Explore Altamonte Springs, FL
By Chris Brown- Florida Home Loan Specialist | Certified Mortgage Planner, Chris Brown 407.367.2974
(Chris Brown | Certified Mortgage Planners)
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  Mortgage rates are up 0.875% since mid-November, causing home buyer purchasing power across Longwood to fall more than 10 percent since. Persistent concerns over inflation are a major reason why and this week's Consumer Price Index did little to quell fears. CPI rose for the third straight month last month. Wall Street was not surprised. As the economy has picked up steam since late-2010, the Federal Reserve has held the Fed Funds Rate near zero percent, and kept its $600 billion bond plan moving forward. The Fed believes this is necessary to support the economy in.....   Read the COMPLETE BLOG POST HERE: Cost of Living Reaches An All-Time High, Pressures Mortgage Rates Higher
By Chris Brown- Florida Home Loan Specialist | Certified Mortgage Planner, Chris Brown 407.367.2974
(Chris Brown | Certified Mortgage Planners)
Comments 1
    Want to help keep your home safe from burglars while on vacation? One smart way is to refrain from announcing your plans on various social networks such as Facebook.  There's other common-sense tips, too, as shared in this 4-minute video from NBC's The Today Show. Drawing from a series of interview with former convicts, you'll learn that there's more to keeping your home safe than just locking the doors and windows, and setting.......   Read the COMPLETE BLOG POST HERE: Going On Vacation? Don't Tell The Burglars!
By Chris Brown- Florida Home Loan Specialist | Certified Mortgage Planner, Chris Brown 407.367.2974
(Chris Brown | Certified Mortgage Planners)
Comments 3
During periods of economic growth, when home values are typically just going up, most homeowners do not question appraisals much. And in times of turmoil when property values are declining, home sellers and even listing agents quite often question and pick apart appraisals. However, the actual appraisal process changed very little over the course of the housing boom and bust cycle American homeowners witnessed between 2001 - 2009. Since the topic of home values seems to be a hot discussion, let's address the....   Read the COMPLETE BLOG POST HERE: Five Myths About Home Values
By Chris Brown- Florida Home Loan Specialist | Certified Mortgage Planner, Chris Brown 407.367.2974
(Chris Brown | Certified Mortgage Planners)
Comments 0
The Federal Reserve released its January 25-26, 2011 meeting minutes Wednesday afternoon. Florida mortgage rates have been in flux since. Fed Minutes are comprehensive recaps of Federal Open Market Committee meetings; a detailed look at the debates and discussions that shape our nation's monetary policy. As such, they're released 8 times annually; 3 weeks after the most....   Read the COMPLETE BLOG POST HERE: Fed Minutes Show Lower Unemployment And Higher Growth For 2011 and 2012  
By Chris Brown- Florida Home Loan Specialist | Certified Mortgage Planner, Chris Brown 407.367.2974
(Chris Brown | Certified Mortgage Planners)
Comments 1
  Annualized Single-Family Housing Starts dropped 1 percent in January to 413,000 units nationwide, it's lowest reading almost 2 years. A "Housing Start" is defined as a home on which construction has started.  Now, if you had only seen the Housing Starts story in the headlines today, you wouldn't have known that single-family starts fell at all. It's because of how the story is being reported. Most commonly, newspaper headlines are reading something similar to "Housing Starts Jump 14.6%" with the lead paragraph making mention that "housing starts are at their highest levels in 4 years". It's a true statement, but it's.......   Read the COMPLETE BLOG POST HERE: Single-Family Housing Starts Fell In January, Despite What The Headlines May Have Told You
By Chris Brown- Florida Home Loan Specialist | Certified Mortgage Planner, Chris Brown 407.367.2974
(Chris Brown | Certified Mortgage Planners)
Comments 1
Homebuilder confidence in the market for newly-built, single family homes appears stable as the spring buying season gets underway in Orlando. The confidence reading is recorded and reported monthly by the National Association of Homebuilders. For the 4th straight month, the group's Housing Market Index reads 16. As a market indicator, Housing Market Index has been tracked for more than twenty years and reports on a 1-100 scale. A value of 50 or better indicates "favorable conditions" for home builders. HMI hasn't read higher than 50 since April 2006. Broken down, the Housing Market Index is......   Read the COMPLETE BLOG POST HERE: Home Builders Report Higher Sales Levels In January  
By Chris Brown- Florida Home Loan Specialist | Certified Mortgage Planner, Chris Brown 407.367.2974
(Chris Brown | Certified Mortgage Planners)
Comments 1
  If consumer spending is a keystone element in the U.S. economic recovery, a full-on rebound is likely underway. Tuesday, the Census Bureau released its national January Retail Sales figures and, for the seventh straight month, the data surpassed expectations. Last month's retail figures climbed 0.3 percent as total sales receipts reached an all-time high. It's good news for the economy which is scratching back after a prolonged recession, but decidedly bad news for people in want of a mortgage across the state of......   Read the COMPLETE BLOG POST HERE: Retail Sales Rise For 7th Straight Month; Mortgage Rates Worsen  
By Chris Brown- Florida Home Loan Specialist | Certified Mortgage Planner, Chris Brown 407.367.2974
(Chris Brown | Certified Mortgage Planners)
Comments 1
Providing proper asset documentation and the actual source of the funds is a critical element of the loan closing process. There's nothing worse in a real estate purchase than making it all the way through the hoops and hurdles just to have a loan denied after the final documents have been signed due to the borrower using the wrong checking account for the down payment. Seasoning of the down payment money is just as important as the source, which is why underwriters typically require at least two months bank / asset statements in the initial mortgage approval process. A Few Acceptable Sources Of Down Payment Include: Bank Accounts - checking / savings Investment Accounts - money market, mutual funds Retirement Funds - keep in mind that borrowing against a 401K plan will require a repaym...
