Buying your First Home?

There’s  nothing   quite like the thrill of Buying a Home…and knowing that you got the best possible Home Loan makes it even sweeter.  I am right here for you, and I will walk with you side by side through the entire process every step of the way.

 

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Is home remodeling worth the investment?

Is home remodeling worth the investment?

painting a homeMore Renovations are not Necessarily Better. Before you begin any major projects, it’s important to assess your home’s value and the neighborhood it’s in. Determine what it will be the approximate return on the investment (ROI) based on the current market value or how long you plan on staying in the house.

Be sure that your home renovations will add to the value of your home, but also aware that getting too extravagant may not bring the ROI you’re expecting.

The value of remodeling projects depends on several factors. First, take in consideration how old is the structure of the building, as well as, the general condition and the real need for the home-remodeling project.

The appearance of a house on the outside is what gives an initial and lasting impression.   Keep the exterior paint in good condition with no flakes or chips and roof should be clear of damaged shingles.

If paint on window shutters or trim is chipped, a new coat will refresh them and give your house a whole new look. These are inexpensive investments that are worth the cost.

Bath and kitchen areas are the most important rooms within a home. Remodeling a kitchen or bathroom can cost thousands of dollars but in many cases all they need is some sprucing up with paint or new floor material.

If the kitchen cabinets are in good condition, do not replace them with a complete kitchen remodeling job. They can be sanded and painted or stained for a lot less money. Replacing the knobs and handles will do the job as well giving them a whole new look and won’t cost a great deal of money.

Replacing an antiquated bathroom vanity and an old toilet is not very expensive and is not considered a major bathroom remodeling job. New bathroom fixtures from bathroom designer warehouses at cut-rate prices are also good options. Updating an old sink is as well inexpensive remodeling task. All these home-remodeling projects are worth the investment.

Be aware, that you don’t want to do work that makes your house worth $800,000. when the average market in your area is only $500,000.

Certain home renovations are a win-win situation, providing enjoyment to you, the homeowner, and then making your home more marketable, and worth more, in the future. Other renovations, however, can set you back thousands with no guarantee of future payoff on the Return of the Investment (ROI).

Don’t exceed the ceiling for the value of the homes in your neighborhood, or you won’t get your money back. Remodeling can cost a pretty penny, however it can provide significant returns when it comes time to sell your home, if you do it right!

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House Price Index Up 0.3 Percent in January

House Price Index Up 0.3 Percent in January

Prices-going-up-graphic-2U.S. house prices rose in January, up 0.3 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis from the previous month, according to the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) monthly House Price Index (HPI). The previously reported 0.8 percent change in December was revised downward to a 0.7 percent change.

The FHFA HPI is calculated using home sales price information from mortgages sold to or guaranteed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. From January 2014 to January 2015, house prices were up 5.1 percent. The U.S. index is 3.5 percent below its March 2007 peak and is roughly the same as the December 2005 index level.

New Mortgage guidelines in effect since December 1st !

New Mortgage guidelines in effect since December 1st !

WASHINGTON-MAY 23: Fannie Mae's mortgage portfolio shrank at 19%Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac launched their new mortgage guidelines that went into effect last December 1st, now requiring a much lower down payment. From the previous 5% to 3% in what lenders hope will be a good kick start from a sluggish housing market that we have seen lately.

Now the brain trust at WalletHub has released its 2014 Mortgage Insurance Report to help low-down-payment home buyers save up to $12,000 on their decision between a Federal Housing Administration loan and private mortgage insurance.

On the other hand FHA premiums, unlike private mortgage insurance, continue to be assessed throughout the life of a loan, even if the loan to value ratio drops below 80%. This creates a huge cost disparities over time, between private mortgage and the FHA option.

New mortgage guidelines are expected to significantly increase the availability of more new purchases.

How much down payment do you really need to buy a house?

How much down payment do you really need to buy a house?

the-state-bank-of-vietnam-said-wednesday-it-has-changed-its-mind-about-a-proposed-ban-on-people-gifting-foreign-money-after-the-plan-evoked-fierce-criticiSaving for a down payment is an important step in becoming financially prepared for homeownership, and there are options and opportunities for financing a home purchase that will allow the borrower to come with little or No Down Payment. For most first-time home buyers, coming up with funds for a down payment is the biggest obstacle to homeownership.

In the mortgage industry, 20% down is considered the benchmark down payment for looking strong on paper as a home buyer. How strong you are on paper will determine how you could obtain a loan.

However, being this a general standard for financial strength does not mean a requirement to get a loan. Reality is that there are home loans that can be obtain with $0 Down Payment if you are eligible.

  1. FHA loans will allow you to apply for as low as a 3.5% down payment up to the maximum conforming loan limit in the county in which the property is located. Most lenders can lend up to $417,000 under FHA guidelines.
  2. Conventional 5% Down Payment is another option for first time homebuyers. This is an excellent alternative to the higher-priced FHA loan Mortgage Insurance that allows to get rid of PMI after accumulating 20% equity after a minimum of 24 months.
  3. $0. Down payment: 2 options that are available if you are eligible:  a. VA loans allow 100% financing all the way through the maximum  conforming loan limit in the county in which the property is located.  Veteran’s Affairs mortgage loans are available to veterans, current members of the military and their spouse.  b. USDA Loans allow 100% financing through the Rural Development United States Department of Agriculture. Property must be located within an area designated to be eligible for 100% financing.

There are also 10% down payment and 15% down payment loans. All 3 of these types of loans involve PMI. As time goes on, the push will be for a minimum 20% down payment. Remember with 20% down, there is no PMI. Conventional wisdom says you should put down as much as you feel comfortable putting down to buy a home. Generally, more is better than less. But don’t wipe out your savings account to do it. You will still need to have funds set aside for a rainy day and for things to buy after buying a home.

Jumbo loans are loans that usually can go as high as $750,000 with as little as 10% down.

However keep in mind that if you’re putting less than 20% down payment on a home, your monthly property taxes and fire insurance terms are most likely to be built into your monthly mortgage payment, and you’ll maybe have to pay for private mortgage insurance, as well.

Ultimately, the minimum down payment required will depend on the type of loan that you choose. Each mortgage loan type carries its own guidelines, and today underwriters closely scrutinize a borrower’s ability to repay the loan before giving you a loan.