Archive for 'Refinancing'

Mortgage Lender Reveals Top Refinance Tips

Mortgage Lender Reveals Top Refinance Tips

Mortgage Lender Reveals Top Refinance Tips-Image via Wikipedia

Average mortgage rates have increased slightly, while lowest rates remained stable week-over-week according to the LendingTree Weekly Mortgage Rate Pulse, which tracks the lowest and average mortgage rates offered by lenders on the LendingTree network.

On September 13, average home loan rates offered by LendingTree network lenders were 4.37% (4.53% APR) for 30-year fixed mortgages, 3.61% (3.86% APR) for 15-year fixed mortgages and 3.34% (3.50% APR) for 5/1 adjustable rate mortgages (ARM), an 8 percent increase week-over-week for 30- and 15-year fixed mortgages.

On the same day, the lowest mortgage rates offered by lenders on the LendingTree network were 3.75% (3.88% APR) for a 30-year fixed mortgage, 2.875% (3.11% APR) for a 15-year fixed mortgage and 2.50% (3.03% APR) for a 5/1 ARM.

The LendingTree Monthly Lender Marketplace Survey, which launched in September, asked LendingTree network lenders what is the biggest mistake consumers make when refinancing their home loan.  The top 5 mistakes are outlined below:

  1. Over-estimating the value of the home: With home values dropping in today’s market, borrowers typically over-value their home, causing borrowers to receive higher-than-expected loan offers.
  2. Hesitating to lock in low rates: Lenders are seeing borrowers waiting for rates to drop further, missing out on the opportunity to lock-in with the current low rates.
  3. Focusing only on interest rates: Borrowers are focused only on rates when they should also factor in lender fees, loan terms and lender reputations into their ultimate decision.
  4. Overlooking shorter-term loans: Many borrowers are refinancing into a 30-year fixed mortgage instead of considering other options such as a 20-year or 15-year fixed rate, which would shorten the life of the loan and significantly reduce the amount paid to interest.
  5. Consumers are uncertain of what documents are required to refinance: Borrowers who haven’t refinanced in recent years sometimes fail to have the required document going into refinancing which delays the closing process.

“The LendingTree Lender Marketplace Survey provides valuable insight into the national mortgage arena from a lender’s standpoint,” says Mona Marimow, Senior Vice President at LendingTree. “What we’ve seen with the first survey is that consumers could achieve greater benefits if they were more prepared in advance of requesting a loan.  By highlighting the top five mistakes we hope this helps empower borrowers to have a smoother refinancing experience.”

Below is a snapshot of the lowest mortgage rates for a 30-year fixed loan offered by lenders on the LendingTree network, as well as average loan-to-value ratios and negative equity by state.


