moving during quarantine
In the current state of the world, the concept of moving to a new home can be a little more frightening than usual. Outside of the normal packing, labeling, heavy lifting, and transportation, one must also now consider the importance of social distancing, organization, and sterilization in such an endeavor.

For some clients of yours, there may be some skepticism or hesitancy to even want to get a new home and move right now. For others, moving is a necessity – whether due to a new job or a lease running out, and their moving dates are firm. As an agent, reassure them that there are steps that they can take to help ease their minds. Continue reading

Septic Tank Inspections

Key takeaways

  • Agents should be aware if their local health department is still operating and if they are still able to conduct necessary inspections of septic and well systems prior to sales closing.
  • For sales in Ohio where there is a septic system involved, a deal could be held up or killed outright if the inspection does not occur.
  • If a property that you represent cannot obtain a normal inspection prior to closing, you could be putting your client in a dangerous position in the future.

For a few weeks now, different departments inside different county governments have had to close or alter their day-to-day operations.  Most of us realize that departments like the recorder’s office, auditors, or courts have been affected by COVID-19.  How they have done so has not always been consistent with the same type of departments in the surrounding counties.  One county department that many of us in real estate probably haven’t thought much about are the health departments.  Like other offices, we are finding that many health departments are displaying inconsistencies between geographic areas.  How some are now conducting, or not conducting, their day-to-day operations is affecting our industry and real estate agents need to know about this. Continue reading

Government Backed Loans - FHA, VA, USDA

Key takeaways

  • Government-backed loan requirements (FICO credit score, % down, debt to income ratio, cash reserves buyers need on hand, etc.) have not changed
  • Some lenders have changed their requirements on their own due to the current state of the market
  • Amerifirst has not changed its requirements on government-backed loans (FHA, VA, USDA)

Lenders are telling the REALTORS® whom they often work with that the government minimums have changed.  They say something like, “new FHA guidelines require a minimum score of 670 for all FHA loans.  This is NOT true Before we go any further we need to establish one very important fact… to date, the government has not changed any of their minimums, (like FICO credit score, % down, debt to income ratio, cash reserves buyers need on hand, etc.) at any point during recent times.  They remain, todaywhat they were three weeks ago or even three months ago.   Continue reading

mortgage forbearance

The COVID-19 Coronavirus has led to some challenging times for all of us. 

The Government has created the CARE Act, to assist homeowners whose income may have been adversely impacted by the coronavirus. One of the components of the CARE Act is the possibility of mortgage forbearance. 

Forbearance is often misinterpreted. And while it is intended to help, it can have some dangerous repercussions. Many people are mistakenly thinking that forbearance equals forgiveness. It does not. Forgiveness implies that money won’t need paid back.

Forbearance is the lessening of mortgage principal and interest payments over a short period of time. That money is then due in one lump sum after the forbearance period. For example, if you cut your $1,000/mo. mortgage principal and interest payment to $500, you need to pay back $1,500 in a lump sum after a 3-month forbearance.

Think about when you buy something at a furniture store that offers “no payments” for 3 months. You still must pay for the furniture…the payments are just deferred. 

But mortgage forbearance is even worse if the borrower has dug themselves in a deep hole and can’t catch up. Should this happen, the lender will enforce their right to be paid, which may cause the borrower to be foreclosed upon. They could lose all the equity in their home in the process. 

Forbearance is designed to help those as a measure of last resort. It is not a free pass and may have serious consequences.

Here are some other things to consider regarding mortgage forbearance:

Be resourceful. Ask questions. Learn. 

As always, I’m here to help: 

Brandon Davis

NMLS #69028

MLO.003759.000

Down payment and terms shown are for informational purposes only and are not intended as an advertisement or commitment to lend. Please contact us for an exact quote and for more information on fees and terms. Not all borrowers will qualify.

Realtor Retargeting
We’ve all had it happen to us before… You’re browsing for a new pair of shoes online and decide you don’t feel like buying them in that exact moment. So, you go back to work and forget all about it. 

Then you get home, hop on the couch, and log in to Facebook for a little bit. You’re scrolling through your News Feed and suddenly you see an ad with that exact pair of shoes! The ad stands out like a sore thumb, because you immediately recall that you had been searching for them earlier in the day. 

But how do they know? Are they listening through your device? Is this some kind of Big Brother thing? 

Luckily, no… 

This is actually a very common tactic used in the marketing world. It’s called retargetingand it’s something that all Realtors should be using.  Continue reading

navigating mortgage lending environment
With rates changing by the week, day, and most recently by the hour (!), Realtors, home buyers, and homeowners alike are likely scrambling to get the best deal and situation in place. These are certainly unprecedented times, and it’s very important for everyone involved in the process to be prepared and educated on the best course of action to navigate these waters most effectively. 

Here are a few tips that Realtors need to keep in mind: Continue reading

stand out in real estate
1.3 million – that’s how many real estate agents there are currently in the United States – a number that’s growing exponentially each year. And we know no two Realtors are the same. Each brings to the table their own level of experience, track record, and sales tactics.

For home shoppers, this is fantastic. More options mean a greater probability to truly find their dream house without turning the process into a nightmare. As a Realtor, however, this means competition is fierce in all markets, so you really need to make yourself stand out  Continue reading

Mortgage Rates All Time Low

Updated March 12, 2020:

Mortgage applications have reached their highest level since 2009, following the record drop in rates last week.

Many homebuyers and homeowners have rushed to take advantage of these historic rates.

Refinances led the majority of this action, making up nearly 77% of total applications nationwide and representing a 66.2% increase from just a week ago, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association.

Mortgage rates in the US have fallen to an all time low, opening up significant potential for buyers, homeowners, and Realtors® to act now.

Rates tumbled over the past week to 3.29% – the lowest point on record, according to Freddie Mac, which has tracked rates since 1971.

For comparison, at this point last year, rates on 30-year mortgages were at 4.41% roughly 34% higher than they are today. Continue reading