Monday, October 20, 2014

The Most Common Regrets of First Time Home Buyers

Are you a first time home buyer? Sometimes, after closing the deal, home buyers report several regrets which probably could have not occurred if precautions and proper preparations are made. Here are some of the common regrets of first time home buyers which we hope you could avoid if you are pursuing your dream of owning your very first house.

34% wished they negotiated more

Negotiating with the seller is an integral part of the home buying process. First time home buyers are usually delighted with the price tags such that when they offer the price they want and the seller agrees - they give in and agree to close the deal. Yet, after the closing 34% wished they negotiated more to obtain lower prices.

40% wished they should have cashed out more for the down payment

Buying a house for the first time involves shelling out significant amount of money for its down payment. However, 40% of the first time home buyers usually pay down payment as what is the convention. This percentage wished they should have cashed out more because it will lower their monthly dues.

38% found it costly to maintain a home

As soon as the first time home buyers move in to their purchased homes, 38% found out that home maintenance is costly. There are a lot of things involved to make the house appealing, functional, and stylish as the owners wanted the house to be. Apparently, many first time homebuyers are not prepared with these kinds of tasks. Their budgets aren't prepared to for such maintenance processes.

25% found out they don't like the neighborhood

After moving in to the house, a quarter of the first timers wished they looked for a better neighborhood. The beauty of a house is not just the sole factor that home buyers, especially first timers should look upon and evaluate. The neighborhood is also a critical value. The quality of the neighborhood and the kinds of people living there will constitute a great part of your daily life.

24% revealed regrets with regards to their yards

The yard, although an outside part of the house, is essential because it can serve as playground to the children. It can also become part of the recreation of adult family members especially the garden part. Despite this, 50% of those with regrets wished for a smaller yard because of the difficulty associated with its maintenance. The other 50% wished for a larger space because of more plants they wanted for their garden. Some of them also want to put outside furniture.

These are some of the common regrets that first time home buyers have. With the information discussed herewith, it is hoped that you will avoid them by taking into big consideration what you really want in a house.

Desare Kohn-Laski is a proud realtor and experienced Military Relocation Professional in Florida. She is a real estate broker who is knowledgeable and familiar of the South Florida real estate market. Her areas of services include Broward County, Palm Beach County & Miami-Dade County. Stop the chase for your dream house with her professional and expert assistance. For more information, hop on to
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Friday, October 17, 2014

How to Find Homes for Sale That Fit Your Needs

When looking for homes for sale that fit your budget, you may think that the amount of research you need to do is overwhelming. Granted, you will have to put in quite a bit of work. However, in the long run, you'll find the effort will be well worth your time.

Location, Location, Location

One of the first things you need to do, of course, is to define what type of deal would be the best for you. For example, you need to decide whether a great location or a low price is more of a priority. On the other hand, be careful that you don't focus too much on money. Many people make this mistake and ignore several other important aspects as a result. You need to not only be aware of cost but also what type of neighborhood you want to live in and, if you have children, the quality of schools in the area.

The more desirable the neighborhood, of course, the more you can expect to pay. You'll need to know the prices of nearby houses in addition to the one in which you're interested. If you see one in a great neighborhood that has a price too good to be true, you need to be leery. Odds are it could be what is known as a "distressed property," and it may need so much upkeep that it won't be worth the investment.

This doesn't mean, however, that you can't find homes for sale in a great neighborhood that will fall within your price range. There will likely be many emerging areas that are well designed and well maintained, and these areas have the potential to make you happy for several years. Just make sure that you ask the right questions if you're considering a neighborhood that is still under construction. You'll want to know, for instance, how long it will take for it to be completed. This will play a huge role in how much the house will appreciate in future years.

You may also be looking for homes for sale that are made of materials that are easy to maintain and energy-efficient. While it could be difficult to find them on your own, calling a realtor could be a big help. A professional can help you locate a house that not only meets strict building codes but also has a wiring system that is equipped to meet the demands of modern appliances and electronics.

Love at First Sight

It may be difficult not to fall in love with a property based on the way it looks in a photo, but it's really important that you fight the urge. Even great photos can hide significant problems, either with the land on which the structure sits or with the house itself. Also, don't forget pictures can easily be enhanced. Don't make any sort of decision until you see the house for yourself and you have it inspected inside and out.

If you keep your cool and put in the work, you'll find a house you and your family will love for a very long time.

For residents of Ludington MI, homes for sale are available using the following resource:
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Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Financial Stability - Porter Report

This weeks Porter Report covers long term strategies to build your financial stability, save money and work toward your long term financial goals.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

News Flash about Fannie Mae HomePath!

