• Sara Hayat scoured industry sources near and far to find a fill that would give the Bevel a bit of bounce while ensuring its cushions would retain their pebble-like shape. Indeed, each velvet-upholstered seat cradles a person perfectly. As it should: It takes the team about a month to hand-stitch this low-slung belted beauty. $28,495

  • Minotti who passed away in August, played with the idea of balance in the Solid Steel coffee table, despite the heavy-metal inference of its moniker. Party-ready glossy and mirrored finishes belie the architectural geometry of the streamlined, staggered slabs. Even with its fashion-forward feel (or backward: the materials reference 1970s glamour), it evokes an unflinchingly Bauhaus sensibility. Price upon request

  • Astraeus Clarke found inspiration in N.Y.C. The Roebling table lamp takes its form, albeit loosely, from the Brooklyn Bridge and its name from the bridge’s engineers, John A. Roebling and his wife, Emma. The lamp’s deep-green marble pillars support a gable-shaped top that hides the light source. But there’s a twist: That top segment pivots 360 degrees, allowing the user to direct illumination as needed. $12,500

  • New Ravenna. Duo, a waterjet mosaic, features boxy, mustard-toned cross-stitches that punctuate a large, dark grid over elegant marble with green veining. The coastal Virginia–based company replicates the texture of stone that has been well-worn by salt air, ensuring your kitchen, bath, or patio looks suitably lived-in. $229 per square foot

  • Source: robbreport.com

    Apache is functioning normally

    Apache is functioning normally

    What a difference a few months make in the real estate market. Last summer, home prices were selling on the cheap in many cities across the nation.

    Fast forward to spring, and the housing market kind of “sucks.” There’s really no other way to put it.

    First off, there’s no inventory. This has been an issue for a while now.

    Put simply, there’s just very little out there for an individual or family looking to buy a home, at least in the areas they might want to live.

    Sure, there are those properties that have been on the market for months, but there’s a reason they’ve been on the market for months.

    And yes, you can probably go to a new community built by a mega home builder and find a house, but it’ll likely be on the fringe of a major city next to empty dirt lots and tractors.

    Bad Inventory Rising

    • Because there is a shortage of homes to buy
    • Prospective sellers are able to list their duds
    • Knowing that buyers are becoming increasingly desperate
    • And may overlook flaws or simply settle as a result of the slim pickings available

    Now that the housing market is heating up and the media is (rather obnoxiously) getting on board, inventory is finally rising. Let’s call it an inevitable timing thing.

    You see, there is real hope in the housing market. And while hope is good for some, it’s not good for buyers, just sellers who finally see the light after so many years in the dark.

    Their real estate agents are giving them the green light to dump their properties while avoiding the lengthy short sale process and nasty credit score ding.

    Today, these would-be sellers are able to push the values just that little bit more to sell them as standard sales, instead of going the formerly popular short sale route.

    After all, a short sale made sense when there was no hope of getting out unscathed, but now that things are looking up, why not hang on a touch longer and avoid the negative ramifications of selling short?

    Unfortunately, this means the individual on the other end is picking up the slack at an inflated price, instead of snagging a deal.

    Competition Is Extremely Fierce

    • Not only are the available homes often less desirable
    • But the competition for these properties is much higher than normal
    • Making the housing market a really bad place to be as a buyer
    • Since no one wants to overpay for a home they don’t even love

    Factor in the intense competition and you’ve got a double whammy on your hands.

    We’re talking inflating the listing price to make it a standard sale, then receiving multiple bids that often push the final sales price above the original ask.

    In other words, today’s buyers are acquiring properties with the future home price appreciation already built in.

    And that assumes prices actually do increase – it’s not a foregone conclusion, just a rosy expectation at the moment.

    I’m also seeing a lot of the notoriously bad properties rear their ugly heads again. Many of these homes sat on the market for months without a single offer, but now they’re going into escrow in a matter of days.

    Something is definitely wrong with this picture.  I don’t care how low mortgage rates are…

    I’ll Wait for Another Dip

    • The housing recovery won’t feature home prices that go up in a straight line
    • Just like the downturn ebbed and flowed despite ultimately declining
    • There might be windows if you’re patient and keep an eye on things
    • But do expect home prices to keep on rising, and know that it’s okay to just hold off if you don’t find something you truly love

    If I wanted to buy a home, I’d hang on and wait for the temporary madness to come to an end. There’s clearly a bubble mentality in the air again, with everyone and their mother bullish on housing.

