If you’ve ever wished you could test drive a neighborhood before you commit to buying a home there, you may be in luck thanks to a new partnership between Airbnb and Realtor.com. Airbnb has become the industry standard for people looking to rent a home for vacation or other short-term stay while Realtor.com is a go-to resource for homebuyers looking to check out the latest listings on homes for sale. The partnership will allow homebuyers to search available property listings on Realtor.com and then book a stay in the neighborhood in one of Airbnb’s available properties. Chip Conley, CEO of Airbnb, says, “As we offer a variety of unique accommodations in neighborhoods across the country, we’ll be able to allow potential homeowners the special opportunity to experience those neighborhoods as if they already live there – before making the decision to buy.” (more…)
United Wholesale Mortgage, the nation’s second-largest wholesale mortgage lender, is expected to bring back interest-only mortgages as early as next month. The loan, which all but disappeared after the housing crisis, will offer initial interest rates that are slightly higher than a five-year ARM. After five years, the rate will adjust as much as two percent annually and five percent overall with borrowers required to pay down the loan after 10 years. These tricky loans caused many borrowers to go into foreclosure during the housing crisis because lenders qualified them based on their ability to pay the initial payments not the future payments. United Wholesale Mortgage says they will only make these loans to qualified borrowers who can pay 20 percent down, have a 720 credit score and whose future payments would not exceed 42 percent of their current income.
Zillow Group took steps this week to make it easier for buyers, sellers and real estate professionals to conduct an entire real estate transaction online from listing to closing. The online real estate powerhouse announced this week it will acquire DotLoop, an e-signing service that allows users to digitally share, edit, sign and save everything from a listing agreement to actual closing documents. Zillow’s CEO Spencer Rascoff released a statement about the deal saying, “Now we will be able to make their technology more readily available to Zillow Group’s 10,000 broker partners and the agents they represent, as well as our approximately 100,000 real estate agent advertisers, resulting in a smoother and more efficient transaction process for everyone.”’ (more…)