FHA loans are government-backed loans that often have a much lower interest rate than a conventional (traditional) loan. Before you right off these loans as impossible options, keep in mind that millions of people are benefiting from them right now. In fact, FHA has increased its loan amount to upwards of $250,000 in most areas, making FHA Loans an important option in the mortgage landscape. Here are five ways that FHA loans can help you to obtain the home you are looking for, or help you in other ways.
5 Ways that FHA loans can help you get the home you are looking for:
#1: Lower Interest Rates: The main benefit of FHA loans is to provide individuals with a lower interest rate. If the FHA is backing your loan, you are less of a risk to the lender. Therefore, they agree to offer you a slightly lower interest rate. This translates into an interest rate that could save you thousands of dollars over the lifetime of that loan. That is money in your pocket.
#2: Better Qualifications: Many lenders have increased their standards in lending money. If you do not have a credit score over 700, then our best bet to getting a low interest rate home loan is with the FHA loans. You do not have to have as much down to qualify for these loans either (usually 3.5%)
#3: Help Getting Out of a High Interest Loan: Perhaps you have a high interest rate loan. You are paying much more than the current low rates that are available. FHA loans can help you to get a low rate even on refinances. Definitely, worth looking forward to since it will drastically cut the amount it costs to buy your home.
#4: You Need Help: There are a number of programs available through the FHA to help you to get out of a troublesome home loan. You can stop foreclosures and often stop your overall risk of losing your home by taking advantage of these programs. If you need this help, contact an FHA loan specialist today.
#5: You Are A First Time Home Buyer: For those who have yet to buy a home and are worried about doing so, FHA loans can help. These loans are highly affordable and they are ideal for the first time homebuyer unsure of what to do next.
FHA loans can help millions of people to get into the homes they want and need, or to protect them from losing their investment. Contact a professional today to learn if you qualify.
PLANNING A MOVE? REDUCE THE STRESS!
If you are planning to take that step and move into a new dwelling, or perhaps to a new city or community, here are some moving tips that will help you get through it as easy as possible. Keep in mind that getting organized FIRST and staying organized is the secret to a reduced-stress-move!
You may want to consider having a professional organizer handle your relocation. There are local organizers who will provide on-site energy, motivation, and fun – giving expert guidance for those tuff decisions you will have to make on what to keep and what to throw out!
If you have ever moved before, you will probably agree that it is best to let a professional moving company help you with your move including doing the packing. If you are moving long-distance, their packers are trained to do the job efficiently, guarding against breakage and loss. Plus, your household items will be insured by the company. It is a general rule that items labeled “packed by owner” (meaning anyone other than the mover) are not insured during the move.
As always, when considering a company to hire to assist with jobs such as moving or organizing, do your research. Comparing costs is one thing, but most importantly would be to make sure the company is a professional and responsible one. A business that provides moving services should only have bonded employees working for them, and an insurance policy that will cover damages to any items they transport. Checking customer and business reviews is a good way to better know who the company really is. It is not hard to check out service companies online or on your social networks – ask for recommendations from your friends on who they have successfully used.
When it comes to unpacking, it’s time to roll up your sleeves and do it yourself. Keep in mind that when you pay movers to unpack, they don’t put anything away. So everything you own ends up on all surfaces, including the floor. Be sure to label the boxes with the content and location they belong to so the movers can place them in the appropriate place, then you go to work room by room, unpacking and placing the contents.
With so many things to consider in the process of a move, here are some helpful ideas:
1 – Create a moving notebook or folder or ask your Realtor for a MOVING CHECKLIST. Keep all of the paperwork related to your move in one place. Make notes, keep your checklist current, and keep receipts and documents.
2 – Log on to your utility sites or a website like https://myutilities.com/ that can manage all of your utility changes in one place. Shop and set up your utilities and complete your change of address notification. Most utility companies will allow you to search for and connect to the services you need in your new area including: electricity, water, gas, cable/satellite TV, Internet/phone, and more.
3 – Create a moving calendar to schedule and track all aspects and tasks required for a successful move, such as changing utilities, change of address notification, make hotel reservations, defrost the refrigerator, order storage container, pet lodging, etc.
4 – Do your research about resources such as housekeepers who clean empty homes, carpet cleaners, reputable van lines and technology specialists, etc. Ask your Realtor for local recommendations.
5 – It’s time for the “great-give-away”. Why move things you no longer need or use? Find another home for them: favorite charities, recycling centers, family members, and garage or estate sales. People want what you don’t need.
6 – Don’t forget that all-important survival box packed with your bed linens, coffee pot and other must-have items. This box should be last-on and first-off the moving van.
7 – Cash for tipping the packers, loaders, and driver for superior service. You want them to take good care of your belongings.
