Important things to Know about Real Estate after The State of the Union Speech

by on February 3, 2012

Recently President Obama spent some time discussing his plans for the housing market here in America. Below are just a few of his ideas on how to start addressing the issues:

  • Broad-based refinancing: The president’s plan will provide borrowers who are current on their payments with an opportunity to refinance and take advantage of historically low interest rates
  • Homeowner Bill of Rights: The president is putting forward a single set of standards to make sure borrowers and lenders play by the same rules, including: Access to a simple mortgage disclosure form, so borrowers understand the loans they are taking out; full disclosure of fees and penalties; guidelines to prevent conflicts of interest that end up hurting homeowners; support to keep responsible families in their homes and out of foreclosure; and protection for families against inappropriate foreclosure, including right of appeal.
  • First pilot sale to transition foreclosed property into rental housing: The FHFA, in conjunction with Treasury and HUD, is announcing a pilot sale of foreclosed properties to be transitioned into rental housing.  The California Association of Realtor’s is opposed to bulk sales of REO properties in California.
  • Providing a full year of forbearance for borrowers looking for work: Following the administration’s lead, major banks and the GSEs are now providing up to 12 months of forbearance to unemployed borrowers.
  • Pursuing a joint investigation into mortgage origination and servicing abuses: This effort marshals new resources to investigate misconduct that contributed to the financial crisis under the leadership of federal and state co-chairs.
  • Rehabilitating neighborhoods and reducing foreclosures: In addition to the steps outlined above, the administration is expanding eligibility for HAMP to reduce additional foreclosures, increasing incentives for modifications that help borrowers rebuild equity, and is proposing to put people back to work rehabilitating neighborhoods through Project Rebuild.

The question is, “How does this help me?” That all depends, the fact of the matter is that there are many tools available to home owners who are struggling to pay their mortgage. This is a good thing.

Another thing to remember is that real estate prices are the lowest they’ve been in 10 years. And, there are loan programs out there for as little as 3.75% interest. That is an incredibly good value for the home buyer. Many programs are in place which can assist the potential home buyer with down payment assistance, closing cost assistance and many other things, such as greening the home or making it more energy efficient.

If you want more information on any of these program, please call me at 408-839-2125.

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