Real Estate Market: New FHA Loan Limits

Federal Housing Administration maximum loan limits effective Oct 1, 2011 through Dec 31, 2011.  However, if legislation is enacted to extend the current insured loan limits,  Department of Housing and Urban Development will publish a new Mortgagee Letter.   But for the time being until that happens we are at back to the old limits.   Cabarrus, Catawba, Gaston, Iredell, Lincoln, Mecklenburg and Union County will be $271,050.00 As you can see the loan limits for Gaston, Mecklenburg and Union are being reduced $32,700.00  from $303.750 to the $271,050.00. FHA loans with case numbers and final approval on or before September 30, 2011 are eligible to qualify for the loan limits in effect from Jan 1, 2011 to Sept 30, 2011. So if you are a FHA homebuyer and you are still on the fence, be aware that the loan limits will be reduced, unless legislation is enacted to extend the higher loan limits.  Contact us today!

Real Estate Market: Are Renovation Loans for You?


Finance home repairs and improvements as part of your mortgage.

Considering a foreclosure, short sale or fixer-upper property, but not sure how you can finance the repairs? The FHA 203(k) Streamline Loan, offered by Allen Tate Mortgage, allows qualified borrowers purchase a home that needs repairs, and finance the cost of those repairs through the mortgage.
  • Finance eligible repairs or renovations as part of the mortgage – up to $35,000.
  • Work must begin within 30 days of closing and be completed within 6 months.
  • Renovation funds are placed in escrow and contractors are paid as work is completed.
  • Eligible improvements include non-structural repairs and renovations including roofs, HVAC, plumbing, painting, appliances, decks, windows, doors, siding, ADA improvements and more.
  • Loan also available for home refinancing in conjunction with repairs/improvements.
  • Loan limits apply; minimum credit score of 640 and minimum down payment required.
Contact us today for more information or to get started on your loan.

Real Estate Tips: Want Money in Your Pocket?

Does the current real estate market have you feeling the blues? Do you owe more than you can sell your home for? Well, take a look at refinancing. You can’t afford not to refinance now and start seeing some green. There are two kinds of homeowners: those who have recently refinanced and those who have convinced themselves it won’t make a difference. If you’re in the second camp, take a look at the numbers below. Then let me connect you with my Mortgage consultant so you can start figuring out how to spend that extra money.
Year Purchased 2006 Refinanced 2010 Refinanced 2010
Sale Price of Home $300,000 $300,000 $300,000
Down Payment $60,000 $60,000 $60,000
Less Principal Paid   $11,600 $11,600
Loan Amount $240,000 $228,400 $228,400
Type of Financing Conventional30-year fixed Conventional30-year fixed Conventional15-year fixed
Interest Rate 6.625% 4.125% 3.375%
Monthly Payment $1,537 $1,103 $1,618
ANNUAL SAVINGS   $5,208 -$972
LIFE OF LOAN SAVINGS   $81,046 $188,160

Real Estate Tips: Pay Your Home Off Faster?

What a 15 Year Fixed Mortgage Can Do For You

By Chris Cope

Recently rates reached record lows that have not been seen since the 1950’s.  Many people may think that they either have taken advantage of refinancing or that it may not make sense for them at this time.  If you belong to the latter half of this group, consider this: if you have a 30 year fixed rate in the high 6 percent range now is a great time to refinance into a 15 year fixed.   Depending on your equity in the property and your credit score, you may find that you can refinance into a 15 year fixed with a payment that is not much more than what you are paying now. The advantages to this are simple, paying a 15 year fixed rate mortgage builds your equity much more quickly and allows you to pay off your home much sooner… For example, if you have a $200,000 mortgage at 6.75% your principal and interest (P & I) payment is $1,297.  A 15 year fixed rate at 3.875% would give you a P & I payment of $1466, a difference of only $169 a month.   What is important for homeowners to take note of is the difference in the paying down of the principal balance.
  • After the first year, the 30 year fixed rate has paid down its balance by $2,316, while the 15 year fixed rate has paid it down by $7,486.
Thos are powerful numbers, but what is even more compelling is what happens after 5 years:
  • After 5 years the 30 year fixed rate has paid down its balance by $15,491, while the 15 year fixed rate has paid down by $67,458.
Let that sink in for a moment. Today, rates are at an all time low but that does not mean they will stay this low forever. Review your current mortgage rate and, if it makes sense to refinance into a 15 year fixed rate, consider talking to your Mortgage consultant about what options are available to you.

