Ask Val

April 25, 2011

“Life Goes On”

Filed under: Uncategorized — Valerie Springer @ 8:01 pm
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April 21, 2011 is a day that will forever be a day of heartache and surprise.  We received an unexpected call that my mother-in-law, Ruth Springer, had stopped breathing.

It was the call we all hope to miss but on this day it was coming for us.  In a mad dash we flew out of the office and headed to the retirement home she had recently moved into.  I was driving and my sister-in-law Lynn was my passenger.  We made calls to the other brother’s and sister’s while en-route and were all gathered within 30 minutes or so to have that final moment with the earthly body we have loved so deeply through the years.

For those of you who do not know there were eight children in my husband’s family.    Let me remember for a bit…

When Mick and I were dating, the first time he took me to meet his family, they were all there.  I was amazed when I walked into the family room to find a whole “congregation” of people sitting there looking at me!  🙂  While I believe at some point I had known there were a whole bunch of Springers it had most certainly slipped my mind.  Mick made me a list by age of his siblings and I practiced to make sure I could call them by name next time we met.

I have many stories of the first few months being around Mick’s siblings but I will share those on another occasion. 

One of the first things I remember was how sweet and gracious Ruth Springer, the matriarch of the family was to me.  I could not imagine that many people living in the same house and there was never anything out of place, ever.  She kept a spotless house that could have stood the white glove test at any time. 

She made everything seem easy and effortless.  In a house of ten there was laundry, cleaning, cooking and gardening to be completed daily but these were the activities that made her happy and she radiated joy and contentment.

No matter how much I brag you will never come close to imagining the delicious food she could whip up in her kitchen.  Country cooking at its finest with a touch of love in every spoonful.  Holiday’s were grand and special but the week-night meals were just as scrumptous.

Nothing was too much trouble for Ruth.  I remember her getting up at midnight and making us hamburgers because we were all at her house and hungry.  More times than I could count. 

I remember when I didn’t feel good she would make me biscuits because I thought I might be able to keep them down.  I remember the Christmas when Ashlee was born and we came home from the hospital on Christmas Eve…we couldn’t go to her house that evening but she sent  dishes of all the food home to me so I wouldn’t miss out on the tradition.  I remember when my sweet grandmother was so sick and Ruth would make her chicken and dumplins…Cora would eat them when she wouldn’t eat a bite of anything else.  Ruth would make them for her often because she knew it made a difference for someone else.  I remember the times she  cooked breakfast for Papa just to cheer him up.  I remember the meals she made for my family in times of heartache.

I remember how her grandchildren loved to go to her house.  All night movies, dress up parties, karaoke and all of the candy and junk food a child could wish for be it homemade or store bought.  She would stay up as long as the kids wanted too and then make the best pallets in the floor with all of her homemade quilts.  The next morning they would wake to the smell of “Mimi’s” homemade biscuits and the finest breakfast this side of the Mason Dixon Line.  She was just like a grandmother should be letting them do everything their parents would not allow (eating junk, staying up all night, being loud, watching Pretty Woman LOL etc).  It was all fun fun fun at Mimi’s.

I miss her roast, lemon-ade and biscuits the most.  I miss going into her house in Pelham, starving, only to open the oven door and find a feast.  I miss Sunday afternoons playing in the backyard and shopping.  I miss everyone being happy and enjoying each other’s company.  I miss hiding Easter eggs and trying my best to leave her an egg in her flower garden, she would surely complain a few months later when she was working her beds.  I miss hiding odd things in the Christmas tree to see how long it would take her to find them.  I miss Halloween and her caramel apples and the special bags of candy she would make for everyone.  I miss her doting on Mick and needing the reassurance that just because he married me didn’t mean he forgot about her.  I miss my mother-in-law, the one I had before the life of hard-knocks set in.

She was a very special lady and I feel honored to have had her for my mother-in-law for 30 years.  I am even more appreciative that not only did she give life to my sweet husband but she influenced his disposition greatly.  I am thankful for her and all the blessings she has given to me.

As I sit here and watch the leaves blowing in the wind, the sun shining brightly  and reminiscing of days gone by, I am reminded to share your heart with loved ones every single day. 

On April 21, 2011 Ruth Springer passed away and as much as it hurts…Life Goes On.

