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Market Updates Mortgage Process Uncategorized

Preparing To Own Your First Home

Preparing To Own Your First Home
referralAs a First Time Homebuyer, you’re about to make one of the biggest financial decisions of your life. For Millennials, a new home represents the most expensive purchase they’ll ever make. One of the best things you can do is read, research and learn about the mortgage application process. The more you prepare, the more confident you’ll feel about purchasing the home you want.

Mortgage Pre-Approval
Being pre-approved by a lender gives you the confidence to shop for a new house, knowing exactly how much you can afford. You can avoid looking at properties that don’t fit your budget. The pre-approval helps you know exactly what is possible right from the start. In fact, most realtors expect you to be pre-approved.

How Much Can You Afford?
A good place to start is to look at your current expenses. You probably have FHA MIboth “fixed” expenses… i.e. car payments, taxes, or day care … and “discretionary” expenses… i.e. things like travel, clothing, entertainment, or other areas where you can decide how much to spend.
Then, make up a budget. You’ll see how much of your monthly income is already committed to “fixed” expenses, as well as how much you have to spend on a mortgage payment, taxes, and insurance for a home.
Of course, how much you can afford also depends on how much debt you have. Long-term debt – i.e. debt that will take more than 10 months to pay off – is what lenders are most concerned about. If you have long-term debt that is considered “excessive” for your income, it will probably limit how much you can borrow. If you have a lot of long-term debt, you may want to pay off some of it before you apply for a mortgage.

mortgage financeRemember: I’m always here to help make things easier.  Reach out to Me at rick.cignoli@norcom-usa.com to discuss your mortgage options and to take advantage of my FREE Jump Start Mortgage Pre-Approval service.

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Market Updates Mortgage Process

It’s Not Too Late to Buy Your Dream Home This Season

Don't Sit on the Fence
Are you a Millennial? Are you a First Home Buyer? Are you thinking about moving up of downsizing? Is 2016 the year you’ve decided to get off the fence and buy that dream home?

Real estate professionals are always optimistic about the Spring Buying millenial 2Season. Sellers have finished staging their home for sale; the grass is green, flowers are blooming and curb appeal is at its peak. The Super Bowl is over; buyers are  out of hibernation and doing their on-line research to get prepared to make the biggest investment of their lives.

Spring is almost over, but it’s Not Too Late To Buy in 2016. Here are some facts to consider:
♠   Internet searches for real estate listings consistently peak in July.
♠   About half of all home sales occur between May and August making the summer months the busiest season nationally.
♠  About half of home sales occur in the “off” months of September through April. That’s a lot of traffic.
♠   Studies show that prices tend to peak in the busy Spring season. For Buyers, now is the time to buy..

The bottom line is this:  The best time to buy is when it’s best for yourGet Pre-Approved scenario. But, please don’t think your opportunity has passed. Low interest rates make now a great time for millennials to be in  the market for their First Home. Low financing costs make higher price points more affordable. Get Pre-Approved Now. Now is the time to buy!

 

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Market Updates

10 Smart Moves To Protect Your Bank Account

Ihackersf you use a credit or debit card, bank online or make any kind of electronic financial transaction, you face some risk that your personal information or money could be stolen. That means pretty much everyone is exposed to this threat.

Here are 10 Smart Moves To Protect Your Bank Account

1.  Review bank statements for accuracy.

2.  Never disclose a debit or credit card PIN (personal identification number) in email or on the phone.

3.  Be suspicious of strangers who ask for personal information by email or phone.

4.  If you’re asked to provide your Social Security number or other confidential information, make sure you know who wants the information and why.

5.  Be wary of email attachments and “free” software.

6.  Don’t use part of your Social Security number as a PIN.

7.  Think before you download apps, click on links or reply to email that might be harmful or fraudulent.

8.  Keep your laptop or mobile device’s operating system and Internet browser up to date.

9.  Don’t store passwords, your Social Security or other sensitive information on your smartphone.

10. Be aware of your surroundings when you bank online in a public setting. Watch out for “shoulder surfers,” people who hover nearby and observe your information without your knowledge.

Lastly, Don’t sign into online banking on a public computer and always sign out when you’ve finished your transactions, even if you use your home computer or own mobile device

Source: http://www.bankrate.com/finance/savings/could-bank-hackers-steal-your-money-1.aspx?ec_id=Face101

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Market Updates Mortgage Process

FNMA Enables Norcom Mortgage To Close More Conventional Loans

Changes in FNMA Guidelines Enables Norcom Mortgage to Close More Conventional Loans 

News Flash
Here’s What’s New …

1.   Unreimbursed Business Expenses. Buyers earning <25% of their income from commission, bonus or overtime no longer have to account for a reduction in income due to unreimbursed employee expenses. That means tradesmen in particular may use their total gross income to qualify for a mortgage and not be penalized for taking advantage of legitimate business deductions.

