Tag Archive: Loan


Chase Bank Wants to Give You $20,000!!

Due to the unfortunate economic climate, many homeowners are unable to afford the monthly payments on their homes. Wouldn’t it be nice if you could avoid foreclosure, keep your credit from being destroyed, and pocket 20k all at the same time? Well, that option might be available to you!

 Chase Bank recently announced a new incentive that offers distressed homeowners the opportunity to short sell their home, be forgiven on the difference between the loan amount and the sale price, and receive $10,000-$20,000 in cash in the process!! The key is qualifying loans, sources indicate that Chase loans that originated from Washington Mutual are the loans that qualify for this incentive program

  Why would Chase offer this incentive? Foreclosures are costly, between the attorney fees, court fees, delinquent property taxes etc… costs add up very quickly. Chase is also interested in expunging these loans from their books. Other loans may qualify for this incentive.

Would you like more information?

 Give me a call, Carlos J. Amador at (562) 833-4292 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting              (562) 833-4292      end_of_the_skype_highlighting   
  
RE/MAX North Orange County   

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The Federal Reserve says both large and small banks are beginning to ease back on their credit requirements for “some categories of loans” to households and businesses.

However, standards continue to tighten on prime mortgages and home-equity loans, particularly at smaller institutions.

The central bank released the results of its October survey of senior loan officers Monday. Their answers are used to gauge the current temperature of bank lending practices and are compiled from respondents at 57 domestic banks and 22 U.S. branches of foreign banks.

In response to a special question included in the latest survey, a “substantial” number of loan officers said they expected their bank’s lending standards would not return to what is considered normal until after 2012, or would remain tighter than is customary for the foreseeable future.

The research firm Capital Economics took an in-depth look at the latest results of the Fed survey. The company says it shows “no evidence of a loan rebound.”

“[L]enders remain reluctant to lend and borrowers remain reluctant to borrow, supporting our view that U.S. economic growth will continue to stumble along at around 2 percent per annum for some time yet,” Paul Ashworth, senior U.S. economist for Capital Economics said in a research note released to DSNews.com.

According to the Federal Reserve’s study, consumer demand for residential mortgages decreased during the three months ending in October compared to earlier survey periods, with the falloff most evident at smaller institutions.

Banks reported weakening demand for both prime and nontraditional mortgage loans to purchase homes, according to the Fed’s summary of survey results. Banks also reported a “slight weakening” in demand for home equity lines of credit.

While lending standards for residential mortgages generally became more stringent since the Fed’s last survey in July, most respondents reported no change in their bank’s standards for approving commercial real estate (CRE) loans.

Similarly, domestic banks reported little change in demand for CRE loans. The banks that did report stronger demand were among the larger respondents in the sample, while those reporting weaker demand tended to be smaller banks. A modest share of foreign institutions also reported stronger demand for CRE loans.

Buying your first home? Selling your house? Looking to relocate? Give me a call,        Carlos J. Amador at (714) 626-8880 ext 117 or visit my website http://www.carlosjamador.com. For a no obligation free consultation. Free first time home buyer information for Fullerton, Orange County, and Los Angeles residents. Real Estate information for Fullerton, Orange County and Los Angeles residents. Home Sellers in Fullerton, Orange County, and Los Angeles.

Source:Dsnews.com

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81. HOW DOES MY CREDIT HISTORY IMPACT MY ABILITY TO QUALIFY?

The FHA is generally more flexible than conventional lenders in its qualifying guidelines. In fact, the FHA allows you to re-establish credit if:

 -   two years have passed since a bankruptcy has been discharged
 -   all judgments have been paid
 -   any outstanding tax liens have been satisfied or appropriate arrangements have been made to establish a repayment plan with the IRS or state Department of Revenue
 -   three years have passed since a foreclosure or a deed-in-lieu has been resolved

82. CAN I QUALIFY FOR AN FHA LOAN WITHOUT A CREDIT HISTORY?

Yes. If you prefer to pay debts in cash or are too young to have established credit, there are other ways to prove your eligibility. Talk to your lender for details.

83. WHAT TYPES OF CLOSING COSTS ARE ASSOCIATED WITH FHA-INSURED LOANS?

Except for the addition of an FHA mortgage insurance premium, FHA closing costs are similar to those of a conventional loan outlined in Question 63. The FHA requires a single, upfront mortgage insurance premium equal to 2.25% of the mortgage to be paid at closing (or 1.75% if you complete the HELP program- see Question 91). This initial premium may be partially refunded if the loan is paid in full during the first seven years of the loan term. After closing, you will then be responsible for an annual premium – paid monthly – if your mortgage is over 15 years or if you have a 15-year loan with an LTV greater than 90%.

84. CAN I ROLL CLOSING COSTS INTO my FHA LOAN?

No. Though you can’t roll closing costs into your FHA loan, you may be able to use the amount you pay for them to help satisfy the down payment requirement. Ask your lender for details.

85. ARE FHA LOANS ASSUMABLE?

Yes. You can assume an existing FHA-insured loan, or, if you are the one deciding to sell, allow a buyer to assume yours. Assuming a loan can be very beneficial, since the process is streamlined and less expensive compared to that for a new loan. Also, assuming a loan can often result in a lower interest rate. The application process consists basically of a credit check and no property appraisal is required. And you must demonstrate that you have enough income to support the mortgage loan. In this way, qualifying to assume a loan is similar to the qualification requirements for a new one.

86. WHAT SHOULD I DO IF I CAN’T MAKE A PAYMENT ON LOAN?

Call or, write to your lender as soon as possible. Clearly explain the situation and be prepared to provide him or her with financial information.

87. ARE THERE ANY OPTIONS IF I FALL BEHIND ON MY LOAN PAYMENTS?

Yes. Talk to your lender or a HUD-approved counseling agency for details. Listed below are a few options that may help you get back on track.

