FHA mortgage insurance premiums – going down

Earlier this year, President Obama announced that HUD will lower its FHA mortgage insurance premiums by 50 basis points, from 1.35 percent to .85 percent, effective Jan. 26.聽 This move will make it easier for hundreds of thousands of home buyers to get a mortgage and provide greater access to homeownership for historically underserved groups and credit-worthy families.聽 On a $300,000 loan, that could mean a savings of $1,500 a year.

 

The annual mortgage insurance premium for most FHA transactions has been reduced. What does this mean for you?

路 Monthly savings: borrowers can purchase a home with the lowest possible total monthly mortgage payment. For those with an LTV greater than 95% or high credit scores, FHA financing will provide a lower total monthly mortgage payment than conventional loans with private mortgage insurance.

路 Repeat homebuyers are eligible for high LTV financing: conventional loans with private mortgage insurance restrict LTVs greater than 95% to first-time homebuyers. Alternatively, FHA financing is available for first-time homebuyers and repeat principal-residence purchasers with LTVs up to 96.5%.

路 Qualify more buyers : A lower total monthly mortgage payment results in a lower DTI ratio, potentially allowing more borrowers to qualify for mortgage financing.

路 Afford more home: You聽may be able to purchase a more expensive property without increasing their total monthly mortgage payment.

路 Refinance savings: Clients who have recently purchased a home with FHA financing may be eligible to refinance their mortgage and lower their total monthly mortgage payment for immediate savings.

 

This is great news for homebuyers! 聽聽Call us for more information!

 

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Got Questions? – The Caton Team is here to help. 聽

Email Sabrina & Susan at: Info@TheCatonTeam.com

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The Caton Team – Susan & Sabrina – A Family of Realtors

Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices 鈥 Drysdale Properties

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Buying a Home After a Short Sale or Foreclosure Just Got Easier!

Home buyers qualify for FHA loan despite short sale or foreclosure

Mortgage borrowers may now qualify for an FHA mortgage under new guidelines established by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), according to Eli Younes of Viking Realty Group in Pembroke Pines on Tuesday.

As a result of the housing collapse, many homeowners experienced a serious reduction in income or lost their jobs due to the crumbling economy. Some mortgage borrowers were forced to file bankruptcy or short sale their home to avoid foreclosure.

Others were not so lucky and lost their home on the courthouse steps.

The new HUD rules allow borrowers whose credit was damaged due to a temporary loss of employment or income to qualify for an FHA mortgage if they have substantially recovered from that situation and maintained a positive credit history for at least 12 months.

Borrowers who recently experienced a bankruptcy, foreclosure, short-sale, loan delinquencies, deed-in-lieu, debt collections or other situation negatively impacting their FICO credit score may now be able to qualify for an FHA loan.

Recognizing that any number of events may have impacted a borrowers鈥 credit rating, the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) believes that such catastrophic event does not mean they are not financially stable or unable to make a mortgage payment.

As such, the previous 3-year waiting period required by the FHA on financing a new home has been revised.

鈥淩eferred to as the 鈥楤ack to Work鈥 initiative, this program is designed for borrowers who lost their home through foreclosure, short sale, bankruptcy or deed in lieu and also suffered a 20% or more loss in household income,鈥 Eli Younes of Viking Mortgage told Examiner. 鈥淎s with most FHA loans, this program only requires a 3.5% down payment and is applicable for all purchase loans other than the Home Equity Conversion Mortgage.鈥

In order to qualify for a mortgage under the 鈥淏ack to Work鈥 initiative, there are several steps that must be taken to prove an 鈥淓conomic Event鈥 that was beyond the borrower鈥檚 control.

Employment Requirements:

The lender must verify that the borrower lost at least 20% or more in household income – or became unemployed – for a period of six months prior to the foreclosure, short-sale, or deed-in-lieu. To verify loss of income, the lender must request a written Verification of Employment to show the termination date or loss of income, receipt of unemployment compensation, or signed W-2’s and tax returns detailing the reduction in earnings.

To demonstrate a loss of income for part-time or seasonal employment, the borrower must prove a 2-year history in the same field prior to loss of employment. Borrowers will also be required to prove that they have fully recovered from their hardship, increased earnings and have maintained other credit obligations for a period of 12 months following foreclosure, short sale, bankruptcy or deed in lieu.

