News/Blog

MGIC Economic Report

Following are some key highlights from the January Economic report:

– The U.S. economy is healthy and continues to growth at a steady pace.
– For the most part, the economy is not currently showing signs of overheating.
– Payrolls continue to expand at a steady rate as the unemployment rate remains under 5%.
– The U.S. is on course to add over 2 million workers to payrolls for the 6th straight year.
– Even though employment growth is slower than previous years, it is still enough to accommodate new entrants into the work force.
– Current job opening are around 5.5 million, which should result in stronger wage growth as well as attract more workers into the labor force.
– Some industries continue to report that they are having a difficult time finding the skilled workers to fill open positions.
– The West remains the strongest of the four regions, followed by the South.
– The strongest job growth was reported in California, Florida, Texas, New York, Washington and Georgia.
– Similar to the overall economy, the housing market grew at a slow and steady rate.
– The housing market should continue to improve as the underlying fundamentals of the economy remain solid.
– Total home sales, both new and existing properties, are currently about 6 million on an annual basis, with the strongest activity being in the South.
– The supply of both new and existing homes is currently near 5 months.
– The lack of inventory for both new and existing homes remains a problem and is impacting housing affordability in some markets.
– Home price appreciation remains in the 5% to 6% range, with some of the strongest gains being in the West.
– Most economic forecasts for 2017 remains positive with growth similar to 2016; however, there are a number of unknown factors that could cause a change with the new administration.

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Appreciation is Over 13%: Home Values are Going Up

Welcome back to double-digit appreciation rates.  And its not a fad. Home Prices have now logged 20 straight months of gains in home values.

The S&P Case-Shiller 20-city home price index climbed 1.05% month-over-month in October. On a year-over-year basis, home prices were up 13.61%.This was the biggest gain since February 2006.

“Home prices increased again in October,” David M. Blitzer, Chairman of the Index Committee at S&P Dow Jones Indices said in a press release. “Both Composites’ annual returns have been in double-digit territory since March 2013 and increasing; now up 13.6% in the year ending in October.

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FHA Loan for Nebraska & Iowa

FHA loan helps first time home buyers

We all know how difficult it can be to buy your first home. If you are a first time home buyer looking to buy property in Colorado, Denver, Iowa, Omaha or Nebraska you need find out if you qualify for a FHA loan. An FHA mortgage is insured by the Federal Housing Administration and the good news is that it is easier to qualify for a FHA loan than a conventional mortgage.

An FHA mortgage also offers other benefits including lower rates, lower mortgage settlements and lower down payments.  If you are looking to buy real estate in the Midwest, Freedom Lending can help with an FHA mortgage, thereby bringing you one big step closer to your owning your dream home. And you don’t need a perfect credit score to qualify for an FHA loan. Even if you have filed for bankruptcy or have a bad credit history, Freedom Lending can help you with your credit repair and your FHA loan.

Heavy deposits of 10% and more often make it impossible new home seekers to acquire real estate.  An FHA loan only requires a down payment of 3.5% thereby lowering the barriers to entry substantially. The FHA also makes it possible for sellers or builders to pay some of the mortgage closing or settlement costs. This makes the property purchase even more attractive and helps to close the sale. You can also refinance your existing mortgage with FHA streamline refinancing.

So as you can see there are many advantages and benefits to an FHA loan. In order to get an FHA loan you need to apply through an FHA approved lender such as Freedom Lending. Now you can get your little piece of real estate right here in the Midwest, from Colorado to Nebraska.

Home Loans and Home Mortgages in Iowa, and Nebraska

How do I take a home loan?

Home Loan in Colorado: You wish to buy a house in Colorado, Denver, Iowa, Omaha or Nebraska and your only option is to take a home loan. You don’t know what to choose: a mortgage or real estate loan? To help you understand more easily, we offer you a few details about the mortgage credit. In theory, a mortgage credit is an alternative of the real estate, but in banks’ offers there are a few differences between the two types of loans, depending on each bank. The mortgage loan is guaranteed by a mortgage on real estate, being intended for the purchase of one or more buildings, apartments, houses, sites, also for building renovation, expansion and their construction.

