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  • When Is the Right Time to Buy a Rental Property?

    I think real estate, especially small rental properties, are great investments. By carefully purchasing properties and maximizing their rental income, real long-term wealth is possible.

    Contributor: Ted Sherman
    Published: Apr 18, 2014

  • Tips On: How to Put Trim Work Up in Your House

    If your fixing up a house the finishing touches of trim work can be a daunting task. Here are some tips to help you decide how to do it.

    Contributor: Mich Butler
    Published: Apr 17, 2014

  • Working Moms and the Real Estate Game

    Getting a real estate license may be a sure bet for working moms. Benefits include a three-course education and flexibility in a work schedule. When your first job is being a mom, establishing a career and the ability to provide for kids can be easy.

    Contributor: Robin Matteri
    Published: Apr 17, 2014

  • Must-Know Cleaning Secrets When Moving Into a New Home

    Deep cleaning reminders for new home owners.

    Contributor: Katie Shaykin
    Published: Apr 16, 2014

  • Why Should You Invest in Property in Turkey?

    If you are considering, or have made the decision to invest your money into property abroad, it is important that you choose the right location in order to get the most out of your investment.

    Contributor: Cihan Çakmak
    Published: Apr 15, 2014

  • We Bought a Bank-Owned Home: Here's What We Learned

    Buying a bank-owned home was our first step toward financial recovery for our family. Here's what we learned.

    Contributor: Nancy Rusk
    Published: Apr 15, 2014

  • To Pay Discount Points or Not to Pay Discount Points

    Have you wondered if paying discount points is the right thing to do for your mortgage? New Article explains the ins and outs of points so that you can make a better decision.

    Contributor: Anthony VanDyke
    Published: Apr 15, 2014

  • Why I like "dead" Malls

    Big, lumbering, oversized shopping malls are dying left and right. You should be happy about this, because you could profit from it.

    Contributor: Rich Menga
    Published: Apr 14, 2014

  • Real Estate Agents: Getting Rich in a Talent Poor Industry

    There are agents who are talent poor, but still getting rich. However, times might be changing soon.

    Contributor: Shauna Zamarripa
    Published: Apr 14, 2014

  • Pricing Your Rental Home

    Are you an independent Landlord or a homeowner that needs some guidance in figuring out how much rent you can charge? The following guideline provides a few strategies to help you price your home for rent and decide how much rent to charge.

    Contributor: Lisa Weese
    Published: Apr 13, 2014

  • CFPB Disclosure Form News; Create Your Freddie User Profile; How is April Looking for Lenders?

    Posted To: Pipeline Press

    Tommy LaSorda supposedly said, "I found out that it's not good to talk about my troubles: 80% of the people who hear them don't care and the other 20% are glad you're having trouble." Many mortgage banking analysts are concerned about percentages - and everyone is doing their best to not end up being a carcass by the side of the road. The smartest guys in the room are saying, "Estimate that 1Q14 mortgage volume will come in at roughly $225 billion...While the MBA mortgage applications index is down an average of roughly 5% in 1Q, it was down by closer to 25% for the period from mid-November 2013 to mid-February 2014, which should drive 1Q14 closings....decreasing earnings estimates for title insurers...modeling in a roughly 25% decline in industry mortgage volume...modeling in more modest declines...(read more)

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  • MBS RECAP: Moderate Selling Followed by Heavy Selling and Tons of Reprices

    Posted To: MBS Commentary

    Bond markets had a bad day. The setup for this one started as early as Tuesday, when what looked like a shift toward weakness on Monday was instead greeted with a refreshing amount of resilience. Despite the fact that the resilience was based on geopolitical risk, it may have nonetheless set us up to hope that we could hold our ground. Then, when today's Geneva talks produced news of deescalation, bond markets were quickly forced to pay back some of the panic premium they'd benefited from earlier in the week. The geopolitical story accounts for the brunt of the afternoon weakness , and perhaps some of the morning weakness. Even then, the economic data was unequivocally stronger. Jobless Claims continue hovering around territory they haven't hovered around since before the crisis...(read more)

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  • Mortgage Rates Sharply Higher to End The Week

    Posted To: Mortgage Rate Watch

    Mortgage rates moved sharply higher today on a combination of factors including strong economic data, developments in Ukraine, and prevailing market momentum. That momentum risked turning negative as soon as Monday, when rates ended their impressive 7-day rally. Rather than simply turn around and head the other direction, however, rates managed to hold mostly sideways until today. Part of the resilience had to do with Geopolitical risk swelling earlier in the week. As we noted on Tuesday , such strength only lasts as long as the risk stays elevated. "When it comes to bond market rallies that draw strength from geopolitical risk, the 'catch' is that they rely on that risk staying elevated if the gains are to persist. That means the longer Ukraine goes without breaking out into civil war, the...(read more)

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  • MBS MID-DAY: Bond Markets Weaker After Economic Data Prompting Negative Reprices for Mortgage Rates

