Borrowers Who Don’t Use Online Tools May Be Losing Out

Source: Inman News

Consumers who don’t use online technology to shop for mortgage rates or look for a lender or real estate agent may be selling themselves short, with lower-income borrowers particularly at risk, according to Fannie Mae economists.

Findings from a recent study suggest that online tools that improve borrowers’ understanding of mortgage terms and costs and allow borrowers to simultaneously compare loan terms from multiple lenders lead to better outcomes, including lower costs, fewer surprises at the closing table, and higher long-term satisfaction with choices, Fannie Mae’s Economic & Strategic Research Group said.

The study found significant differences between how lower- and higher-income borrowers shop for a mortgage.Online tools for borrowers

Read the full story at Inman News

Foreclosures Drop to Lowest Level in 7 Years

Source: CNN/Money

The foreclosure crisis is showing signs that it’s finally fading away.The number of new foreclosure filings — which includes default notices, auctions and bank repossessions — dropped 15% to a total of 113,454 properties in November, according to RealtyTrac, an online marketer of foreclosed properties.

That was the biggest monthly decline since November 2010, and foreclosure filings are now at the lowest level since December 2006. From a year ago, filings are down 37%.

“[T]he depth and breadth of the decrease provides strong evidence that we are entering the ninth inning of this foreclosure crisis with the outcome all but guaranteed,” Daren Blomquist, vice president at RealtyTrac, said in a statement.foreclosures

Read the full story at CNN/Money

3 Mistakes That Will Ruin Your Home Buying Experience

Source: DaveRamsey.com

In just a couple of months, we’ll be deep in the heart of home-buying season. Some house hunters will succumb to house fever, which can cause calm, rational people to resort to knee-jerk reactions and downright hissy fits in the quest for their perfect home.

You can avoid the troubles that go along with house fever-induced decisions by watching out for these three mistakes:

Buying while still in debt (or without an emergency fund)3 Home Buying Mistakes

Debt and/or the lack of an emergency fund can ruin your home-buying experience quicker than you can say “leaky roof.” Don’t buy a home until you are out of debt and have 3–6 months of expenses saved for emergencies. Save up a down payment of at least 10% and keep your house payment 25% or less of your take-home pay on a 15-year mortgage. You could also choose to buy your home with cash and stay out of debt permanently!

Read the full story at DaveRamsey.com