Whether you're buying your first home, your 100th investment property, or facilitating such transactions as a real estate broker or lender, imagine having a crystal ball that reveals home prices two years from now? There is no such crystal ball, of course. But PMI Mortgage Insurance Co. publishes a periodic risk index that helps consumers and real estate professionals gauge the odds that prices will fall in the top 50 housing markets. The PMI U.S. Market Risk Index can help first-time home buyers decide whether that adjustable-rate mortgage, or ARM, with the low introductory teaser rate makes sense. If home prices are going to keep going up, first-timers will have a better chance of being able to refinance their loan before their payments reset. But if prices are going to fall, they may want to consider a more conservative approach, buying only the house they can afford with a more traditional fixed-rate loan. For homeowners who already have ARM loans and are facing res...
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