Is refinancing a joke????

I dare someone to just try to refinance and complete the process in a month. If your credit is stellar, you have salaried jobs with longevity, money in the bank, and of course equity in your house, you are ready to get a loan! How many of us have all of that in this economy? The 4% loans are now history. The idea of getting some cash out of your home is pretty much over too. The Federal government, i.e. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, have made it very tough on the banks. Getting a loan has gone from stupid easy, to stupid hard. Every loan is scrutinized. It seems that the lenders are looking for a way to NOT lend money, as opposed to finding ways to help consumers get loans. The difficulty associated with getting financing contributes to the housing decline. Getting a loan is difficult, time consuming and an exercise in patience. Today only the cream of the crop get a new loan, and only those with perfect credit (over 800)get the advertised lowest interest rate.
How would you like someone to tell you- pay all your charge cards off, and then close the accounts, then send all rental leases, signed with security deposits, list all bank accounts, savings accounts, and retirement accounts. You must prove that all bills are paid, that you have a small debt ratio, and no installment payments. Don’t buy a car, don’t charge anything until you’ve signed the refinance papers, and don’t use your line of credit. Just don’t live your life until your refi is done! That is basically what we went through to get a new loan at a lower interest rate.
Yes, this is what is currently happening out in the happy land of loans. Those of us who could really use an extra $500-$800 in our pocket, who have good credit, are responsible, are “playing by the rules” seem to be, once again! paying for others mistakes. Seems unfair to me, seems like a lot of people could use help now- to keep them in their house which would help to stabilize the market. Government intervention hasn’t worked so well, not only has it prolonged the turmoil in the market, it has exacerbated the severity of the downtrend.
Here, in Tucson, foreclosures are still a significant portion of the market. We keep increasing the number of foreclosures, where is the help? How do we turn this trend around?
All areas of Tucson have been affected in the downtrend. The Largest number of sales are those homes priced under $249,999. The largest sub price is $120,000- 139,999. The numbers of sales is slowly trending up only because of distressed sales. The median price is down about 33%. Remember if you need and want to sell you must “get ahead of the market. If you price your home too low in a rising market, the market will bid the price up, however, if you over price your home in a declining market, the market ignores you! The area defined by MLS as the “Northwest” has the most houses for sale, almost 2000. 2011 isn’t going to be any easier, in fact more people will lose their home and job.
Perhaps a small glimmer to remember, we are decreasing the number of houses on the market and Tucson is in the sun belt, has affordable housing, and is a great retirement community. We can offer better weather than most communities, and a lot of free outdoor activities. Tucson can sell itself under the proper economic conditions.
Other ideas to help with property values during hard times. A new coat of paint on the outside trim and front door, keep up with repairs, add trees on the west to decrease utilities, dejunk the garage and closets. Be sure to pay attention the the actual cost of updating: realize you won’t get all the money back if you need to sell.
Most business cycles are 7 years, we have 2 more years before things even out. Then we should begin some type of new trend. Tucson runs a few years behind other cities so I will keep my fingers crossed.