How to Get a Home Loan With Less-Than-Stellar Credit

In a perfect world, you’d have a robust credit score and a 20 percent down payment in hand, with mortgage lenders falling all over themselves to get your attention.

But what if your world is a little dinged? What if your credit score is shabby, your bank manager cringes when he sees you and debt collectors are the ones vying for your attention?

You may be better positioned to buy a house than you think. “As a rule of thumb, a credit score of at least 650 gives you a chance at qualifying for a conventional loan,” says Max Galka, co-founder and CEO of Revaluate.com, a New York apartment history and review website.

But even if your credit score is lower than 650, you aren’t out of the house-buying game yet. Not by a long shot. Click here  to read more of this article.

Visit our website and schedule a time to meet with our mortgage professionals.

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Weekly mortgage applications drop after tiny rise in rates

It didn’t take much to throw a wet towel on the recent heat in mortgage applications.

Total volume dropped 3.2 percent for the week ending January 23 on a seasonally adjusted basis, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA). The results include an adjustment for the Martin Luther King holiday as well. After huge gains at the beginning of this month, mortgage applications are still up a striking 36 percent from a year ago.

“A 3.2 percent weekly decrease, after the two gigantic previous increases, leaves the index in stellar territory. After the past two weeks, I celebrate down 3.2 percent,” said Matthew Graham of MORTGAGE NEWS Daily. More here. 

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Housing is about 75% back to normal: Report

The U.S. housing market continues to improve, but it’s not quite there yet.

In fact, it’s about three-quarters of the way back to, “normal.” That is the conclusion of a new report from Trulia, a real estate sales and analytics company. The dispatch weighs existing home sales and prices, new construction, mortgage delinquencies and the millennial employment rate.

Existing homes, both sales and prices, appear to be leading the overall recovery. Trulia gauges that they are both 82 percent back to normal levels, compared with a year ago, when they were just 73 and 66 percent recovered, respectively. More here

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A Glimpse at Your Expenses 100 Years Ago

If every year it feels like everything costs a little more, it isn’t your imagination. Inflation takes its toll over the years, and as 2014 passes into the annals of history, let’s take a look back at how much we were spending a century ago.

Take-home pay in 2015 vs. 1915. Census Bureau data show that the median household income, measured from 2009 to 2013 (the most recent data available), is $53,046. Back in 1915, two years after INCOME TAX came on the scene, you were doing about average if you were making $687 a year, according to the Census. That is, if you were a man. If you were a woman, cut that number by about half.

Today, that $687 would be comparable to EARNING $16,063 a year, according to an inflation CALCULATOR on the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ website. So Americans’ buying power has improved considerably in the last century. More here

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7 (Recently Extended) Tax Breaks That Will Save Taxpayers Money! This Is Really Worth Everyones Time!

You know all those tax breaks that were scheduled to expire at the end of 2014? More than 50 of them didn’t expire after all but were extended at the last minute by Congress and the president with the Tax Increase Prevention Act, which was signed Dec. 19, 2014.

That’s good news for people who have private mortgage insurance, suffered a foreclosure or short sale or live in a state with no INCOME TAX. Teachers and college students also benefited, as did homeowners who made energy-saving improvements.

The 50-plus tax breaks, which applied to both businesses and individuals, now will mostly expire at the end of 2015 – unless they’re extended again. Yes, this happened last year, too.

“It seems like each year [Congress is] waiting longer and longer to sign the bill,” says Jessie Seaman, senior associate attorney at the Tax Defense Network in Jacksonville, Florida. “I have a feeling it will be the same way in 2015.”

In recent years, the tax breaks have been extended piecemeal – one or two years at a time – because many members of Congress say they want to revamp the tax code. So far, that hasn’t happened. But by extending the tax breaks for a year at a time, Congress leaves its options open.

Will the tax breaks be extended at the end of 2015? It’s really anybody’s guess.

“That would require a lot more than a crystal ball,” says Bob Meighan, vice president of TURBOTAXin San Diego. “It would require tremendous insight into the incoming Congress.”

The tax breaks include regular deductions, which require you to itemize to deduct the amount from your adjusted gross income, “above the line” deductions, available even to those who don’t itemize, and tax credits, which are deducted from your tax liability.

Here are seven freshly extended tax breaks that will save individual taxpayers money

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Groundbreaking New Mortgage Rules Are Here; Qualified Mortgage standards will make home loans safer.

At the beginning of 2009, the U.S. economy was in the grip of one of the worst financial crises in our history. Home lending practices, which played a big part in that crisis, naturally assumed a prominent place on the agenda of financial reform. And now, five years later, groundbreaking new mortgage-lending rules have gone into effect, thanks to the diligent work of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

To understand the new rules, it is useful to recall what they were designed to prevent – the kind of abusive LOANS and loan-marketing tactics that dominated the market in the pre-crisis years, leaving a trail of devastation from which homeowners, communities and the country are still struggling to recover.

Under one of the new regulations, a mortgage lender must verify a borrower’s ability to repay. That might seem to be an unnecessary rule; why would lenders need to be told to worry about getting repaid? And yet, in the run-up to the crisis, MORTGAGE LENDERS made millions of loans that borrowers could not possibly afford to repay – except, in some cases, by riding an endless wave of increases in housing prices, further inflating a bubble that was bound to burst. More here 

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