Investigating a complaint image via Shutterstock. New government agency is actually doing something about mortgage complaints

New government agency is actually doing something about mortgage complaints

A Realtor friend of mine recently asked me about the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau: “Do they really do anything when somebody submits a complaint about their mortgage company? Can I tell clients that it’s not a waste of time to ......
By Ken Harney | Tuesday, April 22, 2014
Binoculars image via Shutterstock. Mortgage rates will stay rock bottom as long as the economy keeps puttering along

Mortgage rates will stay rock bottom as long as the economy keeps puttering along

Interesting, go-figure week. New economic data were strong but ignored by markets; Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen made dovish speeches, which revived the stock market; and Ukraine (back from the brink) removed a safety bid from bonds. March retai...
By Lou Barnes | Friday, April 18, 2014
New condos image via Shutterstock. FHA may bring back 'spot' condo loans

FHA may bring back 'spot' condo loans

Good news for Realtors, lenders and condominium unit owners who’ve been frustrated by FHA’s prohibition of “spot loans” in developments that haven’t obtained certification: The agency is now seriously exploring how to relax its ban and brin...
By Ken Harney | Tuesday, April 8, 2014
humans in real estate Human connection may be what saves real estate jobs from automation

Human connection may be what saves real estate jobs from automation

Computers are a wonderful tool that we use every day. Whether it be your old-school desktop or your tablet, they are a huge part of our lives and no one can deny that. In many industries, computers have already taken a human's position. The automobil...
By Stacia Whatley | Wednesday, April 2, 2014
Whole lotta garage image via Shutterstock. What features add 'value' to a home is subjective, at best

What features add 'value' to a home is subjective, at best

The concept of what adds “value” to a home is, at best, subjective. One buyer may place a high value on a pool while another may see that as a reason to eliminate the home from consideration. Price and cost ......
By Hank Miller | Monday, March 31, 2014
Home affordability How the sharing economy is changing home affordability

How the sharing economy is changing home affordability

As implied by the name, the sharing economy works when some people who own things are happy for others to make use of them –  for a fee. This enables the owner to make money where previously they wouldn’t and ......
By Vincent Turner | Thursday, March 27, 2014
Vault image via Shutterstock. Carrington Mortgage taking minimum FICO score down to 550

Carrington Mortgage taking minimum FICO score down to 550

Carrington Mortgage Services LLC wants to boost lending to “underserved” borrowers with FICO scores below 640 — “a sizable market that is largely ignored by today’s lenders,” the company said today in announcing it...
By Inman News | Monday, March 24, 2014
Honolulu image via Shutterstock. Honolulu MLS will show which properties may qualify for down payment assistance

Honolulu MLS will show which properties may qualify for down payment assistance

Homebuyers searching for properties in Honolulu on public-facing websites operated by HiCentral MLS and its 5,300 members will soon be able to see which homes may qualify for down payment assistance programs using Down Payment Resource, a tool develo...
By Inman News | Thursday, March 20, 2014
Done deal image via Shutterstock. Discover Home Loans to build websites for some Real Living brokerages

Discover Home Loans to build websites for some Real Living brokerages

Discover Home Loans — an Irvine, Calif.-based lender licensed in 42 states — will launch websites for some real estate brokerages affiliated with Real Living Real Estate designed to allow consumers to search for-sale listings and connect ...
By Inman News | Wednesday, March 19, 2014
Vault image via Shutterstock. Zillow helping buyers get mortgage preapprovals

Zillow helping buyers get mortgage preapprovals

Zillow has launched a consumer mortgage tool that allows homebuyers to receive a preapproval letter within minutes of sharing their pertinent income, debt and personal info. The tool, available on both Web and mobile, prompts homebuyers to complete a...
By Paul Hagey | Wednesday, March 19, 2014
Tight lending image via Shutterstock. FHA can afford to loosen up on premiums, but don't hold your breath

FHA can afford to loosen up on premiums, but don't hold your breath

It’s been a key question for lenders and real estate professionals who work with first-time and moderate-income homebuyers: When will FHA finally loosen up and give us a break on mortgage insurance premiums? Now that the agency is back making ......
By Ken Harney | Wednesday, March 12, 2014
Short sale image via Shutterstock. Broker facing prison time for short-sale 'flops'

Broker facing prison time for short-sale 'flops'

A former San Luis Obispo, Calif., broker faces up to 30 years in prison after pleading guilty to one count of bank fraud for a scheme in which he admitted to buying properties from banks in short sales at below ......
By Inman News | Wednesday, March 5, 2014
Stopwatch image via Shutterstock. App aims to generate short-sale approvals in minutes

App aims to generate short-sale approvals in minutes

As any agent will tell you, pulling off a short sale is no easy task. With all the moving parts involved in such deals, the approval process can drag on for what may feel like an eternity, sometimes still ending ......
By Teke Wiggin | Thursday, February 20, 2014
Shrinking market share image via Shutterstock. FHA: The incredible, shrinking mortgage resource

FHA: The incredible, shrinking mortgage resource

Is FHA sending its most profitable, lowest-risk customers — homebuyers who have very good to excellent credit — to Fannie and Freddie for their mortgages, thereby losing significant market share? Yes. Are FHA’s multiple and costly hikes...
By Ken Harney | Thursday, January 16, 2014
Homebuyers image via Shutterstock. Minorities less likely to ask for a mortgage, more likely to be told 'no'

Minorities less likely to ask for a mortgage, more likely to be told 'no'

Persistent disparities in homeownership rates between whites and minorities may be at least partly explained by the fact that minorities are less likely to apply for mortgages than whites and more likely to be denied, a study by Zillow and ......
By Inman News | Wednesday, January 15, 2014
Smart shopper image via Shutterstock. Mortgage borrowers who don't use online tools may be losing out

Mortgage borrowers who don't use online tools may be losing out

Consumers who don’t use online technology to shop for mortgage rates or look for a lender or real estate agent may be selling themselves short, with lower-income borrowers particularly at risk, according to Fannie Mae economists. Findings from ...
By Inman News | Monday, January 6, 2014
President Barack Obama announces the nomination of Rep. Melvin Watt, left, as director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA). Official White House Photo by Lawrence Jackson. Watt's vision of Fannie and Freddie's role good for housing

Watt's vision of Fannie and Freddie's role good for housing

Realtors, mortgage lenders and builders cheered when Mel Watt, the incoming overseer of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, played Santa just before Christmas and delayed a package of loan fee increases that would have made buying a home more expensive ......
By Ken Harney | Tuesday, December 31, 2013
Sea of homes image via Shutterstock. CoreLogic data to power Washington think tank's housing finance research

CoreLogic data to power Washington think tank's housing finance research

Real estate data and technology firm CoreLogic will help power the housing finance research conducted by Washington, D.C.-based think tank The Urban Institute through a strategic alliance announced today. The Urban Institute, a nonpartisan economic a...
By Inman News | Thursday, December 5, 2013