2.   Move Up Buyers. Buyers moving up to a bigger home and converting their current residence to investment property no longer need a minimum 30% equity position in the vacated property in order to use the rental income from the vacated property for debt service on the new home. All rental income from the former residence can now be used immediately.

3.   Cash Reserves.   Buyers using stocks, bonds, mutual funds and retirement accounts now can use 100% of their vested balances toward the asset reserve requirement. If those balances are >20% of the funds needed for the down payment and closing costs, buyers no longer need to show proof of liquidation for those funds. Less paperwork means faster closings.

Contact Me Today to Learn More! At Norcom, We Make Homes Happen!

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Market Updates Mortgage Process

Should I Renovate My Current Home or Move To a New One?

There comes a time in many families lives when they realize their First Home no longer fits their needs. Maybe more space is required for a growing family or a pay raise allows you to upgrade to something a little nicer. Before deciding whether to renovate your current home or move into a new one, there are a lot of things to consider.

First, you have to think about finances and your future plans. What is your current home worth?RENOVATION What would your new home budget be and would it provide you with a significant improvement in the current market? What is you dream home? Could renovations even make this possible within your budget? These are all things to consider very seriously when making your decision.

After you ponder these things and determine that both options are possibilities, there are some more specific pros and cons to each choice.

MOVING
Pros:
♦   Fresh Start – Moving allows you to start fresh with a new house in a different location. Whether you go across the street or across the country, it is a very exciting change.
♦   Taxes – In some cases, moving can qualify you for certain tax breaks and your new location may have cheaper taxes. Keep in mind, however, it may be more expensive as well. Be sure to ask your realtor about all of this when looking.
♦   Getting A Mortgage – A new home can allow you to go into the mortgage process with more experience and maybe more money than you had before.
Cons:
♦   Moving – Moving is a brutal process. With packing and shipping and unpacking, it is an extremely stressful process that many people would like to avoid if possible.
♦   Cost – There are a lot of fees associated with moving. Aside from house price, paying for movers and realtor fees alone can seem overwhelming. These are the major two, but other costs can sneak up on you as well.

RENOVATING
Pros:
♦   Your Design – When looking at a new home, you often have to accept that there will be one or two features in every house that you are not in love with. When renovating, you can make sure everything is designed and carried out to your exact specifications.home renovation
♦   Keep Your House – Renovating allows you to have an updated version of the house you originally fell in love with. This allows you to keep your community connections and be in the same neighborhood.
Cons:
♦   Unpredictable Expenses – Often times when doing renovations, issues will be found under the surface that can cost extra time and money. This can force you to exceed your budget or have to cut out some of the changes you would have liked to make.
♦   Huge Mess – While your renovations are taking place, your home will be a mess and in some stages, may be unlivable. If you can stay, it will be loud and stressful. If you have to leave, hotels and other expenses add up quickly.

While these tips can help you decide whether to renovate or move, sometimes there is a third option, both. If you have an ideal home in mind that can’t be created out of your current house, it can be hard to find it on the market as well. Buying a house that has the space you need and many good characteristics, but could use work, can be a great option. Houses that require some work can be bought cheaply and renovated into the home of your dreams. Products like the Norcom Dream Home LoanTM even make it possible to finance your new mortgage and renovations together, all in one loan.

Whether deciding to move, remodel, or both, it is hard to go wrong. The most important thing is to make sure the decision is well researched and that the entire family is on board. Accomplish that, and you will be sure to make the right choice.

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Market Updates

FREE MLS Training. Wednesday, January 7. Noon to 2:00 PM

FREE MLS Training. Wednesday, January 7, 2015. Noon to 2:00 PM

mlsPlease join us for FREE MLS (Multiple Listing Service) Training with Michele Benson of CT Real. 

Michele will discuss recent software changes to MLS. MLS has changed theirmls 2 operating system which effects how Realtors add, edit, search and pull comparable market analyses.

The training will be held in the Norcom Mortgage Training Room, 38 Security Drive, Avon, CT on Wednesday, January 7 from Noon to 2:00 pm.

