How the 2014 Mortgage Rules Impact You

New Market Mortgages with Scott Shenton

Mortgage (credit:

Imagine that you’re playing a game where the rules constantly change, and everybody is always confused about them  (including the rule makers).  Welcome to the 2014 mortgage industry!  Here’s the inside scoop: federal regulators came out with “final” mortgage rules in January 2013.  They gave the mortgage industry a full one year to comply.  Then, the regulators literally changed the rules 4 times since then.  The latest changes came out in November, 2013… just two months before the deadline for compliance.

We asked the regulators for a final, final, final version of the rule so that we could read it in its entirety without getting confused by all the different versions.  Their staff-lawyers replied, “Good idea!  We don’t have a final, final, final version of this created yet, but if you figure it out, please send us a copy!”  This is NOT a joke.  No wonder why everyone is so…

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What Home Buyers Really Want: Ethnic Preferences (Part II)

Eye on Housing

Findings from the latest NAHB study on housing preferences, What Home Buyers Really Want: Ethnic Preferences, show there are both similarities and differences in what home buyers of different racial/ethnic backgrounds most want to have in their homes.

Based on an extensive list of more than 120 home and community features that buyers rated as essential, desirable, indifferent, or ‘do not want’, the table below shows the top 10 most wanted features for White, African-American, Hispanic, and Asian buyers.

Highlighted in yellow are the four features that are common to all four lists, i.e., they are really wanted by buyers of all racial/ethnic backgrounds:

  • A laundry room – the single-most wanted feature for all groups, except Asians who rank it 5th most wanted.
  • Energy-star rated appliances
  • Energy-star rating for the whole home
  • Exterior lighting

Highlighted in green are three features that are relatively more important to minority buyers than…

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