Recent News

Consumer Confidence Doesn’t Say Much, But We Have To Pay Attention Regardless

Using Google Trends, we can see that "recession" is overtaking "inflation" in import. Mortgage rates are highly dependent on inflation, and/or the absence of inflation. Because inflation erodes the value of the U.S. dollar, it also erodes the value of dollar-denominated mortgage bonds. This renders bonds less valuable to global...

The Mainstream Media Is Building Mortgage Market Awareness (And That’s A Good Thing)

First Business anchor Tom Hudson asked for commentary on the recent mortgage market volatility. The four-minute spot above is the result. We did keep our eyes open wide for most of the conversation despite the screenshot above. Tom and I covered a handful of important mortgage lending topics, many of...

How Active Mortgage Management Can Reduce Your Monthly Mortgage Payments

The swing in mortgage rates over the last week has been astronomical. Some mortgage products popped higher by one-half-percent Wednesday afternoon. You can exactly when it happened on the chart. And those losses continued through to Thursday, too. As money poured in the stock market and the Dow Jones rallied,...

How The “Mortgage Fringe” Can Keep You From Getting Low Rates

If your mortgage is more than 3 years old, it really likely that your mortgage rate is higher than it needs to be. It may be time to remortgage. Relative to any point in time since August 2005, mortgage rates are extremely low. If your mortgage is being professionally managed...

How Herd Mentality Determines The Direction Of Mortgage Rates

If there's one thing that drives mortgage markets batty, it's uncertainty. When the economy is an undecided issue, investors don't know how to place their bets and it leads to volatility. One day, the markets lean to the left. The next day, they lean to the right. There's no real...

Homeowners With “Orphaned Mortgages” Pay More Money

Each year, the mortgage industry loses some of its employees. Some leave through attrition; some through layoffs; some through natural selection. When business is growing, lost workers are replaced with new hires and the mortgage machine rolls ahead. When mortgage business is slowing, new workers aren't hired. Collectively, the industry...

What Will Happen To Mortgage Rates When The U.S. Dollar Strengthens

Broadly, mortgage rates fell in 2007. It's befuddling because there are two major reasons why mortgage rates should have increased in 2007: The U.S. dollar took a precipitous decline against world currencies, devaluing mortgage bonds Inflation ran beyond the top of the Fed's comfort zone for most of the year,...

High Unemployment Rates Are Good For A Lot Of People

December's Non-Farm Payrolls report shows that the economy may (finally) be slowing. Mortgage rates are improving this morning in response. The two key take-aways from the jobs report were that: Monthly payroll gains averaged 111,000 per month in 2007 versus 186,000 in 2006 The Unemployment Rate reached 5.0% in December,...

How Real Estate Markets Respond To Political Calamity Around The World

Real estate is a local phenomenon. Every street in the country has its own local real estate market and that's why "national sales data" is useless. A Cincinnati, Ohio home buyer doesn't (and shouldn't) care about property values in Boynton Beach, Florida. Cincinnati real estate is entirely different and is...

The Hidden Cost To Your Mortgage When You Open A Store Credit Card To Save 10 Percent

I did some (more) holiday shopping this weekend and as I stood in the checkout lines, I was repeatedly bombarded by cashiers to open a "free store credit card". "Would you like to save 10% on your purchase today?" "No, thanks," I said over and over, but not because I...

Dan Green Waxing On Real Estate And Mortgage Planning With InmanTV’s Joel Burslem

I recently gave an interview to Joel Burslem of Inman News, specifically for broadcast on InmanTV. Joel asked me a series of questions. What are some of the trends we're seeing in mortgage lending? In what direction will mortgage rates go in the future? Why did the the Subprime Tsunami...

Fannie Mae Gives Us 3 Reasons Why Now Is A Good Time To Buy Real Estate

For the first since the dotcom era, the words "March First" will be associated with excess and speculation. Effective March 1, 2008, conforming mortgages will carry new fees designed to shield Fannie Mae from further weakness in the housing sector. This news comes from Fannie Mae's lender-specific Web site. The...

Why Healthy Bodies and Healthy Marriages May Be More Relevant To Slowing Foreclosures Than Interest Rate Adjustments

As the largest sub-prime loan servicer in the country, Countrywide handles payments for 11.90% of the sub-prime market. That's a massive $120 billion worth of loans. The sheer size of that portfolio is why I am publishing the above chart. Normally, data from one lender wouldn't be enough for a...

Las Vegas Wasn’t Built On Winnings, or Why Today Is A Good Day To Cash In Your Chips In The Home Mortgage Game

It's well documented. I'm a bird-in-hand guy. If there's an opportunity today, I prefer to act on it rather than gamble for a better opportunity that may come tomorrow. I've learned -- often the hard way -- that tomorrow only comes sometimes but that today is always here. This is...

No Surprise : Foreclosure Rates Seem To Trend With Real Estate Speculation and Regional Job Losses

RealtyTrac published its Q3 2007 foreclosure statistics today and the data paints an interesting picture about the nature of home loan defaults. Of the Top 10 MSAs in terms of Foreclosures Per Household, eight represent areas in which real estate speculation was rampant in 2002-2006, and two represent areas whose...

Falling Prices And Adjusting ARMs : Real Estate Investors Have A Way Out

Unless you live on the moon, you've heard about the issues facing American homeowners with respect to mortgages. You've heard it on TV, in the papers, and on blogs. The good news is that relief is on the way (somewhat). Momentum to "help the homeowner" started with the states (Ohio),...

The Funny Thing About Opportunity Is That It Rarely Hangs Around For Coffee

I am a huge bird-in-hand guy. If there's something available now, I will almost universally take it instead of waiting to see if something better comes along. The only time I strayed from that rule was in the game of love and with respect to my wife. I hope she...

What Is Home Equity, And How Is It Made?

First, a definition: (Home Equity) = (Value of Home) - (Amount Owed On Home) There are two ways that equity is created: The homeowner pays down the principal balance on the mortgage. The home's value increases because of appreciation But just because both methods increase the equity position in a...

HELOC or HELOAN? It May Be Too Soon To Tell.

Okay, so you've seen me use this sort of graphic before. Published by the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, this Fed Funds Rate Future chart is an analysis of what action market players think the Fed will take at its next meeting. The Fed next meeting is a two-day affair...

How Kiddie Condos Can Offer A Return On Investment For College Student Room And Board Expenses

I almost wish I found this video sooner; not many colleges are going into session in October. But... if you have college students in your family and want to increase your exposure to real estate, Barbara Corcoran has some interesting things to say. Parents buying homes near college campuses is...