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Pre Qualification & Avoiding Analysis Paralysis

Although you may casually start your home search with a generic search in Google or Realtor.com the search really doesn’t start until you know what your purchasing power is.

Enter Pre-Qualification.  This is the step where you sit down with a lender to determine how much home you can actually afford and I’ll be honest with you, every first time home buyer says this is the scariest step.  Putting your financial background and information on Front Street is scary and intimidating but it doesn’t have to be.

Work with your real estate agent to find a lending partner that will fit your needs and make you feel comfortable.  This is the job of a lender.  To analyze your finances and income and help you determine what type of mortgage you will/ can qualify for.  They will also tell you how to get to where you need to be if you aren’t there yet.

Pre-qualification is the most important step in your real estate search because it saves you time.  You don’t want to be looking at homes in the $500K range if you can only afford $350K and conversely you don’t want to be limiting your search to $350K if you are approved for $500K.

In my case, the home I was purchasing would not have qualified for conventional financing. It needed a new roof, new siding, new floors (and subfloor), etc.; it was a complete mess.

As I mentioned, I’ve had the idea of homeownership on my mind for years and had been listening to a podcast called Bigger Pockets for about a year when the Pearl Street purchase opportunity fell into my lap.  If you are a real estate investor and haven’t listened to Bigger Pockets you are missing out.  Bigger Pockets is a podcast dedicated to helping real estate investors.  On the weekly podcast the hosts interview investors in various stages of the real estate investment spectrum, everyone from newbies to seasoned pros; one of the things that is so inspiring is that most all of them had to get creative to get their first deal.

So I figured out how much money I would need to purchase and renovate the house (I estimated $300K total, $240K to purchase and $60K to renovate) and pursued the avenue of hard money financing.

I thought long and hard and eventually worked up the courage to put up a post on my Facebook wall that read something like this:  “Investment opportunity available, seeking hard money financing for a home purchase.  Serious inquiries only, PM me for details.”  From this post I had 3 responses, and one of those responses worked out.  We were able to come to an agreement.

If you aren’t familiar with the concept of hard money financing it is a loan typically offered by a private investor, and secured with real estate or some sort of “real” asset.   You are charged a higher interest rate and these types of loans are often interest only and for a short term (6months, 1year, etc).  In my case we borrowed $300K for a term of 1 year @ 10% interest only.

So now you’re thinking whoa!  10%, no way.  Yes way!  Sometimes you need to do what you have to do to get your foot in the door. As long as the numbers work, who cares what the interest rate it.  The numbers worked for us so we went to closing and started what would be our most challenging project to date!

That being said, where there’s a will there is a way.  The challenge we took on almost a year ago has grown $100K in equity and is a successful long-term rental in Key West with a positive cash flow.

Stay tuned for the next post in this series, You’ve Got An Offer, Now What?!…=

Call, text, or email me (305-394-4073 or krystalthomasre@gmail.com) for additional information on how to purchase your first home.  I am a full time buyer’s agent with Preferred Properties and ready to assist you in purchasing your Florida Keys home!

 

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Hurricane Irma Aftermath: 3 Types of Mortgages You NEED To Know About

It’s been almost 3 weeks since Hurricane Irma roared into the Florida Keys leaving lots of devastation behind.  We in The Keys have a long way to go for our recovery and housing needs are certainly a top priority.  There are a couple of mortgage options that I want to be sure that people are aware of for both purchase and refinancing:  FHA 203(h), Repair Loans, and Rehab Loans.

 

FHA 203(h):

This loan program is for those that lost their home or space they rented due to Hurricane Irma.  FHA is offering a 0% down FHA Disaster purchase loan.  To qualify you will need to prove that the buyer’s prior living area is non-livable.  The seller can pay their closing costs (if written in the contract that way), or the buyer can pay those on their own.

Here’s a snapshot of the program:

FHA Mortgage Loans for Disaster Victims (Section 203(h)

Summary:
The program allows the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) to insure mortgages made by qualified lenders to victims of a major disaster who have lost their homes and are in the process of rebuilding or buying another home.

Purpose:
Through Section 203(h), the Federal Government helps victims in Presidentially designated disaster areas recover by making it easier for them to get mortgages and become homeowners or re-establish themselves as homeowners.

Type of Assistance:
Individuals are eligible for this program if their homes are located in an area that was designated by the President as a disaster area and if their homes were destroyed or damaged to such an extent that reconstruction or replacement is necessary. Insured mortgages may be used to finance the purchase or reconstruction of a one-family home that will be the principal residence of the homeowner. One to Four Family Homes.

This makes recovery from a disaster easier for homeowners:
No downpayment is required. The borrower is eligible for 100 percent financing. Closing costs and prepaid expenses must be paid by the borrower in cash or paid through premium pricing or by the seller, subject to a 6 percent limitation on seller concessions.

The Fine Print:  https://portal.hud.gov/hudportal/HUD?src=/program_offices/housing/sfh/ins/203h-dft

Repair Loans: 

This is for the buyer that wants to purchase a home that is slightly in disarray, but not repaired yet. The seller CAN put up to $15,000 in “repair escrow” reserves at closing for the repair items that the house needs. Buyers can follow through on buying and not be held up on closing until things are completed this way. It is a bit of extra paperwork of course, but it’s nice because with contractors backed up on roof work, etc. this can help closings to keep moving. The buyer can buy and seller can move forward. (This is for conventional, VA or FHA loans).

 

Rehab Loans: 

This can be used for a buyer that wants to buy a home with more significant damage (than $15,000) AND can help current homeowners to refinance that need help financing repairs. These loans are much more paper intensive and require contractor quotes, references, license and insurance info, etc. but they are wonderful tools for properties that need a lot of love right now.

Please contact me if you have any questions or would like to start your home search.  You can also visit my Recommended Lenders for additional information and to discuss your financing options.