If you opt for a mortgage loan, you have to make a life insurance and an insurance for the property you want to buy. Before taking a mortgage loan, you should study carefully the banking market, because there are banking institutions that offer you along with the mortgage loan a free life insurance policy. The amount of such loan must be less than 3,000 euros and the period of repayment is between 3 and 35 years. Anticipated, partial or total repayment of mortgage loan is possible if the customer asks for it and with the bank’s approval, after paying the anticipated repayment fee. Trough mortgage credit , the bank offers you a financing of maximum 75 percent of the house value, the own contribution of 25% being mandatory. There are banks that do not force you to pay an advance, but take into account your monthly income. As higher your salary is, as much chances you have to afford a mortgage loan without an advance. Your monthly mortgage loan can be paid from your salary, from incomes of independent activities, rents or dividend incomes.

Best Mortgage in Iowa, and Omaha Nebraska

Best mortgage with or without bad credit

Deciding which home loan agents can help you get the best mortgage is almost as important as deciding which house to buy. When you want to buy property in the Midwest, be it Colorado, Denver, Iowa, Omaha or Nebraska, you will want to secure the best mortgage deal available.

Well you can simply visit a bank and accept the first offer that gets put on the table. Now that probably won’t be the smartest thing to do. Then if you have some bad credit history, chances are you won’t even get that first deal on the table, not on your own.  Well there is good news for home buyers in the Midwest. When you need a home loan the experts at Freedom Lending will help you secure the best possible mortgage, whether you have bad credit or not.

You see when it comes to property finance and mortgage loans there are so many variations and options that it is almost impossible for the average person to decide which home loan or mortgage is best suited for him or her.  There are fixed rate mortgages, variable rate home loans, first home buyer loans, zero down home loans, split rate home loans and the list goes on. Then there is the matter of the interest rate, the term of the loan, the amount of the loan as well as the mortgage settlement process.  Should you take a mortgage loan with all the bells and whistles such as linked accounts, revolving credit plans and access bonds?  Or should you settle for a no frills no fuss fixed home loan that does not offer the flexibility of a more glamorous variable rate mortgage?

Well common sense tells one that seeking expert advice is the best way to go. Not only will the team at Freedom Lending advise you about the best mortgage, they will actually negotiate the best possible terms and conditions for you, so you pay less interest, less settlement fees and you also get some bells and whistles if you need them.

 

Mortgage Brokers and Mortgage Companies in Iowa, and Nebraska

Why should we call on mortgage brokers?

Mortgage Brokers: First of all let’s see what mortgage brokers are. They are independent bank companies or other non-banking financial institutions, like those from Colorado, Denver, Iowa, Omaha and Nebraska, that mediate loans. They are therefore intermediaries between customers and banks. Basically, brokers offer advice, handle the necessary documents for a loan, together with beneficiary they sustain the credit to the bank and provide other useful services. The fact that is an independent company offers the first benefit for a broker:  to provide people interested in a loan the possibility of choosing, in the same time, various types of credits without being under the necessity of ranging to several banks and lose a lot of time.

Besides the advantage of having, in the same place and in the same time, all banks’ offers for choosing a credit by calling on a broker, you can visualize the lending conditions so that you can choose the best offer. Because a broker not only provides you with the information you can get from the bank, but it helps to understand it and provides you useful information about these offers. When you think about the financial terms and the shuffles regarding the rate or the commissions which are quite ingenious and well hidden, you really need such a help.

But a question arises: do the mortgage brokers really give me the best credit offers? Isn’t it possible that he has an agreement with a bank to sell them preferential loans, in return for higher commissions? No way. All brokers collected the same commission regardless of the bank which the customer chooses. Therefore, the broker has no interest to favour one or another bank. The mortgage brokers companies provide customers free assistance in terms of legal or notarial issues, especially in case of mortgage loans and real estate loans.

Getting Energy Ready for Winter:

When cold weather approaches, use this checklist of simple ways to make your home more comfortable and keep those escalating energy bills at bay.

Check for Leaks

Weatherstripping and caulking is probably the least expensive, simplest, most effective way to cut down on energy waste in the winter. Improperly sealed homes can waste 10 to 15 percent of the homeowner’s heating dollars.

Take these steps:

1.       Check around doors and windows for leaks and drafts. Add weather-stripping and caulk any holes you see that allow heat to escape.IMG_1638re

Make sure doors seal properly.

2.       If your windows leak really badly, consider replacing them with newer, more efficient ones. Keep in mind, however, that replacing windows can be expensive – it could take you quite awhile to recover your costs from the energy savings alone. But new windows also provide other benefits, such as improved appearance and comfort.