For FHA loans:

 -   Keep living in your home to qualify for assistance.
 -   Contact a HUD-approved housing counseling agency (1-800-569-4287 or TDD: 1-800-483-2209) and cooperate with the counselor/lender trying to help you.
 -   HUD has a number of special loss mitigation programs available to help you:
 -   Special Forbearance: Your lender will arrange for a revised repayment plan which may Include temporary reduction or suspension of payments; you can qualify by having an Involuntary reduction in your Income or Increase In living expenses.
 -   Mortgage Modification: Allows refinance debt and/or extend the term of the your mortgage loan which may reduce your monthly payments; you can qualify if you have recovered from financial problems, but net Income Is less than before.
 -   Partial Claim: Your lender maybe able to help you obtain an interest-free loan from HUD to bring your mortgage current.
 -   Pre-foreclosure Sale: Allows you to sell your property and pay off your mortgage loan ,to avoid foreclosure.
 -   Deed-in lieu of Foreclosure: Lets you voluntarily “give back” your property to the lender; it won’t save your house but will help you avoid the costs, time, and effort of the foreclosure process.
 -   If you are having difficulty with an-uncooperative lender or feel your loan servicer is not providing you with the most effective loss mitigation options, call the FHA Loss Mitigation Center at 1-888-297-8685 for additional help.

For Conventional Loans:

Talk to your lender about specific loss mitigation options. Work directly with him or her to request a “workout packet.” A secondary lender, like Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac, may have purchased your loan. Your lender can follow the appropriate guidelines set by Fannie or Freddie to determine the best option for your situation.

Fannie Mae does not deal directly with the borrower. They work with the lender to determine the loss mitigation program that best fits your needs.

Freddie Mac, like Fannie Mae, will usually only work with the loan servicer. However, if you encounter problems with your lender during the loss mitigation process, you can coil customer service for help at 1-800-FREDDIE (1-800-373-3343).

In any loss mitigation situation, it is important to remember a few helpful hints:

 -   Explore every reasonable alternative to avoid losing your home, but beware of scams. For example, watch out for:
Equity skimming: a buyer offers to repay the mortgage or sell the property if you sign over the deed and move out.
Phony counseling agencies: offer counseling for a fee when it is often given at no charge.
 -   Don’t sign anything you don’t understand.

MORTGAGE INSURANCE

88. WHAT IS MORTGAGE INSURANCE?

Mortgage insurance is a policy that protects lenders against some or most of the losses that result from defaults on home mortgages. It’s required primarily for borrowers making a down payment of less than 20%.

89. HOW DOES MORTGAGE INSURANCE WORK? IS IT LIKE HOME OR AUTO INSURANCE?

Like home or auto insurance, mortgage insurance requires payment of a premium, is for protection against loss, and is used in the event of an emergency. If a borrower can’t repay an insured mortgage loan as agreed, the lender may foreclose on the property and file a claim with the mortgage insurer for some or most of the total losses.

90. DO I NEED MORTGAGE INSURANCE? HOW DO I GET IT?

You need mortgage insurance only if you plan to make a down payment of less than 20% of the purchase price of the home. The FHA offers several loan programs that may meet your needs. Ask your lender for details.

91. HOW CAN I RECEIVE A DISCOUNT ON THE FHA INITIAL MORTGAGE INSURANCE PREMIUM?

Ask your real estate agent or lender for information on the HELP program from the FHA. HELP – Homebuyer Education Learning Program – is structured to help people like you begin the homebuying process. It covers such topics as budgeting, finding a home, getting a loan, and home maintenance. In most cases, completion of this program may entitle you to a reduction in the initial FHA mortgage insurance premium from 2.25% to 1.75% of the purchase price of your new home.

92. WHAT IS PMI?

PMI stands for Private Mortgage Insurance or Insurer. These are privately-owned companies that provide mortgage insurance. They offer both standard and special affordable programs for borrowers. These companies provide guidelines to lenders that detail the types of loans they will insure. Lenders use these guidelines to determine borrower eligibility. PMI’s usually have stricter qualifying ratios and larger down payment requirements than the FHA, but their premiums are often lower and they insure loans that exceed the FHA limit.

FHA PRODUCTS

93. WHAT IS A 203(b) LOAN?

This is the most commonly used FHA program. It offers a low down payment, flexible qualifying guidelines, limited lender’s fees, and a maximum loan amount.

94. WHAT IS A 203(k) LOAN?

This is a loan that enables the homebuyer to finance both the purchase and rehabilitation of a home through a single mortgage. A portion of the loan is used to pay off the seller’s existing mortgage and the remainder is placed in an escrow account and released as rehabilitation is completed. Basic guidelines for 203(k) loans are as follows:

 -   The home must be at least one year old.
 -   The cost of rehabilitation must be at least $5,000, but the total property value – including the cost of repairs – must fall within the FHA maximum mortgage limit.
 -   The 203(k) loan must follow many of the 203(b) eligibility requirements.
 -   Talk to your lender about specific improvement, energy efficiency, and structural guidelines.

95. WHAT IS AN ENERGY EFFICIENT MORTGAGE (EEM)?

The Energy Efficient Mortgage allows a homebuyer to save future money on utility bills. This is done by financing the cost of adding energy-efficiency features to a new or existing home as part of an FHA-insured home purchase. The EEM can be used with both 203(b) and 203(k) loans. Basic guidelines for EEMs are as follows:

 -   The cost of improvements must be determined by a Home Energy Rating System or by an energy consultant. This cost must be less than the anticipated savings from the improvements.
 -   One- and two-unit new or existing homes are eligible; condos are not.
 -   The improvements financed may be 5% of property value or $4,000, whichever is greater. The total must fall within the FHA loan limit.

96. DELETED.

97. WHAT IS A TITLE I LOAN?

Given by a Lender and insured by the FHA, a Title I loan is used to make non-luxury renovations and repairs to a home. It offers a manageable interest rate and repayment schedule. Loans are limited to between $5,000 and 20,000. If the loan amount is under 7,500, no lien is required against your home. Ask your lender for details.

98. WHAT OTHER LOAN PRODUCTS OR PROGRAMS DOES THE FHA OFFER?

The FHA also insures loans for the purchase or rehabilitation of manufactured housing, condominiums, and cooperatives. It also has special programs for urban areas, disaster victims, and members of the armed forces. Insurance for ARMS is also available from the FHA.

