Ask Val

May 2, 2012

HomePath Conventional 97% Home Mortgage

Filed under: Uncategorized — Valerie Springer @ 7:59 pm
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HomePath Conventional FannieMae Loan

 
HomePath is a conventional loan for 97% Financing.  I am going to share with you the highlights of this type loan.  If you would like to compare it to an FHA, VA or regular conventional mortgage please let me know.  I would be happy to share the knowledge.

*Has to be a Fannie Property
*3% down payment for most
*No Appraisal Required
*Minimum credit score is 640
*seller can pay up to 6% of the purchase price toward closing costs for buyer
*$5k repair escrow

My name is Valerie Springer nmls 198479, Home Mortgage Expert and writer for Ask Val in Birmingham, Alabama. You may contact me by email at valerie.springer@nflp.com or call 205-995-7283 x 305.

 

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

March 31, 2011

Thunderstorm Warning Safety

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

March 14, 2011

Tropical Smoothie Cafe’ Meets Catering Needs in Greater Birmingham Alabama Area

Filed under: Uncategorized — Valerie Springer @ 4:00 pm
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My friends Gordon and Julie Saunders have recently opened a Tropical Smoothie Cafe on Hwy 150 across from the Galleria in Hoover, AL.

I must confess, I missed the “smoothie” boat a few years ago and until Gordon and Julie had their Grand Opening, I had never enjoyed this great treat.

   I ordered my paradise and took a seat to take in all that was available.  Finally, taking turns, Julie and Gordon were able to come over and chat with me for a few moments and educate me on what all was offered.  I learned this was not only a  place to visit on bright and sunny days but also on days when you may not be feeling your best!  Who doesn’t enjoy that tropical feeling, even when it dreary?

 

If you will look closely you will see Julie and Gordon peeping through in the back!

I was also amazed that they had the ability to cater and make food trays for your outings, events and those moments when you just need to help someone out because of illness or death.  They provide a variety of options and their service is second to none.  What a great service to be able to call ahead, go by and get your order with a smile and no more worries.

I hope you will all go by Tropical Smoothie Cafe on Hwy 150 in Hoover, AL and please say hello to Gordon and Julie.  Tell them you read about this on my blog.  Who knows, maybe I will see you there!  Enjoy yourselves, life is too short.

www.vshomeloans.com

Yours to Count On,

Valerie

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 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

 

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

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