ValueInsured, based in Dallas, has created a new insurance product protecting down-payments. Diana Olick at CNBC published an article examining the new protection plan. The product, +Plus, insures your down-payment investment for 7 years, and is only available for owner-occupied homes. There are a few ambiguities within the product worth exploring in Diana’s piece.
Economists at Moody’s Analytics gave MONEY magazine home price projections for the next 5 years. While the projections are limited to the 20 biggest metropolitan areas in the country, the information is still useful if you live elsewhere. In short, the economists think that prices will continue to grow, at least for the next couple years. There’s an interactive map included in the article detailing the predictions.
The Mortgage Bankers Association reports that mortgage application volume grew 10% last week. This is the 2nd-best level of growth for purchase applications since May of 2010. A number of analysts share the opinion that rates could reach a new all-time low in the coming months. CNBC has a full break-down here.
The Center For Opportunity Urbanism (COU), has authored a new study about the effects of the recent housing shortage. In an interview with COU’s executive director, Joel Kotkin, Builder magazine explores the results of the report, and some ideas for improvement.
Stephen Kaufman at Entrepreneur has a recent article about the rise of crowdfunding in real estate investment. Crowdfunding potentially offers a higher rate of returns, ease of access, and limited liability, while helping to stabilize and diversify investments. The fact that it’s more affordable than traditional investing makes it particularly compelling.
Alejandro Aravena, an architect and recipient of the prestigious Pritzker prize, posted four new housing plans online in order to make affordable, modern design more accessible. Mr. Aravena offered the plans free of charge, and hopes it furthers his plans of addressing rapid urbanization. Each of the plans contains drawings, sections, elevations, site plans, and details.
A reduction in rates contributed to a 2.7% increase in mortgage applications last week. This was the first sign of growth after a mostly-stagnant six weeks. Refinance volume is still 2% lower than it was a year ago. CNBC has a breakdown on where the market is currently.
This is a little off topic, but I wanted to share some information about this little-known program. The Senior Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program (SFMNP), awards vouchers that low-income seniors can use for a variety of foods at a local farmers’ market, roadside stand, or community-supported agriculture programs. If you or someone you know is interested, there is a list of participating state agencies on the USDA.gov site here.
There’s a good explanation on forbes.com today about the amount of paperwork required during the mortgage approval process, and why it’s necessary. Mark Greene breaks down the Qualified Mortgage, made law by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau in January 2014. And, as much a nuisance as it may seem, the required paperwork is absolutely essential.