    Whenever that’s the case, it makes for a rather ominous situation. The increase in inventory involves a ton of previously underwater homes that no one wanted, even at lower prices. Or homes that were taken off market and abruptly thrown back on the MLS.

    So why would you buy these same homes today at a significant premium? Because a magazine cover said, “Housing Is Back?”

    The economy is still in tatters and things don’t exactly appear bright. If anything, a looming stock market crash seems to be on the horizon.

    No, the sky isn’t falling, and housing is indeed on the mend after so many off years. But I do see the current cycle as an unsustainable period of growth that will likely unravel as the year goes on.

    It’s going to be a bumpy road to recovery, not just a bottom followed by a surge back to new highs. We’ve seen this optimism in past years, only to watch the wheels fall off time and time again.

    If you see something you love, go for it. If you’re worried about the missing the boom, you might want to sit down and reassess the situation.

    Read more: Buying a home during a seller’s market.

    Source: thetruthaboutmortgage.com

    Apache is functioning normally

    Apache is functioning normally

    With most of the year under our belt, the holiday season is just around the corner. No matter what you celebrate, this season is full of food, celebrating and spending time with loved ones.

    While you’re hard at work prepping for the holiday season, scammers are too. A survey conducted by Experian found that a full 1 in 4. Americans have been a victim of identity theft or fraud in the holiday season. If you’re worried about scammers this year, don’t worry—we’ve got tips on how to look for holiday shopping scams this season.

    When the pandemic hit in early 2020, COVID-19 scams became a popular method for criminals to get access to your information and steal your identity. However, the holidays are when these scammers go into overdrive, meaning it’s important to be extra cautious as you do your online shopping and holiday giving. Here are some of the most common holiday shopping scams to be aware of.

    Illegitimate Charities

    Many people use the holidays as a reason to be a bit more generous, but be careful before you make that donation. Many scammers create fake charities in an attempt to get you to donate. They get your money—and possibly access to your identity info—and no good ever comes from that generosity. 

    Check for social media presence, news stories, financial records and proof that any charity you’re considering donating to actually exists and has a good reputation.

    • I just watched a documentary on the dark web, and I will never feel safe using my credit card again!

    • Luckily I don’t have to worry about that. I have ExtraCredit, so I get $1,000,000 ID protection and dark web scans.

    • I need that peace of mind in my life. What else do you get with ExtraCredit?

    • It’s basically everything my credit needs. I get 28 FICO® scores, rent and utility reporting, cash rewards and even a discount to one of the leaders in credit repair.

    • It’s settled; I’m getting ExtraCredit tonight. Totally unrelated, but any suggestions for my new fear of sharks? I watched that documentary too.

    • …we live in Oklahoma.

    Fake Online Stores

    Online shopping is a convenient way to check off all the items on your list without having to actually brave the holiday crowds. However, it’s important to ensure that the sites you’re shopping from are actually legitimate. Scammers create fake online storefronts—sometimes even mimicking well-known retailers—and you don’t know it’s fake until the merchandise never comes or you start seeing evidence of identity fraud.

    Empty Gift Cards

    Gift cards are the perfect choice if you’re not sure what someone on your gift-giving list wants or if they like to pick out items themselves. But selling gift cards that have a $0 balance or have already expired is a common and remarkably easy scam. This happens most often on local sales sites, such as Craigslist and Facebook Marketplace.

    Email Scams

    Have you ever gotten an email about something you bought online—but you never actually purchased anything from that retailer? Maybe the email said you needed to reset your password or gave you a link to track your package. These are phishing email scams designed to get you to enter your personal info so scammers can use it for identity theft.

    Shipping Problems

    One of the biggest worries that comes with online shopping—especially with the supply chain issues that have come as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic—is whether the gifts will arrive on time. Criminals capitalize on this fear by sending out emails, texts and other communications letting you know there’s been an issue with your package. You’re asked to provide personal information such as your address, credit card info and birth date to confirm your order, but all you’re really doing is giving scammers the information they need to steal your identity.

    While the holidays are a common time for shopping scams, it doesn’t mean there’s nothing you can do about it. Learn what to look for and how to protect yourself from identity theft with these tips.

    1. Pay Attention to Website URLs

    Online searches can lead you to scammer-run websites that unleash computer malware or collect credit card numbers for identity theft. Carefully read website domain names. Watch for unfamiliar vendors or missing letters, misspellings or other tweaks to the name of a legitimate company. Pay special attention to the last letters. For example, tiffanyco.mn indicates a Mongolia-based website, not the legitimate website for Tiffany & Co., tiffany.com.

