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Avoid the Most Common Mistakes Charlotte Home Buyers Make July 11, 2014

Buying a house in the Charlotte area can Charlotte Home Choicebe a nerve-wracking experience that brings a roller coaster of emotions. Between finding the right place, securing the loan and finally moving in- you are likely going to experience some stress. Buying your home is usually the largest investment you have considered and the emotions of purchasing something so expensive and personal can sometimes cloud your business judgment.

Most Charlotte home buyers do little or no research before investing their nest egg. Doesn't it make sense to become as completely informed as possible before you buy your home? Keep in mind, the right real estate professional can help you make good sound business decisions based on your personal situation. 

I want to help you Avoid the 10 Most Common Mistakes Charlotte Home Buyers Make.

1. Inspect, Inspect and Inspect
Go over the inspection report with a fine tooth comb. Make sure the report was done by a professional organization. For condo purchases go over the bylaws and Association Fees. Don't take anything for granted inspect everything!

2. Imagine the Property Vacant
Your furnishings and decorations will be the ones filling this new residence. Don't be swayed by beautiful furniture; it leaves with the owner.

3. Income + Lifestyle = Mortgage Payment
Sit down with your professional real estate agent and honestly discuss your income level and living expenses. Take into account future considerations, children, add-ons, amenities, and fix-ups. Your dream home is certainly worth a sacrifice but don't mortgage your entire future.

4. View Several Homes
See at least 7-10 properties. Don't move too slowly but don't move on the first property you see. With your agent's help you should be able to view enough properties to get a good overall perspective of the home market. When you find the right property all the leg work will be worth it.

5. Utilize Your Team
By aligning yourself with the right real estate professional you will have an entire team at your disposal. Utilize your lender, title rep and agent. Each of them should work together for your benefit. Explore all of the options before you sign.

6. Be Colombo
Check out all costs and expenses before you sign. Utilities, taxes, insurance, maintenance and home owner dues if applicable. Make sure all utilities (gas, electricity, and water) are on during your walk-through so you can inspect everything in working order. Ask lots of questions and be very detail conscious.

7. Do a Final Walk-Through
Visit the property after all furnishings have been moved out to be sure there are no surprises. Be absolutely positive the property was left exactly as you had agreed upon in the contract. Things that could have been spotted in a final walk-through are often unintentionally overlooked.

8. Plan For Flexibility
Closing dates are not written in stone. Allow for contingencies and have a back-up plan. If you or the sellers need a little more time to conclude the final arrangements, don't let these delays upset or frustrate you. These types of circumstances are not uncommon in a real estate transaction.

9. If It's Not In Writing, It Doesn't Exist
All promises and discussions should be in writing. Don't make any assumptions or believe any assurances. Even the best intentions can be misinterpreted. Have your professional keep an ongoing log in writing of all discussions and get the seller's written approval on all agreements.

10. Loyalty Breeds Loyalty
Be open, honest and up front with your team. Take the time to select the right team in the beginning and your first home purchase will be a pleasing and memorable experience.

There is a lot going on when purchasing a home and while there might be some bumps in the road, I am always there to protect my clients from any mistakes. Speak with me today to discuss all of your home buying options. Call me today to get started or schedule an appointment to really look at your financial plans and help you make the best home loan decision or show you how the path toward ownership. Call me anytime or simply fill out my online application to get started.

Original article here


Buying a HUD Foreclosure? Learn some key tips July 30, 2014

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has thousands of homes for sale nationwide. Despite the publicized risks and drawbacks of HUD homes, real estate agents who specialize in these sales say buying homes HUD owns may actually be easier than buying a home in a traditional sale.  You can search for HUD homes here.
Please know buying a HUD home requires specialized knowledge from your Real Estate Agent and from your lender.  Make sure they have experience buying HUD Foreclosures.  Also if the property needs updating or repairs, do not fret, there are special loan programs which allow for enhancements to be made on your new HUD foreclosure purchase.

Homes HUD owns
Before digging deeper into the HUD buying process, it's helpful to understand why HUD has these homes for sale. HUD homes are homes foreclosed by lenders that had government-insured mortgages, such as Federal Housing Administration (FHA) loans. When homeowners default on these mortgages, HUD pays a percentage of the mortgage balance to the lender and the lender turns the property over to HUD. HUD does not actually foreclose on properties.
The homes HUD owns are available in almost every state. Prices range from $1 to $1,000,000. These homes are residential properties with one to four units, including condominiums, duplexes, townhouses, single-family homes and apartment complexes.

