Archives: mortgage

Find out your credit score without any tricks

Posted on: January 13, 2012

At Credit Karma, you can sign up for a free account to check your Transunion Credit Score, and now have truly free monitoring of your credit report without signing up for an expensive service or listening to the “” song!  A great first step when you are thinking about buying a house.  One of my favorite features is the ability to see how different actions (paying down cards vs loans, etc) can impact your score to help you improve it the fastest and most efficient way.

Mortgage Rates for October 20, 2011

Posted on: October 20, 2011

We asked Craig Smith of Mortgage Master to give us his most current interest rates and what he was seeing in the market:

“Mortgage rates have risen off their recent ‘historic’ lows by as much as ½%.  For most of 2011, mortgage rates have moved in the same direction as stock prices, and stocks have risen by about 10% since October 3.  Mortgage rates have jumped during that same time period.

Where will they go from here?  Many financial analysts and economists think that the recent rise in stock prices won’t last due to the current economic weakness, and that we will see another drop in stock prices soon.  When that happens, we should see a corresponding drop in mortgage rates.  Will they go as low as they were a few weeks ago?  It is possible, but that is hard to predict.  Even if rates do not go back down, HOUSING AFFORDABILITY is GREAT right now!

Housing affordability is calculated using both mortgage rates and house prices.  Since rates are still in the low 4%’s and house prices have dropped, housing affordability is near historic lows.

This brings me to my next point:  There is a MISCONCEPTION that it is hard to get a mortgage right now.  That is NOT TRUE!  The mortgage industry is lending billions of dollars every month for those who qualify.  To qualify, a buyer needs sufficient documentable income, good credit, and money (savings or gift) for at least 3.5% down payment and closing costs.  Many current renters want to buy a home, but don’t believe they can!  They should consult their local Realtor or mortgage representative to find out if they will qualify.  Please spread the word!!!”

Thanks Craig!

Posted by Paul Walsh

Rates for October 11, 2011

Posted on: October 11, 2011

We asked John Coneys of Superior Home Mortgage to give us his most current interest rates and what he was seeing in the market:

“So, what did last week’s economic data (jobs report) mean for the bond markets and interest rates?….

When our economy is struggling, our Bond Market usually benefits as investors seek a safe haven for their money. And since home loan rates are tied to Mortgage Bonds, our home loan rates are sometimes at their best when our economy is struggling. In a way it makes sense…in times of economic struggle, good home loan rates can help kick start our economy in other areas. Yet, when good or better than expected economic news hits the wires, like it did with Friday’s Jobs Report, investors often move their money out of Bonds and into Stocks in an attempt to take advantage of these gains.

And that’s a big reason why we saw Bonds and home loan rates worsen late last week; some Home loan rates have moved up in the low 4’s.”

Thanks John!

Posted by Paul Walsh

Rates for August 25, 2011

Posted on: August 25, 2011

We asked Matt Lynch of First Choice Loan Services to give us his most current interest rates and what he was seeing in the market:

“Mortgage interest rates remain strong this week although they are slightly off of their lowest points from earlier this month.  Conventional 30 year fixed rates are available as low as 4.375% with 0 points for primary home purchases.

With interest rates at historic lows many customers have opted for shorter term loans of 20 or 15 years.  These mortgages offer even greater interest rate savings, saving tens of thousands over the life of the loan and lead to much faster debt free homeownership.”

Thanks Matt!

Posted by Paul Walsh

Rates for August 17, 2011

Posted on: August 17, 2011

We asked Craig Smith of Mortgage Master to give us his most current interest rates and what he was seeing in the market:

“WOW!  Current rates are amazing!  If buyers don’t buy right now, they may miss a “once in a lifetime” opportunity to lock-in at these historic levels!  Most economists expect rates to rise dramatically when the economy begins to recover.  With these low rates, buyers can buy nicer homes than they would be able to buy at normal (higher) rates.  What more motivation should they need?

Even though rates are a little higher than our recent low, which occurred on August 9th, they are still awesome!  Current 30 year fixed conventional rates with Mortgage Master are as low as 4.125% with no points.  FHA 30 year fixed rates with no points are as low as 3.875%.  Some scenarios may have higher rates depending on credit scores, loan amounts, down payments, etc.”

Thanks Craig!

