Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Applying for a New Mortgage


Getting a mortgage can be a frustrating part of buying a home. 42% of home buyers said they found the mortgage experience “stressful & complicated.” It's often a struggle. Things can go wrong.
If you're out to buy a home, you have to be informed. Here are some of the things to be aware of if your looking to buy and you're applying for a new mortgage.

20% down payment mistake
A 20% down payment is attractive to Realtors & mortgage brokers. It also enables you to avoid an extra monthly fee of 0.3% to 1.15% of your total loan amount without private mortgage insurance. But with mortgage rates as low as they are, waiting for that 20% could be a mistake. As time goes on home prices typically rise and rates may very well increase. Realistically it may not be a great idea to wait until you have that much to put down.

Get pre-approved

Pre-approval is very different than pre-qualified. Pre-qualification does not require a buyer to provide any documentation. It is a conversation between the mortgage broker and the buyer that may provide a general idea of how much home they can buy. Pre-approval is much more in depth requiring credit check, income verification and assets. It is a much stronger tool. If your serious about buying, a pre-approval is a must. 

Pre-approval requires that you have enough cash reserves to afford the down payment by providing bank statements. Lenders will check that your "cash reserves have remained the same throughout the loan process, so don't move large sums of money around during the process.

Don't apply for new credit

Any new credit inquiry will affect your credit score. Also a lender underwriter may view your applying for credit line increase or borrowing more negatively and change or deny the mortgage loan. Wait until after you close on the loan to apply for any new credit. 

If your considering buying or selling a home in the near future please don't hesitate to contact me directly at 561-306-6736 or ges.rellc@ymail.com 

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Best Tips to Help Sell Your House

 
 Crank up the curb appeal:  Pull weeds and trim overgrown shrubs, especially if they block windows or the path to your front door.

Paint
It's important to make your house generic. A fresh coat of neutral paint will make your home appear larger, brighter and more appealing to potential buyers.

Make repairs
Things like leaky faucets, sticky cabinets, and torn screens may seem insignificant, but they add up in the mind of a potential buyer. Buyers tend to overestimate how much repairs cost. You don't want to give them any reason not to put in a fair offer.

Rearrange
Make sure your furniture placement allows for easy traffic flow and shows the purpose of each room. If you have too much furniture, store some until you are ready to move into your new place.

Eliminate Clutter
This includes personal photos and portraits. Less is always more. The less clutter you have lying around, the more potential buyers will be able to see your home and what it offers. Buyers are interested in the house, not your stuff.

Clean and Organize
When the house is organized it displays a stress free lifestyle.
Clean every inch of your house, and don't forget to make your windows and floors sparkle. If your carpet appears old and stained, think about replacing it. Also, make sure there are no offensive odors. Purchase an air-neutralizing spray that will help remove odors without creating an overwhelming masking odor. Clean organized homes sell!

Brighten it up
Let the sun shine in, and turn on the lights. Open all blinds or curtains, make sure the house is well lit.

Make it Comfortable
Be sure potential buyers are comfortable when touring your home. Keep the A.C. on if it's warm, and heat on if it's cold.

Keep it accessible and ready to show
It may be a little inconvenient, but until you accept an offer, keep your home accessible and in tip-top shape at all times. What this means is that each room should have a clear purpose, nice flow and be clean and clutter-free. Buyers need to be able to picture themselves and their things in the home.

If you or someone that you know is considering selling or buying a home in Southeast Florida, please call or contact me for a free no obligation market analysis.
George Sinacori
516-306-6736
rebuygeorge@gmail.com
ges.rellc@ymail.com


Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Two Important Steps for Home Loans


Are you sitting on the sidelines wondering if you should buy a home?

Information is power, but many homebuyers aren’t evaluating all their options, potentially leaving money on the table. In fact, first-time buyer demand may be being restricted by lack of knowledge.

According to an article in the Wall Street Journal: "nearly half of U.S. home buyers don’t consult multiple lenders when they are seeking a mortgage, a government report says, raising questions about whether consumers are getting the best possible deal."

You can take two important steps to get educated and learn how to save on your home loan.

1. Shop your loan…and your down payment

Nearly half of buyers don’t shop around for their mortgage.
An analysis by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), revealed that 47% never considered more than one lender. The CFPB also debunks the myth that shopping around lenders will hurt your credit score. When multiple credit checks are concentrated over a short period of time, they are typically treated as one inquiry and won’t hurt your credit score, according to the CFPB.

You should not only shop lenders, but also compare different loan types to evaluate your cash needed to close, monthly payments and other fees.

