home mortgage for Townhome or Rowhouse

Think You’re Buying a Townhome/Rowhouse?….Think Again.

In the world of real estate transactions involving condos and townhouses, if it looks like a duck, talks like a duck and walks like a duck…sometimes it’s not a duck. Frequently enough, some home buyers want to split hairs between single family residence living and the condo life. They make a slight compromise on privacy for the sake of limited maintenance. They seek a larger floorplan perhaps. There are many reasons but in the end, they seek a townhome or row house. Excitedly, the purchase agreement is executed, the inspection is scheduled and it’s often at this point, . . …

Top Three Reasons to Feel Good About Buying a Home in the Twin Cities

It doesn’t happen very often where, in a compact period of time, I see a wealth of reliable data released that shed such sunny light on the decision to buy a home in the Twin Cities but lately that has been the case.  If you’ve been contemplating such a decision, here are 3 great reasons to feel good about your decision and its timing in ascending order. Reason 3: CNBC Ranks Minnesota as a Top State for Business. CNBC’s announcement may seem boring, and it definitely is, but from the perspective of a homebuyer or homeowner, it’s critical.  This is …

The FHA 1 Year Waiting Period After Short Sale, Bankruptcy or Foreclosure – Back to Work

Where was this three years ago?  Better late than never I suppose.  FHA is now insuring loans to homebuyers who have experienced an Economic Event (Short Sale, Bankruptcy, Deed in Lieu of Foreclosure or Foreclosure) in the past and can document that (1) their certain credit impairments were the result of a Loss of Employment or a significant loss of Household Income beyond the borrower’s control, (2) the homebuyer has demonstrated full Recovery from the event and, (3) the homebuyer has completed housing counseling. FYI, in the event of a short sale, this is for buyers who DID have late …

Buy Your Home With a Low Down Payment of $100.00!

During the fall of 2011, all HUD owned properties that are under the jurisdiction of the Denver and Atlanta HUD Homeownership Centers are eligible for the $100.00 down payment purchase incentive.  What this means, home buyers in Minnesota, Wisconsin and the additional states under Denver & Atlanta’s jurisdiction can purchase a HUD Owned Property with just a $100.00 down payment.   Purchasing a HUD property could be a great way to reduce out-of-pocket expense, but there are some things you should know first.  To purchase a home with the $100.00 down payment incentive the HUD Owned Property must be:  Owner Occupied. …

FHA Seller Paid Closing Costs to be Reduced

To much fanfare, FHA announced measures to better protect their insurance fund in a recent Final Ruling published in the Federal Register.  Slipped in as a footnote to this announcement was a declaration that FHA is deaf to the concerns of the real estate industry.  They are taking aim to again attempt to reduce the allowable seller paid closing costs.  Make no mistake; they wouldn’t be doing this twice if they didn’t fully intend to see it through this time (regardless of industry feedback). First, a little history (with a touch of nerdy stuff).  On July 15th of 2010, FHA …

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 …

Before You Shop for a Condo, Pre-Qualify Your Lender First

If you’re a FHA buyer shopping for a condo, you’d better pre-qualify your lender first. If you’re listing a condo and a buyer gives you a FHA pre-approval letter, you’d better pre-approve that lender first. Because Spot Approvals are a thing of the past, it’s important to know which of the two remaining FHA condo approval processes your lender will be using: Direct Endorsement Lender Review and Approval Process (DELRAP) or HUD Review and Approval Process (HRAP) as outlined in MORTGAGEE LETTER 2009-46 B. DELRAP is only available to lenders who have unconditional Direct Endorsement authority and staff with knowledge and …

The New Real Estate Boom(ers): Purchasing with Reverse Mortgages

In October of 2008, HUD rolled out their reverse mortgage product and in March of 2009, they perfected it. With rates expected to rise and the tax credit setto expire, many real estate professionals are looking for new and under-served markets to reach out to. Since HUD has perfected their reverse mortgage, the Home Equity Conversion Mortgage (HECM) and the market for US residents 62 or older is expected to nearly double between now and 2050, perhaps now is their time. A reverse mortgage is a loan where home equity is converted into a lump sum payment or series of payments to …

Does Your Loan Officer Wear Lime Green Polka Dotted Underwear?

Okay, perhaps that’s a little TOO much information!  Perhaps you really don’t need to know what splash of color your loan officer is bestowing on his or her bloomers on any given day. But what you SHOULD know is who your loan officer IS. Let’s see….scum bucket, slime ball, scammer, fraud frog…any of these ring a bell?  They do to a whole lot of people, as our industry has been historically speckled with less than scrupulous loan officers committing fraud and scamming the innocent.  Unfortunately, those LO endearments have, in many cases, been very well founded.  (And how embarrassing that …

Make That Foreclosed Home your Dream Home with an FHA 203k Loan.

You have spent the last 3 months dreaming of buying your new home.  You have been saving for a year for the down payment and you are ready.  You have your dream home in your mind.  You want that 2 story, 3 bedrooms/ 2 bathrooms home that fits the needs of your family.  You want that nice yard for the kids so they can play.  You start working with a Realtor to help you find this new home and you consult with an experienced loan officer to see what you can afford. You are excited because this is going to …

Unsolicited Advice for a Loan Officer’s Evolution – Learn to Underwrite

Since mid 2007, the mortgage originator as we know it has ceased to be. The requirements for technical knowledge, industry awareness and precision have skyrocketed to the extent that a modern day loan originator is more of an “Under-iginator.”He/she must be 50% loan officer, 15% customer service/sales rep, 5% appraisal reviewer and 30% underwriter to have any business talking to a customer about a mortgage. As well, the role of a processor has too changed. Some repetition-based duties have been replaced with technological automation. While those responsibilities have gone to the wayside, the secondary mortgage market has forced the job …

Buying a Home after a Short Sale – Don’t Believe the Naysayers

I’ve written on this subject before but I want to be more thorough this time. There have been too many articles put out lately that discourage people from contemplating a home purchase after doing a short sale. These articles express cynicism about home sellers’ financial habits and cynicism from Realtors as well. Most Realtors doing short sales know how to cover the bases for their client to make sure they’re in a good position to buy a home down the road. Further, in my area (Saint Paul, MN), nearly 1 in 10 homeowners in the twin cities are upside down on their …

Upside Down on Your Home? – Here’s Your Playbook

In my home state of Minnesota, Minneapolis and Saint Paul have nearly 39 percent of homeowners under water. I’ve had the question, “I’m upside down on my home, what are my options?” so many times that I wanted to prepare a menu of options for people to reference. This article briefly outlines 9 potential solutions that may serve you well. The target audience here is not necessarily someone who’s in default on their loan but simply one who owes more than the home is worth. All too often, when one is upside down on their home and/or struggling with their …