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Showing posts with label VA. Show all posts
Showing posts with label VA. Show all posts

June 18, 2012

Real Estate Finance 101

Hi Folks,

   Hope you've been well, and I'm glad to be back here with you !

   For some of you reading this, you are Real Estate Gurus, and you can finance a home in your deepest sleep. For the others, you are obviously familiar with Real Estate on some level, so with today's post, I'm trying to hit on all levels of Real Estate Skills.

   Financing. Without it (in one form or another), Real Estate would not change hands. Financing is a very broad term, and when discussing Real Estate, it helps to break the topic into “Traditional” and “Non-Traditional“.

   In an article on the RealtyBizNews.com website, titled, "Real Estate Money Basics – 10 Ideas For Financing a Home", the author describes the traditional category as inclusive of "government insured loans like FHA, VA" and others. They mention the fact that since these loans are “insured”, that "they generally require the borrower to jump through a number of “hoops” in order to qualify.", and that they require, "better credit scores, documented income, a careful review of your bank statements and any other information the lender may happen to require", and in addition, they "generally offer the lowest down payment options".

   FHA, the best known, can be "applied to almost any home, in any location, as long as the home meets certain condition requirements and the buyer can meet the credit and income requirements", says the article. If you are a Veteran, you may be eligible for a Zero down payment VA loan.

   Since these loans are “government insured” to "protect lenders from a borrower default", they still will "allow" borrowers to "buy with a low down payment, and still avoid a higher interest rate", and in return, the lender can "make a “claim” for insurance if the property goes into foreclosure". RealtyBizNews.com says that these loans are "very expensive", and include funding fees” and other costs that are "rolled into the loan".

   Now, onto the “non-traditional” financing sector, which deals with the purchase of a home "without the hassles of qualifying for a traditional loan".

   Even though these options are "open to all buyers, they are not very well known to the general public", say the article on RealtyBizNews.com, and calls this "creative real estate finance” a group of strategies in which "real estate investors spend a great deal of time studying and practicing", and that most of these strategies "will not require good credit, and a few don’t even require the buyer to have any money of their own."

   Some examples, but we'll lead off with our personal favorite: "Lease with an Option to Buy" (or "Rent to Own")

   Lease with an Option To Buy, as described on RealtyBizNews.com, is a "popular strategy for buyers who don’t have good credit and don’t have money for a down payment", where the "tenant/buyer finds a property to rent, with a landlord who is willing to credit them with a portion of the rent towards a down payment". Over the course of the contract, "If the buyer pays their rent on time, and accumulates credit towards a down payment, they can then “exercise their option” and purchase the property at a price that was agreed upon when they rented the property.". This strategy is immensely popular with investors to sell their properties, and is a very good way to sell in a tough market, and a great way for a "tenant/buyer to accumulate credit towards a down payment." The caveat here, as always: "Buyers should have their lease and option agreement reviewed by a competent attorney to insure that the deal is structured properly.

   Some other ways include: “Subject-to the existing mortgage”, where the buyer takes over the payments on the sellers existing mortgage “Hard Money” loans, which are short-term (and expensive) loans made on a property in need of repairs. “Seller Financing”, which is preferable to a seller vs. renting, and works great when the seller has a lot of equity and is perhaps unable to sell.

   Some great financing ideas have been raised here for you. Perhaps you already know about them, but if they are new concepts for you, I hope that you can use them in your Real Estate Investing endeavors (of course, after you do your homework and have your attorney review your plans and contracts). Do you have any to add to this list?

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Have a Great Week, and Happy Rent-to-Owning !
Rob Eisenstein
HomeRun Homes Blog: http://blogging.lease2buy.com
HomeRun Homes Websites: http://www.lease2buy.com and http://www.homerunhomes.com

TAGS: #RealEstateGuru #RealEstateInvesting #creativerealestate #financingahome #traditionalloan #FHA #VA #leaseoption #renttoown #subjectto #hardmoney #sellerfinance

February 23, 2011

Guidelines For Earnest Money and Down Payments, Part 2 of 2

Hi Folks,

   Welcome back here on this last day of the week.

   In part 1 of this 2-part series, we defined and discussed "Earnest Money", and today, we will do the same thing with "Down Payments".

   A Down Payment, as most of you know, is an amount that is "put down" towards the total purchase price of a home. This amount can vary by state, type of loan program, and the type of deal. We'll look at some real-word examples of this today.

