June Marks National Homeownership Month

June is National Homeownership month! A time dedicated to celebrating the many benefits that homeownership brings to families and friends in communities across the country.

What does homeownership mean to you? Americans often think of their homes as more than just a place to “hang their hats.” Homeownership has long been considered part of the greater “American Dream” that includes “Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” as mentioned in our country’s Declaration of Independence.

Here’s a rundown of key events related to homeownership dating back to our nation’s infancy:

The man who was the second vice president and third president of the United States believed that property ownership was a citizen’s right. Thomas Jefferson pushed for legislation that helped define property lines and a system for purchasing land that was the basis for how real estate and ownership are described and transferred today, called the Land Ordinance of 1785.
President Abraham Lincoln signed the Homestead Act into law, which helped establish the western part of the country through migration. Settlers who paid a filing fee and completed five years of continuous residence received ownership of 160 acres of public land. Homesteaders also had the option of purchasing the land from the government for $1.25 per acre. The Homestead Act led to the distribution of 80 million acres of public land by 1900.
Bank collapses, millions of jobs and life savings lost during the Great Depression resulted in up to a quarter of the nation’s mortgages going into default. The number of mortgages dropped dramatically from nearly 6,000 in 1928 to under 1,000 in 1933. U.S. homeownership dropped to its lowest levels of the century in 1940.
The Federal Housing Administration (FHA) was formed and provided access to flexible mortgage financing. Prior to establishment of the FHA, mortgages required 50% down payments and terms were generally five or ten years long and usually had large balloon payments due at the end.
Congress passed the Servicemen’s Readjustment Act – more commonly known as the GI Bill of Rights. The GI Bill helped veterans pay for college and buy homes. The Veterans Administration (VA) still insures low- to zero-down payment loans for veterans, active-duty service members and their spouses.
A storm was brewing as lending thresholds and interest rates dropped, making mortgages easy to get and driving home prices up.
The nationwide real estate bubble that formed due to frenzied demand amidst loose lending practices burst, and home prices began a multi-year decline that led to approximately eight million foreclosures.
First-time home buyer tax credits and other housing stimulus programs were established to help homeowners avoid foreclosure.
U.S. housing prices bottomed out in March, having dropped by 33%.
U.S. housing values recovered all $9-trillion dollars lost in the housing crisis of the prior decade.
After a long-anticipated span of rising mortgage interest rates that began in 2018, rates for 30-year fixed rate mortgages experienced the sharpest one-week drop in over a decade in late March, setting the stage for higher affordability heading into the traditionally busy home buying and selling season.
Questions about home values, mortgage interest rates or the path to homeownership?
We can help! Contact us today!
Sources: Library of Congress, CoreLogic, Freddie Mac, Zillow

Good Reasons to Buy a New Home

Reasons to Buy a New Home

Are considering a home purchase? Need a few good reasons to buy a new home? Here you go!

1. Home Prices Continue to Rise

Many of us may forget that housing only bottomed out last year. While recent price increases aren’t sustainable, there is still plenty of room for home values to grow from all-time lows experienced in March 2012. Right now, home prices are still roughly 25 percent below 2006 peaks. Home prices are expected to rise approximately 3.9 percent per year through 2017 according to CoreLogic.

2. Rates are Still Low!

While mortgage rates may have climbed a bit recently, mortgage rates are still much lower than they have ever been in years. Average mortgage rates continue to hover below 5%. In 2007 and 2008, average mortgage rates were 6.34 and 6.03 percent respectively. That’s still really low when you consider the average 30-year fixed mortgage rates of the 1980s. In 1981 the annual average 30-year fixed rate mortgage rate was 16.63% (Source: Freddie Mac PMMS)

3. Homeownership is an American rite of passage.

It is still part of the American dream. 96% of homeowners see homeownership as a positive experience and 88% of renters aspire to own a home. This reason is not so much about the money. In fact, the top four reasons to buy a home according to Fannie Mae’s National Home Survey, historically, are not because of home prices or mortgage rates. The top four reasons people buy a home are:

  • To have a place to raise children and provide them with a good education
  • To have control over their living spaces
  • To acquire more space for family
  • To ensure family safety

Buying a New Home

We realize that buying a new home is a personal decision that you will ultimately make on your own time – when you are good and ready and regardless of any reasons thrown your way. In the meantime, if you or someone you know needs the advice of an experienced mortgage lender, we hope to be there to assist you. Our loan officers pride themselves on helping new home buyers with one of the biggest purchases they will ever make. Inlanta offers a variety of loan programs to meet specific financial needs including FHA, USDA, FHA 203k (Loans for Fixer-Uppers), VA and conventional mortgage loans.

Use our branch locator to find a loan officer near you, or simply apply online here and we will redirect you application to a loan officer qualified to originate mortgage loans in your area.

About Inlanta Mortgage – Celebrating 20 Years

Celebrating its 20th Anniversary, Inlanta Mortgage is a growing mortgage banking firm committed to quality mortgage lending, ethical operations and strong customer service.

