Showing posts from April, 2016

Temporary Buy Down

There is an infrequently-used mortgage program available that could be the solution to a buyer's or seller's problem. A temporary buydown is fixed rate mortgage that the seller has prepaid interest at closing to lower the payments for a number of years.  The borrower must qualify at the note rate but gets the benefit of lower payments for the early years. A 2/1 is a common buydown that the first year's payment is calculated at 2% lower than the note rate and the second year's payment is calculated at 1% lower than the note rate.  The third through thirtieth years' payments are the note rate. Let's set the scene.  A buyer is using their available cash for down payment and closing costs to get into the home.  They'd like to put their own touches on the home when they move in but may not be able to for a year or two since most of their cash was used. In this example, a $250,000 home is purchased with a 3.5% down payment and a 4% mortgage for

Tips for Buying Rentals

Buying rental property can be an excellent decision and the better informed you are, the more likely you'll have favorable results.  The following suggestions can help you with your decisions. Real estate is a long term investment affected by supply, demand and the economy.  It isn't an investment that is easily converted to cash.  The costs to acquire and dispose of real estate are sizable and need to be spread over years to minimize their effects on the rate of return. Invest in average price homes or slightly below average price to appeal to the broadest market not only when you are renting but later on when you sell it.  The average price is relative to the market you are in and those specific prices. Lower-priced homes will rent for more relative to higher-priced homes.  There is an inverse relationship between rent as a percentage of the price.  As the price increases, the rent as a percentage of the price decreases.  For example, a $200,000 home might re

How Earnest Are You?

"If I tell you it's going to rain, you can put the buckets on the porch." If you grew up in the south, you may have heard this expression when a person is testifying to the veracity of his word. If you know a person and/or their reputation, you know whether you can trust their word or not. However, with a stranger such as a buyer, the seller doesn't know whether they'll live up to the terms of the contract or not. Buyers submit earnest money along with a contract to demonstrate their commitment to the terms of the offer. The more earnest money that the buyer deposits indicates to the seller a higher level of commitment to the contract. Except for stated contingencies in the sales contract, if the buyer fails to close on the sale, the earnest money may be forfeited. Significant earnest money makes the seller feel more secure that the contract will close. There certainly are a lot of things that can dictate how much earnest money is appropriate. Local

Components of a Credit Score

Credit scores are used by lenders to measure the credit worthiness of borrowers. While there are several different companies that offer scores, the FICO, Fair Isaacson Corporation, is the model that is used most often. There are five key components that determine the overall score or rating. The most emphasis, 35% of the overall score, is placed on payment history which reflects whether the borrower paid on time and as agreed by the terms of the credit. Being late, missing payments or going into default would have adverse effects on this part of the score. The second largest component, 30%, is credit utilization or the amount owed in relation to amount available. A person might have a $4,000 outstanding balance on available credit of $20,000. This would be a 20% ratio and would be considered acceptable. Owing $15,000 on $20,000 of available credit would be a 75% ratio and would negatively affect this part of the credit score. FICO says people with the best scores average aro