FHA Expands Role in Financing Homes

The Federal Housing Administration’s involvement in mortgage financing is likely to grow, HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan told a Philadelphia audience last week.

“While we prefer to have the private market be more involved, we have asked . . . to expand our authority to provide $400 billion more for the FHA insurance program,” he said.

FHA was involved in fewer than 2 percent of mortgages in 2006. Today, it has a role in 24 percent and that number is increasing, Donovan said.

Source: The Philadelphia Inquirer, Alan J. Heavens (06/18/2009)

Weather Delays Some Louisiana Home Closings

Some closings in New Orleans were delayed by the impending hurricane, mostly because buyers waited until the last minute to secure a homeowner’s insurance policy.

Robert Bergeron, president of Crescent Title, said about a third of the company’s closings were delayed. Most of the delays involved insurance issues, but in a few cases the buyers had language in their sale contract allowing a delay in the event of a hurricane.

But most real estate professionals – and buyers – were savvy enough not to be delayed, says Glenn Gardner, president of operations at Prudential Gardener.

“Since Katrina, people have needed time to shop around to get the best price for their insurance and get it bound way ahead of time,” Gardner says. “For the most part, they already had their insurance set up before Gustav was a threat.”

Source: Times-Picayune, Kate Moran 8/30/