Important Questions to Ask your Mortgage Lender

Katy Home Sellers: Help Your Home Appraise, Part Two

This article is compliments of the Chris Bonin Loan Team.

Following are pertinent  questions you should ask your lender once you receive your approval letter. Leave nothing to chance! It is imperative that you interact with you mortgage lender on a regular basis.

For a referral to outstanding lenders, feel free to call me at 713-818-2404 or email me at juliefuelling@sbcglobal,net. I have sold Houston/Cypress and Katy real estate for over 24 yeas; experience does matter!

- See more at: http://fuellingkaty.com/?p=5287&preview=true#sthash.QqTFF0Qx.dpuf

Following are pertinent  questions you should ask your lender once you receive your approval letter. Leave nothing to chance! It is imperative that you interact with you mortgage lender on a regular basis.

For a referral to outstanding lenders, feel free to call me at 713-818-2404 or email me at juliefuelling@sbcglobal,net. I have sold Houston/Cypress and Katy real estate for over 24 yeas; experience does matter!

- See more at: http://fuellingkaty.com/?p=5287&preview=true#sthash.QqTFF0Qx.dpuf

  • What type of loan do you recommend for me?
  • Have you pulled my credit score? What is it?
  • Do you have enough of my pay stubs to proceed?
  • Have I provided my tax returns?
  • Do I have enough funds to close? How much will I need to bring to closing?
  • Are there any items on my credit report, funds to close  or income that may be a potential problem.
  • When will you provide me with a fee worksheet detailing my monthly payment and interest rate?
  • How long does it take your company to underwrite a file?
  • How long does it take your company to appraise the home?
  • Do you feel we will make the closing date on time as agreed?
  • Is there anything else I need to know?

It is imperative that you keep in close contact with your mortgage lender! For recommendations to several outstanding lenders, feel free to contact me at 713-818-2404 or [email protected]

I have sold Katy/Cypress and Houston real estate for over 24 years. Experience does matter!

 

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Houston Home Sales Blossom in March

 

HOUSTON — (April 16, 2013) — It’s hard to tell that the spring home buying season has begun because real estate transactions throughout Greater Houston never slowed during the traditionally quieter winter months. The addition of nearly 119,000 jobs over the past 12 months and the resulting need for housing, combined with continued low interest rates, helped make March Houston’s 22nd consecutive month of positive home sales.

According to the latest monthly data prepared by the Houston Association of REALTORS® (HAR), home sales jumped 17.0 percent compared to last March. Housing inventory, which had been at a 13-year low of 3.6 months during the first two months of the year, shrank slightly in March to 3.5 months.

The lower supply of homes and added demand sent prices higher. The median price of a single-family home—the figure at which half the homes sold for more and half for less—rose 6.5 percent to $172,000, an all-time record high for Houston. The average price rose 4.6 percent year-over-year to $236,195, the second highest level ever.

Contracts closed on 5,779 single-family homes. That is the largest one-month sales volume since August 2012. All housing segments experienced gains except for those priced under $80,000. Homes selling between $80,000 and $250,000 registered the greatest sales volume increase. Read the rest of this entry »

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Is Now a Good Time to Buy a House in Texas?

Buying a house is a big step! The right time to take this leap depends on your financial and personal situation as well as your goals. If you are considering buying a house now, here are some strong reasons why the timing could be right.

  • Housing prices in Texas have been steadily rising at a moderate pace for many years, even while other states have experienced wild price fluctuations.
  • Interest rates are at or near record lows. Even small reductions in the interest rate can sigificantly boost the purchase price you can afford when buying a home.
  • Texas has one of the most affordable housing markets compared to household income, according to the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University.
  • Our state’s economy is strong and diverse, and the population is expected to continue growing steadily. These factors all point to continued health in the housin market.

As a Texas Realtor, I can show you how our current housing-market conditions factor in to your goal of buying a home. You can count on me to put your interests first whil I assist you during this exciting process.

If you would like to discuss touring tour Katy, Cypress or Houston homes or selling your home, contact me at 713-818-2404 or [email protected]  I have sold local real estate for over 23 years. Experience does matter!

