News & Notes ~ All About Loans ~ (well.. maybe not ALL : )

  • How Long Will It Take to Close? This is an important question and factor in structuring your Offer and making plans around the Purchase of a new residence.  You are lining up dominoes, and you want to know!  Well,  if you are selling your home to purchase the new one, then you are timing your own Sale’s closing date with the move-in/close of your Purchase.  It used to be fairly standard to achieve a closing in around 30 days.  What you need to know is that when you write this into the Offer, it becomes a “Time Is Of The Essence” feature of your contract (An accepted Offer is a contract… and that’s a legal term for: “You must meet this date.”).  That means you need to be pretty sure you are going to be able to meet that time line, as it is contractual.The lender requires time to gather information, order & analyze your appraisal, successfully navigate underwriting, and draw up your documents.                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Are closing dates often extended? Yes. Does the Seller have to agree to extend you additional time beyond the “on or before” closing date set in your Offer? No. Now, most parties want the transaction to go forward, and so often agreement to do this is reached, but it is very important for you to know that your Earnest Money is in play…  and should, let’s say, the Seller have another Buyer who has approached them during your transaction and, perhaps said “Hey, it’s too bad you sold your house to those Buyers because I really want it and I’d give you more money for it!”  Hmmm… Would there be incentive for the Seller to perhaps be awarded your Earnest Money because you failed to “perform” per the stipulations of the contract?  I’ll leave that for you to answer.  Just remember- With the new RESPA guidelines that lenders must follow, there is potentially more time that needs to be built into the process, so instead of 30 days, it is prudent to allow around 45 days.
  • Rates: They are under 5% now for a 30-year fixed.  We all know prices are down… Good combination eh?         – More Detail: “Recent Employment data which fell short of Wall Street forecasts and uncertainty about the pace of the economic recovery caused investors to shift to relatively safer assets, including government insured mortgage-backed securities.  This plus economic data indicating extremely low inflation resulted in declining mortgage rates over the last few weeks.”  (Thanks to Pat Goodell from Academy Mortgage for this update.)
  • USDA Loans: Though these are back in the running now with funds having been declared available for Rural Home Loans,  most investors haven’t given the “go ahead” to lenders to begin issuing commitments and closing those loans yet.  We are told the details should be worked out shortly though, so get ready for this 100% financing option to re-enter the scene!
  • Do you know how many people are involved in a real estate transaction (minimum)? The answer is 13+ .  Here’s the Breakdown (thanks to Naida Paris of Valley Mortgage for this!):   Listing Agent, Selling Agent, Seller (s), Buyer (s), Loan Officer, Loan Processor, Underwriter, Document Drawer/Funder, Escrow Officer, Title Officer, Inspector (s), Insurance Agent, and Appraiser.
  • FHA is going to be dropping the amount a Seller can pay toward a Buyer’s closing costs, but the outlook for that to take effect is 2011.  So, for now you can still take advantage of the current rule which is that a Seller can contribute 6% toward a Buyer’s closing costs.  You’ll want to talk w/your Realtor & Lender about how much the closing costs will come to prior to writing this into the offer, however.