Buyers Choose Conventional Mortgages Over FHA Loans

The use of FHA mortgages declined over the summer. This new trend suggests that FHA-insured mortgages are losing favor among home buyers and conventional mortgages are gaining market share.

A conventional mortgage conforms to FNMA and FreddieMac lending guidelines. Reasons for this reversal include amazingly low rates; increased acceptance of higher LTV mortgages by PMI companies; and a reluctance to accept the recent increase in FHA mortgage insurance premiums.

Real estate agents may complain about onerous lending requirements, but they report no shortage of mortgage money available for home buyers; even those with less than a 20% down payment and credit scores in the 660-680 range.  With rates in the mid to upper 3.00% range, it’s almost free money!

Astute First Home Buyers know this is an unbelievable opportunity and are beginning to push the up prices of quality homes. NOW is the Time to Buy! 

Call Me @ 860.945.9284 to review your mortgage options and take advantage of my FREE Pre-Approval service. Let me show you how to save $30-50 month on a $165,000 with a conventional mortgage vs. a FHA-insured loan. I’m here to help.

Mortgage Rates Continue to Fall at Unprecedented Rate

Mortgage Rates begin the week at new all-time lows. And this is after last week’s previous all-time lows.  Rates are incredible …
  •   Conforming 30-year fixed rates for borrowers with a 680 credit score and an 85% LTV are in  the mid-3.0% range. 15 year conforming rates are now below 3.00% 
  •   30 year FHA insured rates for borrowers with a 640 credit score and a 3.5 % down payment are in the low 3.00% range.

Even at these low rates, some lenders are willing to contribute a point or more to the borrowers closing costs.

Call Me today at 860.945.9284 to review your mortgage options.
Purchase or Refinance… I’m here to help.

Trying to decide whether to lock or float your rate; go to http://www.mortgagenewsdaily.com/consumer_rates/275768.aspx

Fall Maintenance Tips

Fall Home Maintenance Tips 
The changing of the seasons means battening down the hatches and protecting your household from the outside elements.
 Before the weather grows colder, it’s important to prepare for the fall and winter months to prevent damage to your new home.
 Here are some helpful home maintenance steps you can take to preserve the value of your investment. 

Gutters and Downspouts
o  Clean gutters and downspouts frequently during the fall to prevent a build up of leaves and debris
    •  Neglected gutters can lead to wood rot problems and pest infestations.
o  Be sure water is not coming down behind the gutters and that all support brackets are secure.
o  Ensure that water drains properly away from the house and doesn’t pool
     •  Pooling can cause damage to foundations, driveways and sidewalks.
Windows and Doors
o  Change the summer screens to cold weather storm windows and doors
o  Remove window air-conditioners, or put weather-proof covers on them.
o  Inspect and repair any loose or damaged window or door frames
o  Install weather stripping or caulking around windows and doors to prevent drafts and lower heating bills.
Heating Systems
o  Replace the filter in your furnace
o  Have a heating professional check your furnace to ensure optimal performance and to uncover any minor problems before the turn into costly repairs
o Keep your heating and cooling vents free from furniture and draperies.
o  Install a programmable thermostat to save on heating bills.
Plumbing
o  Be that all water pipes are well insulated to keep them from freezing and bursting
o  Know how to locate and how to turn off the water shut-off valves in case pipes do freeze
    •  Check faucets for leaks
    •  Disconnect the garden hose and turn off the water to any outside faucets
Chimney and Fireplace
o Fireplaces that are used regularly during the season should have an annual cleaning to prevent  chimney fires
o Test your fireplace flue and damper for a tight seal when closed
Attic Ventilation
o Be sure attic insulation doesn’t cover vents in the eaves to prevent ice dams on the roof.
o Clear ridge vents and vents at the eaves of leaves and other debris
o Check and secure attic screen vents to prevent any unwanted guests
Landscape and Yardwork
o Although grass appears to stop growing in the fall, the roots are growing deeper to prepare for winter. Now is the best time to fertilize.
o Prune trees and shrubs after the leaves turn to encourage healthy growth in the spring
    •  Trim any tree limbs that are close to power lines or the roof of your house

Hey…no one ever said owning a home was easy. But, just think,  when these chores are complete, you can sit back, sigh, and say, “This is my dream come true!”

What to expect in today’s housing market and things to consider.

The Real Estate market continues to be dynamic as 2012 comes to close. Here are a few things to consider as you weigh the advantages of home ownership.      
         1. Inventory is down 32% from last year
         2. Sales prices are up 29.3%

Buyers must be prepared to make realistic expectations as the market evolves.
•  Expect to be patient with your home selection. I’ve had several buyers lose out on bidding wars before they made the winning offer on the right house.
•  The shadow inventory of houses … owners who are delaying putting their homes on the market until prices improve…is not emerging. Short sales still are taking months to get approved.
•  Continue to see supply down over the balance of this year with higher demand for quality homes from serious buyers.
•   The days of stealing the deal are over. Expect to see slow and normal price increases.
•   Expect to see multiple offers for homes selling in the $150 -$250,000 range.
•   Expect to pay closer to full price, but there are still ways to ask for concessions in the offer.

The results of the presidential election will have a lot to do with what happens to interest rates. Sooner or later, they are going to go up. Combined with higher prices, the dream of home ownership will get more expensive. NOW is the Time To Buy!

Call Me at 860.945.9284 to review your mortgage options and to take advantage of my FREE Mortgage Pre-Approval service. I’m here to help!

Read more on “How to Deal with Today’s Real Estate Changes” by Alan Zeider at: http://www.abc15.com/dpp/lifestyle/sonoran_living/sl_sponsors/real-estate-tips-for-todays-market