 

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The Houston Real Estate Market Ends 2012 With a Bang

[youtube width="350" height="283"]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y6yW-ZiJ1Is&feature=player_embedded[/youtube]

Sales of homes throughout the greater Houston area never let up in 2012, driven by a combination of strong local jobs numbers and historically low interest rates. December marked the 19th straight month that sales were in the black, and it was another month in which housing inventory shrunk and prices rose. In fact, both median and average home prices achieved historic highs as the year came to a close.

According to the latest monthly data prepared by the Houston Association of REALTORS® (HAR), December single-family home sales increased 11.4 percent versus December 2011. Contracts closed on 5,039 homes, driving inventory down to 3.7 months, the lowest level since December 1999.

All housing segments saw gains in December except for the low end of the market—those homes priced at $80,000 and below. Homes priced from $500,000 and above registered the highest sales volume and accounted for another hike in prices.

“2012 was a phenomenal year for the Houston housing market, thanks to the addition of more than 85,000 new jobs locally as well as continued low interest rates,” said HAR Chairman Danny Frank with Prudential Anderson Properties. “Market conditions have created excellent Read the rest of this entry »

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Mortgage Rates Remain Low Spurring Katy Home Sales

Local mortgage rates mostly hovered near their record lows this week, fueling more momentum for Katy h0me purchases.

The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage, the most popular mortgage option among homebuyers, averaged 3.37 percent this week, just above its record low of 3.36 percent, Freddie Mac reports in its weekly mortgage market survey. However, 15-year fixed-rate mortgages, popular among refinancers, dipped to a new low this week, averaging 2.66 percent. 

The following are the national averages in mortgage rates for the week ending Oct. 18, according to Freddie Mac:

  • 30-year fixed-rate mortgages: averaged 3.37 percent, with an average 0.7 point, down from last week’s 3.39 percent average. A year ago, 30-year rates averaged 4.11 percent. 
  • 15-year fixed-rate mortgages: averaged a new record low of 2.66 percent, with an average 0.6 point, own from last week’s 2.70 percent average. A year ago, 15-year rates averaged 3.38 percent. 
  • 5-year adjustable-rate mortgages: averaged 2.75 percent, with an average 0.6 point, rising from last week’s 2.73 percent average. Last year at this time, 5-year ARMs averaged 3.01 percent. 
  • 1-year ARMs: averaged 2.60 percent, with an average 0.4 point, rising from last week’s 2.59 percent average. A year ago, 1-year ARMs averaged 2.94 percent. 

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Katy Real Estate Appraisals: Getting Them Right

By National Association of Realtors 2012 Vice President Gary Thomas

While the real estate market is certainly started on the road to recovery, there are still a few hurdles that are preventing it from gathering steam.  These include tight credit and uncertainty about the rules and regulations governing the mortgage market.

A recently released NAR survey found that issues with appraisals are also holding back home sales.

Appraisals are a vital part of the real estate transaction.  Most appraisers work hard to provide accurate valuations that comply with the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice.

However, appraisals generally lag market conditions and some changes to the appraisal process have caused difficulty.  These include use of out-of-area evaluators, inappropriate comparisons and excessive lender demands.  Also, before the beginning of last year, some lenders’ loan Read the rest of this entry »

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Pricey Katy Rentals Reflect Tight Market

Nationwide, more than 20 million households spent over 30 percent of their income last year on rent. In fact, more than half of those renters spent at least half their income on housing, “severely burdening” their finances. This information is from Realtor Magazine and USA Today.

Demand has surged for rental homes as many prior homeowners have lost their homes to short sales and foreclosures. Credit repair is a lengthy process. The other factor is the very tight lending environment which precludes many families from realizing the American dream of home ownership.

In the past few years, median rents have soared almost 20%. In Katy, one is hard pressed to find a reasonable property for less than $900 a month. Properties on the southside of I-10 are next to impossible to find below $1100 per month. With a shortage in homes for lease, landlords are requiring reasonable credit scores, good rental history and steady employment. Criminal background checks are also done on a prospective tenant. It is not unusual for a new rental property to receive multiple applications shortly after it goes on the market.