    Posted To: MBS Commentary

    Given the recent adherence to a sideways range in bond markets combined with today's economic data coming in stronger than expected, it's not surprising to see yields moving from a lower rung on the range-bound ladder to the next rung higher. This move was already a consideration yesterday as 10yr yields lifted off from the 2.60 resistance level. The next rung on the technical ladder is 2.68, which is where we're currently trading. Weakness was delivered in 3 installments this morning. The first came just before the open as overnight trading turned negative in the 7am hour. The stronger-than-expected Jobless Claims added insult to injury, beating expectations by 11k (304k vs 315k forecast). Bonds recovered somewhat only to get hit again by stronger Philly Fed data. MBS had fallen...(read more)

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  • Homes in Foreclosure Increasingly have Positive Equity

    Posted To: MND NewsWire

    Homes with serious negative equity numbers have now declined to the lowest point in at least two years RealtyTrac said today. The company, which began tracking so-called underwater properties in the first quarter of 2012, estimates that in the first quarter of 2014 9.1 million U.S. homes had loan balances at least 25 percent higher than the properties market value or a loan-to-value ratio (LTV) of 125 percent. This is 17 percent of all U.S. properties with a mortgage. In the fourth quarter of 2013 RealtyTrac said there were 9.3 million properties or 19 percent of mortgaged homes that were that seriously underwater and in the first quarter 2013 there were 10.9 million or 26 percent. The recent peak in negative equity was the second quarter of 2012, when 12.8 million U.S. residential properties...(read more)

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  • Purchases Continue Taking Market Share; FICOs Trending Lower

    Posted To: MND NewsWire

    Ellie Mae's Origination Insight Report said today that 40 percent of mortgage loans closed in March were originated for refinancing and 60 percent for home purchases. In February the split was 43/57 percent. The March figure was the lowest share for refinancing since Ellie Mae began reporting the data in late 2012. Ellie Mae gathers data from a sample representing the approximately 57 percent of all mortgage applications that pass through its management software and systems. Jonathan Corr, president and COO of Ellie Mae said, "We continue to see the resurgence of a purchase-centric market as numbers inch closer to historical levels. Purchases increased another three percentage points in March 2014 to represent 60 percent of loans, quite the difference from March 2013 when purchases represented...(read more)

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  • The Connection Between Financial Literacy, Millenials, and First Time Home Buyers

    Posted To: Pipeline Press

    Home affordability is not a modern problem. In Zillow's In Search of Affordability , Krishna Rao writes, "Across the United States, strong home price affordability has been recently eroded by a combination of rising home prices and mortgage rates. Some areas, particularly on the West Coast, have begun to look unaffordable compared to their historic norms, forcing some household to look to the periphery of urban areas in search of affordable homes." Zillow measures affordability by looking at how much of a person's monthly income is spent on a mortgage payment. Historically in the United States, the median household would need to spend 22.1 percent of their income to afford the mortgage payments on the median home. This number fell dramatically during the housing recession, hitting a low of...(read more)

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  • MBS Day Ahead: Biggest Economic Data of the Week; Bond Markets Close at 2pm

    Posted To: MBS Commentary

    At the beginning of the week, we discussed the shared fate between stocks and bonds, noting that they'd been exceptionally well-connected of late and that both were approaching the later phases of a move lower (in price for stocks, and in yield for bonds). From a technical standpoint, both sides of the market have indeed ended the previous move, but now can't seem to agree on the next move. Stocks' vote is to move back in the other direction while bonds have been flat so far this week. Additionally, 2.66 has emerged as an important short term ceiling for 10yr yields--at least as important as anything can be on a 3.5 day week without any watershed market movers. For now, it acts as the line of demarcation between "sideways" and "heading higher again with stocks."...(read more)

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  • MBS RECAP: Sharply Sideways Day for Bond Markets

    Posted To: MBS Commentary

    As of the 3pm Treasury pit close (the unofficial end of the day for bond markets), little, if anything has changed from this morning. Despite having a wide variety of potential market movers in play, bond markets instead saw a session that would be hard pressed to be more uneventful. Treasuries were slightly weaker in the overnight session with yields pushed higher by a generally improving risk tone. This may have had something to do with stronger Chinese GDP, but even without it, there was still some 'unwinding' to do from yesterday's Ukraine- inspired flight-to-safety. When we see such flights, bond markets are preemptively moving into stronger territory on the chance that geopolitical tensions continue escalating rapidly. If geopolitical tensions to anything else, bonds lose...(read more)

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  • Mortgage Rates Slightly Higher, but Remain Near Recent Lows

    Posted To: Mortgage Rate Watch

    Mortgage rates were slightly highe r today as investors continued to pull back from yesterday's geopolitically motivated buying spree. Tensions in Ukraine had created a short term spike in demand for fixed income securities like Treasuries and the mortgage-backed-securities (MBS) that most directly influence mortgage rates. Higher demand means lower rates. As we saw yesterday, that spike in demand led to moderate improvements in rates, but had already started fading by the end of the day. This morning simply continued in that same vein, resulting in higher mortgage rates. That said, the weakness has been merely moderate . Weaker housing data helped to prevent further bond market weakness (bonds tend to improve when economic data is weaker than expected). The most prevalently quoted conforming...(read more)

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