Friday, October 3, 2008
Thursday, October 2, 2008
Saturday, September 27, 2008
Do you need Down payment Assistance?
How about a reduced mortgage assistance programs?
Are you a teacher,Nurse Policeman, or firefighter?
Do you need help with closing costs?
100% financing for First Time Home Buyers!
So you think you are ready to buy a home. As a first time home buyer you are faced with many decisions. Finding your first home is not easy and finding First Time Home Buyer programs is even more complicated. They are not just out in the open for everyone to see and not at all easy to understand unless you have the right professional to help you understand and the patience to guide you through the steps.
First and foremost your professional will pre qualify you to be eligible for a First Time Home Buyer Loan. This pre qualification has determined that there is a good likelihood that you will pay back the loan you take out to buy your first home.
What does a lender look at to pre qualify for a First Time Home Loan? The process is called underwriting and it will show how you have repaid your debts in the past, if you are likely to repay your debts in the future then your likelihood and ability to repay the mortgage and all your current debts together will be favorably looked at also.
Remember this, First Time Home Buyer Programs have some flexibility when it comes to determining your first time home buyer eligibility as set forth in the guidelines for each program. Not every one's financial situation falls in a perfect circle. Some are stronger in one area of eligibility and that strength may help balance another area in which you aren't quite as strong.
Here is a self test to help you determine if you are ready to buy. answer the questions below and test yourself. If you find you are not ready to buy, don't be discouraged. You can still work to qualify in the near future. However if you find just a few minus points below, you may be ready and you should talk with a professional right away while these First Time Home Buyer Programs are still around. There are some that are expiring soon in Oct and Nov and more as we get closer to Jan 1st/ There is always something available but right now has never been better for First Time Home Buyers.
Do you pay your bills on time each month?
A lender will look at your credit report to see you have been paying your bills on time. But sometimes credit reports are wrong and you can work to correct these.
Do you have a credit history?
Sometimes and many times first time Home Buyers don't have a credit report history. so the best thing you can do is create one. Gather your rent receipts and telephone and utility bills. Make sure you have names and addresses to contact for each of these documents.
Do you have money saved for a mortgage down payment?
You can expect to have at least 3% of the purchase price for a down payment. You will need money for closing costs which can be quite costly too. You will need to prove you have these funds in a bank too.
There are programs to help a first time buyer. With some of these programs, you may be able to accept a gift from a relative or to borrow a portion of the money you will need for the down payment and closing costs from a local non-profit organization or government agency. With others, you may be able to get a grant or other first time home buyer funds that you will not have to repay and can use to cover some of these costs.
But you should have some money to qualify for the loan without any programs, just to show you have the ability to save money.
Can you afford to pay a mortgage loan each month?
Usually first time home buyer programs allow longer periods of time to pay back the loans such as 30 years. The shorter the term the larger the payment amount. the longer the term the lower the payment amount. Remember your rent payment history is critical in showing your ability to pay back the loan.
How to calculate your mortgage loan payment.
the amount of your loan will determined by how much you borrow and at what interest rate. Of course you will also need to factor in your insurance and taxes.
Have you been turned down for a home mortgage loan?
If you have tried to buy a home, but were unable to get approved for a mortgage loan, you should try to find out why the mortgage lender did not want to make the loan. Ask questions, this way you will know exactly what the reason is and possibly a solution to help fix any problem. Also ask what steps you may need to take to qualify for a first time home buyer program.
You're ready to buy a home. What do you do first?
Contact a Real Estate Professional. Do yourself a favor contact one that is full time and not someone who says they are full time. You will want someone experienced and knowledgeable in first time home buyer programs also. A good real estate pro will help you get qualified and have patience in finding that special home for you.
Here's a home buying checklist to help you take notes of each property you visit. Take good notes. It be difficult to remember all the characteristics of each home as you start your house hunting process.
If you are not sure what you should do?