What about the down payment? One of the key misconceptions among buyers is what’s necessary for a down payment. Many mortgage professionals say that consumers either believe that they must have a 20 percent down payment, or that it would difficult to get a home with less.
However, there are many low down payment options and down payment programs that can get you in a home much sooner for less down.

2. Research down payment programs.

71 percent of Americans don’t know about down payment programs.
A recent survey found that most buyers simply are unaware of down payment programs and therefore aren’t even investigating these additional home financing options. Two common misconceptions about down payment assistance are that only low-income buyers can qualify for it, and that it isn’t available to first-time homebuyers. But that’s not the case.

The fact is there are a wide range of programs available in every community across the country—more than 2,400 programs. Ask your lender or agent about down payment program options that can be combined with your first loan. You can also find affordable home loans through your state or local Housing Finance Agencies (HFAs). Some of these programs feature lower minimum down payment requirements, competitive interest rates, down payment programs and homeownership counseling.

Prioritize these two steps before you start touring homes. After you have your home loan details in order, you’ll know what homes and price points will best fit your situation.

Call 561-306-6736 or contact me at ges.rellc@ymail.com for more info on shopping for a home loan.

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Preparing to Buy a Home

Despite what we see in TV ads, there are things to do to prepare for buying a home. You can't just waltz in and declare "I'll take it!" 

Here's a checklist of some of the things you need to do to get ready to buy a home.

Check your credit score
Please do not start browsing homes until you have checked your credit score. This is what mortgage lenders will look at to determine whether you are “creditworthy." The higher your credit score, the lower your interest rate. Get a free copy of yours at Credit Karma, Annual Credit Report or some credit card companies provide free credit scores.

Shop for a mortgage lender
A prospective home buyer will need to qualify for a mortgage and confirm how much of a mortgage they can afford,” Different mortgage lenders offer a wide variety of rates and programs, so find the best rate and mortgage option for you.

Secure mortgage pre-approval
Once you've found the mortgage that's right for you, you'll want to show sellers that you have what it takes to buy their home. A pre-approval is required for a seller to take your offer seriously and to assure the seller that you’re both willing and able.

Save up for a down payment
To get the best rates, you'll need to make at least a 20% down payment on a home. That's a lot of money! But if that amount is out of reach, don't worry—most people put down less.
No Changes
“Do not switch jobs. Do not buy a new car. Do not buy furniture or apply for a new credit card. 
Find a real estate agent
There's no reason to go it alone.  Professional help can make the whole process much easier.

Make a realistic list
You need to be realistic about what are truly “wishes" and what are "non-negotiables" —such as the number of bedrooms, a fenced yard for a pet, a specific school district, etc.

Browse listings
Search by price, number of bedrooms, location, and other variables to start narrowing down your options. Forward any properties that you find interesting to your Realtor so that they can look further into them and schedule showings for you. Viewing online listings is one thing; seeing the properties in person is quite another. While you’re in each home, take photos and make notes so they don’t all run together in your mind.

The Neighborhood
You’re not just buying the property you’re looking at; you’re also buying into the whole neighborhood. That’s why you have to be certain that it has the vibe you want. The best way to find out more about a community is to talk to neighbors, and to visit the neighborhood in the evening when families are home.

Call, text or email
Call or text me directly at 561-306-6736
email me at ges.rellc@ymail.com or rebuygeorge@gmail.com

Monday, February 20, 2017

Home Buying in a Sellers Market

Hearing the phrase “seller’s market” can concern many home buyers. While buying a home in a seller’s market isn’t easy, it can be done. You just have to know how to make an offer that will stand out.

There are ways to improve your chances. Let’s focus on the ways you can present an offer to help make it more appealing. And remember, in a hot market, other buyers are your competitors.
Besides coming in with the top price, the best thing you can do to rise to the top of the offers pile is to eliminate as many contingencies as you possibly can. Do you need to sell your current house before buying? In a buyers market or even a balanced market, you may be able to make your offer contingent on the sale of your existing home. Not so much in a hot market. Why should they wait for you to sell your house before they sell theirs when they’ve got other buyers ?
The sale of a current home is only one of many contingencies that may be incorporated into a typical home purchase contract. Contingencies are possible  deal-killers and the seller knows it. Each one is designed to protect the buyer. So how much protection are you willing to give up to boost your chance of getting the house?

You may be tempted to waive all contingencies, like inspection, appraisal and financing. That’s risky and you would be well advised not to. Instead, try to minimize the effect of the contingencies.
Shorten the compliance times instead. Rather than having home inspection completed in 14 days, offer to do it within 5 days. A seller is looking to get to closing as quickly and easily as possible. A buyer who is willing to move quickly in the process will appeal to a seller.
You can also change the terms of your inspection contingency. Instead of a traditional inspection contingency where you can come back and request repairs from the seller, you can buy the house “as-is” but with a due-diligence inspection. That means you have a specified number of days to conduct a detailed inspection of the home.

