Ask Val

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

May 11, 2011

Give Or Take

Filed under: ASK VAL,Dear Val,Family — Valerie Springer @ 8:54 pm

Throughout my childhood and into my adult years I have heard the saying  “Give or Take”…I believe most would see the scales as being even but I believe there is a far deeper meaning to this quip from the past.

After the events of the past weeks, my mind has been in over-drive and I have tried to take inventory of my journey up until now.  The people who have been in my life in the past… alive or dead, those who showed up un-announced…for good or bad, those who are part of my life through no choice of my own…blessing or nightmare and those who will forever remain a part of my existence…because of a deep love or bond that is never going to be explained. 

I believe there are really ONLY two types of people, but for my blog I am going to say three types and you will understand in a moment.  The two types are as follows:

*GIVERS’

*TAKERS’

The third would be:

*TAKERS’ WHO BELIEVE (or try to convince others) THEY ARE GIVERS’

Givers’ are gracious.  They lovingly spend their time trying to help others and are always there to lend support and have a kind word for their family, friends or strangers.   The dictionary meaning says to present voluntarily and without expecting compensation; to bestow; to give back; return or restore: bring back to life by the way they treat others.

Takers’ are only looking out for their best interest and how they are suited.  They have little regard for others outisde their immediate circle.  The dictionary says a taker is someone who will voluntarily take hold or possession by any means possible; to control by force or artifice; to take personal gain at the expense of others.  Existing only to see what they can gain from others.

Takers’ who believe (or try to convince others) they are Givers’ are the worst.  Deep inside they know their manipulations but believe they have convinced those around their motives are genuine.  They are not thankful nor appreciative unless it benefits them directly and then they  believe they are deserving of any gratuities they bring into their own fold; greedy.  These people have no regard for others unless they are about to be exposed.  These wreak havoc on everyone in their path but are quick to blame others for their misfortune and slow to take responsibility.

In business as well as personal life we meet all three.  Givers’ are fabulous and as a Mortgage Consultant in the Birmingham, AL  area I have been blessed with my share, thankfully.  Takers’, I have had those as well, if everything were easy we would never learn life’s lessons.  The last…I refer to another lender!  (wisdom)

Please call Valerie Springer for all home mortgages, I would be honored to help you.

Yours to Count On,

Valerie Springer

 

 

May 9, 2011

STRUCTURES, INC. ~ Remodeling Specialist

In light of all the storms in our surrounding areas I thought it would be great to feature information on home remodeling or renovations.  Birmingham is rich in experienced contractors eager not only to get your home “livable” again, but the showcase you want it to be.

If you have had damage to your home, trust your work to an industry professional who  lives in  the community which they work and who will be looking “eye to eye” with you for years to come. 

Erica Neel, Greater Birmingham Association of Home Builders (GBAHB), is Remodelers Chairman.  Erica’s company is Structures, Inc. and you can reach them at 205-663-4252.  Erica has passion about her work and this evidenced in one of the articles I read in GBAHB Remodel Birmingham.  I remember when Erica was born, now she is having a baby of her own…

“The upcoming birth of my first child has made me reflect on my childhood.  I think of all the traditions that were established and where they took place.  Like many of you, I can visualize the small details of the rooms I inhabited as a child.  I can picture the butcher block formica countertops with the harvest gold appliances in my first home.  I can also remember the sunken den and how the shag carpet felt on my feet.  In my second home, I remember the beautiful oak cabinetry in the kitchen and the arched double door at the entry.  These memories are intertwined with the holidays, family gatherings, and the daily life we led in our home.

So often we forget about how important our homes are to us.  Many times we think about the maintenance or the housework we have to do to keep them up, but we must also remember that our surroundings in our home make us feel certain emotions.  We all want to live somewhere that is pleasing to us whether that be with carpeted or hardwood floors, stained or painted cabinetry, or with brick or siding on our house.  Our homes are an extension of our personality and taste and serve an integral part in our daily lives.  We need to love them.”

