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July, 2007 Newsletter

+++++++++++ July 1, 2007 +++++++++++++++++++

CONTENTS:
Introduction: Existing and New Home Sales Decline
Mortgage Rate Update: Rates Continue to Rise
This Month's Tip: Mortgage Preparations
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Introduction: Existing and New Home Sales Decline

Although the drop was not as severe as some had been predicting,
existing home sales declined .3% in the month of May making that
month the slowest pacing month in sales in four years according to
the National Association of Realtors. They also reported that
prices showed another decline with the median price of existing
homes sold in the U.S. in May standing at $223,700, a drop of
2.1% from a year ago.

On the new home side of the business, sales of new one-family houses
in May 2007 were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 915,000, according
to estimates released jointly on June 26th by the U.S. Census Bureau and
the Department of Housing and Urban Development. This is 1.6 percent
(±10.8%) below the revised April rate of 930,000 and is 15.8 percent (±9.0%)
below the May 2006 estimate of 1,087,000.

The median sales price of new houses sold in May 2007 was $236,100;
the average sales price was $313,000. The seasonally adjusted estimate
of new houses for sale at the end of May was 536,000. This represents a supply
of 7.1 months at the current sales rate.


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Mortgage Rate Update: Rates Continue to Rise

According to mortgage company Freddie Mac, rates continued to
rise during the month of June in the U.S. 30-year fixed-rates, which
averaged 6.42% at the beginning of the month averaged 6.64% in
the period that ended June 28th. Likewise, 15-year fixed-rated
mortgages averaged 6.34% at the end of the month after beginning
June at an average of 6.12%.

Bond rate fluctuations that contributed to these rate jumps
during the month stabilized at bit toward the end of June, causing
some analysts to suggest that mortgage rates may follow suit
and also stabilize in the short-term future. If you are considering
a mortgage in the next few months, it is important that you keep
an eye on the overall economic picture for a hint at the direction
rates may be taking.

For current average mortgage rates, see the
rates page.

For more information on mortgages, visit the
Mortgage Section
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

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++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

This Month's Tip: Mortgage Preparations

Before you sign on the dotted line taking possession of your new home,
before you even put your signature on the application for the mortgage to
pay for your home, you will want to thoroughly prepare yourself--and your
finances--for that application. Once things are rolling (a house selected,
the mortgage track in process) it sometimes is too late to back up and
get important pieces of the process in order.

By getting things in line prior to applying for a mortgage, you will greatly
increase the likelihood that the mortgage process will be smoother and,
in many cases, improve your chances of an approval at the same time.
The mortgage game can be a stressfull one, so whatever you can do to
make it easier will work to your benefit!

Your Budget

The very first step should be a review of your current household budget.
If you are barely making ends meet now--without a house--it will be
extremely difficult for you WITH a house. Unless you make adjustments
now, it will be almost impossible to make changes when you are staring
at a monthly mortgage payment as well as taxes, insurance, repairs,
maintenance and more. For help in this area, see the section on
budgeting to give yours a tuneup.
Your Budget

Credit Standing

Next, you will need to take a clear headed look at your current credit
situation. Good credit, average credit or bad credit? High credit score
or low? Little credit exposure or excessive credit exposure? Having
problems here will not necessarily preclude a mortgage, but understanding
the state of your credit "health" will go a long way in pointing you--and
your lender--in the right direction. See the discussion on credit on the site:
Your credit

Gather Documents

When it is time to apply for your mortgage, you can make the process
simpler by gathering some important documents in advance. These
include:

+ W-2s for the last 2 years
+ Recent paystubs
+ Bank account information--where, account numbers, balances and
last 3 months of statements
+ List of all open loans and credit cards with payments and estimated
balances
+ List of other monthly, quarterly or yearly expenses
+ Any employment information related to your job such as contracts,
overtime agreements, etc.

Your lender may request any or all of this information and documentation.
By having it available at application time, you'll not only smooth the process
but put a smile on your lender's face, too!


Next Month's Tip: Online Resources

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The Home Buying Checklist

Many of our visitors have said that one of the most valuable
aspects of the Home Buyer's Information Center is the
Buying Checklist, where they can make sure that all
the bases have been touched.
You can find the checklist
here
.

As always, if you have suggestions for improving the
site, or topics you would like to see addressed in
this newsletter (or, if you have used the Home Buyer's
Information Center to successfully purchase a home),
drop us a quick line
here.

A special thanks to all those who have written to let us know
that they have found the Home Buyer's Information Center a
helpful resource in their buying process.

Have a great month and good luck in all your endeavors!

The Team at the Home Buyer's Information Center

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