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Current Mortgage Rates: Richmond, VA
4.000% (4.038% APR) 30yrs
3.500% (3.525% APR) 15yrs
as of 11/20/17
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Mortgage Blog

Dec 6

Is Winter The Best Time To Buy A Home?

Buying a home is all about saving and timing. Real Estate gurus often have different opinions on when the best time to buy is and when it boils down to it the best time to buy is when its financially sensible for you or your family, but it may just come down to the weather.

First thing to take into account is the seller. Many home sellers believe that their home shows better in the spring or summer. Because of this, many take their home off the market and according to the National Association of Realtors; inventory tends to drop almost 15%. While this does shrink options a bit it also can open doors. With the holidays right around the corner, and a possible tax advantage on the table, many sellers who choose to leave their home on the market could have an extra motivation to sell.

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Oct 17

Why Will Some Lenders Reject Borrowers That Other Lenders Accept?

Some mortgage applicants will be accepted by every lender and others will be rejected by every lender. However, there is a group of marginal applicants who will be rejected by some lenders and accepted by others.

During the period 1920-34, before the development of secondary markets and mortgage insurance, the risk associated with every mortgage loan was entirely borne by the lender making the loan. The number of marginal applicants was sizeable in that period because each lender had its own underwriting requirements, which varied widely, depending on their business model. Those focusing on generating large loan volume would have more liberal requirements, but would also charge higher rates to cover the larger losses resulting from that policy. The rates charged by more selective lenders would tend to be lower.

The vendor-neutral mortgage professional of that era, if there had been one, would have advised borrowers who could meet the requirements of a selective lender to patronize such a lender. Borrowers with strong credentials who unwittingly placed themselves in the hands of a volume-oriented lender with liberal requirements, would usually overpay.

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Oct 11

The Take on Closing-Cost Rebates

The government shutdown and the debt limit have dominated the headlines, but a behind-the-scenes fight over federal mortgage policy has been brewing and it could affect your choices the next time you apply for a home loan.

The issue concerns differing rules for different types of mortgage sources. Some mortgage brokerage firms have begun advertising that they offer substantial credits to their customers -- often in the $2,000 to $5,000 range per loan but sometimes more than $10,000 -- that can be used to defray borrowers' closing costs. A survey of 164 member firms of the National Association of Mortgage Brokers found that these companies provided more than $69 million in closing-cost credits to clients last year, and are on track to pay out the same or more this year. The group estimates that brokers nationwide rebated upward of $2 billion in 2012.

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Sep 13

Smart Mortgage Shoppers Understand Mortgage Pricing

Mortgage pricing is a complicated process. The first step for any borrower looking to obtain the best possible price is to learn how the pricing process works.

Each Mortgage Type Is Priced Separately

A 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) carries a different price than a 15-year FRM, and the same is true of each type of adjustable rate mortgage (ARM). Loans carrying special options, such as prepayment penalty or interest-only, are also priced separately.

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Sep 6

Fix Up a Home Before Selling it, or Not?

Recently I put my home up for sale, and because it needed a new roof, deck, and septic system, came face to face with this question. This article is based heavily on that experience, in which I made a serious mistake that other sellers can avoid.

Attend to Cosmetics

It is easier to sell a house that is attractive to potential buyers, which means that you spend a little time and money on cosmetics. This is partly just a matter of making sure it is clean, the yard is neat, the driveway is swept, bushes pruned, and so on. Easily-fixed structural defects, like a loose shingle, should be fixed.

Houses almost always look better when furnished than when empty – they also look larger! If you are moving to another residence and plan to take your furnishings with you, if possible, arrange things so that you show the house before you move out of it.

However, if your house also has structural defects that are costly to fix, as mine did, the challenge is in deciding whether or not to fix them before sale.

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