Effective October 6th 2014

That's right people! Effective Oct. 6, both the HomePath Mortgage & HomePath Renovation Mortgage products are being discontinued.  The Homepath programs offered owner-occupant buyers and investors special financing arrangements on foreclosed homes in the Fannie Mae inventory but with the number of homes in foreclosure being the lowest we have seen in 6 years Fannie Mae is laying it to rest next week.

New alternatives offered:

In their place, Fannie Mae is introducing what it calls three new "financing flexibilities." 

 1. Interested Party Contributions (IPCs):

For principal residences with LTV/CLTVs greater than 90%, Fannie Mae allows up to 6% interested party contributions (rather than the 3% standard per the Selling Guide). 

 2. Multiple Financed Properties:

For borrowers owning 5-10 financed properties, a maximum LTV/CLTV ratio of 75% for 2-4 unit investment properties is permitted (rather than the standard 70% per the Selling Guide) on fixed rate mortgage transactions only. LTV/CLTV ratio limits for ARM transactions and High Balance Loans are per the Selling Guide. All other eligibility requirements for borrowers with Multiple Financed Properties continue to apply. 

 3. Resale Restrictions:
In the event the mortgaged property is subject to any resale restriction imposed by Fannie Mae as the property seller, the mortgage is eligible for sale to Fannie Mae, notwithstanding any Selling Guide restrictions on properties subject to resale restrictions.

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Thursday, October 2, 2014

Which Mortgage Type Is Right For You?

There are 4 main mortgage loan types. Each of them has different guidelines on employment, credit history, debt ratio, asset requirements, and property standards. Understanding the underwriting differences will help you decide which mortgage type is right for you.

The 4 main loan types include: (1) conventional, (2) Federal Housing Administration (FHA), (3) United States Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), and (4) the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA-RHS loans). Below is a description of each mortgage type and some of their major differences.

Conventional Mortgage

Conventional mortgages following guidelines issued by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac which set the maximum mortgage amount, property requirements, credit standards, debt to income guidelines, and down payment minimums. The current single family conforming mortgage limit is $417,000. Conventional loans can be fixed, variable, or balloon mortgages. This mortgage type is typically packaged with other conventional mortgages and sold as mortgaged backed securities.

FHA Mortgage

The United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) administers FHA loans. FHA loans require a 3.50% down payment which can be a gift from a relative or down payment assistance from an eligible source. The credit standards for this loan type are the easiest to qualify for. This loan type also has certain guidelines that other loan types do not have that cater to individuals with deferred student loans, past bankruptcies or foreclosures, rental income, and other income sources (child support, alimony, entitlement income). The maximum mortgaged amount is set per State and County. For most areas FHA loans can be well into the 200,000 range for a single family dwelling. FHA also offers rehabilitation loans, which allow monies to be added to a mortgage for repairs and/or improvements. FHA loans charge an upfront mortgage insurance premium on all loans and a monthly mortgage insurance premium up to 1.35% annually. The monthly mortgage insurance is charged for the life of the loan.

VA Mortgage

The VA loan is guaranteed by the United States Department of Veterans Affairs. This loan type is exclusively for veterans or service personal to obtain loans at competitive rates and terms with no down payment or mortgage insurance. The VA does not lend money directly to the borrower it only guarantees the lender will recover 25% of the mortgaged amount if the veteran goes into default. The maximum mortgaged amount is generally $417,000 in most areas. The underwriting loan standards for this loan type are looser than conventional loans. This loan type accepts lower credit scores, only one debt ratio is considered, and typically no reserves are required of the borrower. To qualify for a VA loan, one must be a veteran, active duty personal, reservist, or National Guard Member with an honorable discharge. Also surviving spouse may be eligible for this loan type if certain conditions are met.

USDA/RHS Mortgage

The United States Department of Education guarantees RHS loans. This loan type requires no down payment but has a monthly maintenance fee similar to private mortgage insurance. This loan type is only available in designated rural areas. Please refer to the USDA website for specific locations. Income qualifications for this loan type allow applicants to earn up to 115% of the medium household income for the area. In certain circumstances USDA loans allow buyers closing costs to be rolled into the loan (up to 3% of the sales price). USDA loans have a 2% upfront mortgage insurance premium; in addition they have a monthly insurance premium of.5% annually. The USDA also has a program where very low income families can apply for a mortgage directly through a USDA office and qualify for a special interest rate.

Everyone's situation is different. Understanding the basic guidelines of each mortgage type may assist homebuyers in making the best decision when financing their next home. Consult with a licensed loan officer to discuss your financing options. It is always in a buyer's best interest to get pre-approved prior to looking for a house. A pre-approval will let you know what mortgage type, down payment, and how much you qualify for. The pre-approval will also make you a stronger buyer when bidding on a home.

It is always in a potential homebuyers best interest to consult with a licensed loan officer to discuss their financing options. After they complete the mortgage pre-approval process, they will know your how much they qualify for, their down payment options, and what loan types they are eligible for.

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