    2. Make Sure the Site Is Legitimate

    Before ordering, check the “Contact Us” page for a phone number and physical address and the “Terms and Conditions” link detailing return policies and such. Unlike legitimate vendors, bogus websites are less likely to post these—or they’ll provide them in a suspicious manner, such as via a faxed request only.

    How do you know if a holiday website is legit? Check the Better Business Bureau as well as Facebook and Google reviews before you buy from a new place. If the business doesn’t have any social media or online presence other than the website, that’s a red flag. 

    3. Only Buy Gift Cards From Retailers

    Buy gift cards directly from the retailer and avoid shopping for discount gift cards through local swap sites. You may also want to buy gift cards online or from the checkout instead of the display racks, which are less secure. Fraudsters can peel off stickers to glean gift card codes, replace them in envelopes and wait for an unsuspecting shopper to buy them. Once purchased and activated, they enter stolen codes at the retailer’s website to make online purchases—leaving the intended recipient with a useless card.

    4. Look for HTTPS Sites

    When buying online, check the URL to see whether the website starts with “http://” or “https://.” The “S” is for “secure” and is your best bet for safe shopping. Some legitimate retailers may use http sites, but your information is much more vulnerable to attack in this case because it’s easier for hackers to get to it. Even with a secure page, avoid using public Wi-Fi hotspots for online shopping or other financial transactions.

    5. Use Prepaid Gift Cards for Online Shopping

    Consider buying prepaid cards for online shopping instead of using your actual debit or credit card. These cards are often reloadable for ease of use, and if your information does happen to be stolen, hackers will only have access to the amount on the card and not your entire bank account.

    6. Take Care on Craigslist

    On Craigslist or when answering local classified ads, deal only with sellers who provide a phone number you can verify. Don’t rely solely on email correspondence. Assume any request for wire-transfer payment is a scam, and be suspicious of prepaid debit card transactions. Using PayPal or a credit card is your safest bets.

    7. Avoid Deals That Seem Too Good to Be True

    Stay clear of prices from private sellers that seem too good to be true or are tied to hard-luck stories, such as a need to sell quickly because of divorce or military deployment. No one is selling the latest gaming console for only $50, no matter how hard up they are. These are common scams to get advance payment—and you’ll likely get no merchandise.

    8. Don’t Open Holiday E-Cards From People You Don’t Know

    Delete E-Cards or general holiday emails if you don’t know the sender. These mass-sent greetings likely contain malware. Legitimate card notifications should include a confirmation code to safely open the card at the issuing website.

    9. Beware of Undeliverable Package Emails

    Avoid emails claiming that FedEx, UPS, DHL or the U.S. Postal Service has an undeliverable package with links for details. The links will install malware that can log keystrokes to steal computer files and passwords. Unless you previously provided an email address, courier services won’t contact you this way. This scam baits you to call for details—at which point you’ll be tricked into making an expensive overseas call or revealing your personal and financial information. Look up the callback number yourself if you’re curious.

    Gearing up for the holidays? Go ahead and enjoy your holiday shopping this year. Just be a little careful—keep an eye out for anything suspicious and make sure that any website you buy from is legitimate.

    If you’re worried that you might already be a victim of identity theft or just want to keep a closer eye on your credit, ExtraCredit can help you know what’s going on with your credit report and spot identity theft as soon as it happens.

    Source: credit.com

    Apache is functioning normally

    Apache is functioning normally

    Identity thieves are almost always opportunistic—but the crimes they commit feel very personal. Unauthorized credit card charges, bogus loan applications, missing money, and other financial violations make fraud a major nightmare. To keep fraud in check, you need to know how to check your credit report for identity theft, and how to deal with problems when they arise.

    In this post, we’ll talk about the warning signs of identity theft—and then we’ll show you how to stamp out fraud before it starts.

    Warning Signs of Identity Theft

    How Do I Check My Credit for Identity Theft?

    To avoid falling victim to identity theft, examine your credit report regularly. You can access a free copy of your credit report from all three bureaus—Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion—once a year. (Through April 2022, you can get free weekly copies of your reports.) You can also use a tool like Credit.com’s Credit Report Card or ExtraCredit to monitor your credit.

    When you download your credit report with ExtraCredit, you’ll see a list of positive accounts, late accounts, collections, public records, inquiries and account balances. Your credit report contains a lot of information about you and about your financial habits, and if that information changes unexpectedly, it can indicate identity theft. Here are five of the biggest fraud warning signs to watch out for.

