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Friday, November 11, 2011

The VA loan is the BEST loan out there! And it should be! Thank you Veteran's!

I want to thank my Dad, Mel Qualls, for his Military service!

Is the American taxpayer footing the bill for HARP 2.0?

As I read an article written in the Financial Times this morning it became clear to me that the Home Affordable Program enhancement that is to be released 12/1/11 has some far reaching American tax payer ramifications. 
Underwater mortgage refinancing: Who's bailing out who? 

Because mortgage loans greater than 125% loan to value cannot be included in regular Collateralized Mortgage Obligations (CMO's), the mortgages created in HARP 2.0 (this program targets homeowners who are REALLY upside down in their mortgages) are ultimately, created, insured and owned by Fannie and Freddie and can't be sold in a "regular" bond issue.  These loans will need to stay on Freddie and Fannie's balance sheets for now

So what's the rub and why can't they stay with Fannie and Freddie?    

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

VA loans up to $417,000

I continue to be amazed that if a Veteran would like to purchase a home, VA will allow up to a $322,700 (inclusive of the VA funding fee) loan amount with a ZERO down payment!   Higher loan amounts up to $417,000 are also available with a down payment.   
VA financing for eligible Veterans and National Guard

The VA purchase program can't be beat for maximizing your return on dollars that don't need to be paid at closing for a down payment.  Additionally, there is no mortgage insurance to be paid monthly, which, for a ZERO down loan is an unbelievable benefit!   

Cash out refinancing with a VA loan can consolidate bills or get money to remodel your home and the loan to value goes up to 90%, which is 10% higher in loan to value than Conventional financing and 5% higher in loan to value than FHA (and FHA requires monthly mortgage insurance, VA does NOT!).

Eligible Veterans and National Guard have a great loan to take advantage of with the VA loan!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

5 steps to avoid buying a money pit

I read a great blog post today and wanted to share some ideas to help buyer's avoid buying a home that is going to cost them a lot of money later.

I have always encouraged home buyers to hire a professional inspector who goes through the home carefully and professionally BEFORE ordering the appraisal or at least before closing.  

With a professional inspector by your side you can discuss the finer details of the report they have prepared, and you can benefit from their experience and ask questions about the following items.
Hire a professional to inspect your home before you close your home purchase!

How to avoid buying a money pit:
  1. Attend inspections-when possible always walk through the home with the inspector, the additional insight, comments and "watch for this in the future" points they will bring out during the inspection walk through are priceless.  THIS is my #1 best to do suggestion of the 5 points!
  2. READ the report and the seller disclosures carefully- when in doubt, ask questions!
  3. Get multiple repair bids-2-3 is really the minimum and caution and research here will save many repair cost surprises later.  At this point, you have already paid the inspector for their knowledge, ask them questions about what the probable cost of a repair item might be.  When out of the inspectors area of expertise, hire a licensed professional for more information (roofer, HVAC, electrician, plumber, structural engineer).
  4. Stop overconfidence in its tracks!  Even the easiest repair jobs will cost more and take more time than you think.  I can remember clearly the time I replaced my toilet wax seal when I tiled my bathroom.  It ALL takes longer than you think!
  5. Prioritize price reductions and credits OVER seller repairs-to be in control of WHO does the repair and WHEN the repair is done, take a price reduction or a seller paid closing cost credit INSTEAD of having the seller do the repair before closing.  

Monday, November 7, 2011

You did good Orrin Hatch! Freddie and Fannie did a bad one!

Full article "$13M in Fannie and Freddie bonuses is an out rage!"

I am so happy that Orrin Hatch is my Senator!  The full article is linked here if you would like to read it. I have been following this as I became aware of, and angered by, the news that Fannie and Freddie executives received bonuses from US taxpayers who are keeping the two agencies afloat. 

Hatch, along with 58 other Senators, are demanding tighter oversight of funds paid to these two entities.  Way to go Orrin and other concerned Senators!  We DO need to send a message to our fiscal leaders and demand that these things don't happen again! 

What are Treasury Securities?

With $72B worth of Treasuries to be auctioned off during this Holiday shortened week, I thought it would be a good time to review what Treasury Securities are.  Each type of securities and their auctions effect Bond prices and Bond yields.

Remember, the higher the bond price when they are sold at auction is usually good for Mortgage rates as Bond prices and yields move in opposite directions.  The higher the bond price and the success of the auction will usually result in better mortgage rates.  :)

Here's a quick overview of Treasury securities:
  • Treasury Bills, or T-Bills, are sold in terms ranging from a few days to 52 weeks. Bills are typically sold at a discount from the par amount (also called face value). For instance, you may pay $990 for a $1,000 bill. When the Bill matures, you would be paid $1,000.
  • Treasury Bonds pay a fixed rate of interest every six months until they mature. They are issued in terms of 30 years.
  • Treasury Notes, sometimes called T-Notes, earn a fixed rate of interest every six months until maturity. Notes are issued in terms of 2,3,5, 7 and 10 years.