Morning Briefing: This state has just announced a big boost for first-time buyers

by Steve Randall05 Apr 2016
This state has just announced a big boost for first-time buyers
First-time buyers in California have just been given a boost to their dreams with increased income limits for eligibility for CalHFA Conventional mortgages.

The announcement from the California Housing Finance Agency means that families who earn up to 140 per cent of their county’s median income could qualify for a loan; this is increased from the current 120 per cent limit.

The raised limit applies in 35 counties which have been identified as having the greatest gap between income and home prices.  CalHFA estimates that the change will enable thousands of new buyers to secure a mortgage.

"First-time homebuyers are essential to a strong housing market, and we know that many potential buyers are struggling to afford homes in California as prices continue to rise," said Joel Singer, CEO of the California Association of Realtors.

As an example, a family of four in Los Angeles County, where more than half are renters, have been able to earn a combined $77,750 to be eligible for a CalHFA Conventional loan; now they could qualify even if they earn up to $90,700.
 
Illinois realtors celebrate 100 years with a new name
After 100 years the body representing 44,000 realtors in Illinois has decided to make a change and has announced a shorter name. The Illinois Association of Realtors will now be known by the snappier Illinois Realtors.

The change was announced at a celebratory reception Monday, when the association also named Luke Bell as its new executive vice president. 

2016 President Mike Drews commented that the name may have changed but the aims and culture of the association remains: “Now we look to the future with a more modern and less formal name, but with the same goals and mission in mind, promoting advocacy, education and ethics in the profession.”
 
Even homeowners in low risk areas should consider flood insurance
It’s not just those homeowners who live in high risk areas that should consider taking out flood insurance. That’s the advice from the Insurance Information Institute which warns that less than 15 per cent of homeowners and renters in the Us have flood insurance despite floods being involved in 9 in 10 natural disasters nationwide.

“Too few residences are covered by flood insurance policies because many homeowners and renters underestimate their flood risk,” said Jeanne Salvatore, the I.I.I.’s senior vice president, Public Affairs, and chief communications officer, noting that 20 percent of all flood claims come from moderate-to-low flood risk areas.

With hurricane season for Gulf and Atlantic coast states just two months away the I.I.I says now is a good time to arrange cover as there is a 30-day wait between buying a policy and it taking effect.

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