*Updated Quarterly

US Average 3.75% (3.88% APR) 69.8% 33.5%
Alabama 3.75% (3.88% APR) 68.0% 29.5%
Alaska 3.88% (4.00% APR) 65.8% 19.5%
Arizona 3.75% (3.88% APR) 93.1% 38.9%
Arkansas 3.88% (3.99% APR) 72.3% 43.0%
California 3.88% (4.00% APR) 70.0% 34.4%
Colorado 3.75% (3.88% APR) 72.3% 22.9%
Connecticut 3.75% (3.87% APR) 60.2% 43.4%
Delaware 3.75% (3.84% APR)- 67.3% 38.8%
District of Columbia 3.75% (3.88% APR) 58.6% 26.8%
Florida 3.75% (3.88% APR) 87.8% 38.9%
Georgia 3.88% (4.00% APR) 80.9% 26.5%
Hawaii 4.00% (4.12% APR) 53.9% 27.0%
Idaho 3.75% (3.88% APR) 71.7% 30.3%
Illinois 3.88% (4.00% APR) 72.4% 32.3%
Indiana 3.75% (3.85% APR) 69.4% 28.4%
Iowa 4.38% (4.51% APR) 67.3% 44.2%
Kansas 4.38% (4.51% APR) 70.3% 32.2%
Kentucky 3.75% (3.88% APR) 67.9% 52.7%
Louisiana 4.38% (4.51% APR) 75.2% 82.4%
Maine 3.88% (3.99% APR) 58.3% 30.7%
Maryland 3.75% (3.84% APR) 70.3% 25.9%
Massachusetts 3.88% (4.00% APR) 61.9% 47.0%
Michigan 3.88% (4.00% APR) 84.0% 33.4%
Minnesota 3.75% (3.85% APR) 66.8% 22.7%
Mississippi 4.38% (4.51% APR) 78.2% 29.2%
Missouri 3.88% (4.00% APR) 71.9% 32.4%
Montana 4.38% (4.51% APR) 60.3% 33.9%
Nebraska 4.38% (4.51% APR) 73.4% 44.7%
Nevada 3.88% (4.00% APR) 112.7% 53.7%
New Hampshire 3.88% (3.99% APR) 70.3% 26.2%
New Jersey 3.75% (3.84% APR) 62.8% 29.9%
New Mexico 3.75% (3.88% APR) 67.9% 45.9%
New York 3.75% (3.85% APR) 48.7% 36.0%
North Carolina 3.75% (3.88% APR) 71.6% 32.4%
North Dakota 4.38% (4.51% APR) 61.1% 36.3%
Ohio 3.88% (4.00% APR) 75.8% 27.5%
Oklahoma 3.88% (3.99% APR) 71.8% 50.6%
Oregon 3.88% (4.03% APR) 69.8% 19.9%
Pennsylvania 3.75% (3.84% APR) 61.1% 42.0%
Rhode Island 4.38% (4.51% APR) 63.7% 38.7%
South Carolina 3.88% (4.00% APR) 71.5% 28.9%
South Dakota 3.88% (3.99% APR) N/A N/A
Tennessee 3.88% (4.00% APR) 71.6% 29.9%
Texas 3.88% (4.00% APR) 68.1% 31.6%
Utah 3.88% (4.00% APR) 72.9% 22.8%
Vermont 4.38% (4.51% APR) N/A N/A
Virginia 3.75% (3.85% APR) 71.7% 25.1%
Washington 3.88% (4.00% APR) 68.3% 21.7%
West Virginia 4.38% (4.51% APR) 66.8% 50.6%
Wisconsin 4.38% (4.51% APR) 69.1% 36.0%
Wyoming 3.88% (4.01% APR) 63.1% 24.2%

For more information on current mortgage rates or for state specific mortgage rates, please visit

The LendingTree Weekly Mortgage Rate Pulse is published every Wednesday. Home loan rates above are reflective of actual rates offered to borrowers by lenders on the LendingTree network. Lowest rates shown reflect the payment of one discount point. Rates will vary based on the borrower’s loan details and credit profile. Visit to learn more.

About LendingTree, LLC

LendingTree, LLC is the nation’s leading online lender exchange and personal finance resource, helping consumers take charge of all their financial decisions, from budgeting to money management to mortgages to credit cards and more. LendingTree provides a marketplace that connects consumers with multiple lenders that compete for their business, as well as an array of online tools to aid consumers in their financial decisions. Since inception, LendingTree has facilitated more than 28 million loan requests and $214 billion in closed loan transactions. LendingTree provides access to lenders offering mortgages and refinance loans, home equity loans/lines of credit, and more. LendingTree, LLC is a subsidiary of, Inc. (NASDAQ: TREE). For more information go to, dial 800-555-TREE, join our Facebook page and/or follow us on Twitter @LendingTree.

Mona Marimow

Mortgage Giant Settles in Manhattan

Mortgage Master, Inc., one of the nation’s largest independently owned mortgage companies originating $6 billion in loans annually, has opened an office in Manhattan to serve the city’s vibrant housing market. The new office, which is licensed in New York, Connecticut and New Jersey, will handle the purchase and refinancing needs for thousands of residents in the Tri-State area.

