Just Sold!

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91-1217 Kauiki Street, Ewa Beach    $355,000 fee simple

A home is where your heart is.  This home had the biggest hearts lovingly caring for it for more than 40 years.  Although the Seller was emotional in saying goodbye, I know that a new adventure and a new “home” awaits him at his next destination!  Good luck, Choogie!



Interest Rates are Unreal

I have lenders send me daily rates.  I can’t believe how low some of these rates are!  Back in 2007, rates were considered GREAT at 6.25%, then in 2009, 5% was unheard of, then in the end of 2010, 4% was phenomenal.  Now, I see interest rates at 3.625% with 1.875 points for a 30 year fixed, and a 3.625% with .875 points for a FHA/VA loan.  Wow!  It is a great time to buy!  Homes on O’ahu are available!

Waiting for the Lender to Evict You?

My first question is why?  Some homeowners are staying in their homes during the long, foreclosure process until someone forces them out.  They may be holding on to the thought of possibly saving their home, but in reality, saving it from the big, overbearing bank is inevitable.

Don’t despair! There is hope.  Hope that you may be able to start over in the near future, but a foreclosure will no doubtingly make things 100 times more difficult!  If you are in trouble, it’s OK to ask for help.  Ask plenty of questions so that you understand all the consequences of your current situation.

A professional real estate agent who either specializes only in short sales and lender sales, or perhaps an agent who is a general practitioner with Short Sale education and experience can help answer the questions to help determine if a short sale is for you.  In most cases, a short sale is better than waiting for the bank to take your home away.

If you need to inquire, don’t hesitate to pick up your phone or email me…. advice is always free!

Being careful on purchases when buying real estate

On O’ahu, our median home price is almost $600,000.  Not a whole lot of people would be able to buy a home all in cash.  The majority of us need the help of lenders to aid us in buying a home.  Over the last few years, the lending guidelines have tightened up quite a bit since the housing bubble.  What does that exactly mean?  Simply put, it makes it harder for the average person to apply for and get approved for a loan.

If you have been approved for mortgage and bought a home in recent months, congratulations! There is no doubt buying a home during these tough economic times is an accomplishment.  For many first time homebuyers out there, here is one tip that is often overlooked but can kill transaction indefinitely.  Don’t use your credit during your home buying process.

Let’s say you have been approved for a loan, and put in an offer for a home that was accepted.  You are super excited about buying your new home and you run to your local superstore to shop for appliances… STOP! Don’t do it!  I know it is exciting and you want to outfit your new home.  However, if you’re not careful how you use your credit during this time, your mortgage lender may pull your credit report again and your credit score may have dropped or perhaps now your debt-to-income ratio is now off and disqualifies you for a loan.  These ratios and guidelines are not discriminatory…. they are guidelines and the people reviewing loan applications follow them.  Unless you have all the cash, this is the way it’s going to be until guidelines loosen up.  So far as what the loan officers are telling me… it’s not going to ease up anytime soon.

Your safest bet is to refrain from ANY purchases made with credit, including vehicles.  If you’re relocating and in need of a vehicle and was planning on purchasing one, check with your loan officer and consult with them on when it may be a good time to buy it.  In some cases, even making large cash purchases can change things in your loan file. In any case it is only a short frame of time, perhaps 45 to 60 days that you may have to hold back until your can make your purchases again.  Buying a home, for most people, is the largest asset they will purchase in their lifetime.  Don’t sabotage your dream and wait to spend until after the transaction closes and you have the keys to your home!

Unemployment Special Forbearance

Forbearance in mortgage terms means when a delinquent homeowner makes an agreement with the lender to stop foreclosure proceedings during a specific period of time until the borrower can catch up with their payments.  In July, the Obama Administration announced that they made changes to the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) rules on forbearance.  Effective August 1, 2011, service providers are required to extend the forbearance period for unemployed homeowners from four months to a minimum of 12 months.

The Making Home Affordable (MHA) program reports that 60 percent of homeowners who have lost their jobs were unemployed for at least three months, the time limit of their current forbearance period, but realistically, homeowners have been unemployed for around six months. The extension will allow homeowners to have a greater chance of finding employment before losing their home in a foreclosure.

Although this is not the answer to living in your home without making house payments, it is good news for homeowners who are already struggling working in a tough economy and perhaps are weary of the financial stability of their current employer. If it results in a job loss, at least you will be informed that you will have some time to recover and find other employment before ultimately losing your home to a foreclosure.

There are so many options to a FORECLOSURE.  Please consult with someone before the process begins.  This post is just one of many ways to save your home.  Learn about your options and find credible people that you can work with.

For more information, visit the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) website and to learn the facts about this special forbearance.  What do you think?  Please leave a comment for me or give me a call at 808-551-5702.