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What Credit Score Do You Need to Buy a House?

Published July 10, 2020

A high credit score usually qualifies for a lower interest rate, but what’s the minimum score to get a loan at all? Buyers trying to boost their score should aim for 620 on a conventional loan and 580 (3.5% down) on an FHA loan. Lender requirements vary for jumbo or VA loans.


RE Q&A: Is It OK to Skip Mortgage Payments ‘Just in Case’?

Published July 10, 2020

For many people, pandemic mortgage-forbearance rules made it easier to postpone monthly payments. But is a fear of what might happen a good enough reason to do so?


More Cities Expected to Condemn Homes for Flood Control

Published July 10, 2020

The U.S. has a new tactic if cities want federal money to mitigate threats from climate change: They must first agree to take homes using their eminent domain powers.


Realtor.com’s Website Has ‘Record-Level’ Buyer Interest

Published July 10, 2020

The site created a Housing Market Recovery Index just a few weeks ago to gauge the market’s return to “normal,” and real estate is already close to pre-pandemic levels.


NAR Survey: 9 of 10 Realtors Say Market Is Recovering

Published July 10, 2020

92% of Realtors have buyers who returned or never left; 18% saying buyers never left. Chief Economist Yun says the RE market has “seen a swift rebound of activity.”


Americans Stuck at Home Keep Remodeling

Published July 10, 2020

People stuck looking at the same four walls are changing the walls – and floors, bathrooms and bedrooms. They’re also starting new projects, such as adding office space.


House Names Making a Comeback. I’ll Call Mine ‘Shirley’

Published July 09, 2020

A house with a name intrigues buyers or renters since it often suggests luxury, and the concept is reappearing again on vacation-rental websites, such as Airbnb.


Is Now a Good Time to Refinance?

Published July 09, 2020

COVID-19 shook up many Americans’ financial picture, but a mortgage refinance could help – providing they still qualify. Here are seven questions to consider.


Mortgage Rates Hit Record Low for Third Consecutive Week

Published July 09, 2020

Inflation remains muted in a weakened U.S. economy as buyer demand remains strong. This week’s average of 3.03% for a 30-year loan is down from last week’s 3.07%.


Flood Preparations: What Realtors and Homeowners Need to Know

Published July 09, 2020

FEMA prepared a list of flood preparation tools – webpages, fact sheets, infographics and publications – with input from NAR. The “Real Estate Professional’s Guide to Discussing Flood Insurance” covers almost everything Realtors should understand.


2 Out of 3 Americans Say It’s a Good Time to Buy

Published July 09, 2020

The share of renters (61%) who think it’s currently a good time to become a homeowner has hit a five-year high, according to Fannie Mae’s latest study.


FHA Changes Should Help Most Owners Keep Their Home

Published July 09, 2020

Lenders can offer borrowers with an FHA mortgage four types of forbearance, including one for those “not eligible for any other home retention solution.”


Condo Q&A: Must I Sign My Name on a Noise Complaint?

Published July 08, 2020

A common condo complaint focuses on noisy neighbors, but an HOA has limited options. It depends on the governing docs – and sometimes it’s a police matter.


Court: Condo Must Stop ‘Unreasonable’ Financial Screenings

Published July 08, 2020

A condo buyer cancelled a transaction because the board required two years’ worth of tax returns. A Fla. judge called that blanket requirement “patently unreasonable.”


Many Believe They Can’t Get a Mortgage – and They’re Wrong

Published July 08, 2020

A credit score doesn’t need to be perfect, and a new job isn’t always a deal breaker. Still, too many renters with a credit glitch think it bans them from homeownership.


Make a Good Impression When Meeting New Clients Virtually

Published July 08, 2020

Virtual meetings are here to stay, and if clients like remote meetings, even post-pandemic, Realtors must do the same. But it’s different than face-to-face meetings.


Study: Black, Hispanic Homeowners Pay Higher Property Taxes

Published July 08, 2020

A study by Indiana University and the University of California-Berkley found black and Hispanic homeowners pay 10%-13% more than white ones in the same tax jurisdiction.


Should Employers Test for COVID-19?

Published July 08, 2020

Businesses want to reopen safely, but is COVID-19 testing for all team members a wise move? The tests can be expensive, especially if done multiple times. In addition, they only measure infection at a single point in time, and many people balk at the idea of mandatory testing.


Federal Reserve: U.S. Economy Faces Heightened Uncertainty

Published July 07, 2020

The Fed’s predictions rely on data, so Powell admits what’s coming next is unknown. It depends on COVID-19’s spread and people’s willingness to re-engage in activities.


U.S. Supreme Court Upholds Ban on Cellphone Robocalls

Published July 07, 2020

All automatically dialed calls to cellphones are illegal under the ruling, including a category expanded by the court – robocalls to collect money owed to governments.

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