Ask Val

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

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 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

August 9, 2010

FHA Mortgage, What is the attraction?

Many times I am asked why is a FHA mortgage better than conventional?  In fact, there are many  advantages to FHA financing.

FHA insures the mortgage which reduces the risk a lender has to assume in the event a borrower defaults on the mortgage payments.  Insurance  allows lenders a little more willingness to loan to those with not so perfect or less depth in their credit history.  This helps  individuals qualify for financing.

FHA’s underwriting standards are less strict than those of conventional loans.  This allows individuals who have had credit issues, bankruptcy, foreclosure or inconsistent payment records the opportunity to qualify for financing.

Also, FHA will allow a minimum down payment to be as low as 3.5%.  These funds can come from the borrower, co-borrower, or in the form of gift funds.  Gift funds may be given from a parent, grandparent, fiance’, sibling or god-parent.

In today’s market if you are purchasing a home below $271,000.00 and putting less than a 20% down-payment, it may be in your best interest to have a FHA loan.  Rates are low and FHA may be assumed if qualified and monthly mortgage insurance is generally much lower on an FHA mortgage.

If you have questions or would like to be pre-approved to purchase a new home or refinance your existing, please visit my website www.vshomeloans.com or call me at 205-995-7283 x 304.  I would love to help with one of the largest financial decisions you will ever make.

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

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