Credit Requirements:

When evaluating a borrower for the 鈥淏ack to Work鈥 initiative following a foreclosure, the lender may deem the borrower eligible if:

1.) The borrower鈥檚 credit report is free of any late housing payments within the last 12 months;

2.) All other mortgage accounts must be current for the last 12 months, even if the loan was previously modified to avoid a foreclosure action;

3.) The borrower鈥檚 credit report contains no more than a single 30-day delinquency on payments due other creditors; and

4.) The borrower鈥檚 credit report contains no current collection accounts or public records. This condition may be waived in instances of identity theft or borrower鈥檚 with medical collections.

Bankruptcy Filings:

1.) Chapter 7 Bankruptcy: One year must have elapsed since the bankruptcy discharge. Proof must also be shown that the bankruptcy filing was the result of an 鈥淓conomic Event鈥 covered within the FHA program guidelines.

2.) Chapter 13 Bankruptcy: Most lenders will require that the bankruptcy filing be discharged with all payments required under the agreement having been made on time. For borrowers currently in bankruptcy, written approval from the court allowing them to enter a new mortgage contract is required.

Housing Counseling Requirement:

For purposes of establishing satisfactory credit following an 鈥淓conomic Event,鈥 mortgage borrowers鈥 under the 鈥淏ack to Work鈥 initiative must:

1.) Receive homeownership counseling or a combination of homeownership education and counseling, at a minimum, one hour of one-on-one counseling from HUD-approved housing counseling agencies, as defined at 24 C.F.R. 搂214.100; and

2.) Be completed a minimum of thirty (30) days but no more than six (6) months prior to submitting a loan application to a lender, as application is defined in Regulation X, implementing the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act, 24 C.F.R. 搂3500.2(b).

The housing education may be provided by HUD-approved housing counseling agencies, state housing finance agencies, approved intermediaries or their sub-grantees, or through an online course. It may be conducted in person, via telephone, via internet, or other methods approved by HUD, and mutually agreed upon by the borrower and housing counseling agency.

Rules for Renters:

Under certain circumstances, renters may qualify under the 鈥淏ack to Work鈥 initiative. For purposes of establishing satisfactory credit, mortgage borrowers must:

1.) The borrower鈥檚 credit report is free of any late rental payments within the last 12 months;

2.) The borrower鈥檚 credit report contains no more than a single 30-day delinquency on payments due other creditors; and

3.) The borrower鈥檚 credit report contains no current collection accounts or public records. This condition may be waived in instances of identity theft or borrower鈥檚 with medical collections.

A foreclosure, short-sale, Chapter 13 bankruptcy or deed-in-lieu will continue to plague a borrower鈥檚 credit report at the Equifax, Experian and TransUnion consumer reporting agencies for a period of seven years. A discharged Chapter 7 bankruptcy will remain on the credit report for a period of ten years.

鈥淲ith the housing crash, many homeowners experienced unemployment or depreciated home values and for one reason or another were not able to make their mortgage payments,鈥 Carlos J. Reyes, a foreclosure defense attorney with the Reyes Law Group in Fort Lauderdale, told Examiner. 鈥淭he recent changes in the FHA guidelines have finally recognized the financial hardship faced by many borrowers and is allowing them to once again reach for the American Dream through homeownership.鈥

The new guidelines are in effect immediately and will be in force through at least September, 2016.

 

This is truly great news for people who faced聽economic hardships during our market down turn. 聽You have a chance to be a homeowner again. 聽

 

I read this article at: http://www.examiner.com/article/home-buyers-qualify-for-fha-loan-despite-short-sale-or-foreclosure

Remember to follow our Blog at: https://therealestatebeat.wordpress.com/

Got Questions? – The Caton Team is here to help. 聽

Email Sabrina & Susan at: Info@TheCatonTeam.com

Call us at: 650-568-5522 Office: 650-365-9200

Want Real Estate Info on the Go? Download our FREE Real Estate App:聽聽http://thecatonteam.com/mobileapp

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Please enjoy my personal journey through homeownership at:

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Thanks for reading 鈥 Sabrina

The Caton Team – Susan & Sabrina – A Family of Realtors

Sabrina BRE# 01413526 / Susan BRE #01238225 / Team BRE#70000218/ Office BRE# 0149900

How Much Would You Pay For鈥

How Much Would You Pay For鈥

Being a full time Realtor 鈥 I get some great questions.聽 One of my favorites pertains to upgrades and how they affect resale value. 聽Please enjoy these two articles I found very interesting. 聽My comments are in italics. 聽

Buyers Will Pay Extra for These Features

By DAILY REAL ESTATE NEWS

Some home shoppers say they are willing to spend thousands of dollars above the price of the home in order to have certain interior features.

