1. Closing Costs Up 8.8 Percent
Closing costs on mortgages have increased an average of 8.8 percent from a year ago. Analysts attribute the increase to lenders having to do extra work in approving mortgage applications due to increased scrutiny and tighter lending regulations.
2. $5,000 Grants for First-Time Military Buyers
Active duty personnel, veterans, retired memebers fo the military, and employees of the US Department of Defense and the US Department of Homeland Security are eligible to apply for up to $5,000 in downpayment and closing costs in the purchase of a first home. The national nonprofit Pentagon Federal Credit Union Foundation is offering the assistance through its Dream Makers program and says the grants can be applied to a mortgage from any financial institution. More can be found at www.PentagonFoundation.org (Dream Makers link)