Governor Bob McDonnell named three brokers to the Virginia Real Estate Board today:
- Lynn G. Grimsley of Newport News, associate broker at RE/MAX Peninsula.
- Steve Hoover of Roanoke, principal broker at MKB.
- Catherine M. Noonan of Henrico, associate broker at Long and Foster.
Congratulations to all three!
Several dozen members of Congress, led by Reps. Emanuel Cleaver (D-Md.) and Michael Fitzpatrick (R-Pa.) sent a letter to HUD secretary Shaun Donovan, urging that FHA reconsider some of the standards it has set for condos to be certified — and thus allow potential buyers to finance their purchases with FHA loans.
Thousands of condos across the country are no longer FHA certified, making units significantly harder to sell as many buyers can’t get financing.
As we reported before, some of the requirements for certification include
The Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond and Virginia Association of REALTORS® are working together to gain perspective on Virginia’s housing market. A majority of Virginia Realtors® indicated that housing market conditions were slightly or significantly better in the first quarter of 2012, according to the survey released today by the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond. Nearly 60 percent of respondents also indicated that customer traffic was slightly or significantly higher.
The survey, conducted in partnership with Virginia Association of Realtors®, focused on the state of the residential housing market in Virginia and how these conditions changed during the first quarter of 2012.
An online survey of Virginia REALTORS® conducted by the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond. Members were asked 11 questions regarding the state of the residential housing market and how those conditions changed during the first quarter of 2012.
THE FEDERAL RESERVE BANK OF RICHMOND (THE FED) SURVEY OF VIRGINIA REALTORS®
It’s easy to forget that, when buying a distressed home, it’s not just the seller who’s having issues. The building itself, especially if it’s bank-owned (and likely neglected) is often in a state of disrepair — everything from weather damage to wood rot to worse.
A family that buys a foreclosure or REO might love the discount (an average of 27 percent), but then get sticker shock when the repair estimates come in.
Housing Wire is reporting that Federal officials have confirmed that qualified residential mortgage standards and rules won’t be released/in place in 2012.
QM = qualified mortgages; all mortgages must meet these broad standards.
QRM = qualified residential mortgages; a stricter standard a loan must meet if the lender wants it to be backed by the Federal government
Both standards are up in the air. QRMs will likely have a down payment requirement (at one point 20% was being considered, but that’s pretty much off the table).
Three congresscritters — Karen Bass (D-Calif.), Robert J. Dold (R-Ill.), and Luis Gutierrez (D-Ill.) — have introduced a bill that would reduce the mortgage insurance costs for first-time buyers looking for an FHA loan.
On June 11, FHA’s mortgage insurance premium go up again; it’s currently 1.75% of the amount borrowed (due at closing), and on the 11th jumbo loans — those above $625K — will go to 2.0%.
The good thing about FHA loans, especially for first-time (read: small saving account) buyers is that they only require a 3.5% down payment. The downside is that you have to pay insurance on the loan until you build up equity.
FHA protects itself with those insurance premiums, but the result is that what was supposed to be über-affordable is a lot more expensive.
We scored a nice-sized victory with a Supreme Court decision about RESPA violations.
It’s like this: Three couples got their mortgages through Quicken Loans. Quicken charged them each some extra fees — a “loan processing fee”, a “loan discount fee” — but didn’t (the couples said) actually provide anything for that extra money.
That, they said, violates RESPA, which A) bans kickbacks for referrals for settlement services, and B) covers how two parties have to divide payments. Taken together, they said, A+B meant Quicken couldn’t charge fees for doing nothing.
But SCOTUS disagreed.
The U.S. Senate is finally going to vote on changes to the National Flood Insurance Program that will extend it for five years, instead of just a month or two.
Barring yet another filibuster, it should pass and then be reconciled with a similar bill that already passed the House.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said that, if necessary, they would extend the program by 60 days while both houses squabble work together to agree on the final bill, which President Obama is expected to sign.
From the “Oh, you don’t say?” department (via the Wall Street Journal):
So Virginia got about $66.5 million from the robo-signing settlement, ostensibly for use to help housing. Other states got more or less, for a total of $2.5 billion.
But a report from The New York Times ("Needy States Use Housing Aid Cash to Plug Budgets" and another from ProPublica ("Billion Dollar Bait & Switch: States Divert Foreclosure Deal Funds") found that a lot of that money is going to states’ general funds and is being used for anything but housing.