Archive for the ‘Mortgages’ Category

“Home ownership is viewed as the most coveted part of the American dream, but nearly two-thirds of millennial homeowners (63%) expressed regrets about their current home purchase – the highest share of any generation….  Homeowners (18%) cited unexpected maintenance or hidden costs as their biggest pain point, with a quarter of millennial homeowners indicating this as their top regret.” -Bankrate

“A recent survey showed that more than 40% of Baby Boomers (those born between 1946 and 1964) have less than $100,000 in retirement savings. That means those right at the retirement window won’t be able to maintain the lifestyle they want once they retire. You might think Social Security will help. Think again – the average monthly Social Security check in 2018 is just $1,404….

Reverse Mortgage Recap:

In a typical mortgage, you obtain a loan for the purchased real estate and then slowly, over the life of the loan, pay it back to the bank. The reverse mortgage works exactly the opposite… We get the bank to pay us while our health is good, and we don’t have to pay it back until we die or move out of the home.

Once approved, you can receive your loan money in several ways. You can take the money as a lump sum, a stream of payments, a line of credit, or a combination of the three.

Reverse Mortgage Precautions:

Depending on how you receive your reverse mortgage payment or payments, you could risk losing your eligibility for Medicaid.

Maybe you aren’t thinking about Medicaid just yet. After all, Medicare covers a wide range of health services. Here’s the kicker: Medicare only covers short-term care in a skilled nursing facility or rehabilitation care in a nursing facility. Medicare will not cover any long-term care, including care at a nursing home.

That’s where Medicaid comes in. Medicaid is the primary payer for nursing-home care in the U.S.

That means if you take out a reverse mortgage now and suffer a stroke two months later, you might not qualify for Medicaid and will have to pay out-of-pocket for all your nursing-home care.

Taking a lump sum payment or getting monthly payments that you don’t exhaust each month (meaning you’re building up your savings account) triggers something called the spend-down rule.

Basically, you only qualify for Medicaid if you meet the financial requirements. In other words, if you have too much money in your bank account, Medicaid expects you to spend that on your care before you qualify for assistance. You have to “spend down” what you have to reach that point.

And keep in mind, nursing-home care runs up the bill. In 2016, the national average for a shared room in a nursing home was $225 per day. That’s more than $82,000 a year.

The second consideration for taking out a reverse mortgage is the possibility of moving. If you don’t live in your home for at least one year (for instance, if you’re in a long-term care facility) or if you sell the home, the loan would come due. That means paying it back in full….

Also, if the housing market drops or your home loses value for any reason, you might not be able to sell it for the full amount of the loan. In that case, you’d have to make up the difference….”

-Dr. David Eifrig

“You’ll never guess what’s leading consumer debt higher now, at this stage in the cycle… mortgages… specifically, a new type of Fannie and Freddie mortgage product. It’s called ‘The Conventional 97’. It only requires a 3% down payment.

What’s ‘conventional’ about this kind of loan? Nothing, of course. No private lender would ever make a loan like this where the lender is taking all of the risk.” -Porter Stansberry

Rich House

Posted: November 20, 2016 in Mortgages
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“Buying a more expensive home every time you get a big raise is a great way to ensure that you will never get rich.  What you want to do is find the least expensive house you can love and keep.  The longer you keep it, the more income you will have to invest in the sorts of assets that will, eventually, make you rich.” -Mark Ford

“Before you refinance, you need to look at your break-even point, your cash-flow needs, and the length of time you expect to stay in your house….   You have to know what your total savings will be over the life of the loan.” -Bob Irish

Fannie Mae announced that it will offer a HomePath Ready Buyer Program.  They will offer up to 3% toward the purchase price of a home (if they take a home buyer education course).

“That’s right: We’re back to 3% down payments, rebated. And we’re back to the feds (Fannie Mae is a government entity) encouraging people to load themselves down with mortgage debt.  ‘Stimulus’, is what they call it.  ‘A debt trap’ is what it really is.” -Bill Bonner

Fannie Mae is already in receivership with the assistance of the government.  Now, they will be putting even more on their backs with this program.  This low down payment program didn’t end up so well just a few years ago, now it is being reinvented.

Is home ownership “affordable” if someone needs assistance?

Forever Loans

Posted: May 30, 2014 in Mortgages
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Mortgage loans rarely get paid off.  Instead, they just go on forever, from one ‘owner’ to the next.” -Bill Bonner

“What really happens is the financial industry borrows funds at a rate of interest near zero to make mortgage loans. Aided and abetted by Fannie Mae, it is now landlord to 44 million Americans. The poor “homeowner” is turned into a mortgage slave. He is stuck for life – or longer – making payments on a house that cost the financial industry nothing.” -Bill Bonner

“This paper has investigated the effect of government assistance on bank risk taking. While we do not find a significant effect of government assistance on the aggregate credit supply, our results suggest a considerable effect on the risk of originated loans.

After being approved for federal funds […] participants issue riskier loans and increase capital allocations to riskier, higher-yield securities, as compared to banks that were denied federal funds. [T]he net effect is a significant increase in systemic risk and the probability of distress at approved banks. Overall, our evidence is broadly consistent with the theories that predict an increase in risk taking incentives as a result of government protection.” -Journal of Financial Economics, Professors Ran Duchin and Denis Sosyura

Well, here we ago again.  Up until now, most of the “questionable” home loans available since the housing meltdown have been rural development loans offered through the USDA.  The questionable part in my mind are the “no down payment required” and “guaranteed loan” aspects.  But, according to a Reuters article, Wells Fargo is again planning to jump back into the “subprime” market.  Why?  Because they are experiencing a downturn in revenue.  Hmm, does this seem like a sound business decision?  (GM is also selling cars to subprime customers to help their sales).  Does this sound promising?

Some interesting points from the Reuters article makes me scratch my head:

1.  “…loosening of credit standards could boost housing demand…”  Shouldn’t demand for housing be boosted because people can actually afford them?  Isn’t it a false demand by any other standard?

2.  “To avoid the taint associated with the word ‘subprime’, lenders are calling their loans ‘another chance mortgages’ or ‘alternative mortgage program’.”  Does changing the name of something actually make it better?  Does duping people make these mortgages safer?

3.  “If the borrower does not meet those hurdles and later defaults on a mortgage, he or she can sue the lender and argue the loan should never have been made in the first place.”  Seriously, then why do we make the purchaser sign on the bottom line?  That point was missed during the initial crisis; purchasers were simply considered victims.  Everyone wants to blame the bank.  Thank you Dodd-Frank!

4.  “Subprime mortgages were at the center of the financial crisis, but many lenders believe that done with proper controls, the risks can be managed.”  I am sure they thought the same thing last time.  Risk is guaranteed to be risky; a la the recent death of the snake handling pastor.

5.  “The bank is looking to lend to borrowers with weaker credit, but only if those mortgages can be guaranteed by the FHA.  Because the loans are backed by the government, Wells Fargo can package them into bonds and sell them to investors.”  And there we have it!  Guaranteed by the government!  In other words, by the American taxpayer!  Let’s see, what would I provide to the American consumer if the government will guarantee it?  Anything!  The second part of the quote explains exactly what they were doing before, turning them into investments.  Subprime investments,  I’ll pass.

It looks like the strategy must be paying dividends.  According to the Wall Street Journal, “Household debt jumps as banks loosen up.”  Wells Fargo knows what works to get people borrowing.  The interesting thing is that they still haven’t resolved all of their issues with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac from the original crisis, but see no issues with stepping back into those familiar waters.

All I can say is, good luck with that….