Given current market conditions, one of the last things home sellers have to wrestle with is whether to pay concessions as a way to keep a potential buyer on the hook. Some sellers have to resort to this tactic if they are having trouble selling their home or have a serious buyer who cannot afford some of the closing costs. 

But even though your sellers may not need this trick up their sleeve right now, it never hurts to educate them in case it’s a move they need to make in the future. An excellent place to start is identifying what seller’s concessions are and when or if necessary.  Continue reading

Late last week, the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced that it is being more much more lenient on the rules mortgage lenders must use to assess student loan debt for home loan applicants. The move brings FHA more in line with other government-backed mortgage programs like Fannie and Freddie, which eased their criteria in recent years. 

The new standard removes a requirement to calculate a borrower’s monthly student loan payment as 1% of their outstanding student loan balance instead of the actual monthly payment that could be significantly less than 1 percent of the balance.  Continue reading

Cuts could have saved eligible homeowners an average $500 annually

We got some disheartening news toward the end of the business day last Friday. The FHA Mortgage Insurance Premiums (MIP) reduction scheduled to take effect on mortgages with close/disbursement dates on or after January 27 have been “suspended indefinitely” according to the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). The FHA mortgage insurance rate cut would have reduced annual premiums by a quarter (1/4) of a percent, making it easier for realtors to expand access. Continue reading

MIP Reduction Expands Credit Access for Homebuyers

Big news out of the Federal Housing Administration this week. Effective for mortgages with close/disbursement dates on or after Jan. 27, 2017, the FHA has reduced the Annual Mortgage Insurance Premiums (MIP).

For borrowers: It essentially reduces the annual premiums they will pay by a quarter (1/4) of a percent. U.S. Housing and Urban Development Secretary, Julián Castro said that these new rates will save new FHA-insured home owners an average of $500 in 2017.

“After four straight years of growth and with sufficient reserves on hand to meet future claims, it’s time for FHA to pass along some modest savings to working families,” Castro said.

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In case you missed it, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development launched new sales incentives for the states included in the HUD Philadelphia Homeownership Center region (Philadelphia HOC). The incentives are for the purchase and sale of HUD homes, and are designed to benefit both buyers and real estate agents registered with HUD.

The Philadelphia HOC region includes Ohio, Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia, and the District of Columbia.

The two incentives, which took effect October 1, include:

  • Buyer Bonus – $100 down payments on HUD homes financed with FHA-insured financing
  • Agent Bonus – Real estate selling agents (agent for buyer) get $500 for every HUD home purchased with a FHA Rehab Loan

In order to qualify for the broker bonus, the bid must have been awarded on or after October 1, 2016, and the purchase must be made with an FHA 203(K) loan. All HUD properties available for sale can be found at www.hudhomestore.com.

Contact our office to learn about HUD homes in your area so you can take advantage of these incentives.

*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 exact quote and for more information on fees and terms. Not all borrowers will qualify.

FHA 203k: Before and After

FHA 203k: Before and After

After looking at numerous homes and not finding “the one,” first-time homebuyers Nick and Veronica Getsy were all but resolved to settle on something that was nice…but not perfect. It’s easy to get discouraged when you feel that the market has essentially priced you out of buying your first home.

Our office showed them that they can take a house they like, and turn it into a home they love. With the FHA 203k loan, the Getsy’s were able to find a home that had potential and make renovations that they otherwise wouldn’t have been able to accomplish. Renovations included putting in a new air-conditioner, new energy-efficient windows, all new appliances, a new deck, new fence for the backyard, new carpet, and fresh paint throughout the whole house.

Watch this video to hear their story.

The other day, one of my realtor friends called and asked if they should suggest that one of their sellers offer financial concessions to help sell the house. An interested buyer had the money for the down payment, but not enough funds to cover the costs & prepaids.

Of course, my answer wasn’t a simple “yes” or “no”…few of my answers ever are. But at the end of the day, if the seller is looking to close that sale ASAP, then Seller Concessions can be a beneficial utility.

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Early this morning, as I shoveled the overnight delivery from Winter Storm Rex, I find myself reflecting on all the reasons I detest winter – and they are many.

Getting out of a nice warm bed earlier to dig my car out from the snow, then chiseling off all the ice that accumulated overnight just so I can join the long parade of horrible drivers ranks pretty high on that list. But if I had to pick my personal Winter Enemy No. 1, it’s gotta be those high utility bills.

If ever there was a good enough reason to invest in some eco-friendly alternatives to generating energy for my house, the wintertime gas bill is it. And while “Going Green” with such sustainable energy upgrades like fuel cells, solar panels or wind turbines isn’t a novel concept, few have made the investment because, let’s face it, the cost is usually more than the average American homeowner can handle.

Fortunately, AmeriFirst Home Mortgage has rolled out the PowerSaver Grant. It’s an FHA-approved grant that allows AmeriFirst to cover some closing costs when a buyer makes specific eco-friendly home improvements with the FHA 203k loan. But what does that mean?

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