I hope you enjoyed the holiday season and are ready for 2014! As your mortgage lender, I want to let you know what is possible today and what changes are coming that will affect our ability to borrow money.
Since the crash in 2008, mortgage guidelines have been restricted. Pulling cash out for home improvements or debt consolidation now requires more equity than before. So many people have not even tried to do it.
However, there is a government program that takes a different approach and can help you pull cash out to improve your home and increase its value, and you don’t need a ton of equity. Here’s how it works: You get an itemized bid from a licensed contractor, we give that to the appraiser, and the appraiser appraises the home as if the improvements have already been made. Then we base our loan amount on that higher value. This allows you to do a remodel without a ton of equity to start with. And you can get up to $35,000, half at closing and the other half upon completion.
And guess what! You can do it on a purchase too! Find a house that needs some work, put 3.5% down, and get a chunk of money to make improvements when you close (owner occupied only). New appliances, flooring, paint, roof, etc. etc. So you don’t have to find the perfect house, just find the perfect location and fix the house. Pretty cool.
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has reduced the maximum percentage of your gross income that can go to debt from 45% to 43% on most loans. This lessens how much you’ll be able to qualify for, but it’s really pretty sensible. Also, the Good Faith Estimate has been revamped and will be much easier to understand now. Yeah!
Purchasing a home
Down payments are required for most loans today (3.5% minimum), with exception of USDA loans for “rural housing.” Those have NO down payment and you’d be surprised what areas of Utah are considered “rural.” Check out the map at http://eligibility.sc.egov.usda.gov. Click on “Single Family Housing.” Some of the qualified rural areas that are surprising in Utah are Heber City, Eagle Mountain, Brigham City, and Tooele.
Furthermore, there are down payment grants available depending on the city you want to buy in. Right now Midvale and Murray have grants available, but there are many more cities. Basically, with a will there is a way! If you know of anyone that wants to buy a house in the future, get me involved EARLY, so I can diagnose any problems so we can have time to fix them. Everyone that is renting should get a free analysis from me to put them on track to buy. I’m good at fixing credit. Call me.
I’ve spent the last 5 years becoming an expert on reverse mortgages and networking with hospitals, assisted living facilities, home health and home care agencies, elder law attorneys, funeral services etc. And I’ve come away with a great knowledge of the services out there to help seniors and great people that offer them. I hope you’ll contact me with any questions relating to senior care because I’m very well-connected and can give you good direction.
Reverse mortgages are very misunderstood, so I produced a video this summer called “Reverse Mortgage Exposed,” and made it available on my reverse mortgage website www.LegendReverseMortgage.com. I hope you’ll educate yourself on how these work by watching the video because seniors should be able to use the equity in their home to live a more fulfilling life. I love working with seniors and they love working with me! Seniors can live a better life and even provide better legacies to their children by utilizing reverse mortgages effectively. Find out how!
I’m going to reward referrals this year with gift certificates. So if you like free stuff, keep your eyes and ears open when people mention these things above, and email or call me with their contact info. I’ve never advertised, so referrals are the only way my business works. Understand that working with an owner/broker like me is the best advantage you can get when getting a mortgage. Why? Because my wholesale rates beat the banks and credit unions. And because I’m the owner, I have control over the fees. And because I do the work myself, there is no middleman to pay. It’s an amazing combination. But most importantly, you’ll never find someone like me with 20 years’ experience still working at a bank.