Government Home Loan Pre-approval–How To

So what does it take to get pre approved for a USDA Rural housing loan in 2013?  It’s actually still pretty easy considering all the changes that have happened in the mortgage market over the past 5 years. Mortgages in 2013 are “back to basics” in most cases.  Long gone are the days of qualifying for a loan with no income, poor credit, etc.   Homebuyers today that have decent credit, stable documentable income and manageable debt usually have no issue getting pre qualified for a mortgage today.

All of the Government home loans ( FHA, VA and USDA) pretty much require the same things in order to get pre approved.  Below we have outlined some key points.

Credit – in most cases a 640 credit score is needed to be pre approved for any of the government home loan today – FHA, VA, USDA. But keep in mind that a 640 credit score does NOT guarantee loan approval as all lenders / banks have additional waiting requirements (overlays) in regards to home buyers with any past bankruptcy, foreclosure, or short sale.  Additional for USDA Rural loans, a clean 12 month payment history on all other credit trade lines is important.

Income – It has to be stable and documentable in 2013.  The days of stated income or no doc loans are long gone.  Documenting income properly can sometimes pose an issue with self employed or 1099 workers, especially those that have not been self employed for at least two years.  Banks and lenders generally want to see a 2 year employment history.  Small gaps in employment history are just fine, just as long the gap isn’t too long, or unexplainable.  Recent college grads are generally exempt from the 2 year employment rule.

100% USDA Loans –  these loans are available to any homebuyer looking to purchase a home in a rural defined locations. Click here for the USDA eligibility map.  USDA also have income limits based on the number of members in the household, county, etc.  Please click here for more information on FL USDA income limits. USDA, along with VA, are the only mortgages in Florida that offer 100% financing with NO down payment. All USDA FAQ’s are listed by clicking here.

FHA Loans –  these loans are available across Florida to any homebuyer that qualifies. FHA mortgages require a min 3.5% down payment, there are no income limits restrictions or property location restrictions.  Click here to learn all about FHA loan requirements in Florida.

VA Loans – available to all eligible past and present military personal.  Please click here to learn more about VA loans in Florida.

Homeowners that currently have a USDA, FHA or VA loan should also look into the verity of streamline refinance options available today. These programs allow homeowners to refinance REGARDLESS of the loan to value. If you currently have a USDA Mortgage, click here to learn about the Pilot program.  For FHA loans please click here,  VA loans can click here.  Interest rates are currently at all time low levels!

Please contact us at 904-302-6060 with questions, or visit www.UsdaMortgageSource.com for more information.

Advertisements

Okaloosa County (Destin, Niceville, Crestview,Fort Walton Beach)Homestead Information

