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Archive for March, 2010

Being the Professionals we are, Mortgage Bankers and Realtors seem to be pushing the “time is running out, hurry to get your $8,000 Tax Credit” lip service. I’ll be honest, I’m one of them! I will say, $8,000 is a whole lot of money and can make a difference in a lot of people lives……But, we must not lose sight of what’s really important to our wonderful clients, being a Home Owner! It’s much more important the money that won’t last!

Prospective home owners are very excited to be looking for a home this spring, but I realized recently it has a lot more to do with the dream (becoming a reality) of home ownership…than it has to do with the $8,000 tax credit. So, all you Professionals out there…let’s band together and get our clients into homes..for all the right reasons!

 Have a great night

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USDA Funds for Oregon

USDA funds running dry!

 

Below is the most recent update on available funding for the USDA Section 502 Guaranteed Program. 

Currently there is $3.23 billion in funds that are available. (as of 3/30/2010)

 

 

FY 2010 Allocation:              $13.5B

FY 2010 Obligations:            $10.27B (As of 3/30/10)

Unobligated Funds:        $ 3.23B

 

Here is the program utilization by month for the first 5 months of FY10:

October  2009     $1,885,553,638

November 2009     $2,352,033,536

December  2009    $1,811,248,360

January  2010     $1,146,984,735

February 2010     $1,236,804,499

 I’m hoping the available funds will get us though most of April, but not lets not count on it. EVERYONE will be trying to push their USDA loan through for two reasons: Funds are drying up and the Tax Credit deadline is fast approaching.

As always, please call with any questions you may have.

503.931.4490

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Oregon USDA Loans

USDA Program Makes “Rural” Homes More Accessible

One of the biggest difficulties many first-time home buyers face is a lack of down payment and the necessary funds for closing costs. However, even with the widespread availability of “no-money-down programs” evaporating in the credit crisis, one national no-down payment program still remains: USDA Rural Development home loans.

Guaranteed by the USDA (United States Department of Agriculture), this program might make you think that you have to buy farmland or live “in the country” to qualify, but this is often not the case. In fact, you might be surprised to see just how many neighborhoods actually do qualify as rural development areas. For this program, the term “rural” really applies to those areas with a lower population or fewer homes, not necessarily those areas and neighborhoods far outside of the city.

There are several benefits of the USDA loan program besides no money down. The program also does not require private mortgage insurance, and the seller is allowed to pay all of your closing costs and pre-paid items up to 6.00% of the total sales price of the property. And while this is great news for first-time home buyers, it’s important to note that you don’t have to be a first-timer to qualify for a USDA loan.

Other than the location of the property you’re seeking to buy, there is one other limitation to this valuable program that you must consider: your income. Luckily, however, these numbers have recently increased to allow more potential buyers to take advantage of this special program.

The USDA program is egible in many areas such as: Stayton, Silverton, Aumsville, Monmouth, Dallas, Woodburn, Wilsonville, Canby, Turner, Jefferson, Philomath and Mt. Angel to name a few. Some areas of Salem and Keizer are also elgible.

To find out more about USDA loans, give us a call. We can have an answer as to whether you qualify for this program in just a few minutes.  503.931.4490

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PC Shortcuts

PCs are an integral part of our lives. We use them extensively at work and usually end up logging on in the evening as well, to read email and catch up on the day’s events.

Since we spend so much of our time in front of the computer, it makes sense to find ways to improve our efficiency. This is where shortcuts come in. By using combinations of keystrokes, you can quickly access several tools without ever having to use your mouse. Most Windows shortcuts may be used for any Microsoft program (Word, Excel, Outlook, etc.) as well as selected products from other manufacturers.

Shortcut Keys Description
Alt + F File menu options in current program.
Alt + E Edit options in current program
F1 Universal Help in almost every Windows program.
Ctrl + A Select all text.
Ctrl + X Cut selected item.
Shift + Del Cut selected item.
Ctrl + C Copy selected item.
Ctrl + Ins Copy selected item
Ctrl + V Paste
Shift + Ins Paste
Home Goes to beginning of current line.
Ctrl + Home Goes to beginning of document.
End Goes to end of current line.
Ctrl + End Goes to end of document.
Shift + Home Highlights from current position to beginning of line.
Shift + End Highlights from current position to end of line.
Ctrl + Left arrow Moves one word to the left at a time.
Ctrl + Right arrow Moves one word to the right at a time.

If you would like to incorporate these shortcuts into your repertoire, try keeping a copy of this list at home and at work. Refer to it daily until the keystrokes become second nature. You’ll be surprised at how much time you’ll save!

If you have a favorite shortcut or computer trick you would like to share, please let me know!

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Special Rules for Members of the Military, the Foreign Service
and the Intelligence Community

Congress has acknowledged the unique circumstances affecting members of the military, the foreign service and the intelligence community by making the following exceptions that apply to both the $8,000 tax credit for first-time home buyers and the $6,500 tax credit for repeat home buyers.

Exemption From Tax Credit Recapture Rules

  • Typically, homes that are sold or that cease to be used as a principal residence within three years of the initial purchase are subject to recapture of the tax credit.
  • However, qualified service members who sell or move from a tax credit home within three years of the initial purchase due to official extended duty are exempt from the recapture rule.

Extension of Tax Credit Deadlines

  • The home buyer tax credit is available for qualified purchases with a binding sales contract in place on or before April 30, 2010 and closed by June 30, 2010.
  • However, for qualified service members who are ordered on a period of official extended duty, these dates are extended for one year. For these home buyers, the tax credit applies to sales with a binding sales contract in place on or before April 30, 2011 and closed by June 30, 2011.
  • A person who is forced to return to the U.S. for medical reasons before completing an assignment of at least 90 days of qualified official extended duty outside of the United States may qualify for the one-year extension.

Definitions

  • “Qualified service member” means a member of the uniformed services of the U.S military, a member of the Foreign Service of the U.S., or an employee of the intelligence community.
  • “Official extended duty” means any period of extended duty outside of the United States for at least 90 days during the period beginning after December 31, 2008 and ending before May 1, 2010.

Please see link for full article:

http://federalhousingtaxcredit.com/service_mem.php

 This is fantastic news for those serving our Country!

Please let me know if I can help in any way.

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If you are looking for an FHA loan in Oregon, get on the ball! Changes are coming! On April 5th, 2010 FHA is changing the guidelines of some of their programs.

Although most investors have had overlays in place for some time, FHA now requires prospective buyers to meet tougher stipulations including credit scores and UPMIP increases.

 

Some of the changes made by FHA include:

~An increase in Upfront MIP from 1.75 percent to 2.25 percent

~Reduce the maximum seller contributions from 6% to 3% by summer.  This may be the change being protested the most.

Yes, the changes may make it harder for a few prospective home buyers to qualify for an FHA loan, but the one widely speculated change did not happen; the increase in down payment from 3.5% to 5%. Sure the extra 1.5% doesn’t sound like a huge increase, but that’s $3,000 extra(!) buyers in Salem Oregon would have to come up with to buy a $200,000 home! FHA may re-visit the down payment increase at a later date, but for now, we’re safe!

In short…the FHA route is still a wonderful loan option. Whether you’re a First Time Home Buyer or not, this could be the best loan for you and your family!

Feel free to contact me with any questions you may have!

I can always be reached at 503.931.4490

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