The FHA 203(k) Loan–Turning “Fixer-Uppers”into Dream Homes

The purchase of a house that needs repair is often a catch-22 situation. The bank won’t lend the money to buy the house until the repairs are complete, and the repairs can’t be done until the house has been purchased.

203k 2The FHA 203(k) Rehab Loan Program can help you with this dilemma. It allows you to purchase a property plus include in the loan the cost of making the repairs and improvements with a single mortgage. It is available to persons wanting to purchase or who own a 1-4 family owner-occupied property.

The total amount of your mortgage will be based on the projected value of your home after the renovation is complete, taking into account the cost of the work to be done. A portion of the loan is used to buy the new home, or in the case of a refinance, to pay-off any existing debt. The remainder of the loan proceeds are placed in an account for your benefit and released in stages as the rehabilitation work is completed.

Here are the Steps to a Successful Closing of a FHA 203(k) Loan:

• A potential homebuyer locates a fixer-upper and executes a sales contract after doing a feasibility analysis of the property with their Realtor. The contract should state that the buyer is seeking a 203(k) loan and that the contract is contingent on loan approval based on additional required repairs by the FHA or the lender.
• Within 7 to 10 days of signing the purchase agreement. the buyer should obtain an inspection of the property by a professional Home Inspector, a termite company and a well/septic inspector (when applicable) to make sure there are no unseen problems with the property.
• The buyer is also required to work with an  FHA Approved Consultant who will inspect the property along with the borrower to determine what repairs are needed to meet minimum FHA requirements. The borrower will also indicate any additional work they wish to have done to the property.
The Consultant will provide the buyer with a Work Write-up/Specification of Repairs which includes the Consultant’s cost estimate for completion of the project.
• The buyer will then select a contractor to perform the work. All rehab work must be performed by an experienced, licensed contractor and satisfy all lender requirements. All subcontractors must be licensed as well. FHA does not allow borrowers to use relatives as their contractor. “Self-Help” is not allowed either.
• A Homeowner/Contractor Agreement is executed between the borrowers and the contractor to ensure that a contractor is in place who will be able to complete the work for the loan amount.
The Homeowner/Contractor Agreement will include a detailed proposal (Plans and Specs) from the contractor showing the scope of the work to be done and including a detailed cost estimate on each repair of improvement of the project. This estimate must ultimately match $ for $ with the Consultant’s Work Write-up/Specification of Repairs. All work must be completed within 6 months of closing the loan.
• The Buyer is then ready to submit a formal application to the lender. The loan amount will include the agreed on purchase price for the property plus the estimated cost to rehab the property. The amount of the loan could also include a contingency reserve of 10% to 20% of the total remodeling costs and would be used to cover any extra work not included in the original proposal. It can also include up to 6 months of mortgage payments if the borrower is not going to live in the property during construction.
♦ The total loan cannot exceed FHA’s maximum mortgage limit for the        area.
♦  The 203k loan requires a minimum 3.5% down payment based on    the total amount of the home’s purchase price plus the cost of repairs.
• An “After Improved” Appraisal is ordered to determine the value of the property after the project is completed as compared to similar properties in the neighborhood.
• When the borrower passes the lender’s credit-worthiness test and the project meets FHA Guidelines, the loan closes for an amount that will cover the purchase or refinance cost of the property, the remodeling costs and the allowable closing costs.
• At closing, the seller of the property is paid off and the remaining funds are put in an escrow account to pay for the repairs and improvements during the rehabilitation period.
• The mortgage payments and remodeling begin after the loan closes. The borrower can decide to have up to six mortgage payments (PITI) put into the cost of rehabilitation if the property is not going to be occupied during construction, but it cannot exceed the length of time it is estimated to complete the rehab.
• Escrowed funds are released to the contractor during construction through a series of draw requests for completed work. To ensure completion of the job, 10% of each draw is held back; this money is paid after the lender determines there will be no liens on the property.

ELIGIBLE 203K IMPROVEMENTS
FHA 203k loans are offered only on 1-4 family owner-occupied properties. A full FHA 203k allows for complete renovations and rehabs of properties where the improvement cost exceeds $35,000. A Streamline FHA 203k may be used when the cost of the project ranges from $5,000 to $35,000.
The types of Improvements that borrowers may make using full FHA 203k financing include:

• Structural alterations and reconstruction
• Repair or replacing well and/or septic system
• Roofing, siding and gutters
• Major Landscape work and site improvements
• Enhancing accessibility for a disabled person
• Additions
• Kitchen and Bathroom renovations home repair 2
• Replace/Upgrade existing HVAC systems
• Replacement windows and doors
• Finish Basements and Waterproofing
• Plumbing and Electrical upgrade
• Appliances, Floor and Wall covering
• Elimination of health and safety hazards
Luxury Items that do not become permanent Part of the property are not eligible for improvements include; swimming pools, tennis/basketball courts, and hot tubs.

