While I’ve never been a huge fan of government intervention, two of the smartest things they’ve ever done as far as the housing market is concerned was to have the Fed purchase mortgage-backed securities to keep the interest rates down (this will come to a screeching halt by the end of the first quarter by the way), and to extend and expand the homebuyer tax credit. (As far as the tax credit goes, everyone should know by now that your home purchase contract needs to be fully executed by April 30th and closed by June 30th to take advantage.)
Other than these two dates looming large, we are mired in the minutiae of mortgages. The more things change…the more things change.
As of January 1st, we were saddled with new HUD guidelines and a slew of shiny new forms and disclosures with mandatory waiting periods while continuing to make allowances for the common learning curves and their impact on the contractual date sensitivities.
These changes are really bringing industry professionals together (like it or not) to rely on one another to keep things rolling and to keep one another afloat to achieve the goal for the client. Navigating the maze of new laws is hard enough, but when each lender has their OWN interpretation of the new laws, it can make for some crazy fire drills during the week of the closing to ensure that the customer is not impacted.
But you do tend to see what people are really made of when things get tough; and these have been trying times for everyone from appraisers to underwriters to mortgage brokers to Realtors. The good news is we at TriCounty Mortgage have put in place proactive measures to address these issues and keep everyone singing from the same hymnal.
At the end of the day, let’s just hope that the right government intercessions will continue to contribute positive opportunities and that industry professionals will focus on getting to closing with minimal impact on our customers. It’s the only way to survive a housing tsunami.