Saturday, March 28, 2009

Want To Know What The Maximum FHA Loan Limits Are For Your County?

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FHA underwriting guidelines are a bit more relaxed than conventional loans. Additionally, you only need to put down 3.5% of the purchase price to obtain a FHA loan - (96.7% loan to value).
I can refer you to one of several reputable mortgage lender if you would like more specific information on FHA or any other type of loan.

Friday, March 27, 2009

How To Improve Your FICA Credit Score

Your credit score has become more important to you than ever before. Not only are lenders becoming more selective of whom they will loan money to, they are now setting the interest rate they charge various customers based upon credit scores. Only borrowers with a 740 credit score or higher are given the lender’s lowest (best) interest rate. If your credit score is below 740 your lender will require you to pay a higher interest rate.

So, what is your credit score based on? It is based on many different aspects of you as a consumer and user of credit. Your spending history and past use history of credit is also considered when establishing your credit score. Credit bureaus look at what type of credit you use, the length of time your accounts have been open, and of course, if you pay your bills on time.

Maintaining a strong score is even more important to you since credit scores never rises as quickly as they fall. It is suggested that you check your credit score at least 6 to12 months. Most credit agencies will let you do it for free once a year. Be sure to read every line of your report and request in writing they delete incorrect information. You can check your credit by contacting:

If you do need to bring your credit score up a bit, here are a few ideas to consider:

* Pay all bills on time – Consider paying as many of your credit lines such as your house payment, car or student loans through an automatic monthly deduction from your checking account. It is one sure way these credit lines will always have a good history.

* Don’t open credit cards or any new lines of credit that you don’t need. The longer your existing credit history is (the more mature each credit line is) the better your score will be.
* Be absolutely sure that your monthly balance remains below 30% of credit card or line of credit limits. Your credit score will suffer if it looks like you need credit as compared to your ability to borrow.
* Don’t open new credit cards during the holidays to get the merchant’s discount. Each new credit line can also reduce your score.
* If you have old credit lines that are more than five years old, do not bring them current. The older the delinquency the less effect it has on your score. If you start paying the really old lines of credit off, you instantly bring all of that old history into the current calculations of your credit score.
* Consult a licensed mortgage credit specialist before doing anything. This is part of their daily job and they not only can assist you, they are current to the day of what will help and what will hurt your FICA credit score.
* You can have multiple mortgage lenders check your credit WITHIN a two week period and it will only count as a single inquiry. If one or more lenders check your score outside the two week window, each additional one will be counted against you. (Be careful when contacting the on line lenders such as Lending Tree and Ditech. They each will authorize as many as 100 credit inquiries to appear against your credit and frequently they will not all be run within the two week window.)
* Get rid of credit card balances or try to decrease them as fast as you can. Remember the 30% rule above.
* Remember: closing an account does not make it disappear from your credit history. Credit agencies sort of think you should always be responsible for your actions.

Monday, March 23, 2009

MLS Statstics for all of Metro Denver

FEBRUARY METRO DENVER MLS STATS are right hear. Find the up and down trends. How many days it is taking to sell a home by area of Denver. Discover the percentage of change by areas of metro Denver for average sales price, days on market, year-to-date and year-to-year as well as REO inventory changes.

The Rise and Fall of Denver’s Housing Prices

Do you ever feel like the rise and fall of home prices resembles the stock market? It can seem nerve-wracking when you are looking to buy a home while the news reports contain information about falling prices. You sure don’t want to buy when home prices are dropping.

The good news is, buying a home in the Denver real estate market is not like buying and selling stocks in the very volatile stock market. Although home prices do rise and fall, you will fair far better with home ownership than returns available within the stock market. Home owners tend to own their homes for very long periods of time and can easily weather the small drop of their home values in difficult economic times. More importantly, the Denver housing market not only did not take the big hit other major market have, Denver’s housing market is now improving. New home construction starts showed a significant unexpected increase just last month. – The first sign of improvement for the building industry in over ten months.

Additionally, 30 year fixed rate mortgages are available below 5%; the lowest they have been in the past 30 years.

