Morning Minute: Getting Boomerang buyers back in homes of their own again

Boomerang homeowners who lost their homes to foreclosure or short sale during the recession, may not have to wait as long to qualify to buy a home again, under the Federal Housing Administration’s (FHA) Back to Work Program. Instead of waiting as long as 36 months to qualify for an FHA-backed loan, the agency’s program has shortened it to as little as 12 months. Read more from NAR.

If you are a REALTOR® working with today’s boomerang buyers, find presentations and resources from IAR’s recent Illinois Housing Leaders Conference, which featured the topic, “Helping Boomerang Buyers Get Back in the Market.”

In other headlines:

Sprinkler Mandate Poses Question Of Cost Vs. Safety – WICS TV

Mortgage Rates Go Up Then Drop Back Down After Release Of FOMC Minutes – WAND TV


Morning Minute: Chicago most affordable metro housing market for 2014

The Chicago metro area ranks No. 1 when it comes to affordable housing markets for 2014, according to a list from ZipRealty, NAR reports.

ZipRealty, a real estate brokerage firm, looked at 30 major U.S. metro areas and compared median home prices with family income data to rank the top 10 most affordable markets. Chicago outranked other cities on the affordable list such as Philadelphia, Orlando, Dallas and Tucson. Read more.

In other headlines:

NAR, Trade Groups Urge FAA to Clarify Drone Use – REALTOR® Magazine

Foreclosure activity at lowest level since 2Q 2007 – HousingWire

Foreclosures pick up in March from prior month – Chicago Tribune

Morning Minute: Chicago makes list of top luxury markets

Chicago ranked among the top 10 U.S. cities with the highest number of luxury home sales (properties selling for $1 million or more) in a report by Coldwell Banker, REALTOR® Magazine reports. Read more.

In other headlines:

Freddie Mac index helps track stability of housing market – Chicago Tribune

Shadow Inventories Are Quickly Vanishing, Report Says – REALTOR® Magazine

White House pleased with HAMP, housing efforts – HousingWire

Gov. Quinn meets with Illinois REALTORS®, announces Welcome Home Illinois mortgage program

Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn met with Illinois REALTORS® Tuesday to announce a new state mortgage program, Welcome Home Illinois. The program, administered by the Illinois Housing Development Authority (IHDA), aims to help around 3,000 qualifying first-time homebuyers during this year’s spring, summer and fall homebuying season.

“Real estate and REALTORS® are extremely important to the working of our economy, to homeownership and to making sure that people across Illinois have an opportunity to participate in the American Dream,” Quinn told the REALTORS® at a meeting at the Illinois Association of REALTORS® headquarters in Springfield. He was joined by IHDA Executive Director Mary R. Kenney.

“A house is not just four walls and a roof. It is really people having a stake in a neighborhood and a community,” Quinn said, adding that homeownership also benefits the greater economy and spurs civic participation.

Learn more about Welcome Home Illinois at

Highlights of the new program:

  • $7,500 cash assistance to cover a down payment.
  • 30-year fixed-rate mortgage with a below-market interest rate.
  • 100 participating lenders and a variety of loan options from which to choose.
  • Borrowers must meet income guidelines and complete homebuyer counseling.
  • Borrowers must contribute one percent or $1,000 of purchase price, whichever is greater.
  • Borrowers must also be using home as their primary residence.

Morning Minute: Trend toward lower FICO score requirements could help potential homebuyers

In an effort to reach underserved borrowers seeking a mortgage, more banks are beginning to lower the minimum credit scores required for lending approval, REALTOR® Magazine reports (via HousingWire).

In other headlines:

Housing Comes Roaring Back to Life – Time

What is the real condition of your local housing market? – HousingWire

REALTORS® Generally Expect Prices to Increase Modestly in the Next 12 Months – NAR