FHA Proposed Changes

July 27th, 2010 mullinaxteam Posted in Buyers, Finances, Financing Options, Real Estate Information, Sellers Comments Off on FHA Proposed Changes

FHA Proposed Changes

Currently FHA has an open comment period on considering changing some of the basic parameters for it’s mortgage loans.  For one, they are considering reducing the amount seller’s contribute to closing costs (seller’s concession) to 3% which would mean buyers would need to come up with the remaining monetary amount of these funds.  Additionally, enforcing credit score minimums of 500 to 580 depending on the loan to value ratio is also being considered.  The comment period runs through August 12th.  Any changes will likely not go into effect until October of 2010.

We’ll keep you posted on any changes we hear along the way.

Price vs. Value-Post by Rena Rogers

July 12th, 2010 mullinaxteam Posted in Buyers, Financing Options, First-time home-buyer, Real Estate Tips and Advice Comments Off on Price vs. Value-Post by Rena Rogers

Warren Buffett once said “price is what you pay…..value is what you get.”  When it comes to real estate transactions, this is quite true.  For example, when exploring options and choosing a mortgage lender, a borrower may decide to give his business to the one with the lowest interest rate. The lender could be a bank. Often this is an online lender.  The online lender touts the lowest rate available and the ease with which they can process and approve a home loan.  So, the borrower applies with the online lender and the process begins.  Of course, there is no face to face meeting.  Everything is done online.  The closest thing to a relationship between the borrower and lender is a phone conversation, which is brief.  Now, the online lender may indeed have the lowest rate and may be able to complete the transaction.  But what happens if problems occur during the transaction?  When I say problems, I also mean turbulence…..rough spots, such as a low appraisal. Online lenders simply contract with an appraisal company they find near the area where the home is located.  The online lender has no relationship established with the appraisal company, and they use the appraisal company because perhaps they are the least expensive and are licensed to do residential appraisals.  This may work fine for the online lender, but what about their client, the borrower? Using just any appraiser can spell trouble for a real estate loan, believe me.  When there is no expectation of future business from the online lender, an appraiser is far more likely to be overly cautious and prudent in his assessment of value.  Furthermore, he is likely to cite repairs to be made even if they are minor and tedious.  How do I know this happens?  Twenty plus years of mortgage lending experience, that is how.  It happens all the time and a borrower who decides he needs to go with the lender with the lowest rate is not always making a wise decision.  So, OK, he is getting a low price, but what about the value?  The online lender is not interested in future business or the reputation of how they conduct business.  They are in it for the transaction, and that is all.  They do not attend the closing and if an appraisal comes in low, an online lender is not at all likely to pitch in and work through the problem.  Many times over the years I have intervened on my clients’ behalf when turbulence occurred, not just for my borrower, but also for my realtor partners and even the seller. Intervention on my part can be several things, but often it is my persuading underwriting to work with me and approve a loan.  Sometimes I help my realtor partners or even a borrower with money when funds are short and we need to close. This kind of participation and help is something I provide because I value my business and most of all my reputation.  A solid reputable business is not easily acquired.  It is earned, and is something I cherish.

     An online lender or just any lender with a low rate helping out like this?  Friends, it won’t happen, rest assured.  As I stated at the beginning, price and value are two very different things.  So what if a lender is .125 or .25 percent lower on rate?  When push comes to shove if they cannot deliver or if they leave parties to a transaction twisting in the wind, what do you have?  Nothing, that’s what, or at least some very regretful folks who should have been wiser in their choice of lender.

Post contributed by Rena Rogers with AmericaHomeKey (770) 387-4504 ext. 208 www.renarogers.net

What is HAFA?

April 21st, 2010 mullinaxteam Posted in Buyers, Financing Options, First-time home-buyer, Loan Modification, Real Estate News, Sellers, Short Sale Comments Off on What is HAFA?

What is HAFA?  Check out this video that explains HAFA, Short Sales and Deeds-in-Lieu.

As a Certified Distressed Property Expert (CDPE) I can help you determine if this is the path for you.  Give me a call today at 770-606-0054 or check out www.avoidbankforeclosurenow.com for more details on distressed properties.

