Looking for local facts and figures? Get them all free. It seems that many of us are fascinated by facts and figures. National news reports are filled with financial, economic and research statistics from a variety of sources. How did the financial markets perform? What does the average house, automobile or gallon of gasoline cost in this country? Most of these statistics are all readily available on the Internet with a few clicks of the mouse. But you may face a greater challenge if you’re looking for information on a local level.The good news is that even though many of these neighborhood facts – income, age, households, education, employment and more – are available on request in a single report that’s tailored to your own neighborhood. Neighborhood Reports include city, county and state facts. For public and private schools, information, such as enrollment, high school rankings, funding, Parent Education, income and more.Interested in housing? Find out about renting versus homeownership, local sales, price trends, current listings and more. Neighborhood Reports even include climate information such as average temperatures and precipitation. Ask your local real estate professional for a free, no-obligation Neighborhood Report – for any neighborhood in the U.S. These reports are great sources of information are completely customizable for you, and are a great way to learn more about your hometown or any town in the U.S. The sub-prime issue – what’s it all about? One year ago, most homeowners probably couldn’t tell you the difference between sub-prime lending and a submarine sandwich. Today, the term “sub-prime” generates heated controversy and is prominently featured in national news stories.According to mortgage expert Jack Guttentag, a sub-prime lender is one who provides mortgages to borrowers who do not qualify for loans from mainstream lenders. Sub-prime borrowers typically pay higher rates and fees than those with good credit scores. Sub-prime lenders must charge higher rates and fees to cover increased risk and higher costs.Why the controversy? Many U.S. homeowners are facing issues with their mortgages, including losing their homes, because of sub-prime lending, interest-only loans and other types of “creative financing.” Critics are pointing the finger squarely at sub-prime lenders for steering borrowers into unaffordable loans. Looking back, it’s become obvious that many lenders had lax standards and were careless about properly qualifying borrowers, many of whom are now struggling to make payments. In truth, compared with conventional loans, a higher percentage of sub-prime loans go into default.Mortgage industry professionals point out that not all sub-prime lenders are unscrupulous, and that many borrowers with poor or no credit are now homeowners because of sub-prime financing. The controversy is likely to continue, but the best advice to borrowers may be to work on improving their credit scores and heed the old “buyer beware” adage in any type of mortgage financing. Annual percentage rate is the cost of credit, expressed as a yearly rate. It is higher than the associated interest rate because it includes fees associated with borrowing in addition to interest.
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