    Warning Sign 1: Incorrect Personal Information

    Sometimes, incorrect personal information is the result of an innocent mistake. Other times, it means something sinister is going on. If you see your name misspelled, a wrong phone number or address, or an incorrect Social Security number on your credit report, investigate immediately.

    • I just watched a documentary on the dark web, and I will never feel safe using my credit card again!

    • Luckily I don’t have to worry about that. I have ExtraCredit, so I get $1,000,000 ID protection and dark web scans.

    • I need that peace of mind in my life. What else do you get with ExtraCredit?

    • It’s basically everything my credit needs. I get 28 FICO® scores, rent and utility reporting, cash rewards and even a discount to one of the leaders in credit repair.

    • It’s settled; I’m getting ExtraCredit tonight. Totally unrelated, but any suggestions for my new fear of sharks? I watched that documentary too.

    • …we live in Oklahoma.

    Warning Sign 2: Lender Inquiries You Don’t Recognize

    Credit bureaus keep the details of companies who ask for information about you on record for at least two years. Promotional inquiries and account review inquiries  are nothing to worry about, because they’re preapproved credit offer inquiries or inquiries by companies you already do business with. 

    Hard enquiries from companies you don’t recognize are a different matter. Sometimes, fraudsters make a lot of credit card and personal loan applications in a short period of time, so if you see a recent list of unknown inquiries, someone might be trying to steal your identity.

    Tip: Sometimes, the name of a financial institution doesn’t precisely match the name of the company checking your credit. Car dealerships, for example, sometimes run a series of credit checks via different finance companies—so it’s worth double checking before filing a fraud complaint.

    Warning Sign 3: Accounts You Never Opened

    Only your own accounts—including accounts that you’ve cosigned and for which you’re an authorized user—should appear on your credit report. If you find an unknown account on your credit report, one of two things has happened:

    • Your credit information has been commingled with someone else’s information by mistake
    • Your credit has been compromised by a fraudster

    If you find an unknown account on your credit report, contact the relevant lender right away and tell them what’s going on. 

    Warning Sign 4: You Credit Utilization Goes Up

    If you suddenly owe more than before and you haven’t changed your spending habits, someone else might be splurging on your behalf. Check your credit card statement very carefully and flag any suspicious transactions straight away. Most credit card companies have a maximum 120-day limit for chargebacks, so it’s important to review purchases regularly.

    Warning Sign 5: Your Score Goes Up or Down Unexpectedly

    Credit scores change over time. When negative information falls off your credit report after a certain period of time, your score increases. On the other hand, if you apply for too many loans or credit cards in a short space of time, your credit score could take a hit. If your credit score changes dramatically—especially if it’s for the worse—dig deeper.

    Warning Sign 6: Public Records You Don’t Recognize

    Negative public records can substantially impact your creditworthiness. Bankruptcies, for instance, often remain on record for up to a decade. If you see public records you don’t recognize, alert the issuing agency without delay. 

    Tip: Liens and civil court judgments used to appear on credit reports, but credit bureaus no longer collect information about those types of public records. Bankruptcies are now the only public records included on credit reports.

    Can Someone Steal Your Identity with Your Credit Report?

    Your credit report contains a lot of personal information, so it’s a goldmine for identity thieves. With a copy of your report in hand, a potential fraudster might be able to see:

    • Full name
    • Birth date
    • Social Security number
    • Current and past home addresses
    • Phone number
    • Accounts held in your name
    • Payment records
    • Public records, including bankruptcies
    • Many other valuable personal and financial details

    Credit report content sometimes varies according to the credit bureau. 

    If thieves need more information after accessing your credit report, they often choose to misrepresent themselves to get it. Phishing and smishing scams are when criminals pretend to be legitimate financial institutions—or government agencies like the IRS—to get personal information from victims via email or text. 

    What Is the Safest Way to Check My Credit Report?

    You can check your credit report quickly and easily with Credit.com’s ExtraCredit monitoring service. ExtraCredit includes five helpful tools, which help you monitor, build, earn, protect, and restore your credit profile. Two tools in particular can help you avoid or combat identity fraud: Track It and Guard It.

    Track It

    With ExtraCredit’s Track It tool, you get access to all three credit bureau reports. You can also monitor 28 FICO® scores—the real scores lenders see when they consider auto loan, credit card, and mortgage applications. Track It also includes a helpful credit monitoring tool, which gets updated every month. If something suspicious happens, you’ll notice right away.

