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Help us Raise Awareness, Support Families, Remember those we've lost and Fight Pancreatic Cancer

Hey it’s Josh Cantwell, Hope you are having an awesome day. First, I’m going to ask you for your help…… in fact I’m practically going to beg you for help. Second, I’d like to say thanks to everyone who has supported me and TEAM ACT over the past 3 years in support of The Pancreatic Cancer ActionRead the Rest...


Housing Recovery Continues Weaker Than Expected

American expectations on home prices increased in February, both in terms of anticipating continued price increases and the sizes of those increases. Fannie Mae’s survey shows that 50% of survey responders thought home prices would rise over the rest of 2014, with the average expected price increase soaring from 2% to 3.2% in January. ExpectationsRead the Rest...


Home Equity Lost Altitude in Late 2013

While homes in a negative equity position account for over 13% of all residential properties with a mortgage, only 4 million homes remained positive on their equity in 2013 while more than 6 million remained underwater, according to CoreLogic. CoreLogic reports that, although the numbers are changing, the correlation is staying fairly the same. OnRead the Rest...


Say Hello To Your New Landlords

From 2011 to 2013, Institutional Investors have accounted for a 44% increase in their share of residential sales, representing over 830,000 purchases by these investors in the past 3 years. In some markets, this number climbs even higher – to as much as 20% of all sales since 2011. In the heat map below, youRead the Rest...


Mortgage Rates Take Yet Another Dive

After several weeks of mortgage rates trending ever so slowly higher, the often quoted 30-year fixed-rate came in at an average of 4.28% according to Freddie Mac – a drop of .09% from last week. 15-Year fixed-rates also saw a drop from 3.39% to 3.32%. On the whole, rates have been very affordable for mostRead the Rest...


FHA Confident in Finances – Rejects Possibility of Future Bail Out

The Federal Housing Administration is now claiming it won’t need a bail out from taxpayers later this year, projecting that the reserve fund it has been sustaining will close the year on a positive balance of approx. $7.8 billion. The $1.7 billion bail-out from the Department of the Treasury was a necessary but inconvenient highlightRead the Rest...


MBS Imitates Ukraine and Loses Even More

As for treasuries and MBS, the blank news out of Ukraine and most other data sectors piqued the interest of bondsmen, severely limiting the bonds market technicals and causing a consistent selling spree. Treasuries themselves suffered a deeper wound than MBS, with 10-year fixed-rates down .8% in price, but up almost 9.5% in yield. TheRead the Rest...


Mortgage Rates Climb to New Highs Amidst Ukrainian Antebellum Fears

Hand in hand with Ukraine tensions easing away, mortgage rates took a hike up yesterday after an excellent February end and March start. Rates rose to their highest levels in weeks, bringing the 30-year fixed-rate average back to a normal sounding 4.375%. While some lenders edged closer to 4.5%, a small few may even beRead the Rest...


Ukrainian Conflict Fades as Econ Data Rears Its Ugly Head

With the Ukrainian cooling down in the wake of harsh words across the world, it’s a certain eventuality that more data would come to fill the void left by departing geopolitical news. The big question for many investors at the moment though is, when? Monday saw a brief spike, followed by Tuesday’s flat line, andRead the Rest...


Affordable Obama Mortgages to Increase – Re-default Threat Looms

A federal watchdog is now claiming that of the 783,000 or so homeowners whose mortgages were reduced under the government’s Home Affordable Modification Program, a large percentile are at risk for defaulting again due to increased rates in the coming years. HAMP rates as low as 2% are apparently on the way out – theRead the Rest...


Polar Vortex Misses Home Price Bull’s-eye – Strongest Gains in Years

Home prices increased across the entire U.S. by 12% over the course of 2013, bringing in the strongest year ending gains since pre-recession 2006. Distressed sales accounted for 2.2% of this number, which is another increase as well. Among the total 12% increase, Louisiana, Nebraska, and Texas hit record new price peaks, with the DistrictRead the Rest...


Good Spike off Ukraine Turns into a Bad Bounce

The only trade news for today was the stalling of news out of Ukraine – causing some medial shockwaves to run through the markets as Treasury yields pushed higher. The negative impetus the Ukrainian situation has had on our economy is increasing, raising the fear of a correction for several days spent running flat. CurrentRead the Rest...