99. HOW CAN I OBTAIN AN FHA-INSURED LOAN?

Contact an FHA-approved lender such as a participating mortgage company, bank, savings and loan association, or thrift. For more information on the FHA and how you can obtain an FHA loan, visit the HUD web site at http://www.hud.gov or call a HUD-approved counseling agency at 1-800-569-4287 or TDD: 1-800-877-8339.

100. HOW CAN I CONTACT HUD?

Visit the web site at http://www.hud.gov or look in the phone book “blue pages” for a listing of the HUD office near you.

Buying your first home? Selling your house? Looking to relocate? Give me a call, Carlos J. Amador at (714) 626-8880 ext 117 or visit my website at http://www.carlosjamador.com . For a no obligation free consultation.

Free first time home buyer information for Fullerton, Orange County, and Los Angeles residents. Real Estate information for Fullerton, Orange County and Los Angeles residents. Home Sellers in Fullerton, Orange County, and Los Angeles.

Source:hud.gov

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CLOSING

61. WHAT HAPPENS AFTER I’VE APPLIED FOR MY LOAN?

It usually takes a lender between 1-6 weeks to complete the evaluation of your application. Its not unusual for the lender to ask for more information once the application has been submitted. The sooner you can provide the information, the faster your application will be processed. Once all the information has been verified the lender will call you to let you know the outcome of your application. If the loan is approved, a closing date is set up and the lender will review the closing with you. And after closing, you’ll be able to move into your new home.

62. WHAT SHOULD I LOOK OUT FOR DURING THE FINAL WALK-THROUGH?

This will likely be the first opportunity to examine the house without furniture, giving you a clear view of everything. Check the walls and ceilings carefully, as well as any work the seller agreed to do in response to the inspection. Any problems discovered previously that you find uncorrected should be brought up prior to closing. It is the seller’s responsibility to fix them.

63. WHAT MAKES UP CLOSING COST?

There may be closing cost customary or unique to a certain locality, but closing cost are usually made up of the following:

 -   Attorney’s or escrow fees (Yours and your lender’s if applicable)
 -   Property taxes (to cover tax period to date)
 -   Interest (paid from date of closing to 30 days before first monthly payment)
 -   Loan Origination fee (covers lenders administrative cost)
 -   Recording fees
 -   Survey fee
 -   First premium of mortgage Insurance (if applicable)
 -   Title Insurance (yours and lender’s)
 -   Loan discount points
 -   First payment to escrow account for future real estate taxes and insurance
 -   Paid receipt for homeowner’s insurance policy (and fire and flood insurance if applicable)
 -   Any documentation preparation fees

64. WHAT CAN I EXPECT TO HAPPEN ON CLOSING DAY?

You’ll present your paid homeowner’s insurance policy or a binder and receipt showing that the premium has been paid. The closing agent will then list the money you owe the seller (remainder of down payment, prepaid taxes, etc.) and then the money the seller owes you (unpaid taxes and prepaid rent, if applicable). The seller will provide proofs of any inspection, warranties, etc.

Once you’re sure you understand all the documentation, you’ll sign the mortgage, agreeing that if you don’t make payments the lender is entitled to sell your property and apply the sale price against the amount you owe plus expenses. You’ll also sign a mortgage note, promising to repay the loan. The seller will give you the title to the house in the form of a signed deed.

You’ll pay the lender’s agent all closing costs and, in turn,he or she will provide you with a settlement statement of all the items for which you have paid. The deed and mortgage will then be recorded in the state Registry of Deeds, and you will be a homeowner.

65. WHAT DO I GET AT CLOSING?

 -   Settlement Statement, HUD-1 Form (itemizes services provided and the fees charged; it is filled out by the closing agent and must be given to you at or before closing)
 -   Truth-in-Lending Statement
 -   Mortgage Note
 -   Mortgage or Deed of Trust
 -   Binding Sales Contract (prepared by the seller; your lawyer should review it)
 -   Keys to your new home

 

66. WHAT IS THE U.S. DEPARTMENT OF HOUSING AND URBAN DEVELOPMENT?

Also known as HUD, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development was established in 1965 to develop national policies and programs to address housing needs in the U.S. One of HUD’s primary goals is to create a suitable living environment for all Americans by developing and improving the country’s communities and enforcing fair housing laws

67. HOW DOES HUD HELP HOMEBUYERS AND HOMEOWNERS?

HUD helps people by offering a variety of programs that develop and support affordable housing. Specifically, HUD plays a large role in homeownership by making loans available for lower- and moderate-income families through its FHA mortgage insurance program and its HUD Homes program. HUD owns homes in many communities throughout the U.S. and offers them for sale at attractive prices and economical terms. HUD also seeks to protect consumers through education, Fair Housing Laws, and housing rehabilitation initiatives.

68. WHAT IS THE FHA?

Now an agency within HUD, the Federal Housing Administration was established in 1934 to advance opportunities for Americans to own homes. By providing private lenders with mortgage insurance, the FHA gives them the security they need to lend to first-time buyers who might not be able to qualify for conventional loans.

69. HOW CAN THE FHA ASSIST ME IN BUYING A HOME?

The FHA works to make owning a home a possibility for more Americans. With the FHA, you don’t need perfect credit or a high-paying job to qualify for a loan. The FHA also makes loans more accessible by requiring smaller down payments than conventional loans. In fact, an FHA down payment could be as little as a few months rent. And your monthly payments might not be much more than rent.

70. HOW IS THE FHA FUNDED?

Lender claims paid by the FHA mortgage insurance program aretaken from the Mutual Mortgage Insurance fund. This fund is comprised of premiums paid by FHA-insured loan borrowers. No tax dollars are used to fund the program.

Buying your first home? Give me a call, Carlos J. Amador at (714) 626-8880 ext 117 or visit my website at www.carlosjamador.com . For a no obligation free consultation. 

Free first time home buyer information for Fullerton, Orange County, and Los Angeles residents. Real Estate information for Fullerton, Orange County and Los Angeles residents.  Home Sellers in Fullerton, Orange County, and Los Angeles.

 Source:hud.gov

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51. WHAT IF I FIND A MISTAKE IN MY CREDIT HISTORY?

