Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac Are Easing Jumbo Mortgage Terms

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Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac buy mortgages which means that they guarantee them. Without the backing of Fannie and Freddie, mortgage lenders have to find other investors to sell their mortgage loans to and those investors charge more so interest rates are higher. Fannie and Freddie backed mortgages are called conforming; the others are called jumbo. The limit on a conforming mortgage is $417,000 but that is about to change….

The Spring Market is Accelerating

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The spring market for homes in Bergen County really feels like it’s accelerating.  Let’s check it out and see what’s truly happening. Since the beginning of March the housing market for homes in Bergen County has really picked up.  Because  we are now nearly through April, I thought that I would take a look at the MLS data.  I want to see if what I’ve been sensing is really happening. I…

How to Handle the Bergen County Housing Market

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“How’s real estate and what should I do?” I am receiving so many calls and messages like this that I thought I should post some answers. It seems that real estate is on everyone’s mind lately.  Let’s find out how to handle the Bergen County housing market. Here’s something to consider: A primary motivating factor for most people is simply because it was the right time. So ask yourself this…

Tenafly Real Estate – 1st Quarter Report

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What Can We Expect in 2009 and for Tenafly real estate in particular? I can answer this with one word – improvement. I had projected 10% depreciation but that was before the stunning sub prime mess was revealed. While we have “Monday Morning Quarterbacks,” the truth is virtually no one knew of this growing menace. The Tenafly market for homes in 2008 ended with 25% fewer sales and 18% depreciation….

Bergen County Real Estate – How’s the 1st quarter looking?

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The figures are in and the real estate market in Bergen County is doing OK.  It’s still a buyer’s market for homes but you can see some signs of improvement with Bergen County real estate. In January I had written that the real estate market in Bergen County would shift during the 4th quarter of 2009 and stabilize.  From then on for a few years we would be working in…

Mortgage Rate Madness

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The most important first step in buying a home is financing which involves getting prequalified for a home mortgage.  It doesn’t matter if you’re buying Bergen County real estate or a home somewhere else – because your mortgage loan is so critical to your home buying process, you are naturally interested in any news about these loans.  Here is where you begin what I call Mortgage Rate Madness. People afflicted with this disease believe that…

Buyers Are Back in Real Estate

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Here is a quick update for you and it is indeed great news.  Buyers are back.  As a result activity’s up in the real estate market. There has been a noticeable increase in the number of people looking at homes over the past two weeks.  We’re seeing more buyers coming out on Sundays to our open houses.  We are also receiving more calls into our offices and more web responses…

What is a short sale and does the bank own the house?

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A short sale occurs when a home that is sold is worth less than the mortgage amount and the homeowner cannot make up the difference.  For example, you sell a home for $75,000 but the mortgage is $100,000; you’re short $25,000.  The bank enables the homeowner to sell the house by forgiving the $25,000 difference.  So while the bank doesn’t own the house, the owner can’t sell it without the bank’s cooperation.   Of course, in…

Help Your Mortgage with a Credit Score Tip

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Buying a home for most of us means getting a mortgage.  Mortgage rates become a prime issue for home buyers as does their credit report.  The interest rate on that mortgage is determined in large part by your credit score. Whether or not you qualify for a mortgage is often determined by your credit score alone.  It is true that income, debt and assets are important but your credit score is the first determining factor. …

New Jersey Home Buyer Profile – Who’s Buying and Why

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The New Jersey Association of Realtors publishes a report every year on the characteristics of people who buy and sell homes in New Jersey.  The National Association of Realtors has it’s own buyer and seller profile but naturally that’s on a national scale.  I prefer the New Jersey Home Buyer Profile report because it focuses on our State. New Jersey Home Buyer Profile There are some very interesting facts in…