Archive for the ‘mortgage rates’ Category

There is still loan money available for purchasing investment property

Monday, October 27th, 2008

With all the bad news about Wall Street and the credit market, with banks unwilling to loan money even to each other, what hope is there for the average fixer upper house investor? The situation may not be as bad as you may think!

Here’s why:

1. There is plenty of money available for home mortgage loans, either to purchase or refinance a house. This is because the American home mortgage market has been federalized. Ninety percent of all loans are being made through the Federal Housing Administration (FHA), plus Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. FHA is owned by the federal government and Fannie and Freddie are operating under federal conservatorship, so all three have complete access to global capital at low rates because their borrowings are guaranteed by the Treasury Department.

2. Despite tougher credit standards, you can still get a loan for 3 percent down
with FHA, or 5 percent down on Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac programs.

3. Interest rates are still at historic lows.

4. Home prices, dragged down by foreclosures and short sales, are at 2003 and 2004

For more details see Kenneth Harney’s article Crises Aside, Would-be Buyers Can Still Get Reasonably Price Loans.

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Time to Seriously Consider Refinancing as Interest Rates Drop

Tuesday, March 25th, 2008

Now may be the time to refinance your house, take some equity out, and use it for a down payment on another investment property. Today, I applied for a refinance loan myself. I am getting my financial ducks lined up to purchase another fixer upper house this spring.

According to today’s Baltimore Sun article A Ray of Light for Housing, there is good news for buyers in that mortgage rates, appear to be falling. The average rate for a 30-year fixed loan has fallen under 6 percent, according to a Mortgage Bankers Association survey, and they expect it to show another drop tomorrow. The Federal Reserve’s new lending provisions for banks, announced a week ago, are already helping, they say.

With many foreclosed properties popping up on the MLS, and lots of short-sales available, the time may be ripe to buy. Prices are negotiable.

As investors, we know that refinancing at a lower rate gives a tremendous boost to our cash flow. Equity is the silent wealth builder, generated as tenants pay down our mortgage for us. We can judiciously tap into that equity by refinancing and investing it into new rental properties.

If you buy a fixer-upper and the numbers don’t work for you to rent it out, consider living in it for a few years until the market improves. Then you can sell it at a higher price when the market recovers, or rent the house out and buy another property to live in.

I’m not saying it’s time for you to buy, but as investors it may be time to start doing some warm up exercises and take a few practice swings on the sidelines.

For another perspective on the status of foreclosures see Foreclosures Produce Deals, but No Steals at

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