In Memory,

Val

 

 

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April 6, 2011

USDA Rural Development Loans ~ 100% Financing

I have some great news to share with everyone.  Effective this week, Network Funding Mortgage Bank will be able to internally underwrite USDA Rural Development Loans, 100% financing, in house!!!

This means our rural development loans will receive the same great attention and turn times as other Network Funding  LP other loan products. 

Rural Development and HECM Reverse Mortgage were previously brokered out.  I have been advised Reverse Mortgage will soon be in house as well.

If you are in the market for a USDA Rural Development loan with 100% financing or a HECM Reverse Mortgage loan in Birmingham, AL then Valerie Springer is your gal.  205-995-7283 x 305

Yours to Count On,

Valerie Springer

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

January 19, 2011

Is the Debacle Over?

Housing starts for December were below expectations BUT Building Permits which is a great indication of future construction, were well above expectations.

Could this be the beginning of good news for our homebuilders?  Are interest rates really starting to rise?  What is going on in the market today and what am I not being told?  How much of an impact does China really have on the United States?  How does it all work?  What is QE2 and how will that affect me?

If you would like answers to the questions above, your expert is waiting to shed some light and help guide you as a well informed consumer.  You may call me at 205-995-7283 x 305 or send me an email at valerie.springer@nflp.com 

Yours to Count On,

Valerie Springer

 

October 21, 2010

Bankruptcy and Foreclosure With FHA

In today’s market, I receive many phone calls from people who have either had to file bankruptcy or had a foreclosure.  These come from all walks of life…those who made unwise financial decisions to those who are in this position through no fault of their own.  Either way, folks are hungry for guidance and information.

In this post I am going to talk about FHA guidelines and what they have to say about the two big NO-NO’s.

As far as Foreclosure, a borrower in most circumstances is not eligible for three years after principal residence or other real property was foreclosed or deed-in-lieu was given.  However, the lender may grant an exception to the 3 year period if the foreclosure was the result of documented extenuating circumstance beyond the control of the borrower.  This could include a serious illness or death of a wage earner, and the borrower has established good credit since the foreclosure.  Divorce is not considered an extenuating circumstance BUT if a borrower whose loan was current at the time of a divorce in which the ex-spouse received the property and the loan was later foreclosed does qualify as an exception.  The inability to sell a property due to a job transfer or relocation to another area does not qualify as an extenuating circumstance.

Now to address bankruptcy, if at least two years have passed since the date of discharge (Chapter 7) and the borrower has reestablished good credit or chosen not to incur new debt, in most situations would qualify for FHA insured mortgage.  Possibly less than two years but not less than 12 months may be approved if the borrower can show the BK was caused by extenuating circumstances beyond his/her control and has since shown a documented ability to manage their financial affairs in a responsible manner.  The lender must document that the borrower’s current situation indicates that the events that led to the bankruptcy are not likely to recur.

(Chapter 13) is a little different since this is a BK overtime.  If the lender can document that one year of payout under the bk has elapsed and payment performance has been satisfactory and all payments have been made on time, then the borrower may be eligible.  The borrower MUST have written permission from the courts to enter into this transaction.  We must be able to show two years from the discharge date of  Chapter 13 BK.  If the Chapter 13 BK has not been discharged for a minimum of 2 years, the loan must be downgraded to a manual underwrite.

www.vshomeloans.com

valerie.springer@nflp.com

If you need a home mortgage financing, Valerie Springer is your expert loan officer.

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 17, 2010

Appraisals and Housing Valuation Code of Conduct (HVCC)

Housing Valuation Code of Conduct

 

Sometimes I wonder what our government was thinking when a group of lawmakers, (NY) decided it was in the best interest of consumers to have a third party requesting the most important piece of the puzzle in a refinance or purchase.   

An appraisal is an opinion of a property’s value.  Just like in any profession there are good and bad.  To utilize the best opinions it needs to be an appraiser who is familiar with the area and transactions taking place.   

In today’s market, we order an appraisal with a company who then gets in touch with the  appraiser.    

As a loan officer we do not have knowledge of the appraiser until we receive the finished product.  If there are any questions they are filtered back through the appraisal management company.   

For purchases, not so much negative, but for refinances it is a toss up as to the amount of work appraiser puts in to get the true value of the home.  I have been told sometimes can vary as much as $30k depending on comparables used.   