Spoken by a true industry professional, “I want to assure you that my industry has many qualified professionals who are able to transform your current home into a remodeled masterpiece or create a perfect custom home from scratch.  Now is the time to act.  Interest rates are at an all time low, but are steadily rising.  Labor prices are at record low levels.  We understand that in these challenging economic times, we must spend our money wisely.  That time is now.  Let’s make memories together.”

Yours to Count On,

Valerie Springer

205-995-7283 x 305

 

April 4, 2011

Three Major Credit Reporting Bureaus

When applying for a mortgage whether it be for purchase or refinance a tri-merge credit report is pulled for an evaluation of the clients current and past credit history.

The three bureaus are Equifax, Experian and TransUnion.

Depending on the creditor they many report to one or all bureaus.  Credit scores can vary between agencies so to qualify for financing I will work off your middle credit score to determine your rate.

It is a great idea to get a credit analysis at least once a year.  In doing so you can keep on top of your credit report and quickly take care of any discrepancies.

The bureau information is as follows:

Experian Consumer Relations, 888-397-3742,  P O Box 2002, Allen, TX  75013  www.experian.com

Equifax Consumer Relations, 800-685-1111, P O Box 740241, Atlanta, GA  30374-0193 www.equifax.com

TransUnion Consumer Relations, 800-888-4213, P O Box 1000, Chester, PA  19022 www.transunion.com

The above addresses would be where disputes are mailed to the individual bureau.  I suggest dispute be sent certified mail return receipt requested.  Credit bureau has 30 days to investigate and then derogatory is either confirmed or removed.

If you need a free credit analysis in the Birmingham, AL area, please contact Valerie Springer .  I would be honored to help you with your financing needs.

Yours to Count On,

Valerie Springer

March 31, 2011

Thunderstorm Warning Safety

Filed under: ASK VAL,Dear Val — Valerie Springer @ 6:17 pm
Tags: , , ,

 

Thunderstorm Safety

Spring is the time to start thinking about weather safety.  Spring can bring severe thunderstorms and tornados. Knowing what to do in the event of a weather emergency can be crucial.

* Listen to local news or NOAA Weather Radio for emergency updates.  Watch for signs of a storm, like darkening skies, lightning flashes or increasing wind.

*Postpone outdoor activities if thunderstorms are likely to occur. Many people struck by lightning are not in the area where rain is occurring.

*If a severe thunderstorm warning is issued, take shelter in a substantial building or in a vehicle with the windows closed.  Get out of mobile homes that can blow over in high winds.

*If you can hear thunder, you are close enough to be in danger from lightning.  If thunder roars, go indoors! The National Weather Service recommends staying inside for at least 30 minutes after the last thunder clap.

*Avoid electrical equipment and telephones.  Use battery-powered TVs and radios instead.

*Shutter windows and close outside doors securely.  Keep away from windows.

*Do not take a bath, shower or use plumbing.

*If you are driving, try to safely exit the roadway and park.  Stay in the vehicle and turn on the emergency flashers until the heavy rain ends.  Avoid touching metal or other surfaces that conduct electricity in and outside the vehicle.

*If you are outside and cannot reach a safe building, avoid high ground; water; tall, isolated trees; and metal objects such as fences or bleachers.  Picnic shelters, dugouts and sheds are NOT safe.

 

Know the Difference

Severe Thunderstorm Watch– Severe thunderstorms are possible in and near the watch area.  Stay informed and be ready to act if a severe thunderstorm warning is issued.

Severe Thunderstorm Warning– Severe weather has been reported by spotters or indicated by radar. Warnings indicate imminent danger to life and property.

Thunderstorm fact:

A thunderstorm is considered severe if it produces hail at

least 1 inch in diameter or has wind gusts of at least 58 miles per hour.  Every thunderstorm produces lightning, which kills more people each year than tornadoes or hurricanes.  Heavy rain from thunderstorms can cause flash flooding and high winds can damage homes and blow down trees and utility poles, causing widespread power outages.

Visit our website to learn more,

www.alredcross.org

If you are in need of residential financing the Birmingham AL area Valerie Springer is your gal.

Valerie Springer

205-995-7283 x 305

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

 

 

January 27, 2011

100% Financing for Home Purchase

Filed under: ASK VAL,Dear Val,Realtor — Valerie Springer @ 8:41 pm
Tags:

Individuals seeking to purchase a home in rural areas may do so by obtaining a loan through the Rural Housing Service program.  Under this program, there is no down payment required and the closing costs are less than most traditional loans. 

