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May 16, 2011

Life at Emerald Ridge

Emerald Ridge is one of the best kept secrets in Calera, AL

*COMMUNITY POOL

*GEORGE ROY PARK ADJACENT

*COMMUNITY SIDEWALKS AND STREETLIGHTS

*PROFESSIONALLY LANDSCAPED ENTRANCES

*HOMEOWNER’S ASSOCIATION W/ RESTRICTIONS TO PROTECT YOUR INVESTMENT

At Emerald Ridge, you can enjoy a lifestyle of simplicity and convenience with all the comforts of home.  Emerald Ridge is located just minutes from I-65, Colonial Promenade Shopping Center, City Hall, banks, doctors, theaters, Heart of Dixie Railroad Museum and Timberline Golf – Jerry Pate Designed Golf Course.  You can stroll to the George W. Roy Park which features playground equipment, covered picnic area, restrooms and a huge area to walk the dog or play with the kids.

Children of Emerald Ridge attend Calera Elementary School, Calera Middle School and Calera High school.

This community is brought to you exclusively by www.estructures.com

For more information, please call Anthony Arnone or Scott Lewis with Keller Williams Realty located at  750 Colonial Promenade Pkwy Ste 4000, Alabaster, AL 35007 205-605-1000 .

Emerald Ridge homes stand apart from the rest…The Difference Is In The Details

For pre-approval to purchase call Valerie Springer at 205-995-7283 x 305 or visit website at  www.vshomeloans.com for online application.  These homes qualify for 100% financing!

Yours to Count On,

Valerie Springer

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May 12, 2011

100% Financing for Victims of Storms in Alabama

While many are suffering a great loss, there is a glimmer of hope with FHA 203(h) financing.  If this program could benefit you, please call Valerie Springer Home Mortgage Specialist, Birmingham, AL 205-995-7283×305.  This is offered to all considered in Federal Disaster area including Tuscaloosa AL, Pleasant Grove, AL, Hackleburg, AL, etc.

  1. Section 203(h) Mortgage Insurance for Disaster Victims

FHA provides insurance to assist victims of presidential declared disasters. Individuals or families whose residences have been destroyed or damaged to such an extent that reconstruction or repairs are necessary are eligible for 100% financing for the purchase of a home.

  1. Requirements
    • The Borrower’s previous residence must be located in the disaster area and destroyed or damaged to such an extent that reconstruction or replacement is necessary. The Borrower may be the owner of the property or the tenant of the damaged property who now desires to purchase a property. If the Borrower was a tenant, he or she should be shown on the rental agreement of the property that was destroyed or damaged
    • Documentation showing a permanent residence in the affected area prior to the disaster includes a valid driver’s license, a voter registration card, utility bills, etc.
    • Documentation regarding destruction of the residence may include an insurance report, an inspection report by an independent fee inspector or government agency, or conclusive photos showing destruction or damage
    • Eligible for 100% financing not including closing costs, based on 100% of the sales price
    • Closing costs and prepaid expenses must be paid by the borrower in cash, paid through premium pricing, or paid by the seller subject to the 6% limitation on seller concessions
    • Must meet standard credit qualifications
    • Up-Front MIP and Monthly/Annual MIP apply. The Up-Front MIP premium may be financed into the mortgage. The Monthly/Annual premium is paid by the borrower as part of the monthly mortgage payment
    • The Borrower must purchase a single-family detached home or an FHA Approved (or FHA Spot Approvable) condominium unit
    • Maximum debt–to-income ratio is 43% without compensating factors and can be exceeded with appropriate compensating factors
    • Maximum mortgage limits/amounts are the same for Section 203(h) as for Section 203(b)
    • The application date must be within one year of the President’s declaration of the disaster
    • Section 203(h) is used in conjunction with Section 203(b), 251, etc. (i.e., 203(b)/203(h)/251)
    • Disaster victims with Secretary-Held mortgages (low balance mortgages previously assigned to HUD due to payment default) are eligible for new FHA-insured mortgages provided the borrower was current with their forbearance agreement at the time of the disaster and all payments for the preceding 12 months were made within the month due
    • The mortgage amount may be rounded down to the nearest $1.00
  2. Underwriting and Closing Instructions
    • May be underwritten on a Direct Endorsement basis and do not require HUD prior-approval
    • Must be submitted for endorsement within 90 days of closing
    • Correspondent Funding does not participate in the FHA construction/permanent program
  3. Insuring Delinquent Loans
    • The FHA Home Ownership Center (HOC) having jurisdiction over affected areas have been granted authority on a case-by-case basis to endorse mortgages which are delinquent provided the delinquency is due to disaster related circumstance.   
  4. If you wish to apply online go to www.vshomeloans.com and fill out an application.  Someone will contact you within 24 hours.  FEMA

Yours to Count On,

Valerie Springer

February 2, 2011

Shopping for Mortgage Rate & Closing Costs ~ Properly

Selecting a residential loan officer and banker may be the most important financial decision you will ever make.    Most mortgages are made for large sums of money.  This is something you think about only a few times in your life but I think about it every single day.

When most people think about “shopping”  to find the best rate, they will get on the phone and over the course of a few days call several different mortgage companies and ask “What is your rate and how much is your closing costs?”

May sound like a smart question to the consumer but to the  industry professional is one of the most “gullible” questions that can be asked.  You have immediately let the person on the other end of the phone know you are trying to play in the Major League and your athletic ability is keeping you in Dixie Youth.  

The first question a consumer should ask is, “What moves rates?”  If the loan officer cannot answer that question then you are talking to someone who is only trained to take your information and put you into the same mold as every other consumer.  At this point I would ask myself.. .

How can my loan officer guide me on the best time to lock my rate due to market conditions? 

How can I trust they really know what they are doing? 

