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Baby Boomers Are Making Home Renovation a Priority

NAR Daily News Magazine - June 17, 2020 - 1:00am

Older owners are sprucing up their properties with an eye toward aging in place.

Categories: Real Estate

Builder Sentiment Has Never Risen by This Much in a Month

NAR Daily News Magazine - June 17, 2020 - 1:00am

The Northeast showed the highest level of confidence, but all regions improved.

Categories: Real Estate

Sellers Willing to Cut Prices but Find No Need

NAR Daily News Magazine - June 17, 2020 - 1:00am

Owners nervous about listing their homes are calming as they discover a receptive market.

Categories: Real Estate

Suburban Space Gains Popularity as Housing Recovery Begins

NAR Daily News Magazine - June 17, 2020 - 1:00am

The pandemic has caused more Americans to rethink where they want to call home.

Categories: Real Estate

Google to Prevent Housing Ads Targeting ZIP Codes, Demographics

NAR Daily News Magazine - June 16, 2020 - 1:00am

The search engine giant is implementing new policies to prevent housing discrimination.

Categories: Real Estate

Real Estate Continues Its Streak as Favorite Investment

NAR Daily News Magazine - June 16, 2020 - 1:00am

Preferred over gold and stocks, real estate is Americans’ top long-term investment choice, a Gallup survey shows.

Categories: Real Estate

Renters Are Managing Debt Responsibly, Study Shows

NAR Daily News Magazine - June 16, 2020 - 1:00am

Twenty-five percent more renters entered debt relief programs between March and April, and the number of tenants paying rent is mostly in line with 2019.

Categories: Real Estate

SBA Opens Up Federal Disaster Loan Program to More Businesses

NAR Daily News Magazine - June 16, 2020 - 1:00am

Economic Injury Disaster Loans and advance grant programs offer more relief to a broader array of small businesses impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.

Categories: Real Estate

NAR: SCOTUS Ruling Delivers 'Victory for Fairness'

NAR Daily News Magazine - June 16, 2020 - 1:00am

The association applauds the Supreme Court's landmark decision extending anti-discrimination job protections to LGBTQ workers.

Categories: Real Estate

What to Do If You’re in Forbearance but Still Paying Your Mortgage

Daily Real Estate News - June 14, 2020 - 1:03pm

(TNS)—Since the coronavirus pandemic began in March, millions of homeowners have taken the federal government up on a generous proposal, one that lets borrowers skip mortgage payments for up to a year with no penalties.

But in an unusual twist, more than a million borrowers in forbearance have reportedly continued to make their monthly mortgage payments despite the free pass.

U.S. Bank, one of the few lenders to disclose details about the payment status of borrowers in the program, said in late May that 30 percent of its customers in forbearance were still making payments. Meanwhile, Black Knight, a mortgage data firm, says 22 percent of the 4.73 million borrowers in forbearance as of early June had made their payments for May.

Continuing to write the monthly check is a wise move, says Greg McBride, CFA, Bankrate chief financial analyst. “If you’re able to make the payments, do so,” he says. “This will keep you on your existing payoff schedule.”

An Improving Job Market Plays a Role
There’s no official explanation for why so many borrowers have continued making payments. It’s possible that many homeowners asked for forbearance but found their finances weren’t as dire as they feared. While unemployment soared to record levels in April, the job market bounced back in May, according to the U.S. Labor Department.

“Most were happy to take the money just in case since there was, at least initially, no cost not to do,” says Michael Seiler, a professor of real estate and finance at the College of William & Mary.

In another quirk of forbearance, some borrowers who simply called their lenders to inquire about forbearance were automatically placed in the program, Seiler says. What’s more, a combination of government stimulus payments and unusually generous unemployment benefits have kept some borrowers afloat.

“Many homeowners may have kept their jobs, at least for now, and government checks have helped,” says Lynn Reaser, chief economist at Point Loma University.

With the economy mostly shut down in recent months, consumers haven’t been going on vacation, dining out or buying cars, leaving them more money to devote to mortgage payments. “They have not been doing as much spending, as there have been fewer spending opportunities,” Reaser says.

How Forbearance Works
As the coronavirus pandemic threatened to push unemployment to Depression-era levels, Congress and the mortgage industry offered payment reprieves as a way to stave off mass foreclosures. Forbearance is available on loans backed by mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and by the Federal Housing Administration and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

For borrowers whose home loans are held by one of those entities, there are almost no barriers to qualifying for forbearance. Homeowners need not prove a loss of income or financial hardship. “All a borrower has to do is stop paying his mortgage and notify his servicer,” Seiler says.

