3.5% down on FHA Rehab Loans

Have you ever wanted to buy a fixer upper?  Did you know FHA offers a few different types of rehabilitation loans?  The Streamline FHA is one of the most common Rehab Home 2loans available.  This allows you to add an additional $35,000 to your base mortgage to improve or upgrade your home prior to moving in. The same low down payment of 3.5% is required and a minimum Credit score of 640.  Gifts are available as well as seller credits, go here to learn more about that. Seller Concessions and Gifts.

The list below is a general outline of all the items you are able to repair, fix and even replace. 

  • Repair/replace roofs, gutters and downspouts
  • Repair/replace/upgrade of existing HVAC systems
  • Repair/replace/upgrade of plumbing and electrical systems
  • Repair/replace existing flooring
  • Minor remodeling, such as, kitchens, which does not involve structural repairs
  • Exterior and interior painting
  • Weatherization: including storm windows and doors, insulation, weather stripping, etc.
  • Purchase and installation of appliances. Appliances may include free-standing ranges, refrigerators, washers, dryers, dishwashers and microwaves
  • Improvements for accessibility for person with disabilities
  • Lead based paint stabilization or abatement of lead based paint hazards
  • Repair/replace exterior decks, patios, porches
  • Basement refinishing and remodeling, which does not involve structural repairs
  • Basement waterproofing
  • Window and door replacements and exterior wall re-siding
  • Septic system and or well repair or replacement
  • 10% contingency reserve with a maximum of $2,500; 15% with no utilities on or foreclosed property

Rehab Home

The FHA 203K Rehab loan is a great way to get into a home that may need a little work or a full transformation.  For more information about Rehab Loans, call or email me anytime.

Email me at Bill’s Email

call me on cell:978-273-3227

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How to Shop for a Mortgage

After hitting record lows of 3.250% last year, mortgage rates have inched up a little and in the grand scheme of things…it is only a little!  The trend of course is upwards and like the stock market, it is not a straight line up, we have good days and bad days in the markets and Mortgage Rates can sometimes and do change a few times inside a trading day. These rate changes are influenced by the global economy and while rates are still extremely low, refinancers and homebuyers are always looking for the lowest. Rates trade in real-time and react to each little development. But these lows come and go in minutes during specific trading intervals each trading day. And this kind of volatility drastically changes the way consumers should shop for a mortgage.  Because markets move up and down so fast right now, the rates you see in mainstream media* headlines are long gone by the time you can do anything about it.

SO HERE’S HOW TO SHOP FOR A MORTGAGE IN THIS NEW WORLD.

Shop For Loan Agents, Not Rates

Every consumer shops for mortgages and they should. But this is the critical distinction: you should be shopping for the best mortgage advisor. If you have that, you’ll get the best rate.

Here’s what happens when shoppers focused only on rate get quoted by a good loan agent: Loan agent quotes a rate only after they’ve analyzed the client’s entire financial profile and analyzed their home’s value and condition—also known as pre-approving them. The client will either tire of the pre-approval analytics or be unhappy with the rate and go somewhere else. Then 80% of those cases come back to that loan agent because the competing rate quote was revealed to be incorrect when the other lender actually completed the client’s profile, or the home’s value/condition made the loan ineligible.

Mortgages are extremely competitive so rates and fees are generally the same with most (established, credible) lending firms.  What’s not the same lender to lender is the loan agent’s ability to: (1) advise properly, (2) analyze borrower and property profiles, and (3) close with no surprises. So shop to find the lender and loan agent you feel most confident can perform on these three things. Then work with that loan agent to pick a rate target you can’t or won’t go above, and give them a standing order to lock when they see it.

These guidelines are for refinancers. For homebuyers, you can’t lock a rate until you’re in contract to buy a home, but once you’re in contract, the same approach applies.

Rate Targeting

Their are two reasons for the pre-approval and rate targeting tactics discussed above:

(1) A rate quote that flies through the air means nothing. If a loan agent doesn’t issue you written terms after obtaining a full profile on you and your home, then you haven’t received a quote you can count on.

