Posted in Bay City Michigan, Best Time to Sell, Buying Homes, Finding a great Realtor, Home Buyers, Home Buying Tips, Home Selling Tips, Midland Michigan, Midland Saginaw Real Estate, Planning, Real Estate Bay Midland Saginaw, Real Estate Market Statistics, Realtor, Selling Homes, Selling Your Home

Market Check 2021

We are half way through 2021 and the market is showing a variety of positive signs. Though I’ve personally and within conversations with other agents, found that some buyers are suffering from “fatigue” the stats are showing that Saginaw home prices are up 13% in 2021. Bay County has risen by 8%, whereas Midland at least price-wise has fallen by 1% since last year.


There are so many factors that go into looking at the market. For the most part, the average sales prices have risen for several years. I remember the days when the average sales price in Saginaw County was $90,000 and in the City alone it was about $13,000! So to be at an average of over $154,000 county-wide that is an amazing feat.


One of the reasons for the rising prices is the lack of inventory. The number of homes on the market has drastically reduced over the last three years. I can’t say I’ve ever heard a good report about why. I can say that recently there is a lot of hesitation for sellers going on the market who are planning to upgrade but stay in the same area – they’re afraid to be homeless; selling without finding a new place. We have had some good luck with targeted advertising in finding those seller’s homes prior to putting theirs on the market so we can alleviate that stress. 


As a whole, there are benefits for buyers and sellers in this market. Low interest rates are allowing buyers more house for the payment and sellers are receiving higher dollars for their home. If you’d like to know what your home is worth – give me a call! 989-475-2958

Posted in community, Finding a great Realtor, goal setting, Home Buyers, Home Buying Tips, home ownership, Motivation, Planning, Realtor

The Most Misunderstood Loan – VA

🇺🇸 I have the utmost respect for the men & women who serve our country through any branch of the military. I am sure it is often times a thankless and misunderstood job. One of the ways our Country demonstrates its thanks in a small way, is offering our vets their own special type of home mortgage.

🇺🇸 There are some huge benefits for veterans who use their entitlement to purchase homes. However, especially in this insanely competitive world of home buying right now – the impression given to those receiving offers on their home from VA buyers are often being misled and tossing those offers to the curb.

👉 Let’s talk benefits and then cover myths about VA loans…

🇺🇸 A huge benefit for a VA buyer is that there is no required down payment. They of course can put money down if they so choose, but with the excellent interest rates VA loans have, the buyer may choose to keep their money in the bank to use for home renovations, family vacation or anything else they desire.

🇺🇸 In addition to the great interest rate and no money down, our VA buyers don’t have to pay MIP or PMI – loan insurance, which is required on all FHA loans, and on any conventional loans with less than 20% equity. That in itself, is a huge savings. Our vets can also choose to roll all of their closing costs and up to 4% concessions into the loan. So on closing day, they will have no need to walk in with a check if they have chosen this option.

🇺🇸 VA loans also have refinancing options to lower payments when interest rates are favorable. Veterans can also refinance their other home loan types into a VA loan if they had purchased previously without using their VA Entitlements. VA loans may also be assumable which can be a huge benefit in a market where the loan is a low interest rate but the current market has higher rates. Our vets also have staff who advocate for them to find alternatives to foreclosure if the need arises.

👉 What are the myths & potential disadvantages of VA loans?

🇺🇸 Two of the biggest myths I hear are that sellers believe someone using a VA 100% loan is not as strong of a buyer as someone putting 20% down on a conventional. That is simply not true. Being able to finance all of their purchase is simply a benefit, their credit worthiness has no bearing.

🇺🇸 The second myth I often hear of is that a VA loan appraiser is going to require the seller to pay for a bunch of repairs. While it is true that there are appraisal stipulations with a VA loan that aren’t there for a conventional loan; they’re simply safety measures, such as peeling paint (that could be lead-based) the lack of hand-railings going down a staircase. For a quick view of the guidelines see the link at the end of this post. The truth is, if your home is in average repair, you’re not likely to have an issue and everything is negotiable even if it came up.

🇺🇸 I do believe and have often expressed my disappointment in the appraisal structure of the VA loan; that it is a disservice to our veterans to have the additional appraisal requirements, simply because of the stigma associated with it. I understand that passing the added appraisal inspection may give a sense ofsecurity that our vets are getting a “good house”. But in reality it is costing many of our veterans the possibility of owning a home that may need a simple $250 in repairs because of the mentality and lack of education in both the sellers and often Realtors advising sellers. I would love to give our vets the opportunity to see what appraisal issues come up and have the option of being able to move forward with the loan with a post-closing resolution. For example, the vet can move forward on the purchase of a home with peeling paint around an exterior door frame and have 30 days or “when weather suitable” time period to bring it up to snuff themselves after closing and provide such documentation after the work is done.

🇺🇸 For specifics on any home loan, be sure to ask a licensed mortgage broker/loan officer. I’m happy to help you find an excellent VA lender. Every person’s situation is unique and speaking with a lender and getting a pre-approval is the best way to get all the facts.

