Welcome to American Title Guaranty!

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American Title Guaranty and their underwriters provide stability, integrity, experience and personal service that home buyers and sellers should insist on.

Protect yourself against the loss due to title defects. Insist on title insurance policies from American Title Guaranty, Inc.

Please let us know if there are other things you’d like to see on the website or there is anything else we can do to help you have peace of mind in your unique situation.

Merry Christmas for short sellers: Mortgage debt forgiveness is back

by Brittany Morris
Dec 17
A comprehensive tax bill that reinstates protections for distressed homeowners shielding them from having to pay taxes on mortgage debt forgiven in 2014 is headed for President Obama’s desk.

The tax break on forgiven mortgage debt, and another allowing homeowners to deduct mortgage insurance premiums, was one of 55 provisions in the Tax Increase Prevention Act passed Tuesday in a 76-16 Senate vote.

The House passed the bill 387 to 46 on Dec. 3, and Obama is expected to sign the bill into law, enabling the tax break retroactively through Dec. 31 of this year.

The Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act of 2007 was created in the aftermath of the housing bust, with the intention of protecting homeowners who lose their home in a short sale or deed-in-lieu of foreclosure from the double whammy of a whopping tax bill.

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4 predictions for the housing market in 2015

Chris Matthews @crobmatthews
DECEMBER 9, 2014, 11:42 AM EST

fortuneAt a recent panel discussion on the 2015 real estate market, the chairman of Standard and Poor’s Index Committee, David Blitzer, was asked to describe what the market will look like in one word. His answer? “Mysterious.”

His response tells us that, for one, the real estate market can confound even the experts. But, more importantly, it suggests that housing has reached an inflection point. With home prices in many markets at or above pre-bubble levels, we can no longer expect the “rebound effect” to power home values higher each month. Fundamentals, like population and wage growth, as well as the tastes of a new generation of home buyers, will dictate the trajectory of home prices in the new year. Here are four trends to watch for in the housing market next year:

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The Nation’s Housing: Lending changes expand pool of potential buyers

By Kenneth Harney
Washington Post Writers Group  •  Sunday December 7, 2014 12:54 AM

When buying a house, are you in the “No way I could possibly qualify” category? Not enough cash in the bank for a down payment or closing costs? Credit scores good but not great? So much deferred student loan debt that you assume any lender would slam the door?

Large numbers of Americans feel the same, in part because they read and hear that qualifying standards for mortgages are the strictest they have been in decades.

A study based on a statistical sample of potential homebuyers conducted earlier in the year by the mortgage company loanDepot found that almost 60 percent of people who say they want to buy a home aren’t pursuing it because they are convinced that their applications would be rejected. Three-quarters of them, however, concede that they haven’t checked lender requirements.

But changes are underway in the mortgage market that could give potential homebuyers a better shot at qualifying. Start with recent policy shifts at Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the two dominant mortgage investors. Last month, both companies announced procedural changes that should encourage lenders to be less fearful that the mortgages they approve would be subject to costly buyback demands if the loans become delinquent.

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Moodys: Home sales and homebuilding will take off in 2015

Trey Garrison, December 4, 2014 12:26PM

houses_3Moody’s Investors Services is bullish on housing and homebuilding for 2015, as they say the year will start with near-record low inventories of completed and unsold new homes, and low inventories of existing homes.

They’re specific: The sector’s revenues will grow by more than 10% year-over-year through 2015, and weighted industry gross margins will exceed 20%.

“We expect total housing starts in 2015 of 1 million – 1.2 million, up from 975,000 – 1 million for 2014, and new home sales will climb to about 500,000 – 525,000, up from about 450,000 for 2014,” analysts say. “Prices will increase at a more modest rate than in 2014, but affordability will remain strong by historical standards, enticing buyers.”

So what will get homebuyers off the sidelines? Real household income growth must resume, they say, to bring that pent-up contingent of  first-time homebuyers to the table.