    Guard It

    Many hackers sell consumer information on the dark web. Nefarious individuals use software, specific net configurations, or special authorizations to access the dark web. Thankfully, ExtraCredit’s Guard It tool actively monitors the dark web for consumer information and sends out security alerts when data breaches happen. You also get a $1 million ID insurance policy when you sign up with ExtraCredit.

    Get Identity Theft Protection

    Identity theft is a big problem in the United States. There were 650,572 cases of identity theft in America in 2019—and over 270,000 of those cases involved credit card fraud. If you see an unknown address or notice an unknown credit card on your credit report, flag it up right away. Tools like ExtraCredit from Credit.com make it easier to monitor your report on a monthly basis, so you can rest more easily.

    Source: credit.com

    Apache is functioning normally

    Apache is functioning normally

    However, a silver lining in the subdued housing market is the strength in new-home sales. Builders are providing rate buy-downs for first-time homebuyers, which aligns with their interests, Duncan explained.

    Read on to learn more about Duncan’s views on the housing market, loan performance and affordability challenges homebuyers face. 

    This interview was condensed and lightly edited for clarity.

    Connie Kim: The Federal Reserve decided to keep the benchmark rate unchanged in the target range of 5.25%-5.5%. With the majority of Fed officials expecting another rate hike before the end of 2023, how do you think this decision will affect housing and your forecast for the economy?

    Doug Duncan: It’s our forecast that they won’t make another change until they drop rates. I think the forwards suggest that in either November or December, there’s a 50/50 chance to make an increase. I would say the risks are tilted that way, but we don’t have it in our forecast model. 

    We don’t have (the Fed) dropping rates until the end of Q2 next year, and we have a mild recession that starts in that quarter.

    The reason that forwards are suggesting a 50/50 chance of another increase is that growth has been stronger than anticipated. We actually think that’s going to slow; I think that this is kind of like a final burst of activity.

    We don’t know what third-quarter growth was. Our expectation, at an annual rate, is it’s north of 3%. If there’s another quarter like that, and oil prices have pushed to $100, then I think you get another quarter-point move by the Fed, especially if you don’t see a substantive change in employment. 

    Kim: Spreads in the mortgage space are wide. What are the reasons for that? 

    Duncan: There are several reasons for that. If that business flow for a time period helps them cover the variable costs, then it can be effective.

    For one thing, no fixed-income investor thinks that mortgage-backed securities with 7% mortgage rates will be there when the Fed finishes the inflation fight. They’re going to cut rates and that will prepay. So you’re having to encourage investors with wider spreads to accept that. 

    It’s also the case that the Fed is running its portfolio off because they don’t talk about it much. But somebody has to replace the Fed, and the Fed is not an economic buyer. That is they weren’t buying for risk-return metrics; they were buying to affect the structure of markets. So they are a policy buyer.

    They were withdrawing volatility from the market, and they were lowering rates to benefit consumers. When [the Fed] is replaced, it’s likely to be by a private investor who’s going to have yield expectations. They may require wider spreads than the Fed because the Fed is not an economic buyer.

    Kim: A bit of good news for lenders in Q2 was that their production volume went up and origination costs went down. Are you optimistic this trend will continue?

    Duncan: If rates stay at the 7.25% level, it’s going to be worse, not better. On the production side, the mortgage business is in recession because the levels of existing-home sales are back where they were at the end of the great financial crisis at around 4 million units. That’s very low historically. 

    I don’t see how it can go much lower than that. Even if we have a recession, we don’t see it going just a hair under 4 million. The reason why some of the headlines look good about housing is because house prices were expected to fall when rates ran up. They did for a quarter as households sort of adjusted to the idea that they were going to be running at a new higher level.

    But prices are rising again. For existing homeowners, that’s good news because it means equity accumulation. But if you’re a first-time buyer, that’s not good news because it means it’s harder to qualify — especially with interest rates where they are. 

    Production is in a recession. The servicing side of the business is doing very well because those loans are simply not going to prepay for a long time. So, the servicing valuation on those loans is strong, because pre-payments are low. It’s a bifurcated market in that sense. We expect production volumes to remain low through 2024 and start to pick up maybe toward the end of 2024.

    Kim: The silver lining in the current housing market is an uptick in new construction sales due to a lack of existing-home inventory. To what extent builders will offer rate buy-downs to drive sales remains to be seen. How likely are builders to support rate buy-downs, especially when it’s becoming expensive to do so?