The initial forbearance term is 180 days, and borrowers can request an additional 180 days. During that time, no additional interest accrues on the missed payments, although you do accrue interest at the regular rate on the mortgage balance. Lenders can impose no penalties, and they don’t report missed payments to credit agencies. For borrowers, it seems like a can’t-lose proposition.

However, continuing to pay if you can is also a smart strategy, says Melinda Opperman, president of Credit.org. “Forbearance is not forgiveness,” she says. “The money will have to be paid back eventually.”

Canceling Forbearance Is an Option
The Federal Housing Finance Agency, which oversees Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, last month announced that borrowers in forbearance were eligible to refinance, but only if they had kept making their payments. That announcement provided an incentive for borrowers to stay current. The reward for homeowners was that they were able to take advantage of falling mortgage rates. The rate on the 30-year fixed mortgage fell to a record low last week.

While there’s no real downside to remaining in forbearance, borrowers can exit the program by contacting their lenders and requesting to end forbearance. But think hard before making that move, McBride says. “Job losses could rise again in the months ahead if demand is still weak or if there is a resurgence of the virus,” he says. “A lot may depend on your confidence in remaining employed with a stable income.”

©2020 Bankrate.com
Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC

The post What to Do If You’re in Forbearance but Still Paying Your Mortgage appeared first on RISMedia.

Categories: Real Estate

Home Flipping Surges to 14-Year High, Despite Shrinking Returns

NAR Daily News Magazine - June 12, 2020 - 1:00am

Flips in the first quarter jumped to their highest level since 2006, but escalating costs are nibbling at investors' profits.

Categories: Real Estate

Landlords Are Suing Retailers for Unpaid Rent

NAR Daily News Magazine - June 12, 2020 - 1:00am

Battles over missed payments are brewing as the pandemic continues to put pressure on tenants.

Categories: Real Estate

Mortgage Rates Remain Low for Buyers Who Can Qualify

NAR Daily News Magazine - June 12, 2020 - 1:00am

The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage continued to hover near all-time lows this week, averaging 3.21%, Freddie Mac reports.

Categories: Real Estate

A Third of Employees Want to Work From Home Permanently

NAR Daily News Magazine - June 12, 2020 - 1:00am

Many are hesitant to return to the workplace, which could have an impact on commercial space.

Categories: Real Estate

Tune Virtual Buyers Into a Home’s Scent

NAR Daily News Magazine - June 12, 2020 - 1:00am

As you shift from room to room when leading a video tour, remember to tell your clients what the screen can’t.

Categories: Real Estate

Who You Need to Let Know Your Address Changed

Daily Real Estate News - June 11, 2020 - 4:33pm

Do you know you’re going to be buying or selling a home in the near future? Maybe you are moving out of mom and dad’s for the first time? Whatever the case may be, you’re going to want to know not only how to change your address with the post office, but also who should be notified of your move. There are organizations you need to notify of an address change if you don’t want to run into problems.

Some should have been completed before the move, but others can be left until later. Even when you have unpacked the last of the moving boxes, there are things you might still need to do.

Let’s run through who to notify you’re moving, in case you’ve missed some.

Government Services

One of the most essential organizations to notify of address change is going to be the United States Postal Service. They will make sure that your mail is redirected to your new home and for only around a dollar. The fee is just for an identity check to make sure you are who you claim to be.

There are online services that will charge you a lot more to do this, but if you go directly to the USPS site, the service is very cheap and relatively straightforward. You can also change your address at any of their post offices.

While the idea of visiting the Department of Motor Vehicles will naturally put you off, you must remember to update your address details with them. There could be legal issues if you fail to update them after moving home.

Fortunately, most states now allow you to change your address online, allowing you to avoid waiting in line at your local DMV. If you have ever been to the DMV before then you know exactly what I am talking about. It can be a horror show trying to get anything done given the long waiting times.

Voter Registration
If you want the chance to have a say in who runs the country or the state, you need to update your address with voter registration. This can normally be done online. You can also go to your local town hall and they should be able to take care of this for you.

Social Security
If you receive Medicare or Social Security benefits, you will want to make sure your address with the Social Security Administration is current. You should be able to notify them of your address change on their website.