USDA Funding Shortfall May Lead to Changes

April 16th, 2010 mullinaxteam Posted in Buyers, Financing Options, First-time home-buyer, Real Estate News Comments Off on USDA Funding Shortfall May Lead to Changes

USDA Funding Shortfall May Lead to Changes

For many looking to purchase a home, the government’s USDA program (100% financing) is the preferred option.  However the money for the program is falling short.

 Because of the funding shortfall, the USDA program is receiving additional scrutiny because of its  no downpayment provision and 2% guarantee fee.  For example, we hear that Congress is considering raising the guarantee fee from 2% to 3.5%.  We will keep you apprised of the progress of any legislation.

Post Contributed by Shane Siniard with WR Starkey Mortgage

FHA Mortgage Insurance Premium Changes

April 2nd, 2010 mullinaxteam Posted in Buyers, Finances, Financing Options, Real Estate Comments Off on FHA Mortgage Insurance Premium Changes

FHA Mortgage Insurance Premium Changes

April 5th marks the day that the government is increasing the FHA upfront mortgage insurance premium to 2.25%.   

For an average $150,000 loan, this means another $750 for the mortgage insurance premium!

Additionally, we’ve learned that now FHA has a legislative change pending in Congress that would provide FHA with the authority to increase the annual premium to as high as 1.55%.  This rate will be based on your credit score, so that is another great reason to work on improving your score today.

Once enacted, FHA has said that they will lower the upfront premium to approximately 1% and increase the annual premium to about .9%. 

The estimated timeline for the change in the annual premium is set to be passed in the next 3-6 months and implemented later this year.  Keep on the lookout for more information regarding this ever-changing plan. 

 Post contributed by Shane Siniard with WR Starkey Mortgage

FHA Increases Upfront Mortgage Insurance Premiums

February 12th, 2010 mullinaxteam Posted in Buyers, Financing Options Comments Off on FHA Increases Upfront Mortgage Insurance Premiums

FHA Increases Upfront Mortgage Insurance Premiums

For those of you interested in purchasing a home in the near future with an FHA loan, you should be aware that FHA has made another change.  Here are the details:

  • Effective with case numbers assigned on or after April 5, 2010, FHA has increased the Upfront Mortgage Insurace Premiums (“UFMIP”) for most FHA programs to 2.25%
  • Purchase money and full credit qualifying refinance transactions have increased from 1.75% to 2.25%.
  • Streamline refinances, with or without an appraisal, have increased from 1.50% to 2.25%

There are no changes to the annual Mortgage Insurance Premium (“MIP”) at this time.  The annual premiums, which are remitted on a monthly basis, are a factor of the loan term and loan-to-value ratio.  For now, these factors continue to be:

                                            Term > 15 Years          Term < 15 Years

Loan to Value  > 95%               0.55%                               0.25%

Loan to Value  < 95%               0.50%                               None

What this means to you as a potential home-buyer is that all loans initiated on or after April 5, 2010 will incur a .5% increase in Mortgage Insurance Premiums.  For example, on a $100,000 loan this will be an increase of $500 for the premium at closing.  Be sure to keep this in mind if you’re thinking of purchasing in the near future.

This information provided by Shane Siniard with WR Starkey Mortgage 125 Town Park Dr. NW, Ste. 200 Kennesaw, GA 30144

Get a Mortgage Before Searching for Real Estate

February 3rd, 2010 No Name Posted in Buyers, Financing Options, First-time home-buyer, Real Estate Information Comments Off on Get a Mortgage Before Searching for Real Estate

House for sale

Finding a mortgage before looking for real estate is a smart idea

The first step in purchasing real estate should be getting a mortgage pre-approval.  Getting a mortgage, or rather getting approved for a mortgage, lets a buyer know what he can expect to afford when looking at property.  It is important for a potential buyer to know how to secure a mortgage.

There are many places to look for a mortgage these days.  There are banks, mortgage brokers, finance companies, credit unions and private lenders.  Often experienced Realtors have mortgage brokers or banks that they work with often and using a lender that has a good reputation is often a safe bet.

When looking for a mortgage have a good idea how much you can afford to pay each month.  Look into the past, present and future to determine this.  It is of the utmost importance not to bite off more than you can chew when it comes to your finances and the affordability of a home that you might buy.