Simple mistakes are easily corrected by writing to the reporting company, pointing out the error, and providing proof of the mistake. You can also request to have your own comments added to explain problems. For example, if you made a payment late due to illness, explain that for the record. Lenders are usually understanding about legitimate problems.

52. WHAT IS A CREDIT BUREAU SCORE AND HOW DO LENDERS USE THEM?

A credit bureau score is a number, based upon your credit history, that represents the possibility that you will be unable to repay a loan. Lenders use it to determine your ability to qualify for a mortgage loan. The better the score, the better your chances are of getting a loan. Ask your lender for details.

53. HOW CAN I IMPROVE MY SCORE?

There are no easy ways to improve your credit score, but you can work to keep it acceptable by maintaining a good credit history. This means paying your bills on time and not overextending yourself by buying more than you can afford.

FINDING the RIGHT LOAN for YOU

54. HOW DO I CHOOSE THE BEST LOAN – PROGRAM FOR ME?

Your personal situation will determine the best kind of loan for you. By asking yourself a few questions, you can help narrow your search among the many options available and discover which loan suits you best.

 -   Do you expect your finances to changeover the next few years?
 -   Are you planning to live in this home for a long period of time?
 -   Are you comfortable with the idea of a changing mortgage payment amount?
 -   Do you wish to be free of mortgage debt as your children approach college age or as you prepare for retirement?

Your lender can help you use your answers to questions such as these to decide which loan best fits your needs.

55. WHAT IS THE BEST WAY TO COMPARE LOAN TERMS BETWEEN LENDERS?

First, devise a checklist for the information from each lending institution. You should include the company’s name and basic information, the type of mortgage, minimum down payment required, interest rate and points, closing costs, loan processing time, and whether prepayment is allowed.

Speak with companies by phone or in person. Be sure to call every lender on the list the same day, as interest rates can fluctuate daily. In addition to doing your own research, your real estate agent may have access to a database of lender and mortgage options. Though your agent may primarily be affiliated with a particular lending institution, he or she may also be able to suggest a variety of different lender options to you.

56. ARE THERE ANY COSTS OR FEES ASSOCIATED WITH THE LOAN ORIGINATION PROCESS?

Yes. When you turn in your application, you’ll be required to pay a loan application fee to cover the costs of underwriting the loan. This fee pays for the home appraisal, a copy of your credit report, and any additional charges that may be necessary. The application fee is generally non-refundable.

57. WHAT IS RESPA?

RESPA stands for Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act. It requires lenders to disclose information to potential customers throughout the mortgage process, By doing so, it protects borrowers from abuses by lending institutions. RESPA mandates that lenders fully inform borrowers about all closing costs, lender servicing and escrow account practices, and business relationships between closing service providers and other parties to the transaction.

For more information on RESPA, or call 1-800-569-4287 for a local counseling referral.

58. WHAT IS A GOOD FAITH ESTIMATE, AND HOW DOES IT HELP ME?

It’s an estimate that lists all fees paid before closing, all closing costs, and any escrow costs you will encounter when purchasing a home. The lender must supply it within three days of your application so that you can make accurate judgments when shopping for a loan.

59. BESIDES RESPA, DOES THE LENDER HAVE ANY ADDITIONAL RESPONSIBILITIES?

Lenders are not allowed to discriminate in any way against potential borrowers. If you believe a lender is refusing to provide his or her services to you on the basis of race, color, nationality, religion, sex, familial status, or disability, contact HUD’s Office of Fair Housing at 1-800-669-9777

60. WHAT RESPONSIBILITIES DO I HAVE DURING THE LENDING PROCESS?

To ensure you won’t fall victim to loan fraud, be sure to follow all of these steps as you apply for a loan:

 -   Be sure to read and understand everything before you sign.
 -   Refuse to sign any blank documents.
 -   Do not buy property for someone else.
 -   Do not inflate your income.
 -   Do not lie about how long you have been employed.
 -   Do not overinflate your assets.
 -    report your debts.
 -   Do not change your income tax returns for any reason.  Do not list fake co-borrowers on your loan application.
 -   Be honest about your credit problems, past and present.
 -   Be truthful about your intention to occupy the house
 -   Don’T provide false supporting documents.

Buying your first home? Give me a call, Carlos J. Amador at (714) 626-8880 ext 117 or visit my website at www.carlosjamador.com . For a no obligation free consultation. 

Free first time home buyer information for Fullerton, Orange County, and Los Angeles residents. Real Estate information for Fullerton, Orange County and Los Angeles residents.  Home Sellers in Fullerton, Orange County, and Los Angeles.

Source:Hud.gov

 

40. HOW LARGE OF A DOWN PAYMENT DO I NEED?

There are mortgage options now available that only require a down payment of 5% or less of the purchase price. But the larger the down payment, the less you have to borrow, and the more equity you’ll have. Mortgages with less than a 20% down payment generally require a mortgage insurance policy to secure the loan. When considering the size of your down payment, consider that you’ll also need money for closing costs, moving expenses, and – possibly -repairs and decorating.

41. WHAT IS INCLUDED IN A MONTHLY MORTGAGE PAYMENT?

The monthly mortgage payment mainly pays off principal and interest. But most lenders also include local real estate taxes, homeowner’s insurance, and mortgage insurance (if applicable).

42. WHAT FACTORS AFFECT MORTGAGE PAYMENTS?

The amount of the down payment, the size of the mortgage loan, the interest rate, the length of the repayment term and payment schedule will all affect the size of your mortgage payment.

43. HOW DOES THE INTEREST RATE FACTOR IN SECURING A MORTGAGE LOAN?

A lower interest rate allows you to borrow more money than a high rate with the some monthly payment. Interest rates can fluctuate as you shop for a loan, so ask-lenders if they offer a rate “lock-in”which guarantees a specific interest rate for a certain period of time. Remember that a lender must disclose the Annual Percentage Rate (APR) of a loan to you. The APR shows the cost of a mortgage loan by expressing it in terms of a yearly interest rate. It is generally higher than the interest rate because it also includes the cost of points, mortgage insurance, and other fees included in the loan.

