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, . . …

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 …

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 …

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 …

Fannie Mae and Freddie Make Mac Move to NO Loan to Value Limit Loans on HARP

The Federal Housing Finance Agency, with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, has announced a series of changes to the Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP). This program was designed to be able to help people who were in a position of negative equity. Now, it someone is upside down on their home, there will be no limit to how far upside down they are in order to qualify for these loans. This program will continue to be available to borrowers with loans sold to the Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac on or before May 31, 2009 with current loan-to-value (LTV) ratios …

Why a Home Buyer Should Set Up 3 Search Criteria When Buying a Home

A prospective home buyer or investor might have a clear idea of what he or she wants in the property they’ll buy but the current market brings complexities that make setting up search criteria for this purchase a little more complicated. The difference between bank-owned, short sales and person-to-person transactions bring unique elements to this search process that cannot be dealt with by search criteria alone but that’s where preparation and planning should begin. There are different negotiating tactics, condition of properties and buyer timelines that must be taken into consideration with each of these types of transactions and they …

Do I Need to be Late on My Mortgage to Qualify for a Short Sale? – Don’t Take Yes for an Answer!

I have a lot of people call me to get pre-qualified to purchase a home using FHA financing after a short sale. Early on, not a lot of these scenarios panned out but these days, more and more of them do. When they don’t, the number one reason is because they took bad advice from a party to their short sale transaction. That advice? “Mr. and Mrs. Short Seller, you need to be late on your mortgage to qualify for a short sale.” This is often false and has devastating consequences. In many cases, proving imminent danger of default is …

Twin Cities Off-Leash Dog Parks – My Dog Blog

If you’re a dog lover like we are, you don’t consider a move without contemplating neighborhood amenities for your dog. In considerations for a move recently, one of us had a bit of a time trying to locate most of the off-leash dog parks in the twin cities metro area.  After collecting some information we thought we’d share. Remember that some of these parks require passes, dog licensure and all have rules so be sure to do your research!  Most cities have some kind of requirements but here are Saint Paul and Minneapolis dog requirements: Minneapolis: Purchase Off-Leash Permit Online …

MN DNR Share Great Mobile Apps for Outdoor Enthusiasts

The MN Department of Natural resources has release some great new mobile apps for those of you who are fishing and fall enthusiasts. You can now track MN fall colors, find MN lake information and find public access to MN lakes from your iPhone or Android phone. Click Here for more information or to download the app. 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 …

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 …

How Often Do Seller’s Pay Closing Costs? . . . . . Never.

The role of closing costs in a purchase agreement can be confusing both for buyers and sellers.  In the present market, it is customary for there to be sales concessions.  A real estate sales concession can be many things including but not limited to price, repairs and yes, . . closing costs.  Asking the seller to pay for closing costs, pre-paids and discount points is common.  At the end of the day though, a buyer may have several value added considerations such as seller paid closing costs and repairs after an inspection contingency but the seller will (or at least should) always negotiate …

Buying After a Short Sale is an Excellent Mortgage Credit Risk

While lenders will admit that it’s technically possible to provide mortgages to homebuyers who recently had a short sale without a waiting period, most lenders are not offering this product (for the record, we are offering it).  Because of the complexities of the process involved with closing these loans that creates perceived risk, most lenders elect not to do them and fail to ask the more important question. . .  “Are they a good credit risk?”  The principles of underwriting mortgages and loans in general are outlined in the Four C’s (Credit, Collateral, Character and Capacity).  By these measurements, borrowers …

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 …

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 …

Do’s and Dont’s with Credit During the Home Buying Process

When buying your next home, changes to your credit (additional accounts, closing accounts, fluctuating credit card balances) can result in the lowering of your credit score. If your credit score changes, that can affect your interest rate and even the loan approval itself. Therefore, it is imperative that there are no major changes to your credit and information provided, during this process. In order for your loan to reach final approval and fund, you’ll want to adhere to the following: DO NOT charge any new items on your charge cards (higher balances will lower credit scores). DO NOT apply for …

What’s the difference between pursuing bank-owned properties vs. short sale properties?

Understanding the differences between these two forms of distressed sales is critical to writing winning offers and paving the road to a successful closing. Perhaps more importantly, understanding their differences will mean that you’ll get the best deal possible on your purchase. A bank-owned property (often referred to as a “foreclosure” or “REO”) is a home which has been taken by the bank. In this case, the foreclosure process has concluded and the property is now owned “free and clear” by the lender. Making an offer on a on a bank-owned property is relatively simple in that response times are …

Mortgages for Saint Paul, Minnesota Community Land Trusts (CLT) Housing

Community land trusts are created to preserve long-term affordable housing by purchasing homes in their communities, then leasing the land using a long-term ground lease to low-income and moderate-income families at affordable monthly ground rents. Community Land Trusts (CLT) have had a foothold in the Twin Cities for decades. More broadly, the leasehold form of home ownership is more common in Minnesota than many would think. It is a market that Realtors would do well to be skilled in. More especially, it is a market that is crying out for more readily available, quality financing through Fannie Mae. For the …

Buying a Home on a Lease with Option to Purchase – Rent to Own

Since the housing crash and great recession, there have been swelling ranks of people that have had credit damaged but have increased their savings and reduced their consumer debt. Many of these people, in a reasonable time frame will qualify for conventional, VA, FHA, or Rural Development loans but at this time, do not. For those who have their finances situated, saved money and increased their capacity to cover their housing payments, a Lease with Option to Purchase is a great choice. A Lease with Option to Purchase is really two contracts that, by referencing each other in their respective …

Two Thirds of Minnesotans Will be Affected by Flooding in 2011 – Act Now!

If homeowners don’t act in ways not common in the past, many will stand to lose a fortune due to flooding in Minnesota in 2011.  It’s likely that sandbagging won’t do it this time and we need to start thinking about flood insurance and in some cases act quickly on flood insurance.  According to expert guests on a Minnesota Public Radio show two days ago, two thirds of Minnesotans will be affected directly or indirectly by flooding this year.  If someone thinks their house won’t be affected, they can at least count on traffic being a mess. Just try and …

Do’s and Don’ts with Credit During the Home Buying Process

When buying your next home, changes to your credit (additional accounts, closing accounts, fluctuating credit card balances) can result in the lowering of your credit score. If your credit score changes, that can affect your interest rate and even the loan approval itself. Therefore, it is imperative that there are no major changes to your credit and information provided, during this process. In order for your loan to reach final approval and fund, you’ll want to adhere to the following: DO NOT charge any new items on your charge cards (higher balances will lower credit scores). DO NOT apply for …