If you want to buy a home that needs repairs, FHA’s 203(k) may be a good option for you.Get Pre-Approved
Reach out to me with any questions or concerns you may have about the program and to take advantage of my FREE Jump Start Mortgage Pre-Approval

 

 

 

Tips on Hosting a Successful Cookout in Your New Home.

bbqSummer is here and you’ve finally moved into your First Home. It’s time to kick back and relax a bit. Cookouts are an awesome way  to begin making great memories with family and friends in your New Home. Here are some tips to a successful cookout that will keep guests wanting to come back for more. Which ones work best for you?

Lawn Games
kids-croquet
Lawn games are an essential addition to a successful cookout. They help to break the ice between guests who may not know each other, and can also create some great memories. Croquet, ring toss and badminton are fun games for all ages that can be played as teams or individually. They are also great to help pass the time while food is on the grill!

Beverages
Requesting that your guests bring their own beverages can ensure everyone has exactly what they want to drink. It can also lower the amount you’re spending and lower the chance of running out of drinks before the party is over. Remember to get plenty of ice to keep all of those beverages nice and cold in a cooler.

Music
Music always helps get the party started. Try making a playlist ahead of time, or finding the right playlist on Spotify or Pandora, to help set the tone for the evening! Pop music, or throwback songs are always a great go-to.

Don’t Light the Grill Too Lategrillin
Lighting the grill too late could mean hungry house guests. Have the grill started just as the guests are arriving, giving them time to settle in and relax. A charcoal grill takes much more time to heat up than a gas grill does, so allow at least a 45-minute window for when you wish to start cooking.

Menu
When most people think of cookouts, they think of hamburgers and hot dogs on the grill. Don’t be afraid to spice things up! Adding a few chicken legs with barbecue sauce to the menu is a great choice that people are sure to enjoy if they aren’t in the mood for the standard cookout foods. Don’t be afraid to ask for help.
Hosting a party is stressful enough without having to worry about preparing all of the food. Ask your guests to bring a few different desserts or sides for dinner. They’ll be flattered you asked for their favorite recipe.

Remember the whole idea is to have fun in your New home. Enjoy!

 

 

479 Mount Fair Drive, Watertown, CT For Sale

Let me be the first to welcome you to 479 Mount Fair Drive in our desirable neighborhood in Watertown CT.

479 Mt Fair Farm DrFormal living room and dining room, large country kitchen leads  to large deck with mountain views. Family room with wood-burning fireplace and vaulted ceilings. 3 BRs including master Suite. Finished lower level for office or exercise/play area. Hardwood, carpet and tile floors. 2 car garage. Private back yard.

http://www.realtor.com/realestateandhomes-detail/479-Mount-Fair-Dr_Watertown_CT_06795_M34037-76065

I live down the street and around the corner from this Bright and airy colonial and welcome the opportunity to help make this house your home.

pre-approval 2Call Me at 860.945.9284 to discuss the right mortgage option for your family and to take advantage of my  FREE Jump Start Mortgage Pre-Approval service service.

Then call Sue Holway at  Keller Williams to schedule a showing and be ready to make an offer.

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.

Vive La Liberation! Happy Bastille Day!

Storming of the Bastille, 1789

Bastille Day, the French National Holiday, commemorates the storming of the Bastille on July 14, 1789. It marked the beginning of the French Revolution.

The Bastille was a prison and a symbol of the absolute and arbitrary power of King Louis XVI. By capturing this symbol, the people signaled that that the king’s power was no longer absolute; power should be based on the Nation and be limited by a separation of powers.

My Mother was born in France and experienced the absolute and arbitrary power of the Nazis during WWll. During the French liberation, she met and married a handsome GI Lieutenant in Marseille and followed him to the USA. It was a great adventure and a great love story.
As kids, Mom made sure we celebrated her love of family and the blessings of her new country on July 4th.  And on July 14, we celebrated her love for her home country. This time the colors of the cake and ice cream were Blue, White and Red; the French tri-color.

Vive Les Etas Unis! Vive La France! Happy Bastille Day!