44. WHAT HAPPENS IF INTEREST RATES DECREASE AND I HAVE A FIXED RATE LOAN?

If interest rates drop significantly, you may want to investigate refinancing. Most experts agree that if you plan to be in your house for at least 18 months and you can get a rate 2% less than your current one, refinancing is smart. Refinancing may, however, involve paying many of the same fees paid at the original closing, plus origination and application fees.

45. WHAT ARE DISCOUNT POINTS?

Discount points allow you to lower your interest rate. They are essentially prepaid interest, With each point equaling 1% of the total loan amount. Generally, for each point paid on a 30-year mortgage, the interest rate is reduced by 1/8 (or.125) of a percentage point. When shopping for loans, ask lenders for an interest rate with 0 points and then see how much the rate decreases With each point paid. Discount points are smart if you plan to stay in a home for some time since they can lower the monthly loan payment. Points are tax deductible when you purchase a home and you may be able to negotiate for the seller to pay for some of them.

46. WHAT IS AN ESCROW ACCOUNT? DO I NEED ONE?

Established by your lender, an escrow account is a place to set aside a portion of your monthly mortgage payment to cover annual charges for homeowner’s insurance, mortgage insurance (if applicable), and property taxes. Escrow accounts are important because they assure money will always be available for these payments. If you use an escrow account to pay property tax or homeowner’s insurance, make sure you are not penalized for late payments since it is the lender’s responsibility to make those payments.

FIRST STEPS

47. WHAT STEPS NEED TO BE TAKEN TO SECURE A LOAN?

The first step in securing a loan is to complete a loan application. To do so, you’ll need the following information.

 -   Pay stubs for the past 2-3 months
 -   W-2 forms for the past 2 years
 -   Information on long-term debts
 -   Recent bank statements
 -   tax returns for the past 2 years
 -   Proof of any other income
 -   Address and description of the property you wish to buy
 -   Sales contract

During the application process, the lender will order a report on your credit history and a professional appraisal of the property you want to purchase.

48. HOW DO I CHOOSE THE RIGHT LENDER FOR ME?

Choose a lender carefully. Look for financial stability and a reputation for customer satisfaction. Be sure to choose a company that gives helpful advice and that makes you feel comfortable. A lender that has the authority to approve and process your loan locally is preferable, since it will be easier for you to check the status of your application and ask questions. Plus, it’s beneficial when the lender knows home values and conditions in the local area. Do research and ask your real estate agent for recommendations.

49. HOW ARE PRE-QUALIFYING AND PRE-APPROVAL DIFFERENT?

Pre-qualification is an informal way to see how much you maybe able to borrow. You can be ‘pre-qualified’ over the phone with no paperwork by telling a lender your income, your long-term debts, and how large a down payment you can afford. Without any obligation, this helps you arrive at a ballpark figure of the amount you may have available to spend on a house.

Pre-approval is a lender’s actual commitment to lend to you. It involves assembling the financial records mentioned in Question 47 (Without the property description and sales contract) and going through a preliminary approval process. Pre-approval gives you a good idea of what you can afford and shows sellers that you are serious about buying.

50. HOW CAN I FIND OUT INFORMATION ABOUT MY CREDIT HISTORY?

There are 3 major credit reporting companies: Equifax, Experian, and Trans Union. Obtaining your credit report is as simple  as calling and requesting one. Once you get the report, it’s important to verify its accuracy. Double check the “high credit limit,”‘total loan,” and ‘past due” columns. It’s a great idea to request  copies from all three companies to assure there are no mistakes since any of the three could be providing a report to your lender. Fees, ranging from $5-$20, are usually charged to issue credit reports but some states permit citizens to acquire a free one. Contact the reporting companies at the numbers listed for more information.

CREDIT REPORTING COMPANIES

Company Name Phone Number
Experian  1-888-397-3742
Equifax 1-800-685-1111
Trans Union 1-800-916-8800

Interested in receiving more information on this article? Thinking about selling your house? Buying your first home? Give me a call, Carlos J. Amador at (714) 626-8880 ext 117 or visit my website at www.carlosjamador.com . For a no obligation free consultation. 

Free first time home buyer information for Fullerton, Orange County, and Los Angeles residents. Real Estate information for Fullerton, Orange County and Los Angeles residents.  Home Sellers in Fullerton, Orange County, and Los Angeles.

Source:Hud.gov

31. WHAT IS EARNEST MONEY? HOW MUCH SHOULD I SET ASIDE?

Earnest money is money put down to demonstrate your seriousness about buying a home. It must be substantial enough to demonstrate good faith and is usually between 1-5% of the purchase price (though the amount can vary with local customs and conditions). If your offer is accepted, the earnest money becomes part of your down payment or closing costs. If the offer is rejected, your money is returned to you. If you back out of a deal, you may forfeit the entire amount.

32. WHAT ARE “HOME WARRANTIES”, AND SHOULD I CONSIDER THEM?

Home warranties offer you protection for a specific period of time (e.g., one year) against potentially costly problems, like unexpected repairs on appliances or home systems, which are not covered by homeowner’s insurance. Warranties are becoming more popular because they offer protection during the time immediately following the purchase of a home, a time when many people find themselves cash-strapped.

GENERAL FINANCING QUESTIONS:THE BASICS

33. WHAT IS A MORTGAGE?

Generally speaking, a mortgage is a loan obtained to purchase real estate. The “mortgage” itself is a lien (a legal claim) on the home or property that secures the promise to pay the debt. All mortgages have two features in common: principal and interest.

34. WHAT IS A LOAN TO VALUE (LTV) HOW DOES IT DETERMINE THE SIZE OF MY LOAN?

The loan to value ratio is the amount of money you borrow compared with the price or appraised value of the home you are purchasing. Each loan has a specific LTV limit. For example: With a 95% LTV loan on a home priced at $50,000, you could borrow up to $47,500 (95% of $50,000), and would have to pay,$2,500 as a down payment.

The LTV ratio reflects the amount of equity borrowers have in their homes. The higher the LTV the less cash homebuyers are required to pay out of their own funds. So, to protect lenders against potential loss in case of default, higher LTV loans (80% or more) usually require mortgage insurance policy.