The most coveted home features tend to center around the kitchen, such as stainless steel appliances and a kitchen island, says Errol Samuelson, president of realtor.com.

24/7 Wall St. used data from the National Association of REALTORS庐 to determine some of the most desired home features. Here are eight features that made the list and how much extra, on average, buyers say they鈥檙e willing to pay for having that feature in a home:

  • Central air conditioning: $2,520
  • New kitchen appliances: $1,840
  • Walk-in closet in master bedroom: $1,350
  • Granite countertops: $1,620
  • Hardwood floors: $2,080
  • Ensuite master bath: $2,030
  • Kitchen island: $1,370
  • Stainless steel appliances: $1,850

Sometimes paying the premium for a fixed up home works out for a buyer.聽 This past weekend my client felt it made more sense to pay more for a turn key home since the interest rate is a right off and you鈥檇 have a higher write off with a more expenseive home 鈥 compared to spending their weekends fixing up a home.聽 Each client is different with a unique budget and point of view.聽

What would you pay for?

Before making the decision to buy, people shopping for homes consider hundreds of factors. They include location of the house, the school district, size of the lot and also interior features. Most buyers insist on a house that grants most of their wishes, but shoppers often settle for a house without getting everything they want.

When it comes to certain interior features, many are willing to spend thousands of dollars above the price of the home to have them included. At least 60% of buyers said they would be willing to pay more for central air conditioning, new kitchen appliances and a walk-in closet in the master bedroom if they did not already have these features.

Many of the features homeowners desire involve the kitchen. They include stainless steel appliances and a kitchen island. The kitchen is a major focal point for home buyers, said Errol Samuelson, president of Realtor.com.

“People, in general, have shown more interest in having big and beautiful kitchens, and the kitchen is acting as an informal gathering place,” Samuelson said in an interview with 24/7 Wall St. “We have gone from the ’70s where it was about Hamburger Helper … and now we’ve got the Food Network where people are more interested in exploring cooking.”

The desirability of some characteristics vary depending on the home buyers’ age. In the survey, more people age 35 to 54 found the internal features of a house to be very important in making a decision than any other age group. When people are younger and buying their first home, they are primarily interested in jumping into the real estate market to build equity, and the features are less important, Samuelson said. “For the younger demographic, home is a place to sleep and a place to store your clothes, but you are out all the time,” he said.

When people get older, settle down with a spouse and start raising a family, they still consider the home and its features as investments. However, they often start to build more of a connection with the house, and the details of the home become important to improving quality of life in the home, and less so for long-term investment. The house becomes a “personalized area that separates [the occupants] from the outside world,” Samuelson said.

While a high percentage of people said they would pay more for some features, how much they were willing to pay was not necessarily that high. Although six in 10 home buyers without a walk-in closet said they would be willing to pay more for a house with one, those people said they would only spend an additional $1,350, much less than what a walk-in closet typically costs.

The features described are not necessarily the most important deciding factor for potential home buyers, Brendon DeSimone, a Realtor and real estate expert with Zillow, told 24/7 Wall St. When looking at house, he said, the first things people consider are factors such as the neighborhood, the school district and the difficulty of the commute to work.

“Everything starts with location,” DeSimone said in an interview. “You can have the best house in the world, but if it’s not in the neighborhood and school district where everyone wants to live, you are just not going to look at it.”

Using data from the National Association of Realtors, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed the 11 features that most homeowners were willing to pay more for. We also looked at the median amount that these people would be willing to pay to obtain that feature. In addition, we looked at data from the National Association of Realtors about whether prospective home buyers found certain features to be very important. That information was further broken down by factors such as home buyers’ age, whether they were looking to move into a new or previously owned home, and whether someone was a first-time or repeat buyer.

Based on those factors, here are the 11 most desirable home features:

11. One or more fireplaces鈥> Percentage of home buyers willing to pay more: 40%鈥> Amount willing to pay extra: $1,400

Some 40% of home buyers without a fireplace said they would spend additional money for at least one and cough up an extra $1,400. The fireplace, while always popular, was less necessary when several TVs were going in the house all at once, Samuelson said. But he speculated that having a home with fireplaces may become more popular in the future as people spend less time watching TV and more time on tablets and e-readers. These people may find the fireplace a good place to cozy up and use their devices, he said.