By Chris Brown- Florida Home Loan Specialist | Certified Mortgage Planner, Chris Brown 407.367.2974
(Chris Brown | Certified Mortgage Planners)
Comments 1
  Mortgage rates are surging. Over the last 7 days, conventional, 30-year fixed rate mortgage rates have jumped 24 basis points, or 0.24%, according to Freddie Mac's weekly Primary Mortgage Market Survey. It's the largest 1-week spike in mortgage rates in recent history. The 30-year fixed rate mortgage now averages 5.05% nationally. This is much, much higher than what we saw last November when mortgage rates were 4.17% and looked headed to the 3s. That's not the case today. In fact, it's the opposite.  Mortgage rates have risen quickly and fiercely this....   Read the COMPLETE BLOG POST HERE: Mortgage Rates Return To April 2010 Levels
By Chris Brown- Florida Home Loan Specialist | Certified Mortgage Planner, Chris Brown 407.367.2974
(Chris Brown | Certified Mortgage Planners)
Comments 3
  Foreclosure activity is slowing. According to foreclosure-tracker RealtyTrac, the number of foreclosure filings dropped 17 percent on an annual basis last month. Monthly filings ticked higher 1 percent after a combined 23 percent decrease through November and December 2010. The phrase "foreclosure filing" is a catch-all term, comprising default notices, scheduled auctions, and bank repossessions.  January marked the third straight month of .......   Read the COMPLETE BLOG POST HERE: Foreclosure Activity Drops Throughout The Most Foreclosure-Heavy States
By Chris Brown- Florida Home Loan Specialist | Certified Mortgage Planner, Chris Brown 407.367.2974
(Chris Brown | Certified Mortgage Planners)
Comments 1
  Mortgage markets worsened for the 7th straight day Tuesday, equaling the longest losing streak of the last 5 years. Conventional, 30-year fixed mortgage rates are now scratching 5 percent, with FHA mortgage rates running roughly the same. This is a huge increase from just 11 weeks ago.....   Read the COMPLETE BLOG POST HERE: Mortgage Rates Rise For The 7th Straight Day
By Chris Brown- Florida Home Loan Specialist | Certified Mortgage Planner, Chris Brown 407.367.2974
(Chris Brown | Certified Mortgage Planners)
Comments 0
  If your ARM is due to adjust this spring, your best move may be to allow it. Don't rush to refinance -- your rate may be adjusting lower. It's because of how adjusted mortgage rates are calculated. First, let's look at the lifecycle of a conventional, adjustable rate mortgage: There's a "starter period" of several years in which the interest rate remains fixed. There's an initial adjustment to rate after the starter period. This is called the "first adjustment". There's a subsequent adjustment until the loan's term expires. The adjustment is usually annual. The starter period will vary from 1 to 10 years, but once that timeframe ends, and the first adjustment occurs, conventional ARMs enter a lifecycle phase that is.....   Read the COMPLETE BLOG POST HERE: Adjustable Rate Mortgages Ad...
