Nelson Zide
ERA Key Realty Services | 508-277-7794 | nelson@nelsonzide.com


Posted by Nelson Zide on 2/7/2018

If youíre hoping to buy your first home in the near future, youíre likely wondering about the different types of mortgages that you may qualify for. Since the 1930s, the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) has been insuring home loans for first-time homeowners across America.

This program helps people achieve homeownership who typically wouldnít be able to afford the down payment or pass the credit score requirements to secure a traditional mortgage.

In todayís post, weíre going to answer some frequently asked questions about FHA loans to help you decide if this is the best option for your first home.

Does the FHA issue loans?

Although theyíre called ďFHA loans,Ē mortgages are not actually issued by the FHA. Rather, theyíre issued by mortgage lenders across the country and insured by the FHA.

Will I have to make a down payment?

With an FHA loan, your down payment can be as low as 3.5%, significantly lower than traditional loans at 20% down payment. However, you will be required to pay private mortgage insurance (PMI) in addition to your monthly mortgage payments until you have paid off 20% of the home. So, the best case scenario would be to save as much as possible for a down payment to reduce the amount of mortgage insurance you have to pay.

What are the benefits of an FHA loan?

The three main reasons to secure an FHA loan are:

  • You can qualify with a low credit score

  • You can make a smaller down payment than traditional mortgages

  • Your closer costs will be less expensive

Where do I apply for an FHA loan?

You can apply for an FHA loan through a mortgage lender. You can also work with a mortgage broker to help choose a lender.

Is an FHA loan the only loan option for low down payments?

There are multiple loan programs offered at the state and federal level to help individuals secure a mortgage with a lower down payment. They can be provided by the Department of Veterans Affairs, the USDA, or state-sponsored programs. Lenders also often sponsor their own programs to attract potential borrowers. However, always make sure you compare these programs to make sure youíre making the best long-term financial decision.

Do all FHA loans offer the same interest rates and costs?

No. Since the loans are only insured by the FHA, itís up to the lender to determine your interest rate and fees. So, itís a good idea to shop around for the best lender.

How high does my credit score have to be to qualify for an FHA loan?

You can secure a mortgage with a down payment as low as 3.5% with a credit score of 580 or higher. However, if you can afford to make a larger down payment, you can secure an FHA loan with a credit score as low as 500.

If your score is in the 500-600 range, itís typically a better idea to spend a few months building credit before applying for a home loan.

What information will I need to apply?

Youíll need to gather all of the same information that you would for a typical mortgage. This includes W2s from your employer(s), two years of submitted tax forms, your current and former addresses from the past two years, and your gross monthly salary.

Iíve owned a house before, can I still qualify for FHA loans?

Even if youíre not a first-time homebuyer you can still qualify for an FHA loan. However, you cannot qualify if youíve had a foreclosure within the last three years or have filed for bankruptcy within the last two years.




Categories: Uncategorized  


Posted by Nelson Zide on 11/22/2017

Shopping for a new home is difficult and time-consuming. With all of the homes listed for sale, itís tempting to want to visit all of them. However, if youíre juggling house-hunting with your work and personal life, then you likely wonít have time to set aside many hours to visit several homes.

 This is where you can use technology to your advantage. With free, modern tools online you can find out plenty about a house and the neighborhood itís in without ever having to go and visit it. Better yet, you can do so in just a few minutes right from home.

 In this article, weíre going to teach you how to become a real estate investigator from the comfort of your own couch, helping you save time while hunting for the perfect home for you. 

 Know what youíre looking for

While itís okay to browse homes for pleasure, when it comes to getting serious about buying a home youíll want to keep your search as specific as possible. Think about what you or your family need in a house and neighborhood, rather than focusing on idealized versions of those things.

A good way to do this is to sit down and make a list of your budget and the five most important things youíre looking for in a home. These could be things like distance to work, being in a certain school district, or having a certain number of bedrooms. Once you have these details in mind you can begin your search.