Thankfully, I have only had one appraisal that was disasterous and that appraiser has been removed from the the appraisal management company’s list.   While most appraisers take great pride in their work there are always those bad apples floating around in the barrel.   

I hope this trial will be one that is deemed unreasonable for all parties involved.  Ask the appraiser how they would rather work???   

If you have a comment or opinion, please share.   

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

July 30, 2010

Qualifications for Reverse Mortgage

All reverse mortgage share several common characteristics. 

*All borrowers must be 62 or older

*Must occupy the home as primary residence (residence is defined as at least one person living in the home for at least 6 months of the year)

*One owner must be living in home at time of closing

*If there is existing lien, it must be paid off by the new HECM mortgage or assume a subordinate position.

HECM must always be in first-lien position.

A homeowner can finance any primary residence that is considered owner-occupied, single family residence, condominium, manufactured homes, two to four units, or a planned unit development.  Mobile Homes are not eligible for this type of loan.    As a government insured program the senior’s home must meet FHA guidelines in terms of minimum property standards to qualify.

There is no income or credit requirements and any senior who owns a home with sufficient equity and age requirement can qualify.  Even if there is a mortgage balance you can qualify.

If you have questions or would like to see how much is available to you, please visit my website to fill out an application www.vshomeloans.com or contact me at 205-995-7283.

Yours to Count On,

Valerie Springer  nmls 198749

July 12, 2010

Credit Bureaus ~ Equifax, Experian and Trans Union

Filed under: ASK VAL,Credit — Valerie Springer @ 4:05 pm
Tags: , , , , , , ,

Credit is a scary word for many folks.  Credit is something that is  relatively baffling to most.  Common sense is completely out the window when it comes to figuring out the process.  I will give you some tips occasionally to help you have a better understanding.

1. Did you know if you close accounts it could drop your credit score?  2. If you open accounts too close together it could drop your score?  3. If you charge all purchases on a credit card and pay it off monthly it could hurt your score?  I will answer these three questions in this post.

1.  If you close accounts it could drop your credit score…The credit bureau is looking at how much credit you have available to you as opposed to how much you have used.  In addition to how long you have had a credit line.  For Example:  You have a credit card that carries a $10,000.00 credit limit, you have had this since 1995.  You pay the card off and close the account.  Your credit score will probably drop because you have just lost $10k of available credit and closed an account you have had opened for 15 years.  The utilization of credit cards will pump your scores up faster than any other category because “YOU” control revolving accounts.

2.  If you open too many accounts close together it could drop your score…yes this is true.  When someone starts applying for credit in succession it sends a signal to the bureau there may be a problem.  For example:  Someone inquires about approval for a home purchase to see if they qualify, then they go to the car dealership and apply for credit to get a vehicle.  On the way home they stop by a department store and find a great sale and the store clerk asks if they would like to save 20% on their entire purchase.  These are three credit inquiries very close together and it makes creditors very nervous.   All of the sudden you trying to accumulate much debt on paper whether you buy anything or not.   These purchases or applications for credit need to be spread far apart.  If you are considering purchasing a home you should never make a large purchase before the home transaction.  Auto dealers may pull your credit multiple times which in itself  can make your score drop.  Beware around the holidays when everyone wants to save and are tempted to apply for every credit card out there, your scores WILL drop.

3.  Can my credit scores drop if I pay my card off every month…Yes they can.  If you have one credit card with a $10k credit limit and each month you charge all of your household expenses and then pay off at the end of the month, all the credit bureaus know is you are maxed out on your limit.  For Example  The creditor does not report to the bureaus you pay off each month they only show you pay on time.  While your credit standing with this company may be excellent it does not seem so with the bureaus.  Also, this will affect your debt to income ratio when applying for mortgage.  We must use your minimum monthly payment to qualify you.  There are a few ways to make this work to your favor  (a.)  If you normally charge $10k per month and your credit limit is $10k, ask your creditor to raise you credit limit to $20k, this at least keeps you at the 50% utilization.  If this is not an option  (b.) put your purchases on separate credit cards.  It is okay to use credit cards just keep the balance low as possible even if you plan to pay it off in the future remember they are looking at how much you have used as opposed to how much is available.

Please visit my website www.vshomeloans.com    I would love to help you with your residential financing needs. 

Valerie Springer     NMLS  198479

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