35. WHAT TYPES OF LOANS ARE AVAILABLE AND WHAT ARE THE ADVANTAGES OF EACH?

Fixed Rate Mortgages: Payments remain the same for the the life of the loan

Types

 -   15-year
 -   30-year

Advantages

 -   Predictable
 -   Housing cost remains unaffected by interest rate changes and inflation.

Adjustable Rate Mortgages (ARMS): Payments increase or decrease on a regular schedule with changes in interest rates; increases subject to limits

Types

 -   Balloon Mortgage- Offers very low rates for an Initial period of time (usually 5, 7, or 10 years); when time has elapsed, the balance is clue or refinanced (though not automatically)
 -   Two-Step Mortgage- Interest rate adjusts only once and remains the same for the life of the loan
 -   ARMS linked to a specific index or margin

Advantages

 -   Generally offer lower initial interest rates
 -   Monthly payments can be lower
 -   May allow borrower to qualify for a larger loan amount

36. WHEN DO ARMS MAKE SENSE?

An ARM may make sense If you are confident that your income will increase steadily over the years or if you anticipate a move in the near future and aren’t concerned about potential increases in interest rates.

37. WHAT ARE THE ADVANTAGES OF 15- AND 30-YEAR LOAN TERMS?

30-Year:

 -   In the first 23 years of the loan, more interest is paid off than principal, meaning larger tax deductions.
 -   As inflation and costs of living increase, mortgage payments become a smaller part of overall expenses.

15-year:

 -   Loan is usually made at a lower interest rate.
 -   Equity is built faster because early payments pay more principal.

38. CAN I PAY OFF MY LOAN AHEAD OF SCHEDULE?

Yes. By sending in extra money each month or making an extra payment at the end of the year, you can accelerate the process of paying off the loan. When you send extra money, be sure to indicate that the excess payment is to be applied to the principal. Most lenders allow loan prepayment, though you may have to pay a prepayment penalty to do so. Ask your lender for details.

39. ARE THERE SPECIAL MORTGAGES FOR FIRST-TIME HOMEBUYERS?

Yes. Lenders now offer several affordable mortgage options which can help first-time homebuyers overcome obstacles that made purchasing a home difficult in the past. Lenders may now be able to help borrowers who don’t have a lot of money saved for the down payment and closing costs, have no or a poor credit history, have quite a bit of long-term debt, or have experienced income irregularities.

40. HOW LARGE OF A DOWN PAYMENT DO I NEED?

There are mortgage options now available that only require a down payment of 5% or less of the purchase price. But the larger the down payment, the less you have to borrow, and the more equity you’ll have. Mortgages with less than a 20% down payment generally require a mortgage insurance policy to secure the loan. When considering the size of your down payment, consider that you’ll also need money for closing costs, moving expenses, and – possibly -repairs and decorating.

Interested in receiving more information on this article? Thinking about selling your house? Buying your first home? Give me a call, Carlos J. Amador at (714) 626-8880 ext 117 or visit my website at www.carlosjamador.com . For a no obligation free consultation. 

Free first time home buyer information for Fullerton, Orange County, and Los Angeles residents. Real Estate information for Fullerton, Orange County and Los Angeles residents.  Home Sellers in Fullerton, Orange County, and Los Angeles.

The Real Estate Agent

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1. HOW DO I KNOW IF I’M READY TO BUY A HOME?

You can find out by asking yourself some questions:

 -   Do I have a steady source of income (usually a job)? Have I been employed on a regular basis for the last 2-3 years? Is my current income reliable?
 -   Do I have a good record of paying my bills?
 -   Do I have few outstanding long-term debts, like car payments?
 -   Do I have money saved for a down payment?
 -   Do I have the ability to pay a mortgage every month, plus additional costs?

If you can answer “yes” to these questions, you are probably ready to buy your own home.

2. HOW DO I BEGIN THE PROCESS OF BUYING A HOME?

Start by thinking about your situation. Are you ready to buy a home? How much can you afford in a monthly mortgage payment (see Question 4 for help)? How much space do you need? What areas of town do you like? After you answer these questions, make a “To Do” list and start doing casual research. Talk to friends and family, drive through neighborhoods, and look in the “Homes” section of the newspaper.

3. HOW DOES PURCHASING A HOME COMPARE WITH RENTING?

The two don’t really compare at all. The one advantage of renting is being generally free of most maintenance responsibilities. But by renting, you lose the chance to build equity, take advantage of tax benefits, and protect yourself against rent increases. Also, you may not be free to decorate without permission and may be at the mercy of the landlord for housing.

Owning a home has many benefits. When you make a mortgage payment, you are building equity. And that’s an investment. Owning a home also qualifies you for tax breaks that assist you in dealing with your new financial responsibilities- like insurance, real estate taxes, and upkeep- which can be substantial. But given the freedom, stability, and security of owning your own home, they are worth it.

4. HOW DOES THE LENDER DECIDE THE MAXIMUM LOAN AMOUNT THAT CAN AFFORD?

The lender considers your debt-to-income ratio, which is a comparison of your gross (pre-tax) income to housing and non-housing expenses. Non-housing expenses include such long-term debts as car or student loan payments, alimony, or child support. According to the FHA,monthly mortgage payments should be no more than 29% of gross income, while the mortgage payment, combined with non-housing expenses, 4 should total no more than 41% of income. The lender also considers cash available for down payment and closing costs, credit history, etc. when determining your maximum loan amount.

5. HOW DO I SELECT THE RIGHT REAL ESTATE AGENT?

Start by asking family and friends if they can recommend an agent. Compile a list of several agents and talk to each before choosing one. Look for an agent who listens well and understands your needs, and whose judgment you trust. The ideal agent knows the local area well and has resources and contacts to help you in your search. Overall, you want to choose an agent that makes you feel comfortable and can provide all the knowledge and services you need.

Interested in receiving more information on this article? Thinking about selling your house? Buying your first home? Give me a call, Carlos J. Amador at (714) 626-8880 ext 117 or visit my website at www.carlosjamador.com . For a no obligation free consultation.  

