FHA Trims Waiting Period for Borrowers Who Experienced Foreclosure

 

The Federal Housing Administration (FHA) is allowing borrowers who went through a bankruptcy, foreclosure, deed-in-lieu, or short sale to reenter the market in as little as 12 months, according to a mortgage letter released Friday.

 

Borrowers who experienced a foreclosure must wait at least three years before getting a chance to get approved for an FHA loan, but with the new guideline, certain borrowers who lost their home as a result of an economic hardship may be considered even earlier.

 

For borrowers who went through a recession-related financial event, FHA stated it realizes “their credit histories may not fully reflect their true ability or propensity to repay a mortgage.”

 

In order to be eligible for the more lenient approval process, provided documents must show “certain credit impairments” were from loss of employment or loss of income that was beyond the borrower’s control. The lender also needs to verify the income loss was at least 20 percent for a period lasting for at least six months.

 

Additionally, borrowers must demonstrate they have fully recovered from the event that caused the hardship and complete housing counseling.

 

According to the letter, recovery from an economic event involves reestablishing “satisfactory credit” for at least 12 months. Criteria for satisfactory credit include 12 months of good payment history on payments such as a mortgage, rent, or credit account.

 

The new guidance is for case numbers assigned on or after August 15, 2013, and is effective through September 30

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Sacramento Homes Prices on the Rise

Sacramento is suffering from lack of inventory for sale.  Due to the lack of available homes, the home prices in December, 2012 are on the rise.

Figures released by DataQuick show that the median home prices in Sacramento County rose 18% in December compared to December, 2011 from $155,000 to $183,000.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Home Equity back on the Rise

Sacramento area homes on the increase, don’t miss this great article:
sacbee.com
Sacramento’s uptick in housing aids underwater owners

Published Saturday, Nov. 24, 2012

After the housing bubble burst, tens of thousands of people across the Sacramento region were trapped in homes worth less than they owed, with experts predicting it could be many years before they recovered their lost equity.

In the past six months, however, rising prices have substantially reduced negative equity in the region, real estate tracking firm Zillow said in a recent report.

Today, nearly 5,000 underwater homeowners are nearing the point where their home values exceed their loan balances.

If prices continue to rise next year, as Zillow and others predict, an increasing number of area residents will be able to sell their homes without harming their credit scores through short sales, in which lenders take less than what is owed.

Some have already taken advantage of their newfound freedom.

“It was a miracle from God,” said Leisha Aitken, who cleared her loan, paid her real estate agent and walked away with money to rent an apartment after she sold her 2,100-square-foot home in Folsom’s Empire Ranch in September.

Aitken, a pharmacist, found herself out of work earlier this year and struggled with her $2,800 monthly mortgage payment. She was sure she would have to do a short sale and put a major strike on her credit rating.

Then she met with agent Gillian Long, of Intero Real Estate Services’ Folsom Lake office. The two decided to test the fast-changing market and push the asking price above $400,000 – enough to pay off Aitken’s $373,000 loan balance and cover commissions and moving expenses. The house sold quickly for $400,000, or about $191 a square foot, higher than comparable sales in recent months.

“Gillian said if I had called her a couple of months earlier, I would have had to do a short sale,” said Aitken, who has a new job and is hoping to buy a condominium. “It was a good feeling to sell that house and get out. I never want another mortgage payment like that again.”

A major factor in Aitken’s favor was that she never sank too far underwater on her home loan. Even at the bottom of the market in January she owed only about 10 percent more than her home was worth. Thousands of others are in similar situations.

Almost half of area homeowners – nearly 168,000 households – remain upside-down on their mortgages to varying degrees. The total amount of negative equity in the Sacramento region is nearly $17 billion, according to Zillow.

Some homeowners are much closer to breaking the surface than others. About 53,000 homeowners across the region are underwater by 20 percent or less, Zillow estimates. About 9,000 owe less than 10 percent more than their homes are worth. And about half that number, 4,770, owe less than 5 percent more than their homes’ value.

That last group is “extremely close to being in positive equity territory,” said Zillow spokeswoman Camille Salama.

The Seattle-based firm, among the more conservative of forecasters, predicts home prices in the Sacramento region will increase by about 6 percent through the third quarter of 2013.

“As home values continue to rise in the Sacramento area there will be homeowners who will switch from being underwater to above water,” said Svenja Gudell, Zillow senior economist.

When that happens, she said, a larger number of traditional home sales could come on the market.

In recent years, foreclosures and short sales have made up the bulk of the market, and investors have been the major buyers. Having families buy and sell homes in the traditional manner would help restore a sense of normalcy to the market, she said.

And those who have positive equity will start spending again on home upgrades, she said. “It has to do with confidence and seeing return on investment,” she said.

