Retiring in 2012

Planning to retire in 2012? You could be starting off at a disadvantage – financially, at least – if you live in one of these 10 states.

TopRetirements.com, a guide to retirement destinations and communities, recently published its list of the 10 worst states for retirement, looking primarily at financial considerations. In specific, the site evaluated each state in terms of its fiscal health, property taxes, state income taxes and cost of living. (The survey also included climate as a yardstick, under the assumption that most retirees “have a bias toward places with warmer winters.”)
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Mortgage Rates Higher

The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.98% for the week ended Thursday, up from 3.88% the previous week, though below 4.8% a year ago. Rates on 15-year fixed-rate mortgages averaged 3.24%, up from 3.17% last week and below 4.09% a year earlier. Click to read full article-

http://blogs.wsj.com/developments/2012/01/26/mortgage-rates-rise-on-stronger-housing-reports/#
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Housing Inventory Ends Year Down 22%.

Per WSJ dated 1/19/2011--There were fewer homes listed for sale at the end of 2011 than in any of the previous four years, a positive sign for the housing sector.......Still, some real-estate agents aren’t celebrating because there’s a large backlog of potential foreclosures that haven’t yet been taken back and listed by banks. The inventory declines are particularly pronounced in certain states where banks have sharply slowed down foreclosures to correct document-handling abuses.
Read Full article http://blogs.wsj.com/developments/2012/01/19/housing-inventory-ends-year-down-22/#
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Mortgage Principal Reduction

Congressional Democrats are expected to continue pushing a federal housing regulator to write down mortgage principal for government-backed loans if a settlement with banks doesn't help out enough homeowners.
The federal government is "very close" to an agreement with mortgage servicers that could help about a million homeowners, Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan said this week.
The deal, which also includes states' attorneys general, would require the nation's five largest banks — Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase, Citigroup, Wells Fargo and Ally Financial — to spend upward of $25 billion to help borrowers caught up in so-called robo-signing practices where servicers signed-off on foreclosure paperwork without properly reviewing documents. ... to read more click link below

Dems push Fannie, Freddie regulator on mortgage write-downs - The Hill's On The Money
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Lock SOON!

Starting soon, nearly all home buyers and refinancing households throughout the nation will pay higher mortgage loan fees. Congress has made it law.
13 months ago, as part of the Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization, and Job Creation Act of 2010, Congress enacted a one-year cut to FICA payroll taxes.
FICA stands for Federal Insurance Contributions Act. Taxes collected under FICA fund such programs as Social Security and Medicare.
The stimulus plan temporarily lowered tax rates for salaried workers from 6.2% to 4.2%; and for self-employed persons from 12.4% to 10.4%. Effective January 1, 2012, “regular” tax rates were to return.
That is, until late-December 2011. In one of its last moves of the year, Congress passed a temporary, two-month extension to the payroll tax cut, extending it through February 29, 2012. The expected cost to the U.S. Treasury is $33 billion.
To recoup those costs, Congress has turned to Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and the FHA.
Each entity has been ordered to collect news fees on each new mortgage is backs, and has been told to forward said fees to U.S. Treasury directly. There’s no “workaround” allowed or forgiveness applied — each new loan is subject to the payment.
The rules are listed on page 17 of the law’s final draft, in a section unambiguously titled “Title IV — Mortgage Fees and Premiums”.
According to the law :
Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac must collect an average fee of no less than 10 basis points (0.1%) per new loan
The FHA must raise its monthly mortgage insurance premiums 10 basis points for all new loans
The expected cost to consumers is no less than $10 monthly per $100,000 borrowed. Some analysts, however, expect Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to collect more than is minimally required. This could add an additional $30-50 to your monthly mortgage payment per $100,000 borrowed.
Therefore, if you’ve been shopping for a home or for mortgage rates, take advantage. Within days, lenders are expected to start collecting Payroll Tax Extension fees from mortgage applicants — a move that will cost you money.
Lock today to avoid the big fees. Save yourself money.
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