According to HAR MLS data, leases accounted for 35% of Houston area residential real estate transactions last year. In 2011, rentals accounted for a little bit above 50% of all real estate Read the rest of this entry »

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Katy Homeowners: Is This a Good Time to Sell Your House?

Compliments of the Texas Association of Realtors

There are many reasons people consider selling a home. Whether you are thinking of upgrading, downsizing, or simply making a change,  you may be wondering if the timing is right. Here are several reasons why this may be a good time to put your house on the market.

  • Housing prices in Katy have been steadily rising at a moderate pace for many years, even while other communities have experienced price fluctuations. Chances are that your home is worth more than even a few years ago.
  • Record-low interest rates motivate buyers to act on their desire to purchase a home and give them more purchasing power.
  • Unlike several other states that experienced wild price fluctuations and skyrocketing foreclosure rates, Katy does not have a glut of unsold homes. This is even more pronounced in Katy than some other Texas locations. According to the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M, the statewide supply of homes is at a level that leads to a balanced market.
  • Individuals and businesses continue to move to Houston at an unprecedented rate. This ongoing population feeds a strong demand for housing.

As a Texas Realtor, specializing in West Houston and Katy, I can show you how our current housing-market conditions factor in to your goal of selling your home. You can count on me to put your interests first while I assist you during this exciting process. I have sold real estate for over 23 years. Give me a call at 713-818-2404 or email me at [email protected]. Experience does count!

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Houston Veterans: The Wonderful World of VA Home Loans, Part Three

 

I hope you enjoyed Parts One and Two of this series on VA Home Loans and have found it helpful. For those who have served and sacrificed for our great country, this is a terrific, grossly under-utilized, program and one you should not overlook in your pursuit of the American Dream: Home Ownership.

In today’s article, we will cover a variety of points to sum up what makes a property a good candidate for a VA Home Loan and other details. I hope to tie up the loose ends. Again, when you begin to explore VA Loans, contact me for a fabulous lender referral; it is imperative that you work with an expert who specializes in VA funding. My number is 713-818-2404.

What are the VA minimum property requirements? The VA Appraiser is looking to ensure that the house is “safe, sound and sanitary”. If there are defective conditions such as cracks in the floor or walls that could indicate foundation issues, a structural engineering report will be mandatory.

All utilities must be on and the systems functioning properly. This covers electricity, gas and water. The heating system must be in place and functional; this is not negotiable.

If there is a well or septic system, both will require testing and inspection. Not all inspectors cover these systems, you will need to inquire when interviewing inspectors as these are systems that usually exist primarily in rural areas.

Any active termites must be treated. Conditions “conducive to” termites must be corrected. High voltage power lines cannot impact the structure. Read the rest of this entry »

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Houston Veterans: The Wonderful World of VA Home Loans, Part Two

Picking up where we left off in Part One of this series on VA loans, let’s discuss VA Loan Program lending limits. Considering the Houston home market, the limit is very high: $417,000 in borrowed funds. This is with a $0 down payment! VA jumbo loans are an option up to $1,000,000 offering a better rate than conventional jumbo loans and lower down payment requirements than conventional jumbo loans.

The VA Loan Program is meant to encourage the veteran to live in the home they purchase through their entitlement; therefore, the property must be owner occupied. Investment property is not eligible. All condominiums must be either VA or FHA approved. Unimproved land and mixed-use property, that is, a property with both residential and business occupancy, are not allowed. It is all but impossible to obtain construction financing or manufactured housing financing with a VA loan. (FYI: Manufactured housing loans are difficult to find in the conventional lending market, too.)

Real estate agents, like me, play a key role in helping the veteran maximize their VA Home Loan benefits. My duties include finding the right home, negotiating the terms of the contract, and evaluating the property for VA minimum property requirements. Your Realtor should be able to recommend a great lender who specializes in VA loans as this is crucial in the process, contact me for such a referral. I know a wonderful lender whose business is based on helping the veteran achieve their home ownership goals! Read the rest of this entry »

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