Meg & Jim Zoller of The Zoller Group
May 2010

“It’s an honor and a privilege to serve you!”
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Fixed-Rates Stable

In Freddie Mac’s results of its Primary Mortgage Market Survey the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 5.06 percent for the week ending April 29, 2010 – down slightly from the previous week when it averaged 5.07 percent. Last year at this time, the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 4.78 percent.
“Mortgage rates on 30-year fixed loans have averaged about 5% over the first four months of this year, staying within a band of roughly

Mortgage Rates

Source: Realty Times

U.S. averages as of April 29, 2010:

30 yr. fixed: 5.06%
15 yr. fixed: 4.39%
1 yr. adj: 4.25%

a quarter percentage point and virtually matching 2009’s annual average,” said Frank Nothaft, Freddie Mac chief economist.

Costly Mistakes First-Time Buyers Make

Five common and costly mistakes that novice home buyers make:
Ignoring the costs of having a low credit score. Lower-score borrowers pay thousands of dollars in increased interest rates over the life of the loan.
Shopping for other things before closing. Lenders continue to check credit scores right up until closing. Too much shopping could cause the lender to take back the loan.
Scrimping on an inspection. Being surprised by the need for expensive repairs can be financially devastating.
Buying without contingencies. Buyers should give themselves an out if the inspection turns up problems or the bank raises rates.
Insurance can be surprisingly pricey. Buyers who don’t budget for it can face a nasty surprise.

The Cost Between Renting and Owning Narrows

The cost difference between buying and renting is as narrow as it has been since 1993, according to a study on home ownership by Marcus & Millichap Real Estate Investment Services for the Associated Press.
The study examined rent and home prices in 45 metropolitan areas and concluded that gap between a payment on a median-priced home and median rent on a similar property is on average only $256.
Marcus & Millichap calculated the number using median home prices for the last three months of 2009, assuming a 10 percent down payment on a 30-year fixed-rate loan at 5.07 percent.
It factored in mortgage insurance, but didn’t include either repair costs or tax benefits.

Use Your Tax
Return for Good

Tax season can be a challenging time of the year. Some people wait until the last minute to file their taxes, while others file and received their funds before the mid April deadline. If if you are one of the lucky ones who get a tax return, what will you do with those long awaited greenbacks? A popular choice amongst consumers is to pay off credit card debt; another is buying something extravagant. But why not consider how your tax return can help maximize your mortgage product and your financial situation in the long run?
Consider refinancing if you have an ARM or a high interest rate loan. Refinancing into a fixed rate and/or a lower interest rate can save you money in the long run. Why not do it now when rates are at all time lows? You can use your tax return for closing costs.
If you are happy with your mortgage product and rate, why not use your tax return to help add the gourmet kitchen you’ve always wanted? Not only can you have that extra bedroom or outdoor kitchen you’ve always wanted, but you may also be increasing the value of your home and get more money when you are ready to sell. Let your tax return help increase the value of your home by using it to help fund a rehab loan.
Perhaps you want to upgrade to a new home for your growing family. Your tax return can come in handy with closing costs.

Equal Housing
Meg & Jim Zoller of The Zoller Group
Meg: 713.875.4844; Jim: 713.545.6338
Toll Free : 1-800-808-6153

Keller Williams Realty – Metropolitan
Direct: 713.661.0884
550 Post Oak Blvd. Suite 350
Houston, TX 77027