By Chris Brown- Florida Home Loan Specialist | Certified Mortgage Planner, Chris Brown 407.367.2974
(Chris Brown | Certified Mortgage Planners)
Comments 0
  Home remodeling is back in vogue. With contractors dropping prices in most U.S. markets, and a resurgence in confidence among homeowners, home remodeling projects are expected to top $125 billion this quarter. Not all renovations will be "worth it", according to Remodeling Magazine's 2011 Cost vs Value report, but some projects should never be started -- especially when said projects render a.....   Read the COMPLETE BLOG POST HERE: Home Remodeling Projects That You Should Skip  
By Chris Brown- Florida Home Loan Specialist | Certified Mortgage Planner, Chris Brown 407.367.2974
(Chris Brown | Certified Mortgage Planners)
Comments 2
It's obviously easier to picture the process of estimating value on an existing property in a neighborhood that has a history of home sales, but the task of determining the value on new construction projects does pose some challenges. Appraisals on homes that haven't been built yet generally require the contractor and home buyer to supply more documentation in order to get a more accurate estimate of the property's value. The main purpose of this article is to give an overview of the appraisal process for a home buyer that is building a home vs purchasing standing inventory. For some, building a new home can be....   Read the COMPLETE BLOG POST HERE: How Do Mortgage Companies Value A Property That Has Not Been Built Yet?  
By Chris Brown- Florida Home Loan Specialist | Certified Mortgage Planner, Chris Brown 407.367.2974
(Chris Brown | Certified Mortgage Planners)
Comments 4
Americans are getting back to work. Sort of. This morning, at 8:30 AM ET, the Bureau of Labor Statistics released its Non-Farm Payrolls report for January 2011. More commonly called "the jobs report", the government's data showed a large decrease in the number of working Americans as compared to December, but a sizable drop in.......   Read the COMPLETE BLOG POST HERE: Unemployment Rate Drops To Lowest In 2 Years
By Chris Brown- Florida Home Loan Specialist | Certified Mortgage Planner, Chris Brown 407.367.2974
(Chris Brown | Certified Mortgage Planners)
Comments 1
  Mortgage lending appears to be loosening. At least for now. In its quarterly survey of member banks, the Federal Reserve asks senior loan officers around the country whether their "prime" residential mortgage guidelines had tightened within the last 3 months. A prime borrower is one with a well-documented credit history, high credit scores, and a..... Read the COMPLETE BLOG POST HERE: Mortgage Guidelines Starting To Loosen?
By Chris Brown- Florida Home Loan Specialist | Certified Mortgage Planner, Chris Brown 407.367.2974
(Chris Brown | Certified Mortgage Planners)
Comments 0
  In December, home sales reached an 8-month high, recovering from the losses of last summer. Market momentum is positive across Florida , but that doesn't mean every home is selling quickly -- only some of them are. So, if you're a home seller and want (or need) to get your home sold quickly, take a listen to this 3-minute interview from NBC's The Today Show. It's loaded with practical sales advice for ...... Read the COMPLETE BLOG POST HERE: Practical Advice : How To Help Your Home Sell Faster
By Chris Brown- Florida Home Loan Specialist | Certified Mortgage Planner, Chris Brown 407.367.2974
(Chris Brown | Certified Mortgage Planners)
Comments 2
  Another day, another strong report for housing. The Pending Home Sales Index climbed 2 percent in December, according to the National Association of REALTORS®. A "pending home sale" is an existing home under contract to sell, but not yet closed. Pending Home Sales are up for the fifth time in 6 months. The December reading is now its highest since the federal home buyer tax credit's April 2010 contract deadline, and the figure is......   Read the COMPLETE BLOG POST HERE: Pending Home Sales At The Highest Levels Since April 2010
By Chris Brown- Florida Home Loan Specialist | Certified Mortgage Planner, Chris Brown 407.367.2974
(Chris Brown | Certified Mortgage Planners)
Comments 1
  It doesn't take much effort to stand over a pot and "stir continuously", as called for in some recipes. It can be tedious, though, and once a chef stops stirring or leaves a pot unattended, the recipe is sure to ruin. Enter the automatic stirrer. With its self-adjusting, self-centering blades, the Ardenté Gourmet Stirrer latches on to the side of most kitchen bowls, and does that stirring for you. The machine's constant blade-turning protects your.......   Read the COMPLETE BLOG POST HERE: Use An Automatic Stirrer To Keep Foods From Burning And Pots From Scorching  
By Chris Brown- Florida Home Loan Specialist | Certified Mortgage Planner, Chris Brown 407.367.2974
(Chris Brown | Certified Mortgage Planners)
Comments 1
For homeowners interested in making some property improvements without tapping into their savings or investment accounts, the two main options are to either take out a Home Equity Line of Credit (HELOC), or do a cash-out refinance. According To Wikipedia: A home equity line of credit is a loan in which the lender agrees to lend a maximum amount within an agreed period, where the collateral is the borrower's equity. A HELOC differs from a conventional home equity loan in that the borrower is not advanced the entire sum up front, but uses a line of credit to borrow sums that total no more than the credit limit, similar to a credit card. HELOC funds can be......   Read the COMPLETE BLOG POST HERE: Should I Refinance or Get a HELOC For Home Improvements?                      

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