Are 3% down mortgages the new normal?

Written By: Jaime Osborn - Jul• 13•16

I saw this post originally from one of the people I work with at United Wholesale Mortgage, not only do they offer us some of the lowest rates around to in turn share with our clients but they like to keep us in touch with the latest happenings in the mortgage industry. They shared this post from Housing Wire , originally written by Brena Swanson.

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac introduced 3% down mortgages nearly two years ago, and the product has slowly made its way into both big and small lender offerings since then, as the shock and awe of the original announcement wore off.

In a recent interview with HousingWire, Mat Ishbia, CEO of United Wholesale Mortgage, explained why these mortgages are growing in popularity, especially among Millennial buyers. Are 3% down mortgages going to be the new normal?

His response? “Absolutely.”

It’s a common misconception for borrowers to think they need to put 20% down a mortgage, which often becomes the biggest roadblock to homeownership.

Ishbia explained that he thinks there are two reasons why 3% down mortgages have taken a while to catch on.

1. Mortgage Insurance

“People have this stigma about mortgage insurance like it’s this horrible thing. So instead of paying mortgage insurance, borrowers put another 40K down.”

2. Building equity

The other thing is that people think they have to build equity and pay down their mortgage. The way you build equity in houses is not by paying down your mortgage or by putting a bigger number down. I am real big on cash is king. When people run into a financial problem, it isn’t because everyone has too high of a loan-to-value ratio. What happened was they couldn’t afford a payment and then they lost their job.

Instead, Ishbia says, “I would put 3% or 5% down and keep that extra 15% in your pocket for when you buy furniture, when your car breaks down or when something happens to your new house. Basically, putting 20% down is like digging a hole in the backyard and burying the money.

“If you have 20% to put on a house, you probably waited too long to buy a house,” he joked.

Freddie Mac announced back in December 2014 its Home Possible Advantage program, an affordable conforming, conventional mortgage with a 3% down payment to help more first-time homebuyers and other qualified borrowers jump into the market.

Around the same time, Fannie Mae posted a similar announcement, releasing an option for qualified first-time homebuyers that allows for a down payment as low as 3%.

While some in the industry are hesitant to jump onboard the low down payment idea, Freddie is putting a lot of effort into making lenders comfortable with originating the product. HousingWire recently hosted a webinar with Freddie Mac and U.S. Bank on the secret to closing more 3% down mortgages.

Saving Bucks on Home Financing

Written By: Jaime Osborn - Jul• 01•16

The simple details that many people disregard normally make all the difference when it comes to making home financing decisions. Here are some of the most important details one should always keep in mind about financing on their residential properties.
The first thing one need to have clear is just how much they can afford to pay for. To determine this, one must understand the difference between the two basic ratios that lenders use to determine how much to give. The payment to income ratio compares one’s income to the mortgage payment they are considering. The payment is calculated as the principal amount, interest, tax and insurance totals. The second method, the debt to income ration considers all of one’s obligations like car payments, credit cards and other outstanding debts, and compares them to the ability to pay back the home loan. Different lenders have different limits, so whatever the method they use, find a lender who is motivated to loan out the money.
The importance of preparation cannot be stressed enough. To find a lender that is motivated, look for a professional who can give pointers in the right direction. Ask for one or two reputable lenders and compare the nature of the services they give. Most likely, a recommended lender will look to impress so that they get more referrals in future. Additionally, it is important to have the funds for the deposit ready as early as possible. This makes it easy for one to demonstrate that the funds are ready when the offers come.
Home financing seems easy, but one should not underestimate the benefits of understanding the basics. For instance, it is important to understand how one’s ability to afford the home will be related to such home financing elements like
• Price
• Down payments and the amounts to finance
• Types of loans
• The term of the loan
• Interest rates and points
It is advisable to study each of these elements where applicable in order to understand what the lender will be talking about.
Even with all the knowledge, there are some things that lenders will not readily reveal to their customers. One who understands these basic insider secrets stands a higher chance of getting favorable deals. Learn about such aspects of the insider mortgage world as origination fees, discount points, junk fees and lock periods. During the meeting with the lending officers, all this information will be futile if it is not used to ask questions. Make sure to research on the acceptable rates and know whether they are negotiable, or fixed. If anything deviates from the information gathered, it is best to ask why.
Always take time to compare one program with another, all while keeping in mind the long term goals. Borrowers should ask themselves whether they will still own the house in the near future, whether their income will change, what are the interest rate trends, and so on.
Bio
Andrew Thompson is a reputable real estate expert and investor. He has been involved in various real estate deals and Matunga residential projects. He also mentors hundreds of beginner investors in the field every year.

