Tag Archives: Real Estate

The FHA Streamline Refinance Program: Fast Facts

Refinance Loan The FHA Streamline Refinance loan is one of the simplest and fastest way for those with FHA mortgages to refinance their loans into the latest mortgage rates. Below are some fast facts about this refinance program:

What Exactly is an FHA Streamline Refinance Loan?

It’s a refinance program exclusive to borrowers that have existing FHA home loans. A home appraisal isn’t required and you could use your home’s original purchase price as its current value, even if isn’t exactly what it’s currently worth. A loan officer from City Creek Mortgage adds that the FHA streamline program would still refinance your property even if you owe significantly more than your current home’s value and you have an underwater mortgage.

No Home Appraisal and Verification of Credit, Income, Job

Basically, you could have bad credit, no equity in your home, without work and consequently income, but still be eligible for an FHA streamline refinance loan. But…

You Have to Have a Three-Month Perfect Payment History

This is the number one eligibility requirement imposed by the FHA. You also can’t have even one late payment in the past 12 months and your loans should be current at the closing time.

You Can’t Increase your Loan Balance to Cover the Refinance

This means that increase your FHA streamline refinance balance in hopes of covering related loan charges. Your new balance would be strictly limited to your “current principal balance plus upfront MIP or mortgage insurance premium” and you have to either have your loan officer credit in full or pay in cash all related costs such as escrow population, title charges and origination charges.

You Will Have to Pay Mortgage Insurance

You will be required to make two kinds of MIPs or mortgage insurance payments. One is the upfront payment you should pay at closing, and the other is a yearly payment divided into 12 installments that you have to pay along with your mortgage payment every month.

Summing up, the FHA streamline refinance program simplifies the refinance process by waiving typically required documentation such as job and income verification, credit and back account verification, as well as home appraisal. However, it is only available to borrowers with existing FHA home loans.


Refinancing Rules: How Do You Know if The Mortgage is for You?

home refinancing in Towson, North Laurel
Refinancing your current mortgage is an excellent strategy to lower your monthly repayments. How does it work? In essence, it replaces your current loan with a new one and reset the clock. In most cases, the new mortgage comes with lower interest, lower interest and a shorter term, or a cash-out option. Considering that most deals these days have low rates, a refi has never been more tempting.

However, everybody in Maryland knows that there’s no template that makes a successful mortgage for all. A refinance in Towson, North Laurel, or Ilchester would only work for you if you analyze the deal, along with your situation. To do that, follow these rules:

Make Sure Interest Rate Drops at Least 2%

The beauty of a refi lies in its interest savings. If the difference between your current rate and the new one is less than 2%, if wouldn’t offer significant value — especially when the loan amount is small.

Unless it’s a no-cost refinance, you would pay certain fees at closing. Whether or not you see yourself changing residences down the road, you have to recoup your out-of-pocket expenses quickly. Your breakeven period should only take a few months. Due to life’s uncertainties, your refinance may even cause you to lose money.

But then again, the 2% lower rate rule doesn’t always apply. If you need a short term to recoup your closing costs — let’s say 13 months — then you can forget about the substantial interest rate difference.

Think of How Long You Intend to Live There

No savvy borrower would refinance and then sell the property before hitting the breakeven period. Make sure you see yourself living in your home for a considerable number of years. Even if you do, it doesn’t mean you should agree for a long breakeven period. Again, life is full of uncertainties. A single event could suddenly change your long-term plans.

If you have to give up your home before your breakeven period is over, you would end up spending more money with the refi.

Don’t Forget about the Term

Other than snagging low-interest rates, shortening your loan’s term may save you precious dollars throughout your mortgage’s life. Of course, a 15-year term would involve less interest than a 30-year term. In addition, you would build equity on your property faster. If you look hard enough, you may lower your monthly repayment despite choosing a shorter term.

These rules make a great guide, but you shouldn’t put your fate on them solely. At the end of the day, doing your research and mull things over before refinancing. If you have to break any of these rules, do it if they don’t make sense for your situation.

Australia’s Regulatory Curbs May Reduce Foreign Investor Sentiment for 2017

Properties in Australia Despite expectations of a strong merger and acquisition (M&A) activity in Australia for 2017, potential limits on foreign investments may lead overseas capital to be directed elsewhere.

Investment in commercial real estate, infrastructure and energy are some of the industries that may be negatively affected by the proposed regulations. Infrastructure investors, for example, seem to want more M&A deals, even if the outlook continues to be good for the country.

A wave of takeovers among smaller companies could also contribute to advancing privatisation in the infrastructure industry, partly as a way to cut public budget deficits.

Big Deals

According to Thomson Reuters data, M&A transactions in power, infrastructure and transportation accounted for around 30 percent of deals worth US$120 billion announced to date in 2016. For 2017, the majority of Australian investors expects the year to be a good one for M&As.

However, authorities have become wary of overseas investors, particularly from China and Hong Kong, based on national security issues. One example includes the New South Wales government’s decision to sell Ausgrid for A$16.2 billion in local pension funds in October 2016, even as Chinese and Hong Kong investors fielded higher bids for the electricity network.

In terms of real estate investment, a study provided a clearer picture on the longstanding argument whether to buy or rent homes in Australia.

