Mortgage Applications Increase

Applications for new home purchases jumped approximately 8% according to the Mortgage Bankers Association’s Builder Application Survey for October. Conventional loans made up 68.2% of all loan applications; FHA loans made up 16.2%, RHS/USDA loans made up 1.5% and VA loans made up 14.2%. The MBA’s chief economist, Mike Fratantoni said, “applications for new home purchases picked up in October, particularly for higher-priced homes. The continued improvement in the job market and still low mortgage rates are supporting the upper levels of the purchase market while the tight credit environment continues to constrain sales at the entry level.” Additionally, the average loan amount on new homes rose nearly $2,000 from September to October 2014. More here

Sought After Enhancements For High-End Homes

Many high-end homeowners are insisting on a new set of amenities to improve their quality of life. A few of the more popular extravagances are: A subterranean garage; a garage that moves your car to its desired location below ground automatically, at the touch of a button. Also, dining areas located within wine cellars are gaining in popularity. In addition, indoor sport and activity rooms continue to be sought after, along with elaborate air-purification systems. More here

How to: Cleaning Out Home Gutters

While cleaning out gutters is a dreaded task for many homeowners, it must be addressed in order to keep potential structural disasters at bay. Blocked gutters can cause damage to the trim and siding of your home, interior walls, and can even cause leakage in your basement. Listed here are a few tips that may help you when cleaning out your gutters: By rule of thumb, you should clean out your gutters once in the fall, and once each spring. More maintenance may be required, depending on the number of trees in close proximity to your home. You will need a ladder in most cases, and you should use gloves. Remove all debris, and then flush the gutters out with a hose to remove anything that may be left over. If you find any leaks or damaged spots, you can quickly caulk them with gutter sealant. You may want to consider investing in gutter guards, which will make upkeep easier. More here

Consumer Confidence In Housing Shows Impressive Increase

Consumer confidence in housing is on the rise, reaching an all-time-high. According to Fannie Mae’s National Housing Survey for October 2014, 45% of survey participants believe that they will be more financially secure within the next year. Many of the participants also expect the economy to improve, and 44% expect housing prices to jump and believe now is prime time to sell. The chief economist at Fannie Mae, Doug Duncan said, “consumers are growing more optimistic about the housing market in the face of broader improvement in economic sentiment.” More here

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25% Of Americans Could Benefit From Refinancing

According to Black Knight Financial Services, as many as 25% of American borrowers with 30-year mortgages could benefit from refinancing their homes. Trey Barns, the senior vice president of Loan Data Products for Black Knight Financial Services said, “before the most recent reductions in the average 30-year mortgage interest rate, approximately six million borrowers met broad-based ‘refinancibility’ criteria. These criteria assume loan-to-value ratios of 80% or below, good credit, non-delinquent loan status and current interest rates high enough that borrowers have an incentive to refinance.” More here

Housing Market Continues Slow Recovery

The National Association of Home Builders/First American Leading Markets Index (LMI) reports the housing market continues to make successful strides toward recovery. The U.S. housing market reached 90% of its normal economic housing activity last quarter, up 1% from the second quarter of 2014. Positive recovery is expected to maintain gradual growth. Kevin Kelly,  the NAHB Chairman said, “continued job creation, economic growth and increasing consumer confidence should help spur pent-up demand for housing.” More here

Educating Yourself On Reverse Mortgages

Reverse mortgages have begun to gain more positive attention as new laws make the option more attractive to both borrowers and loan officers. In the past, there were some concerns, but now that new laws protect the borrower, the option has become safer, and ultimately, more appealing. Reverse mortgages have ensured that many older Americans can stay in their homes by tapping into their home equity, and it’s overall popularity is rising. Many experts are now promoting reverse mortgages to older individuals as a way to escape financial hardship. More here 

Foreclosures Fall To Lowest Level Since 2008

According to recent data, foreclosure inventory in the United States declined this month, falling to the lowest level seen since February of 2008. There are currently around 893,000 loans in or starting the foreclosure process, down 435,000 from this time last year, and a 3.9% decrease from last month. Additionally, seriously delinquent loan inventory, mortgages 90 days late or more, has also decreased by 25,000, the lowest rate since August of 2008. More here