May 22nd, 2014
With the economy and job market picking up, the Federal Reserve is beginning to study how it will raise interest rates even while the financial system is flush with Fed money, according to Fed meeting minutes released Wednesday.
The minutes of the April meeting showed that the central bank was shifting its attention from a bond-buying stimulus program (which is expected to be phased out this year) towards the challenge of raising interest rates as the economy and inflation increase.
The Fed is weighing several tools to raise interest rates in the broader economy, including increasing the interest the central bank pays banks to park money with the Feds. Fed officials are also considering reverse repurchase agreements, or “reverse repos”, in which the Fed effectively borrows money from banks overnight at a fixed interest rate to sop cash from the financial system.
You don’t need to be a world-class negotiator to nab a great deal on your dream home. It’s more a matter of knowing what not to say. One errant comment or paperwork misstep can compromise your negotiating position.
One of the most common mistakes for first-time homebuyers is to forget to factor in closing costs. So what are they? Closing costs are paid at the close of escrow in a real estate transaction or when the title is transferred to another party. They can end up being more expensive then planned on, so it’s essential to talk with a reputable loan officer to know up front how much you should plan on putting aside.
Typically closing costs cover appraisal fees, loan origination fees, title insurance, title search fees, credit report fees, recording fees, underwriting fees, and other costs associated with the close of a home.
Some of these fees are negotiable, and some are not. Some may be paid for by the seller. Talk with your real estate agent and loan officer to ensure everyone’s on the same page going in.