Ukraine Spikes February Bond Rally into March

Color me cynical, but Ukraine is actually helping our economy quite a bit. Following Russia’s movements into Ukraine and Crimea, most of the market movements and the lion’s share of gains occurred the night after. After the dust settled, it looks like treasuries and MBS are modestly stronger now, with ISM manufacturing having little impactRead the Rest...


FHA Mounting a Slippery Slope

FHA mortgages have been a central tenant of the lending system for quite some time. However, this should not be the case according to the Community Home Lenders Association, who desire a significant subtraction of FHA mortgage premiums. The importance of the FHA program is obvious, especially when you note that their mortgages have beenRead the Rest...


Construction Spiked in Early 2014

The U.S. Census Bureau reports today that construction projects in 2014’s January were almost 10% higher than in 2013, topping out at $943,000,000,000 above 2013’s $863,000,000,000. Total private construction also rose about 12% from $597,000,000,000 to 2014’s $667,000,000,000. However, in spite of all of these increases and “good” numbers, the crest of this wave isRead the Rest...


Foreclosure Inventory Dwindles

Black Knight Financial services reports that the time needed to complete a foreclosure has increased to a new high of 943 days, though the number of loans currently in foreclosure are at their lowest since November, 2008. The foreclosure inventory rate in January was 2.35%, 5.32% lower than December, and 31.17% less than the beginningRead the Rest...


2013 Home Prices Rose More than 10%

The S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Index reports that 2013 housing prices soared up almost 12% from Q1-Q3 2013, but softened 0.3% in Q4. Compared to peak prices in Q2 2006, they’re still down more than 20%, and most of the latest housing news has been pretty bad. Home construction wrote down January as the biggest month-over-monthRead the Rest...


Mortgages Bottom Out to 2 Week Lows

Gaining speed with yesterday’s strong home sale data, mortgage rates drove even lower yesterday, dropping them to levels not seen since February 6th. This is especially sudden given the Monday rise – rates on 30-year fixed-rates are now down to a comfortable 4.375%, but a 4.25% is not improbable soon enough. Strong economic data usuallyRead the Rest...


Home-Equity Lending Returns

After being made nearly extinct with the “Great Recession”, as they are calling the economic crisis, home-equity loans are being offered by some lenders once again, allowing hopeful homeowners to borrow against the value of their homes once more. The first two quarters of 2013 saw home-equity loans and lines of credit rising by almostRead the Rest...


Weather Was No Match for New Home Sales

January storms and “polar vortices” sought to put a heavy damper on sales in many markets, most of all the winter-comparable housing market. Fortunately, it looks like the market didn’t care much for whiteout, as sales nationwide are up by almost 10% (468,000 units) from December’s 427,000 units. On a non-seasonally adjusted basis, it’s estimatedRead the Rest...


Mortgage Resale Doesn’t Have to Be So Bad

When your mortgage gets sold from one bank to another, you may find errors in your new documents with the new servicer. However, it doesn’t have to always be like this. All you need to do is take some specific steps at precaution and prevention. The CFPB says they are “deeply disappointed” at the mishandlingRead the Rest...


Buy Your Own Florida Key

For just $110,000,000, you can get your own Florida Key. Pumpkin Key is a 26-acre islet that includes a main house, caretaker’s cottages, a boat captain’s apartment, office, and 12 1-1.5 acre lots on the bay front. The front also includes a 20-slip marina sufficient for a small fleet or several mega-yachts. With tennis courtsRead the Rest...


Florida Leads Real Estate Price Increases

Home values in the greater U.S. have recovered to within almost 14% of the peak reached in 2006, according to Black Knight Financial Services. Nationally, home prices topped out in June 2006 at over $250,000. However, Black Knight also reports that prices retreated in December in 14 of the 20 largest states. In metro areas,Read the Rest...


2013’s Houses 300 sq. ft. Larger than 2009’s Houses

The growth in the average size of new houses paused briefly around 2008, but since 2009’s average house size of 2,362 sq. ft., 2013 has been seeing an average of 2,679 sq. ft. New homes have more bedrooms, more bathrooms, and more amenities than they did in 2009. The raw numbers don’t lie. 48% ofRead the Rest...


