HARP Refinance Program Extended Through 2014

HARP Refinance ProgramThe FHFA is now charged with pretty much “all things mortgage.”  It is part of the push to have more Consumer Protection, and to give an overarching body that is looking at the whole Real Estate “Economic” picture.  They recently announced that they are going to extend the HARP refinance program through 2014.  In their statement they noted that in the US, Real Estate demand is still going strong and median home prices are, on average up across the Country.
In North Carolina, we don’t have that many areas where homeowners are underwater on their mortgage, however, in the areas that they are – the HARP refinance program allows many of them refinance and lower their payments.

The U.S. housing and mortgage markets have been going through some pretty dramatic changes recently. Upper end Homes are selling, often because they are such a great value, and mortgage rates on Jumbo Mortgage Loans are so very low.

With upper end homes and First Time Home Buyer priced homes are no longer sitting idle on the market, the Real Estate market is looking more like a great investment for Banks.  Because of this, more Americans are qualifying for refinancing assistance, as Banks step back in this sector and allow easier financing for homeowners who owe more on their home than it’s currently worth.  The HARP Refinance Program makes this process easier.

HARP Extended Through 2014

After the housing boom and subsequent bust, a staggering number of homeowners found themselves underwater in their mortgages, owing the banks much more than their homes were currently worth. The result of such a poor economic condition was negative equity and Banks gave homeowners very little chance of refinancing. In order to help ease the burden of homeowners struggling to make their payments, the Home Affordable Refinancing Program (HARP) was created by the FHFA.

Under this program, underwater homeowners with mortgages owned or serviced by Freddie Mac or Fannie Mae could qualify for refinancing. Since the program’s inception, it has been heralded as a great success; however, as the expiration date came closer, it became evident that millions more homeowners were in need of this assistance. Thankfully, the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) recently announced that HARP will continue to be available until December 31, 2014.

Now that the HARP Refinance Program is available for another year, it is expected to continually help make homeownership more affordable for a large segment of North Carolina home owners who can benefit from lower monthly payments.

“More than two million homeowners have refinanced through HARP, proving it a useful tool for reducing risk,” FHFA acting director Edward DeMarco said in a recent statement. “We are extending the program so more underwater borrowers can benefit from lower interest rates.”

During the Great Recession, home construction was at a stand-still, with home builders employing skeleton crews and fewer developers willing to invest in large-scale communities. Economically, there just wasn’t enough incentive to build. Unfortunately, that came back to haunt the market as those newly constructed homes would really come in handy now.  This pent up demand is part of the reason values are on their way back up in North Carolina.

As for the clearing out of foreclosures and other distressed properties, investors were willing to scoop them up at discounted prices and turn them around. Unfortunately, many of them were likely converted to rental properties or were sold for a quick profit, leaving a lower inventory of homes being released back into the market in North Carolina.

Mortgage rates remained attractive, but word of mortgage rates increasing soon likely prompted many buyers (individuals and investors alike) to rush the market and lock in a rate. With Home Values continuing to go higher – more banks are willing to give those homeowners in North Carolina who are currently underwater, a chance to refinance and lower their monthly payments - even if they don’t have any equity in their home.

Now that we’re seeing interest rates rise as we go into 2014, it’s becoming clear that rates have hit bottom and are now bouncing back up.

If you are interested in taking advantage of the current low mortgage rates, and want information on how to refinance with the HARP Refinance Program – call Steve and Eleanor Thorne 919 649 5058.  We think the fact that the HARP Refinance Program extended through 2014 to help NC Homeowners, call us for the best mortgage rates Cary NC.

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