Free first time home buyer information for Fullerton, Orange County, and Los Angeles residents. Real Estate information for Fullerton, Orange County and Los Angeles residents.  Home Sellers in Fullerton, Orange County, and Los Angeles.

source: housing and urban development (h.u.d)

OCTA bus 43 at the Fullerton Transportation Ce...

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Average interest on 30-year fixed mortgages fell this week to 4.32 percent, matching the lowest level on record. Interest on 15-year loans, meanwhile, declined to 3.75 percent, setting an all-time low.

Investors have been flocking to the safety of Treasury bonds since the spring, which has driven down their yields and helped to keep rates at or near the lowest levels in decades.

Source: Boston Globe (10/01/10)

Interested in receiving more information on this article? Thinking about selling your house? Buying your first home? Give me a call, Carlos J. Amador at (714) 626-8880 ext 117 or visit my website at www.carlosjamador.com . For a no obligation free consultation.  

Free first time home buyer information for Fullerton, Orange County, and Los Angeles residents. Real Estate information for Fullerton, Orange County and Los Angeles residents.  

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  • Why should I buy, instead of rent?
    • Answer: A home is an investment. When you rent, you write your monthly check and that money is gone forever. But when you own your home, you can deduct the cost of your mortgage loan interest from your federal income taxes, and usually from your state taxes. This will save you a lot each year, because the interest you pay will make up most of your monthly payment for most of the years of your mortgage. You can also deduct the property taxes you pay as a homeowner. In addition, the value of your home may go up over the years. Finally, you’ll enjoy having something that’s all yours – a home where your own personal style will tell the world who you are.
  • What are “HUD homes,” and are they a good deal?
    • Answer: HUD homes can be a very good deal. When someone with a HUD insured mortgage can’t meet the payments, the lender forecloses on the home; HUD pays the lender what is owed; and HUD takes ownership of the home. Then we sell it at market value as quickly as possible. Read all about buying a HUD home. Check our listings of HUD homes and homes being sold by other federal agencies.
  • Can I become a homebuyer even if I have I’ve had bad credit, and don’t have much for a down-payment?
    • Answer: You may be a good candidate for one of the federal mortgage programs. Start by contacting one of the HUD-funded housing counseling agencies that can help you sort through your options. Also, contact your local government to see if there are any local homebuying programs that might work for you. Look in the blue pages of your phone directory for your local office of housing and community development or, if you can’t find it, contact your mayor’s office or your county executive’s office.
  • Are there special homeownership grants or programs for single parents?
    • Answer: There is help available. Start by becoming familiar with the homebuying process and pick a good real estate broker. Although as a single parent, you won’t have the benefit of two incomes on which to qualify for a loan, consider getting pre-qualified, so that when you find a house you like in your price range you won’t have the delay of trying to get qualified. Contact one of the HUD-funded housing counseling agencies in your area to talk through other options for help that might be available to you. Research buying a HUD home, as they can be very good deals. Also, contact your local government to see if there are any local homebuying programs that could help you. Look in the blue pages of your phone directory for your local office of housing and community development or, if you can’t find it, contact your mayor’s office or your county executive’s office.
  • Should I use a real estate broker? How do I find one?
    • Answer: Using a real estate broker is a very good idea. All the details involved in home buying, particularly the financial ones, can be mind-boggling. A good real estate professional can guide you through the entire process and make the experience much easier. A real estate broker will be well-acquainted with all the important things you’ll want to know about a neighborhood you may be considering…the quality of schools, the number of children in the area, the safety of the neighborhood, traffic volume, and more. He or she will help you figure the price range you can afford and search the classified ads and multiple listing services for homes you’ll want to see. With immediate access to homes as soon as they’re put on the market, the broker can save you hours of wasted driving-around time. When it’s time to make an offer on a home, the broker can point out ways to structure your deal to save you money. He or she will explain the advantages and disadvantages of different types of mortgages, guide you through the paperwork, and be there to hold your hand and answer last-minute questions when you sign the final papers at closing. And you don’t have to pay the broker anything! The payment comes from the home seller – not from the buyer. By the way, if you want to buy a HUD home, you will be required to use a real estate broker to submit your bid. To find a broker who sells HUD homes, check your local yellow pages or the classified section of your local newspaper.   

  • How much money will I have to come up with to buy a home?
    • Answer: Well, that depends on a number of factors, including the cost of the house and the type of mortgage you get. In general, you need to come up with enough money to cover three costs: earnest money – the deposit you make on the home when you submit your offer, to prove to the seller that you are serious about wanting to buy the house; the down payment, a percentage of the cost of the home that you must pay when you go to settlement; and closing costs, the costs associated with processing the paperwork to buy a house. When you make an offer on a home, your real estate broker will put your earnest money into an escrow account. If the offer is accepted, your earnest money will be applied to the down payment or closing costs. If your offer is not accepted, your money will be returned to you. The amount of your earnest money varies. If you buy a HUD home, for example, your deposit generally will range from $500 – $2,000. The more money you can put into your down payment, the lower your mortgage payments will be. Some types of loans require 10-20% of the purchase price. That’s why many first-time homebuyers turn to HUD’s FHA for help. FHA loans require only 3% down – and sometimes less. Closing costs – which you will pay at settlement – average 3-4% of the price of your home. These costs cover various fees your lender charges and other processing expenses. When you apply for your loan, your lender will give you an estimate of the closing costs, so you won’t be caught by surprise. If you buy a HUD home, HUD may pay many of your closing costs.
       