10. Eat-in kitchen鈥> Percentage of home buyers willing to pay more: 40%鈥> Amount willing to pay extra: $1,770

The people most interested in an eat-in kitchen tend to be in the 35-to-54 age range, with 30% of those prospective home buyers indicating this is “very important” in a house. Meanwhile, just 21% of those under 35 years of age and 20% over 55 feel the same way. More people, especially those who are raising families, want kitchens that look into family entertainment rooms. Some have even made it a family hangout by placing big-screen TVs and other electronics in the kitchen. “Buyers who are in families want to be in one space and do it all,” DeSimone said.

9. Home less than 5 years old鈥> Percentage of home buyers willing to pay more: 40%鈥> Amount willing to pay extra: $5,020

Some people simply want a newer home. For those willing to pay more for a newer home, the median that people would dole out was more than $5,000. Although this is a lot of money compared to most features, that money could be a wise investment in the long run. Maintenance costs are considerably less in newer homes compared to older homes, Samuelson pointed out. He also noted that newer homes tend to be much more efficient, attracting people who are environmentally conscious.

8. Stainless steel appliances鈥> Percentage of home buyers willing to pay more: 41%鈥> Amount willing to pay extra: $1,850

Like most features, stainless steel appliances are most important to people between the ages of 35 to 54, with 23% considering them to be a “very important” investment, compared with just 16% of those under the age of 35 and a mere 11% of those over the age of 55. From a cost perspective, stainless steel appliances are not necessarily the best investment. Samuelson noted that stainless steel wears out far easier than most other common materials. Also, the children in the house can also get their fingerprints on the appliances, requiring more cleaning. However, Samuelson said people are primarily driven to buy stainless steel appliances because they look more attractive.

7. Kitchen island鈥> Percentage of home buyers willing to pay more: 48%鈥> Amount willing to pay extra: $1,370

Kitchen islands are most important to people ages 35 to 54, with 24% indicating that it is a “very important” characteristic. Just 19% of people under 35 and 13% over 55 considered this feature important. DeSimone noted that kitchen islands often come in handy for those who are raising a family. It provides additional room to put out food for the family and allows the kitchen to become more organized. Although the desire for a kitchen island is high, those who do not have one but want one are only willing to shell out $1,370, less than most other features.

6. Ensuite master bath鈥> Percentage of home buyers willing to pay more: 49%鈥> Amount willing to pay extra: $2,030

Once again, the ensuite master bathroom tends to be more important to people ages 35 and older. “It kind of goes to the ‘home is my sanctuary’ mentality,” Samuelson said. This, along with a walk-in closet in the master bedroom, has become more important in the past 10 years or so. Many people are eager to make their bathroom more “homey” by doing things such as installing televisions on the wall. The fact that many master bathrooms have two sinks is also an appealing option for married couples, Samuelson added.

5. Hardwood floors鈥> Percentage of home buyers willing to pay more: 54%鈥> Amount willing to pay extra: $2,080

Some 25% of buyers under the age of 35, and 28% of those between 35 and 54, considered hardwood floors “very important” when looking for a home. Only 17% of people ages 55 and up felt the same way. In previous generations, homes with carpets were considered better in order to conserve energy, DeSimone said. Even today, older people are more likely to feel more comfortable with carpeting because the insulation makes the home a little bit warmer. But for younger people looking to have many guests at the house and for people with children, hardwood floors are desirable because they are easier to clean than carpets.

4. Granite countertops鈥> Percentage of home buyers willing to pay more: 55%鈥> Amount willing to pay extra: $1,620

Among homeowners between the ages of 35 and 54, 24% viewed granite countertops as “very important,” compared to 18% of people under 35 and 18% of people over 55. Although just one in every five prospective home buyers said granite countertops were very important, 55% of those who bought a home without such a countertop said they would pay extra for it. Both DeSimone and Samuelson agreed that the granite countertop is more of a style issue than anything else. “There has been more emphasis on the beautiful kitchen these days, and granite countertops are a part of that,” Samuelson said.

3. Walk-in closet in master bedroom鈥> Percentage of home buyers willing to pay more: 60%鈥> Amount willing to pay extra: $1,350

A whopping 60% of homeowners were willing to pay extra for a walk-in closet in the master bedroom, with 44% of people between the ages of 35 and 54 viewing this feature as “very important,” compared to just 35% under the age of 35 and 36% of people 55 and older. DeSimone said the walk-in closet is desired for two main reasons: space and status. The space is very desirable for people as they get older and acquire more clothes, allowing people to be more organized. Having a walk-in closet in the master bedroom is also a status symbol. When giving a house tour, DeSimone said, people want to say, “Hey, check out my closet,” in the same way they say, “Hey, have you seen my new kitchen?”