Posted by Paul Walsh

Rates for August 8, 2011

Posted on: August 9, 2011

We asked John Coneys of Superior Home Mortgage to give us his most current interest rates and what he was seeing in the market:


“Rates on Monday the 8th fell to their recent lows at 4.25 and 0 points. Much of the recent decline in rates relates to the economic data, suggesting continual slowdown in the economy. This  also follows a broad stock market selloff over the past week.  Rates on a 15 yr mortgage have fallen to the mid 3’s.

Activity has picked up over the last couple of months – as the summer has worn on, buyers have been excited with their timing of their purchase especially with the rates they are locking in at.”


Thanks John!

Posted by Paul Walsh

10 Commandments of Mortgage Applications

Posted on: July 27, 2011


John Coneys of Superior Mortgage sent us this light-hearted list of things NOT to do during the mortgage process.  Even in these days of complicated financing guidelines, it’s actually quite easy to follow these rules and keep everything running smoothly.  Thanks a lot John!


What not to do during the mortgage process


Posted by Paul Walsh

Spring Festivals

Posted on: May 6, 2011

Last Sunday, Elfant Wissahickon Realtors participated in the annual Chestnut Hill Home and Garden Festival. Many of our agents and our colleagues were out on the Avenue meeting festival goers.

We staffed one booth on the avenue with promotional materials and photo sheets of our Distinguished Homes – the first appearance of a new marketing campaign we’re rolling out to highlight our prestigious, high-end listings. The weather was wonderful and the kids loved our open house balloons.  Our agents had great conversation with lots of attendees!

Outside of our new building at 8039 Germantown Avenue, we set up three additional booths featuring:

  • the Art of Financing your Home, hosted by John Coneys of Superior Mortgage, Craig Smith of Mortgage Master and Matt Lynch of First Choice Bank
  • the Art of Staging your Home, hosted by professional stagers Starr Osborne of Tailored Transitions and Sandra Ongaro of First Impressions
  • and the Art of Zentangle, hosted by artist Terri Greenberg

This Saturday, our agents will be out again at Mt Airy Day on the grounds of the historic Cliveden estate on the 6400 block of Germantown Avenue.  Mt Airy Day is always a great time and we hope to see you there!  If you have any questions about buying or selling a home, please stop by our booth.

Posted by Paul Walsh

The perfect time to buy?

Posted on: August 19, 2010

What makes this the perfect time to buy a home?

Right now it’s a new and different Buyer’s market. A Buyer’s market in the past usually meant that Buyers were able to purchase a property at a discounted price due to an abundant inventory of houses for sale sitting on the market. The abundance of inventory was usually due to higher interest rates that made purchasing difficult for most Buyers. The few Buyers that were able to buy could take advantage of lower pricing but had higher monthly payments due to higher interest rates, kind of a win/ lose for the Buyer.

Think about it this way: The amount of your monthly mortgage payment is based on a formula that includes your loan amount and your interest rate. As rates increase, that monthly payment allows for less of a mortgage amount. As rates decrease, you can borrow more money for the same monthly payment. The market follows that same trend, and often, sale prices of houses will rise and fall opposite rates.

EXCEPT that in today’s market, not only are Buyers taking advantage of the large and reasonably priced inventory, they have access to the lowest interest rates on record.

RIGHT NOW, sale prices are reasonable, rates are record-low and there is a great selection to choose from. It’s a fantastic time for a Buyer to get more house for less money. Give one of our Realtors a call and take advantage of a unique opportunity!

Posted by Paul Walsh

First Time Home Buyer Credit

Posted on: April 2, 2009

In earlier posts I’ve talked about the “Lunch and Learns” that we have for the sales staff. A couple of times each month we’ll gather at noon, eat a nice lunch and hear from an informative guest speaker regarding various real estate topics. Last week Craig Smith from Mortgage Masters gave a wonderful presentation on the $8000 First-Time Buyer Tax Credit.  Craig’s presentation was so well received by our agents that he did an encore presentation at our Mt. Airy office this afternoon. I asked Craig for a summary of his presentation so that I may post it on this blog. Please take time to read the information and as always, feel free to email me with any questions you may have and be sure to post your comments.

A couple points to note:

  • “First-Time Homebuyers” for the purpose of the tax credit includes buyers that have not owned a home in the past three years.
  • Unlike the previous $7500 tax credit introduced in 2008, this credit does not need to be repaid unless you sell the home in the first three years.

Complete details available here:  homebuyertaxcredit09 Tax credit information

Posted by Paul Walsh