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Seaport Real Estate Group Blog

Written by Robert H. Ruth

The answer to that question is not completely known as of yet, but there are several areas of the final legislation that will affect people who own real estate.  This post will attempt to look at several areas in a bit more detail.  

  • As with any bill before Congress, there were groups who tried to gain an advantage or defend the position they believed would be affected by the proposed legislation, and this bill was no different.
  • Since I am not an accountant, I will not give any advice in that area in this posting. If you have specific tax questions you should consult a tax professional. 

The biggest changes in the law that will be felt by homeowners have to do with mortgage interest deductibility and

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Written by Robert H. Ruth

Back in July I wrote a blog post in which I described what I believed were the 5 pillars supporting the United States housing market. I stated that just as pillars provide support and reinforcement to a beam or an arch and hold the supported structure in place, my 5 pillars were providing the structural support for the current housing market. These were the 5 Pillars of the Housing Market at that time:

  •  Millennial Buyers
  • Low Inventory Levels
  • Historically Low Mortgage Rates
  • Full Employment
  • Price Appreciation

Now that we are in the middle of December, I thought it might be interesting to revisit these five pillars and see if they are still intact, weaker or stronger. Here then, is my current

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Written by Robert H. Ruth

Last week, I reported that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were increasing their conforming agency loan limits in 2018 from $ 424,100 to $ 453,100, an increase of 6.8%. Accordingly, we have received an announcement from the Department of Housing and Urban Development that the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) will also increase their loan limits in 2018. While the new limits are not as high as Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, they are higher than the limits in both states this year.  

While FHA loan limits do not change dramatically on a year over year basis, the new limits are a reflection of the increase in home prices in the US over the last 12 months. As reported by Kelsey Ramirez in Housing Wire, FHA is required by the

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Written by Robert H. Ruth

On Tuesday, November 29th, the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA), who has oversight over Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, announced that they are increasing the conforming loan limits in 2018.  This is an important development for potential homebuyers who are looking to purchase next year and homeowners seeking to refinance. A borrower seeking a loan at or below this amount will be able to obtain a conventional mortgage, and loans amounts that are higher are known as Jumbo Mortgages.

Agency loans historically have rates that are .25 to .50 percent lower than Jumbo Mortgages.

Typically, agency backed loans comprise the largest share of home mortgages in the United States. The maximum conforming loan limit is determined

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Written by Robert H. Ruth

Thanksgiving is like a fixed rate mortgage

I have to admit that my favorite Holiday is Thanksgiving.

I love the food: turkey and dressing …mashed potatoes slathered with gravy …mmm!

I love going for a run or a long walk in the late morning, and the smells that greet me when I come home are intoxicatingly good. Maybe the crisp, late fall air that I come in from enhances the aromas from the kitchen.  

I also love the traditions of Thanksgiving, knowing that the roasting pan we use belonged to my mother in law. I can’t help but think that it holds not only the flavors of the turkey, but the memories of all those Thanksgivings past, and I feel like she is still at the table with us, sharing her love and stories of

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Written by Robert H. Ruth

VA Loans are one of the very best loans available in the marketplace, but unfortunately, they are not as well understood as they should be, so with Veterans Day fast approaching, I thought it would be nice to explain the basics behind the VA loan program.

 Basic Eligibility Guidelines 

You may be eligible for a VA Home Loan if you meet one or more of the following criteria:

  • You served 90 consecutive days of service during wartime, OR
  • You have served 181 days of service during peacetime, OR
  • You have more than 6 years of service in the National Guard or Reserves, OR
  • You are the spouse of a service member who died in the line of duty or as the result of a service-related disability.
  • If you are no
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Written by Robert H. Ruth

Sometimes, during the course of processing a loan application, new information becomes evident that was either not disclosed or not known at the time of loan application. While not always deal breakers, this new information can cause delays in the transaction, anxiety on the part of the homebuyers, and frustration for all the parties involved. Let’s look at a few of these items in greater detail:


Changes in Income to Qualify

Knowing the borrower’s income enables a lender to determine whether the borrower has the ability to repay the mortgage. Usually the income is reliable and fairly easy to determine, say a borrower who receives a salary and can easily document their earnings by providing W2’s and most recent

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Written by Robert H. Ruth

Remember when you were a kid, and you got a really bad cold or the flu?  You couldn’t go outside and play with your friends, because if you got sweaty from running around the symptoms could linger, or worse, you might relapse. And then when you did feel better, and were allowed to go outside again, your mom made you wear a coat or a sweater, even though it was warm outside. The reason was that your mom believed you were in a somewhat weaker state and might catch a cold again if you got a chill. So she made you bundle up as a way to protect you from getting sick again. 

I shared this with you because when I first began my career, I wanted to learn how to do VA Loans, and in order to learn the program I sought out the

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Written by Tim Bray


I get it..Your Aunt Jenny, Cousin Uma or Brother Sam just received their real estate license and you feel compelled to utilize their services in order to keep the peace within your family tree which happens to be shaped like a wreath.  STOP BEING A PLEASER as it is you who will be adversely affected by the negative outcome of utilizing an agent who is not at the top of his/her game.  Next Step…

You just located a Superstar Agent or team of agents but they are located over 30 miles away from you.

 15 Years ago I would have recommended that you utilize the services of a location specific agent as they really had their finger on the pulse of print advertising. Today print advertising is simply a tool for agents to market

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Written by Robert H. Ruth

Last week, in part 1 of this topic, I explained that the purpose of PMI is to offset the additional risk faced by the lender in giving a loan to a borrower when they purchase a property with less than 20% down.

In that post, I explained the basics of Borrower Paid Mortgage Insurance (BPMI), which is the most widely used type of Private Mortgage Insurance.

  • My comparison showed that the expense of PMI is completely driven by the amount of down payment a borrower can make and their credit score. 
  • I also explained that a borrower would pay the PMI until they reach a 20% equity position based upon the initial amortization schedule of their loan or,
  • The BPMI will terminate automatically when the loan gets to 78%
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