Dear Future American Homeowner

Dear Future American Homeowner,

I write this letter to you Houseto encourage you to save your money for the purchase of a home.  I have said this before, but maybe you didn’t hear me the first time.  It has come to my attention that now 58% of you don’t have plans to purchase a home.  What concerns me most is that this figure has increased, up from 54% just in February, according to Freddie.

Unfortunately, after the recession back in 2008/9, many families, maybe even yourself, lost homes to foreclosures and tough credit made it difficult to buy homes.  I am aware that rents increased by double-digits percentages in many popular cities and that some rents increased so much that a large portion of families couldn’t even afford their rent.  These statistics may not seem very positive, but you can make a difference.  Maybe holding off on the morning coffee at Starbucks and making it yourself.  Maybe eating out less and cooking for yourself more.  These are just some examples of how to cut costs and save for your own home.

In the past five years, before the recent rate increase, home prices were lower, and it was the perfect time for those who could qualify for a mortgage.   While the rental supply has hit a three-decade high, home prices are increasing, and mortgage rates have risen almost a whole percentage point since January, there are still ways for you to own a home.  And while the rising-rate trend may continue, there are a few things within your control, your credit rating and your down payment.  The better the score, the lower the rate.  It’s time to get creative, surround yourself with people who can guide you in the right direction towards home ownership.

Understand that if more people continue to rent, this will not help to decrease rents, but rather cause them to begin to rise, and not slowly, either.

I also know that you are seeking the best home for yourself, and while that’s not a bad thing, it’s not realistic.  Be practical.  Searching for your dream home will put you into dream debt.  So, start with a modest home.  This home may not be what you expect, but it sure beats getting the Landlord rich.

So, do you want to invest in yourself or your Landlord’s fortune?


Khila L. Khani, Esq.

Your Florida Real Estate Attorney

Mortgage and Financial Assistance in the Wake of Hurricane Irma

Hurricane Irma has affected the entire State of Florida and since Florida has been declared a federal disaster area, there may be some help for Florida homeowners who may have trouble making their mortgage payments. As Florida has been declared a federal disaster area, you may be eligible for a mortgage loan deferment, also known as a forbearance. A forbearance means your mortgage may be waived for a set amount of months with NO credit implications to you. Take note, however, this is NOT automatic, and you must reach out to your mortgage lender to apply for this forbearance. Each lender has different rules, so please, call and ask.

In some situations, mortgage agencies will permit you to skip your next three payments, but they will be added to the end of the loan without any negative implications to your credit. Interest, however, would still accrue. In other cases, when the deferment period has ended, missed payments become due either in a lump sum or according to a payment plan. It is imperative that you double check with your lender.

Homeowners who suffer a financial setback, due to job loss or possibly injury, as a direct result of a disaster also may be offered temporary mortgage relief, even if their home was spared. Documentation will probably be required to prove the hardship.

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have both told loan servicers to extend a 90-day forbearance to anyone who calls and requests it. Click here to find out more about their programs. You can look up your loan agency here for Fannie and here for Freddie.

To talk with a Department of Housing and Urban Development-approved housing counselor before agreeing to forbearance, call 1-800-569-4287.

Here are some other links that may be helpful in learning more about forbearance mortgage relief in the wake of Hurricane Irma.

Mortgage Assistance If Affected By Hurricane Irma


The IRS has announced that people who extended their 2016 income tax filings can submit their paperwork next year. It’s not a payment extension but rather a filing extension.

Finally, please note that credit card companies will offer a similar disaster forbearance upon request and banks are also offering breaks to those in Hurricane Irma’s path.

At Khani & Auerbach, we are dedicated to providing as much information to guide you in the wake of this disaster. Please be sure to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and Google+ for additional useful information.

Mortgage Credit Availability Increases

BenjaminsAccording to the Mortgage Credit Availability Index (MCAI), a report from the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) indicates that February resulted in a slight increase in mortgage credit availability.

The MCAI increased 0.7 percent to 118.6 in February. This slight increase in the index indicates that credit is loosening, while a decrease would indicate that lending standards would tighten.

The MBA’s Chief Economist stated, “Credit availability improved marginally in February, led by further increases in jumbo loan programs, and additional take-up of Fannie Mae’s 97 LTV program. More than half of investors are now offering a 97 LTV program, and Freddie Mac announced that their program will be available in mid-March. In terms of conforming credit, this was offset by somewhat tighter constraints on cash-out loans and investors with multiple financed properties.”

It’s good news for consumers seeking to borrow money in order to buy real estate and that’s good news for everyone!

Survey Results Indicate Home Sales to Rise in 2015

According to a Bloomberg survey of 25 economists and analysts, and after what seems like a rather disappointing year in the U.S. housing market, these experts predict that home sales will resume recovery in 2015 and anticipate an increase in sales, construction increases and mortgage credit eases.

In summary, the results indicate:

1. An increase in both new and existing home sales;
2. As a consequence of the relaxation of mortgage-lending standards, younger people who previously favored renting over buying may now consider purchasing;
3. Although the average rate for a 30-year mortgage is at its lowest level in a year and a half right now (last week 3.93 percent), rates are expected to rise to 4.725 by the end of 2015, but that won’t prevent an increase in new home and existing home sales; and
4. The median prices will continue to increase, but home-value appreciation will level off and both buyers and sellers will benefit from this more balanced market.

As they say, “slow and steady always wins the race.”

For a more detailed explanation of these results, please read the source article on Bloomberg.

Khila L. Khani, Esq.