Mortgage Refinance Plan for Underwater Homeowners

The Obama administration has rolled out a plan to revamp the current Home Affordable Refinance Program. HARP, started in April 2009, was created to help borrowers with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac backed mortgages refinance their loans even if they did not have enough equity in their homes to do so conventionally. The plan was designed to lower borrowers’ interest rates without them having to pay down their mortgage or take out mortgage insurance. Initially, the program was limited to borrowers who owed between 80% and 105% of the value of their homes. But under the new changes, there will be no loan-to-value restriction. Additionally, the new changes minimize the risks banks have in “buying back” mortgages that default and fail to follow conventional Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac underwriting guidelines. Under the new changes, banks will be protected from the “buy back” risk on HARP mortgages and will need only to verify that borrowers meet a largely paired down version of eligibility requirements. The new HARP changes will take effect after Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac issue final pricing information and other technical details around November 15th. What Are the New HARP Requirements? First, the borrower must have paid their mortgage on-time for the last 6 payments and may not have missed more than 1 payment in the last year. Second, the mortgage must have been sold to Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac prior to June 1, 2009. And third, you may not have used the HARP program before as only one HARP refinance per mortgage is allowed. How Do I Proceed? Go online and find out if your mortgage is owned by either Fannie Mae, or Freddie Mac. If your loan is owned by either, contact your lender or any participating HARP lender to discuss your eligibility. If you are HARP-eligible, you must close on your mortgage prior to January 1, 2014.    

The FARE Group Launches New Website!

Almost a year ago, I embarked on one of the most incredible journeys of my life: the development of my company's website. With the support of my amazing design & development team and constant assurance from my family (thanks Mom!) and friends, I am pleased to announce the launch of our intuitive, dynamic, next generation real estate web site - I, personally, invite you to open the door to homeownership and explore all of the resources and information gathered especially for you on our Site:  Access more than 22,000 property listings with our exclusive NYC, Westchester & The Bronx Property Finders; Evaluate your financial parameters with our customized Affordability, Rent v Buy, Mortgage and 7-in-1 Closing Costs Calculators; and Educate yourselves on the purchase process with our Buyer's Guide. Moving on to the next best thing? No problem. We have incredible resources for Sellers, too. Walk through the sales process with our Seller's Guide, Examine your selling price point with our Closing Costs Calculator and Request your FREE Comparative Market Analysis through our online CMA form. Don't forget to peruse more than 35 Neighborhood Guides for Manhattan, Westchester and The Bronx with our interactive map! However, before you leave, we encourage you to like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, build with us on LinkedIn, and Join the Group! to receive real estate news you can use with our FARE View newsletters.  Any friend of The FARE Group is a friend of mine! I look forward to sharing the rest of this journey with you and, of course, keeping in touch. We are here to service ALL of your real estate needs! Until next time... Best regards, Maria