A Press Democrat Blog

Real Sonoma

News and conversation about Sonoma County real estate

Experts debate impact of lower loan guarantee limits

Buyers of larger, middle-class homes may see loan costs rise this fall if the real estate industry can’t persuade Congress to keep higher dollar limits in place for federally backed mortgages. But experts differ on the impact for Sonoma, Lake and Mendocino counties. In Sonoma County, buyers seeking federally backed mortgages this fall may be limited to $520,950, down from the current level of $662,500. Do you think such a change would have much impact on the local housing market?… Read More »

Fannie Mae’s video stories give tips to beat foreclosures.

It may not feel entertaining, but distressed homeowners now can watch government-backed videos where actors dramatize the ways that people try to avoid foreclosures. WaysHome is a new online program released Thursday by Fannie Mae, a federally controlled company that provides loan guarantees and funds for mortgage lenders. The videos offer viewers tips by showing three families who owe more on their mortgages than their homes are worth. Viewers select a family and “walk in their shoes,” as an announcer… Read More »

New FHA rules start Monday for mortgage insurance premiums.

As a follow to Sunday’s story on home refinancing, loan officer Scott Sheldon passed on news for those who might consider refinancing with an FHA loan. Sheldon, who works for First Cal mortgage company in Petaluma, noted that on Monday the mortgage insurance premium that borrowers must pay upfront will decrease to 1 percent from 2.25 percent. On a $300,000 loan, that means a borrower would pay an upfront of $3,000 rather than $6,750. That premium is typically added into… Read More »