Archive for April, 2017

The Road to Recovery

April 28th, 2017

Road to RecoveryThe question comes up frequently, “How long do I need to wait after a foreclosure or a short sale to buy a home again with traditional home loan financing”? I often find that they’re surprised by the reply. I think people can either be fearful of the answer, or can be embarrassed to discuss what happened in the past. It is hard to dig up things from the past, but sometimes it is the only way to move forward.

My team and I are here to help those who have experienced setbacks in life and guide them through their second chance scenarios. Life events that may have caused a foreclosure or short sale are most generally one time occurrences. Understanding how to move forward, and the timing involved, are important things to know. Here are a few quick tips that may help a family know if now is the time to get started again, and the standard waiting time frames after the foreclosure or short sale dates:

  • FHA financing requires a 3 year passage of time between the completion date of the Foreclosure, Deed in Lieu, or short sale to the date of the new FHA case number assignment date. There can be exceptions to the rule for extenuating circumstances that were outside the borrower’s control.
  • VA Financing generally requires a 2 year passage of time after the completion of the Foreclosure, Deed in Lieu, or short sale. Shorter time frames can be allowed with proof of timely payments on subsequent credit obligations for at least 12 months.
  • Conventional loans require a 7 year passage of time after the completion date of the sheriff’s sale. Short sales have a 4 year passage of time requirement.
  • USDA or Rural Development loans require a 3 year passage of time from the completion date of the Foreclosure or Deed-in-Lieu. Short sales also follow a three year time frame for the date of the sale, with exceptions given for timely payments on all credit obligations for the 12 month period preceding the short sale.

The above are simply guidelines for you to follow. Each person will have a financial picture and corresponding options that are unique to them. I will be happy to analyze the situation and lay out the steps needed to put them back into home ownership. Don’t exclude yourself because of fear of the unknown. The time is now. Give me a call at 952-851-8962 to get started back on the road to home ownership.  – Randy Cullen, NMLS #326128


Considering gifting your child money for a home purchase? Read on….

April 21st, 2017

gift fundsWedding and graduation season is upon us in Minnesota, and along with it the giving season from parents and grandparents, aunts and uncles to the newly married or graduating kids. Newly married couples may now be in the market to purchase their own home and we are ready to help them. We have had the pleasure of working with so many of our clients’ children and relatives over the years, and we truly appreciate the trust you have in the team and our knowledge of the products and programs that can help make that home purchase a reality.

Gift funds from relatives are a common source of funds which can be applied to down payment or closing costs for many first time buyers. This is an excellent way to help the kids purchase their first home. There are a few things you will need to know if you are considering gifting your child money for a home purchase:

  • Pay attention to maximum gifting amounts allowed by the IRS for any given tax year. These change annually, and you need to be aware that you can only gift a certain amount before tax consequences enter in. When in doubt, check it out with a tax professional. Here are current Gift Tax Guidelines from the IRS website.
  • While there are different loan types, and each has different guidelines associated with verifying gift funds, it is not advised to give or deposit money into your child’s account prior to speaking to us first. Let’s make sure we handle this correctly from the start! Read the rest of this entry »

Why do people believe that getting a mortgage to purchase a home is a difficult process?

April 14th, 2017

choice-keysI think that watching the news, talking around the water cooler at work or possibly listening to a friend describe a less than perfect experience could be the culprit.  What helps to solve this age old problem?   Work with an expert in mortgage lending that will evaluate the situation, anticipate potential difficulties, prepare for what’s next in the process and direct through to the finish line.

Mortgage pre-approval is one of those few times when you are required to provide a great deal of personal information.  Unlike buying a car or applying for a credit card where you provide your annual salary and housing expense, our process goes much, much deeper.  It is also important to work with a lender that knows the right questions to ask, sets the expectations, provides the roadmap and gathers the correct amount of documentation needed.  Every client will need a mortgage solution specific to them. And the process should not be full of surprises or stress.

First Time Buyers need someone to match up their wants to buy with their ability to buy.  Income, asset and credit analysis are needed to prepare their budget and formulate a timeline.   Not everyone is ready immediately but we can work a plan for credit repair and/or savings to get them on track. Read the rest of this entry »

April 7th, 2017

RenovationThe Spring Parade of Homes and Remodelers Showcase finished up last weekend – your head is swimming with ideas and you are asking yourself, where do I go from here?  Good question!  Now is the time to sort out whether you are ready to buy a new home, or stay where you are and remodel your current one. There are a number of home loan options available for all of these situations, and I will be happy to walk you through the options.

Today let’s look at the home loan options that work best for remodeling your current home.  You may be wondering about a refinance loan to use equity you already have to fund a renovation project. You may need a construction loan which will work from the “as completed” value of your project, allowing you to use the value of the completed project to improve your equity position. Or you may need a construction renovation loan, which allows for a slimmer equity position. Your individual situation will dictate what home loan option is best for you based upon the scope of your project. Here are a few things specific to your project that I will need to know:

  1. Have you already engaged with a general contractor or design build firm? I will be happy to recommend a professional that we work with.
  2. If you are already in process with a firm, have you received bids for the remodeling work to be completed? What is the estimated cost?
  3. Do you have an idea of what the property will be worth once the remodeling is done?
  4. Have you determined the scope of the project you want to undertake? Working from a defined plan is very important.
  5. Are you moving walls or making other structural changes?
  6. How much money do you have available to invest into the project you want to undertake?

Your best home loan option will be a cash-out refinance, a construction renovation loan, or the renovation products current available through FHA or Fannie Mae.  Are you ready to start the conversation about your remodeling loan options?  Remember that we want to do business the way that is most convenient for you. Come in to the office at 3001 Metro Drive in Bloomington, call me at 952-851-8962, or click on the Apply Now link ( ) – we are always open on the web!  I hope to hear from you soon.  – Randy Cullen, NMLS #326128