The cut in FHA insurance costs, Obama said at a speech in Arizona , should help further accelerate growth in the housing market and stabilize prices. Theres a big problem, however: Owning a home these days may be a much bigger impediment to career success than it ever was in the past. Yet politicians and their allies in the real-estate business are still preaching the old gospel about home ownership, as if its the same path to prosperity it always was. It isnt, and anybody considering buying a home needs to think doubly hard about the liabilities that come with such a big commitment, as well as the benefits. [ Get the Latest Market Data and News with the Yahoo Finance App ] Home ownership is obviously a big commitment of money, but its also a commitment of time: Out-of-pocket transaction costs that typically run in the thousands essentially lock you in place for at least five years, unless youre willing to take a sizeable loss in the event you have to sell sooner than expected. In the past, that wasnt necessarily a problem. Widespread prosperity meant there were many opportunities in most places, so you could move from job to job or even career to career while living in the same house.
Jean-Baptiste (visit) Donatien de Vimeur, better known as Count Rochambeau. "As allies across the centuries, we stand united with our French brothers to ensure that justice is done and our way of life is defended," Obama wrote. "We go forward together knowing that terror is no match for freedom and ideals we stand for ? ideals that light the world." He signed off with "Vive la France !" Afterward, Obama stood briefly near the table with his head bowed in a moment of silence before shaking hands with embassy personnel. Obama has denounced the "cowardly, evil attacks" that took place Wednesday at the offices of the satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo. He said the assault was an attack on journalists and a free press.
When a buyer cannot qualify for an affordable mortgage because a bank is concerned about their ability to repay the loan, the FHA can step in and offer a guarantee to the bank that it will bear some or all of the losses in the event of a default The price is a guarantee fee, which is typically paid by the borrower in the form of a higher monthly mortgage payment. Related: White House Rolls Out State of the Union Spoilers The presidents order would knock the guarantee fee down by half a percentage point. The move wont cause a major shift in the housing market, but it will allow many buyers who are currently right on the margin in terms of being able to afford a home, to get the loans they need. In a post on Medium yesterday, White House Senior Adviser Dan Pfeiffer said the move was necessary because homeownership is out of reach for too many Americans families who can afford to buy a home, but find themselves shut out because the lending market is too tight. Thats why the President will announce a new executive action that will help more responsible Americans own a home, building on efforts already underway to cut red tape that holds them back. However, combined with a recent move by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to allow first-time buyers to purchase their homes with as little as 3 percent down, the changes to FHA loans have some critics warning that weve been down this road before. Related: What Chickens and Gold Have in Common: Lower Prices Given the current state of the economy, there is no reasonable argument for the need to support housing to boost the economy, said economist Charles Calomiris, an adjunct fellow at the Manhattan Institute.
David Baime, vice president for government relations at the American Association of Community Colleges, called the plan an "extraordinary" investment. He said the essence of the proposal is to reduce the cost of attending community college and "that is a concept that we heartily endorse." Last year, Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam signed into law a scholarship program using lottery funding that provides free community and technical college tuition for two years to the state's high school graduates. The scholarship program faced opposition in Tennessee from some of the state's private colleges and legislators concerned that the program could potentially divert students and scholarship dollars from four-year schools. Haslam has said the program will increase the pool of students going to college.
Jan 8, 2015, 1:56 PM ET By JASON DEAREN Associated Press An environmental advocacy group is suing the Obama administration in federal court for refusing to release documents detailing the extent of fracking in the Gulf of Mexico . The Center for Biological Diversity filed the lawsuit Thursday in U.S District Court in Washington, saying the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management has refused to comply with the group's federal public records request. Fracking, or hydraulic fracturing, is a process of injecting chemicals into rock formations to free oil or natural gas trapped inside. Used widely on land, fracking also is employed at offshore wells to explore for new deposits and to stimulate old, dead wells to new production. The BOEM public affairs office would not comment on the lawsuit. Join the Discussion
Together, the FHA, Fannie, and Freddie account for about 73 percent of new home loans. The other big category is bank loans where the risk of default is shouldered by the banks themselves. But other housing experts dont see the seeds of a new crisis being sown. The federal governments home mortgage insurance program is finally back in the black, having improved materially over the past year, writes Laurie Goodman and colleagues at the Urban Institutes Housing Finance Policy Center . By the centers analysis, the FHA can significantly lower its premiumscharging current borrowers more appropriately for their risks while continuing to build the necessary reserves against future losses. When a lender issues an FHA-insured loan, the premiums paid by borrowers go into a fund.