Congratulations! You and your stuff made it to your new digs. Now, save your back by using furniture moving pads to slide heavy furniture around – it’s a cinch and doesn’t scratch the flooring.
In today’s real estate market there are deals available for those who are ready to invest.In fact, today a buyer can buy real estate and have a better cash flow than in years past. A few years ago an investor would be happy with buying an investment property that could cash flow $200.00 a month over the mortgage payment. That was figured on a 20-year mortgage including taxes and insurance. Today you can buy rentals that will cash flow up to $400.00-$500.00 or more per month.
TODAY’S OPPORTUNITIES ARE BETTER THAN EVER.
Plan your future with rental houses in it. Buying investment property today comes with low interest rates, resulting in lower payments. PLUS, due to the high demand for housing across the country and in DFW, rent prices continue to rise.
Once you buy an investment property, follow the model of successful investors and hire a professional management company to handle the day-to-day minutia. Spend your time locating those real buys and let a property management company do the management.
Be sure to look at homes that need work. Mortgage companies are not generally interested in spending more funds repairing them, resulting in you getting a lower price. All sounds real simple, right? It doesn’t have to be complicated, following a few simple steps will help you get started. The following tips will keep you on track as you grow into a real estate mogul with successful investing!
5 TIPS FOR SUCCESSFUL REAL ESTATE INVESTING
Make a plan – Determine how many houses you want to purchase per quarter, per year, and know how much cash-flow you want each property to produce for you over and above mortgage, insurance and expenses. Other items to plan for are:
- What areas do you want to target? Look for properties that meet your criteria in the areas that you choose.
- Look for a win/win in every purchase; it needs to work for you, the bank and the owner.
- Don’t get emotional, learn to negotiate – this a business purchase.
- Remember that ugly ducklings can be made beautiful. Look for properties you can fix up to increase the value of the neighborhood – which in turn increases your investment.
- Know your objectives – Write out your objectives for investing.
Do you want to –
> build future wealth on investments that will cash-flow itself while building a retirement income on a 20-year note,
> build short-term wealth that provides a monthly income from the cash-flow on a 30-year note,
> or, get immediate cash by buying low and flipping (fixing up and selling for a profit)?
Set your Parameters – Determine the parameters in advance, i.e. what type of house will you buy? What type of lease will you take? What can you afford to buy?
> Go for the lower maintenance, more popular styled home for your area: i.e. 3 bedroom, 2 bath, 2-car garage, central heat and air, with brick exterior. Remember, the better quality home the better quality tenant/lease you will be able to secure. Stay away from homes that require continuous maintenance and upkeep (i.e. homes with wood siding).
> Go with a minimum 2-year lease. A tenant who signs a 2-year lease will most likely sign for another 2 years, and another 2 years – you are already 6 years, into paying off your investment!
> Know how much money you can invest in a property without breaking YOUR bank! Look for REO’s and houses that have been on the market for a very long time (180 days +).
> Get your $$$$$ in order – Of course you will have to get your credit in order and have a good relationship with your lender.
Here are a few “secrets” from the experts to continue your success:
- Have a 6 month “emergency” fund put back to protect you and your investments.
- Save money to take care of your future. No one else can do this for you.
- Pay attention to your business, your assets, what you are spending and what you are saving.
- Learn to GIVE. It will come back to you.
Use a property management company – One of the biggest mistakes and “time guzzlers” is in trying to manage your investment properties yourself. Experts advise you NOT to manage your properties yourself…”don’t worry about the $45 and $50 items that need to be fixed at your property, instead focus on the $40,000 equities that are out there!”
A property management company will take care of these things for you, freeing your time and resources to develop your investment portfolio:
- advertising your vacant property
- thoroughly screening a prospective tenant
- performing move-in, move-out and periodic inspections d. expediting emergency repairs
- handling regular maintenance and upkeep of your property
- overseeing any legal or collection issues
Real estate investing is a proven way to build wealth, and anyone can start! Use these simple tips to get started then contact Norma Langston to help you with your first purchase.
10 TIPS TO MAKING YOUR HOME MORE ECO-FRIENDLY
Did you know it’s possible to cut down your energy bill and reduce your carbon footprint without drastically changing your lifestyle at home? The following are several quick and easy ways to make your home more eco-friendly while keeping your home stylish and comfortable.
1. Swap those old bulbs
It’s possible to save more than 66% energy just by tossing out all your incandescent light bulbs and switching them with Compact Fluorescent Light bulbs. The difference is enough that you’ll save 400 pounds of greenhouse gas emissions for every incandescent light bulb you replace.
2. Use more extension leads
Sometimes, you’re using energy without even realizing it. By hooking up more appliances and electronics to the same multi socket extension leads, you can consume up to 15% less energy by turning the the extension leads off at night, when nothing is in use, or when you’re on vacation.