If you are still confused or determined that some of the areas above are maybe difficult to score yourself as positive, contact a real estate pro or your lender. They will help guide you and you may be pleasantly surprised. First time home buyer programs have flexibility and options to help you get into your new home. A professional will know exactly what to do. Many times a real estate pro will have lenders who they work with often. Keep in mind there is no money exchanged between these 2. It is a working relationship only, that each know that will assist a first time buyer in a smooth transaction.
"Knowledge is the key to your new home"
CALL TODAY if you think you are read to buy your first home.
Sunday, September 21, 2008
Real Estate Commissions disputes can cause havoc at a settlement table. But the seller can ultimately cause the problem if they don't follow some ethical protocol. Real Estate professionals have a duty to adhere to protocol. They know they can work for ultimately nothing if another agent has procuring cause. Their duty to each other should be up front and professionsl. But as a buyer you can help by selecting a realtor up front and follow just a few honest things. It doesn't mean you cannot talk to anyone else it just means you need to be upfront with the agent you are speaking to. Avoid problems by following a few simple steps and rules that will cause less problems for eveyone later. Be honest and upfront with all agents.
Follow these steps to help make a smooth transaction for all concerns.
Say you are working with another agent.
If agents don't ask you if you're working with another agent, then promptly volunteer that information. Agents are supposed to ask you this question but sometimes they don't: they forget, are afraid to hear the answer, become distracted. Set them straight immediately.
Sign a buyer's broker agreement with your agent.
Buyer's broker agreements will clearly describe the relationships, compensation and duties.
Sign an agency disclosure with your agent.
Agency disclosures describe the various capacities under which an agent can operate. Since the agent doesn't know the specific capacity until a property is lcoated, all capacities are described to you.
Do not ask another agent to show you property.
Your agent is eager to help you. Part of your agent's duties is to show you homes for sale, even if those are homes that you have located yourself. Let your agent earn her commission.
Do not directly call listing agents for information.
Your agent will probably get more detailed information from the listing agent than you will get, anyway. There will be no confusion if your agent calls the listing agent.
Follow Open House protocol if you go unescorted.
If you attend Open Houses without your agent, hand your agent's business card to the agent hosting the Open house. Sign guest books with your agent's name next to your own or refuse to sign. Not only will this help protect you, the open house agent won't try to corral you or request personal information.
Thursday, September 18, 2008
This all first floor living almost new home is nested in a beautiful spotless friendly community of active adults. Located in a country like setting but close to everything. Just minutes from Phialdelphia and Atlantic city.
There's a clubhouse that is more like a resort with Card and game rooms, Center Lounge area with fireplace, Billard room with 2 regulation tables and a state of the art fitness center. A TV /Movie room with fireplace. Outside patio and a one of kind pool with handicap access. There is tennis, bocce ball and horseshoes all set in a garden area. This active community has trips and parties and lots of get togethers. Visit the community website http://4seasonsforum.com/
This a rare find community and the owner is motivated. Make an offer today move in next week.
Use your "Home Wish List" to guide you. Which neighborhoods fit the criteria you set?
Learn about 12 different kinds of neighborhoods and get tips on how to choose a neighborhood.
As you look at neighborhoods, ask yourself these questions:
What's your job commute going to be like? Is the traffic heavy or light when you'll be on the road?
How's the school district? Even if you don't have kids, the quality of the school district affects your home's value, so it pays to find out.
How much crime is there?
How accessible are shopping centers, libraries, churches and other necessary destinations?
Do you prefer urban living or country living?
If you're priced outside of the neighborhood you want to be in, look for the area's fixer-uppers. These houses will need work, but at least you'll have built-in property value. You can also find bargains if you're willing to go outside popular neighborhoods and scout up-and-coming ones.
What exactly is a short sale? Definition: Short Sale is a Real Estate Sales transaction where the proceeds of the sale fall short of the property owner's outstanding real estate debt obligations. A lender may agree to adjust the amount owed, and accept less than a full payment, forgiving the balance, if the seller is in a financial hardship or must relocate. When the lender agrees and you have a buyer for that agreed amont that is a short sale!
With that said, do you think you are a canadate for a short sale? Are you behind on your payments? Do you think you are at the end of your rope? Are you in preforeclosure? Are you in foreclosure? You maybe in all these situations or think you are heading towards them all at once. The fact is you have been told about short sales and it's your only hope. But is it?