Top mistakes made when buying your first home.

Written By: Jaime Osborn - Mar• 08•16

There will be nothing as exciting but as humbling as buying your first home. A home is a major financial responsibility, from paying it off, to taking care of all the exterior and interior maintenance. There are some mistakes that you want to know to avoid when you purchase your first home. Here are five mistakes to avoid to make sure you have a good home buying and moving process.

1. Overextending your budget because you love a house

One of the worst mistakes that you can make is buying a house that is well out of your budget. While buying a home a little bit more expensive, such as $10,000 more than your max, may not cause a major problem over the course of your loan. Buying a home that is significantly more than the budget that you have worked out can lead to issues. You need to make sure you can take care of all of your bills and expenses, plus save for retirement, emergency funds, and be able to afford small things for fun. Living in a big house but being poor and unable to save, purchase the food that you like, or have any fun can cause you to become resentful quickly.

2. Not looking up neighborhood utility bills

When you find a house that you are sure you want to put a bid on, make sure you look at the neighborhood utility bills. You can often look up the averages online or you can ask the realtor and others in the neighborhood. You can also look at the utilities that you use in your current space and compare the rates that will occur in the new neighborhood. Do not buy a new home without taking into consideration the utilities that you will have to pay. If the utilities are much higher than expected, you may find yourself stretching your budget and wind up in an uncomfortable financial situation.

3. Not taking into account the inspection

Once you have fallen in love with the house that you want to be your first home, you may want to brush off any bad things you hear about it. A big mistake made by first time buyers is ignoring the inspection or putting it off as something that can be dealt with later. If you ignore your inspection, you may find yourself putting on a new roof in a few years or having to take out a loan for major foundation work that you didn’t plan for.

4. Trying to move on your own

Moving into a house on your own will be exhausting. It is always a good idea to hire a trusted local mover to help you get your furniture in the new home so that you can save your time and energy decorating the way that you want. Be sure to hire a reputable moving company that has not had any allegations of theft or who are known to not be dependable.

5. Not taking life changes into account

If you plan to get married and have a baby while living in your new home, take into account how your new life will work in your new space. Make sure you have the rooms and bathrooms necessary for your new lifestyle. Factor your lifestyle and changes into your new house.

-Guest Authur-

Dryer Vent Safety

Written By: Jaime Osborn - Oct• 07•15

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I came across this article from our friends and fellow bloggers over at BT home inspections. I thought this was something that everyone should know about. Especially since I have had the unfortunate experience to waking up to a fire in my dryer.

you can find the original article here at BThomeinspection.com

How Your Dryer Works
​Clothes dryers evaporate the water from wet clothing by blowing hot air past them while they tumble inside a spinning drum. Heat is provided by an electrical heating element or gas burner. Some heavy garment loads can contain more than a gallon of water which, during the drying process, will become airborne water vapor and leave the dryer and home through an exhaust duct (more commonly known as a dryer vent).

