First-time Buyers

Government Shutdown Affects Real Estate Market

photo credit: rpongsaj

Some mortgage loan application processing could be delayed as a result of IRS and Social Security Administration offices being closed. Fortunately, FHA and VA loans do not require IRS tax returns. Some conventional lenders are allowing processing to proceed with verification being postponed until later in the process, but this decision is being made at the lender level. Social Security number verification could also cause delays.

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will continue to operate without interruption. Federal Housing Finance Agency will continute operations. FHA will endorse continue to endorse new single family mortgage loans. However, FHA will not make new multifamily loan commitments. National Flood Insurance Program will not be affected because it is funded by premiums, not tax dollars.

Pre-qualification vs. Pre-approval

photo by danielbertsche 
 
Here is part of an email sent to me by Dan Flavin from Waterstone Mortgage:
 
DaCia,
People often believe that pre-qualifying for a loan or being pre-approved for financing mean the same thing. However, pre-approval entails making a stronger commitment to a buying a property, albeit tentative. Pre-qualification is simply the step you take before you conduct a real estate search to see how much house you can afford to buy. To pre-qualify for a loan then, you need to sit down with the lender and provide him with your income and debt information and an estimated down payment amount. Pre-qualifying helps get the ball rolling when you are looking for real estate. On the other hand, when you apply for pre-approval, you must provide the lender with documentation that details your salary, debt load, and assets. While the process of pre-qualification is free, an application fee is assessed for pre-approval. Your credit information will be run as well. However, just because you obtain pre-approval still does not mean that you can automatically obtain financing. Funding will only be officially approved once a title search is conducted and an appraisal on the property is made.
Dan
 
I hope Dan’s email has shed light on the difference between pre-aaproval and pre-qualification. If you need help getting pre-qualified or pre-approved, please call our office today.

Buyers: Do You Really Need a Real Estate Agent?

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“Do I need a real estate agent? I found the property I want to buy online, myself.” If I had a dollar for the number of times I’ve heard this said, I probably would be on vacation in the Bahamas instead of writing this post from my home in Washington, DC. Only licensed real estate agents have access to the multiple listing system, a real-time database of properties listed for sale. Hence, online search engines of properties for sale may not include every listing or may include listings that are no longer available.

Finding the home of your dreams is just the beginning stage of my job. Actually, the beginning, or warm-up, is getting my clients pre-approved with one of my mortgage partners who can best meet their needs. Once my buyer client is clear on how much buying power they have, we go “house hunting.” Fast forward, my client finds the property they want to find purchase and I help them submit an offer. Having a buyer’s agent comes in handy if you are unfamiliar with drafting contracts and the legal statutes surrounding them. Fast forward past negotiation (another task for your agent) and the buyer’s agent helps to coordinate appointments with appraisers and home inspectors. A good buyer’s agent will aid you in selecting a title company and will keep their ear to the ground for any issues that surface concerning chain of title or any liens.

There are numerous procedures, research steps, and processes involved in a real estate traction. A real estate agent has the skill, knowledge, experience, and network to guide you through to closing smoothly.

 

MMP: Short Sale Sellers are in luck too!

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Buying a home in the state of Maryland? Planning to purchase in Capitol Heights, Brentwood, Cole Manor, Fairmont Heights, Mt. Rainier, or Seat Pleasant, Landover, Palmer Park, Glenarden, or Langley Park? You could receive closing and down payment assistance whether you are a first time homebuyer or not. The Community Development Administration (CDA) of the State of Maryland provides the MMP to offer a loan programs with low interest rates and down payment and closing assistance. Today (April 19, 2013) the APR for a FHA loan is 4.082% and 4.229% for a conventional. The Downpayment and Settlement Expense Loan Program offers consumers a deferred loan of $5,000 at no interest. Deferrable, in this case, means the loan is repaid when the property is resold. This assistance could help you purchase a home with very little of your own money upfront. Be aware, income and purchase price limits do apply.

Even more assistance can be obtained through the CDA’s Partners Match Programs, House Keys 4 Employees, Builder/Developer Incentive Program, and the Community Partners Incentive Program.

There are many approved lenders that offer the Maryland Mortgage Program. Click here for a list.

More information on the MMP can be found at www.mmprogram.org or Contact me and my lender partners will provide you with you information you seek,

PG county’s My Home Program

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Are you a first-time home buyer? Are you planning to purchase in Prince George’s County? Make sure you check out the My Home program. This program will assist with the down payment, reduce the mortgage principal, and/or assist with closing costs. Along with being an owner-occupant and being a first-time buyer, purchasers need to be credit worthy and attend a 8-hour housing counseling class provided by a HUD certified housing counseling agency. Borrowers are eligible to borrow up to 5% of the purchase price for a 10 year term. The kicker is that the loan is offered at 0% interest. The loan is also deferred, meaning there are no monthly payments! The balance is due upon sale or transfer of the property or when the owner ceases to occupy the property. This program is excellent for renters looking for a route to home ownership. For more information on this program, click here. There are many alternatives to saving a large down payment. Contact me and I’ll find something that meets your needs!