mortgage: Mortgage Rates Are Low Without Exclamation Points - 03/24/07 12:27 AM
There are three key facts to note about current interest rates.  These facts are based on the data the Federal Reserve has published on the internet for the period from April 1971 to February 2007.  The statistics are for 30-year fixed mortgages.
1/  The average interest rate over that period was 9.26%.  The median was 8.75%.
2/  During that period of 431 months, interest rates were higher than they were in February 2007 for 386 of them (89.5% of the time).
3/  The only period in the last 26 years when mortgage rates were lower than February 2007 was between … (0 comments)

mortgage: Being Upside-Down: Not Just for Mortgages - 03/18/07 12:21 AM
The beauty of real estate is that you can apply a lot of its concepts to other areas.  In this case, Money Crashers writes about being upside-down on a car loan and bootstrapping your way out of a situation where you owe more on the loan than your car is worth.
Traditionally it's been easier to go upside-down with cars because of the massive upfront depreciation once you drive it off the lot (and personal finance gurus will say that you should let someone else take the hit on the first two years of depreciation and buy used).
But being upside-down … (0 comments)

mortgage: How Home Buyers and Sellers Get Trapped in Straw Scams - 02/13/07 03:34 AM
Let's say that you've just gotten engaged and that you and your fiancee find your dream house.  But since you're just getting started on the rest life, you can't get a reasonably-priced mortgage. 
Your parents have a pretty good credit score and a strong income, so you ask them to buy the house for you and then transfer ownership to you using a trust deed.  You promise to pay them on the mortgage that you couldn't qualify for yourselves.

Your parents are acting as a "straw" through which you are getting ownership of a house.  This scenario seems relatively innocent, … (11 comments)

mortgage: California Mortgage Defaults Hit 8-Year High - 01/25/07 12:23 AM
That's the headline from the Silicon Valley Business Journal.  The San Jose Mercury News states it more plainly as "More Californians fall behind on their mortgages."

Impact on Silicon Valley
So what's the impact here in Silicon Valley?  "None right now.  Literally none," according to John Karevoll, who works at DataQuick, the company that compiled these statistics.
Why? 
Mortgages are in default when a "Notice of Default" is recorded with the county by the lender.  This usually happens after falling behind a few months on mortgage payments.
According to Karevoll, only 10% of Bay Area homeowners lose their homes in a foreclosure sale … (3 comments)

mortgage: Your #1 Defense Against Getting Ripped-Off on a Mortgage - 01/20/07 11:47 AM
Getting a mortgage and buying a house involves around 300 sheets of paper.  And many people are intimidated by the monumental stack of formerly living trees or the terms they don't know printed on them.  But with only a few key concepts, you can usually protect yourself from getting very ripped-off. 
When looking for a mortgage, most people know to look at the rate, terms, amortization, and monthly payments.  While these are obviously very important characteristics of a loan, the key item to look out for --- one that careful people good at math miss...
Continue Reading: Your #1 Defense Against Getting Ripped-Off … (0 comments)

mortgage: Empowering Yourself Through Your Credit Rating - 01/20/07 02:02 AM
Your FICO score is the number makes-or-breaks your ability to buy a house and determines whether you get the best rates or get charged enormous fees. You can directly affect the strength of your credit and, in turn, how much your dream house really costs you.
When applying for a mortgage, your credit rating is the primary factor in whether you qualify and how much you will pay in fees and interest. Your credit rating can be boiled down to one number between 300 and 850: your FICO score. It's meant to be a quick illustration of how likely you are … (1 comments)

 

Steve Leung

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Silicon Valley Real Estate

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