Benefits of FHA Home Loans

The first establishment of the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) was in 1934. This is the same period when the country was coming out of The Great Depression. Being a branch of the National Housing Recovery Act, the Federal Housing Administration had a simple mission: to provide a platform where the number of homeowners can increase.

The ratio of homeowners at the time was 4 out of 10. Something had to be done in order for that to change.

But there was a limiting factor risk. There was the unavailability of enough quantity of private capital. Homeownership comes with a variety of advantages, which include facilitation of both economic and social growth, shaping the communities and provision of stability to the neighborhoods.

At the moment, the Federal Housing Administration is considered to be the largest mortgage insurer in the whole world. ‘Insurer’ is used in the place of ‘lender’. The reason for the FHA being a mortgage insurer instead of a mortgage lender is because the FHA doesn’t lend money, but instead insures it. They take the risk.

Mortgage lending procedures are facilitated by the FHA by ensuring all the banks and mortgage lenders from the risks that may be associated with giving a loan to an applicant that is buying a home for the first time or people that want to come off a big derogatory credit score issue.

One of the greatest achievements of the Federal Housing Administration is that is has enabled uncountable citizens of America, possibly your grandparents, parents or even you included, to purchase their slice of the American dream.

The Federal Housing Administration has an estimate of 4.8 million home mortgages to single families currently, and over 13,000 insured mortgages projects to different families in their portfolio.

The FHA principles that have been guiding it from inception to date are still intact.

It only requires a 3.5% down payment

Today, available to the home buyers are only few mortgage options that allow them a down payment of 5% or even less. The Federal Housing Administration is among the few.

The FHA mortgage allows home buyers to pay as low as a 3.5% down payment. Isn’t this good news? This is really beneficial, especially for the home buyer applicants who are not rich, wealthy or have not saved up a lot of money to be used as down payment. This is also of benefit to the home buyer that looks forward at saving up more money that will be used for his or her moving out expenses, renovation funds, emergency money or any other needs known to the home buyer.

Flexible credit qualifications

It is not often that you will come across mortgages that you are eligible for with a 580 credit score requirement.

For home buyers that have major derogatory credit issues like foreclosure, bankruptcy or short sale, the only option left for you to buy is FHA.

Are you in the market to purchase a home in Rancho Santa Margarita, Coto de Caza, or Mission Viejo? Click here to talk to the Kovacs Connection Team today!

Can You Transfer a Mortgage From One Person to Another?

Enough research will tell you that most loans are not transferable as a result of the “due on sale” clause on them. What this means is that when the property on the loan is sold, then the entirety of the loans becomes due.

But you will also want to know that some loans do not have these due on sale clauses which make them transferable from the seller to the buyer. These loans are known as the “assumable loans.” There are three types of assumable loans:

  • VA loans – these loans are designed in such a way that they consider the service members who are constantly on the move as a result of their careers. Most of the loans that were closed before 1988 can still be moved freely without the need for any approval from the lender. The loans that are closed after that time, however, need approval from the lender to be closed.
  • FHA loans – these loans can also be transferable without the need of any approval from the lender if they were closed by December 1989. Otherwise, any other loans that were closed after that time need approval from the lender.
  • USDA loans – lender approval is required for these loans to be transferable.

Reasons why you want to transfer your mortgage

Taking over a loan usually saves a lot when it comes to closing costs. The buyer will not have to part with the fees to originate a new loan plus all the taxes and all the other closing costs involved. The buyer only has to pay the nominal fee that will assume the already existing loan. You do not even need to pay the down payment in this case.

There are, however, a couple of complications that come with mortgage transfers that you need to know about before you dive into the whole process.

Merits and demerits of mortgage transfers

You may not need to pay the down payment fees, but you will still need to pay a huge sum of cash to make the transfer.

As the buyer, you may not have enough cash at the moment to make the transfer. You have the option of taking a secondary loan which can cover all of the expenses. But these loans are usually accompanied by high-interest rates, which even makes the whole transfer process less attractive.

You also need to know that the original borrowers in the mortgage still retain some sense of responsibility for the loan unless there is a release that is in writing from the loan lender stating otherwise.

When the due on sale clause doesn’t apply

About every loan apart from the VA, USDA, and the FHA have due on sale clauses. However, there are some types of loan transfers that have exemptions. They have been listed below:

  • Transfer to a relative in case of death of the original borrower
  • Transfer to your children or spouse
  • Transfer to your ex-spouse if he/she continues to live there
  • Transfer to you in living trust if you stay in the property

Are you in the market to purchase a home in Rancho Santa Margarita, Coto de Caza, or Mission Viejo? Click here to talk to the Kovacs Connection Team today!