Search tools

There are a number of search tools for locating homes near you. The key to searching, however, isnít the tool you use but how you search. Refer to your list for things like room numbers, square footage, and location.

If you donít come up with as many hits as youíd like, try setting up email or text alerts so you can be made aware of the new results for your area.

Once you have a list of about ten properties, youíre ready to start researching them further to see which sellers you want to contact to view the home.

Researching a potential home

Many people are surprised at the number of things you can learn about a home just from a Google search. However, Google will be an indispensable tool in your search for the perfect home.

Letís start our search on Google Maps. Type in the address for the house youíre researching and see if there are any photos of the home that arenít on the listing page. Next, enter the satellite view of the home to get an idea of the layout of the home and property.

While youíre in Google Maps, itís a good idea to browse the local area for businesses, hospitals, schools, parks, and other services that might affect your decision. Then, set a driving route between the house and your place of work to find out how long it would take you to get to work if you moved there.

Once youíre done in Google Maps, head back to the Google search page and browse the results for the address. This could show you information on previous owners, prices, and crime statistics. All of this will be useful information in your search.

Repeat this search method for the rest of your homes on your list and youíll be narrowing down potential homes to visit in no time.





Posted by Nelson Zide on 11/15/2017

House hunting can be enjoyable but becomes overwhelming pretty quickly. After looking at many different houses, they can all start to look the same. Itís hard to remember what homes had what features. In order to make a right decision on which home to make an offer on, youíll need to remember the details of each house. Read on for tips to help you house hunt like a pro.


Keep Track Of The Homes You Have Looked At


Whether youíre doing simple online searches or touring open houses, itís easy for your mind to get jumbled as to what you have seen. Itís a good idea to keep a record of homes with their addresses as to where they are located, the color of the house, and the desirable features contained within the home. This way, you can have an overall picture of what you want. 


Know What Features Are Important 


You should make a list of everything youíre looking for in a home before you even start searching. Include things like:


  • The price range
  • How big of a house youíre looking for
  • How many bedrooms
  • How many bathrooms
  • Additional features like walk-in closets
  • Eat-in kitchen or dining room
  • What type of home youíre looking for
  • How many stories you want the home to be



You can then branch off from the essentials on the list adding other desirable features in a property like a pool, a jacuzzi, a large backyard, or a fireplace. Then, you should make a list prioritizing what is the most important to you in your home search. Things like the number of bedrooms and the size of the home will be a higher priority than a jacuzzi tub. 


Look At Your Commute


One of the most significant factors in finding a home is how far it is from your workplace. The closer you are to work, the less stressful your life will be. If you take the train or a bus to work, it may be easier to live close to a station or stop. On the flip side, to be closer to work what are you sacrificing? Are you close to schools, parks, stores, and other regularly visited spots? See what locations suit your lifestyle.


Review What Youíve Looked At

Once you have done your research and decided what you need and want, itís time to make comparisons. Look at the prices of each home and see what they have to offer for the money. Once you decide the price and amenities are on par with your original wishlist, the house is a good candidate to put an offer on.             






Posted by Nelson Zide on 11/8/2017

For first-time homebuyers, going from property buyer to property owner may seem virtually impossible. Lucky for you, we're here to help you take the guesswork out of buying a home.

Now, let's take a look at three questions that every first-time homebuyer needs to consider:

1. What is my "dream" residence?

One first-time homebuyer's definition of a "dream" residence may differ from another's. As such, you should consider what you'd like to find in a dream house before you begin your real estate search.

Creating a checklist of "must-haves" and "wants" in your house often serves as a great starting point for first-time homebuyers. This checklist will enable homebuyers to consider what they'd like to find in a dream home and plan accordingly.

Also, it is important to establish realistic expectations before you kick off a home search.

Many terrific houses are available in cities and towns nationwide, but no home is likely to have every feature that you desire in a dream residence.