“The Manhattan housing market has been remarkably resilient,” said Marc Kunen, head of Mortgage Master’s Manhattan office and a veteran mortgage specialist. “Establishing a foothold in the city will allow us to compete as one of the lowest cost providers and avail those savings to our customers.”

Based in Walpole, MA, Mortgage Master continues to see strong demand as low mortgage rates spur homeowners to refinance and renovate their homes. Kunen also expects to see more customers take out new loans as housing prices in the Tri-State area begin to firm. “There are an awful lot of people poised to buy right now,” he said.

The company, which is licensed in over 20 States with branches in 9, funded approximately $6 billion in 2010 and continues to expand its reach in the mortgage market.

“Our company has been successful because we open offices in markets like Manhattan where we know we are dealing with a stable, reliable community of borrowers,” said Mortgage Master CEO Leif Thomsen.  “The housing market is growing in the Metropolitan area, and we want to contribute to that growth by offering low cost loans to the community.”

Prior to joining MMI to open the Manhattan office, Marc was with GFI Mortgage Bankers as a managing director where he built their Manhattan branch into a $200 million residential mortgage division.  He also worked for Preferred Empire Mortgage Company as a senior loan officer and was ranked among the top loan officers in the U.S. by MOM.  He holds an MBA from NYU’s Stern School of Business and graduated with a B.S. in Business from SUNY Buffalo.  Marc is a native New Yorker, and is exceptionally familiar with the local real estate market and its financing nuances.

The new Mortgage Master office is located at 590 Madison Ave., New York, NY 10022.

About Mortgage Master

Mortgage Master, Inc. ( is a Massachusetts Company founded in 1988 by Mr. Leif Thomsen. Since then, the company has grown to become the largest volume lender of mortgages in Massachusetts. Mortgage Master is the country’s largest independently owned mortgage company, consistently lending over $6 billion each year. Mortgage Master employs more than 500 employees nationwide, with approximately 240 loan experts providing loans and services in approximately 20 states.

The corporate headquarters is located in Walpole, MA, with satellite offices in California, Connecticut, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Rhode Island. Mortgage Master employs more of the top 200 loan officers in dollar volume than any other lender in the U.S.

Credit Union Offers a Low Interest No Fee Mortgage

Credit Union Offers a Low Interest No Fee Mortgage-Image via Wikipedia

BECU announced today that it has introduced a new 12-Year No Fee Mortgage to help consumers who have been reluctant to refinance and take advantage of the historically low mortgage rates.  With the BECU 12-Year No Fee Mortgage, members will be able to take advantage of the low interest rate environment and receive an interest rate comparable with a 10 year fixed rate mortgage without paying hundreds or even thousands of dollars in closing costs or fees.

“BECU’s vision is that qualified homeowners should be able to access these historically low mortgage rates,” said Bob Stroup, BECU’s Vice President of Member Strategies.  “The 12-Year No Fee Mortgage was designed for consumers with a low balance on their current mortgage who desire to have the financial freedom of owning their home in 12 years or less but have been reluctant to refinance to a lower rate because of closing costs and fees.”

Many current mortgage holders have done the refinance math and come up short.  When they factor in the low balance they maintain with their current mortgage, and the associated closing costs associated with refinancing, they are not refinancing.  BECU wanted to give these consumers an easy way to make refinancing a reality.

Description of 12-Year No Fee Mortgage

  • For the refinance of a primary residence
  • Available to members in Washington, Oregon, California, Arizona, Illinois, Pennsylvania, Kansas, and Missouri
  • Minimum loan amount of $35,000 with a maximum loan amount of $200,000
  • Maximum loan to value of 80% including cash-out
  • No prepayment penalties
  • Borrower is responsible for paying all fees and charges imposed by an existing lender
  • Borrower is responsible for payment of interim interest, property taxes and insurance premiums (if due)


About BECU

Governed by a volunteer Board of Directors, BECU is a not-for-profit credit union owned by the members. Profits are returned to the members in the form of better rates and fewer fees. With more than 700,000 members and more than $9.5 billion in assets, BECU is the largest credit union in Washington and one of the top five financial cooperatives in the country. BECU currently operates over 45 locations in the Puget Sound region.  All Washington state residents are eligible to join.