You can browse these homes on the HUD Home Store website. The site provides photos and extensive details of each listing, including:

•Square footage
•Age of the home
•Number of rooms
•Appraisal amount and date
•Listing date and listing period

Property listings on the site also include the HUD listing broker's information. When you are ready to bid on a HUD property, the HUD broker must place the bid for you. The broker can also help you search for homes, arrange home inspections, follow the bid results and close the sale.  Your own personal Real Estate Agent can help you with this process.

HUD bidding process

HUD gives you preference during the initial bidding period if you plan to live in the HUD house after you buy it; that preference is given to owner-occupants for the first 30 days the home is listed. HUD collects online offers for the first 10 days of the listing and opens them on the 11th day. He says the agency typically takes the highest acceptable offer. If there are no acceptable offers in the first 10 days, HUD looks at offers daily thereafter. You shouldn't expect a price drop until the home has been on the market more than 35 days. If you are an investor, you may bid on the property after it has been listed for 30 days.
HUD properties are sold as-is; HUD will not make any repairs and they will not allow you to make any repairs before the sale is closed. The agency strongly encourages you get a home inspection before purchase. If you are an owner-occupant, you can back out of the sale if the inspection discloses unanticipated problems and your earnest money will be returned. However, if you are an investor and you back out of a sale, your earnest money will not be returned.

Financing HUD houses
You may buy the homes HUD owns with cash or with financing from a mortgage lender. To place a bid on a HUD house, you must provide a pre-approval letter whether you use a conventional loan or a government-insured mortgage.
Using an FHA home loan can streamline the buying process, however, the home must meet FHA requirements, so it is important to understand the four financing categories of HUD home listings.
The homes HUD owns fall into one of four categories that determine if the house is eligible for an FHA loan: IN, IE, UI or UK. The first category is IN, or insurable. These homes are the easiest to finance. Homes rated IN meet the insurance eligibility requirements for an FHA 203(b) mortgage and usually require little or no repairs. Because these HUD homes are insurable and in good condition, you can easily get a conventional mortgage for them.
The second category is IE, which means insurable with repair escrow. These homes also meet the requirements necessary for an FHA 203(b) mortgage. These HUD homes require repairs, so a repair escrow must be established in order to proceed with the mortgage. The HUD listing includes amount required for the repair escrow.
Repair costs on homes in this category cannot exceed $5,000 and must be completed within 90 days of closing on the property. It is also possible to obtain conventional home financing for homes in this category. If you use outside financing not backed by the government, a repair escrow may not be required.
The third category is UK. These homes are not eligible for the FHA 203(b) mortgage because they need more than $5,000 worth of repairs, yet they often qualify for a FHA 203(k) mortgage. These loans, known as rehabilitation loans, are available for one to four-family HUD homes that require significant repairs. This loan program may also be used to convert a single-family home into a two, three or four-family dwelling.

The final category is UN, which means the property is uninsurable. These properties typically require extensive repairs and the homes may be uninhabitable. These homes are not eligible for FHA financing because of their condition. It may also be difficult to get a conventional mortgage for these homes. Uninsurable homes may be a good option if you have investment funds available or if you can qualify for a HomeStyle Renovation Loan or other portfolio type rehab loan.  A licensed contractor and quote will be needed to move forward.

Fannie Mae also has a HomeStyle Renovation Mortgage that you may be able to use for buying a HUD house. First Choice Loan Services Inc. offers these loans.

When it comes to buying homes, HUD insurance categories only dictate your home loan options if you want a government-backed mortgage. Many traditional lenders offer mortgages for HUD homes that are move-in ready or need minor repairs.

A FHA 203(k) loan is available on most HUD homes and is different than the FHA 203(b) with repair escrow.  A FHA 203(k) loan is a rehab loan that allows the buyers to finance as many repairs as they would like into the loan.  The buyers must qualify for the loan and two appraisals are needed to determine the pre and post repaired value. An FHA 203k rehab loan can take much longer and cost more than a typical FHA loan."
As an FYI you may not be able to use a conventional mortgage to buy a HUD home if it has major problems, such as the plumbing or heating system doesn't work. Most mortgage programs require that the home pass a home inspection, having no major issues. Additionally, the HUD repair escrow cannot be used with loans from the Veteran's Administration or U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA Mortgages).  Your qualified lender can help you though this discovery process and recommend the right solutions.  Our Loan Originators at First Choice Loan Services Inc. can help you get your purchase done right.

With a little research and effort, you may find the perfect home for yourself and your family, and financing you need to buy it.

Original Article here