Top Ten Reasons Why
You Need an Amortization Schedule

1. Verify the interest factor used in your mortgage.

The interest factor is a number that is used at the end of each payment period to perform an interest calculation of what you owe in interest. The interest factor is also used to calculate the effective interest rate. The effective interest rate is the only way of comparing a mortgage to another financial vehicle, such as a GIC or mutual fund.

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What are closing cost?

When you are buying a house you need to take closing costs into consideration to budget the amount of money you need to have on hand. But what are closing costs? Most of the costs are generated as a result of applying for you loan. 

Here is a short list with some typical costs :

 (DO NOT QUOTE ME ON COSTS)

CREDIT REPORT(S), 11.00
APPRAISAL(S), 455.00
FLOOD LIFE OF LOAN FEE, 19.00
TAX SERVICE FEE – – FHA 70.00
TITLE INS-LENDER COVERAGE, 50.00
TITLE INS-OWNERS COVERAGE, 540.80
ENDORSEMENT TO TITLE-ALL, 140.00
CLOSING/ESCROW/SETTLEMENT, 700.00
RECORDING FEE – MRTG/DOT, 59.00
RECORDING FEE – DEED, 15.00
CITY/CNTY TAX STAMP-MRTG, 5.00
STATE TAX STAMPS-MRTG/DOT, 113.90
STATE TAX STAMP – DEED, 174.00
RECORDING FEE -ASSIGNMENT, 15.00
COURIER/MSNGR-3RD PARTY, 100.00
FHA UPFRONT MIP,  1,958.95

When To Shred

With more in the news about securing your personal information, you will find this article helpful.

When Should You Shred Your Financial Documents?

Nov 5th, 2013 
by tjp0594.

 

When Should You Shred Your Financial Documents?How do you know what happens to your documents when you put a piece of paper in the trash? It can be difficult to know who is seeing it and what they are doing with it. It isn’t very common to burn trash anymore; therefore you can be sure that your paper garbage or recycling is likely to pass through several hands on its way to a landfill or recycling center.

StepByStep, Your Documents Can Get Pilfered

Every step that occurs once the trash leaves your control has risk that someone will find personal information they can use to cause you harm. One way to safeguard personal information is to shred it before it goes into the trash.

Shredding devices are available at most office supply stores. Cross-cut shredders provide more security than strip-cut shredders. You may want to consider one depending on your level of concern. Shredding services or shredding events are often offered by financial institutions or community organizations.

Properly destroying sensitive personal information is a key step in helping to keep your identity secure. You really should shred any documents containing personal information, but be cautious not to shred financial documents that you may still need.

To Shred Or Not To Shred, That Is The Question…Or Maybe Its When To Shred

The Better Business Bureau offers these guidelines on when to shred:

  • Deposit, ATM, credit, and debit card receipts can be shredded once the transaction appears on your statement
  • Canceled checks, credit card statements, and bank statements with no long-term significance can go through the shredder after one year; if used to support tax returns, keep them for seven years 
  • Monthly bill statements can be shredded one year after receiving, to allow for year-to-year bill comparisons (another good way to monitor your budget!) 
  • Credit card contracts and loan agreements should be saved for as long as the account is active
  • Pay stubs can be shredded yearly after reconciling with your W-2 or other tax forms
  • Documentation of investment purchases or sales should be kept for as long as you own the investment and then seven years after that; shred monthly investment account statements annually after reconciling with a year-end statement
  • Always shred documents with Social Security numbers, birth dates, PIN numbers or passwords, financial information, contracts or letters with signatures, pre-approved credit card applications, medical and dental bills, travel itineraries, and used airline tickets.

Housing Equity 2013

On December 20, 2013, in Economist Commentaries, by Ken Fears, Manager, Regional Economics and Housing Finance Policy
 

With the end of 2013 closing in, it is time to take stock of the impact from the strong 2013 housing market. Home price growth was robust in 2013 compared to 2012 and is currently forecast by NAR Research to finish the year 11.3% stronger. This improvement is important for the market as it has created equity for homeowners, boosted buyer confidence, and pulled many underwater homeowners into positive equity positions.