(2) Rate lows are here and gone in minutes each trading day as mortgage bonds rise and fall on economic and technical trading signals. So if you don’t first get pre-approved then set a rate target with a standing lock order, it’s nearly impossible to hit the lows AND close with no surprises.  Your loan agent also must be able to brief you daily or weekly on the market outlook, so if you’re not sensing market competence from your agent, then keep shopping. A loan agent must have a strong read on what’s impacting the rate market ups and downs to deliver you the best terms.

*Mainstream media is almost always off the mark on rate data and commentary. Conversely, Mortgage News Daily strives to provide accurate and realistic rate data and commentary daily. Still, the premise of this piece is to explain what a mortgage consumer must do to manage extreme rate volatility.

Do you have any questions?  Feel free to call or email anytime!!

Bill Nickerson can be reached at 978-273-3227 and email at bill@billnickerson.com

 

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Lock your Rate up to 180 Days, then Re-Lock it!

question manWhat if I were to tell you that I have a special mortgage program??

What if I were to tell you I have some of the best mortgage rates??

What if I were to tell you I have very competitive closing costs??

Yup…ordinary, just like all the other mortgage companies, banks, credit unions etc!  Pretty dull and boring when it comes right down to it.

Percent Down
Relock Today!

But what if I were tell you that you could lock your mortgage rate in at todays rate and if the rate drops during the process of your mortgage, you could re-lock to the lower rate.  And…It’s FREE!!  Yes, FREE!  No additional premiums, no inflated start rate and it’s offered on fixed rate mortgages.

Buying new construction or Building a new home?  These homes can typically take 3 to 6 months to complete.  In this volatile market of rates changing daily, you can lock in your mortgage rate for 180 days and if the rates drop, you can take advantage of the lower rates.  This allows you the security locking and peace of mind knowing you can still float your mortgage rate down.

But Wait!!!  There’s more!!!  What if you don’t have a signed offer on hand or have even identified a home?  How about if I told you that you could LOCK into a mortgage rate while you were shopping for homes.  This allows you focus on your new home and not have to worry about the markets and at what point rates will move.

This is for fixed rates mortgages up to $417,000.  Don’t be fooled by other lenders that offer these programs and then require you to use an Adjustable Rate or charge you a premium.    I have attached a flyer so that you can share this great program with your friends, clients, builders and whom ever may be in the market.

Click here for your own Float Down Flyer: Float Down

You must have applied for a mortgage through Bill Nickerson and PrimeLending.  You must meet Fannie Mae guidelines and be approved for a mortgage. This article is not a commitment to lend nor does it guarantee the program without first verifying credit, income and all financial documents.  Please call me at 978-273-3227 or wnickerson@primelending.com to see if you qualify for a mortgage today.

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Apply for a Mortgage with Bill Nickerson

Hi, My name is Bill Nickerson and I am a Senior Loan Advisor with Flagstar Bank based out of Michigan.  I have been providing residential mortgages since 1991. I grew up in Acton, Massachusetts, My Father was from Concord and my Mother was from Boxborough and we settled in the middle.  

One of the steps in preparing yourself for home ownership is to obtain an approval from your lender or bank.  This process involves filling out a mortgage application and this can be done online, in person as well as over the phone.

This process is done without identifying a property, we would use a range of purchase prices with your down payment to create payments that you are comfortable with.  It is important to understand that it is not what you are approved for, but what you are comfortable paying each month while carrying your traditional living expenses.  You will want to develop a long term plan, 5 to 10 years of what your goals will be with home ownership.  This will help you with budgeting and planning for the size of home you that will best suit your financial needs.

In addition to the application, we will be looking to verify your income, assets and debts through pay-stubs, bank statements and pulling your credit.  Once we have these items in hand, the approval process will take about an hour to confirm this information and provide you with an official approval letter. Here is a detailed list of the items needed for your approval.

 I work closely with your real estate agent and real estate attorney to help coordinate your offer and the purchase of your new home.

