Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Guess Who's L@@King at Your Credit

Insurance Companies Want to SEE Your Credit Score
I previously wrote about how you should get your homeowners insurance during the inspection period when you are buying a home.
Now I SEE more than ever the importance of that when buying a home in Kansas City, Missouri.
At sales meeting this morning we were discussing how more and more insurance companies are using individuals credit scores to determine their insurability and their premium rates.
We all know it's important to pay our bills on time to keep our credit as healthy as possible, and now it's even more vital!
Insurance companies are lining up to look at your credit score to decide if they want to insure you and if they do what the likelihood is that you will have a claim.
Do I feel this is right? Well, not really, but they are doing it.
Again let me stress the importance of getting your insurance during the initial inspection period after you sign a contract. If a problem arises around homeowners insurance you will know at the front end of the deal rather than wait till it's time to close and it becomes a major problem.
I believe that everyone deserves to own their own home and with all the mortgage possibilities out there it is possible. A word to the wise: protect your credit because it may affect the premium you will pay for homeowners insurance.

It's SPRING in Real Estate in Kansas City

It's SPRING in Real Estate: Getting Ready to Sell your Home in Kansas City, MO

Have you been enjoying this taste of warmer temperatures? Nice huh. Yes we've been busy getting our own house ready to sell. At first you don't think there's that much to do, but once I got in to it, one thing just led to another.

We've painted and made pretty our home sweet home and within a few days she'll be ready for market.

Here's some ideas of things you can do to get your home ready for spring, and believe me it's time. Each day I look at the new houses that come on to MLS and every day it seems more and more from absolutely nothing in November and December.

Wash your windows

Make sure all your mirrors are clean inside your home

Take down family pictures not to distract buyers

Spiff up your front door

Bag up any left over leaves from last fall

Shampoo your carpets

Paint the trim

Brighten a room with a coat of paint and higher watt lightbulbs

DeJUNK... all that stuff you have sitting around that you don't use, get rid of it.

Seem overwhelming? At first, but you feel great when it's done and it will help your home sell more quickly!

If there's anything I can do to help you with selling your home or buying another, give me a yell 816-682-3897

If you have a question about whether you should or shouldn't do something particular to get your house ready, leave a message here...

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Kansas City Area Economic News from Carol Poppe

Economic News From Carol Poppe, VP of Residential Lending
Here's the most recent economic news from Carol Poppe.
First Community Bank Mortgage Division Carol L. Poppe, Vice President
(913) 652-7302 ph (913) 707-1153 cell
The question is simple enough: What’s going on with mortgage rates? What makes them rise or fall? Is it the Fed? The economy? Inflation? The banks?
The answer is that rates are moved by a number of related factors, and believe it or not, you—Joe/Jane Consumer-- are one of those factors.
Most mortgage money comes from “capital markets” which is where investors interested in purchasing certain kinds of investments come to buy these items. In order to attract investors, sellers of bonds must compete with one another to get investor’s money. They do this by offering a variety of products with differing structures of risk and return over given periods of time.
Who are these investors and why are they so fickle? Mostly, they are people like you, and you want two opposing things, low payment on your mortgage and high return on your investments. You will buy only so many low yielding bonds before you take your money elsewhere for better returns. Investors have 100’s of places to put their money in a crowded marketplace. If the demand falls enough, a change in strategy to attract investors is to raise the rates. Mortgages are priced for sale to attract investors who seek safe, fixed income investments, such as retirement accounts.
Rates have to be high enough to attract investors and low enough to attract mortgage borrowers.
The big unknown in the bond market is “volume.” No one really knows how many mortgages will be originated and then made available for sale (as bonds) in a given period of time. Recently, a quick drop in rates produced a large buildup of loans to be sold to investors as homeowners rushed to refinance. This made way too much bond supply available in too short a time and investors could not absorb it all at once. Too much supply, not enough demand; bond prices had to go down and yields went up. When the yields went up, so did the mortgage rates.
Inflation impacts Treasury, mortgage, and other fixed-income investments. Rising inflation reduces the actual return on a fixed interest rate investment, so with 2% inflation, that 6% mortgage note returns only 4% “real interest.” If inflation is expected to decline for the foreseeable future, you can bet that mortgage rates have some room to fall. Conversely, an outlook which suggests higher inflation ahead will see mortgage rates rise, sometimes very quickly. This is another reason that the Feds watch inflation very carefully. The higher rates can cool demand (slowing economic growth) helping to keep inflationary pressures from forming.
However, contrary to belief, the Fed (The Federal Reserve) doesn’t control mortgage rates. The Federal Funds rate is the overnight interest rate which banks charge each other when a bank needs to borrow money to meet end-of-day reserve requirements. i.e. A bank must have so much cash on hand when the books close at the end of the day and those funds can be borrowed from another bank at this interest rate. It is literally an Overnight Loan. The Fed Funds rate is the shortest of short-term rates and a 30 year fixed-rate is at the opposite end of the scale.
In some ways, expectations of what the Fed might do can be more important than what the Fed actually does.
GOING ONCE…GOING TWICE…SOLD, FOR $36 BILLION! That’s right, if you were in the market to buy new Bonds last week, it was your week! The US Treasury offered $36 Billion in new bonds. The auction was well received during the week. Lackluster buying would have meant that buyers feel that rates will be higher down the road. It was helped along by foreign buyers who love our US Bonds as a safe investment with a high rate of return. Their investment has helped keep bond prices high, and therefore, home loan interest rates low. Bond prices and mortgage rates improved throughout the week, but then lost some ground on Friday, to end the week right back where they started. Some Traders saw prices as topping out and decided to sell and take their profits.
Remember, when the price of Bonds move lower, home loan rates move higher-----------------------------------------------
Thanks Carol for your wisdom and kindness to share this information with my readers!
If you have questions about home loans, please feel free to give Carol a call.
Fran White, Realtor 2007

Monday, February 12, 2007

First Important Step - GET PREAPPROVED

First Important Step... Get Pre-Approved

The first step in beginning to shop for a home is to get pre-approved. If you don't know who to go to, ask your REALTOR. More than likely they have three or more mortgage people that they work with on a consistent basis and know which ones have a good track record for excellent customer service to the buyers.
I had a gentleman call me this week. He'd driven by a house and wanted to see it. "Great, I'd love to show it to you! Are you pre-approved?" He said no he wasn't, so I suggested someone for him to call. It doesn't cost anything to get pre-approved, it's FREE. It's also free to get second opinion from another mortgage lender too!
Well, unfortunately, when the gentleman went to get pre-approved there were some dings on his credit that need to be taken care of and he would not have been able to qualify for the mortgage on the house he wanted to see.
The other important part about getting pre-approved is during that process the lender will tell you what you qualify for. They determine this by taking into consideration your credit score, your income and your debt. So why set yourself up for disappointment looking at something that is out of your comfort zone? So after you are pre-approved you and your REALTOR will both know how much you qualify for... which will tell you what price range you should be looking in.
Plus after you are pre-approved, the mortgage person will give you a pre-approval letter that should be included with any offers you make to show your serious and you are ready to make a purchase!
If I can answer any questions for you regarding Kansas City Real Estate, please feel free to e-mail me at franwhite@kc.rr.com or give me a call at 816-682-3897,
Fran White, REALTOR Reece and Nichols Residential
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