Bulletproof House Flipping (Part 10)

Patrick's buyer wanted deeds on these properties. These were note deals, and Patrick was able to get a deed in lieu signed. This is one of the exit strategies we currently teach. It’s a pretty neat process. Here’s how it works. You just go to the homeowner. You're helping them out. You're pretty much saying,Read the Rest...


Reverse-Mortgages Safer, or Too Little, Too Late?

A common practice during the housing crisis was the often feared and equally taken course of the reverse-mortgage. Persons aged 62 or older can basically take loans out against their own home’s equity. This loan wouldn’t have to be paid back until the borrower either died or moved out of the target property – yetRead the Rest...


Wells Fargo Looking to Subprime Mortgage Again

Coming out of the stormy waters of the housing crisis, Wells Fargo looks to be considering breaking into the subprime mortgage market once more – the bank recently announced that it would be considering borrower applications with credit scores as low as 600. The previous minimum was 640, and this shift will apply both toRead the Rest...


House Hunting Has Nothing on Finding an Agent

If you’re planning on purchasing a home this spring, you can face stiff competition from other buyers for an extremely limited inventory in the market today. Homes in good condition that are priced appropriate for their surroundings will usually receive many, many offers. An agent can make a world of difference between hiring a movingRead the Rest...


Bulletproof House Flipping (Part 9)

Now, what are they actually buying? That's a great question. They're mainly buying three-bedroom, two-bath houses. You can find this out just by asking them, “Hey, what are you looking for?” I'm going to show you how to find these people. I'm going to show you how to find the contact information for the hedgeRead the Rest...


What to Do When Buying a Home

We usually talk about home buying here as if it’s second nature. Unfortunately, many of our readers have probably never bought a home. To that end, a checklist of things to remember when considering a buy can be extremely helpful. Before you do anything else, assess your needs. Figure out whether it’s better for youRead the Rest...


Some Tips on How to Secure a Foreclosure Bargain

Foreclosure bargains are an interesting concept – everyone talks about them, but very few have actually seen them, especially in recent years with the foreclosure inventories shrinking rapidly as the housing economy recovers from the 2008 crisis. In case you think your skills are rusty, or even untried, here is some advice on how youRead the Rest...


Mortgage Rates Spike Upwards After Wednesday’s FOMC

Mortgage rates spiked upwards again in the wake of the FOMC minutes for the late January meeting, causing many lenders to issue negative reprices, which could have a direct effect on the interest rate. The most commonly quoted 30-year fixed rate remains at 4.375% in best-case scenarios. On the whole though, there isn’t much toRead the Rest...


Bulletproof House Flipping (Part 8)

How do we find the cash buyers for our deals? For finding the cash buyers, we use the MLS. Step one is select your hot spots. For example: Pike, Washington, Lawrence, Warren, Franklin, and Perry – those are hot spots in the Indianapolis area. Typically, how I classify a hot spot is if there areRead the Rest...


Mortgage Rates Take a Short Rise Before Falling Again

Talk about a faulty prediction. This blows my mind – it seems like yesterday I was assuming the rates would take a high hike for a while, but now here we are once again. Rates tanked almost .10% this week to 4.23% for a 30-year fixed rate, having started the year at 4.53%. Frank Nothaft,Read the Rest...


A $1,500 Bonus For Selling REO Isn’t Bad

Freddie Mac is now in the same boat as Fannie Mae, and is offering incentives for real estate agents and homebuyers who list and sell properties in the current REO inventory. Freddie is offering a $1,000 bonus to agents who sell an REO property, and a $500 bonus to agents who list and sell aRead the Rest...


Shared Appreciation May Be the Hero America Deserves

Shared appreciation, also known as "SAM Financing", is probably our economy's best chance at avoiding further billions in losses due to the foreclosure crisis. SAM Loans require the lender to be an equity partner in the property. If the value goes up, the lender comes out on top. Down, and the lender takes a loss,Read the Rest...


Bulletproof House Flipping (Part 7)

Let's discuss how exit strategy number one works. You find the bank that has notes to sell. Then, you find the mortgage note that you want to make an offer on off the list that they send you, or you may find a few mortgage notes that you want to make an offer on. You,Read the Rest...