  • How do I know if I can get a loan?
    • Answer: Use our simple mortgage calculators to see how much mortgage you could pay – that’s a good start. If the amount you can afford is significantly less than the cost of homes that interest you, then you might want to wait awhile longer. But before you give up, why don’t you contact a real estate broker or a HUD-funded housing counseling agency? They will help you evaluate your loan potential. A broker will know what kinds of mortgages the lenders are offering and can help you choose a lender with a program that might be right for you. Another good idea is to get pre-qualified for a loan. That means you go to a lender and apply for a mortgage before you actually start looking for a home. Then you’ll know exactly how much you can afford to spend, and it will speed the process once you do find the home of your dreams.
  • How do I find a lender?
    • Answer: You can finance a home with a loan from a bank, a savings and loan, a credit union, a private mortgage company, or various state government lenders. Shopping for a loan is like shopping for any other large purchase: you can save money if you take some time to look around for the best prices. Different lenders can offer quite different interest rates and loan fees; and as you know, a lower interest rate can make a big difference in how much home you can afford. Talk with several lenders before you decide. Most lenders need 3-6 weeks for the whole loan approval process. Your real estate broker will be familiar with lenders in the area and what they’re offering. Or you can look in your local newspaper’s real estate section – most papers list interest rates being offered by local lenders. You can find FHA-approved lenders in the Yellow Pages of your phone book. HUD does not make loans directly – you must use a HUD-approved lender if you’re interested in an FHA loan.
  • In addition to the mortgage payment, what other costs do I need to consider?
    • Answer: Well, of course you’ll have your monthly utilities. If your utilities have been covered in your rent, this may be new for you. Your real estate broker will be able to help you get information from the seller on how much utilities normally cost. In addition, you might have homeowner association or condo association dues. You’ll definitely have property taxes, and you also may have city or county taxes. Taxes normally are rolled into your mortgage payment. Again, your broker will be able to help you anticipate these costs.
  • So what will my mortgage cover?
    • Answer: Most loans have 4 parts: principal: the repayment of the amount you actually borrowed; interest: payment to the lender for the money you’ve borrowed; homeowners insurance: a monthly amount to insure the property against loss from fire, smoke, theft, and other hazards required by most lenders; and property taxes: the annual city/county taxes assessed on your property, divided by the number of mortgage payments you make in a year. Most loans are for 30 years, although 15 year loans are available, too. During the life of the loan, you’ll pay far more in interest than you will in principal – sometimes two or three times more! Because of the way loans are structured, in the first years you’ll be paying mostly interest in your monthly payments. In the final years, you’ll be paying mostly principal.
  • What do I need to take with me when I apply for a mortgage?
    • Answer: Good question! If you have everything with you when you visit your lender, you’ll save a good deal of time. You should have: 1) social security numbers for both your and your spouse, if both of you are applying for the loan; 2) copies of your checking and savings account statements for the past 6 months; 3) evidence of any other assets like bonds or stocks; 4) a recent paycheck stub detailing your earnings; 5) a list of all credit card accounts and the approximate monthly amounts owed on each; 6) a list of account numbers and balances due on outstanding loans, such as car loans; 7) copies of your last 2 years’ income tax statements; and 8) the name and address of someone who can verify your employment. Depending on your lender, you may be asked for other information.
  • I know there are lots of types of mortgages – how do I know which one is best for me?
    • Answer: You’re right – there are many types of mortgages, and the more you know about them before you start, the better. Most people use a fixed-rate mortgage. In a fixed rate mortgage, your interest rate stays the same for the term of the mortgage, which normally is 30 years. The advantage of a fixed-rate mortgage is that you always know exactly how much your mortgage payment will be, and you can plan for it. Another kind of mortgage is an Adjustable Rate Mortgage (ARM). With this kind of mortgage, your interest rate and monthly payments usually start lower than a fixed rate mortgage. But your rate and payment can change either up or down, as often as once or twice a year. The adjustment is tied to a financial index, such as the U.S. Treasury Securities index. The advantage of an ARM is that you may be able to afford a more expensive home because your initial interest rate will be lower. There are several government mortgage programs,including the Veteran’s Administration’s programs and the Department of Agriculture’s programs. Most people have heard of FHA mortgages. FHA doesn’t actually make loans. Instead, it insures loans so that if buyers default for some reason, the lenders will get their money. This encourages lenders to give mortgages to people who might not otherwise qualify for a loan. Talk to your real estate broker about the various kinds of loans, before you begin shopping for a mortgage.
  • When I find the home I want, how much should I offer?
    • Answer: Again, your real estate broker can help you here. But there are several things you should consider: 1) is the asking price in line with prices of similar homes in the area? 2) Is the home in good condition or will you have to spend a substantial amount of money making it the way you want it? You probably want to get a professional home inspection before you make your offer. Your real estate broker can help you arrange one. 3) How long has the home been on the market? If it’s been for sale for awhile, the seller may be more eager to accept a lower offer. 4) How much mortgage will be required? Make sure you really can afford whatever offer you make. 5) How much do you really want the home? The closer you are to the asking price, the more likely your offer will be accepted. In some cases, you may even want to offer more than the asking price, if you know you are competing with others for the house.
  • What if my offer is rejected?
    • Answer: They often are! But don’t let that stop you. Now you begin negotiating. Your broker will help you. You may have to offer more money, but you may ask the seller to cover some or all of your closing costs or to make repairs that wouldn’t normally be expected. Often, negotiations on a price go back and forth several times before a deal is made. Just remember – don’t get so caught up in negotiations that you lose sight of what you really want and can afford!
  • So what will happen at closing?
    • Answer: Basically, you’ll sit at a table with your broker, the broker for the seller, probably the seller, and a closing agent. The closing agent will have a stack of papers for you and the seller to sign. While he or she will give you a basic explanation of each paper, you may want to take the time to read each one and/or consult with your agent to make sure you know exactly what you’re signing. After all, this is a large amount of money you’re committing to pay for a lot of years! Before you go to closing, your lender is required to give you a booklet explaining the closing costs, a “good faith estimate” of how much cash you’ll have to supply at closing, and a list of documents you’ll need at closing. If you don’t get those items, be sure to call your lender BEFORE you go to closing. Be sure to read our booklet on settlement costs. It will help you understand your rights in the process. Don’t hesitate to ask questions.
  • Interested in receiving more information on this article? Thinking about selling your house? Buying your first home? Give me a call, Carlos J. Amador at (714) 626-8880 ext 117 or visit my website at http://www.yourfullertonhome.com . For a no obligation free consultation. 

    Free first time home buyer information for Fullerton, Orange County, and Los Angeles residents. Real Estate information for Fullerton, Orange County and Los Angeles residents.