Blog :: 2014

Boston Area FHFA Conforming Loans Limits Rise, New 3% Down 1st Time Buyers Program

The Greater Boston Association of Realtors reports good news for home buyers in 2015.

For mortgages acquired by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the conforming loan limit for a single-family home will remain at $417,000 next year for the majority of the country. In some markets, however, jumbo loan limits will rise, reflecting that these areas have seen home values rise by some of the largest amounts in the past year, says the Federal Housing Financing Agency (FHFA). Limits in the Boston metro area, including the counties of Essex, Middlesex, Norfolk, Plymouth, and Suffolk, will jump from $470,350 to $517,500.

In related news, in an effort to open up lending to more low-income and first time home buyers, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have announced their intentions to start backing mortgages with down payments of as little as 3% of a home's price. But borrowers will still need to meet strict criteria first.

The new loans will only be issued to those who buy private mortgage insurance, have a credit score of at least 620 and offer complete documentation of their income, assets and job status. And, to further mitigate risk, the agencies will require borrowers to receive home ownership counseling.

Both programs are for fixed-rate loans given to first time homebuyers and those seeking to refinance. Fannie will start backing the loans as soon as December 13, while Freddie will start offering them March 23, 2015.

The move should expand access to credit for first-time homebuyers, typically younger buyers who have not have had enough time to save a big lump sum.

Fannie and Freddie already back mortgages with as low as 5% down. And the Federal Housing Administration insures 3.5% loans.




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    New mortgage rules take effect January 2014

    -from the Washington Post

    Checklist for potential home buyers

    If you are considering buying a home next year, there are a few things you might want to consider now that the government has issued new mortgage-lending rules.

    The rules, introduced by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau on Thursday, essentially protect borrowers from many of the abusive lending practices that were rampant before the housing crisis, such as high upfront fees and interest-only payments.

    Some elements of the rules are still under discussion, but here is a basic outline of what to expect when the rules take effect Jan. 10, 2014:

    Paying up: Banks and other lenders now have to make sure you have the ability to repay your mortgage before signing the papers. That seems like a common-sense approach to lending, but until now there has not been a law on the books. Read more at the Washington Post.

    Read more at National Mortgage Professional Magazine.


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    Dine Out to Fight AIDS

    Dear Friends,

    We hope all is well with you and that you are enjoying Spring. We know you are very busy, but hope you will have a little space to Dine Out for Life to benefit AIDS Action Committee on Thursday, April 26th at one of a dozen restaurants all over Boston.

    We will be dining at the Birch Street Bistro in Roslindale Square from 7:30pm. Please let us know if you'd like to join us at our table. Or drop by and grab a table on your own schedule.

    Birch Street Bistro

    52 Birch Street, Roslindale

    Birch Street Bistro

    We are hoping to see a lot of friendly faces. Bear in mind that live music starts at 8:30 or 9:00 - last year, people had a blast! Also, there's patio dining if the weather cooperates.

    • Dining Out for Life is happening at restaurants all around and in the City. You can find a full list at the Dining Out for Life Boston website .
    • Participating local restaurants are donating 25% of what people spend for dinner that night to AIDS Action Committee in Jamaica Plain.

    So mark your calendar for Thursday, April 26. Whether you drop by Birch Street Bistro or dine out at one of the other participating restaurants, it's a fun way to help a good organization and have a meal with friends.

    Please tell your friends and forward this to anyone you think might be interested.

    Below are some links about the event and Birch Street Bistro. Please feel free to call us with any questions.


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    Comparatively, Interest Rates STILL Remarkably Low

    Leader Bank Loan Officer Mike King sent over these charts comparing FHLMC interest rates on 30 year loans and also interest rates over the last 200 (no, that's not a typo) years. It really makes you appreciate where things stand and the kind of opportunity available for buyers. Property inventory is increasing slowly as we enter the spring market, but some properties are FLYING off the market. Thinking of buying? Call us today!

    FHLMC 30 year rate comparison from Mike King, Leader Bank

    200 year mortgage rate comparison from Mike King, Leader Bank


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    Marketwatch from the Multiple Listing Service

    The Multiple Listing Service has released their Marketwatch Report for the 4th Quarter 2011 (the 1st page of Suffolk County is below). For the entire Marketwatch Report for Suffolk County, click on the graphic. If you'd like to talk about this data (or need any help decoding it), please give us a call - we'd love to talk to you.

    Marketwatch Report 4th Quarter 2011 from the Multiple Listing Service

    For the entire Marketwatch Report for Suffolk County, 4th Quarter 2011, click above or click here.



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