Buy: A Superior Choice

Dominic Crowley and Shuyun May Li’s research paper used a historical perspective to indicate that buying a house is a better choice than renting it. The analysis covered the financial differences between buying and renting over a period from 1983 to 2005 across all capital cities.

An expert from Sentinel Property Group notes that if you’re planning to buy homes and have it rented out as commercial investments, it would be another story. It’s better to consult with property firms to have a more in-depth look at how you can maximise your investment.


Awesome Things You Must Include in Your Dream House

Dream House Owning a dream house is an ultimate goal for most people around the world – and it should be. But what does a dream house look like? Here are four ideas to transform your house from ordinary to awesome:

Use glass tiles

Glass tiles can be costly, but their effect in your home is great. They create a lovely shimmer and they reflect light. Additionally, they require little or no maintenance. Glass tiles are also available in various colours. In case you are worried about the price, you can use them sparingly, for instance in your bathroom or kitchen.

How about a dual flush toilet?

Yes, they cost more than standard toilets, but dual flush toilets are more stylish and can help you save more than 5,000 gallons of water every year. A dual flush toilet in your house will not only impress your guests, but also save you money in the long run.

Have a central vacuum

Have a central vacuum cleaner to do the cleaning for you. The system consists of special pipes installed within the walls that collect dust in your house and puts it in one canister. A central vacuum is much more quiet and efficient than an ordinary vacuum.

Insulate your house

Stuff the wall and roof of your house with insulation against heat during the summer and cold when the winter comes, a builder from Cougar Homes reminds. While this takes your building costs higher, it is a good way to keep your house feeling luxurious regardless of the time of the year.

While having a dream house is a universal yearning, it may not be easy to know what exactly constitutes it. However, with the ideas above, you easily give your house a lavish feeling. While at it, remember to work with a professional.


3 Reasons to Consider Turnkey Rental Units as a Beginner

Residential Real EstateWhile investing in residential real estate holds a promise of a handsome monthly income, it requires particular management skills. In most cases, many people have neither the time nor the skills to do it right. As a result, some people venture into the sector only to have a bad experience while some prospective investors shy away. However, that should not be the case. With turnkey real estate investing, you now have the best of both worlds.

Peace of mind

Under this form of investment, a group of professional realtors buy and renovate residential houses and put them on the market. As such, they save you a considerable amount of time and ensure you have ready access to good units, explains an expert from Americas Housing Alliance, LLC. Without professional assistance, buying a house can prove tedious, especially for a beginner, as they are likely to overlook many critical issues. However, under such an arrangement, you are sure of a quality purchase.

Professional management

Other than just selling you a house, the agents also handle the management of the houses. They take care of the many aspects of the business like advertising for and vetting the potential tenants, as well as carrying out routine maintenance. Since your rental income is as good as the resident’s ability to make good on their payment, vetting a tenant is crucial to your investment. Similarly, houses in a bad shape have low occupancy rates and high tenant turnover.

You're under no obligations

As the agent looks after the smooth running of the unit, you are free to do as you please. Therefore, you can own properties in different cities and state and have them turn profitable. Lack of proper management often precedes the downfall of many rental units, especially when the owners are far away.   

Turnkey property investing allows people to invest profitably in the real estate sectors even when they do not have sufficient time and experience, or they live in a different city. 

A Veteran’s Guide to Buying a Home

Hous for sale

Hous for saleEverybody needs a property they can call home. Whether it’s a spacious manor or a small apartment, it doesn’t matter as long as they can live in peace and harmony with their loved ones. As such, many are offering property loans to make this happen.

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, Military.com and Directmortgageloans.com all agree that as a veteran or an active member of the army, air force, navy, marines or coast guard, you deserve something valuable for serving your country. This includes being eligible for armed forces or VA loans.

The Benefits of VA Loans

The usual home buying process involves a homebuyer paying at least 5% for conventional loans or 3.5% for FHA financing. For example, getting a $100,000 loan means you’ll need about $5,000 down payment. Fortunately, no down payment is necessary for VA loans.

Whether you’re a first-time homebuyer or not, there’s no need to worry about preparing a big amount. As this is government-backed, you’ll have higher opportunities to qualify for competitive housing rates. You need to be careful when making decisions about the property you’re planning to buy, though.

Buying Your Home Sweet Home
  1. Know What You Can Afford – VA loans give you an advantage, but that doesn’t change the fact that you need to pay the exact amount. Don’t forget to think of the future — your and your spouse’s income, a transition in your status, retirement, and responsibilities at home.
  1. Know Your Tax Credits and Exemptions – By using VA loans, you can reduce the amount of property taxes you need to pay each year. For instance, disabled veterans are eligible for a Disabled Veterans Property Tax Exemption.
  1. Know Your Rights to Upgrade – Properties bought with a VA loan can have renovations to suit your lifestyle. For instance, you can apply for additional financing to make your home more energy efficient. You can also apply for the Specially Adapted Housing (SAH) and Special Housing Adaptation (SHA) grant to remodel a part of your home.

As a veteran or an active member of organizations that serve the government, it’s easier to get a house you can call home. All you need is to know your rights and the correct ways to go about the buying process.