It’s FREE and all Realtors are invited to attend. Lunch will be served.
RSVP to rick.cignoli@norcom-usa.com  by Friday, January 2, 2015

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Market Updates

No Jobs Slows Housing Recovery

“While rising interest rates, inventory shortages and dwindling investor purchases have all weighed on home sales, “fundamentally … the slow pace of the single-family housing recovery reflects steady but unspectacular job growth” according to a recent Harvard University study.

kidsThe lack of jobs, coupled with large student loan debt caused the U.S. home ownership rate to drop again in 2013, thanks in no small part to the fact that 18 million 25 to 34 year old adults were found to be still living with their parents last year helping bring the home ownership rate down to 65.1 percent

It may take 10 years before those 30-somethings and Millennials make their presence known in the owner-occupied market. Until then, continue to expect rents to increase and property values creep up. The market will have changed by then and it will be more expensive to fulfill the American Dream of home ownership.

Now Is the Time to Buy .. if you can.
Call Me @ 860.945.9284 to discuss the right mortgage option for your family and to take advantage of my FREE Mortgage Pre-Approval service. We’re licensed in all 6 New England states; NY & FL too. I’m here to help.

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Market Updates

Is The 2014 Spring Home Buying Season in CT a Bust? What Do You Think?

I live in a small CT town with a population of about 23,000 persons. According to City Data.com, we have 8,300 houses in town. According to Zillow.com & Realtor.com there are home for salecurrently about 225 properties for sale in town including SF homes, condos, a few multi-families and some land lots. Every Sunday, the local paper lists recent sales in area towns. For the past 5-6 weeks no sales have been reported for our little town. Last Sunday, the paper reported that 24 properties were sold; 30% of which were sold to the bank for a $1. I did a quick check of neighboring towns with lower populations, similar demographics and higher housing density and their figures seemed to be comparable.

Then I read a blog by CTNewsJunkie that cites a report by the state Labor Department and Economic Development Department that seems to blame the housing market for the pain we jobssuffer. The report contends that “if the slowdown in housing, which began in the summer of 2013, continues, job growth will slow this year and again in 2015.  They forecast job growth in CT will “slow to fewer than 20,000 new jobs from YE 2013 to late 2015.” Now that’s new jobs statistics and doesn’t consider a contraction of the total work force due to job losses particularly in the Financial Services and Goods Producing sectors.

It has been my contention for the past few months that the Spring Home Buying Season in CT is a Bust. Homes aren’t selling and Buyers aren’t buying because:

o   Mortgage interest rates have risen.Rising Home Prices
o   Investor demand for good deals pushed home prices up
o   Home values are optimistic in relationship to inventory and demand
o   Job security has turned would be buyers and sellers into “Fence Sitters”
o   Job growth in CT has been hampered by a lack of any government initiatives to promote a business climate that would create jobs

Now I’m glad I have an extensive network of referral sources to keep me busy! But I am interested in your  take on all this. Are you a First Home Buyer, a Mover Upper, a Down Don't Sit On the FenceSizer? Or why are you a Fence Sitter? Is this the banner year you expected? Is it a Buyer’s or a Seller’s market? Is the CT housing market out of the woods yet? I am interested in your feedback and welcome your comments.

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Market Updates

“Heartbleed Bug” Requires Your Immediate Attention

heartbleed bug


As you may have seen in the news, the 
“Heartbleed Bug” has been labeled a critical online security issue.  Immediate Action is Required!

The following popular sites have reportedly updated their encryption and will be fully secure to use again by simply changing your passwords:

•   Facebook
•   Yahoo
•   Yahoo Mail
•   Google
•   Gmail
•   YouTube
•   Tumblr
•   Flikr
•   Wikepedia

For details on which sites have been affected and if they have updated their encryption, you can view the list at:  http://mashable.com/2014/04/09/heartbleed-bug-websites-affected/

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Market Updates

FHA to Stop Penalizing Homeowners Who Pay Off Their FHA Mortgage Early

penaltyCan You Believe It! The CFPB does something right!
For years now, FHA has assessed a “Pre-Payment Penalty” on homeowners who pay-off their FHA Mortgage early. They don’t call it that, but that’s what it is!

Here’s how it works: No matter what date in a month a FHA mortgage is paid off via sale or refinance, FHA charges that homeowner interest until the end of the month. Let’s say the closing takes place on the 2nd of the month. The loan is paid-in-full, yet FHA charges the borrower for “unearned interest” through the last day of that month. That’s a Pre-Payment Penalty in my book!

fha logoNot a big deal you say! A delay in closing a FHA mortgage past the 30th of the month means higher closing costs for those wanting to refinance and less proceeds from those selling their home. Why is this allowed to happen? Because FHA said so, that’s why. Just another way to increase their bottom line

Unfortunately, they don’t have to make the change right away.
FHA has until 1/14/15 to halt this usurious practice. In the meantime, it is business as usual.

I’m blown away!  The Consumer Finance Protection Bureau (CFPB ) is making FHA stop this rip off that has been going on for years