So why does the real estate market fluctuate? The answer is as simple as basic Economics 101 -Supply and demand. The quality of jobs contributes into the equation of determining home prices too. If there are too many homes on the market as compared to the number of buyers in the market, the prices will drop because not as many people are interested in buying a home. If there are more buyers in an area with too few of sellers, the prices will rise because more people are competing for the same home. Today in Denver, we are actually seeing a "Seller's Market" with multiple offers on many homes below the $200,000 price point.

The real estate market’s rises and falls are hard to predict. America’s current economy has created more unemployment and layoffs and sent real estate into a slow ("Buyer's Market") cycle over the past 18 months. And needless to say, home prices have decreased. The positive aspect of this is that homes across the nation, including throughout the Denver market, are “ON SALE” and it is the best time to buy a home and move up to a nicer home that we have seen in many years.
Although home inventory is declining, you still have an excessive amount of inventory to choose from in all price ranges above $200,000 throughout Denver. Good Deals and Great Deals are still out there for those who are willing to invest some time to lean their local market. If you are considering purchasing a home above the $800,000 price range, fantastic opportunities are still available.

Let me explain the different aspects which affect the real estate market’s ups and downs in the areas that interest you the most. I would be happy to also share with you specific market trends, appreciation and depreciation percentages by neighborhood and show you which communities are most likely to show appreciation within the next several months.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Are You Trying To Decide If You Should Buy A Home?

We buy things everyday. The majority of our purchases are small and frequent enough and so familiar to us that little additional knowledge is necessary to make a sound purchase decision. But, then there are those larger purchases – like your next home that requires some additional attention to details and specific knowledge to insure you make a wise decision. In other words, buying a home should not be just another “buy decision”. This type of purchase should be made after taking several steps as well as gaining more technical knowledge about the home buying process.

Most people think they need to take time to research to know they did not over pay for the home. But, many people don’t even consider how to find the best neighborhood for their money.

Just this week I am assisting a first time home buyer (who is smart enough to take advantage of the $8,000 government 1st time home buyer tax credit that expires 12/31/09) find a home. Interestingly, he has selected one home that is in a “short sale” and appears to be well under priced compared to other homes we have seen. But, after reviewing recent comparables within that specific neighborhood, it actually appears that the home is over priced. It is especially interesting that the home also has five offers on it that the two previous lenders have not gotten around to accepting. But, that is another story for another blog.

Here are some pointers and things you should think about when you decide to purchase a home. Remember, what you do not know, can easily get you into trouble.
* Shop around for mortgages and even a knowledgeable and very experienced Realtor to start your process.

* Next on my list would be to have your real estate broker determine what neighborhoods are currently holding their own or are now showing signs of appreciation. Needless to say, it would not be a good idea to buy a home in an area that was still showing signs of downward price movement.

* Once you have shopped for the best mortgage that fits your current financial abilities and the lender’s underwriting needs the best, determine which lender has the most competitive rates for that loan program. - Remember, you can bargain with your mortgage broker as well as the seller of the home.

* Don’t save money by skipping on the home inspection before buying – even if it is a new home. This mistake can cost you thousands of dollars in the future. (I drive this point home to my clients by suggesting that they probably already have enough problems in their lives without going out and buying the undisclosed problems of some seller.)

* Know what type of house you are looking for, what type of neighborhood, and how much you are willing to spend before you start looking. This one step can save you days of time and tons of frustration. Some of my buyer pay more attention to this detail than others. What level of frustration are you willing to pass on?

* The more knowledgeable you are about the home buying process the smoother your purchase will likely proceed.

The decision to buy a home is a big one! It is important to research and familiarize yourself with the aspects of buying a home. I have 31 years of real estate experience within the metro Denver real estate market. Perhaps I can at least visit with you to discuss your specific questions and to perhaps suggest a few additional points you might want to consider to help you decide if now is the right time for you to be buying a home. As always, there are absolutely no obligations on your part.

Here are a couple helpful links to get you started:

- Buying A Home

- 5 Things To Know Before You Buy a Home