Home Maintenance Not So Costly After All

You’ve got to love technology. Home maintenance used to be the wallet killer – now, we’re developing new strategies to deal with expensive solutions. Artificial band aids looked horrible from a design standpoint, but worked excellently; style does not walk hand in hand with functionality. Today though, you can have your cake, and eat itRead the Rest...


Mortgage Rates Soar to Unexpected Highs

Though not totally unexpected – mortgage rates moved higher on Friday, bringing them to their highest levels since late January. With a current mortgage rate similar to last Wednesday’s, the total rate average seems to have lost around .05% in steam. The bonds markets moved strongly in response, but not strongly enough to dissipate theRead the Rest...


Bang for your Buck: Cheaper Alternatives for Resort Locations

Resort real estate is something that’s expensive to get into, but richly rewarding to get out of. Here, I’ll be taking a look at some of the most classic “resort” or “vacation” areas of the world, then giving examples of less well known locations that offer cheaper alternatives. You never know – a rental inRead the Rest...


Bulletproof House Flipping (Part 6)

Let's go over the four different ways to connect with these asset managers. Option One: Get direct phone number for appropriate asset manager via LinkedIn. Option Two: Get the website from LinkedIn and then phone number for the asset manager. You could also use Google as a sidekick and other hidden ninja tactics to getRead the Rest...


CFPB Releases Useful Mortgage Tool

Last Friday the CFPB (Consumer Finance Protection Bureau) announced the release of a new online tool for searching Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA) data, allowing people to search community home loan data and compare it to other locations easily. The Dodd-Frank Act gave the CFPB the arduous task of expanding their data collection efforts throughRead the Rest...


A Gangster’s Paradise – On Sale

Al Capone’s gargantuan, 10,000+ square foot estate is on sale right now. For just $8.5 million, you can enjoy the lap of luxury used by the (in)famous gangster and racketeer himself. The 7 bedroom estate is located on Palm Island and includes a main house, a two-story guest house, pool, and private beach. It wasRead the Rest...


Couples Save More than Loners on Rent

In time for Valentine’s Day, here’s some news that might push some of you to proclaiming your love for her or him. New research is showing that couples stand to save thousands of dollars by going the two-bedroom path over the two single-bedroom path. Up to 35% of the combined monthly rent can be savedRead the Rest...


Bulletproof House Flipping (Part 5)

What I would do is send an email along with a LinkedIn message. Get their email from their LinkedIn profile. Then send a LinkedIn message as well. Give it one business day. If they don't reach out to you by then, call them. It's not hard at all either to Google “Beal Bank” and getRead the Rest...


Mortgages Rise in Wake of Yellen’s Testimony

Mortgage rates took an upward hike yesterday following Fed Chairwoman Janet Yellen’s testimony before the HFSC (House Financial Services Committee). Most of the upswing happened earlier in the day, locking out mid-day revisions for most lenders. Rates rose almost .05% when adjusted for day-to-day closing costs. Yellen’s testimony gave few surprises. Most were hoping YellenRead the Rest...


Easy Jumbo Mortgages on the Horizon

Here’s a first – a double decade first anyway – Jumbo mortgage rates between the $417,000 and $625,500 levels are falling under the rates on conventional mortgages. Lenders desperate for wealthier customers are cutting closer deals, while banks keep slashing their minimum down payments lower and lower. Right now is THE time to be aRead the Rest...


Hipsters Are a Very Viable Market

The U.S. Census bureau shows that home ownership rates for hipsters – those aged 25 to 34 – is breaking 40% as of 2012, lower than 2004’s 50% and even 1982’s 45%. So, why are hipsters not taking the plunge into home ownership? According to Census bureau data, most are living with their parents longerRead the Rest...


Bulletproof House Flipping (Part 4)

I only have two or three asset managers that today I do business with. We close 8 to 10 deals month after month. Some months it could be 8, like this month we've got 25 closing next week. It all depends on what you do. It's an average. But, I've never had a month whereRead the Rest...


Chinese Housing Collapse Not So Bad After All

Something you need to remember when looking at or worrying about other economies or housing markets, is that the U.S. housing market is very unique. The Chinese housing market cannot, and will not fall the same way as the U.S. housing market would – they are two markedly different sectors of the global market. WhatRead the Rest...