Mortgage Trends in 2011

Mortgage Trends in 2011-Image via Wikipedia

Most real estate experts are of the opinion that one must take out a home loan or apply for a mortgage refinance loan when it is the perfect time for their individual needs. While the risk takers and the experienced people wait to beat the market trends, someone who is taking out a mortgage loan for the first time must think of his personal monetary needs before taking out a home mortgage loan. Reports suggest that most prospective homebuyers choose to observe the general mortgage trends before applying for a loan as they think that a mortgage rate prediction is pretty impossible for the borrowers. Have a look at some mortgage trends that you can expect in 2011.

There will be a slow rise in the interest rates on various types of mortgage loans.

According to the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA), the mortgage rates will slightly rise in 2011. The rates may hover around 5% in 2011 and may gradually rise to 6% in the year 2012. Economists had already expected a rise in the mortgage rates in the last quarter of 2010 and at the end of 2010; mortgage rates began to increase from the 4% range to 5%.

Overall demand for the mortgage loans will remain less throughout 2011.

As the home mortgage loan rates will go through a hike in the year 2011, there will be a fall in the demand of mortgage loans. The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) foretells that the total number of mortgage originations will decrease and fall below $1 trillion. The main reason of this change is the passive financial growth and double digit unemployment rate.

A drop in the number of loan refinancing applications.

Refinance mortgage loans have already represented a major portion of the mortgage applications and with the rising mortgage rates in the US housing market, there may also be a drop in the number of refinancing applications. Around 80% of the mortgage applications in the US are done by those homeowners who take out mortgage loans for refinancing. Refinancing activities may drop below 45% of mortgages that will be taken out in 2011 and further drop to 26% in 2012.

The jumbo loan mortgage loans will become more attractive throughout 2011.

In 2009 and 2010, interest rates for jumbo loans were higher as compared to the rates for the normal loans. The high rates on the jumbo loans kept the homeowners from refinancing their loans. However, in the last quarter of 2010, the interest rates on the jumbo loans dropped, thereby spurring refinancing applications.

Thus, if you’re in the market for getting your home mortgage loan, you must take into account the mortgage trends mentioned above. Help yourself take a better and informed decision so that you can get the best loan according to your budget and affordability. Get more information about mortgages here

In the first quarter of 2011, fixed-rate loans accounted for more than 95 percent of refinance loans, based on the Freddie Mac (OTC: FMCC) Quarterly Product Transition Report released today. Refinancing borrowers overwhelmingly chose fixed-rate loans, regardless of whether their original loan was an adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) or a fixed-rate.

News Facts

  • An increasing share of refinancing borrowers chose to shorten their loan terms during the first quarter. Of borrowers who paid off a 30-year fixed-rate loan, 34 percent chose a 15- or 20-year loan, the highest such share since the first quarter of 2004.
  • Eighty-four percent of borrowers who had a hybrid ARM chose to refinance into a fixed-rate product during the first quarter, continuing a pattern of the past few years of borrowers revealing a strong preference for fixed-rate over variable-pay contracts.


Attributed to Frank Nothaft, Freddie Mac vice president and chief economist

  • “Fixed mortgage rates averaged 4.85 percent for 30-year loans and 4.12 percent for 15-year product during the first quarter in Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey®, well below long-term averages. The Bureau of Economic Analysis has estimated the average coupon on single-family loans was about 6 percent at the end of 2010. It’s no wonder we continue to see strong refinance activity into fixed-rate loans.
  • “The mortgage rate on 15-year fixed was about three-fourths percentage point below that on 30-year fixed during the first quarter. For borrowers motivated to refinance by low interest rates, they could obtain even lower rates by shortening their term. In the first quarter we saw the largest share of borrowers shortening their term while refinancing in seven years.”