Do I just take what they quoted me over the phone? 

How do I know they quoted me the best rate, is it because the other guy said his rate was higher? 

Is that really all there is to it? 

WOW, could these few questions have stopped the whole industry breakdown…That was easy! 

REALLY???  Could you possibly believe you received the best on any account? 

Interest rates move all throughout the day, sometimes we will have a reprice up to 3-4 times daily,  in volatile markets.  The only way a consumer can know for sure they are getting the best rate is to get a quote at the exact same time from multiple lenders and then the voice on the other end of the phone can tell you anything they think you want to hear because the rate is not locked until the rate is locked.   Ever heard of bait and switch?  If you are going to shop you better be ready to do a lot of leg work.

Closing costs, fees and discount points is another area of confusion to the consumer. 

To fully understand closing costs,most would need to sit down with three  good faith estimates and compare them line for line with a knowledgable loan officer or real estate attorney to explain which fees will not change on any of the three, and point out the rest  of the fees are three different opinions and the bottom line is the bottom line no matter who does the financing.

The fees in the 800’s section will not change, every other fee listed is an estimate, someone’s opinion.  Some lenders will estimate low to make sure the bottom line number reflects a greater savings.  Personally I over estimate everything because if you are happy with worse case scenario you will be thrilled the day we sit at the closing table. 

I will be with you at the closing table to make sure everything is as it should be and if you have a surprise it will be a positive one.  I have never had a client leave the closing table mad or upset with me or my estimates.  Most are very pleasantly surprised to pay less than they were prepared to spend. 

Over the last 10 years I have had a few clients who left to go to another lender because they “thought” they were getting less closing costs.  Some have even called me back after closing and apologized as their closing costs wound up being the same or more than what I had originally prepared.  These have been some of my best referral sources over the years and have come to  me for subsequent refinances and purchases.

There is much to do in today’s market to do a pre-approval on someone.  Money spent to pull a credit report and hours of paperwork and phone conversations.  Many in our industry are 100% commission so please ask these questions up front and find trust in someone before the work is done.

On one of your largest financial transactions ever, are you looking for bargain basement and all that implies or integrity, knowledge and service? 

If you need a residential mortgage in Alabama, Valerie Springer is waiting for your call.

205-995-7283 x 305

NO ONE CARES HOW MUCH YOU KNOW UNTIL THEY KNOW HOW MUCH YOU CARE

Yours to Count On,

Valerie Springer

 

 

September 10, 2010

Inducements to Purchase

In the real estate world today there are many inducements to purchase a home.  Recently I read where a builder in Downtown Birmingham, AL  will give you free tuition if you purchase a loft condominium. 

Sounds like a great reason to purchase one of these properties if you are young and working toward your education.  BUT…

Guidelines on personal property inducements state the following:

IF  the personal property is a car, boat, riding lawn mower, furniture, television etc…THEN the value of the item(s) must be deducted from the sales price of the property value before applying the loan to value factor.

HOWEVER a range, refrigerator, dishwasher, washer, dryer, carpeting, window treatment or other items determined appropriate by the Homeownership Center (HOC) may be considered customary and affect the value of the property before applying the loan to value factor.

The exception is replacement of existing equipment or other realty items by the seller before closing, such as “flooring”, air conditioners, appliances does not require a value adjustment provided a cash allowance is NOT given to the borrower.

Depending on local custom or law, certain items may be considered part of the real estate transaction with no adjustment to the sales price or appraised value. 

A seller can offer anything to close the deal but whether the lender will allow is may all together be a different story! 

Yours to Count On,

Valerie Springer

August 12, 2010

Closing a Residential Mortgage, What do I Need to Bring?

By now most everything has been completed and if everyone did their jobs correctly the closing should be smooth and easy!    I will give a checklist for the purchaser and seller to make sure you arrive with everything you will need.

The borrower will need to bring the following:

Certified Funds–By law the closing attorney can accept a maximum of $5k in certified funds but check with the law firm, some may accept less.  The certified funds can be made payable to the firm or borrower and endorsed to the closing attorney firm.  Borrowers should also bring checkbook in the event additional funds are needed.  There could be last minute changes to the HUD Settlement Statement.

Picture ID–Closing attorney will need a picture identification from each borrower at closing.  Driver’s license and passport are acceptable but must not be expired.

Funding Conditions–Any closing conditions required by the lender such as an additional pay stub or proof of gift funds etc…Your lender would let you know this in advance.

The Seller needs to bring the following:

Picture ID–Once again driver’s license or passport are acceptable.

Power of Attorney–Usually a power of attorney for the seller does not require a lender approval.

House keys and garage door openers or any other gadget devices.

Other documents–Original termite letter, septic inspections, repair receipts, and make sure you or realtor have provided the closing attorney with payoff a few days in advance.

In attendance will be the borrower’s, seller’s, realtor for purchaser and seller, mortgage loan originator (not always, but I will be there) and the settlement agent or attorney.

During closing the lender’s conditions will be cleared first and then the closing statement of HUD 1 Settlement Statement is explained and discussed.  Next would be warranty deed and other conveyance documents signed by the seller, financing documents signed by the borrower.  Once everything is completed the signed documents are sent to the lender and after review they will wire funds and they will be disbursed.  This could take about 45 minutes.  This is a good time for realtor documents to be signed or updated if anything was missing.  Keys to the house are handed from the seller to buyer and phone numbers are exchanged, especially if purchaser is not taking possession immediately.

Purchaser needs to go to the tax assessor’s office and file homestead exemption immediately while it is fresh.  Taxes could double if deadline is not met.

I look forward to seeing you at the closing table!  If you need financing advice Valerie Springer is here to help with all of your needs! 

Yours to Count On,

Valerie Springer  nmls 198479

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