Obama Announces New Home Assistance Initiative

President Obama announced a new initiative (Click Here) to help underwater homeowners refinance and take advantage of low interest rates. This is certainly one step in the right direction to help with the housing recovery.

Great News About VA Loans

The Department of Veteran Affairs (VA Loans) has announced a reduction in the funding fee they charge on new loans.
Beginning November 18, 2011, the fees will change from 2.15% to 1.40% for first time use and from 3.30% to 2.80% for subsequent use.
This is GREAT NEWS and please pass along to any potential buyer you know that might be VA eligible.

Debit Card Fees Are Coming - How to Avoid Them

By this time just about everyone has heard of Bank of America's plan to charge their debit card holders a monthly fee of $5.00. OUCH!! Just when we have become accustomed to the convenience of using these cards, someone wants to pick our pockets. Here we are in the Great Recession, so who got that bright idea? Actually it is a response by the banks to make up for income lost by the downturn and tightening of government regulations on what they can charge elsewhere. Either way, it ranks (pun intended) right up there with fees airlines charge for bags, carry on bags and sitting in an aisle seat! However, I digress. This article explains the problem and offers some suggestions on how to avoid debit card fees. The strategies can be summed up as follows:
1) Pay with Cash – Remember when it was king? Those days are coming back.

2) Pay with Credit Cards - Rewards have been increasing.

3) Switch Banks - My wife says vote with your feet and walk if needed.

More Homeowners Shorten Mortgage Terms

How Low are Mortgage Rates?
I was asked this question recently and with some humor replied, “I don’t know. They’re so low I can’t find them!”
One of the bright spots in our economic downturn has been the dramatic reduction of interest rates. We are now seeing mortgage rates at 60 year lows. As an example, a recent 30 year fixed was coming in at 3.875%. If you switch that to a 10 year adjustable rate mortgage it drops to 3.25% and a 3 year ARM comes in at 2.75%.
This article discusses one of the changes in American mortgage philosophy – pay it off quicker. We enjoy the ability to deduct mortgage interest on our personal income taxes. A nice benefit which in the past has encouraged many homeowners to let their debt linger longer. That idea is changing. Paying off quicker is now in vogue. Refinancing to lower interest rates and using the savings to shorten up the payback period is one way of getting rid of debt sooner. In fact savings of over $100,000 can possibly be realized by employing this strategy. Investigating the ideas contained in this article may change your thinking. Something to consider…………