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Getting a mortgage is about to get easier

Joanna Campione
December 1, 2014 12:38 PM

New guidelines go into effect today aimed at making mortgage lending easier. The new standards stem from an agreement in October put in place to clarify when banks would be penalized for making mistakes on mortgages they sell to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.
Yahoo Finance Senior Columnist Michael Santoli says because the banks themselves are risk averse after the mortgage meltdown, they are very conscious of exactly what they are allowed to do and how they are supposed to treat loans. “They apparently had very unclear guidance from Freddie and Fannie about the rules of the road,” he says, “in terms of which types of mortgages were going to be acceptable for Fannie and Freddie to buy.”  Lenders have said this lack of clarity is why credit is tight and many consumers aren’t qualifying for loans.
The Urban Institute says 1.2 million additional home loans could be made per year as a result, according to the Wall Street Journal. Borrowers may see changes in the lending process within weeks. That may include a quicker turnaround time for mortgage applications. The Wall Street Journal says now it can take two months or longer from the time a consumer files an application for a loan to when the loan is actually made.

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Why November Is The Best Month To Sell Your Home

11/14/2014 @ 6:31PM

Some owners hesitate to market their homes between Halloween and New Year’s Day, believing the holiday season to be an off-peak time to sell. But the idea that houses don’t sell in November and December comes from outdated historical trends.

In fact, several studies show that, on average, homes listed during this time are more likely to sell, sell more quickly, and sell closer to the asking price. November, in particular, has some unique advantages that make it an ideal time to sell. Here are three reasons why Thanksgiving month might be the best time to sell your home.

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What’s keeping the housing market from reaching its full potential?

By LEW SICHELMAN
November 16, 2014, 5:00 AM

latimesWhat if they threw a housing recovery and nobody showed up?

That thesis is not exactly accurate: Millions of people will have purchased homes this year, perhaps not at breakneck speed, but they are buying. According to the National Assn. of  Realtors, existing home sales jumped 2.4% in October to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.17 million.

Sales are now at their highest pace of 2014 but still remain 1.7% below the 5.26-million-unit level from September a year ago.

NAR maintains that the recovery won’t reach its full potential until more builders get with the program. That’s not to say builders aren’t producing new houses; they are, but not at the number that’s needed to satisfy latent demand.

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Young homebuyers are missing from the U.S. housing market

Published: 
Updated: 

Where did all the young buyers go?

It’s a question real estate agents across the country are asking.

And they don’t like the answers that indicate that many folks in their 20s and early 30s no longer are on track for homeownership.

Economists and housing analysts say the shift is due to a combination of economics and psychology.

“What is wrong with young people?” asks Lawrence Yun, chief economist of the National Association of Realtors. “Even at these low mortgage rates, young people are not getting into the housing market.”

Yun said student debt is keeping many young Americans in apartments.

“On average they pay about $300 a month for a recent graduate for student debt,” he told real estate agents meeting in New Orleans last weekend. “That’s why many of them are still living with their parents.”

Surveys of young homebuyers show that high credit card debts and medical expenses are also big obstacles to coming up with the money to pay for a house.

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What To Do About Debt When Applying For A Mortgage

11/03/2014 @ 2:14PM

​Buying a home is a bucket list item for many of us, but we often find it difficult to finance such a massive purchase. Especially if you have credit card debt — or no credit at all — you may struggle to convince a bank officer to sign on the dotted line.

Here, we answer a few questions relating to credit, credit card debt and ​mortgage loan applications.

Does my credit card balance affect my ability to get a favorable mortgage loan rate?

Yes. Depending on your bank, most ​mortgage loan officers will want to know that you have the assets/cash to pay off your outstanding credit card balance. If you don’t, you may be subject to a higher interest rate.

Worried that you won’t get a loan at all? This comes down to your credit history. Credit history is the largest factor in determining your credit score, so if you’ve paid off card balances in full for some time, you should be OK. But if you’ve historically defaulted on your credit card debt, you may have a more difficult time getting a loan.

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Slideshow: Scariest (or Funniest?) Home Decor

DAILY REAL ESTATE NEWS | TUESDAY, OCTOBER 28, 2014

Halloween5_0Rarely can you say you’ve seen it all, but when it comes to Halloween decorations, there’s not much you will have missed after going through this slideshow. With All Hallows’ Eve fast approaching, we thought it would be fun to take a look at some of the most outrageously scary home decor — and we weren’t disappointed. (Talk about giving new meaning to “bloodbath.”) If you’re brave enough, click through the slideshow below to see some of the most ghoulish decorations out there, but be prepared to get spooked.

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