HOMESTEAD EXEMPTION INFORMATION
What is the Homestead Exemption? Every person who owns and resides on real property in Okaloosa, Florida on January 1 and makes the property their permanent residence is eligible to receive a homestead exemption up to $50,000. The first $25,000 applies to all property taxes including school district taxes. The additional exemption up to $25,000, applies to the assessed value between $50,000 and $75,000 and only to non-school taxes. This represents a substantial savings on the taxes levied against your property by the various taxing authorities.Pursuant to the Florida Constitution Section # 6 (b), Florida Statutes 196.031 (6) & Florida Administrative Code 12D7.012 (1,2 & 3) You as an individual & family unit are only entitled to one homestead tax exemption unless a separate family unit has been established under the law. To insure that you have all of the required documents for filing an exemption, please click here to print the Homestead Checklist or go under the Forms Download tab on our homepage and print out the checklist.
Why file? Homestead exemption can save you approximately $600 to $650 per year on your annual ad valorem taxes. An additional benefit to the homestead exemption is Amendment 10 (Save Our Homes), which will “cap” your property’s assessed value the year following your established first year of homestead exemption.
Who May File: Every person who has legal or equitable title to real property in Florida and who has recorded the title instrument in the public records of the county where application is made. The applicant must reside on the property as of January 1st and must in good faith, make it their permanent residence to be eligible.
When to File: Exemption applications must be made no later than March 1st for the tax year applied for. Failure to make application by March 1st of the tax year shall constitute a waiver of the exemption privilege for that year. Homestead exemption applications may be filed after March 1st, but the exemption will be applied in the next tax year.
Where to Apply: Property Appraiser’s Office, 73 Eglin Parkway NE Suite 202, Fort Walton Beach; or Property Appraiser’s Office, Okaloosa County Courthouse, 101 E. James Lee Blvd., Room 104, Crestview.
First Time Applicants: First-time applicants must come in person to file their application and bring ALL supporting documentation in order to start the application.. However, the application and required supporting documentation must be brought to one of the two above listed locations. Only one signature is required for joint owners who are married with the same last name; however, all documentation listed below must be provided on all applications. All signatures are necessary if owners who occupy the home have different last names.
The Following Information Is Required to apply for ANY exemption: (click here for full checklist) : 1. One of the following: recorded warranty deed, last tax bill, printout from our website of your property, closing documentation. 2. Florida Driver License reflecting current Florida residential address (change of address must be prior to January 1st): all joint owners who reside on the property need Florida Driver Licenses. (VALID IN FLORIDA ONLY LICENSES ARE NOT SUFFICIENT). 3. Florida Vehicle Registrations reflecting current Florida residential address (change of address must be prior to January 1st). All vehicles owned by the applicants must have resident Florida registrations. Leased vehicles and nonresident registrations CANNOT be accepted. NOTE: Non-resident military registrations MUST be switched to FL resident registrations, as military members must also comply with the residency requirements for exemption purposes.
4. Social Security numbers are required for all owners listed on the deed. Owners must bring in something that verifies their number; social security card, medicare card, military ID card or most recent Income tax return filed with IRS. 5. Declaration of Domicile or Florida Voter Registration Card reflecting current residential address. If an owner does not have a car registered in their name, one of these documents will be required as proof of residency.

Please read the instructions carefully and be sure to comply with deadlines.

Our office is currently accepting 2013 Exemption Applications.

Niceville Schools Rank Among State’s Best

Niceville High School and The Collegiate High School of Northwest Florida State Colelge rank among the best schools in Florida for 2012.  On a scale of 1500 points, Collegiate scored 1489 and Niceville scored 1312.  Those scores place Collegiate at fifth and Niceville at 34th out of the 430 Florida public schools.  High Schools scoring 1050 or higher receive an A grade.

Four of the other five Okaloosa County public high schools–Baker, Choctawhatchee, Crestview and Fort Walton Beach received an A designation for 2012.

Reasons To Buy a NEW Home–Santa Rosa Beach Area

Top 5 Reasons to buy a new home

I have been helping customers negotiate some great deals on new homes here in the Florida Panhandle.

I wanted to share the top 5 reasons to buy a new home compared to a re sale.

You have to look at the total savings or as I like to call it the total cost of
ownership.

New Homes usually come with special incentives that are not always advertised “Free Stuff
New Homes will have a lower cost to insure when compared to a re sale
New Homes must meet a very high level of energy efficiency
New homes can be bought with very attractive financing offers
New Homes have a lower cost of annual maintenance

When you stack up all the savings purchasing a New Home is something you want to take a closer look at.

Although a new home may have an initial higher purchase price the overall monthly cost of ownership can be much lower than a home only ten years old.

New home builders are always contacting realtors about specials that are about to become available before they are made available to the general public.

DR Horton has 13 new communities here in the Florida Panhandle–great homes at a great price!  Contact me today to take advantage of these deals.

Rental Market Tightens, Prices Rise

By: Krista Franks Brock

Demand in the single-family rental market continues to expand even as inventory tightens, according to the latest MarketPulse report from CoreLogic. Comparing lease rates, supply, pricing, and the ratio between bid prices and asking prices clearly demonstrates an increasingly tightening market.