If you find minor things that would normally be negotiated with the seller, you just accept them. But if you discover something major, you can simply cancel the sale. The seller knows you aren’t going to nickel-and-dime them for every little thing or delay the sale for minor repairs.
Financing contingencies are another big hurdle. You are (or should be) pre-approved before making an offer, but you still want to include that contingency in case something happens to keep you from getting a loan. That’s one reason cash is king. A buyer who doesn’t need a loan to buy a home will rise to the top of the offer pile.

Most buyers don't have a lot of cash sitting around and need to secure a loan to buy a house. Providing a pre-approval letter and putting as much toward a down payment as you reasonably can helps to make an offer strong. A larger down payment indicates that you are in a strong financial position and less likely to have financing issues come up.

Appraisal contingency is slightly different from the financing waiver. This one says if the house doesn’t appraise for the sales price, you can renegotiate. If you’re getting a mortgage, your lender will insist that the house appraise for the contract price. If it doesn’t, you can either renegotiate price, pay the difference up front or walk away. But if you’ve waived the appraisal contingency, you’ll walk away without your earnest money.
real estate market.

Earnest money is the deposit you make with an offer. The point is to show that you’re serious and you’re willing to put some cash up to insure that you won’t back out of the deal for no reason without losing your earnest money. To a seller, a larger earnest money deposit signals that you are a serious buyer.

Call or contact me for more valuable tips on buying or selling in today's real estate market.

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Those Low Down Mortgages


Going back 10 -12 years ago or more, it was common to be able to buy a house with no money down. Zero percent financing was easily available. These types of home loans and "no documentation" mortgages were primary causes of the financial crises.

Today although mortgage guidelines are stricter and full documentation is required, there are safe low down payment mortgage options available.

3% Down Payments - Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac aren't lenders but the do buy loans that lenders make, allowing them to take more risk on creditworthy buyers who do not have a large amount of cash available. One program allows first time buyers or buyers who haven't owned a home for the past 3 years to put just 3% down on loans up to $417000.  The down payment can come from a family gift or your own. These loans require mortgage insurance as do most low down payment mortgages.

3.5% Down Payment - FHA (Federal Housing Administration) guarantees loans made by lenders allowing them to approve more low down payment buyers. The loans also require mortgage insurance but qualifications are less stringent than most.

1% Down Payment - New mortgages have emerged over the past year allowing as little as 1% down Buyers with 680 credit scores or higher and earning less than the median income for the area may qualify to receive a lender grant for 2% of the purchase price and 1% from the buyer giving a buyer a 3% equity at closing with just 1% down.

To determine your own qualifications for any of these low down payment programs, you'll need to get a pre-approval. Call me 561-306-6736  or email me and we can get those answers together and start the process of finding the perfect home and financing for you. 

Monday, October 3, 2016

Your Credit Score Matters


If you're considering getting a mortgage to buy a home, your credit score matters.
If it’s good, you should be able to get financing without a problem. If it’s bad, it can be difficult getting a mortgage at all.

What’s an acceptable credit score for a mortgage?

Most lenders look for a score in the mid 600's although they do vary in their requirements.
Credit reports with detailed payment habits determine a persons credit score based on:

⦁ Payment history (on time): 35%
⦁ How much debt you have: 30%
⦁ How long you've had credit : 15%
⦁ New credit you’ve taken on: 10%
⦁ Types of credit you have: 10%

Credit scores range from 300 to 850.
⦁ 740 to 850: very good
⦁ 670 to 739: fair 
⦁ 580 to 669: low
⦁ 300 to 579: sub prime

Lenders have varying required minimum credit scores for a mortgage, which are key in determining a persons credit worthiness. That's why it’s important to know your credit score before shopping for a home.
Once you know your credit score, you’ll have a good idea of whether you’ll be approved for a mortgage. However, while a minimum credit score means you’ll probably get approved for a loan, you won’t get the best rate. A higher score will result in a lower rate or better terms. It also gives you leverage to shop for the best available rate and terms.

Some government insured home loan programs are much more lenient when it comes to credit scores. The Federal Housing Administration or FHA accepts mortgage applications with scores as low as 580.

Active or former military members may also qualify for a VA loan which will allow for lower credit scores, so it’s worth checking out if you qualify.