   Joetta Talford, a Realtor with Keller Williams Realty in Fort Mill, South Carolina, suggests that you, "Make sure you figure out how much your closing costs will be and if you either have enough for your closing costs or the down payment.", and that, "If you don't have enough for both (i.e. Other house on the market, ask for help with closing costs), Be honest with your agent and they can really try to get it worked out on your behalf." Adam Cowgill, A Sales Associate/Realtor, says that any down payment today, "should be a minimum of 20%; sellers are aware of the present lending crunch and the likelihood that you will get a higher LTV than 80% is gone like the boom of yesterday."

   Jeff Tufford, a Mortgage Consultant, says that down payment amounts will be, "program driven". Most folks put the least amount down allowed, whether that is $0 or 20% for an investment property."

   Down-payments depend on, "whether the deal is lender-financed, or seller-financed", says Patrick E. Hudson, a Commercial Real Estate Attorney in Texas.

   Hudson says that in a lender-financed deal, "the buyer needs just enough of a down payment to persuade the lender to make the kind of loan the buyer desires. My advice is for a buyer is to determine what kind of loan they want, and will be able to get, before they shop for homes, and let that determine the down payment amount. The seller should not care about the down payment amount, as they get paid the same regardless of the source of funds." In a seller-financed deal, "it is essential to get enough money up front to (a) weed out deadbeats; (b) cover the costs of foreclosure; and (c) cover damages that may be caused by a defaulting buyer. This defensive position ensures that if everything goes wrong, the seller has enough money to get the house back and restore it to a good condition."

   In terms of down payment amounts in regards to home home builders, Talford says, "There are certain national residential builders that ask for 3.5% down or more before they begin the process of construction.", and that, "A custom home builder will ask for 10% down before they build. But everything in real estate is negotiable, especially if you have a home to sell or need to pay more for closing costs."

Have a Great Day, and Happy Rent-to-Owning !
Rob Eisenstein
HomeRun Homes Blog http://blogging.lease2buy.com
HomeRun Homes Website http://www.lease2buy.com

February 21, 2011

Guidelines For Earnest Money and Down Payments, Part 1 of 2

Hi Folks,

   Happy Monday to you, and a Happy President's Day, as well !

   We are starting a 2-part series covering some basic guidelines on both Earnest Money for Real Estate Deals, as well as Down Payment Money for purchasing a home. For today's installment, we will be examining Earnest Money, what it is, and what the right amount should be based upon.

   As Earnest Money is described on About.com, "It's a good faith deposit but not to be confused with a down payment. When buyers execute a purchase contract, the contract specifies how much money the buyer is initially putting up to secure the contract, to show "good faith," and how much money all together will be deposited as a down payment. The balance is generally financed as a mortgage or a combination of mortgages. An earnest money deposit says to the seller: "Yes, I am serious enough about buying your house that I'm willing to put my money where my mouth is."

   "After 12 years in the Real Estate industry my advice in this economy is this", says Adam Cowgill, A Sales Associate/Realtor; "you should still offer a deposit that is the maximum amount of money you are able to offer in exchange for asking the seller to remove their home from the market while you satisfy your contingencies". Marc Bulandr of Foreclosure and Short Sale Experts Reoassets, Inc., says that, if a buyer wishes to purchase a property, "the more the earnest money, the more favorable the offer will be viewed by the seller."

   Jeff Tufford, a Mortgage Consultant, says that Earnest Money should be, "market driven", and that in his market in Mid-Michigan, "the going amount is typically $500-1000", and the average home price, he says, is $75,000 to $100,000. Joetta Talford, a Realtor with Keller Williams Realty in Fort Mill, South Carolina, agrees that the amount of Earnest Money, depends on the market and the demand for the property". Talford says that typically, "most buyers purchasing a property for $100k or less can offer $500 in earnest monies", and "anything over $100-150k, the buyer should probably offer at least $1,000". Further, Talford says that, "If it is over $200k, the buyer can expect the seller to ask for 1% of the purchase price during negotiations on a resale. If it is a bank owned, HUD or VA property, expect to pay $1000 to 1% in earnest monies no matter what the price." The maximum amount, Talford says, "depends on the bank or government program and what their specific guidelines are.", and says, "HUD and VA have the guidelines for each of their programs on line. Banks do not and each bank is different."

   Kelsey Lane of The Look Team Realtors in Silicon Valley, says that in their area, "the standard earnest money or good faith deposit is 3%. Almost all contracts we write has this amount.", however, Lanes says that, "the exception to this" was as little as $1000 earnest money., and says that, "It was in 2006. On properties that have been on the market for awhile, or in lower income areas, we see a lower percentage. However, in the in-demand areas, we still have multiple offers and if a buyer doesn't have 3% for their deposit, they aren't considered to be competitive or serious."