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A vent that exhausts moist air to the home’s exterior has a number of requirements:
It should be connected. The connection is usually behind the dryer but may be beneath it. Look carefully to make sure it’s actually connected.
It should not be restricted. Dryer vents are often made from flexible plastic or metal duct, which may be easily kinked or crushed where they exit the dryer and enter the wall or floor. This is often a problem since dryers tend to be tucked away into small areas with little room to work. Vent elbows are available which is designed to turn 90° in a limited space without restricting the flow of exhaust air. Restrictions should be noted in the inspector’s report. Airflow restrictions are a potential fire hazard.
One of the reasons that restrictions are a potential fire hazard is that, along with water vapor evaporated out of wet clothes, the exhaust stream carries lint – highly flammable particles of clothing made of cotton and polyester. Lint can accumulate in an exhaust duct, reducing the dryer’s ability to expel heated water vapor, which then accumulates as heat energy within the machine. As the dryer overheats, mechanical failures can trigger sparks, which can cause lint trapped in the dryer vent to burst into flames. This condition can cause the whole house to burst into flames. Fires generally originate within the dryer but spread by escaping through the ventilation duct, incinerating trapped lint, and following its path into the building wall.
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Duct Length:
Exhaust ducts shall be constructed of minimum 0.016-inch-thick (0.4 mm) rigid metal ducts, having smooth interior surfaces, with joints running in the direction of air flow. Exhaust ducts shall not be connected with sheet-metal screws or fastening means which extend into the duct.

Duct Length:
The maximum length of a clothes dryer exhaust duct shall not exceed 25 feet (7,620 mm) from the dryer location to the wall or roof termination. The maximum length of the duct shall be reduced 2.5 feet (762 mm) for each 45-degree (0.8 rad) bend, and 5 feet (1,524 mm) for each 90-degree (1.6 rad) bend. The maximum length of the exhaust duct does not include the transition duct.

Duct Termination
Exhaust ducts shall terminate on the outside of the building or shall be in accordance with the dryer manufacturer’s installation instructions. Exhaust ducts shall terminate not less than 3 feet (914 mm) in any direction from openings into buildings. Exhaust duct terminations shall be equipped with a backdraft damper. Screens shall not be installed at the duct termination.

Duct Size:
The diameter of the exhaust duct shall be as required by the clothes dryer’s listing and the manufacturer’s installation instructions.

In general, an inspector will not know specific manufacturer’s recommendations or local applicable codes and will not be able to confirm the dryer vent’s compliance to them, but will be able to point out issues that may need to be corrected.

by Nick Gromicko and Kenton Shepard

Another Guest post

Written By: Jaime Osborn - Aug• 25•15

Why A Property Inspection Is Essential and What To Look Out For

Purchasing a new property can be great fun and an incredibly rewarding experience, whether you are buying it for yourself or merely for investment purposes. However, there are some not-so-fun aspects to buying real estate that we do not like to think about and one of these things is a property inspection.

home inspection

A Property Inspection is a crucial element in the process that cannot be overlooked. Having a property inspection conducted can potentially save you loads of money in the long run. Here’s why a property inspection is essential and what you should be looking out for…

A good property inspection confirms the true condition of the property before purchase, determines if there is anything that needs to be fixed and uncovers any serious problems with the property. Problems can be anything and can range from cracks in the foundations, mold and mildew, rising damp, roof leaks, cracks in the walls, etc. Being aware of these problems up front ensures that you have an idea of the cost of repairs before committing to buying the property.

If you are considering buying the property as an investment and there is repair work to be done, you will need to factor these costs in to your rental income and possibly determine if it is actually worth purchasing the property in the first place.

investing on real estate

If you are wondering who conducts property inspections, try calling a reputable property inspector and preferably one who holds certification in the field of property inspection. The easiest way to find a good inspector is to ask for a referral from your realtor or a fellow investor. If you don’t succeed down this road, another simple way is to consult Yelp. People are known for their brutally honest reviews on this forum so you are bound to find a good property inspector in your area with Yelp.

Any good property inspector will make use of a property inspection app like TopInspect.com while thoroughly conducting the inspection, so the inspection should not take long at all. Your inspection will therefore be a painless but worthwhile experience. We highly recommend it!