    Duncan: The traditional way in which builders gave borrowers choices regarding affordability was to offer them granite countertops. So if sales volume slows, they will throw in granite countertops, finish the basement or finish out the garage.

    In doing interest rate buy-downs, they’re focused more on the problem of the first-time buyer. That’s because [the cosmetic] attributes of a house are more for move-up buyers. Builders recognize they’ve got to do something for affordability for the first-time buyer.

    The share of new-home sales that are going to first-time buyers is the highest it’s ever been. The share of total sales that are new-home sales is also the highest it’s ever been. This is a highly unusual structure for the market. 

    The builders know that those loans are likely to get refinanced, even if they buy down two points. So they go from 7.5% to 5.5%. When the Fed is done with the inflation fight and if economic growth is back to the 2% to 2.5% level, mortgage rates will probably run to 4.5% to 6% over the cycle. These loans are going to refinance, and the consumer will be in good shape, building equity to become a move-up buyer. So there is an alignment of interests for the builders in doing this.

    Kim: The housing market was relatively active during the spring and summer homebuying seasons despite lower historical sales than previous years. Looking ahead, do you see another rough Q4 like last year when rates surged? What are some factors that Fannie Mae is monitoring?

    Duncan:  If growth surprises to the upside, that will get the Fed to increase interest rates, which will push [mortgage] rates again. That would be the biggest challenge and just seasonality; the fourth and first quarters are the low points for seasonality. 

    Kim: Bankruptcies and layoffs are still happening. How far are we into the industry’s consolidation?

    Duncan: I was looking at the bankruptcy data. It’s just gotten back to the pace of bankruptcy we saw in 2019. It is true [consumer] bankruptcies have been rising but from extremely low levels. I actually expect that to continue. In part, that’s because some businesses (probably smaller and midsized businesses) were kept going by very low interest rates for a very long time. 

    In the mortgage space? Certainly, you’ll continue to see exits from the business. Typically, mortgage companies are not publicly owned. So it happens quietly. It’s people in the industry that know who the players are that are in trouble. The employment data comes out on a lag basis for brokers and loan officers. So that has picked up. I would expect more.

    Kim: Executives at Dark Matter Technologies noted that lenders are most interested in bringing down their origination costs and retaining their clients in this rising-rate environment. What other demands do you see from lenders?

    Duncan: They have been investing in technology — primarily consumer-facing technologies to get business in the door. Now, that’s not a possibility. Because of the changes in interest rates and a drop-off in demand, they are now focused on tech investments that go into cost savings.

    They are turning their attention to what they can do to lower origination costs. Can they convert fixed costs to variable costs? That’s really the question that the industry has to focus on. If they can convert fixed costs to variable costs, then when the cycle changes, they don’t get hit as hard by the drop-off in this business. That’s because the operating structure also drops off.

    Kim: I notice a lot of independent mortgage banks roll out down payment assistance (DPA) programs for conventional loans. DPA programs were predominantly for FHA loans. What are the pros and cons of IMBs rolling out DPA programs for conventional loans?

    Duncan: For the independent mortgage companies, down payment assistance gets the business through the door, right? If they’re covering their variable costs, they can keep going for a while and, eventually, they have to cover the fixed costs.

    The question is, what are the other credit characteristics of the borrower? If they are an IMB, they have to place it with an investor. So the investor will be monitoring. For example, if it’s Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac, we monitor that. We look at making sure there are not layered risks in any consumer’s profile. For example, if they have a spotty employment record, but they’ve always paid their bills on time, and they have savings, they’ve got money to pay 20% down, then it would probably be acceptable to have that spotty employment record. But if there’s a spotty employment record and a spotty repayment record on their credit, that’s not going to make it through the screen.

    Kim: DPA programs offered with FHA loans come with higher rates. If the FHA loans layered with a DPA are more costly, how do first-time buyers benefit from these programs? 

    Duncan: The question you ask is a really interesting social question. The foreclosure rate for FHA loans is higher than the foreclosure rate for VA loans or Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac loans. Fannie and Freddie are the lowest; VA is a little bit higher. FHA is the highest. There’s not a clear answer on what’s the optimal rate of foreclosure. 

    If [that rate] is zero, we can get to zero. But we aren’t going to be making very many loans. So there is some optimal level of risk-taking to help people realize their hope of owning a home. But it’s not a hard and fast number. Different people have different points of view on that.

    Source: housingwire.com