Good, bad, or indifferent. We cannot blame the sudden upswing last Friday in the markets on the Supreme Court’s approval of the Health Care Reform Act or the Republican’s new response as they now have renamed it “Obama Tax”. We can blame the upswing on the European markets. Yes, what happens overseas affects us here it home as well. On Friday, the DOW had its best day of the year as it rose 277 points and ended at 12,880.09. Financial markets around the world streaked higher after European leaders came up with a plan to rescue banks, relieve debt-burdened governments and restore investor confidence. U.S. stocks surged to end a weak second quarter on a strong note, scoring their best June in more than a decade as investors cheered European progress to stem a series of financial crisis according to a report in this past weekend’s Wall Street Journal. Good news for our nation’s college students too, as Congress came together in one of their rare moments to extend student loan interest rates, now at 3.4% for another year. The Commerce Department reported that orders for durable goods rose 1.1 percent in May after two months of declines. Another sure sign our economy is growing moderately and not in the negative as some pundits would have you believe.
Real Estate, Mortgage Industry , and other Economic News
U.S. Small Business Administration chief Karen Mills touted San Antonio last Wednesday as a “model small-business community” and said her agency is striving to do more for small businesses after guaranteeing a record number of loans last year. I couldn’t agree more. Plus, jobs in the Eagle Ford Shale and new service centers popping-up all throughout the area prove San Antonio is the place to be for job activity. A larger company, Minnesota-based United Health Group just announced plans last week they intend to add 250 jobs at its San Antonio operations center as part of a plan to increase its total Texas job base to 1500 new positions. Texas factory activity surged in June, posting its best showing in 15 months, according to a recent report in the S.A. Express News. Good news all around for Texas, San Antonio and surrounding areas.
Americans bought new homes in May at the fastest pace in more than two years, with sales increasing 7.6 percent in May from April. Also, the National Association of Realtors reported that its index of sales agreements for existing homes increased to 101.1 last month from 95.5 in April. That matches March’s reading, the highest since April 2010. A little closer to home, Mike Starks, Realtor with Re/Max Town and Country Fredericksburg and a Director with the newly renamed Central Hill Country Board of Realtors-previously called Gillespie County Board of Realtors, quoted Mark Twain who said, “there are lies, damn lies, and then there are statistics”, when Mark said that statistics show Gillespie County sales were up 23.7% in May as compared to the same time last year. All in all, I am hearing from Realtors that business is good and getting better.
“FHA retreats on proposed change” was a headline recently in the S.A. Express News. The article stated that the Federal Housing Administration has backed-off from a rule that would have made it harder to get a government backed mortgage. The FHA had said that starting July 1st, it would disqualify people with more than $1,000 in medical or other collections from getting an FHA backed mortgage. It rescinded that rule last week. Thank goodness too. This would have thrown a tail-spin into an already weak market that is just now showing signs of improvement. Which brings me to my next and final point. If you or someone you know is about to start looking for a home and they are in the need of a mortgage, please do your homework first. Get with a Local Mortgage Loan officer and let them determine how much you may qualify for. Plus, let them tell you what documentation you will need to provide them with in order to get you pre-qualified for a mortgage. Then provide them with those documents in a timely manner. Here is a short list of those items: 1. W2’s for 2010 and 2011. 2. One -two months of current paystubs. 3. Copy of ALL cash asset accounts for the most recent 30-60 day period. Include ALL pages to each account, including back copies of pages if necessary. 4. Provide proof of ALL other income, i.e., Social Security, pension/retirement income, disability, IRA contributions, Oil and gas lease income, etc. 5. Provide tax returns for 2010 and 2011 and include all pages and schedules. If you have not completed your 2011 tax returns, provide the extension and then include 2009 tax returns. There may be more tax documentation needed if you are self-employed. 6. Copy of your driver’s license and social card. Of course, there are other items that will be needed, but this will get you started and save you from the hassle of trying to find it in a hurry. As this is the most important purchase you may make in your lifetime, doesn’t it make sense to be prepared? Now is a wonderful time to start the home-buying process. Find a Local Realtor and Mortgage Lender and let the fun and excitement begin!
(This article is for informational purposes only. Do not use it as financial advice. For questions/comments contact Tony Stevenson at 1.800.460.6990 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org)