VA LOAN BENEFITS:
Zero $ Down
No Extra Insurance Premiums
Roll in Closing Costs
Lower Interest Rates
No PrePayment Penalties
Foreclosure Advocacy*
Refinance Options*
Assumable*


DISADVANTAGES:
Perception as a weak buyer at 100% financing
Perception that there will be tons of repairs
Potential Appraisal issue if closing costs are rolled into price

👉👉https://www.benefits.va.gov/…/M26_7_Ch12_MPRs_NEW.docx

🇺🇸 Talk to a licensed VA lender for details! 📝 Getting a Pre-approval is an absolute must in this busy real estate market. If you wish to get moving, let’s find a loan officer to start pre-approving! 📞 989.475.2958

Posted in Buying Homes, community, Finding a great Realtor, goal setting, Home Buying Tips, home ownership, Home Selling Tips, Planning, real estate, Real Estate Bay Midland Saginaw

Let’s Talk About Conventional Loans

👉 The most flexible of mortgages – the conventional mortgage can be used for all types of homes; single family, vacation, rentals, & multi-family residences and there’s no maximum loan limit. They are unique because they are not guaranteed nor insured by the Federal Government, although most lenders/mortgage brokers will conform to the Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac guidelines so that they can later sell their loans to them, which frees up their funds to take on more loans. Conventional mortgages typically have lower closing costs than other loan types but do require a higher credit score from the borrower.

👉 Terms and Interest rates will vary depending on your DTI (Debt to Income) your credit score and what lender you choose. But with a conventional mortgage, you may qualify for a 3% -20% down payment and choose a 30, 20, 15, 0r 10 year term to repay your loan. Most lenders require at least a 620 credit score but you will find that as your credit score goes up, your interest rate will come down. Your DTI will also help determine how much you will get approved for.

👉 If you purchase a home using a conventional loan and your down payment is less than 20%, keep in mind you’ll be paying for Mortgage Protection Insurance (MPI) until your equity is above that 20% mark.If you’re interested in hearing more about a conventional mortgage or any other type that you may qualify for, give me a call or send me a DM and I can recommend some great local loan officers and mortgage brokers that can find the best fit for your situation.

CONVENTIONAL IN A NUTSHELL
*Lower Consumer Costs
*Most flexible terms
*not government backed
*No maximum Loan Limit
*No MPI when over 20% equity
*Usable on all types of properties
*Requires Higher Credit Score
*May be more difficult to obtain than FHA/RD
*Closes More Quickly

Getting a Pre-approval is an absolute must in this busy real estate market. If you wish to get moving, let’s find a loan officer to start pre-approving!

Posted in Buying Homes, Home Buyers, Home Buying Tips

This Mistake Can Cost You Your Dream Home

We’ve all seen them, heard them, and perhaps ventured down the road to homeownership using them…. What is it you wonder? It is a National Lending Institution. Yup – doesn’t sound fancy or sexy, or remotely exciting. But I can say that there are huge repercussions that can come into play using one lending institution versus another. And most National Lending Institutions are at the bottom of my list. Let me explain.

Mid-October I had a buyer who closed on a Rural Development (RD) loan. It was very exciting in this very competitive market just to get an offer with a Rural Development loan accepted. They typically take 45 days instead of 30 and there is the possibility of sellers needing to make some repairs. But, here we were back in the beginning of June with an accepted RD offer. Wait – did you catch it?….  That we just closed this in October? Yeah, that is true. Not only did it take 128 days to close this loan, through no fault of the buyer or seller, it was the first RD in 14 years where my buyer had to come to the closing with cash because the lending institution’s fees were so exorbitant. In fact, we didn’t have his actual closing figures until ten minutes prior to the closing! As if the 128 days weren’t enough for the lender to get the proper package to the title company to work up the figures for closing at least a day in advance. Not only that but 6 hours before the closing the buyer had been told he would receive a check back at closing in the amount of $110 (typical for RD loans). So, while he was en-route to closing the lender removed an $865 credit they said was due to faulty new software and he had to run to the bank and make up the difference. Thankfully, he had the funds.  This same national lender is currently on day 89 for another buyer who will most likely lose the house, her inspection and appraisal fees because the seller is just plain fed up with waiting. These are lenders that I am calling and emailing daily throughout the process. I have spoken to the loan officers, processors, underwriters, regional managers – all to no avail.

In a different situation I had a VA (Veteran) buyer who was using a National Company and 5 weeks into the deal the lender decided their underwriting division was not going to accept the appraisal, despite it being at the value of the home. In this case, I was able to get it all transferred to a local lender and we closed 2 weeks later.

Why am I writing to let you know these scenarios? Well, if you or someone you know is in the market to buy, I want you to have ample information. I want you to know that it is common practice to advertise a super low rate only to find out at closing that you’ve been charged a few thousand dollars up front for that. I want you to know that you won’t have a local contact using a national lender and you’ll likely be speaking to multiple people throughout the country during your loan process. It can be an added headache that isn’t necessary.

My 14 years of experience and closing about a loan every week with my buyers/sellers has given me the advantage of experiencing so many great and not-so-great lending institutions. There are good and “bad” national companies and local companies. The advantage being that as a Realtor™ I have the experience of knowing who/where typically does a great job, which lenders have programs that may benefit particular clients, etc.

If you’re in the market to buy, even if I’m not your agent – I’d suggest you ask for some high quality lending referrals. Realtors™ don’t get perks, bonuses, gifts of any kind from lenders. So, no worries about the reason why an agent would recommend certain loan officers. We do so in order to save you time, stress, potentially thousands of dollars, and even the house. We don’t want you to go through all the work of finding your perfect match only to lose it because your loan officer couldn’t perform in a timely fashion. Granted it is super busy – all lending institutions are taking longer due to increased workloads. But folks, 128 days is NOT acceptable in any fashion, nor is 89. Buyers losing out on their inspection and appraisal fees is also not acceptable. Purchasing a home should be a great adventure!  So, when you’re looking to buy – be sure to ask your favorite Realtor™ which local lending institutions have a spectacular track record with their previous clients. We all should be able to provide you with several recommendations of local loan officers ready to serve you and your particular needs in the very best fashion!