Listing Courtesy of CONDOMINIUM REALTY LTD
Rehoboth Beach home buying activity may be going great guns, but for some would-be buyers, credit score woes are still a stubborn obstacle. That’s why we have been keeping an eye on the new pilot project that was announced late last year. This was the one called the "Wealth Building Home Loan." It’s an experiment aimed at opening up home ownership options, particularly for first time home buyers. Bank of America and Citibank were first to sign up for the program, said to “take a fresh approach to affordable mortgage lending.” It sounds like a pretty good idea!
How It Works
The Wealth Building Home Loan is a mortgage that runs for 15 years at a fixed interest rate. Because the term is so short, equity builds rapidly. The payments are more manageable than any reality-grounded Rehoboth Beach mortgage watcher would think because discount points can be used to buy the interest rate down to…well, “zero”! Since no down payment is generally required, home buyers can apply their available cash to purchasing those points. Since that sounds almost too good to be true, we’ve been keeping an eye open for progress reports.
Extra Help for Buyers with Modest Income
Qualifying for the mortgages would emphasize home buyer income rather than credit score. This would be a real godsend to the many people still rebuilding their credit after the economic downturn. Furthermore, interest would be set at three-fourths of a percent lower than the 30-year FHA rate—which makes sense, since shorter terms mean lower lender risk—with additional points to be offered at special bargain prices.
A Game-Changing Approach
The loan program is piloted through The Neighborhood Assistance Corporation of America, which secured underwriting from BofA and Citibank. It’s intended to be "a game changer,” because equity ownership takes place rapidly. Already in the first three years of a WBHL, 77% of the monthly payments pay off the principal, rather than the 68% that goes to interest under a standard 30-year mortgage. The effect is to accumulate a significant ownership stake almost from the word ‘go’—and more ownership equates to better loan performance.
When last checked, the program was in “pilot project” status (still in the initial shakedown phase) while the innovators who came up with the idea figure out how to make the loans widely available. So far, so good, apparently—we’ll keep an eye on developments to see if the program is greenlighted by the two underwriters.
In the meantime, Rehoboth Beach mortgage-seekers have a wide variety of currently available options for taking advantage of the great buys viewable on this morning’s Rehoboth Beach listings. Give me a call for a no-obligation discussion of how you can take advantage of today’s opportunities! Call/Text me Russell Stucki at (302) 228-7871, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, visit more listings at www.beachrealestatemarket.com.
If anyone involved in Sussex County real estate were to try to pick a word to characterize the mortgage industry as a whole, “sentimental” wouldn’t be among them. Especially over the past several years, “frustrated” might be apt, or “hog-tied.” Mortgage issuers been hampered by tough rules developed in reaction to the sub-prime mortgage mess. They certainly wanted to issue more mortgages, if only for their own profitability, but until recently, the lending guidelines made that difficult.
In any case, this is an industry that relies on hard facts and statistics to govern lending decisions. Mortgage industry leaders are therefore not inclined to be overly optimistic, overly pessimistic—nor are they prone to exaggeration in their public pronouncements.
So when the powers-that-be at Fannie Mae come out each quarter with their Mortgage Lender Sentiment Survey, the “sentiment” is not the Cry Me a River or You Are the Sunshine of My Life variety. This “sentiment” describes how real estate lenders (presumably including some Sussex County mortgage companies) feel about mortgage business prospects in the coming months. The actual report has a remarkable record of a lack of sentiment: it’s usually pretty much on target.
So it is that when the 2015 first quarter Survey appeared last month (this is one real estate report whose ‘first quarter’ paper actually appears in the first quarter), it sounded another positive note in the assemblage of springtime real estate projections. The summary talked about “an improving outlook among mortgage lenders” because those surveyed “expect mortgage demand…to grow over the next three months.” The hard number was 71% having that expectation, which wouldn’t be surprising, given our entry into the busy spring selling season. The optimism drew more from the fact that this is a substantial improvement compared with the same quarter 2014 (71% vs. the previous 59%).
If the growth they anticipate holds true for our own market, it wouldn’t just indicate improving activity for Sussex County home buyers and sellers. After what they viewed as an “uneven” 2014, Fannie Mae’s Chief Economist Doug Duncan said the results were “consistent with our view that an improving economy, strengthening employment, and increasing consumer confidence” pointed to the more cheerful outlook.
Also cheerful was the picture mortgage issuers expected for their own well-being. A year ago, lenders who thought their profitability would increase were in the extreme minority: 21%. This year, the size of the optimistic group doubled.
Local mortgage applicants could find good news in one more of the reasons for the expectation for mortgage demand to grow over the next three months. The report talked about how last year’s credit tightening was continuing to “trend down.” And there at the top was the headline which mentioned “Gradual Credit Easing.” For anyone who had found it hard to qualify under last year’s rules, that’s very welcome news.
If you will be buying or selling anytime soon, I hope you’ll give me a call: the sentiment here is also the green light kind!