Therefore, if you establish realistic expectations for your home search, you can avoid potential let-downs as you explore a broad array of high-quality houses.

2. How will I pay for a home?

Getting pre-approved for a mortgage is vital for a first-time homebuyer, and for good reason. With pre-approval for a mortgage, you'll know what you can afford to spend on a home before you enter the real estate market.

Many banks and credit unions are happy to meet with you to discuss your mortgage options. These lenders can outline the differences between adjustable- and fixed-rate mortgages, help you assess your credit score and ensure you can make an informed mortgage decision.

Furthermore, lenders can answer any mortgage questions that you may have. They can help you evaluate your current financial situation and enable you to obtain a mortgage that won't force you to revamp your day-to-day budget.

3. How do I begin searching for a house?

Beginning a home search is easy, particularly for first-time homebuyers who work with expert real estate agents.

An expert real estate agent understands what it takes to find a wonderful house at a budget-friendly price. In fact, he or she will do everything possible to help you navigate the housing market quickly and effortlessly.

Typically, an expert real estate agent will keep you up to date about new homes as they become available, set up home showings and submit home offers on your behalf. This housing market professional also will offer honest, unbiased recommendations throughout the homebuying journey to help you select a house that matches or exceeds your expectations.

When it comes to exploring the housing market, there is no need to work alone. Fortunately, you can hire an expert real estate agent who can help you get the best results possible during the homebuying journey.

Want to acquire your first home? Use the aforementioned tips, and you can move one step closer to owning a top-notch house.




Categories: Uncategorized  


Posted by Nelson Zide on 10/18/2017

When it comes to finding a place for you and your family to live, there have never been more options available than today. Banks and property owners have made living arrangements available and accessible to people of any lifestyle; whether you plan on staying in a home for just six months, or for the rest of your life.

It isnít always easy, though, to determine which option is best for you. In this article, weíll break down the financial and lifestyle characteristics of the four most common living situations: condominiums, townhouses, apartments, or owning your own home.

Condo living

Condominiums are a type of community living. But, theyíre more than just an apartment that you own. Most condos are attached; meaning theyíre not separated by yards and driveways. Some, however, are detached. One thing that is true for all condos, however, are the common areas throughout the development. This can include things like a park, yards, gyms, pools, or lounges and cafes. The best part about those amenities? You donít have to worry about their upkeep.

So, since you own the condo, who pays for the common areas? Odds are, youíll be paying a monthly fee or a homeowners association fee to upkeep the amenities your condo came with. Expect higher fees for better amenities and prime real estate location.

What about maintenance? Since you own the condo, youíre responsible for much of the interior maintenance, such as appliances. However, outdoor issues like roofing or siding are usually the responsibility of the homeowners association or property manager.

Condos are ideal for people who are somewhat committed to an area, and who want independence over their home without having to take care of all the landscaping.

Townhouses

Townhouses are in many ways the opposite of condos. They are often rented but they look like single family homes, complete with a driveway and front yard. There are also typically homeowners association fees for townhouses, but they can be significantly less since there are fewer amenities in a townhouse living environment.

Depending on your long-term plans, you can either rent or buy townhouses. Renting is usually a better choice for inhabitants who donít plan on staying in the residence for more than a couple of years.

Homeownership

If what you truly seek in a home is independence and privacy then traditional homeownership might be the best option for you. If you own a home outright and donít have to answer to a homeowners association, you get to choose what you do with your yard. There are of course, some limits to this, like getting additions approved by zoning boards, or trampolines signed off by your insurance company.

Financially, homes can be a good asset. They typically increase in value and allow you to build equity. You might also find them more financially dependable; rents can increase year after year, but your monthly mortgage payments typically wonít unless you choose to refinance.

Ultimately, buying a home is going to benefit you more the longer you stay there. So, if you plan on moving for work in the next few years, you might be better off renting.







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