3.       Every duct, wire or pipe that penetrates the wall or ceiling or floor has the potential to waste energy. Plumbing vents can be especially bad, since they begin below the floor and go all the way through the roof.

Seal them all with caulking or weather-stripping.

4.       Electric wall plugs and switches can allow cold air in. Purchase simple-to-install, pre-cut foam gaskets that fit behind the switch plate and effectively prevent leaks.

5.       Don’t forget to close the damper on your fireplace. Of course the damper needs to be open if a fire is burning; but if the damper is open when you’re not using the fireplace, your chimney functions as a large open window that draws warm air out of the room and creates a draft. Close that damper – it’s an effective energy-saving tip that costs you nothing!

6.       Examine your house’s heating ducts for leaks. Think of your ductwork as huge hoses, bringing hot air instead of water into your house.

Mostly out of sight, ducts can leak for years without you knowing it. They can become torn or crushed and flattened. Old duct tape – the worse thing to use to seal ductwork, by the way – will dry up and fall away over time, allowing junctions and splices to open, spilling heated air into your attic or under the house. It’s wasteful. According to field research performed by the California Energy Commission, you can shave roughly 10 percent on your heating bill by preventing leaky ducts.

 

Check Your Insulation

1.       Insulate your attic. In an older home, that can be the most cost-efficient way to cut home heating costs. Before energy efficiency standards, homes were often built with little or no insulation. As a result, large amounts of heat can be lost through walls, floors and – since heat rises – especially ceilings.

2.       How much insulation should you install? Typical framed homes now being built in California’s Central Valley must meet insulation requirements of R-38 insulation in ceilings and R-19 for walls and floors.

3.       Weather-strip and insulate your attic hatch or door to prevent warm air from escaping out the top of your house.

4.       Seal holes in the attic that lead down into the house, such as open wall tops and duct, plumbing, or electrical runs. Any hole that leads from a basement or crawlspace to an attic is a big energy waster. Cover and seal them with spray foam and rigid foam board if necessary.

 

Check Your Heating System

1.       Get a routine maintenance and inspection of your heating system each autumn to make sure it is in good working order.

2.       Replace your heater’s air filter as recommended by the manufacturer. Your heating system will work less hard, use less energy and last longer as a result. Most homeowners can replace filters and do such simple tasks as cleaning and removing dust from vents or along baseboard heaters.

3.       If your heating system is old, you might consider updating it with one of the more efficient newer models. You can cut your natural gas use and your monthly bill!

4.       Use your set-back thermostat. California houses built today must have them. If you have an older home, consider installing one. A set-back thermostat allows you to automatically turn down the heat when you’re away at work or when you’re sleeping at night, and then boost the temperature to a comfortable level when you need it. Remember – it takes less energy to warm a cool home than to maintain a warm temperature all day long. Properly using your set-back thermostat could cut your heating costs from 20 to 75 percent.

5.       Reverse the switch on your ceiling fans so they blow upward, toward the ceiling. Ceiling fans are a great idea in the summer, when air blowing downward can improve circulation and make a room feel four degrees cooler. A cooling draft is a poor idea when it’s cold, however. By reversing the fan’s direction, the blades move air upward in winter. This is especially valuable in high ceiling rooms, where heat that naturally rises is forced back down into the room.

6.       Make sure all hearing vents are opened and unblocked by furniture or other items. This will ensure that the air is evenly distributed through the home.

 

Change a Light Bulb

1.       Lighting our homes can represent 20 percent of home electricity bills and is one of the easiest places to start saving energy. If every household changed a light to an ENERGY STARR one, together we’d conserve enough energy to light 7 million homes and reduce greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to that of 1 million cars.

13 Tips to Help Sell Your Home This Winter

Fewer Late On Mortgage Payments = Housing Strength:

The winter is usually the slowest home selling season. The main focus is on family and the holidays, not on buying a home. Most homeowners take their homes off the market for the winter.  Time to hibernate and wait for spring!

Or is it?  Columnist and Realtor Jessica Roberts suggest that you follow these simple and effective home care and staging tips to ensure your home sells this winter:

1.       Take photographs of your home outside before the snow falls. A snow-covered home may look festive, but the features of your home will be hidden.