Borrowers must have a satisfactory credit history to be approved.  This loan is similar to other government programs, the RHS is a loan guarantee program. 

The location of property determines if the home qualifies and there are income restrictions and limitations.

If you are interested in purchasing a home using this program, please Valerie Springer for pre-approval and I will be happy to recommend you to a great realtor once the approval process is complete.

205-995-7283 x 305  valerie.springer@nflp.com

www.vshomeloans.com           www.valeriespringer.wordpress.com

Yours to Count On,

Valerie Springer

December 3, 2010

Downpayment on Home ~ Gift Funds Allowed

Filed under: ASK VAL,Conventional Mortgage,Dear Val,Family,FHA Loan,Gift Funds — Valerie Springer @ 3:54 pm
Tags:

Question:  I don’t have enough money for a down-payment, but my Grandmother would like to gift me some money to help…can she do that?

Answer:  Yes she can but we must go through the proper transfer to make the transaction go smooth.

Gift Funds are an allowable source for downpayment money on the purchase of a home.  This money can come from a grandparent, parent, sibling, spouse, fiance’, future in-law or godparent.

The gifter along with purchaser would sign a gift letter stating the money is a gift and no repayment is expected.  Then, the gifter would also have to provide a bank statement, all pages, with proof they have the money to give.

Next step,  once the check has been deposited into the purchaser’s account we would need a copy of the cancelled earnest money check from the gifter and an updated printout of the purchaser’s bank account showing the money is there.   Remember, if a bank printout, bank must put the banking stamp and intials on each page to prove it is authentic.

Really a very easy process but make sure you speak with your loan officer before moving funds around from one account to another.  It will save much time and paperwork!

If you need an approval for home purchase or refinance, Valerie Springer is waiting for your call.

Yours to Count On,

Valerie Springer

 

December 2, 2010

Shopping for Mortgage — What is your Interest Rate?

Filed under: ASK VAL,Conventional Mortgage,Credit,Dear Val,FHA Loan,HECM,Reverse Mortgage — Valerie Springer @ 4:49 pm

 My phone is ringing, I answer and on the other end I hear…”I am thinking about purchasing a home or refinancing my home and I would like to know what your current interest rate is?”

The above question is peep-hole sized compared to the whole room of information that is needed to quote someone an interest rate.  Many will throw out a number just to get you roped in but would never be able to follow through with the rate when the chips are on the table.

An interest rate is made made up of many components and depends on a number of factors:

*Loan to Value

*Loan Amount

*Occupancy Type

*Loan Purpose

*Loan Limits

*Credit Score

*Qualifying Ratios

*Loan Product

*Electronic Approval Level

Many consumers feel like they are using wisdom by calling several companies and asking for rates but truthfully the most honest may never get a shot at the financing because the average borrower doesn’t know how to shop for interest rates nor do they understand what drives rates.  Therefore the one selling a line of deceit may seem to be the best.

If you are searching for a knowledgable loan officer the first question you should ask is “Do you what moves interest rates?”  If they cannot answer, you need to move on.  If they do answer do you know the correct answer? 

The second question “What information do you need from me so you can give me an idea of what loan type would be best for my situation”?

Third, “With the given information, what product do you think would best suit me, rate etc…and why”? (Remember you must do all of these on the same day at the same time because rates move all day long.)

If you call two or three people and do it right, you will have gained a wealth of knowledge by the time you hang up and will also have a “gut” feeling on which loan officer would work best with you and for you.  The lowest rate doesn’t always mean the best so weigh all of your options.

If you have questions, I would be glad to answer.  The present time is a golden opportunity to refinance your home to a lower interest rate or to purchase a home, second home or even an investment property.  Many will not realize until it is too late this is a “once in a lifetime” chance to make a wise financial decision.

If you are seeking residential financing int he Greater Birmingham AL area, Valerie Springer is ready to meet your financial needs.

Yours to Count On,

Valerie  Springer

www.vshomeloans.com

 

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