5 Best Secrets to Buying a Home

Buying a home is no easy task. In fact, many people find it to be very stressing and taxing, let alone the expenses that one has to incur. You also need to make sure that you do a little shopping around for the best homes to buy, the best locations, the best prices and the rates, etc. There are countless things that you need to look into before you set out to look for a new home. And that is where this article comes in to rescue you from all that hustle by highlighting five of the best kept secrets to buying a new home.

1. Keep your money exactly where it is

It is not a good idea to be moving your money around and making huge purchases if you intend to buy a new home in the near future; like in the next three to six months. The best thing that you can do and will probably boost your chances of getting a mortgage for your new home is to stop moving your money. You should even stop making any large transactions before the home buying process. Lenders will look at your credit profile, and they want to see proof that you are reliable and will get back the money they lend you in good time.

2. Get a pre-approval for your home loan

You need to realize that getting pre-qualified for a loan does not guarantee that you have qualified to get a loan. You also need to be pre-approved by the lender. A loan pre-qualification simply means that the lender has looked at your loan request, considering your documentation and other relevant forms, and decided the amount of money they can loan out to you. A pre-approval is what you need to be looking for as they can save you a lot of time that could have, otherwise, been spent looking up houses way beyond your league.

3. Avoid any border dispute

You need to ensure that you get a surveyor to identify the borders of the home that you want to purchase before you do the actual purchasing. This can save you a lot of unnecessary disputes over property borders in the future if supposedly you or your neighbors overlap onto the other person’s property.

4. Never time the market

It is virtually almost impossible to time the markets. The best time that you can buy a home is that time that you find one that you feel suits your needs, and you have the funds to pay for it.

5. Bigger is not always better

No matter how enticing the deal may be to go for the biggest and most beautiful house, it will probably not be the best deal for you. Bigger houses are tough to sell, and you never know, you may want to put the house up for a resale some day and end up stuck with it. It may even be a good idea to go for the worst home around the block as these houses are the ones that appreciate the fastest. They trade for more when compared to the bigger houses.

Are you in the market to purchase a home in Mission Viejo, Coto de Caza, or Rancho Santa Margarita? Click here to talk to the Kovacs Connection Team today!

Everything You Need to Know About a Closing Disclosure Form

A closing disclosure form outlines the terms and costs that you incur in your mortgage. It is among the important pieces of documents that you must always check before you decide to close on a home.

The lender must it the closing disclosure form available at least three business days before any closing deal is met. You need to ensure you read this document thoroughly before you come to any agreement and sign any paperwork.

Closing disclosure vs settlement statement

The closing disclosure form was known as the HUD-1 settlement statement before August 1st, 2015. In the past, it used to be a very long and confusing document that was only available to the buyer on the day of closing, as required by federal law. This did not give the buyer much time to address issues within the document. It is for this reason that the closing disclosure statement form later replaced the settlement statement. And new and a fewer number of strict laws were implemented in the form, such as lenders providing the five-page document three business days before the closing date.

Even so, this document can still be a little confusing. Here are some few tips you can look at to make the process easier for you.

Comparing your closing disclosure with your loan estimate

You will always want to compare the amount you use with the amount that is in your loan estimate. The numbers and terms should match up or come close in both forms. You may realize that there are some changes as a result of the period that has gone by from the time you applied for a loan.

Your mortgage rates may have changed over the time too, and the attorneys or the title company changed their rates as well, most likely nudging the rates up. What you will especially want to keep an eye out for are the spelling errors and typos that can occur in numbers and names.

A study showed that half of the real estate agents have, at one point, found errors in closing disclosure statements. So, to be on the safe side, it wouldn’t hurt to check for any misspelling and typo errors. In fact, you may end up saving yourself a lot of trouble in future. Wherever you don’t understand the document, it is advisable that you seek the advice of your real estate agent. It is vital that you notify your closing company, lender and title of any changes that may be troubling you immediately.

What to check in your closure disclosure form

  • Your name – check the spelling of your name
  • Loan term – this is always somewhere between 15 and 30 years.
  • Loan type – know the type of loan you should go for
  • Interest rate – locked in rates will always remain fixed
  • Closing costs – these are the fees that are paid to the third parties that took part in the process to close the deal

Are you in the market to purchase a home in Rancho Santa Margarita, Coto de Caza, or Mission Viejo? Click here to talk to the Kovacs Connection Team today!
Tags: buying, cash flow, closings, first time home buyer, home buyer, home buying, homes, real estate, South Orange County

4 Ways to Increase Your Home’s Value

There are personal and professional reasons why you should consider making changes to your home in order to increase the value in the market. You will definitely have your buyers talking when they look at the brand-new bathroom or kitchen. These are some of the key points you need to pay keen attention to if you plan on catching that big break with your potential buyers. For whichever reason you may choose to remodel your home, there is bound to be a notable touch on the market value. Some of the best ways you can adapt to improve your home value include the following below.

