A Deeper Examination of Schools Near Your Next Minnesota Home

We highly value the feedback we get on how we can improve your home search tool, the Home Scouting Report®.  Over time, your recommendations have led to many additions (all available by clicking on our ugly mugs after you’ve logged in).  Now, we’ve added another interactive research tool; The Minnesota Report Card from the Minnesota Department of Education. While you’ve always been able to get basic school information via the Map View of your Home Scouting Report® but with this new tool, you’ll have access to these additional resources: My School – Demographics, trend data, graduation rates, contact information and …

Today’s Rate vs. Today’s Rates – Mortgage as a Second Language

The mortgage industry is almost cruelly filled with nearly impossible jargon.  Most of it is inconsequential from the consumer’s perspective and only serves to make communication easier for industry insiders.  However, when it comes to the concept of choosing an interest rate from your lender par rate, buy ups, buy downs, discount points and lender credits are a must know. Definitions: Today’s Rate – “Today’s Rate” is a myth perpetrated as a reality.  It is something the mortgage lending industry came up with because it’s an intellectually condescending industry that doesn’t believe that its clients can do math or understand …

Planning Your Home Purchase With a Mortgage Recast

Often times, seemingly in a fantasyland, home buyers might want to buy their new home first non-contingent on a home sale and sell their retained home shortly after moving into their new one without a financial inconvenience.  They might want to do this to get a better price due to negotiating from a position of strength or it might simply be a matter of logistical convenience.  Whatever the reason, the difficulty arises when they want to use the equity from the home that they’d be selling to achieve a lower payment on their mortgage for their new home.  Most would …

Your Rental Rate: Too High, Too Low – Rent vs Own Home Calculator

Every time we read an article online about taking a more analytical approach to deciding whether or not to buy a home, you’ll always get comments about how “personal” or “emotional” the decision is but if you’ve found this page, that’s not why you’re here.  You’re looking for a “left brain” experience and you’re going to get it. When analyzing a decision on a move, it’s important to know the variables, have all the tools and take the whole decision under consideration.  It can be frustrating poking around all over the internet to find these facts, tools and calculators so …

Refinancing When You’re Upside Down

This episode of the Twin Cities Real Estate Radio Show covers different mortgage options for borrowers who are upside down on their homes. Charles Dailey – Branch Manager, Loan Officer, Certified Military Housing Specialist – CA DOC, MN DOC & WI DFI The Home Buyers Scouting Report® is provided directly to the buyer by HBM II, a licensed national real estate brokerage service company, not to or through a lender. The FREE home finding service is provided directly to prospective homebuyers by HBM II and its real estate brokers, as part of their ordinary real estate brokerage services. HBM II, …

The Home Buyers Scouting Report® Mobile App is Here!

The Home Buyers Scouting Report® is now mobile. From the browser on your mobile phone, if you type in www.homescouting.com, you’ll see that your scouting report is now mobile friendly. From an iPhone, Android or Blackberry you should bookmark the page and add a bookmark icon to one of your home screens. You can also get the apps from the Apple Store or Google Play: For tutorials on the mobile Home Scouting app, click here. If you need mortgage calculators on the go, pull up http://calculators.charlesdailey.com/ in your mobile browser and bookmark it .  Should you want rate quotes on …

How to Choose and Calculate Your Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI)

Saving an eighth of a percent on interest rate can save a little on your monthly payment and shopping around on closing costs can save a little on your down payment but perhaps the most overlooked and costly mistake when buying a home is not choosing the right mortgage insurance if the down payment is less than 20%.  The wrong decision on this choice can cost thousands of dollars. Let’s take a generic purchase of 200,000 dollars with the minimum down payment and compare them but before that, here are some definitions that you’ll need: Borrower Paid Monthly Mortgage Insurance …

Friends Don’t Let Friends Use Zillow, Trulia and Yahoo Real Estate to Find Homes for Sale

If you live in MN and you want to use one of these sites to find your next home, you should know that approximately 20% of the homes for sale are not being shown to you.  Because these sites are riddled with data inaccuracies, Edina Realty decided to pull their listings from these third party aggregators. This is a growing trend nationally on the part of real estate brokerages to ensure that their listings are handled in accordance with their code of ethics and respective state laws. Personally, I’m a big fan of this decision and hope that many more …

Minnesota Mortgage Refinance and Purchase Mortgage Calculators

You are in your jammies, its 1:00 AM and visions of new homes are dancing in your head.  How much is this going to cost?  What interest rate will you get?  Who are you gonna call?  No need, my friend…the internet has got you covered! Information is GOLDEN.  And if you are like most, you are a do-it-yourself-er (DIY).  You want and expect information at your fingertips until you reach a certain point in the home buying process. I GET THAT. Most people prefer to browse and learn online before shopping with the aid of a real estate or lending …

Can You Qualify in Today’s Market? Introducing the Professor’s Mortgage Qualification Tool

Reblogged with Permission VIA: http://www.mtgprofessor.com/Qualification/About_the_Qualification_Page.html Posted October 29th, 2011 View the Mortgage Qualification Tool One major difference between the housing finance system today and the system that prevailed prior to the financial crisis is in loan underwriting — the set of rules and procedures governing who is approved for a loan and who is rejected. The swing has been from lady bountiful to Mr. Scrooge. Rules have been tightened across the board. Where the major mistake before the crisis was approving loans to borrowers who should have been rejected, the major mistake today is rejecting loans that should be accepted. …

FHA’s Short Refi Program

The FHA Short Refinance Program has always existed in an unofficial form but became a formal program on December 16, 2009 with Mortgagee Letter 09-52.  It was “refined” on August 6th of 2010 with Mortgagee Letter 2010-23.  It was designed to provide more mortgage options to those that owe more than their house is worth.  There are many requirements for this loan but for most borrowers who are upside down on their home and have good credit; these criteria are likely to be met with the cooperation of the existing lenders about to be paid off. For these transactions to …

A home inspection. . . . What’s that all about?

A home inspection is a limited, non-invasive examination of the condition of a home, often in connection with the sale of that home. An inspector will check for roof leaks, basement, heating system, water heater, air-conditioning system, structure, plumbing, electrical, and many other aspects of buildings looking for improper building practices, those items that require extensive repairs, items that are general maintenance issues, as well as some fire and safety issues.However, it should also be noted that a home inspection is not technically exhaustive and does not imply that every defect will be discovered. A general list of exclusions include …