What Yesterday’s Fed Announcement Means for Mortgage Rates

by Alex Stenback 01.26.2012

Yesterday, the Federal Reserve Open Market Committee (FOMC) wrapped a two day conclave in the usual manner – with a policy statement and rate decision. The policy statement, in addition to reciting the usual litany of economic yin and yang (economic growth moderate in US, slowing overseas.  Employment bad, household spending kind of OK, housing […]

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Get Smarter: Ignore the National Real Estate Market and Use Local Tools

by Alex Stenback 12.22.2011

I’ve been telling you for a while that there is no such thing as a “National Real Estate Market” and that if you really want to understand what is going on, looking at the local picture (wherever local happens to be for you) is crucial. Call it confirmation bias if you will, but here’s an […]

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Why Are Mortgage Documentation Standards So Strict?

by Alex Stenback 12.09.2011

A favorite question from many clients these days goes something like this: “Help me understand why we need to document every deposit on our bank statements – I mean, we have the money, clearly.  What gives?  Are we being singled out for special treatment here?” I find a speed limit analogy helps. Today, it is […]

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Weekly Mortgage Market Commentary: Monday, November 21st 2011

by Alex Stenback 11.21.2011

Last Week: Mortgages chugged sideways last week.  From Monday through Friday there was actually some modest improvement in raw pricing of mortgage bonds, but not enough to impact consumer facing rates, which remained virtually unchanged all week. Why the drama free week?  Moderately OK economic data points in the US (weekly jobless claims average slipped […]

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HARP II: Fannie and Freddie Release Expanded HARP Refinance Rules

by Alex Stenback 11.17.2011

Late in the day Tuesday, Fannie and and Freddie released their bulletins outlining the specific changes to the HARP, or Home Affordable Refinance Program. [ If you are just picking this up now: HARP (now HARP II) is designed to help borrowers who may be underwater, or have little or no equity in their homes […]

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HARP II: Three Things You Can Do Right Now to Prepare

by Alex Stenback 11.09.2011
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If you missed the news last week, the FHFA has announced major changes to the HARP, or “Home Affordable Refinance Program.” (Otherwise known as the program to help underwater homeowners refinance, which did not help as many as it should have.) The new program, which we’ve been calling HARP II (seen elsewhere as HARP 2.0) […]

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8 Healthiest Housing Markets: Minneapolis-Saint Paul Metro Tops The List

by Alex Stenback 11.08.2011

Builder Magazine (A trade publication) is out with a report which is getting much tout in local real estate circles because it names Minneapolis- Saint Paul as THE healthiest housing market. [ The source article is of annoying the page-view pumping variety (list spread out over multiple slow to load pages) so we'll link instead […]

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Fed Day and Mortgages: No Policy, Rate Changes. More Help for Mortgage Rates a Possibility.

by Alex Stenback 11.02.2011
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Today, the Federal Reserve Open Market Committee wrapped a two day meeting with a policy statement, interest rate decision, and a press conference. As for policy and rates, the Fed maintained the status quo: “…the Committee decided today to continue its program to extend the average maturity of its holdings of securities [And] its existing […]

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HARP II: Fannie, Freddie Announce Changes to HARP Program

by Alex Stenback 10.24.2011
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This post published on Monday October 24th 2011.  Since publication,and depending on the date you are reading this, more information, or even the complete HARP II rules may have been published.  Feel free to contact me if you have any questions on the current state of the HARP II refinancing program ——– The Federal Housing […]

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