A borrower who purchased a median priced home[1] in 2004 and held it for nine years, the current median tenure of a homeowner according to NAR’s annual Profile of HomeBuyers and Sellers, would have $28,114 in equity from the combined benefit of price appreciation and paying down the mortgage principle. A borrower who bought a median price home in 2012 would have more than $23,000 in equity.

It is important to note that borrowers who purchased in 2006 and 2007 at the peak of the market and thus those who experienced the sharpest price declines are now nearly in positive equity. A person who purchased in 2006 and owned through 2012 (not pictured) would have been underwater by roughly $28,200, but by 2013 this gap was down to $4,700. Continued price growth in 2014 will help to further ameliorate this gap. Homeowners who purchased since 2007 are in positive equity.

Even through the visitudes of the great recession, for most homeowners housing remains an effective vehicle for building equity and wealth.

[1] With a 10% downpayment at the prevailing average 30-year fixed mortgage rate

The FHA Home Loan Program: A great program for many first time home buyers or buyers without perfect credit or limited funds for down payment.
•  640 minimum credit score required
•  Low down payment
•  No maximum income limitations
•  Buyer can receive gifted funds for down payment
•  Non-occupant co-mortgagors are allowed
•  Fixed-Rate and Fixed-Period ARM options
•  Term options available
The Military Home Loan Program (VA): Active, retired and spouses of military personnel may qualify for this program.
•  Loan amount based on program guidelines
•  Eligible applicants may qualify for no down payment
•  No monthly mortgage insurance required
•  Ability to pay the loan off early without penalty
The USDA Rural Development Home Loan Program: For buyers interested in purchasing a home in a rural area as determined by the USDA.
•  No down payment
•  Low monthly mortgage insurance
•  Low closing costs
•  No minimum contributions from buyer
•  No first-time homebuyer requirement
•  Gift funds allowed
The Jumbo Home Loan Program: Offers the most flexibility for those looking to finance a larger real estate loan.
•  Loan amount up to $2,000,000
•  Single family, owner occupied, second homes and approved condos
•  Both fixed and adjustable rate loans available
•  60 day lock policy with up to a 30 day extension
The 80/10/10 Home Loan Program: An 80/10/10 means that you finance 80% of the purchase price with a 1st mortgage, 10% of the purchase price with a low fixed rate 2nd mortgage, and make a 10% down payment.
•  Low down payment
•  Loans up to $625,000 on the 1st mortgage and $78,125 on the 2nd mortgage
•  Save money with no Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI)
•  Flexible term options available
•  Exceptional fixed rate 2nd mortgage
The Native American Home Loan Program: Reserved for members of federally recognized tribes.
•  Low down payment
•  No monthly mortgage insurance
•  For purchase of an existing home
The Lock and Build Program: The best free lock option for those who want to build a new home.
•  Buyer can “lock-in” their fixed interest rate for up to 270 days
•  One “rate drop” allowed to the current market rate within 45 days of the lock expiration or when the home is completed, whichever comes first.
•  Applies to 10-30 year conforming fixed rate mortgages and 30 and 15 year fixed rate FHA and VA loans.

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Do you really want to go to Zillow or Trulia to determine the value of your house? Trust me when I say a computer cannot place an accurate value on a home. Contact me to get a complete market analysis.

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The energy-efficient home upgrades tax credit is scheduled to expire on December 31st this year.  If you need to make improvements to your home, this could be an incentive to do it before the end of the year.  If you have already made qualifying improvements without realizing the tax credit is available, it may seem like a holiday gift you weren’t expecting.

The equipment must be installed to qualify for the credit which can put you under a time crunch.  Heating and cooling systems, insulation, windows, doors, skylights, water heaters and home weatherization may qualify.

The Residential Energy Efficiency Tax Credit has been available for purchases since January 1, 2011.  The tax credit is 10% of up to $5,000 of qualifying improvements which would make a maximum of $500 tax credit.

The cumulative maximum amount of tax credit that can be claimed by a taxpayer in the different years this law has been in effect is $500.  If it has been claimed in previous years, the taxpayer is not eligible for this credit for additional new purchases.

For more information, see energy.gov or talk to your tax professional.