1. Undertaking kitchen renovations

Redoing your kitchen will flock buyers to your doorstep. Adopting trends that gather people such as bar stools, improving, replacing old finishes on the tiles, and new appliances are a major attraction key. Considering that it is a place for cooking, you need to pay keen attention to the countertops and how they appear to buyers.

2. Doing updates to your bathroom

Considered to be one of the smallest rooms in the house, increasing the number of bathrooms from one to two can be a significant upgrade for your house’s value. While you attempt to maintain simplicity in the upgrade, especially if the reason is for resale, it is advisable to keep your bathroom as casual and neutral as you possibly can. Detail should be the main area of concern as you work on matters concerning the improvement of the towel hangers, adding cabinets, and also redoing the flooring. Replacing old pedestal sinks with trendy vanity styles and matching mirrors not only stands out and draws the eye to it, but also gives more storage space. Filling chinks between tiles are cheaper and provide the bathroom with a fresher look.

3. Fresh paint

Unclouded looking walls are another key to making your home’s space more attractive. You may prefer to choose to paint the wall shades of white, crisp, navy and even earthly neutrals that create a calming and versatile backdrop. You might also want to paint the places that the buyers will see first while entering the house such as foyer, living room, and the dining room as well. Overall, this gives you the impression that the living area was very well kept by the previous owner, in fact, it makes it seem easier to maintain while living there.

4. Landscape improvements

Landscaping the home’s area is key to increasing the value of your home. A beautiful and well-tended lawn with plenty of colorful blooms gives buyers the impression that you indeed take care of your home. You better pay close attention to the entrance of your home. Make the landscape look more appealing than it was before. You can do this by paying for the replacements for damaged stepping stones, porch plants, and also the concrete paths.The main agenda here is for you to feel some level of excitement whenever you are about to enter your home.

Are you in the market to purchase a home in Rancho Santa Margarita, Coto de Caza, or Mission Viejo? Click here to talk to the Kovacs Connection Team today!

March Mortgage Tips

In the market today, both new and old homeowners face many challenges.

Home buyers need to overcome a low housing inventory. This causes more competition against other home buyers and higher prices for the homes that are for sale.

However, since January of this year, there has been a steady increase in mortgage rates. They may increase with more months to come. There are also chances that the poisoning of the Federal Reserve will lead to it raising its benchmark fund rates to come March, and this will affect the rising of the mortgage rates as well.

But this should not scare you in case you are looking forward to getting a new home because, in this guide, we have your back. We will discuss some of the best tips that can benefit you in navigating the complexities of real estate and the housing market and even find your way to winning your way to the top of this competition.

The National Association of Home Builders’ assistant vice president in the forecasting and analysis field, Michael Neal, said that in the current housing and mortgage industry, it would require a lot of patience for a homebuyer to get a good month. It even takes one, several months or over three, to find a good home with a good deal.

The scarcity of houses and homes that are below $200,000 on the market today makes Neal’s saying true because an entry-level homebuyer will experience a lot of straining in regards to such deals.

Neal has also explained why homebuyers today should tie their shoelaces and be ready to lose a few bids that they put in this mortgage industry journey. Finding a home at the market entry level is already tiresome and challenging for anyone. There has been a continuous decline in home sales and thus puts any new-entry level buyer in a position of looking for a backup plan that he or she will land on, in case of failure of the original plan.

Locking in your mortgage rates is the best way to deal with lack of supply and rising rates. A borrower who is prequalified for a loan and secures the rate has the allowance of locking in today’s current rate. The duration can be up to 120 days for some of the closed rates.

This is of great benefit to people that are looking forward to a multiple offers submission and are avoiding to encounter a hike in mortgage rates while they are in the process. Make sure that before you lock a rate, you are aware of the approximated fee. You will be lucky to have it secured with no charge depending on the length of the lock and the lender.

It is essential to work hand in hand with a real estate agent that fully understands the local market you are interested in. Not all markets have the same requirements. It is vital to have one that will be of aid to you in navigating a specific area or location.

Are you in the market to purchase a home in Rancho Santa Margarita, Coto de Caza, or Mission Viejo? Click here to talk to the Ryan Grant Team today!

How Much Does It Cost to Move?

