FHA Mortgage Loan Insurance Is Becoming Cheaper

FHA is set to drop the monthly mortgage insurance factor from 1.35% to .85 % on January 26th. What does this mean to the FHA consumer? A $200,000 mortgage under the 1.35% factor would have monthly mortgage insurance of $225/mo. With the 0.85% factor the monthly MI will be $141.67/mo. That is a saving of $116.67/month, this will help people who did not qualify before to qualify now, or to bump up their maximum qualifying amount by $20-30k. Good news for the housing market!

Mortgage Down Payment Assistance in Colorado

Down payment assistance is becoming a better deal through the Colorado Housing and Finance Authority (CHFA). To compete with some of the down payment assistance bond programs that are out there, CHFA is changing their down payment assistance second mortgages to grants. They will no longer need to be repaid!

CHFA is also removing the purchase price limits.  You will still be limited to the county limit for the county your home you are purchasing is located in. These changes go into effect on 2/2/2015.  Please feel free to contact Dave Slater at Academy Mortgage for any info or questions!

Buying Two Homes With V.A. Loans

Did you know you can own two homes with VA loans on them? It is a misconception that you can only have one VA loan at a time.  You can in fact have 2 VA loans going simultaneously.  VA allows you to have loans 100% financing up to $417k, so if you have a home loan for $200k, you can have another loan up to $217K with no down payment (these loan amounts do include the VA funding fee).  You can go above the total amount of $417k, you just need to have a down payment of 25% of the difference.  So, if you have $217k left and want to buy a home that is $250k, you would just need 25% of the difference, $250k – $217k = $33k x 25% = $8,250.  Not a bad down payment for not having any mortgage insurance.  Please call me at 719-522-6952 and I will be happy to answer any questions and analyze your situation!

Home Staging Secrets for a Quick Sale!

Selling your home can be a stressful experience. Packing, moving, interviewing agents and figuring out all the details for your new destination will quickly fill up your plate, so who has time to think about a sparkling clean home at the same time? Utilize the tips below to help ease the transition, kick the clutter and sell your home!!

1. A Clean Home is a Home That SELLS!

That’s right, cleanliness matters! Make sure that your home is tidy for your showings- EVERY TIME. Dedicate the weekend before your listing goes LIVE to deep cleaning your home! You are moving, my friend, so start living simpler, cleaner and packing up the non-essentials! Vacuum under and behind EVERYTHING, dust and clean your window sills, be detailed and thorough! Clean out your kitchen cabinets, your refrigerator and your bathrooms- those tend to be the messiest places in any home.

DO: bake something sweet or use a light, airy, vanilla or simple plug in air freshener on LOW around the house.
DO NOT: overwhelming spray fragrances all over the house- it is offensive and suspicious!

2. Pack the Personal!

You will get to enjoy hanging up those family portraits in your new place- leave room for the new owners to envision their own family photos on the walls! Pack away your doll collections, your knick-knacks and the children’s toys in the middle of the living room.

DO: leave some artwork on the walls, take down excessive refrigerator magnets and papers
DO NOT: leave your Michael Jackson shrine up for everyone to see because “they will love it.” They will not.

3. Lift the Rugs!

Let potential buyers see the beautiful tile work in the kitchen, the freshly vacuumed and cleaned carpets and the sparkling clean bathrooms! Every space will look refreshed and bigger without them. It’s OK (and encouraged!) to leave a front door mat out to wipe your feet on, but that’s the only exception!

DO: have a beautiful welcome mat on your front stoop.
DO NOT: leave that used and abused rug with the cute chubby chef on it in the kitchen.

4. Kick The Clutter!

Keep rooms simple and clean with minimal furniture and a sharp eye for unnecessary decor. If possible, downsize to using just ONE of your bathrooms to ensure the others are show ready at the drop of a hat and stocked with toilet paper and hand soap. Keep bedrooms simple with a freshly made bed and maybe a nightstand or a dresser. Keep closets free of clutter, start by packing up the clothes that aren’t in season. Give living rooms an open feel by removing all but one couch, a chair and a table. If there is a fireplace, let that be a focal point. Family rooms should be open and inviting, bookshelves are great if they are well maintained and dusted. Kitchen counters should be absolutely EMPTY- start living out of your drawers and cabinets.

DO: have a bowl of fresh fruit in the clean kitchen.
DO NOT: leave toys all over the house, have three couches that don’t quite fit or match in the family room.

5. Finally, and most importantly, ALWAYS take a showing!

It is true that everything above matters and is so important to selling your home as quickly as possible. HOWEVER, if you don’t show, you will never know! Buyers can look past your dirty laundry on the floor (please use hampers, at least!) and they will always be willing to let you just step out (ALWAYS step out for showings, it can be awkward if you don’t!) if they are interrupting dinner or some other activity, but if you don’t allow that buyer to show on THEIR schedule, you could lose a sale! Do yourself a favor and if you are going to list, just be prepared to be inconvenienced for a short time (the more you do above, the shorter the time!!) to SELL, SELL, SELL THAT HOUSE!

DO: show your house!!
DO NOT: stay and make it awkward for everyone, turn down a showing because you didn’t do laundry, sabotage your home from selling!

Best of luck on your home selling journey! Don’t hesitate to reach out and contact us for any other tips or advice!

Renting vs Buying a Home

Buying a home vs. renting is a big decision that takes careful consideration, as most mortgage consultants will agree. But the rewards of home ownership are great. For many years, purchasing real estate has been considered an extremely profitable investment. It is an achievement that offers a sense of pride, financial stability and potential tax advantages. Continue reading

How To Be Prepared To Purchase a Home

There always seems to be a hang up somewhere in the mortgage process around what documentation is needed to get the loan fully approved. Either people are ill prepared for the process or there are extenuating circumstances. Let’s take a look at how to avoid all of that, you can be prepared ahead of time with doing a few things as you begin to consider purchasing a home. Continue reading

Home Sales Hit 5-Year High, Factories Regain Footing

[This is a snippet of an article from Reuters — we think you’ll find it very helpful!]

New U.S. home sales vaulted to a five-year high in June, while other data on Wednesday showed an acceleration in factory activity in July, boosting hopes of a third-quarter pick-up in economic growth. Showing no signs yet of slowing in the face of higher mortgage rates, single-family home sales increased 8.3 percent Continue reading

Are Higher Interest Rates Hitting the Housing Market?

[This is a snippet of a blog post from Wall Street Cheat Sheet — we think you’ll find it very helpful!]

The real estate market is taking a breather from the recent rise in interest rates, but mortgage applications continue to decline. According to the Mortgage Bankers Association’s latest report for the week ended July 19, loan application Continue reading