Your Credit Score and Your Mortgage Application

Your Credit Score is the most obvious factor in your ability to getting your Mortgage good-credit-vs-bad-creditApplication approved. The higher your score, typically the less risk you pose to lenders and the lower your mortgage interest rate. So how is your credit score determined? And how can you improve it?

Your Credit Score is based on the following 5 factors:
1. Your Payment History. (35% of your score)
♦ Your payment history shows whether you make your monthly payments on time, how often you might miss making your payments, how many days past due the due date you eventually make your payments, and how recently your payments have been delinquent.
♦ How To Improve It: Make all your monthly payments on time. The more payments you pay     promptly, the higher your score. Each time you miss a payment, you risk losing valuable points on your score.

2. Amount Owed on Loans and Credit Cards.(30% of your score)money management
♦  Your score is also based on the entire amount you owe, the number and types of credit accounts you have, and the proportion of money owed compared to how much credit you have available.
♦  How To Improve It: Smaller balances on your credit cards can raise your score – if you pay on time. High balances and maxed out credit lines will lower your score. Keep your credit card balance to less than 30-50% of your credit line.
New loans with little payment history may drop your score temporarily because your report will show the recent inquiry into your report to obtain the new debt.
Loans that are closer to being paid off can increase your score because you have a longer track record of paying the installments on time.

3. Length of Credit History. (15% of your score)
♦  The longer you can show a history of meeting your obligations in a timely manner, the higher your score will be.
♦  How To Improve It: This simply takes time. No credit or no no recent credit is not necessarily a good thing. It may seem wise to avoid using credit, or to avoid applying for credit, but it can actually hurt your score if mortgage lenders have no credit history to review.

4. Types of Credit Accounts.(10% of your score)
♦  A mix of credit accounts is best.
♦  How To Improve It: If you only have one type of credit account, add another type when it makes financial sense to do so. A mix of car loans, personal loans, retail store accounts and major credit cards will improve your score – if you manage them wisely and make the payments on time.

5. Recent Credit Activity. (10% of your score)
♦  Steady credit activity is best.
♦  How To Improve It: If you’ve opened a lot of accounts recently, or applied to open new accounts, it suggests potential financial trouble and can lower your score. The lender will see the inquiry on your report and require a letter of explanation as to why you opened these accounts and whether there are balances  that haven’t shown up on your report yet.
However, if you’ve had the same accounts for some time and you repay them on time – even after some payment troubles – your score will eventually go up.

Review Your Credit Report Annually
It’s smart to stay on top of your credit report, and to kow what potential mortgage lenders will see. You can request a FREE Annual Credit Report from each of the 3 major credit reporting agencies – Equifax, TransUnion & Experian once a year at www.AnnualCreditReport.com

Review your reports carefully, as each one may contain inconsistent information or inaccuracies. You have the right to dispute any error by contacting the agency with in 30 days of receiving your report.

app approved

Connecticut Attracts Millionaires, Not First Home Buyers

closedCNBC reports that Connecticut is the 5th Worst State for Business with the fourth-highest cost of doing business, third-highest cost of living and the nation’s second-worst economy. What’s bad for business is bad for the housing market, and the ripple effect is bad for all citizens.

A newly-wed couple was referred to me in April by the bride’s mother who is a member of my BNI Group. They were First Home Buyers and they had done everything right.dream Their wedding last fall was conservative so they could save money to buy a home as soon as possible. They set a budget of how much they wanted to spend for their mortgage payment, taxes and insurance. They were Pre-Approved for a mortgage amount, but it was for more than they felt comfortable committing to. They had good credit, good income from their primary jobs, some student loan debt, but still good DTI. They saved every penny from their part-time jobs for a down payment and closing costs. Everything was going great while they narrowed the search for their dream home.
That was until … you guessed it … she got a Pink Slip. Company says it was due to “lack of work.” She never saw it coming!

Lot’s of broken dreams, lots of tears! Their plans are on hold now while she searches for a newLost job in an economy where quality employment is hard to find. I hope she finds one soon. If not, that little nest egg is going to get smaller as they struggle to make ends meet over the long haul. I can only wish them well and promise to be here when things are back on an even keel for them.

Take a moment to think about the ripple effect this one lay-off has on the economy. A potential seller loses out on an easy sale to qualified buyers, Realtors, attorneys, home inspectors, appraisers, appliance and furniture stores, yes…even mortgage brokers don’t get a pay check either. Just because Connecticut is able to attract millionaires, that doesn’t mean does a good job attracting the business that will attract First Home Buyers.