Not too long ago, millions were spent by different families in buying and wrapping many gifts, queuing on department stores and shopping for online clothes, toys or just anything that they wished to gift themselves or their beloved ones during the holiday season. However, some families were held up wrapping boxes full of utensils, electronic devices and clothes as they waited on real estate agents to close their deals and shopped online for new school for their children.

Coming this far has undoubtedly entailed a lot of effort and commitment. After celebrating, the question that should ring in your mind is if you are ready for a mortgage application. There are several mortgage industries out here with good deals, but you should choose the one that is best for you.

Another phase that is not as easy as it looks is the moving part. This is when you transfer your items from the previous home to your new home. This practice is costly and requires a lot of arrangement. Is there anything that you can do to prevent the worrying about the moving cost and instead have more time spent in enjoying the new home with your loved ones?

There are three essential factors that determine whether a person is ready to move at the moment or wait a little bit before moving.

Do you think you need professional movers? Packing your content and even moving by yourself is cost-effective. However, in the cases of owning large, priceless, bulky items that need to be relocated, it is best for you to have professional movers instead of your neighbors and friends. The mover’s truck not parking near the location of your home can cost you additional charges. The same applies to the presence of narrow roads or weak bridges. Hauling your home items through the window and having them hoisted down by the movers will also have you spend more money to pay the movers. Other instances where you might pay more is when the movers use elevators to move the items.

There are certain items that you wish to keep for a long time, especially things that cost a fortune. There are crucial factors that you need to consider during the relocation time. This will require a lot more than expected.

Moving companies charge more for their services during peak summer months. Timing your move around September through May will help you save more money. Not moving on holidays and weekends can also save you from spending extra money to move. Moving on a Tuesday or any business day of the week is better.

Are you in the market to purchase a home in Rancho Santa Margarita, Coto de Caza, or Mission Viejo? Click here to talk to the Ryan Grant Team today!

2018 Housing and Mortgage Trends

2018 so far has been a good year as far as housing and mortgages are concerned. Experts in this field have been very creative, and there are a lot of trends in housing and mortgage that we should expect. This guide simplifies some of the most expected patterns.

Decelerating of home prices

Are you smiling already? If you are a first time home buyer, this could be the best news for you this year. It is expected that there will be a cooldown of home prices that appreciated last year. The average forecast of eight housing and mortgage industries and lender groups is an increase of 4.1% in the existing house prices throughout the nation, as compared to 2016 where it was 6.5% and almost 6% increase in 2017.

Acceleration of single-family homes

As compared to the previous years, 2016 and 2017, from the view of the economists, real estate professionals and housing and mortgage experts, it is expected to have a rise in the construction of single-family houses because of building permit and applications. An average approximation of single-family housing will rise to 8% this year. This is a rough estimate of 912,500 brand new houses.

Increase of homes to be sold

Late last year, it was a struggle for homebuyers to find houses and condos for sale. The reason for the shortage is often acute for the types of houses bought by first time home buyers. 2018 will come with hope. Most mortgage and housing industries have a prediction that the pinch from housing supply will ease in the last months of the year. There is a possibility of having a massive growth in inventory later this year.

Rise in home sales

The market is expected this year to modestly rise in re-selling existing homes. The median approximation rise of reselling existing homes is 3%. This is almost 5.6 million homes. New home sales are also expected to be on the rise to an average of 7%. This is mainly about 700,000 new single-family houses.

Rise in mortgage rates

In 2018, mortgage rates are expected to head up. Last year in November, the fixed-rate mortgage average of the 30-year was 4.07%. This shows that the interest rates are not easily predicted. The beginning of 2017 had a lot of people expecting a steady rise in the mortgage rates throughout the whole year. They only did for several weeks. The average rate of the 30-year rose in March of the year at 4.5% and then later declined slightly to below 4% during the summer, and finally, there was an increase in the fall.

Continuation of security headaches

There is a high chance that in 2018, there will be a continuation of theft instances and cases, where down payments from home buyers, especially new home buyers, is stolen by a compilation of email hacking to wire fraud. Most lenders, title companies, and escrow companies are aware of the dangers of cyber theft and do everything they can to secure these payments.

Are you in the market to purchase a home in Rancho Santa Margarita, Coto de Caza, or Mission Viejo? Click here to talk to the Ryan Grant Team today!

Debt-Proof Your Credit Cards with These Tips

The thought of credit cards oftentimes makes people get nervous. Getting credit card rewards or the sign-up offers and bonuses can be enticing. The worrying part is getting entangled in debt accumulations and the interests that come with the debt.

How about the thought of a solid debt-proofing strategy? If you wish to get credit beyond what you can comfortably afford, then this is what you need. To prepare to debt-proofing your credit, there are three necessary steps you should follow to protect yourself from having your credit card debt and sending the debtor’s interest spiraling. Read these steps below.