Inlanta Mortgage offers Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac agency products, as well as a full suite of jumbo and portfolio programs. The company is an agency approved lender for Fannie Mae, FHA/VA, FHA 203K and USDA. Inlanta Mortgage also offers numerous state bond agency programs. Review Inlanta’s mortgage loan programs here.

Inlanta Mortgage is a multi-state mortgage banker based out of Brookfield, Wisconsin. NMLS #1016. Inlanta Mortgage is proud to be named to the Scotsman Guide Top Mortgage Lenders 2012 list and to be among the Top 100 Mortgage Banking Companies in America in 2012 and Fastest Growing Milwaukee-Area Firms.

Homeownership Rates – Now & Then

Home Ownership Rates

For most Americans, home is more than a shelter. It is also their most valuable asset and an important savings vehicle. So how many Americans actually own the homes they live in? Have homeownership rates changed over the past 20 years?

Homeownership Rates Now

The homeownership rate, as defined by the U.S. Census Bureau, is the percentage of homes that are occupied by the owner. It is not the percentage of adults that own their home. In January, the U.S. Census Bureau released a report on residential vacancies and homeownership for the fourth quarter of 2012. The homeownership rate was 65.4 percent. If you break this down geographically, home ownership rates were highest in the Midwest (69.7 percent) and lowest in the West (59.5 percent.)

Homeownership Rates 20 Years Ago

How does that compare to 20 year ago when Inlanta Mortgage was founded?  The homeownership rate for 1993 (revised based the U.S. Census 1990) was 64.0 percent. Homeownership rates vary by geographic area – see how homeownership rates differ by state here. For example, in 1993 homeownership rates were highest in Delaware (74.4 percent) and West Virginia (73.6 percent) and some of the lowest rates were in California (56.8 percent) and New York (53.5 percent).

Homeownership Rates & The Young

While overall homeownership rates have remained relatively stable since the 1960s, rates vary depending on characteristics of households. Recent research has examined the decline in homeownership rates with “heads” aged 25-44 years since 1980. This research indicates that a trend toward marrying later and the increase in household earnings risk that occurred after 1980 account for a large share of the decline in young homeownership. Read Why Has Homeownership Fallen among the Young for more information. To review homeownership rates by year and age click here.

Benefits of Homeownership

There are a number of benefits to homeownership. Here are a few reasons to consider purchasing a home while rates are low and home affordability is high:

  • Mortgage interest tax decution
  • More cohesive communities
  • Better connected families
  • Long term wealth accumulation

Get pre-approved today! Contact a licensed Inlanta Mortgage loan officer for a free consultation.

Inlanta Mortgage is proudly celebrating twenty years in business. Learn more about Inlanta’s twenty year history here.

Inlanta Mortgage offers Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac agency products, as well as a full suite of jumbo and portfolio programs. The company is fully delegated HUD-FHA including FHA 203K, VA, and USDA approved. Inlanta Mortgage also offers numerous state bond agency programs. Review Inlanta’s mortgage loan programs here.

Inlanta Mortgage is a multi-state mortgage banker based out of Brookfield, Wisconsin. NMLS# 1016. Inlanta Mortgage is proud to be a recent recipient of a 2012 Top Workplace Award.

Counseling Helps Families Prepare for Homeownership

Pre-Purchase Counseling Helps Families Prepare for Homeownership

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) released two reports on May 16, 2012 on the impact of HUD-approved housing counseling for those families who are purchasing their first homes and those struggling to prevent foreclosure.  In both studies, HUD found housing counseling significantly improved the likelihood homeowners remained in their homes.

The key findings of the first study regarding pre-purchase counseling include:

  • 35 percent of the study participants had become homeowners 18 months after seeking pre-purchase counseling.
  • Most purchasers had a FICO score of 620 or higher (71 percent), and were reported as having completed counseling by their housing counselor (72 percent).
  • Only one of the purchasers had fallen at least 30 days behind on mortgage payments 12-18 months after receiving pre-purchase counseling services.
  • Most were motivated to seek counseling to identify homebuyer assistance programs (58 percent) or to obtain down payment or closing cost assistance or to qualify for a specific loan program (58 percent).
  • Study participants were racially and ethnically diverse (52 percent African American, 32 percent White, 16 percent of another race or multi-racial, and 19 percent Hispanic), were more likely to be young (51 percent were under age 35), female (72 percent), have dependents under the age of 18 living with them (57 percent).

The key findings of the second report regarding foreclosure counseling include:

  • Most study participants attempted to contact their servicer when they first fell behind but were unsuccessful in negotiating with their lenders on their own.
  • With a counselor’s help, 69 percent of counselees obtained a mortgage remedy, and 56 percent were able to become current on their mortgages.
  • Nearly 70 percent of clients who sought counseling before becoming delinquent were in their home and current on their mortgage payments at the 18-month follow-up period, whereas only 30 percent of clients who were six or more months behind at the time they entered counseling were in their home and current at follow-up.

To read the press release in its entirety, and to also read both the housing counseling studies, please click here.

Inlanta Mortgage is a multi-state mortgage banker based out of Brookfield, Wisconsin. NMLS# 1016. Inlanta Mortgage has recently earned the distinction of being named a 2012 Top Workplace in Southeastern Wisconsin.