Atlanta buyer’s agent uses DPR to pinpoint opportunities for her clients

Sid Lightford head shot cropREALTOR® and First Multiple Listing Service (FMLS) member Sid Lightford became a down payment assistance specialist in 2007. Sid said most homebuyers aren’t aware these programs exist, but they can help meet a real need. Even though the program education and research took additional time, it led to new clients and referrals.

“Buyers are amazed that they could get a home for less than they are paying in rent,” said Sid.

Now that FMLS has integrated Down Payment Resource into its listing data, Sid can quickly pinpoint the specific programs for which a listing can qualify.

“I really like Down Payment Resource in FMLS. In the past, I would have to call the lender to ask about a specific property or use a map to determine what homes may qualify,” said Sid. “Clicking on that link and knowing exactly what programs the home could qualify for helps me tremendously. I save time and can more easily help my buyers save money.”

Sid uses the information in Down Payment Resource to explain to her clients the variety of programs that may be a fit for their personal situation. She shares the details with her clients through email first and then follows up to more fully explain their options and next steps. keep reading

Will new mortgage regulations help or hurt buyers?

mortgage, QM, QRM, down paymentLast week, a new QRM (Qualified Residential Mortgage) proposal was issued by federal regulators, but headlines touting it as a victory are premature. This is not a time for complacency as the final rule is still uncertain. We are still looking into the potential impact to prospective homebuyers. No matter what, there will be many details important for agents and brokers to understand once the rulings are finalized.

QM (Qualified Mortgage) is already finalized and outlines the steps lenders are required to take to ensure a homebuyer’s ability to repay. QRM will address risk retention, requiring lenders to keep a certain percentage of mortgages on their books. Loans that meet the QRM definition will be exempt and can be sold in the secondary mortgage market.

Here’s the latest:

  • Six federal agencies issued a notice revising the QRM rule proposed in 2011 to implement the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. The new proposal would define QRM to have the same meaning as QM (as defined by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau).
  • The agencies also announced a second alternative for QRM that contradicts the first approach by maintaining the requirement for lenders to hold some of the credit risk if a loan is sold with less than a 30 percent down payment.
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The future of housing finance on horizon

home, home loan, mortgageHousing once again became a hot marketplace topic when President Obama laid out his plan for the future of housing finance last week. He urged Congress to take action on  housing legislation before year end.

As the market improves, there’s now focus on what should happen next to meet long term market needs. With a wide range of opinions on how much or how little government should be involved, we offer a few critical points to consider when forming your own opinion:

Government Sponsored Enterprises (GSEs)

The Fannie/Freddie model of private gains and public loses is obsolete. Will the huge dividends now being returned to the Federal coffers by the GSEs slow momentum for reform?

Limited government role

A limited government role in housing finance as a backstop and to leverage the deep, liquid credit markets Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac developed over several decades will keep borrowing costs from increasing, preserve the option of a 30-year fixed rate mortgage, and ensure responsible, creditworthy first-time homebuyers have the opportunity to buy a home.

Private market

Decrying the irresponsible lending practices that caused the unprecedented housing crash, and then declaring that all housing finance should rest entirely on the private market is contradictory. keep reading