When applying for a loan a person must provide documentation of income, expenses, and assets.  Have your financial statements and tax returns ready and the process will be much easier.

Having a mortgage ready to go before finding a property will make the entire process smoother and give you, the buyer, a better chance to shine when presenting an offer on a home.  Financing is harder to get these days and being prepared is a wise step in the home buying process.

For more information on mortgages click here.

New Guidelines for Short Sales

February 1st, 2010 mullinaxteam Posted in Financing Options, Foreclosure, Real Estate News, Sellers, Short Sale Comments Off on New Guidelines for Short Sales

New Guidelines for Short Sales-Northwest Georgia Real Estate

On April 5, 2010, a new program will go into effect to make it easier for a homeowner going through the process of a short sale.  The Treasury Department is urging participating servicers to follow through with short sales for homeowners that are facing foreclosure because they don’t qualify for a reworked mortgage.

To help this program along, the government is offering an incentive payment of $1000 per completed short sale.  Servicers will also get $1000 for each deed-in-lieu of foreclosure.    Subordinate lien holders will be paid to release their claims on defaulted properties, up to $3000 of the short sale proceeds as long as the primary investor agrees to share the earning, and for this concession, the investor will also receive up to $1000 from the Treasury.

For those second lien holders who want more than the $3000 cap to relinquish their stakes, the Treasury said they could pursue a short sale outside of the federal program.  Homeowners who agree to a short sale or deed-in-lieu of foreclosure will get up to $1500 to help with relocation, and must be “fully released” from any future liability, according to the guidelines.  In addition to solidifying incentive payments, the newly published procedures bar servicers from forcing short sale facilitating agents and brokerages to reduce their commssions as a prerequisite for approving the transaction.

So, in a nutshell, the treasury is now stepping in and putting money towards the negotiating of the first and second mortgages and providing incentives for the investors to accept and close on short sales in a more timely manner.  This will help prevent foreclosures and provide homeowners with some cash as closing.

As you can see short sales are a complicated process and we are here to help.  We have experienc in doing them and see how they are a viable solution to avoid foreclosure.  Call us if we can help answer any questions about the process.  Also, you can check out http://avoidbankforeclosurenow.com to read more about this process.

Etowah Ridge-Cartersville Neighborhood Spotlight

December 30th, 2009 mullinaxteam Posted in Buyers, Financing Options, First-time home-buyer Comments Off on Etowah Ridge-Cartersville Neighborhood Spotlight

Etowah Ridge Subdivision in Cartersville

Located on the edge of Euharlee and Cartersville lies the gently rolling hills that set the stage for Etowah Ridge Subdivision.  With pretty wooded lots, this neighborhood has a cozy feel that you could call home.  Etowah Ridge homes are USDA approved for 100% financing.  There is nothing cookie cutter about this neighborhood in this beautiful setting. 

Currently, we have three homes listed in Etowah Ridge.

30 Etowah Lane is priced to sell at 139,900 with 4 bedrooms and 2 baths

37 Etowah Ridge Dr. (3 bedrooms, 2 bath) has recently been reduced to 119,900 and has a great fenced in back yard

22 Vinnings Lane (3 bedroom, 2 1/2 bath) features a detached garage/workshop and a great fenced in back-yard for 139,900

Key Points Of Interest On Obama’s Foreclosure-Prevention Plan

March 26th, 2009 mullinaxteam Posted in Financing Options, Foreclosure, Freddie Mac, Loan Modification, Real Estate Tips and Advice Comments Off on Key Points Of Interest On Obama’s Foreclosure-Prevention Plan

Chesky Krumlov



Some key points on President Obama’s Foreclosure-Prevention Plan:


  • Loan terms may be modified by reducing payments for distressed borrowers
  • Refinancing for those current on payments, but have little or no equity in their home
  • Plan starts right away and is strictly for primary residences that are not vacant or condemned
  • Call your mortgage lender for help to see if you qualify
  • There are no fees for this type of loan modification 
  • To be eligible, your loan must be owned or guaranteed by a government-backed mortgage company such as Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac
  • Modification plan are set to end on December 31, 2012
  • Loans can be modified one time only

More information is available at http://www.financialstability.gov/docs/counselor_qa.pdf or contact our office at 770.606.0054.