3. Look for the Energy Star seal
If an appliance is Energy Star Qualified it means that it is designed to consume much less energy than other models. Depending on the device, some can use anywhere from 10% less energy to even 50% less.
4. Use vinegar, the natural cleaner
Instead of buying chemical-heavy products, you can often just use vinegar as a green, natural multipurpose cleaner. Keep in mind that vinegar shouldn’t be used for everything, such as stone tile floors or hardwood floors.
5. Cook more efficiently
Although not every dish comes out as good, using a microwave can reduce energy consumption by up to 50% when compared to a conventional oven. It’s also wise to use certain cookware that don’t require as high a temperature, mainly: silicone, glass, and ceramic dishes. It’s also wise to only open a heated oven when you absolutely need to since opening the door for only 30 seconds can decrease the temperature by more than 100 degrees.
6. Use eco-friendly scents and paints
We all love using fragrances, especially in the bedroom. But those made of synthetic and chemical materials are not helping our planet. Instead, go for scents that are non-aerosol and made entirely of essential oils. Eco-paints also do their part by containing much less volatile organic compounds when compared to regular paints.
7. Watch for wasted water
You’d be surprised by how much water some people waste. For example, keeping the water running while the toothbrush is scrubbing away in your mouth is a big no-no. Leaving a leaky tap on the to-do list all year can also cost you nearly 200 liters of water per week.
8. Go for low-flow
Nothing uses more water in your home than the toilet. Although it’ll cost you some cash at first, replacing your old porcelain thrones with low-flow ones can drastically reduce water use and save you money in the long run. While you’re at it, you can also opt for low-flow showerheads to save thousands of liters of water a year, especially if you have a big family.
9. Hang dry once in awhile
Dryers require producing a lot of energy to heat up and dry your clothes in the time that they do. Give them a break occasionally by hang drying your clothes instead. And when you wash, try using cold water more often since doing so can save a whopping 85-90% of your energy when compared to using hot water.
10. Garden lover? Use water butts.
A water butt is a container designed to collect and store rainwater, normally for garden use. Putting one or more of these outside during the rainy season can reduce your water consumption by a lot once the hotter months arrive and you want to keep your precious plants alive. While we’re talking about gardens, it’s also very eco-friendly to compost your organic waste instead of buying fertilizers, pesticides, etc.
Benefits of buying a home at the end of the year. . .
In addition to low interest rates, there are other benefits to buying at the end of the year, including:
Tax savings. Closing on your new home by Dec. 31, 2017, means you can deduct mortgage interest, property taxes and points on your loan on your 2017 income tax return. You can also deduct the interest costs associated with a home equity loan. These deductions are significant, especially in the early years of your loan when you are paying off so much interest.
Motivated Sellers. Many sellers will also be anxious to sell by the end of the year so that they can also enjoy tax savings on the next home they purchase. That means you may have more leverage during negotiations and they may be willing to accept lower than their listing price. However, if you’re in a strong seller’s market, be conservative and always seek the advice of your real estate professional.
Special Incentives. If you’re buying a new house, there’s a good chance builders will be offering incentives. Many builders will throw in nice little extras to sell as many houses as they can by the end of the year.
More visibility. Generally speaking, the housing market slows down in the fall as fewer homes are being listed. This gives your home a chance (with the right marketing) for higher visibility by serious buyers, not to mention that the weather in November makes it a great time for house hunting!
It’s easier to move. Many moving companies are booked six or so weeks in advance during the busy summer months. In the fall and winter it’s normally easier to secure the services of a moving company or rental equipment on shorter notice.
A new home for the holidays. The holiday season is a great time to celebrate your new home with family and friends.
In addition, you’ll enjoy the many benefits that come with homeownership, regardless of what time of year you buy, including:
Paying toward something you own. If you’re renting, your rent payment goes toward something that will last you a month — a place to live for 30 or so days. When you buy a house, your monthly mortgage payment goes toward something you own.
Consistent payments. Landlords have the discretion to increase your rent, plus it’s exposed to inflation. Once you secure a mortgage, you can rely on consistent payments (if you have a fixed-rate mortgage).
A place to make your own. When you own your house, you can update your kitchen, paint your home’s exterior in any color you choose, change your fixtures, and replace your carpeting – all with the knowledge that the changes you make are your own.
Gaining equity. In the beginning, most of your payment goes toward interest. But gradually more will go toward paying off your principal, meaning you build up equity – or savings – in your home. Another factor in equity is appreciation. As home values go up in your area, so too does your rate of equity.
If you are thinking about buying a new home, contact Norma and her team today to get more information about the options available to you.