Pioneer Valley Condo sales were up in 2012, median prices down Reply

Pioneer Valley condominium sales improved slightly in 2012, according to MLS PIN data.  There were 626 condo sales in 2012 in the valley, which was up from the 591 condo sales in 2011.  Out of all of the counties that make of the Pioneer Valley, only Franklin County saw an increase in median sale prices.

Here are the 2012 sales figures by Pioneer Valley County :

More…

Why Pioneer Valley home buyers should apply for FHA loans before spring Reply

Pioneer Valley home buyers may want to consider calling their local lender and getting themselves approved for a FHA mortgage and assigned a FHA case number before April 1, 2013.  Federal Housing Administration mortgages, also known as FHA loans, are about to become more expensive over the term of the loan than conventional mortgages as part of an effort to bolster FHA’s capital reserves. More…

New rules regarding mortgage servicing and “qualified mortgages” could be good for Pioneer Valley home sales Reply

The new rules regulating mortgages servicing recently released by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) offer new protections for homeowners facing foreclosure, but could also make getting a mortgage even more challenging than it already is by increasing borrowing costs and restricting credit availability. Similarly, new regulations regarding a category of mortgage known as a “qualified mortgage” may have unintended consequences as well.  The new rules will take effect on January 10, 2014. More…

Thirty-year fixed mortgage interest rates forecasted to rise above 4% in 2013 Reply

Now may be a good time to commit to buying a home in the Pioneer Valley and get locked into today’s historically low interest rates as economists are starting to forecast that 30 year fixed mortgage interest rates will rise above 4% in 2013. More…

Lawsuits against big banks threaten recovery, demonstrate wisdom of using local banks Reply

The wisdom of seeking out and utilizing local banks when buying a home continues to be confirmed by news reports as larger banks continue to struggle with the consequences of their own destructive business practices. The bottom line: lawsuits against the big banks could cost them $300 billion, which would weaken their ability to lend and subsequently threaten the recovery of the real estate market. More…

Estate planning is essential to preventing your survivors from being foreclosed upon Reply

A recent New York Times article highlighted what could be a potential issue for married couples if tragedy strikes.

According to the Times article, widows over the age of 50 whose husbands were the sole name on the mortgage are losing their homes to foreclosure because they can’t afford the loan anymore More…

Federal Reserve Bank of Boston offers interactive tool regarding Massachusetts foreclosures Reply

I recently discovered this great interactive map of the commonwealth. It allows you to look at the Massachusetts foreclosures statistics by town and by year, as well as other information? Click here to check it out.  The photo below is just a screen shot. More…

Homebuyers should have their documentation ready to save time on mortgage application process, work with local lenders Reply

Navigating the mortgage process can be a time-consuming venture for anyone.  This is one of the reasons that I recommend that buyers work with local banks as their underwriters are also local.  Many parts of the mortgage application process are beyond the home buyer’s control, but there is a way for the home buyer to cut 10 days off of the mortgage application process. More…

Study finds states not using $2.5 billion foreclosure settlement for intended use, Massachusetts’ use incorrectly summarized Reply

Earlier this year, forty-nine state attorney generals and the federal government announced a $25 billion settlement with five major banks that resulted from the bank’s illegal foreclosure practices.  The settlement included $2.5 billion for the states to assist homeowners avoid foreclosure, help stabilize communities adversely affected by foreclosures, and to prosecute fraud. Enterprise Community Partners, More…