To apply for a mortgage, you can click here Apply Online, once completed, I will receive an email alert and will begin the process immediately for you.

For more information on home ownership, to make an appointment for a consultation, feel free to call or email me anytime.seacoast ride

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Bill Nickerson NMLS #4194
Flagstar Bank
1500 District Avenue, Burlington MA 01803
www.billnickerson.com
978-273-3227

The Good Faith Estimate

gfeA good faith estimate (GFE) must be provided by a mortgage lender or broker in the United States to a customer.  The estimate must include an itemized list of fees and costs associated with the loan and must be provided within three business days of applying for a loan.  These mortgage fees, closing costs and pre-paid items cover every expense associated with a home loan from legal fees, recording fees, title insurance, taxes and other charges.  A good faith estimate is a standard form which is intended to be used to compare different offers (or quotes) from different lenders or brokers.

The good faith estimate is only an estimate. The final closing costs may be different; however the difference can only be 10% of the third party fees.  Once a good faith estimate is issued the lender/broker cannot change the fees in the origination box.

It is important to look at everything that is listed, but it is especially important to see if additional costs are being built in such as Points, Broker Fees or high Administrative fees.  In all, a consumer should look at the bottom line number of the cost;  one, to make sure it is affordable to them and two, to be sure the costs are accurate and not over inflated in any way.  Click for more details about closing costs.

For more information about the good faith estimates or if you have questions regarding other home financing, please email me at bill@billnickerson.com or call me at 978-273-3227

Home Buying Checklist

shopping for a houseHave you ever been out looking at houses to buy and found that after about the 5th or 6th house, they all start to blend together?  You can’t remember the individual features of each house…what you liked and didn’t like about each of them.  Looking at houses can be a fun but a daunting experience.  One can get easily tired and overwhelmed.  To help with your house hunting process, please take a look at my home buying checklist.  Print some copies to take with you when house shopping.  I’m sure you will find it a helpful tool!

Bill’s Homebuying Checklist

Print off as many as you would like!!

For questions regarding home financing or the economy, please email me at bill@billnickerson.com  or call me at 978-273-3227

What are Closing Costs?

Bill Nickerson's Blog

Closing costs are an accumulation of charges paid to different entities associated with the buying and selling of real estate. For buyers in Massachusetts, closing costs will come to about $2600 plus lenders title insurance and any pre-paid items such as real estate taxes, insurance and interest. Empty Piggy Bank

There may be closing costs customary or unique to a certain locality, but closing costs are usually made up of the following:

Third Party Fees (The Hard Costs)

  • Attorney’s fees (yours and your lender’s if applicable)
  • Appraisal
  • Credit Report Fee
  • Loan origination fee (covers lender’s administrative costs)
  • Recording fees
  • Plot Plan or Survey fee
  • Title insurance (yours and your lender’s)
  • Loan discount points
  • Any documentation preparation fees

Pre-Paid Items:

  • Property taxes (to cover tax period to date)
  • Interest (paid from date of closing to the following first of the month)
  • First payment to escrow account for future real estate taxes and insurance
    • 3…

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The CFPB is looking for your advice?? Can you help?

With all the regulations that have been implemented in the mortgage industry recently, we are now seeing more and more mistakes that are caused at the last minute.  The repulling of a credit report just days before a closing, a discrepancy on an appraisal and so on.  Is it me, or does it seem like every closing is rushed and held up for something that no one has ever experienced before?  I am sure you have been to a few of these closing over the last few years!

Good News!!  The CFPB, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, is looking for input on the closing process, specifically in response to the questions below. This is an incredible opportunity as the CFPB is asking us how to make things better in the Mortgage World specifically at the closing table.  Now is your chance to speak up and tell us what you think!  Can you answer some of these questions?

In case you were wondering, the CFPB is the product of Senator Elizabeth Warren from Massachusetts.  It is a committee to help the consumers obtain financial products with clarity.Mortgage Questions

Do us all a favor and answer as many of these questions as you can.