CHIMNEY CHECK

During the winter months, many people use fireplaces, wood stoves and other fuel-fired appliances to heat their homes. Heating fires account for 36 percent of residential fires in rural areas each year. These fires are often due to creosote buildup in chimneys and stovepipes. The U.S. Fire Administration encourages these steps and more to keep your home fires burning safely:

  • Have your chimney/wood stove inspected and cleaned yearly by a certified chimney specialist
  • Leave glass doors open while burning a fire to prevent creosote buildup
  • Install stovepipe thermometers to help monitor flue temperatures

Do you know how to properly build and maintain a fire to heat your home? Watch the video series hosted by the National Fire Academy Deputy Superintendent to learn fire safety techniques. Taking a few fire safety actions will reduce the number of home fires and injuries to make your holiday season disaster free!

Get a list of homes that meets your criteria!!If you think about it, a slower market is good for you a buyer. The houses on the market now are waiting for you. The current selection is great! However, if you are thinking  about buying, start the process now while the market is slow. Once the market starts moving faster your decisions will have to be made quickly.

Even now, trust me when I tell you the best houses do still sell quickly. Are you ready to get into the process? Do not hesitate to start gathering the information you need.

WASHINGTON (November 25, 2013)
Although conditions were mixed across the country, pending home sales continued to move lower in October, marking the fifth consecutive monthly decline, according to the National Association of Realtors.

October Pending Home Sales Down Again, but Expected to Level Out

The Pending Home Sales Index,* a forward-looking indicator based on contract signings, slipped 0.6 percent to 102.1 in October from an upwardly revised 102.7 in September, and is 1.6 percent below October 2012 when it was 103.8. The index is at the lowest level since December 2012 when it was 101.3; the data reflect contracts but not closings.

Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, said weaker activity was expected. The government shutdown in the first half of last month sidelined some potential buyers. In a survey, 17 percent of Realtors reported delays in October, mostly from waiting for IRS income verification for mortgage approval, he said.

We could rebound a bit from this level, but still face the headwinds of limited inventory and falling affordability conditions. Job creation and a slight dialing down from current stringent mortgage underwriting standards going into 2014 can help offset the headwind factors, Yun said.

Modest gains in the Northeast and Midwest were offset by declines in the South and West. Yun notes there was a greater impact in the high-cost region of the West, where tight inventory also is holding back contract offers. He expects generally flat home sales going into 2014, but continued growth in home prices from limited inventory conditions.

The PHSI in the Northeast rose 2.8 percent to 85.8 in October, and is 8.1 percent above a year ago. In the Midwest the index increased 1.2 percent to 104.1 in October, and is 3.2 percent higher than October 2012. Pending home sales in the South slipped 0.8 percent to an index of 114.5 in October, and are 1.5 percent below a year ago. The index in the West fell 4.1 percent in October to 93.3, and is 12.1 percent lower than October 2012.

Yun said there are concerns heading into 2014. New mortgage rules in January could delay the approval process, and another government shutdown would harm both housing and the economy, he said.

Annual existing-home sales should be nearly 10 percent higher this year than in 2012, totaling just above 5.1 million, with a comparable volume expected in 2014. The national median existing-home price for 2013 is projected to be 11 percent above last year, and then cool to a 5.0 to 5.5 percent increase in 2014.

# # #

*The Pending Home Sales Index is a leading indicator for the housing sector, based on pending sales of existing homes. A sale is listed as pending when the contract has been signed but the transaction has not closed, though the sale usually is finalized within one or two months of signing.

The index is based on a large national sample, typically representing about 20 percent of transactions for existing-home sales. In developing the model for the index, it was demonstrated that the level of monthly sales-contract activity parallels the level of closed existing-home sales in the following two months.

An index of 100 is equal to the average level of contract activity during 2001, which was the first year to be examined. By coincidence, the volume of existing-home sales in 2001 fell within the range of 5.0 to 5.5 million, which is considered normal for the current U.S. population.

NOTE:  Existing-home sales for November will be reported December 19 and the next Pending Home Sales Index will be on December 30; release times are 10:00 a.m. EST.

Information about NAR is available at www.realtor.org.