In order to be considered for a short sale first your lender must approve it. You lender , you and the buyer are all now part of the contract of sale. And don't think anyone is going to steal it either. Banks are not fools. That's actually in your favor and I'll explain that in a minute...
- You must show hardship. You must show your inability to pay your mortgage going forward.
- Caparable sale must substantiate that the home is worth less than the unpaid balance due the lender
- It used to be the note must be in default, that is no longer the case in the current market. but default is a good basis of hardship.
- Seller should have no assets.
Short sales may or may not affect your credit. Your ability to negoitate is the key. Always use an experienced negotiator familiar with Short Sales.
When your lender approves a lesser amount to sell the proeprty below the borrowers original loan amount the difference is passed onto the borrower on a 1099 as additonal income. So if the borrower earned 80k in their job and the short sale difference was 60k 80k + 60k=140k. $140k is what the borrowers regular income reported on the 1040. It would be issued as a 1099 to the IRS. Be prepared to pay income tax on the entire amount and in many cases this has put a borrower in a higher tax bracket. Now you owe the IRS money! A law was enacted called the Mortgage forgiveness Debt Relief Act of 2007 http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2007/12/20071220-6.html . This allows a borrower to have a short sale for a "qualifying primary residence" and not pay income tax on the difference. The banks are taking it on the chin and no other reprecussions are on the borrower. However in the negotiations lenders know this and are trying to sneak in clauses to make the borrower pay the difference. Garnishing wages etc. this is why it is important for you to have an experienced negotiator in short sales. The forgiveness act allows for a borrower to not pay any penalty but only on "qualifying" primary homes. 2nd homes and investments do not count. See the act for qualifying. Just because the governement is providing relief does not mean the lender will. You have to remember they are in the drivers seat, but so are too. You have leverage in that you have no other assests, you are about to be foreclosured on or showing hardship and the bank is acting on that problem to resolve so they don't get the property back because it's going to cost them $$$. This is for the bank's benefit too.
The biggest effect on a borrower is how this is reported on the credit report. Currently there is not a short sale terminology for reporting. So lenders cannot say short sale on your credit report. So many banks just zero the balance. Other lenders have used the term settlement, however this settlement term is broad and is reflected as a foreclosure with respect to scoring. The issue here is, there is a settlement but the bank has absorb the difference and the government has allowed forgiveness. this reporting may lead another legal problem as to how the terminology may be stated or is stated. Because a short sale is not a forclosure. And a report indicating a short sale as a foreclosure is wrong. I'm sure I'll get lots of arguements on that but it's true. (Opinions are opinions) The future will determine this. But acording to Equifax this continues to be a problem because generally they cannot make specific differences of a short sale. So when negoitating the short sale ask for a zero balance. Have it in writing. This could mean the difference in being able to buy in a year or so when you get back on your feet again or not being able to buy for 3-7 years.The fact you are already in pre or foreclosure already means you have negativity on your report. If you are doing this before any negativity reported and can negotiate the hardship ( and it has been done, I did it for a client) you may be able to prevent any negativity reporting.
My point here is negotiations is the key. Seek out a professional, not just a Real estate sales person but someone who is savy in negotiations with short sales. It will make the process smoother and less likely to bite you back later. A lawyer for legal advise, a tax professional for tax advise, a short sale negotiator to make the deal and a real estate pro to sell the house. It's a team to get the job done right. The worst scenario is you get a settlement reported, 2-3 years you get another mortgage because millions of others wee just like you too and it was all due to a national event not just your personal creation. The whole country should be forgiven going forward. Heck the banks are getting their forgiveness by the Fed's with the bailouts.The information I am providing you is exactly that. So you can be somewhat informed when and if you attempt a short sale. If you hire a pro at least you will have some insight as to how things should work.
I Welcome any comments.
Saturday and Sunday mornings are always quite entertaining when watching Realtors ready the big day! Here are a few tips when placing your Open House sign. Have Fun!
Real Estate, hwat a great business.
Please add to the list.