How to Increase Your Equity Over the Next 5 Years

As the value of a family’s home (an asset) increases, so does their equity. Many of the questions currently surrounding the real estate industry focus on home prices and where they are heading. The most recentHome Price Expectation Survey (HPES)helps target these projected answers. Here are the results from theQ2 2019 Survey: Home values will appreciate by 4.1% in 2019


But Zillow says my house is worth…

It is actually quite often that people I run into have been completely misguided about their home values.  With the incredible technology and information online about real estate and home searches, people often feel that real estate websites are getting to the point where they are extremely accurate and reliable.  In some large cities, evidently this is true.  In Charlottesville,


Is Now a Good Time to Buy?

Time Magazine’s September 11 cover story attempts to make a strong case against homeownership in the article found here; but I have actually found my recent conversations with clients (current and pending) to present a story that is quite the opposite. Are you still debating whether or not it is a “good time to buy”?  It is never a good


Great Chart On Credit Scoring; Check this out if your credit might be in danger

739SEO-Flush-final600.jpgI really like this chart on credit scoring- I receive lots of questions from potential buyers about credit, including how they can improve their credit scores in order to prepare for a home purchase. Whether in the market for real estate or not, these are things that everyone should be aware of pertaining to their credit. If you are interested in learning more about your credit score or looking for ways to improve it, contact me and I will connect you with a lender who can help you through your questions!


Trying to Utilize FHA Financing? Check this List of Condo Communities to See if They’re Approved!

If you’re planning to utilize FHA financing to purchase your next home, you have to use a little bit of caution when considering condos in Charlottesville, as not all of them are approved for FHA financing. Check out the link below to see whether or not the condo you’re considering is approved for FHA; HUD.GOV Condos with FHA Financing If your the condo community you’re considering is not on this list, you may need to check with your mortgage lender to see if you will be able to come up with an alternative type of financing. Additionally, if you live in one of the condos that is not able to provide FHA financing, you should be aware that it may limit the potential number of Purchaser’s who will have the ability to buy your home on the resale market! Please give me a call if I can help connect you with a lender who may be able to help you find alternative financing orget you qualified!


New Forms to Claim The First-Time Homebuyer Tax Credit

The new forms to submit when claiming the first time homebuyer tax credit have finally been released! Form 5405 will now be needed when submitting a tax claim, and this is likely mainly due to the large numbers of tax fraud we were experiencing in response to the First Time Homebuyer tax credit. Please be sure to file this along with your claim, so you don’t experience any sort of delay in claiming your credit!

…New-home buyers who don’t have a HUD-1 settlement statment must send in a copy of the certificate of occupancy.

…I hope that this will continue through the extension of the credit in 2010, but I would love any feedback you may have!


Just in from CNNMoney; Trial Loan Modifications DO Hurt Borrowers’ Credit

Only weeks ago, I published a post with updated information from an advanced education class I was taking though the CRS (Certified Residential Specialist) program for Realtors, that was discussing different types of distressed sales and loan modifications to your mortgage, and how they would impact your credit score. In that class, we learned that borrowers were being told that taking advantage of the government HAMP (Making Home Affordable) program should not negatively effect their credit score, and that we should encourage borrowers to strongly consider this option before looking down the road of a short sale or foreclosure. … For those who are behind on mortgage payments and who take the new mortgage arrangement, it is reasonable to expect that their credit would have already been damaged to some extent, just from the mortgage payments that had been missed. However, many other people have been encouraged to look at the HAMP program to re-arrange their mortgage and reduce their payments, even before they are behind on a payment. It is these people who have been squeaking by, trying to make ends meet and who have been making payments, who were being told (even by mortgage officers themselves) that their credit would not be effected.


According to NAR, 4 out of 10 Recent Buyers Used FHA Loans

FHA loans used to evoke lots of negative connotations, a few of which were; lots of extra requirements, much longer time to process, and stringent and difficult home inspection standards. … According to the most recent REALTORS® Confidence Index, 39 percent of recent buyers purchased a home with a Federal Housing Administration-insured loan. REALTORS® who took part in the November survey also reported that the number of first-time home buyers continued to climb to 51 percent. “FHA helps provide affordable mortgage financing to home owners, particularly first-time home buyers who are so important in drawing down inventory to help stabilize the current housing market,” said NAR President Vicki Cox Golder. “These recent survey results reaffirm that, despite its current challenges, FHA is a critical part of the American housing fabric.” —NAR [From REALTOR® Magazine-Daily News-4 out of 10 Recent Buyers Used FHA Loans ]


What is a strategic default?

A strategic default is the decision by a borrower to stop making payments on a home mortgage despite having the financial ability to make the payments. Usually this occurs after a substantial drop in the house’s price such that the debt owed is considerably greater than the value of the property, and is expected to remain so for the foreseeable future.

… As discussed in CRS Course-111 on Short Sales and foreclosures, a strategic default will likely effect your credit score negatively by 140-150 points and will also result in 5-7 negative marks on your credit. This is likely going to be more detrimental than going through the process of a short sale or a loan modification, but is said to not effect your credit score as negatively as filing for bankruptcy. … Before making any decision to pursue a short sale, a foreclosure, a strategic default, or to file for bankruptcy, it is in your best interest to consult with a licensed Realtor, your tax accountant, and an attorney.


Answer these questions to determine if purchasing a bank owned home/foreclosure is right for you…

All during the time that we are awaiting closing, mortgage rates will be fluctuating, and if the loan lock deadline passes, you will have to re-apply for the loan and incur any related charges. … It is very unlikely that we will be allowed to occupy the property prior to closing, so you would need to have a backup residence in mind, in case of any delays. If this is your primary home, some sort of temporary living arrangement would need to be made, and it may include moving twice- from your current home to the temporary residence, and the temporary residence to your new home. … Some of the changes that are often arranged in the addenda; tougher restrictions on the Purchaser, shorter timelines for the Purchaser to secure a loan, conduct a home inspection, etc, a larger deposit, deposits to be held in the escrow of the lenders choice, and very few provisions that will allow for the Purchaser to get out of the contract and many ways for the lender/seller to walk. … You will also want to make sure that any liens that may have been held against the previous owners (who may have had difficulty paying many bills, aside from their mortgage) have been released and you will have the ability to purchase the home free and clear of liens and encumbrances.