Monday, September 20, 2010

Mortgage Change Deadline Approaches

Would be home buyers take note, changes are coming to all new FHA mortgages, as of October 4th, 2010 all new case # files will be effected by the new rules, regulations and guidelines. There are several points that will be important for buyers:
1)The upfront MIP (mortgage insurance premium) will likely increase;
2) Buyers with FICO credit scores "over 580" buyers will still be able to put down only 3.5% (of the sales price) but with FICO scores "under 580" buyers will be required to put down at least 10%;
3) Closing cost assistance will be capped at 3% now instead of the 6% it has been.
*Of course there are other rules and I have included a link to it (click on the title) for more information. These rules are designed (I think) to bring back responsible home buying and lending. If you have been thinking about getting into a new home, now is the time! Even with all the changes it is still a great time to own a home. Interest rates have risen slightly but are still incredibly low and the selection of homes is still excellent. Contact a trusted Realtor.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Dodging the (Hurricane) Bullet

The Hampton Roads/Tidewater area was recently fortunate to have only felt a brush with hurricane "Earl" as it made it's way up the East coast. This time we were spared but what about next time? Hurricane season runs until Novemeber, are you covered in the event of a direct hit or flooding? What does flood insurance cover? what does your homeowners policy cover? Homeowners insurance seems to cover damages from the top of the house down (not floods) and inside, but flood covers water damage from the ground up and the associated damages.{Ask a flood isurance agent for more info.} I'm not here to sell you anything, I will only say that logic tells me, if you live close to a water source that is capable of rising in levels or in a low lying area, you should have flood insurance. All of Hampton Roads/Tidewater has water capable of rising in inclement weather and many of the neighborhoods are in low lying areas that can not drain away rainfall if it accumulates too fast. Even though it is not "required" by mortgage companies or the government's 100 year flood maps, I feel flood insurance is just one more way I can live in this beautiful coastal community and be assured that I am covered and responsible for my risk of flood. I choose to live on the coast but I can also choose to be covered in the event of disaster. Be sure what your homeowners insurance will and will not cover, before the next storm. Don't let a flood be the time you found out you needed more coverage. FYI - Flood insurance policies can not be written when there is an approaching storm, so there is no waiting until the last minute to ask about it. If you are buying a home and trying to purchase flood insurance, consider assuming the previous owners policy for uninterrupted coverage. Call your current insurance agent and ask about flood today. Enjoy living with "peace of mind" in our lovely coastal communities.