   Patrick E. Hudson, a Commercial Real Estate Attorney in Texas, says that, "The guideline on earnest money that I constantly see is 1% of the total purchase price. I see 1% in so many contracts that it must be the norm in our residential market." Interestingly, Hudson also mentions, "option periods" or "free look periods", where he says that the buyer, "can walk the deal and be refunded their full earnest money are typically $10 a day (usually, a 10 day option period for $100)." That sounds like a great option for anyone truly looking for the try-then-buy factor. "I've been a broker focused solely on the sale of foreclosure and short sale properties", says Bulandr, who says that the Earnest Money guidelines are, "fairly rigid on cash offers for foreclosure properties. It's generally 10% (or higher) of the purchase price."

   As for the Earnest Money physical funds, Bulandr says that, "If a contract is being properly represented by the buyer's attorney, earnest money will be protected.", and that, "In most states, earnest money is held in a trust account that can only be released after agreement is reached by both parties. Thus, if in a non-financing situation, I would suggest as much earnest money as down payment, with a minimum of 10%." He says that, "Again, depending on the state, you can stipulate that Earnest Money can be held in an interest bearing account if its a significant amount. As for financed situations, he suggests, "less than $1,000, but frankly, depositing Earnest Money up to the amount of the down payment is suggested."

   As you can see, there are many determining factors for Earnest Money. In part 2, we will be discussing some basic guidelines and rules for down payments. Thoughts? Questions?

Have a Great Day, and Happy Rent-to-Owning !
Rob Eisenstein
HomeRun Homes Blog http://blogging.lease2buy.com
HomeRun Homes Website http://www.lease2buy.com

TAGS: #earnestmoney #realestate #foreclosure #shortsales

December 10, 2010

Does Subprime Still Exist ?

Hi Folks,

   Hope you've had a great week, and that you've been able to keep warm !

   A few days ago, a colleague of mine asked me if subprime loans still exist, and I realized that I have not heard the term, "subprime", for quite a while, and I also realized that before responding to him, I had better gather a consensus from some mortgage professionals with knowledge on this topic. At the same time, I figured that this might be something to share with all of you good folks out there, as well.

   We spoke with a few sources, one of which is Fred Glick, a mortgage broker and banker, who says that, "Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac now have minimum credit score standards based on loan to value.", and that the, "new subprime lenders are private ones that charge a lot in rates because they are limited to what they charge in points by many different state and federal laws, including but not limited to what is coming out under the Merkely Amendment of Dodd-Frank", that, "limits compensation to a maximum of 3% of the loan amount and does not allow for both front end points and back end compensation from lender to broker in the same transaction."

   Steven Bote, Mortgage Planner, says that the "very short answer" is, "no, subprime lending does not exist.", and he continues to say that, "for me, the defining characteristic of all subprime loans is the absence of "documented income necessary to support the ability to reasonably repay.". Bote says that today, residential financing is on the "complete opposite extreme of the lending spectrum from where it was three years ago during the height of the subprime era, and as such, everything is fully documented (pay stubs, W2s, tax returns, schedules, etcetera)."

   Any discussion on lending would not be complete without looking at the impact of FHA and VA loans, of which Bote calls, "Government-based loans that allow for higher LTV-based financing, such as FHA and VA". Bote says, that for example, "FHA allows a person to buy an owner-occupied 4-unit property with as little 3.5% down of the purchase price, and VA financing of the same property type allows for 0% down payment (and with as low as a 620 middle FICO)", and says, "To put things into perspective, conventional financing requires all buyers to put down a minimum of 20% of the purchase price." Glick says on a similar note that the, "VA has gotten tougher and FHA claims not to have a minimum, but the GNMA market is moving up to 620 to 640 as a minimum. So, for the people with the scores in the 5's, it's a problem unless you have lots and lots of equity."

   Greg Cook, a Mortgage Professional, agrees that a, "certain segment of the subprime market is being served by FHA financing", and also says that, "Most subprime (hard money) lenders have gotten out of owner occupied loans because federal and state legislation limit the total fees that can be charged. These limitations do not apply to commercial, business or investor loans, so hard money lenders have evolved back to these types, which were their staples before the rise of subprime."

   So, with all of this information in hand, I have duly advised my colleague that the subprime market does still exist (well, kind of), and as Cook said, he has seen, "subprime mortgages start out as hard money, morph into subprime for homeowners, and back to hard money.".

   Do you have anything to add to this discussion? We welcome your comments and insights.

Have a Great Weekend, and Happy Rent-to-Owning !
HomeRun Homes Blog http://blogging.lease2buy.com
HomeRun Homes Website http://www.lease2buy.com

TAGS: #mortgage #loans #hardmoney