WRA Bus Tour Brings Home Ownership Matters to Milwaukee

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Future homebuyers in the Greater Milwaukee area may not have access to affordable mortgages or be able to deduct their mortgage interest if some lawmakers in Washington have their way.  Those are just two of the many issues the National Association of REALTORS® wants Milwaukee-area residents to know about as the Home Ownership Matters Bus Tour pulled into town on Wednesday, August 17.

Check out these video clips from local news coverage.



“Home ownership is under attack, and we want to make sure that people understand what’s at stake,” said Steve Wiedenfeld, GMAR Chairman.  “Whether you own a home today or want to own a home someday, it’s important for all of us to engage on these issues right now.  With this bus tour, REALTORS® hope to give people the opportunity and the resources to make their voices heard.”

Other issues of extreme importance to home buyers and sellers include the impending roll-back of FHA loan limits on September 30.  FHA loan limits may be allowed to revert to 115 percent of an area’s median home price, down from a current 125 percent.  In the 4-county metropolitan area, the loan limit would be reduced by $33,250 – from a current limit of $315,000 to $281,750.

“Reducing the current loan limits means that fewer people would have access to mortgage loans,” said John Horning, Chairman of the Wisconsin REALTORS Association®.  “In addition, the loans that would be available would also be more expensive, as many buyers would be forced into jumbo mortgages.  Home owners could also have a tougher time selling their homes because there would be fewer buyers who qualify to purchase those properties.”

Additionally, a proposed federal rule – the Qualified Residential Mortgage rule – would require most potential home buyers to come up with a 20-percent down payment.  Borrowers with less than 20 percent down would have to choose between higher fees and rates – up to 3 percentage points more – or a 9-14 year delay while they save up the necessary down payment.

According to the recently released 2011 National Housing Pulse Survey, 51 percent of self-described “working class” home owners reported that a 20% down payment would have prevented them from achieving their dreams of home ownership.

“NAR estimates that it would take 14 years for the typical American family to save enough money for a 20 percent down payment,” Wiedenfeld said.  “Strong evidence shows that responsible lending standards and ensuring a borrower’s ability to repay have the greatest impact on reducing lender risk, and not high down payments.”

Ongoing news and information for the tour will be posted on HouseLogic at www.houselogic.com/bus. HouseLogic is a free source of information from NAR that helps home owners maintain and enhance the value of their homes and engage in issues that affect their local communities.

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Categories: Home Buying

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