Mortgage · Real Estate

What you may not know about the VA Loan…

The VA home loan is set up so a vet can purchase a home for $0 down. This is possible because VA will allow a vet to get a 100% loan, guaranteed by the government, and will not allow a vet to pay buyer fees. VA loans typically offer veterans excellent interest rates which are often offset by a lender by charging discount points.

What are discount points?
The discount points are prepaid interest that has to be paid to make up for the difference between the FHA/VA rate and the current rate charged on conventional loans. These points cannot be added to loan amount to be paid the vet. Discount points must be paid by the seller or the lender.

Who pays the discount points? Continue reading “What you may not know about the VA Loan…”

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Law/Regulations · Mortgage · News · Real Estate

FHA Financing Changes…

Most of the changes have to do with tightening the regulations on the lenders.  The key changes that directly effect the FHA buyer are:

  • FHA upfront mortgage premium will increase to 2.25% from 1.75%.
  • If a borrower has a credit score below 580 they will be required to have a 10% down payment, while the minimum down payment for all other qualified buyers will be 3.5%.
  • Sellers concessions will be reduced from from 6% to 3%.
  • Feb. 1, 2010 the 90 holding rule on properties is being lifted for 1 year (some restrictions still apply, refer to HUD for more information).

In my opinion, the best loan out there is the VA Home Loan.  If you’re VA eligible, it’s the way to go right now. An eligible vet can purchase a home with ZERO down provided they qualify for the loan (income to debt, credit score, work history, etc.).

There’s still time to take advantage of the tax credit. Let’s talk!

For more info about FHA loans, check out hud.gov.

Real Estate

Time is ticking on…

There’s an urgency in the air. If you’re keeping up with the real estate market at all, you know that time is running out to get in on the $8000 income tax credit.

The closer we get to the deadline, the less time a buyer has to close a deal in time. Lenders are getting busy, they are running out of time to work the loans in time for the deadline.

Thinking of buying a short sale before the deadline? You might as well forget it unless you’re already in line at the bank. They take a long time with no guarantee the bank will look at your offer in time, much less make a decision. And if the bank doesn’t take your offer after all your waiting, you have no deal and then you have to start over again–with less time. On top of all that, most short sale homes already have multiple offers waiting in line at the bank. Key word: “WAITING.” Waiting means time and as we know, time is running out.

Yes, I’m being blunt. When you are running out of time, you have to focus your search efforts and look for the deal you know you can close.

It’s all a timing and waiting game.  I’m reminded of the rabbit in Alice in Wonderland, …I’m late, I’m late, for a very important date. No time to say “Hello!” “Good bye!” I’m late, I’m late, I’m late… 🙂

Of course there is the option of not caring if you get the $8000. In that case, you can spend your time searching for the perfect deal.  Maybe you will get a short sale for such a good price that getting the $8000 becomes insignificant because of the amount of money you saved on the house.

Honestly, the deals are out there. Getting the $8000 can be less significant if you save a lot of money on the price. Of course, then there’s the issue of interest rates going up and down!  UGH!  It is always something.

It’s all about perspective (how you look at things) and where you place your priorities. Perfect timing shows itself after it happens!

Determine your needs and wants.  Do you need the $8000 to buy? Do you need a good interest rate? Do you need the lowest price? Do you need to buy now?

Do you want to buy in the Clark County area? I’m available to discuss the buying opportunities here–pressure free!

Buyers · Real Estate

Down Payment Help…

Different states have programs for down payment assistance.  For the state of Washington, check out Washington State Housing Finance Commission.

For people who live in other states, check out HUD’s site at Local Home Buying Programs.

Click here for info about the First-Time Home Buyer Tax Credit.

Buyers

Why Take Chances?

I heard a couple say that it frustrates them when agents hoard information to control them. Apparently, this particular couple ran into an agent that didn’t tell them about the availability of a loan program that could save them money because the agent didn’t have homes to sell in the area the loans were offered. On top of that, they were told they could save money on the price of a home if they didn’t involve another agent. This experience caused the buyers to believe the agent had their own interests in mind instead of theirs.

Later, I talked to another couple who made a verbal offer on a piece of property and wrote a check for earnest money. They were told the offer was not accepted and now they wondered what happened to their earnest money. I asked them what their sales agreement/contract said. They said they didn’t have one. I didn’t want to get in the middle of their situation so I encouraged them to talk to the person they gave the earnest money to.

As wrong as the above situations may seem, stuff like this happens. Unfortunately agents that do this, give Realtors a bad reputation. The above situations do provide examples of why you should consider working with a trusted agent or real estate attorney before you go out house shopping.

Buying real estate involves too many legal matters to NOT seek counsel when buying or selling a home. Even if you have a high level of real estate experience, having a good Realtor guide you through the process can buy you piece of mind and save you time in the long run.

Buyers · dream · Goals · Home · Real Estate

Down Payment Help is On The Way…

It appears down payment help is officially on the way for first time buyers!

It was announced that the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) will allow homebuyers to apply the new $8,000 first-time homebuyer tax credit toward the purchase costs of a FHA-insured home. The goal of the new FHA plan is to help stimulate home sales and help stabilize the housing market.

For more information about this great opportunity, please refer to http://www.hud.gov/news/release.cfm?content=pr09-072.cfm

Real Estate

Despite Market Reports…

Despite what the media is reporting about the real estate market, homes are getting offers!

There are a lot of homes on the market that already have offers (some multiple offers) pending bank approval. While these short sale homes sit in line waiting (sometimes up to 6 months) to get approved or rejected by the bank, they still show up as active on the market. Some of the buyers do give up waiting it out. That’s another reason why they allow more than one offer.  However, this waiting game can give a false illusion that there are more houses available than there really are. When the bank finally responds, the short sale homes will finally drop from the active list, but remember, the activity was generated months before.

Bottom line, all the pending short sale home activity isn’t showing up as pending sales. So the market appears to have less activity then it really does.

When shopping for a house in this market, verify if the house you are looking at has any offers already pending with the seller or the bank (if a short sale).

Most public home searches will include these homes. This is just another reason why it’s good to have a trusted Realtor. They can screen these homes out of your search results based on your criteria, which can save you time in the long run.

Contact me for a FREE, customized real estate market search!