewhere – even if that place is across the country – your phone can get you there. It knows where you’re heading before you ever leave the driveway and can navigate you around traffic accidents in real time from Florida to California. It will even let you know an estimated time as to when you will arrive.

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Mortgage Refinancing Bouncing Back – Is It A Good Idea?

During periods when mortgage interest rates are high or steadily rising, many homeowners decide against refinancing. If they do opt for it, it is done differently than those which occur during times when interest rates are low.

During the low periods, people refinance to decrease their monthly payment to save a little money presently, and sometimes considerable amounts over the long term. When they are high, the primary reason for refinancing is to acquire a larger loan which will offer extra cash.  This cash can be used for other purchases and is often a resort for those in monetary crisis with other bills.

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Is Blockchain Technology Getting into The Mortgage Game?

Blockchain technology has infiltrated several large industries. The most surprising of these has been the financial services niche. Also surprising is that mortgages – a major player in that very same niche – has largely avoided any change or disruption in the way they function. It looks, however, as though this is about to change.

Currently new platforms and a variety of products are being introduced that threaten the way things have been done in the real estate business. If these incremental changes continue, there is a high chance the mortgage loan process will look very different in a few years.

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Want to Buy a House in the Spring? Why you should get Preapproved for a Mortgage Now

Warmer weather and longer days means there are more opportunities to view property than during the cold, dark season of winter. As such, the arrival of spring is often marked by an uptick in real estate sales. Perhaps you are one of those who are eagerly awaiting spring before becoming a homeowner. If so, you will want to obtain mortgage preapproval now-here’s why.

Reasons for Preapproval

Becoming preapproved for a mortgage may seem like an additional step, but it is actually the starting point for many real estate transactions. Mortgage preapproval has numerous advantages, including:

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How First-Time Homebuyers Can Prepare Themselves for the Mortgage Process

Buying a house is part of the American dream, and because of this, millions of people attempt to get their first mortgages without truly understanding the process. By going into the lending process prepared, and by having some solid knowledge of the process and your finances, you are far more likely to not only get approval for your loan, but get a good interest rate, as well.

When to Start Planning

Applying for a mortgage loan should never be a snap decision. In fact, most lenders recommend you start preparing 12 to 18 months in advance. There’s much to do in this time. You will need to scrutinize your credit history with a fine-toothed comb, pay off any outstanding debts you might have, gather and maintain accurate records, keep spending to a minimum, and keep working at your job or your business venture to boost your income as much as you possibly can. It sounds like a lot because it is a lot, but if you’re willing to focus, it can be done.

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Great Mortgage Options for First-Time Homebuyers

Buying your first home is often challenging, but that does not mean it is impossible. In fact, there are quite a few options that will make it easier to achieve your dream. Here are a few first-time home buyer programs we think are worth considering.

#1. Good Neighbor Next Door

Sponsored by The United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), the Good Neighbor Next Door (GNND) program allows teachers, firefighters, police officers, and first responders to purchase homes in revitalization areas at half price. The only catch is that you must commit to living in the home for at least 36 months. After that time, you are free to sell your home and keep the profits. In addition, you only need $100 down if you already qualify for any FHA-insured mortgage.

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Are Mortgage Applications Up?

Per the Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey provided by the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) for the week ending the 5th of July, mortgage applications are up – and significantly so. The Market Composite Index measures the volume of loan applications coming in through lenders across the country, and per this index, there was a tremendous increase in applications in the first week of 2018.

Statistics

Per the Market Composite Index, loan application volume went up 8.3% on a seasonally adjusted basis. On an unadjusted basis, that number is even higher and represents a 46% increase. Of course, the results have been adjusted to account for New Year’s Day, when lenders were unavailable to take application. On top of this, there was an 11% increase in the Refinance Index, and the Purchase Index rose, as well, by 44% on an unadjusted basis and 5% when seasonally adjusted. Though mortgage applications are up, the Purchase Index declined by 1% from the same week in 2017.

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How to Shorten Your Mortgage

Many people today wait until later in life to tackle the challenge of homeownership. Getting out from under student debt takes time, and potential homeowners are working hard to ensure they have the funds to cover their monthly payments. As a result, people are often continuing to make mortgage payments into their 60s – and even past retirement. Here are some tips to shorten your mortgage if you are thinking of homeownership later in life.

Mortgages Then and Now

Back in the 1920s, the average homeowner paid about 40% down and made the remaining payments over the course of only 10 years. People in those days didn’t live as long as they do today, so these terms allowed for what was then considered to be affordable homeownership. It allowed people to spend the first couple decades of their adult lives saving for the down payment, and then paying off their homes quickly. This was ideal at the time and worked well for many people.

Over times, things changed. These days, the most common mortgages require 30-year terms, and while lenders recommend 20% down payments, most people put down about 5%. For people who are now living longer, and with the average age of retirement being about 65, more people than ever before are entering their retirement years with a mortgage balance still over their heads. This can be problematic.

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Is Mortgage Design Changing?

For many years, mortgages have been designed around the buyer – to provide incentives for people to buy homes, and to make it possible for them to do so. However, in the last few decades, things have changed significantly, and if a couple of real estate experts have it their way, things may change yet again in the future.

The Original Mortgage Design

Once upon a time, in the 1920s, lenders designed mortgages with affordability in mind. After all, people could not buy homes if those homes were not affordable, and it was up to the lender to make borrowing affordable enough to entice potential buyers. Back in those days, it was normal for people to put 40% of the value of the home down, then pay off the remaining balance – plus interest – over the course of 10 years. This means lesser risk for the lender, and it also meant that homeowners could pay their homes off completely in a single decade, even if they had to save for a decade to accumulate the 40% down payment.

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Are 30-Year Fixed Mortgages on the Rise?

Just a couple of years ago, the amount of interest you’d pay over time on a 15-year mortgage as opposed to a 30-year mortgage was significantly less. People opted to pay a higher monthly payment for a shorter period of time to save tens of thousands in interest payments alone. However, as the gap between the two mortgage terms continues to grow smaller, more people than ever are opting for 30-year fixed mortgages.

Increasing Long-Term Mortgage Interest Rates

In early December 2017, long-term mortgage rates increased just slightly, which is nothing out of the ordinary. However, per Freddie Mac’s weekly Primary Mortgage Market Survey, the gap between long-term and short-term interest rates continues to narrow nonetheless. This means that homeowners who might otherwise opt for a shorter mortgage term might not save quite as much as they would have hoped, and there may be little benefit in making higher monthly payments over time.

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