Economist Jeffrey Michael, director of the University of the Pacific’s Business Forecasting Center in Stockton, said he agrees that “the prospect of those folks (who are only slightly underwater) getting above water in the next year or two is pretty good.” But he said he was skeptical they would help drive the housing market with new purchases.

Those who are newly above water will “be able to sell their house,” he said, but they “won’t have a ton of equity.” Only those who can bring other sources of cash to the table can buy another house, he said.

Local real estate professionals take a more optimistic view.

Pat Shea, president of Lyon Real Estate in Sacramento, said he thinks there is pent-up demand from people who have been in their homes for years and need more room to accommodate growing families or less room because their children have grown up.

Many will be eager to sell, and even if they can manage only a small down payment, will look to take advantage of today’s low prices and interest rates.

“You know there are some people itching to move up, down or sideways,” he said. “When they can do it, they will.”

© Copyright The Sacramento Bee. All rights reserved.

 

6W24ABOVEWATER_Jump

 

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Six Mistakes Investors Make

Investing in real estate right now can be surprisingly profitable as rents are on the increase in many areas due to the number of people losing their homes to foreclosures or doing a Short Sale of their homes. 

Remember that owning rental property is time consuming, expensive, challenging, and many investors lose money. 

Mistake 1:  Confusing a cheap deal for a good deal – You can buy homes at a low price but that doesn’t mean you can rent them out.  They usually aren’t any more appealing to rents than they are to buyers.  Also less-desirable school districts may hamper renting your property. 

Mistake 2:  Overlooking key costs – Knowing potential rent is not enough.  You should also factor in closing costs 3-6%, costs to fix up the place and maintain it, and your holding costs.

 Mistake 3:  Forgetting that time is money – You lose money when your home is empty, whether you are trying to rent it, in between tenants or painting.  You may be better off accepting a lower rent than waiting for a higher-paying tenant. 

Mistake 4:  Assuming you will sit back and watch the rent roll in – You are a rent collector and sometimes tenants lose their jobs and stop paying rent.  Evicting them can take several weeks without rental income coming in. 

Mistake 5:  Underestimating repair costs – Carpet in rentals typically must be replaced every five years and you may have to repaint after every tenant.  The National Association of Residential Property Managers suggests setting aside six months of expenses so that you will have funds if a major repair is needed. 

Mistake 6:  Assuming that owning a rental is the same as owning a home – You might put up with flaws in a home that a renter won’t tolerate.  A property manager can handle most headaches, but you should expect to pay up to a month of rent for finding and screening tenants and up to 10% of the monthly rent for management fees.

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Six Mistakes Investors Make

Investing in real estate right now can be surprisingly profitable as rents are on the increase in many areas due to the number of people losing their homes to foreclosures or doing a Short Sale of their homes. 

Remember that owning rental property is time consuming, expensive, challenging, and many investors lose money. 

Mistake 1:  Confusing a cheap deal for a good deal – You can buy homes at a low price but that doesn’t mean you can rent them out.  They usually aren’t any more appealing to rents than they are to buyers.  Also less-desirable school districts may hamper renting your property. 

Mistake 2:  Overlooking key costs – Knowing potential rent is not enough.  You should also factor in closing costs 3-6%, costs to fix up the place and maintain it, and your holding costs. 

Mistake 3:  Forgetting that time is money – You lose money when your home is empty, whether you are trying to rent it, in between tenants or painting.  You may be better off accepting a lower rent than waiting for a higher-paying tenant. 

Mistake 4:  Assuming you will sit back and watch the rent roll in – You are a rent collector and sometimes tenants lose their jobs and stop paying rent.  Evicting them can take several weeks without rental income coming in. 

Mistake 5:  Underestimating repair costs – Carpet in rentals typically must be replaced every five years and you may have to repaint after every tenant.  The National Association of Residential Property Managers suggests setting aside six months of expenses so that you will have funds if a major repair is needed. 

Mistake 6:  Assuming that owning a rental is the same as owning a home – You might put up with flaws in a home that a renter won’t tolerate.  A property manager can handle most headaches, but you should expect to pay up to a month of rent for finding and screening tenants and up to 10% of the monthly rent for management fees.

 

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Home Buyers Changing

Keys.
Image by Bohman via Flickr

With married couples comprising less than 50% of all US households, home buyers are changing.  A growing number of non-family households, according to a report from John Burns Real Estate Consulting are on the increase.  Non-family households where no one is related to the house holder have increased nearly five times in the last 50 years from 7.9 to 39.2 million. 

A lot of non-family households are looking at SMALL HOMES: preferring a home under 2500 sf with three or fewer bedrooms.  LOCATION:  the proximity to work and entertainment over home size and they are less interested in media rooms and pools.

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