1. Starting an emergency/precautionary fund

You can face unexpected situations, either twists or turns. Examples include having medical debt, your car being repaired, losing your job or just any other emergency that begs you to get a loan. It is recommended to create an emergency fund to tap into rather than having to rely on the high-interest credit cards to make up for the expenses that are unexpected.

Most people are shaken and discouraged by the guidelines that require one to have at least three-six months of living expenses. From the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, even a little starter saving fund can be of benefit to you. For instance, having a saving fund of $450 is quite enough for coverage of common and fundamental emergencies like medical expenses or motor vehicle repair costs.

Emergency funds are always an ongoing gift, stress relieving and reassuring way because it gives you a feeling of not being dependent on somebody for the emergency bill payments. You should consider keeping your funds in a savings account, which will not require to pay monthly account maintenance fees.

2. Maintaining good credit to qualify for low-interest loans

It is rare to find all the expenses being covered by an emergency or precautionary fund. You should always have an option B just in case the first one does not go as expected. The plan B could involve you applying and use the 0% introductory credit card (APR). These cards can help you save some money on the interest charged for a reasonable duration of time. It will require you to have an excellent credit score that is 690 or even higher for you to qualify. Maintaining good credit will entail you being punctual and determined in making all the debt payment on time and only use up to 30% of their credit limits.

Having good credit gives a person a variety of options apart from having the time for a credit card application and waiting upon its arrival when you have an urgency to take care of.

3. When you notice your debt is growing, you need to act fast

It is wise for you to take action as soon as you come to know that the credit card interest is getting started in piling up. The quick steps that you can consider include cutting off extra expenses, having side jobs and getting another credit card (specifically the balance transfer card).
Are you in the market to purchase a home in Rancho Santa Margarita, Coto de Caza, or Mission Viejo? Click here to talk to the Ryan Grant Team today!

When is the Best Time to Buy a Home?

We all know that the best time to buy or sell their house would be spring. However, this is not necessarily true, it’s just that spring is real estate’s busiest time of the year. Real estate experts and home building technicians note that the emphasis on spring as the best buying season has its good reasons, nevertheless, there are some common enduring misconceptions that have been made about the real estate market.

Many buyers and sellers in real estate should then rethink about the seasons, and consider looking at the best season that will suit their house and area of location. Even though fall and winter are known to offer less inventory, most people who buy homes during this time are serious buyers (buying a house with a purpose). They have a very good reason to relocate. Unlike the spring buyers who might come in large numbers to check out your house, a larger percentage will just be looking. It’s better to deal with two serious buyers in winter who will come with their agents and close a deal within a few days, than to deal with more than 30 looking buyers with a very low chance of actually buying the house. Also, the other hidden advantage with winter is that the low inventory increases the amount of time spent shopping. Buying or selling a house in the spring can be challenging because the real estate spring season sometimes may not coincide with what the calendar is saying.

In the real estate market, January marks the beginning of spring. At this time, everyone seems to have a handful of activities to deal with after the holidays come to an end. The season ends around mid-May. At this time, many people tend to list and sell their homes and this trend continues throughout summer. As you move closer to the end of summer, the listings will begin to tail off. September will be a low month because the graph continues dropping for the subsequent months until you have the lowest listings in December. This doesn’t mean that in December, real estate will experience zero activities, it’s just that the inventory will be low.

Most buyers and sellers in the real estate market should not depend on your agent’s enthusiasm when experienced with a scenario of low inventory and high competition for the buyers. This will turn into a bidding war and only the smartest agent will win.

Having a moving timetable is very helpful. Obtain your own personal real estate schedule that dictates when you prefer to move in or out of the house. Start working backwards using the timetable. Calculate the average time needed from the contract negotiation to the closing a deal, depending on the region (most agents suggest the time span to be around 4 weeks). But to be on the safe side, it can take up to three months.

Look at what builders are offering you with regards to building a new home from scratch. This is very crucial for buyers who would like to move to a newly built house. The one-month time frame might be possible for a buyer who wants to purchase a spec home (quick move-in), a new house that is partially or fully built by the house builder. A longer period of time will be required for home buyers who are designing and constructing a new home from scratch and a have large volume builder. The bigger contractors offer more efficiency and shorter building time, unlike the custom/small builders who take a few more months. The custom house building process can even take many months as both the constructor and buyer look for the best model/design.

Are you in the market to purchase a home in Rancho Santa Margarita, Coto de Caza, or Mission Viejo? Click here to talk to the Ryan Grant Team today!