The IRS will have to be notified of your change of address. To do this, you can download form 8822 from their site to print and fill out. The Internal Revenue Service is one of the most vital parties to let know you are moving. Don’t forget this one or you could find yourself getting essential documents late and end up with a penalty. The reference at Maximum Real Estate Exposure provides additional important entities to notify as well.


Water, Gas, and Electricity
If you expect to have these essential services working in your new home when you need them, you’ll want to notify them in advance of your moving date. Before you move, make sure you check how much notice your providers need to switch you over.

Internet, Phone, and Cable
You might use the same provider for all three of these services, which will make things a little easier, but you will likely be able to change your address online anyway.

Financial Services

You shouldn’t forget to update your bank and other financial businesses you have accounts with. Notify your credit card issuer and any investment services you use. You don’t want sensitive financial documents to go missing when they are mailed to the wrong address.

When you have outstanding loans, the lenders will want to know you have changed your address. Don’t forget old student loans or lenders which have provided cash advances. Financial institutions are some of the most critical parties to notify of your address change.

If you use an accountant or tax advisor let them know you have moved. Tax season may be some time away, but you don’t want to miss this one out. You will want to keep your lawyer updated with your new address as well.


You will need to contact your health insurer to keep them informed of your move. Don’t forget to contact providers of dental and life insurance, as well as your dentist and physician.

Vehicle Coverage
Your car insurance provider will need to know about your move. They may want to charge you more if you have moved to a different area, some states require additional liability insurance, for example.

Other Businesses

Your employer will need to know that you have a new address. They need to make sure their records are up to date with your information.

Online Retailers
If you regularly order online, make sure you update your address before you next click the buy now button. You don’t want the hassle of realizing that you’ve just ordered something to be sent to your old address.

Update your information with streaming services and payment providers as well. Though they don’t often mail things to you, they do need to be updated.

Retail Clubs
Are you a member of Costco or Sam’s Club? Let them know about your move if you are. Don’t forget things like gym memberships, even if you haven’t been since January.

If you have magazines or subscription boxes delivered, you are going to need to update these at the right time to avoid them going to the wrong address.

These are the main organizations you need to update, but you might have more. If you have pets, do you need to notify your veterinarian? If you are a member of a religious institution, they will need to be updated; the same goes for charities and clubs you are involved with.

Final Thoughts on Who to Let Know Your Address Changed
Without a doubt, one of the most important exercises when moving is to not only get your address changed with the post office, but to let all essential people and businesses in your life know as well. It takes some time to get this done so make sure it is a priority when your plans are 100-percent set in stone.

There are times where some folks will have a change of plans and will need to know how to update or cancel their change of address. While the chances of this happening are smaller, it is essential information to know in case you’re in that circumstance.
We all know moving can be an extremely stressful time when it’s easy for mistakes to be made. Do your best to plan ahead to increase your chances of a smooth move.

Bill Gassett is a nationally recognized real estate leader who has been helping people buy and sell MetroWest Massachusetts real estate for the past 33 years. He has been one of the top RE/MAX REALTORS® in New England for the past decade. Gassett works for RE/MAX Executive Realty in Hopkinton, Mass. In 2018, he was the No. 1 RE/MAX real estate agent in Massachusetts.


The post Who You Need to Let Know Your Address Changed appeared first on RISMedia.

Categories: Real Estate

New ‘Housing Recovery Index’ Shows Rebounding Metros

NAR Daily News Magazine - June 11, 2020 - 1:00am

Some cities at the epicenter of the COVID-19 pandemic and recent protests are seeing signs of a real estate comeback, according to realtor.com®.

Categories: Real Estate

Mortgage Applications Are 13% Higher Than a Year Ago

NAR Daily News Magazine - June 11, 2020 - 1:00am

The reopening of states, low interest rates, and pent-up housing demand are prompting the upswing as home buyers return to the market.

Categories: Real Estate

Test Whether You Have a Hidden Bias

NAR Daily News Magazine - June 11, 2020 - 1:00am

NAR offers a new training video to help you uncover and overcome unconscious prejudices.

Categories: Real Estate

Record Low Mortgage Rates for the Long Term?

NAR Daily News Magazine - June 11, 2020 - 1:00am

The Fed’s decision to hold its benchmark interest rate near zero through 2022 may trigger lower mortgage rates for the foreseeable future.

Categories: Real Estate
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