2. New kitchen appliances鈥> Percentage of home buyers willing to pay more: 69%鈥> Amount willing to pay extra: $1,840

About 69% of homeowners said they were willing to spend more money for new kitchen appliances. Unsurprisingly, people who are looking to buy a new home find this far more important than people who are eyeing previously owned homes. People who are the first to live in a specific house tend to want everything to be new in the house because they consider the house truly “their own,” DeSimone said. People also do not want to have to deal with the stress of broken appliances. “They don’t want to come home after a horrible stressful day at work and find the dishwasher isn’t working or the fridge is making noises.”

1. Central air conditioning鈥> Percentage of home buyers willing to pay more: 69%鈥> Amount willing to pay extra: $2,520

Nearly seven in 10 homeowners said they would be willing to pay more on central air conditioning 鈥 the same as new kitchen appliances and more than any other feature. Central air conditioning was considered “very important” by more than 60% of people in all age groups. Samuelson noted that although people were willing to shell out approximately $2,500 for the feature, that is far less than what it would actually cost to install central air conditioning. “There is a difference in people’s preference and what they are willing to pay for,” Samuelson said. “They may want the steak but are on a macaroni budget.”

I would love to hear your two cents! 聽Comment here or email me anytime at Info@TheCatonTeam.com

I read this article at:聽 http://realtormag.realtor.org/daily-news/2013/04/29/home-buyers-say-they-ll-pay-extra-for-these-features?om_rid=AACmlZ&om_mid=_BRfpyKB8yORuS4&om_ntype=RMODaily

And

http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/personalfinance/2013/04/28/24-7-home-features/2106203/

Got Questions? – The Caton Team is here to help.

Email Sabrina & Susan at:聽 Info@TheCatonTeam.com

Visit our Website at:聽聽 http://thecatonteam.com/

Visit us on Facebook: 聽聽http://www.facebook.com/pages/Sabrina-Susan-The-Caton-Team-Realtors/294970377834

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Thanks for reading – Sabrina

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT UPCOMING CHANGES TO FHA LOANS

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT聽UPCOMING CHANGES TO FHA LOANS

As you may know, unless Congress extends the expiration deadline, Federal Housing Administration (FHA) loan limits set in 2008 will drop significantly beginning October 1. Congress raised the loan limit amount in response to the housing crisis to help spur the homebuying market. FHA loans offer borrowers very competitive rates and terms, and they only require a 3.5% down payment. Allowable debt ratios are higher than the typical debt-ratio limits imposed for conventional loans, and there are no income limit qualifications, so more people can qualify for them.

If the loan limit drops on October 1, many California homebuyers will face higher down payments, higher mortgage rates and stricter loan qualification requirements. Borrowers seeking larger mortgages will have to apply for conventional loans or jumbo loans, which may be subject to higher interest rates and down payments. Here are four things you should know to help your clients now.

1. LOWER LOAN LIMITS.聽The conforming loan limit determines the maximum mortgage amount that FHA, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac can buy or guarantee. If your client wants to stay under the current loan limits, then encourage them to purchase now and close by September 30th.

2. DROPS BY COUNTY.聽Under the new FHA loan limits, some counties will see significant drops in their loan limits. San Diego County will experience a $151,250 drop, Sonoma County a $141,550 reduction, while Orange and Los Angeles Counties will drop by $104,250. To see a full, county-by-county list of changes,聽click here.

3. JUMBO LOANS.聽The current FHA loan limit is $729,750. After October 1, that limit may drop to $625,500. Mortgage loans higher than that amount will be considered non-conforming jumbo loans, which typically have rates that are 0.875% to 1.5% higher than conforming rates, depending on the loan product, and require higher down payments.

4. MORE STRINGENT REQUIREMENTS.聽FHA loan requirements may allow for lower credit scores. So an applicant with a lower FICO score can still qualify for an FHA loan, even if they can鈥檛 for a conventional loan. Your clients may be able to obtain an FHA loan three years after defaulting or having a loan foreclosed.

Got Questions? – The Caton Team is here to help. 聽Email us at:

Info@TheCatonTeam.com

Visit our website at:聽聽 http://thecatonteam.com/

Visit us on Facebook: 聽聽http://www.facebook.com/pages/Sabrina-Susan-The-Caton-Team-Realtors/294970377834

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Please enjoy my personal journey through homeownership at:聽 http://ajourneythroughhomeownership.wordpress.com/