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A Vocabulary Lesson for Home Buying Transferees

My fiancé and I are inches away from closing on our first home. It has been a whirlwind of an experience, especially as we plan a move in the middle of the busy summer season. While I was pretty well informed going into the Home Buying Vocabularytransaction (several years in the relocation industry helps with that kind of stuff), I still learned a lot throughout the process and it made me realize, I’m probably not alone. With transferees moving all around the country this season, I thought today would be a good time to go over some standard real estate lingo that your employees will encounter if they are buying a new home at destination.

Fannie Mae’s New HomeReady Mortgage Program

The one thing everybody knows about the housing market is that it is constantly changing and evolving. Buyer’s markets turn into seller’s markets, and vice versa, over time. Home values increase and decrease based on several different factors. A mortgage rate update from a week ago is totally irrelevant today. Recognizing this, Fannie Mae is revamping a mortgage program in an effort to better serve today’s realities.

ReloTax: Understanding The New Closing Disclosure Forms

As some of you may already know, there are many significant changes this year, including all new tax rates and tables. Further, the government relocation and FTR rules have been updated including new Canadian tax revisions as well. And, as we’ve discussed for the past few months, the new 2015 Closing Disclosure form – the one replacing the HUD-1 which becomes effective October 3, 2015 is included and discussed in great detail.

UPDATE: RESPA Rules Granted an Extension

UPDATE: This week, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) issued a final rule moving the effective date of the Know Before You Owe mortgage disclosure rule, also called the TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosures rule, to October 3, 2015. The Bureau believes that moving the effective date may benefit both industry and consumers with a smoother transition to the new rule. The Bureau further believes that scheduling the effective date on a Saturday may facilitate implementation by giving industry time over the weekend to launch new systems configurations and to test systems.

Mortgage Outlook for Relocating Transferees

Over the course of 2015’s first quarter, a lot of home buyers found that obtaining a mortgage was easier than it had been in the past. And, it’s true. Banks seem to be more willing to lend now compared to recent years, though they’ll never admit any hesitation in the first place. A lot of this ease stems from the new loan options out there as well as current housing and economic trends around the country. In fact, the Zillow Mortgage Access Index tells us that access to mortgage credit is almost 70 percent of the way back to 2002 levels. To make a long story short, the economy and housing market have put lenders in a position where they are more willing to lend. So, what does this mean for your relocation program or for your transferees?

Are Mortgage Buydowns Lurking in Your Relocation Policy?

Lately, there has been a lot of talk about mortgage rates going up. Of course, the media pings pongs the issue back and forth: one day, we hear that rising rates are stemming housing demand and the next day, we hear that rates will remain steady. In all honesty, we don’t anticipate a drastic rise in rates this year, but by 2015 we could be back in the 5% range and that’s worth looking at. Employers who currently still have mortgage buy down components in their policies probably haven’t looked at them in years – there was no need. Before rates do jump, however, relocation managers may want to revisit the policy.

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