Consumers and Closing

  1. What are common problems or issues consumers face at closing?
  2. What parts of the closing process do consumers find confusing or overwhelming?
  3. Are there specific parts of the closing process that borrowers find particularly helpful?
  4. How empowered do consumers seem to feel at closing? Did they come to closing with questions?
  5. What, if anything, have you found helps consumers understand the terms of the loan?

Changes and/or Errors at Closing

  1. What are some common errors you have seen at closing?  Tell us about errors that were detected after closing.
  2. What changes, diverging from what was originally presented at closing, often surprise consumers at closing? How do consumers react to changes at closing?

Other Parties at Closing

  1. How, if at all, do consumers typically seek advice during closing? In person? By phone? Online?
  2. Where and to whom do consumers turn for advice during closing? Whom do they typically trust?

Closing Documents

  1. What documents do consumers find particularly confusing?
  2. What resources do borrowers use to define unfamiliar terms of the loan?

Improving Closing

  1. What, if anything, would you change about the closing process to make it a better experience for consumers?
  2. What questions should consumers ask at closing? What are the most important pieces of information/documents for them to review?
  3. What is the single most important question a consumer should ask at closing?
  4. What is the single most important thing a consumer should do before coming to the closing table?

Do you have something to share or tell us in regards to what you have experienced at the closing table with your clients. Please tell us as we will be compiling all the comments and suggestions for the CFPB.

This is a major breakthrough, this is a Government Agency that is not only working with the consumer, but is working for you and I to make the process far better! To learn more about the CFPB, click here: Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, if you are in the mortgage/real estate business, this is important.

Send your comments and suggestions to wnickerson@merrimackmortgage.com and together we can make history!

Thank you very much,

Bill

A Resolution you can all keep!

As the New Year has been brought in, we all hear those silly photo 1resolutions people make.  I am not a big fan of them as they are typically unobtainable goals and fade like the winter months. This is what I ask of you, as I have asked myself.  How can I become a better person and improve on what I am already doing?  Some go without saying, I would like to continue to improve my health everyday so that I can be here for kids and grandkids (no, i don’t have grandkids yet!!). To love my Wife, My Children, My Family and Friends more and more every day. To give more to those that are less fortunate, whether it be in sickness, money or simply just doing a good deed.  If you can stay true to yourself, this will help you stay true to the ones you love and those that surround you.  And remember, you cannot surround yourself with negative people and expect to have a positive life…cut them loose!!  The Beauty of all this, Today marks the very beginning, seize it, embrace it, enjoy it and enjoy those around you.

I wish you the Happiest of New Years and please make the very Best of it!!! Bill

Veterans Day: It isn’t Just a Holiday

veterans dayVeterans Day 2013                                                                  Honoring Those Who Served

Veterans Day gives Americans the opportunity to celebrate the bravery and sacrifice of all U.S. veterans. However, most Americans confuse this holiday with Memorial Day, reports the Department of Veterans Affairs.  What’s more, some Americans don’t know why we commemorate our Veterans on Nov.11. It’s imperative that all Americans know the history of Veterans Day so that we can honor our former service members properly.

As each year passes, we lose more men and women who remember and understand what it was like to be at war…fighting for their lives, for democracy and freedom. And unfortunately as time goes by, the younger generations become more and more removed from what Veterans Day is all about and why we recognize it. It is our job as to citizens of this great country to keep the meaning alive.

Please take a moment to tell your children and grandchildren why it’s important that we stop and remember.  Remind them that we are safe and free because of those who fought and died AND because of those who fought and lived.  While November 12th is a holiday for many, and that means sleeping in or shopping or hanging out with friends, it’s also a day of importance and reflection.  Even if you don’t attend a ceremony or observe the minute of silence, please just stop and take a moment to appreciate the freedoms we have and the sacrifices that have been made by our service members and  their families.

And when you get the chance, thank a veteran!

Happy Veterans day!  From Bill Nickerson

Bill@billnickerson.com      978-273-3227

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