Get the latest information from Freddie Mac’s Office of the Chief Economist on Twitter: @FreddieMac

Quarterly Product Transition Information

These estimates come from a sample of properties on which Freddie Mac has funded at least two successive loans and the latest loan is for refinance rather than for home purchase. Some loan products, such as 1-year ARMs and balloons, are based on a small number of transactions. During the first quarter of 2011, the ARM share of applications was 6 percent in Freddie Mac’s monthly ARM survey, which includes purchase-money as well as refinance applications.

  • Quarterly Product Transition Statistics

Freddie Mac was established by Congress in 1970 to provide liquidity, stability and affordability to the nation’s residential mortgage markets. Freddie Mac supports communities across the nation by providing mortgage capital to lenders. Over the years, Freddie Mac has made home possible for one in six homebuyers and more than five million renters.

Related Links

Economic & Housing Research

Primary Mortgage Market Survey (PMMS®)

Primary Mortgage Market Survey® Archives

Bureau of Economic Analysis [U.S. Secondary Market Yields On Federal Housing Administration Mortgages 01/1949-12/1965]

Refi & ARM Share Data


CONTACT: Chad Wandler, +1-703-903-2446,

Web Site:

Homebuyers:Mortgage Solutions Online from Move, Inc. (Nasdaq: MOVE)

Homebuyers:Mortgage Solutions Online from Move, Inc. (Nasdaq: MOVE)-Image via CrunchBase

While 40 percent of all homebuyers last year reported the mortgage application and approval process was more difficult than they expected(1), today’s buyers now have a fast, reliable, easy to navigate and understand online mortgage solution.  Developed and operated by Move, Inc. (Nasdaq: MOVE), the leader in online real estate, was developed to give first time buyers or refinancing owners the tools they need to find and prequalify for the right loan in as little as 10 minutes.

“Like many Realtors(2), we’re concerned about the recent difficulties buyers are having(3) throughout the home loan process, especially in getting approved in time to keep a purchase from falling through,” said Move Chief Executive Officer, Steve Berkowitz.  “While there’s no single, easy solution to this problem, we believe making it easier for consumers to navigate the mortgage loan and approval process will help them as they work with an agent to purchase a home. Move is committed to helping both buyers and Realtors be more successful together, and we believe the choices, reliability and user experience delivers will help everyone involved avoid the frustrations and confusion that can lead to lost deals or costly delays.”

Berkowitz said that Move has more than a decade of experience in helping millions of consumers find homes every year on its network of real estate websites.  “Move is therefore in a unique and unmatched position to successfully apply the same easy-to-use, intuitive and content rich real estate search experience and technology to home loans,” he said.

Unlike other online mortgage sources, leverages the first online consumer-facing decision and pricing engine designed specifically to empower buyers to explore their mortgage options in real time with real loan products including conventional, Federal Housing Administration, Veterans Association and jumbo loans backed by real rates using a multitude of scenarios that reflect their situation.

By integrating multiple third-party data streams continually refreshed from an extensive array of private and public property data providers, credit agencies, document providers, and loan product providers, the engine empowers borrowers to quickly obtain all of the details they need to select, pre-qualify and apply for a loan online. All estimated closing costs are also provided to borrowers up front through the engine, and are based on details borrowers provide about their personal financial situation and location of the home they wish to purchase.  This seamless online automated process is intended to help buyers avoid delays that may cause them to miss out on a property purchase, or a homeowner interested in refinancing their current loan to miss out on low interest rates.

Unlike other online mortgage sources, enables buyers to check their credit for free, and take advantage of the PreQual Plus feature that provides qualified buyers with a guaranteed electronic pre-qualification letter in as little as 10 minutes. Buyers can then email their prequalification letter that includes actual loan terms and corresponding rates to their real estate agent or print it out themselves before touring a home.  Because employs automated underwriting, buyers are a step closer to approval than they would be through other prequalification programs. borrowers can also apply for their loan completely online using’s intuitive application process that is first time borrower-friendly and includes off-line customer support.

