Few Fannie Mae properties in Pioneer Valley qualify for “First Look” incentive program Reply

The icon that appears on certain REO properties listed by Fannie Mae that qualify for the incentive.

The icon that appears on certain REO properties listed by Fannie Mae that qualify for the incentive.

Massachusetts in one of 27 states where home buyers who purchase certain properties can receive up to 3.5% of the final sales price in closing cost assistance from Federal National Mortgage Association, also known as Fannie Mae.    More…

Peoples Bank offering $500 off closing costs Reply

As an incentive to home buyers during the holiday season, Peoples Bank is offering $500 off closing costs on applications received by December 20, 2013.

According to their October 30th rate sheet, they are offering a 4.125% mortgage rate on a 30-year-fixed-rate mortgage. When figuring out what that would be in a mortgage payment, the rate sheet states that is $4.85 per $1,000. So if you mortgaged $300,000, that would be figured by calculating $4.85 X 300 for a payment of $1,455. Real estate taxes and insurance would add to your payment amount, as well. This is standard. (Article continues below video.) More…

Pioneer Valley home buyers and home sellers should keep tabs on Qualified Residential Mortgage proposal Reply

Pioneer Valley home buyers and sellers should be paying attention to recent reports regarding what has been dubbed a “re-proposal” for Qualified Residential Mortgages (QRM). If finalized, the new proposal for QRMs will be good news for the Pioneer Valley real estate market because it eliminates a down payment requirement that would have put home ownership out of reach for a large segment of the population. More…

President Obama recognizes importance of home ownership, proposes reforms for sustainable mortgage market and housing affordability Reply

President Obama recently made a speech in Phoenix to present his goals for making home ownership more available to the middle class in the wake of the financial crisis.  It included a five step plan that would make home ownership easier, which was followed by four core principles upon which reforms to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac should be based.  The president’s remarks were lauded by the National Association of REALTORS® as “mirroring” an outline they presented for reforming the secondary mortgage market. More…

Locking in a mortgage rate important when they are on the rise Reply

Mortgage rates have been rising pretty steadily over the last few months, so it is important that lenders lock in their customers’ rate. Although a difference of .5 percent may not seem like a lot, it is a big difference when it comes to a mortgage payment.  Locking in an interest rate keeps it at where it was at that time of your initial mortgage application, even if it rises by the closing date.  This will save you money. More…

As student loan interest rates double and threaten the Pioneer Valley real estate market, Senator Elizabeth Warren thinks outside the box Reply

Senator Elizabeth Warren (public domain photo).

Senator Elizabeth Warren (public domain photo).

Congress’ failure to prevent the doubling of student loan interest rates―from 3.4% to 6.8%―took effect on July 1 adds another challenge to the recovery of the real estate market if they don’t do something about it soon.  Republicans and Democrats both have plans to keep the rates low, but Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren is thinking outside the box. More…

Energy-efficient mortgages allow for more borrowing power, SAVE legislation could make them more accessible 2

If you are buying an energy efficient home, you may qualify to borrow more money thanks to loan programs that take into consideration the money you will save in energy costs when factoring your debt-to-income ratio.  These types of loans are called Energy Efficient Mortgages (EEM) and are insured by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA).

Michael Seward has earned the NAR Green designation. If you are looking to buy or sell an energy efficient home, call Michael Seward at 413-531-7129 Michael Seward has earned the NAR Green designation. If you are looking to buy or sell an energy efficient home, call Michael Seward at 413-531-7129  More…

Mortgage interest rates at 4.25% STILL below historical averages, making it STILL the time to buy or sell a Pioneer Valley home Reply

Mortgage interest rates for 30-year-fixed mortgages recently hit 4.25% as predicted earlier this year.   This is still a low rate that will not last forever, making now the time to buy or sell a home in the Pioneer Valley.  Although mortgage rates have risen, they are still low when compared to what they were just a few years ago.   Just prior to the mortgage crisis, the average interest rate for a 30-year-mortgage was 6.5%.

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Northampton Cooperative Bank offers free appraisal until June 30th Reply

Northampton Cooperative Bank recently announced that they are offering a free appraisal when you mortgage your home purchase with them through June 30th. Rates are currently only 3.375%, according to an email from an Amherst branch manager. More…

Grant for up to $15,000 available to first-time home buyers 2

Pioneer Valley first-time home buyers can now qualify for up to $15,000 in grant money to buy a home as part of a federal grant available through participating lenders.   All a buyer needs is $500 of their own money and qualify for a mortgage appropriate to the sale price of home.  After you own the home for five years, the grant money is forgiven.   In other words, you won’t have to pay it back. More…