Archive for April, 2013

More people need to know the benefits of using a VA loan.

April 22nd, 2013
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My husband got a call from one of our sons yesterday telling him that he had gotten an offer from a mortgage lender that sounded too good to be true. Bill asked me if I had ever heard of such a thing. The lender would take his 5% rate to 3.5% with little or no closing costs. Earlier in the day, I had locked one of our other sons into the very same program. It’s called a VA Interest Rate Reduction Refinance. The rate on a VA loan is low enough right now, that with the premium being given on a 3.5% rate, all closing costs can be covered with no out of pocket costs to the Veteran. Additionally, the VA has no mortgage insurance and when refinancing charges a nominal guarantee fee of only .5% which can be added to the loan. When a Veteran uses his eligibility to purchase, the guarantee fee is significantly higher. Like the man on the radio says, “With rates this low, it’s the biggest no brainer in the history of mankind.” I just assumed everyone knew.

More people need to know the benefits of using a VA loan.

I can’t turn around at Christmas without running into an active Veteran in my own family. My nephew just got back from a tour of duty in Afghanistan with the Army, my son Mike is a 1st Sargeant in the Army National Guard and has served multiple tours of duty overseas, my son Joel served in Desert Storm with the Marines, my step son Barry has had so many tours of duty in the Middle East that I’ve lost count. My parents were Marines, my step Dad was a Navy commander, and my granddaughter is dating a Marine. You may have a relative or friend in the military as well. With over 44,000 Veterans in Minnesota, I thought it might be worth sharing other benefits of using a VA loan. Read the rest of this entry »

There are very real issues associated with ingesting paint chips or breathing dust from lead based paint.

April 12th, 2013
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It pays to start early… this week, we had lead-based paint repairs called on 3 appraisals.  It’s too late to take care of it inexpensively once the appraiser sees it.  After that, lead-based paint abatement procedures must be followed and neither the buyer nor the seller can do the work.  So, whether you’re listing a home or representing the buyer, it really pays to take a closer look.

Here’s when it matters…when a home was built prior to 1978 and the buyer is getting a FHA, VA, or USDA financing, the appraiser is required to check carefully for chipping and peeling paint on any surface inside or outside of the home.  In conjunction with down payment assistance from Minnesota Housing’s Home Help program, there is an additional inspection requirement for health and safety issues and lead based paint is a big component of this inspection.

There are very real issues associated with ingesting paint chips or breathing dust from lead based paint.

According to the EPA, the biggest impact is on kids, 6 years and younger, who have a tendency to handle everything and put things in their mouths. Read the rest of this entry »

Regular or Supersize it?

April 5th, 2013
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Regular or Supersize it?   When you’re looking at the menu of mortgage options, choosing the one that works for you depends on just how much you have in your wallet at the time.

There’s a lot of confusing jargon in the mortgage industry related to just what’s possible depending on the price of the home you want to buy and the size of mortgage you need.   In mortgage speak, we call the options conforming conventional loans ($417,000 or less) and Jumbo loans (loans above $417,000).

Here is just a breakdown of what’s on the menu:

  • You can purchase an existing property or build new when you have as little as 5% to invest but the price of your project needs to stay at $438,900 or less.  This gives you a conforming conventional mortgage product with one payment based on a $417,000 loan. Read the rest of this entry »