For more information on qualifying for a loan to buy a home contact me directly at 561-306-6736 or
ges.rellc@ymail.com

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

The 20% Down Payment Myth


Many would be homebuyers have heard or read that it's best or even required to put a 20% down payment on a home in order to obtain financing. A down payment is just the amount of cash you are putting toward the purchase of the home. For a $200,000 home, 20% would be $40,000. For most, an improbable amount of cash.

After the housing crisis, access to credit tightened, especially for median income homebuyers, including credit worthy buyers with the income to buy but not the large down payment. Thankfully that has changed and newer low down payments options are available to those who qualify for a fully documented mortgage.

A recent study found that it would take most buyers on average 12.5 years to save enough for a 20% down payment on a home. That's more than 12 years of rent and watching home values continue to rise. However, there are now several options for buyers to take advantage of low down payment financing.

- FHA loans are a popular option for first time home buyer.

- Freddie Mac's low down payment loan HomePossible mortgage allows down payments of as little as 3-5% with flexible sources of funds for the down payment.

- Fannie Mae's new HomeReady mortgage allows a 3% minimum down payment and allows everyone residing in the home's income to be considered even if they are not a borrower on the mortgage.
Additionally all borrowers do not have to reside in the property, allowing co-borrowers such as parents who won't be living in the home to help the kids qualify.

Contact me directly 561-306-6736  ges.rellc@ymail.com  for more help and information on available homes and low down payment options.

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Housing Forecast 2016



Recent data released by Freddie Mac, the government sponsored entity (GSE), that insures most home loans, has many experts like Freddie Mac chief economists forecasting that housing will continue it's upward momentum throughout 2016 and in fact, can be an economic engine of growth for the overall economy.

In a statement regarding revised analysis of the overall economy after Freddie Mac published it's April 2016 data, one of their chief economists stated, "we maintain our positive view on housing. In fact, the declines in long-term interest rates that accompanied much of the recent news should increase mortgage market activity,"

For the first quarter of 2016, the 30-year fixed rate mortgage averaged 3.7 percent. After lowering the forecast for subsequent quarters by a tenth of a percent, we should expect rates to average 4 percent in 2016.

On average, house prices should rise by 4.8 and 3.5 percent in 2016 and 2017 respectively. Rising home prices will drive up homeowner equity.

For more info on the recent data visit www.freddiemac.com

For more information on purchasing or selling in Southeast Florida contact me directly at:
George Sinacori
GES Real Estate, LLC
561-306-6736
ges.rellc@ymail.com

Monday, February 29, 2016

Homeowners Tax Deductions Can Save You $


Owning a home comes with some great tax benefits. In fact there’s a whole list of homeowner-related tax breaks. Homeowners already save an average of $3,000 a year in taxes from mortgage-interest and property-tax deductions. In December of 2015, Congress passed the Protecting Americans From Tax Hikes Act of 2015, extending many exemptions that were about to expire and making others permanent. But to take advantage, you first have to know what they are.

Mortgage interest deduction: If you’ve taken out a loan to buy a house, you can deduct the interest you pay on a mortgage, with a balance of up to $1 million by itemizing your deductions.

Private mortgage insurance: Qualified homeowners can deduct payments for private mortgage insurance, or PMI, for a primary home.

Property Taxes: You can include state and local property taxes as itemized deductions. The amount of the deduction depends on when you pay the tax, paying property taxes earlier could have a positive impact on your return.

Capital gains on a home sale: Capital gains can be avoided when the gain from selling your personal residence is less than $250,000 if you are a single or $500,000 if you are a joint filer. You must have owned and used the home as a primary residence for at least two of the five years prior to the sale.

Discount points: which are paid to lower the interest rate on a loan, can be deducted in full for the year in which they were paid. If you’re buying a home and the seller pays the points as an incentive, you can still deduct those points.

Energy-efficiency tax credit: You can take advantage of the energy-efficiency tax credit of 10% of the amount paid (up to $500) for any green improvements, such as storm doors, energy-efficient windows, and air-conditioning and heating systems.

Home office: If you have a dedicated space in your home for work and it’s not used for anything else, you could deduct it as a home office expense. (I'm not fond of this deduction for several reasons, although it is available).

Loan forgiveness deduction: If you’re the owner of a foreclosed or short-sale home, you can take advantage of mortgage-debt forgiveness so long as the debt was on your primary residence. For example you sell your home as a short sale for $200K but owe $300K and your lender forgives the $100K balance (which is otherwise considered ordinary income), you don't have to pay taxes on that forgiven debt.

For more tax tips, check out IRS Publication 530 for a list of what homeowners can (and cannot) deduct.

Considering buying or selling a home?
Call me at 561-306-6736 or email ges.rellc@ymail.com