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~Education about Today's Real Estate Market

By Laura Kelley | Agent in San Diego, CA
  • Mortgage Rates Steady

    Posted Under: Market Conditions in Point Loma Heights, Home Buying in Point Loma Heights, Financing in Point Loma Heights  |  January 27, 2011 7:13 AM  |  3,221 views  |  No comments

    Survey: Mortgage Rates Steady

    RISMEDIA, January 27, 2011—Mortgage rates have remained steady, according to the latest figures from FreeRateUpdate.com. Current 30-year conforming fixed mortgage rates are at 4.625 percent, 15-year conforming fixed mortgage rates are at 3.875 percent and conforming 5/1 adjustable mortgage rates are at 3.125 percent. Well-qualified borrowers are able to take advantage of these low conforming mortgage rates with only 0.7 to 1.0 percent origination fees.

    Current 30-year fixed FHA mortgage rates are 4.500 percent, 15-year fixed FHA mortgage rates are 4.000 percent, and FHA 5/1 adjustable rate mortgage rates are 3.125 percent. FHA mortgages have more favorable loan terms than conforming mortgage rates. The tradeoff, however, is the higher closing costs associated with an FHA loan. Additional fees that the Federal Housing Administration charges to borrowers include upfront mortgage insurance premiums, annual mortgage insurance premiums, additional residential appraisals, etc.

    Jumbo mortgage rates are likewise currently stable. Current 30-year fixed jumbo mortgage rates are 5.125 percent, 15-year fixed jumbo mortgage rates are 4.750 percent, and jumbo 5/1 adjustable mortgage rates are 3.875 percent. Borrowers interested in obtaining a jumbo mortgage loan are able to do so in excess of the conforming loan limit for their desired area.

    Mortgage back securities (MBS) prices are currently higher today than yesterday. MBS prices have in increased by +9/32 (FNMA 30-year 4.5 at 102.11). Mortgage rates and MBS prices have an inverse relationship, which means they move in opposite directions. Therefore, as MBS prices increase, mortgage rates are expected to decrease.
  • Tax Time: 5 Tips to Put More Money in Your Pocket

    Posted Under: Quality of Life in Point Loma Heights, Home Buying in Point Loma Heights, Home Selling in Point Loma Heights  |  January 24, 2011 7:23 AM  |  1,591 views  |  No comments

    Tax Time: 5 Tips to Put More Money in Your Pocket

    RISMEDIA, January 24, 2011—Taxpayers receive the most important tax form of the year in January: Form W-2, Wage and Tax Statement. Your 2010 income tax and future Social Security benefits are based on it, so its accuracy is vital to your short- and long-term financial health.

    The American Payroll Association offers W-2 tips to save you time, money and headaches this tax season:

    1. Increase your paycheck in 2011. The average person overpays taxes by nearly $250 a month, according to the IRS. Making minor adjustments to Form W-4 can increase your paycheck. The W-4 assistant at www.nationalpayrollweek.com/W4 helps determine the withholding allowances you claim on Form W-4.

    2. Don't forfeit free money. Read the back of W-2 copies B, C, and 2 to determine if you are eligible for credits. You could be missing out on thousands of dollars in tax credits.

    3. Review your W-2 carefully against your final 2010 paystub. If your W-2 seems incorrect, contact your payroll department.

    Important items to review:

    A. Box 1 should differ from your final 2010 paystub year-to-date gross pay if you participate in a 401(k) or other employer-sponsored savings plan.
    B. Box 3 total should not exceed $106,800 – the 2010 social security wage base.
    C. Boxes 1, 3, and 5 should be less than your final 2010 paystub year-to-date gross pay, if you use pre-tax deductions to pay your insurance premiums or to contribute to medical or dependent care, parking, or transit flexible spending accounts.

    4. Ensure your Social Security Number (SSN) matches your Social Security card. The name and SSN on your W-2 must match your Social Security card to receive your benefits. Ask the payroll department for a corrected W-2 if they do not match.

    5. Make sure you get all your tax forms. You should receive a W-2 from every company that paid you in 2010 by January 31. Contact the payroll department of any company you worked for in 2010 that didn't send you a W-2. Request a 'reissued statement' to replace lost W-2s. If you earned more than $600 from a single company for any freelance or contract work, you should receive Form 1099-MISC, Miscellaneous Income, instead of a Form W-2

    When you are ready to move call The Laura  Kelley Team 619-985-3362
  • What Is a Credit Score, Anyway?

    Posted Under: Home Selling in Point Loma Heights, Financing in Point Loma Heights, Credit Score in Point Loma Heights  |  January 5, 2011 7:26 PM  |  1,664 views  |  No comments

    What Is a Credit Score, Anyway?

    By Jeff Mandel and Marlin Brandt

    RISMEDIA, January 5, 2011—If you ask your neighbor, your friends or your banker what a credit score is, you’re likely to get all kinds of answers. Which of the following is right:

    -Your credit score is technically a statistical method of assessing your ability and likelihood to pay back your debt (creditworthiness).

    -Credit scores are based on several different factors, including your payment history, amount of outstanding debt, length of credit history, use of new credit and types of credit used.

    -Credit scores are primarily based on credit report information, which is typically sourced from credit bureaus.

    -Credit scores often come from any of the three largest credit bureaus in the U.S. (Experian, Equifax and TransUnion).

    -Credit scores range between 300 and 990, depending on the scoring system and algorithms used (i.e., FICO, NextGen, CE Score and VantageScore).

    Before there were credit scores, human judgment was the primary factor used to evaluate a borrower’s credit worthiness and/or risk. This process was very subjective and created a lot of variability in the results. Many lenders spent an enormous amount of resources training employees on how to observe consumer credit behavior as the basis for judging risk when lending money. Not only was this a slow process, but due to human error, it was also inconsistent and unreliable.

    Lending institutions have created and used credit scoring systems in various forms for around 50 years. However, it was not until the 1980s that scores were somewhat standardized using a point system that scored the primary variables found on an individual’s credit record. This newer system helped to eliminate much of the subjectivity and variability that had existed with other attempts at standardization.

    However, this process was still connected to the spontaneous measurements of the consumer’s credit report and did not consider the actual payment behaviors of a consumer.

    Credit scoring took a major step forward when statistical models began using combinations of credit data. These next generation computer “predictability” models were designed to include payment information from thousands of consumers and were calculated based on a complex mathematical algorithm that generates a credit score the moment a report is ordered. There are literally trillions of score combinations used in the calculations. When combined with computer applications, scoring models have made the process of granting credit extremely efficient and much more objective. Although far from perfect, these models help facilitate commerce by expediting consumers’ ability to get the credit they need in a far more efficient and effective manner than the systems previously used.

    As for your answers above, if you selected all, you were right!

    Jeff Mandel is president and Marlin Brandt is COO of ApprovalGUARD.
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