What the Federal Reserve's COVID response means for home buyers

Apr 30, 2020 8:51:13 PM / by Brett O'Daniell posted in Mortgage, Home Loan, housing market, mortgage payments


Zero percent rates? Did you hear that right? You did, but they’re federal fund rates, not mortgage rates. 

On March 15, the Federal Reserve lowered the target range for the federal funds rate to 0 to ¼ percent, in an attempt to combat the current toll the coronavirus outbreak is having on the economy. The Federal Reserve explained, “This action will help support economic activity, strong labor market conditions, and inflation returning to the Committee’s symmetric 2 percent objective.” 

Zero percent mortgage rates, on the other hand, are indeed too good to be true—they don’t exist. Federal fund rates apply to overnight loans between U.S. financial institutions, not individual borrowers. 

Mortgage rates are dependent upon bonds which are traded thousands of times per day, and mortgage lenders typically update rates daily, while the Fed meets eight times per year (plus in the event of an emergency, such as the COVID-19 crisis) to discuss potential rate changes.

Despite mortgage rates not being completely slashed, as some misunderstood, they were still historically low, causing mass amounts of refinance applications to come through lenders’ doors. Those massive number of mortgages needed to be sold to investors in order for lenders to continue functioning, which in some instances overwhelmed investors, causing prices to fall and consumer rates to rise. Some lenders actually raised rates slightly as a means to slow down business.  


A recovery plan in the works

The Federal Reserve then announced it would buy unlimited amounts of treasuries and agency mortgages in order to help the credit markets. “While great uncertainty remains, it has become clear that our economy will face severe disruptions. Aggressive efforts must be taken across the public and private sectors to limit the losses to jobs and incomes and to promote a swift recovery once the disruptions abate,” the Federal Reserve explained, stating they’ll continue to purchase treasury securities and agency mortgage-backed securities. 


Where do mortgage rates stand? 

In early March, mortgage rates hit all-time lows, with the 30-year-fixed rate at 3.29 percent—the lowest average on record since Freddie Mac began tracking data in 1971—and have remained relatively low. While buyers strive to take advantage of these rates, competition will continue to increase, with inventory tightening and home prices rising. What can you do to help yourself stand out? 

A pre-approval* is a great place to start. In a matter of minutes, you can elevate yourself from the competition. Many of our lender partner's pre-approvals can be completed in 15 minutes or less.  You can also count on our lender partners to help you understand the ever-evolving market throughout this unprecedented and uncertain time. 


*“Pre-approval” means an automated underwriting system approval based upon credit information supplied by applicant and subject to the lender’s review of loan documents. Applicant subject to credit and underwriting approval. Not all applicants will be approved for financing. Receipt of application does not represent an approval for financing or interest rate guarantee. Restrictions may apply, contact lenders for current rates and for more information.



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Financing and Obtaining Mortgage [Must-Know Real Estate]

Mar 17, 2020 4:02:24 PM / by Brett O'Daniell posted in Mortgage, Home Loan, financing


Mortgage Brokers/Bankers

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The Essential Credit Check-List

Mar 6, 2020 12:03:35 PM / by Brett O'Daniell posted in Mortgage, Lending, Home Loan, Credit, credit profile, buying a home


The essential credit check-list for boosting your credit.

When it comes to obtaining the best interest rate and terms on a mortgage, good credit is critical. If you’re thinking about buying a home, the first thing you should do is ensure your credit score is in tip-top shape before you explore financing options.


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Mortgage Shopping List [Pro Edition]

Mar 3, 2020 5:38:21 PM / by Brett O'Daniell posted in Mortgage, Home Loan, house hunting, STL


HomeTraq provides free resources, education, and training for home-buyers, home-sellers, realtors, and lenders. In this post we wanted to outline the must-know resources on your home-hunting journey. 

Below you will find all the relevant organizations and government websites that will greatly enhance your home-hunting experience.

The website for the Veterans Administration (VA) includes information and eligibility requirements for the agency’s loan programs.

hud.gov: The website for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) provides information on the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) mortgage product and extensive background material on the homebuying process.

rurdev.usda.gov/rhs: The site of the Rural Housing Services within the U.S. Department of Agriculture provides information on their mortgage loan programs.

ncsha.org: The website of the National Coalition of StateHousing Agencies provides a directory of State Housing Agencies.

mbaa.org: The Mortgage Bankers Association of America is the trade group
for mortgage bankers. Its site includes some basic consumer information on the mortgage process.

namb.org: The National Association of Mortgage Brokers is a trade group. Its site includes a search feature to locate members in your area.

HomeTraq provides you with the superior home-hunting experience. Create a free account and tour any home within 3-5 minutes. A realtor will meet you there. No commitment. No payment. No obligation.


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The Loan Approval Phase

Feb 2, 2020 9:26:08 PM / by Mark Gorman posted in Home Loan, financing, capital, buying a home, income, credit bureaus


Lender Evaluates Mortgage Loan Application:

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Why co-signing on a loan is probably a bad idea

Dec 9, 2019 4:00:12 PM / by Mark Gorman posted in Home Loan, cosign, loan


Lots of people – even those we love – don’t make good on promises; your credit takes an immediate hit

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4 reasons why buying a home with cash may be a mistake...

Oct 8, 2019 4:49:14 PM / by Mark Gorman posted in Mortgage, Pre-Approval, Pre-Qual, Lending, Home Loan, Pre-Qualification, Approval, professional, home purchase, financing contigency, FHA, closing costs, homebuyers, home ownership, PITIA, financing, capital, payments, mortgage payments, emergency funds, boosting credit, income, asset, myths, credit bureaus


There’s a common misconception out there that buying a home with cash is always a faster and easier option than financing. If you have the funds to buy a home in cash (congrats on that saving, by the way), financing might actually be a better option. Financing your purchase with a qualified lender offers homebuyers a host of unique advantages that cash buyers just can’t enjoy. If you’re weighing your cash vs. financing options, consider the following:

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Rates are falling... What does it mean for your home search?

Aug 28, 2019 9:30:52 PM / by Mark Gorman posted in Insider, Mortgage, Pre-Approval, Home Loan, Approval, homebuyers, housing market, St. Louis, housing demand, financing, loan, rates



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5 common FHA appraisal issues: how to fix them

Jul 11, 2019 5:02:07 PM / by Jeffrey Che posted in Mortgage, Home Loan, Approval, Underwriting, home inspection, appraisal, FHA, do it yourself, buying a home, homebuying, myths, paint, windows, safety, utilities, water



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