“[S]ome of the new demand is being driven by former homeowners who have experienced foreclosure,” CoreLogic stated in its report. As a result, markets experiencing the greatest growth in single-family rental demand are the same markets that were hardest hit by the housing crisis, including Florida, California, and Arizona.

Nationally, single-family leases were up 7 percent in August year-over-year and have shown a 12 percent increase year-to-date. The August data is not an anomaly but a growing trend, according to CoreLogic, which reported leasing volumes rising sequentially each month over the last two years.

At the same time, inventory has been decreasing. In August, single-family rental inventory was down 11 percent from a year earlier.

The market held about 2.6 months’ supply in August. A year earlier, supply was at about 3.2 months.

Inventory declined sharply this past summer with a strong rise in closings, according to CoreLogic.

Listings are being rented faster. In August, a listing took about six weeks to rent, down from eight weeks a few years ago in 2009.

After declining for two years, rental prices have been on the rise since 2011, rising 2 percent over the year in 2011 and 1 percent year-to-date in 2012.

CoreLogic expects rental prices to continue to rise throughout the rest of this year and next. Rental prices are generally less volatile than home prices, and home prices have experienced increases of late.

The ratio between listing rent and actual rent paid is another indicator that points to a tightening in the single-family rental market. Two years ago when rental prices were declining and inventory was higher, the spread was about 4 percent. Today it stands at about 2 percent.

“[A] weak labor market, tight underwriting for owner-occupied properties and elevated foreclosures will ensure continued strong demand for single-family rentals,” according to CoreLogic.

Foreclosures Not Huge Savings Especially Places Like Destin or 30A Florida

While “foreclosure” remains a buzzword for bargain seekers, a study finds that
the actual discount off a “normal” price is far less than it used to
be.
According to a study by Zillow, the national average discount of a
real estate owned (REO) property compared to a non-REO was only 7.7 percent in
September – a sizable change from the 23.7 percent average discount that peaked
nationally in August 2009 and less than the average 9.1 percent discount one
year earlier.
In some areas of Florida, REOs aren’t a bargain at all.
Zillow included three Florida metro areas in its analysis and claims an average
REO savings of only 2.9 percent in the Miami-Fort Lauderdale market – a
significant drop from the peak of 22.7 percent in August 2008 and a notable
decline year-to-year; in September 2011, a South Florida REO sold for 6.8
percent less.
In Tampa, a REO in September 2012 sold for 9 percent less
than a non-REO sale, down slightly from the 9.6 percent discount one year
earlier, but significantly lower than the peak 29.1 percent discount recorded in
November 2008.
In Orlando, the REO discount of 4.6 percent rose slightly
year-to-year; in September 2011, it was 2 percent. However, both numbers are
down from the peak 24.4 percent discount for a REO recorded in January
2010.
“The smallest foreclosure discount is found in places where  (DESTIN/30A corridor, Florida)“, says Zillow Chief Economist Dr. Stan Humphries. “People are willing to pay
the same amount for a foreclosure re-sale that they would for a non-distressed
home simply to take advantage of historic affordability.”

Year-over-year foreclosure discounts fell in roughly three-quarters (76.9 percent) of metro
areas analyzed, and all metros are down from their peak. Nationwide, foreclosure
discounts reached their height in 2008 and 2009, and in some areas peaked at
more than 30 percent.

© 2012 Florida Realtors®

Fall Maintenance for Northwest Florida Panhandle

The calendar has turned to November; the month during which we transition from fall into winter (not so much in Florida).

With less sunlight, colder temperatures, and shorter days ahead for Northwest Florida , it’s an opportune time to cross those last-minute maintenance items off your homeowner to-do list.

Practicing preventive care — both inside and outside your home — can save thousands of dollars in repairs come later this winter. What follows is a brief checklist to get you started.

For outside the home :

  • Inspect exterior lights and outlets. Be sure that none of the outlets are cracked or broken, or have exposed wires.
  • Clean gutters and clear all blockages. If leaves are falling, redo after leaves are off all trees.
  • Inspect and test outdoor railings and stairs.
  • Have problem trees trimmed, including those that may damage your home in a storm.
  • Protect outdoor water faucets from freezing. Consider using foam cups, sold at hardware stores.

