Home Inventory

by plano 30. March 2011 07:04

Recently, a homeowner had a burglary and part of the insurance claim was denied because they didn't have proof of purchase or a current inventory of their personal belongings.  This is something that could happen to anyone.  Even if you had an inventory but it was several years old, it could cost you money.

Some homeowners who have placed an insurance claim for losses say that they realized something was missing months after they had filed.  The inventory can actually serve as a guide to make sure you get compensated for all of your loss.

The best proof of purchase is to have a receipt for the item.  The reality of the situation is that most people don't keep receipts.  The next best item is to have an inventory and the more details like pictures, the better.

Contact me for a Home Inventory.  Once you get it completed, put it somewhere safe so you'll have it when you need it.  Saving it in the "Cloud" like  Microsoft Office Live is convenient because you can acess it from any computer with Internet access.

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Deadline Quickly Approaching---April 30 !!!!

by plano 25. March 2011 06:52

Besides the obvious Federal Income Tax deadline which is April 18th this year, the deadline for individuals who can qualify for the Homebuyers Tax Credit is quickly approaching - April 30, 2011.

The extension was granted for members of the military, Intelligence and Foreign Service who have served outside of the U.S. for at least 90 days between January 1, 2009 and May 1, 2010.  The sales contract must be signed by all parties by April 30, 2011 and closed by June 30, 2011.

Qualifying taxpayers may be eligible for either the first-time credit of $8,000 or the current homeowner credit of $6,500.  To get additional information from IRS.gov, click here.

This is a wonderful opportunity for a person to have a home of their own, to raise their family, share with their friends and feel safe and secure.  We're in a market that is ripe with advantages for buyers who can afford it.  Prices have come down considerably in the last two to three years.  Interest rates are at an almost all-time low but are expected to rise soon.  The selection of homes is good which allows buyers to find the home that meets their needs.

A qualifying veteran with eligibility could get into a home with no down payment, no closing costs if paid by the seller and the tax credit.  These tax credits are refundable which means that any amount that isn't used to offset tax liability will be refunded to the taxpayer in a check.  You're practically being paid to buy a home.

There probably will never be this combination of advantages available for buyers who qualify.  Don't miss this opportunity.  You owe it to yourself and your family to see that it may actually cost you less to own than to rent and what it will take to get into a home.

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Supersize a VA Loan

by plano 14. March 2011 09:35

Since 2004, the maximum VA loan is the same as the maximum FNMA mortgage which is currently $417,000.  Occasionally, a Veteran wants a loan in excess of that amount.  If the Veteran will put a 25% down payment on the excess amount, a lender will loan the other 75%.

Example
Sales Price                                                         $475,000
Maximum VA Loan                                              $417,000
Excess Amount                                                   $ 58,000
25% Required Down Payment on Excess              $ 14,500
Adjusted Loan                                                    $460,500

VA loans are eligible for veterans of the military with a certificate of eligibility.  A Veteran can get a 100% loan up to the maximum VA loan amount and the seller can pay their closing costs which would allow a Vet to get into a home with no down payment and no closing costs.  The VA Funding Fee can be rolled into the mortgage or paid by the Seller.

When the Vet sells the home, their VA loan is assumable at the existing interest rates but does require qualification of the new buyer.  The benefits would be a possible lower interest rate and lower closing costs.

There's more to finding the "Right" home than driving around looking at houses.  A Residential Finance Consultant can help you make better decisions to help you understand the tax advantages, financing alternatives and investment aspects of homeownership.

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Waiting may cost you more!!!

by plano 8. March 2011 15:31

If you haven't heard by now, FHA is increasing the annual Mortgage Insurance Premium again by .25% on April 18, 2011.  Payments will be higher even if the interest rates remain the same.

Buyers who are ready to take action can still lock in the lower MIP.  If they have a contract signed by all parties and get a FHA case number issued prior to 4/18/11, the lower MIP rate will apply.

For a $175,000 home at 5% interest, the new MIP will mean the buyer will pay $35 more to live in the same home.  If you don't have to pay more, why would you?

Another possibility is that if interest rates go up .5% by the same effective date, you could pay $88 more to live in the same home.  What would you spend $88.36 on if you don't have to make a larger payment?

 

April 18th is a Monday this year, so you'll probably need to get your contract completed by the previous Friday at the latest to give your loan officer an opportunity to order the case number.  If you don't have a loan officer, your real estate professional can recommend a reliable one.  Making good decisions will improve your entire homeowner experience and save you money.

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Mortgage Myths

by plano 1. March 2011 12:48
  • "It's impossible to get low down payment loans." - UNTRUE! 
    FHA down payments are only 3.5% and VA is 0%.  In some areas, there may be some 100% USDA loans available.
     
  • "It takes perfect credit to get a loan." - UNTRUE! 
    There is a relationship of better rates to better credit but many issues on a credit report may be explained.  The way to know for sure is to speak to a reliable lender.
     
  • "If I've had a bankruptcy or foreclosure, I can't qualify." - UNTRUE! 
    Credit history following a short sale or foreclosure is very important and there can be extenuating circumstances.  It only takes a few moments with a reliable lending professional to find out if your individual situation will allow you to qualify.
     
  • "Getting pre-approved is expensive." - UNTRUE!
    Usually, the only expense to getting pre-approved is the cost of the credit report which could be around $35.  The advantage is that you will know that you qualify for a particular mortgage amount.
     
  • "I should wait to qualify until I find a home." - UNTRUE!  
    The best interest rates are only available for the highest credit scores.  It can take time to qualify for a mortgage especially if there are issues that need to be corrected.  It is to your advantage to start the qualifying process early in your home search.
     
  • "All lenders are the same." - UNTRUE!
    Reliable lending professionals will explain the entire process before collecting fees, quote fees up-front, have competitive products, do what is necessary to get the loan approved and close at the locked rate and terms.  Ask for recommendations from recent borrowers.
     
  • "Adjustable rate mortgages are more expensive than fixed rate mortgages." - UNTRUE!
    Adjustable rate mortgages can be less expensive than fixed rates if the buyers' circumstances warrant it.  There are many variables and you need to be aware of them before deciding which type of loan to finance your purchase; the ARM may provide the cheapest cost of housing.

Buyers and Sellers need solid information to make good decisions.  The agent who represents you in the sales may be the BEST recommendation for a reliable lender.  The mortgage plays an enormous role in determining the overall cost of housing and you need solid information to make good decisions.

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