Why the Property Tax Rate of Your Neighborhood Really Does Matter

Written By: Jaime Osborn - Apr• 28•15

By Jane Blanchard

An assessment is a tool of the local government to figure out how much you should pay in property taxes. But does your assessment match the assessment of others in your neighborhood?

Taxes

4 Parts of the Assessment

The appraisal – Current fair market value usually determines an assessor’s appraisal.

The assessment rate or ratio – The assessment rate is the difference between the market value of the home and the assessor’s appraisal value. Typically, it’s a number determined by the total market value of the locality.

The assessed value – By multiplying the appraisal by the assessment rate, the assessor will come up with the assessed value.

The tax rate or mill levy – The tax rate starts with an estimation of how much a locality thinks it needs for the year. The mill levy is what you get when you divide those estimates by the total value of all properties in the area.

The assessor takes the appraisal amount, and multiples it by the assessment rate. The resulting value, multiplied by the tax rate, is your annual property tax.

Discrepancies with the Appraisal

It’s possible the assessor based your assessment on old criteria. For example, if the local housing market was really swinging a year before you purchased, but it’s stagnated since, you need to know your assessment didn’t ride on the previous year’s numbers.

The opposite is also true. If you purchase your home at one price, then the market drops and now your house isn’t worth that price anymore, then you may need a reassessment.

Check on the market values of homes similar to yours in the neighborhood. You can search for them online along with how much each pays in property taxes. With that information, you can figure out around how much they were assessed for by the town.

Discrepancies with the Assessment

Your assessment can contain miscalculations, outright mistakes, and misinformation. Pore over it point by point and investigate each of those points.

For example, the assessment might have a space listed as a full bedroom when it’s only just a glorified walk-in closet. It may state the property is far larger in square footage than it actually is. Look out for things like these and take notes.

Property Taxes Icon

What to Do With the Information

Gather all of your documentation, and everything possible that supports your claim. Get in contact with your assessor’s office. Ask, politely, what you can do about discrepancies with your assessment. Some locales will let you meet with an assessor. Some others require you to file a formal complaint.

You may have to go through a process, and it’s important that you do it right. If your evidence is strong, and you follow the rules, you can have your property taxes lowered. Just know that it’s more of an uphill battle in some places.

For more tips and tricks, head to Modernize.com.

Great Article from Bt Home inspections here in Memphis

Written By: Jaime Osborn - Apr• 07•15

closet 1I get these guys monthly news letter and this month there was an article that I thought was definitely worth sharing with all of you.

here it is for you.

and if you’d like to visit their page you can also read the article here at www.bthomeinspections.com

Enjoy

Clothes Closet Lighting
closet 2
People don’t often think about the fire risks posed by the light in their clothes closet, but it’s one of the few places in the house where a source of high heat can get too close to flammable materials. Lighting must be installed safely with adequate separation from clothes, boxes and other flammables stored in the closet. Additionally, the quality of the light, as well as bulb efficiency, will influence your lighting choices.
closet 3
The minimum distance between luminaires installed in clothes closets and the nearest point of a storage area shall be as follows:

1. Surface-mounted incandescent or LED luminaires with a completely enclosed light source shall be installed on a wall above the door or on the ceiling, provided that there is a minimum clearance of 12 inches (305 mm) between the fixture and the nearest point of a storage space.

2. Surface-mounted fluorescent luminaires shall be installed on the wall above the door or on the ceiling, provided that there is a minimum clearance of 6 inches (152 mm).

3. Recessed incandescent luminaires or LED luminaires with a completely enclosed light source shall be installed in the wall or the ceiling, provided that there is a minimum clearance of 6 inches (152 mm).
4. Recessed fluorescent luminaires shall be installed in the wall or on the ceiling, provided that there is a minimum clearance of 6 inches (152 mm) between the fixture and the nearest point of storage space.
closet 4
5. Surface-mounted fluorescent or LED luminaires shall be permitted to be installed within the storage space where identified within this use. Also, metal pull chains may be dangerous; if the base cracks, the chain can become electrified.

