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Mortgage Changes Open Doors for Investors

A September 2012 report by CNBC on the state of mortgage lending in the US, in the wake of the well-publicized housing collapse, states that although mortgage rates are nearing record lows, fewer mortgage applications are currently being processed. While the reasons for this decline indicate bad news for many hopeful homeowners, the current mortgage situation creates some positive conditions for first responder investors following Jason Harman’s advice to buy income property on a long term fixed rate mortgage.

Although the housing market appears to be on the upswing, this apparent rebound is due in large part to new housing starts and permits requested for the construction of new dwellings. The hidden side to the housing rebound has to do with financing existing properties.

Because of intervention by the Federal Reserve, mortgage rates on a 30-year fixed rate mortgage of the type Jason Hartman recommends are currently hovering at around 3 per cent – one of the lowest rates ever. Yet, according to CNBC, many leading lenders report that fewer mortgage applications are being processed now than in previous years. The reasons are linked to the housing collapse of 2008-2011 as well as general economic conditions.

The housing crisis led to massive foreclosures in markets all across the country, as many mortgage holders lost their homes. At that time, getting approval for a mortgage application was ridiculously easy, with almost no applicants turned away. These subprime borrowers quickly lost control of the mortgages – and eventually, the homes they were purchasing. That changed the landscape of mortgage lending.

In today’s market, homeowners who manage to stay afloat and hang onto their properties have generally already refinanced their homes and are not seeking more financing options. Among those who don’t currently own homes, a large number are former homeowners who have no way to reenter the housing market. But because of the subprime mortgage debacle, lenders have established stricter eligibility standards. And many aspiring homeowners simply can’t meet those standards for a variety of reasons including low income, credit score problems and insufficient cash to make a down payment.

Because so many people are locked out of homeownership, this creates a virtually permanent group of renters – as shown by the rising demand for rental housing and the upswing in rental rates in many major markets. And since fewer buyers are buying numerous properties – including new waves of foreclosures – are still available for investors who can qualify for these low-rate mortgages.

Fixed-rate mortgages reflect the national average but can vary from state to state. These mortgages operate on a fixed rate that doesn’t change over the course of the loan, allowing income property investors to cover the loan payments from tenant rents. And as interest rates chance, these mortgages can be refinanced for better terms.

A key piece of Jason Harman’s advice is, “Refi till you die” – allowing investors to take advantage of mortgage conditions throughout the life of their investment. With less competition and more available properties, current conditions mean new opportunities for income property investors from the public sector.

The Heroic Investing Team


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