For inside the home :

  • Change batteries in all smoke detectors and carbon monoxide alarms, whether they’re “dead” or not.
  • Vacuum refrigerator condenser coils, plus the front bottom grill. Empty and clean the drip pan.
  • Inspect wood stoves and fireplace inserts. Hire a certified chimney sweeper to clean the chimney, if needed.
  • Insulate bare water pipes running through your home to prevent freezing and to limit condensation on cold-water lines.
  • Inspect automatic garage door opener. Lubricate chains according to manufacturer’s instructions. Make sure bolts and screws are properly tightened and secured.

As a constant series of chores, home maintenance is a four-season job and one which should not be taken lightly. The tasks of each season are unique and November’s jobs are mostly preparatory in advance of colder weather.

If your routine maintenance uncovers larger issues including a faulty HVAC unit, or a leaking faucet, for example, seek professional help to make the repair.

Florida Ranks 6th in Widest Gap Between Rich and Poor

6. Florida
> Gini coefficient: 0.4811
> Median household income: $44,299 (14th lowest)
> Households earning $200,000+: 4.4% (19th highest)
> Population living below poverty line: 17.0% (17th highest)

In 2011, 5.4% of state residents earned less than $10,000, slightly higher than the national rate of 5.1%. Meanwhile, just 4.4% earned more than $200,000 — well below the 5.6% national benchmark. Both figures, however, were far worse than they were in the past. In 2007, just 3.6% of households earned less than $10,000 annually, while 5.4% earned more than $200,000. But while many Floridians have lost wealth since the recession, Florida is still home to 32 billionaire members of the Forbes 400, led by Micky Arison, worth $5 billion as of September.

Market View for Fort Walton Beach

Avg. Listing Price$307,441Wk ending Sep 12

          +$2,656           +0.9% w-o-w
Median Sales Price$145,000Jun ’12 – Aug ’12
        -$2,000         -1.4% y-o-y
Listing price – Fort Walton Beach
$307,441
+0.9%
w-o-w
$145,000
-1.4%
y-o-y
$120
+4.3%
y-o-y
143
-42.1%
y-o-y

Home Staging–Things That Help (Or Hinder)

Silly Staging Ideas Room-by-Room:

Living Room. Displaying photos of people more attractive than family members by hanging frames with manufacturers’ photos still inside, or even displaying photos of celebrities around the room, are not good ideas. Not only silly, this breaks the ‘de-personalize’ staging rule. Remove any photos, diplomas or similar items, as they do nothing but distract buyers.  Look for some tasteful art for staging instead.

Kitchen and Dining Room. Nothing screams ‘staged home’ like a formally set dining room. Less is more! Skip the formal setting and put a simple vase of flowers on the table instead. Clear kitchen counters of all clutter and add a simple bowl of fruit for a clean, open look.

Bedroom. The casually draped throw over the foot of the bed with ‘tea for two’ on top has been overdone, and buyers know you don’t live that way. Invest in some nice bedding, put night tables on either side of the bed and include one long dresser and a tall chest of drawers in the master bedroom. If the room seems crowded with those items, use a double bed instead of a queen or king.

Bathroom.Tassels draped over hand towels, seashells nestled atop a stack of towels wrapped in a bow and champagne flutes on the bathtub are perhaps befitting for a honeymoon suite, but not a family home. Don’t fill the bathtub with blue-tinted water and don’t tie a ribbon around the toilet seat either. These have been done, but don’t make the same silly mistake. Invest in new hand towels, a new shower curtain and remove personal items from countertops such as toothbrushes and makeup.

A buyer won’t buy based on dining room settings or a frou-frou bathroom. After staging your home, you want a clean, de-personalized, clutter-free space. If you’ve done a good job, a buyer won’t be able to tell it was staged at all.