CRI is a quantitative measure of the ability of a light source to reproduce the colors of various objects faithfully, in comparison with an ideal or natural light source. The closer the CRI of a lamp is to 100, the more “true” it renders colors in the environment. Poor CRI is the reason that a shirt and pants that seemed to match at home now clash in the restroom at work. For clothes closets lighting, the CRI should be as high as possible. Incandescent lights are inefficient but they have a CRI of 100, making them the most aesthetic lighting choice. Compact fluorescents lights (CFLs) are far more efficient and have a longer life than incandescent bulbs, but they have a CRI in the low 60s, making them a poor choice for clothes closet applications. Low-voltage halogen and LED lights are relatively efficient, long-lasting, and have a high CRI, although not as high as incandescent bulbs. In summary, homeowners should replace lighting in their clothes closets if the light has the potential to ignite flammable materials in the closet.

by Nick Gromicko

6 Acts to Avoid When Buying a Home

Written By: Jaime Osborn - Mar• 26•15

6 Acts to Avoid When Buying a HomeBuying a home can be one of the most exciting events in a person’s life. Just imagine living in a house that you call yours. Nothing will surely beat that achievement. However, buying a house can be daunting as well. This is especially true if you have committed mistakes during the searching and buying process.

What are these mistakes? Here they are…

1. Being Unprepared

Just thinking of the scope of task included in purchasing a home, it is surprising that many people do not do a comprehensive research to know their purchasing power. As always, it is sensible to know your financial capacity before you even hunt for a home. A lot of people do not take time to know this and simply waste their precious time in searching for houses that they cannot actually afford. Remember, sellers are not interested in buyers who do not have mortgage pre-approval.

2. Failure to Use an Agent

A lot of people begin the process of home buying by simply shopping around the neighborhood and look for houses for sale signs, get the number on the sign or visit an open house. The process of home buying can be difficult and mistakes can happen, so buyers must strive to have a real estate agent. What might be difficult for a buyer can be a piece of cake to a professional agent, and he or she knows what to do and when to inform a buyer if something out of the ordinary happens. The agent will also help in assessing the fair market value to avoid overpayment on the part of the buyer.

3. Waiting Very Long

Buying residential real estate is not something that should be considered very lightly. The real estate market is not stable and can dramatically change. Also, interest rates can increase while the buyers are wandering around. Although it is luring to explore everything even when they have already seen their dream house, that house may no longer be available after they have finished looking around.

4. Failure to do a Neighborhood Research

Your dream home can turn out to be nightmare when you find out that it is locate in an unsecured locality. Relevant facts concerning the neighborhood such as community activities, schools, crimes, etc. should be researched well prior to deciding to purchase a house in any community.

5. Concentrating on One Feature

Buyers who investigate at every house with little impression often overlook better possible worth of the house. Sometimes, buyers are easily caught by decorating features, get engrossed on controlled appeal or strictly focus on the price. These features can quickly be altered or negotiated and buyers can overlook a better deal if they become overly fixated on one feature of the house and decide not to buy it.

6. Expensive Home Price

There are times that lenders are likely to over qualify a purchaser for a house they cannot afford to constantly make regular payments. Buyers must be careful not to take a loan that is already beyond his/her means.

Things to Do Before Moving Into a New Home

Written By: Jaime Osborn - Jun• 20•14

Jaime-Osborn-Can-help-you-be-prepared-to-buy-a-new-homeWhen buying a new home we need to still pay attention to our new home. There are a few tasks that need to be done before you move on, such as the following:

• Changing the locks on your exterior doors as soon as possible. Although the closing of the deal may be done and you have the keys, you would be a lot safer if you have a locksmith drop by to replace all the locks with new ones just in case. The previous owners and realtors likely still have a key to your place, so it would be in your best interest to change those locks, even if you are on great terms with all of them. Its the sensible thing to do and it would greatly increase the overall security of your home.

