Arkansas Real Estate
Arkansas continues to have a resilient personality when it comes to mortgages and mortgage rates. Since the state is a largely agricultural one, it is not affected by many of the top news stories that send the housing prices of other states tumbling. Arkansas property values are low and tend to stay low compared to the average of the nation, whether in good economic times or in bad. The median value of a house in Arkansas is rather low when compared to the average of the nation, and Arkansas gives the benefit of some of the lowest property taxes in the nation, which remains an incentive to buy houses, even in volatile economic times.
Arkansas Mortgage Rates vs. the Rates of the Nation
The median average value of a house in Arkansas is around $90,000. This low average, combined with the low state property taxes and disconnect from the state in general from the worries of the more industrial and service oriented nation, gave Arkansas one of the lowest foreclosure rates in the nation. Even during the Great Recession, Arkansas home values remained relatively stable, dropping by one of the lowest percentages in the United States. The homes also quickly regained their value, and now stand at an average of 87% of their pre Great Recession value. These facts combine to give Arkansas one of the lowest mortgage rates in the nation.
The Arkansas Fair Housing Commission also protects the residents of Arkansas from the trends and more explosive mortgage vehicles. The Arkansas Fair Housing Commission has a mission of ensuring fair and balanced lending practices across Arkansas. Arkansas residents enjoy some of the more diverse sets of options for mortgage loans and rates, as they are protected from lending companies who would otherwise be predators. The institution also protects against mortgage discrimination.
Down Payment Assistance for Mortgage Loans in AR
The government of Arkansas also offers down payment assistance by way of second mortgage loans for state residents on a tight budget or no money for a down payment. To be a second mortgage, the loan has a comparatively low interest rate, which further helps stabilize the Arkansas housing market, as many borrowers in trouble have used this to help pay down their first mortgage.
Low Mortgage Rates for Arkansas First Time Homebuyers
The Arkansas Home to Own program is offered by the Arkansas Development Finance Authority. The Home to Own Program is specifically for first time home buyers to take advantage of incredibly low Arkansas interest rates, as long as the total home price stays below a certain level (changed periodically).
The Arkansas Home to Own program also allows users of either Veterans Affairs loans or loans from the United States Department of Agriculture to obtain up to 100 percent financing, meaning absolutely no down payment, while also not having to pay mortgage insurance. This down payment help alleviates the burden on the front end of buying a house which keeps many would be home owners away from buying a house in other parts of the nation. This further stabilizes the Arkansas housing market during bad economic times, lowering mortgage interest rates.
Popular and Growing Cities in Arkansas
Little Rock, Hot Springs, and Eureka Springs are growing cities in Arkansas with a bourgeoning tourist industry. In normal economic times, tourism is the second most profitable industry, outside of agriculture, in the state. People are especially intrigued with the “spa industry” of the aptly named Springs cities, which experience a spike in tourism, population, and overall growth with every good economy. Fayetteville is the fourth most tourist ready of cities in Arkansas, which seems to serve as the hub of the state’s hotel industry. Median home prices in these cities of course tend a little higher, but hardly out of range.
Bentonville serves as world headquarters for super retailer Wal Mart. The jobs in the city bring in a steady supply of people looking to make a living and settle down, and continues to grow. Median home prices are the highest in the state because of the proximity to the stability offered by the world’s largest company.
Types of Mortgages Offered in Arkansas
Arkansas is a non recourse walkaway state. Arkansas offers both fixed rate mortgages and adjustable rate mortgages.
Arkansas also offers advantageous loans through the Federal Housing Administration and its lending partners. Though these governmentally insured loans often have maximum limits on amount able to be borrowed, because Arkansas home prices are among the lowest in the nation, very few people ever have to worry about hitting those limits.
Both Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, as well as FHA loans that are made on Arkansas homes offer mortgage interest rates that are set at market rate.
The Arkansas Foreclosure Process
Arkansas prefers the non judicial deed of trust sale, but both the non judicial and judicial processes of foreclosure are available to use in the state.
If the judicial process is used in a foreclosure proceeding, after the judicial foreclosure, a deficiency collection is permitted by state law.
If the non judicial process is used in a foreclosure proceeding, the lender may still sue the borrower, for up to a year, for the deficiency.
If the judicial process is used in a foreclosure proceeding, and the property is subsequently foreclosed, then the borrower may redeem the home by payment of the monetary amount that the property was sold for, plus interest, for a period of up to one year from the date of the sale. However, the lender may, in a deed of trust or mortgage, waive the right to redeem.
If the non judicial process is used in a foreclosure proceeding, by state law, there is no right of redemption.
Arkansas, for the most part, is moving to becoming a title theory state in the issue of foreclosure. Arkansas has a power of sale notice requirement.
Foreclosures usually take about 120 days in Arkansas.
The mortgagor, before foreclosure, must record both an intention to sell and a notice of default. The default on the loan must be current. Very few people can serve as trustees in Arkansas, but lawyers are able to serve in this capacity. After these filings, sixty days must pass before any further foreclosure action may be undertaken.
Both the intention to sell and the notice of default have to be mailed by certified carrier within thirty days of the date of recording. Within them, the documents must contain the date of the sale, the property information, and all other pertinent information as determined by current state law. For four consecutive weeks, the lender must publish the information about the proposed sale in the county news paper of the county in which the property is located, with final publication occurring within ten days of the actual date of sale. The notices also have to be published at the courthouse and on the internet, both by third party services to ensure proper distribution.
Foreclosure sales may only be held on the days of Monday through Friday, and foreclosure sales can not be held on a legal holiday. Sales can only take place at the courthouse or at the property itself, and must be held between 10 AM and 4 PM. Only a bid which is at least two thirds of the money owed on the loan will be accepted.
Special Laws About Mortgages
Though the state has many programs to help with second mortgages, first time homebuyers, and underwater mortgages, it has no special or specific laws about refinancing or second mortgages or home equity loans outside of the governmentally sponsored programs described above to help residents.