2.       Clear the driveway, sidewalks, and steps from snow and ice. Use sand and deicers as needed to keep walking areas neat and safe for visitors.

3.       Keep holiday decorations simple and clean. Less is more.

4.       Inform buyers of town plowing schedules and upkeep of neighborhood streets.

5.       Keep scents from candles, plug-in air fresheners, and room sprays to a minimum. Use warm and gentle fragrances. Lavender and rosemary bouquets are a natural way to scent your home.

6.       Encourage showings during daylight hours for maximum lighting.

7.       Have a timer set for indoor and outdoor lights if you won’t be home before a showing.

8.       Hire a professional window cleaner for indoor and outdoor cleaning. Crystal clear windows will help maximize light in the house.

9.       Make sure the house is warm and cozy. Add blankets, throws, and area rugs to each room. Turn the thermostat up for the showing. Have a timer set if you won’t be home.

10.    Keep indoor decorations simple, green, natural, and seasonally appropriate.

11.    Show buyers you take exceptional care of your home. Request guests to take off shoes and offer paper booties.

12.    Keep shovels, snow blowers, deicing materials, and winter gear stowed away.

13.    Provide buyers with a list of local winter and seasonal activities.

Time to create a seasonal strategy and increase your chances of selling your home this winter. Seasonal opportunities, current market trends, and simple home care and staging tips will help sell your home this winter.

Best Mortgage | Nebraska | Iowa | Omaha

Basics Of The Best Mortgage Loan

 Best Mortgage Denver: Most people living in the USA have a mortgage, including those living in Colorado, Denver, Iowa, Omaha, Nebraska. Do you? How do you define “best mortgage”?

This article introduces you to the concept of mortgage loan and explains its basic concepts.

First, you probably know that a mortgage loan involves 2 different documents: there’s the mortgage note and the security interest. For better understanding, the mortgage note is a written promise that you will repay the money, plus an interest. You are therefore personally responsible for the repayment.

A mortgage does not necessarily refer to home loans or property loans, but because they are used in correlation with real estate, the two words have become a sort of synonyms. So when you say real estate loan, you say mortgage.

There are some restrictions which apply to those who have a mortgage:

First, they may or may not be compiled to have a home insurance or mortgage insurance. The insurance plays the role of a guarantee; the policy will compensate investors or lenders in the event of the debtor’s fail to meet their obligations (which is, pay the scheduled payments).

There are 9 main players in every mortgage file:

  1. The property
  2. The mortgage
  3. The borrower
  4. The lender
  5. The interest rate
  6. The principal
  7. The foreclosure
  8. The completion
  9. The redemption

Depending on the market, there are several other characteristics to be added to this list, but the nine elements mentioned above are the essential features of every mortgage contract. The repayment system of a mortgage loan works on a monthly basis and is thought of on the long term: you will have to pay a set amount of money each month back to the lender (which is usually a bank or a financial institution).

Bad Credit | Iowa | Omaha | Nebraska

Bad Credit Colorado: Three Promises Credit Repair Companies Can’t Keep

Bad Credit Colorado: Are you looking for bad credit repair? Are you being assaulted by companies promising you the world?

Pay attention. In most cases these companies have no idea what they’re promising and… they can’t deliver. Whenever you are looking for credit repair services and you get an offer that sounds too good to be true remember that most things which sound or seem too good to be true are usually not true.

It works the same with credit repair in Colorado, Denver, Iowa, Omaha, Nebraska and the rest of the world.

We put together three promises which guarantee you immediate results and instant repair, but fail to deliver:

1.       “We can erase your credit card problem 100% guaranteed”

What these companies do is they promise you something which is impossible: they give a guarantee that they will clean up your file report so that you can apply for a loan or mortgage. Well, here’s the bad news: once you pay them your hard earned money, they do absolutely nothing to help you. They simply disappear. And you end up having lost more than your good credit score, but also your money.

2.       “We can remove liens, bad loans and bankruptcies from your credit file forever”

Credit repair cannot be done overnight. But this is not something that a company will tell you loud and clear. Instead, they promise to remove any negative information from your credit report… but honestly, no one can really do that.

3.       “You can create a new credit identity easy and within the law”

Now this is the most outrageous credit repair promise to come across. In a way, the company admits that you are at a loss with your existing credit. So they somehow tell you there’s nothing you can do. But wait, there is something: create a different identity. And since when is this legal? We wonder.