• You should get the house cleaned regardless of how you found it. In many cases there may be areas that were overlooked by the previous owners, so you will need to work on it. You can either do this yourself or hire a cleaning company to get the job done for you. Whatever the case, you should make sure you get everything taken care of. You will need your cleaning supplies for that of course, so stock up and make sure you clean your cabinets, plumbing fixtures, counters and other areas that need attention, such as the walls and ceilings if you must.

• You will possibly need to repaint some walls and ceilings as well. Since this is pretty time-consuming and you may simply be too busy to get it done yourself, then you may need some professional paint. This is especially important if you managed to buy your place cheap, but it has some minor cosmetic damage such as cracks and other defects. Unless you have help and experience working on such matters, you may want to work with a contractor for such things. You should consider neutral colors if you’re not sure what you want to pick, as they will make it much easier to deal with and will last a long time without getting in the way of your senses.

• You need to get some organizers if you want to keep things in order. A lot of the older homes out there have closets that have a single shelf and a pole and that’s pretty much it. You can check different stores for alternatives to such a simple setup. They will give you options for closets and how you can fit things in there in a better way. You will also need to address the other items apart form the ones that go in your closet. Your seasonal clothes, boots and other things will also need a good place, whether its a wardrobe or a similar solution.

• Install some new switch plates around your home if they are in need of a change. The same goes for vent covers and other small aspects of your home. It will take a little bit of work, but when you’re done your home will look exactly as you wanted it to be with nothing but a simple fix.
For more cleaning ideas you can contact: Domestic Cleaning Chiswick.

Home Buying Guide for Single Women

Written By: Jaime Osborn - May• 29•14

Home Buying Guide for Single WomenDepending on our priorities, each woman’s life may develop in radically different directions, as our expectations may also vary greatly. Things in most cases follow a certain order for a woman: we finish school, getting a good job, maybe getting married, buying a nice home and having a chance to raise kids. Traditions are a wonderful thing, but not everyone’s life takes the same turn and the same sequence of events. There are more than a few ways a woman can move in life, and this goes in several directions. One thing most of us would agree upon is that a home of our own is desirable in any situation. This is a serious investment however, which requires a good bit of preparation if you want to succeed:

• Budget and Costs
This is the first thing you need to keep in mind when you’re getting ready. Most people often fall to the oversight of the extra expenses that surround a purchase of that kind, as there are more expenses than simply buying it. Make sure you aim slightly below the maximum amount of money you’re willing to give so you can have a safe margin around what you can afford.

• Credit Score Importance
You will need to use a loan to get yourself on your way toward a new home and this is where your credit score will be of the utmost importance. Most of us don’t simply have the resources to buy one at the ready and waiting in the bank, so a loan is a necessary evil that allows us to approach the issue in a more controlled, long-term way. Depending on your credit score the brokers will usually have options that work with different scores, so you don’t need to worry if yours is not exactly stellar.

• Real Estate Agents
Unless you have experience with real estate or a friend that works in it, you will find it difficult to find a good place without help. Real estate agents will greatly help in the long run, as you have a chance to find a greater range of properties you would not be able to reach any other way. You will need a good bit of information concerning the market and this is where a real estate agent will be of great use.

• Aim smaller
You would do well to aim for a cheaper home than the maximum amount you can afford, as you will have a far easier time managing your mortgage if you do so. Check out any possible expenses you will need to deal with, such as utilities, maintenance and taxes and you will get a better understanding so you can budget well.

• The choice
In the end your choices will greatly dictate your future, so consider the advantages and disadvantages of what you plan on choosing. Location, security and other benefits are all valid concerns, so don’t underestimate them.
For more moving tips you can contact: Balham Man with a Van Hire