What changed everything: the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, which altered the U.S. tax code more than it had been in several decades. The National Association of Realtors® reports that the new law will bring generally lower tax rates for all individual tax filers. Get used to the new law, because it doesn’t expire until 2025. The bottom line is that buyers may have to make due with fewer allowable deductions and larger amounts of debt. When it comes to mortgage interest, you can deduct interest on qualified residence loans with …

As of April 2019, mortgage rates seem to have stabilized, just in time for the spring homebuying season. The 30-year fixed mortgage rate decreased (slightly) to 4.28 percent, according to Bankrate’s weekly survey of large lenders. That’s down from 4.29 percent. Let your homebuyers and refinancers know that these rates are arriving at a 15-month low.  A year ago at the same time, the mortgage rate was 4.49 percent. Most prevalent: zero-down loans and new underwater refinance options that have been unveiled by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, according to …

Existing (as opposed to new) home sales fell 1.2 percent as of January 2019, according to the National Association of Realtors® (NAR). That works out to a seasonally adjusted rate of 4.94 million units. Specifically, existing homes sales are a monthly measure of sales volume and prices of homes considered single-family, condos, and co-ops nationwide. Unlike new homes, existing homes are owned and occupied before being listed on the market. These type of homes make up more than 90 percent of total home sales. The data reported represents completed transactions. …

Going forward, there definitely is good news. Due to rising home prices and an increase in homeowners, home equity is predicted to grow by $1.4 trillion in 2018, which brings net housing equity to over $15 trillion. Compare that to a decade ago — during the housing crisis — when housing equity was at just $6 trillion. However, the best that anyone can do when predicting business trends is take educated guesses. Here’s just a worthy few of them: New Housing Construction The U.S. real estate market belonged to the …

Reverse mortgages are among the most misunderstood processes in real estate; your clients should be sure to understand its pros and cons before making any final decisions. Essentially, a reverse mortgage allows homeowners over age 62 to sell their home without having to leave it. Typically, you sell your home to a reverse-mortgage lender for a choice of one sum, an income stream or a credit line. All the while, you are allowed to remain in your home until you die, move on (for example, to a nursing home), or …

You would think the villain that helped spur the Great Recession of a decade ago would recede into history forever — but it’s back, with a new image. Adjustable-rate mortgages (ARMs) now represent 14 percent of the dollar volume on mortgage applications in 2018, according to debt.com. This is a far cry from December 2009 (post-recession), when ARMs made up just 2.8 percent of the market. At its highest point, in 2005 (pre-recession), ARMs consisted of 49.7 percent of the market. The reason: rising interest rates on fixed-rate loans. ARMs …

Getting approved for a mortgage can be a stressful situation. You’re likely making the greatest investment of your life. Key to keeping the stress levels manageable, however, is knowing exactly what you’ll need to provide the lender in terms of documentation. This helpful video gives a rundown of the information you’ll want to have on hand before you show up at the bank.

Many clients have a hard time wrapping their head around the concept of an escrow account. Explaining it to them can be frustrating and time-consuming, particularly when you’re left with the feeling that they didn’t really understand what you just told them. That’s why you may find it useful to share videos with your clients, so they can watch (and perhaps re-watch) them at their own pace, without feeling pressured to act like they understand everything. Of course, be sure to tell them that the videos are optional and that …

Next to finding your dream home, getting approval for a mortgage to buy the property is the most important step in the home buying journey. While I am certainly no expert in home financing, I have listed my top eight tips on how to put yourself in the most favorable light with the bank that is helping you with your mortgage: Prove your stability. If possible, don’t jump around to different jobs too often. Banks like to see consistency in your paychecks and employment over a long period of time. …