To help avoid last minute surprises or delays that may compromise the purchase of a home, provides a list of all estimated closing costs, documents, and conditions each pre-qualified borrower must provide to close their loan.  To help borrowers stay organized and on top of their loan’s progress, they simply log into their personal account where they can quickly check their status towards funding.

Noting that half of all home buyers in 2010 were first time buyers(4), Sue Stewart, senior vice president, Move Inc., said “ is an ideal option for first time buyers who have little or no experience with mortgage finance, especially those who prefer the flexibility and transparency of an online experience.  However, for homebuyers, homeowners interested in refinancing, or consumers who want to talk to a mortgage specialist in real time, we operate a full-service off-line call center staffed by loan officers, loan processors, underwriters, and customer service representatives.”

Because was designed with first time home buyers in mind, visitors are welcomed to the site with a full library of easy-to-understand information integrated throughout the prequalification and application process.

“First time buyers or consumers that conduct much of their business online will find to be a comfortable, secure online environment that lets them explore scenarios and move at their own speed to find the loan and terms that best fit their financial situation,” Stewart says.  “We envision consumers using the PreQual Plus tool in the comfort of their own home, at their favorite coffee house, or with their agent before they begin the home search process,” said Stewart.

“Consumer transparency, education and empowerment have been the vision for and consequently we don’t promise ‘teaser’ rates and we only quote customers the actual rates based on their financial standing and loan terms. is not a lead aggregator and will not sell information to others.  We provide the most accurate and complete information possible to our customers, and the experience is intended to help potential buyers know what they can afford and which loan options are best for them before they begin their search for a home with an agent,” Stewart said. was developed to work in tandem with online property listings to empower buyers with the financial information they need to make the best real estate decisions for their personal lifestyle and financial situation.  Move plans to integrate the experience into the Move Network of real estate web sites so buyers can experiment with different financing scenarios and evaluate their options as they house hunt online.

Home buyers interested in obtaining a home loan and current homeowners interested in refinancing their current mortgage will find at

ABOUT MORTGAGEMATCH.COM is operated by Move, Inc. (Nasdaq: MOVE).  Through a partnership with a national mortgage banker d/b/a Mortgage Match, a variety of quality loan products are offered to home buyers interested in financing the purchase of a property or current homeowners interested in refinancing their current mortgage.  Consumers can access such products at


Move, Inc. (NASDAQ:MOVE) is the leader in online real estate with 12.29 million(5) monthly visitors to its online network of websites.  Move, Inc. operates:, a leading destination for information on new homes and rental listings, moving, home and garden and home finance;®, the official website of the National Association of REALTORS®;,; SeniorHousingNet; ListHub; and TOP PRODUCER Systems. Move, Inc. is based in Campbell, California.

This press release may contain forward-looking statements, including information about management’s view of Move’s future expectations, plans and prospects, within the safe harbor provisions under The Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors which may cause the results of Move, its subsidiaries, divisions and concepts to be materially different than those expressed or implied in such statements. These risk factors and others are included from time to time in documents Move files with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including but not limited to, its Form 10-Ks, Form 10-Qs and Form 8-Ks. Other unknown or unpredictable factors also could have material adverse effects on Move’s future results. The forward-looking statements included in this press release are made only as of the date hereof. Move cannot guarantee future results, levels of activity, performance or achievements. Accordingly, you should not place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements. Finally, Move expressly disclaims any intent or obligation to update any forward-looking statements to reflect subsequent events or circumstances.

(1) 2010 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers, National Association of Realtors

(2) 34% of Realtors say the most important factor limiting their clients is difficulty in obtaining mortgage financing,– 2010 NAR Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers

(3) 30% of homebuyers say obtaining a mortgage was more difficult than they expected  – 2010 NAR Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers

(4) 2010 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers, NAR.

(5) comScore Media Metrix, October 2010

CONTACT: Julie Reynolds, +1-818-264-5594,, or Richard Garcia, Move, Inc., +1-805-557-3087,, both of Move, Inc.; or Danielle Ferris, Access, +1-415-904-7070,, for Move, Inc.

Web Site: