Sibcy Cline Mortgage Services has a New, Mobile-Friendly Web Site!

SCMortgageWebsite.pngSibcy Cline Mortgage Services has transformed its website with a new look that is also mobile optimized. The site looks very fresh and current. Here is what you will find:

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Mortgage Calculators
Five easy-to-use calculators are featured on the site: How Much Can I Afford; Monthly Payment; FHA Monthly Payment; Refinance; and Rent vs. Own.

Built especially for Sibcy Cline, these calculators are some of the most comprehensive tools on the market providing not only just a principal and interest payment, but a full PITI (principal, interest, taxes and insurance) including mortgage insurance if the down payment is less than 20%.

The Rent vs. Own calculator includes average rate of return, inflation, opportunity costs and closing fees into its design and is updated to stay current. This is a great tool for current renters.

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Shop Local
Sibcy Cline is all about being local and 100% of Sibcy Cline Mortgage Services’ loan process is local. The interactive regional map allows potential home buyers to easily find a loan officer in their own neighborhood who in turn will refer those buyer leads to our local Sibcy Cline agents.

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Loan Product
Browsers on the site can learn all about the various loan products available from Sibcy Cline Mortgage Services. They can “like” the products of interest and opt to have more information emailed to them.

 

The Surprising Benefit that Comes with Higher Mortgage Rates

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Homebuyers in today’s market definitely face some shifting conditions. The improving economy is bringing mortgage rates up from some of the lowest levels ever observed in the housing market, and more buyers are creating increased competition for a limited inventory, driving prices up as well. This declining affordability may actually be good news for buyers because it will encourage a major change among lenders.

How is That Helpful?
The good news for buyers is that as mortgage rates rise, it becomes more difficult for current homeowners to justify refinancing their mortgages. When rates were low – and they hovered in the three percent range for almost all of last year – it encouraged owners to cut their rates, keeping lenders in a steady mortgage environment without broadly making home loans more available to new buyers. As rates rise, lenders will see their origination numbers drop off, and experts have long predicted that this will lead to an increase in mortgage credit availability for buyers.

With the stronger economy bringing more buyers to the fore, it’s also important to note that even with higher rates and prices, today’s affordability is still competitive with pre-recession norms.

Loosening Credit in Action
The latest industry data shows that mortgage credit is becoming more widely available, in a way that it largely hadn’t before, according to the Mortgage Credit Availability Index from the Mortgage Bankers Association. In January – the most recent month for which data is available – the MCAI (Mortgage Credit Availability Index) rose to a reading of 177.1, up from 176 in December. That was the fifth straight month with an increase in the overall number.

In the recent past, credit access for jumbo loans (those much bigger than the national median home price) has been the biggest driver of these increases, which leaves many average Americans on the outside looking in. And while lenders continue to cater to more affluent consumers by easing that kind of credit access, availability for conventional loans is now creeping back upward on a consistent basis as well.

While mortgage credit availability will likely never return to the free and easy days before the recession (nor should they), continual easing of access will allow more buyers to come into the market and, potentially, encourage more real estate sales.

Interested in becoming pre-qualified for a mortgage loan to see how much home you can afford to purchase? Contact Sibcy Cline Mortgage Services.

Brought to you by HMS Home Warranty.  HMS is an industry leader with over 30 years of creating success for clients and providing peace of mind for customers.  To learn more click www.hmsnational.com.

Should Buyers Worry about Rising Mortgage Rates?

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Over the course of the year, mortgage rates hovered mostly in the mid- to low-3 percent range, giving consumers historically strong affordability for several months, even as home prices rose. But in recent weeks, real estate professionals – as well as buyers and sellers – have likely noticed mortgage rates spiking to 4 percent and beyond. There’s now concern among all those groups that this trend will continue for some time to come, and potentially reduce the number of real estate sales to start the new year.

The winter months are slow enough as it is for many agents, without the potential concern people may have when they see rates have risen nearly a full percentage point in a month and a half, according to CNBC. Already this seems to have reduced some sales numbers because people may not think they’ll be able to afford the higher rates. That might be particularly true among first-time buyers who don’t have a lot of experience dealing with the housing market.

What’s the perception?
To be fair to concerned consumers, rates have risen quickly and sharply, disrupting nearly a full year of rates being below 4 percent, the report said. In the past, even minor rate hikes have led to some reduction in mortgage activity nationwide – more often for refinances than purchases – but many industry insiders attributed that to the fact that so many people got accustomed to rates being near historical lows. That same issue may be true both now and in the near future.

“It’s kind of sad because you’re helping out a first-time buyer who is in need of these low rates and doesn’t have the personal liquidity to offset if the rates rise,” one lender in New York City told CNBC. “One is on the bubble, but one is almost a dead deal.”

What’s the reality?
However, it’s worth noting that the difference in actual monthly costs for a mortgage with even a 4.2 percent rate versus one in the 3.5 percent range isn’t actually that much money, according to the National Association of Realtors. Of course, that money adds up over the course of a year – and certainly across the life of a loan – but these higher rates don’t instantly make a mortgage unaffordable.

Moreover, if consumers are worried about paying more due to high rates, they should keep in mind that neither rates nor prices are likely to return to the levels seen in early 2016 any time soon. Both are more likely to keep rising than to retreat, and as a result the most affordable time to buy a home is “as soon as possible.”

Working with an agent throughout the sales process can go a long way for would-be buyers, particularly those who want to own for the first time. Experienced real estate pros can carefully explain the issues related to affordability that are likely to crop up over the next several months and beyond.

Talk to a Sibcy Cline Mortgage Services’ loan officer about mortgage rates.

Brought to you by HMS Home Warranty.  HMS is an industry leader with over 30 years of creating success for clients and providing peace of mind for customers.  To learn more click www.hmsnational.com.

Pat Kuether, President of Sibcy Cline Mortgage Services, Interviewed by the Business Courier

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Pat Kuether, president of Sibcy Cline Mortgage Services, was interviewed by the Business Courier for the November 13, 2015 issue. The question-and-answer article addressed the current, brisk real estate market and new mortgage regulations. The reporter also learned about Pat’s personal interests that include attending Bengals’ games and travel.

Pat has been with Sibcy Cline Mortgage Services for 32 years and has been involved in the finance profession for 38 years.

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Sibcy Cline Mortgage Services Ranked Number Seven of Cincinnati’s Largest Residential Mortgage Lenders

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Sibcy Cline Mortgage Services has been ranked by the Business Courier as the 7th largest residential mortgage lender in the Greater Cincinnati region. Sibcy Cline Mortgage Services had 1,232 loans valued at $172.96 million from September 1, 2014 through August 31, 2015.

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The ranking appeared in the November 13, 2015 issue of the Business Courier.

 

Ohio Housing Finance Agency (OFHA) Bond Program – Changes Open Up More Opportunities for Home Buyers

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Effective July 1, 2015, three changes made to the Ohio Housing Finance Agency (OFHA) “bond” program that opened up more opportunity for first-time home buyers to become eligible. The OHFA program offers competitive rates and down payment assistance to qualifying Ohioans.

Eligibility Income
Only borrowers whose names appear on the mortgage AND living in the home will have their income counted towards the household income cap. (Previously, the income of all parties living in the home was counted towards the household income cap.)

Owner Occupancy
Historically the borrower had to live in the property for the life of the loan with an OFHA loan. As of July 1, 2015, OFHA documents state the borrower must live in the home for a minimum of one year. This change in policy was also made retroactive and anyone currently with an OHFA loan will be held only to the one year standard.

Grants for Grads Eligibility
Eligibility for the Grants for Grads program has been extended to those who have graduated from an accredited college from 24 months to 48 months.

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What is OFHA?
As the state’s affordable housing leader, the Ohio Housing Finance Agency (OHFA) provides opportunities for Ohioans to pursue affordable housing. The agency offers a variety of programs to help first-time homebuyers (and others) find quality, affordable housing that meets their needs.

Thousands of low- and moderate-income Ohioans have purchased homes of their  own thanks to OHFA. Their 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage loans make it affordable for qualifying buyers to realize the dream of homeownership.

First-Time Homebuyer Program
To qualify for OHFA’s First-Time Homebuyer program, you must meet at least one of the four qualifying categories below:

1. Have never owned real estate
2. Have not owned or had an ownership interest in your principal residence in the last three years
3. Be an honorably discharged veteran
4. Purchase a home in a target area

Want to find out if you qualify for an OHFA program? Contact a Sibcy Cline Mortgage Loan Officer, a participating OHFA lender.