Real Estate Market: Mortgage Rates Hit Lowest Level on Record

WASHINGTON (AP) — Mortgage rates fell this week to the lowest level on record, giving consumers added incentive to lock in low payments for home purchases and refinanced loans. The average rate for 30-year fixed loans sank to 4.69 percent, from 4.75 percent last week, mortgage company Freddie Mac said Thursday. That’s the lowest point since Freddie Mac began tracking rates in 1971. The previous record of 4.71 percent was set in December. Rates for 15-year and five-year mortgages also hit lows. Mortgage rates have fallen over the past two months as nervous investors have shifted money into the safety of Treasury bonds. The demand for Treasurys has caused Treasury yields to fall. And mortgage rates tend to track the yields on long-term Treasurys. Yet the falling rates have yet to spark a home-buying boom — or energize the economy. New-home sales collapsed in May after homebuying tax credits expired. The economy also remains under pressure from high unemployment. And many people don’t qualify under tightened lending rules. “As long as prospective homebuyers are still concerned about their jobs and financial well-being, many will be reluctant to take the plunge, even though affordability has never been better,” said Greg McBride, senior financial analyst with Low rates throughout the economy also hurt one group of Americans: savers. Puny rates are especially hard on people living on fixed incomes who are earning next to nothing on their savings. Lending activity remains sluggish. Mortgage application volume dipped 6 percent last week from a week earlier, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association. Refinancing activity fell 7 percent. And mortgage applications to buy homes slipped 1.2 percent. Many Americans owe more on their mortgages than their homes are worth — often called “under water” — and can’t refinance. The Obama administration has launched programs to help borrowers refinance if they owe up to 25 percent more than their home’s value and have loans owned or guaranteed by mortgage giants Freddie Mac or Fannie Mae. About 291,000 homeowners have participated as of March. Yet that’s a small fraction of the nearly 15 million homeowners who are under water, according to Moody’s, and cannot refinance. In hard-hit areas in Nevada and Florida, for example, home prices have fallen 50 percent or more from their highs. Record-low rates can’t rescue those homeowners. “It’s not the desire to refinance; it’s the ability to refinance,” Chris Brown, a loan officer with Trinity Mortgage Co. in Orlando, Fla. “A lot of the people who can already have.” Given the costs of refinancing, some mortgage experts say a refinancing can be worthwhile if you can shave at least 0.75 percentage point from an existing rate. Others suggest waiting until you can lower your rate by at least a point. Despite some lenders’ ads, refinancing is never free. A fee normally goes to the mortgage broker or lender. There are also fees for title insurance, a new appraisal, document processing and other charges. Often, mortgage brokers or lenders create the appearance of a “no fee” mortgage by adding the costs to a total loan amount or by charging a higher interest rate. People considering refinancing should factor in such fees. They should also calculate how many months it would take to recover them. For those who expect to stay in their home for two years or less, the fees might outweigh the savings from a lower rate. Freddie Mac collects mortgage rates on Monday through Wednesday of each week from lenders around the country. Rates often fluctuate, even within a given day. Rates on 15-year fixed-rate mortgages fell to an average of 4.13 percent. That was the lowest on records dating to September 1991. It was down from 4.2 percent a week earlier. Rates on five-year adjustable-rate mortgages averaged 3.84 percent, down from 3.89 percent a week earlier. That was also the lowest on Freddie Mac’s records, which date back to January 2005 for such loans. Average rates on one-year adjustable-rate mortgages fell to 3.77 percent from 3.82 percent. That was the lowest average since May 2004. The rates do not include add-on fees known as points. One point is equal to 1 percent of the total loan amount. The nationwide fee for loans in Freddie Mac’s survey averaged 0.7 a point for 30-year, 5-year and 1-year loans. The average fee for 15-year loans was 0.6 of a point. Alan Zibel, AP Real Estate Writer, On Thursday June 24, 2010, 12:11 pm                                

It’s Time to Get off the Fence

Fence 2

Buying a home is one of life’s most important decisions – and one of the most gratifying. Yet today’s economy has kept home buyers “on the fence” – and paralyzed about moving forward in pursuit of their goals and dreams. “Lack of decision making results in deferred dreams and lost opportunities,” said Rhoda and Jeffrey Makoff, authors of Get Off the Fence! “But you want to feel that you have made the right choices at each opportunity, especially the major crossroads.” “When you have decided what your dream is, what your goals are and what your plan is, all you need to do is get off the fence and just do it,” said business philosopher Jim Rohn. “Making the effort to get off the fence is the hardest move, as after that, everything will flow easily as you put your plans in motion.” Lower home prices, interest rates at 25-year low, and a strong inventory make this a perfect time to buy a home. If you’re ready to make a move – or just thinking about it, Allen Tate Realtors will make sure you’re standing on solid ground. Let “The Lee Ann Miller Team” know how we can help you get off the fence and get on with living the best possible life.                                                                                Lee Ann Miller Team Logo w/Tate                                                                          704-896-5141 Office