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3.25 % Fixed Interest Rates!

by The Pilgrim Team

Interest Rates As Low as 3.25% WOW!!

I did not think this would ever happen, but now it appears that it is reality. PHFA loans are now as low as 3.25% for new Construction and 3.75% for existing Homes for sale in york pa. This is through the Keystone Home Loan Program here in Pennsylvania. The conditions and requirrements are listed below and are provided by PHFA.

 

Now is definetly the time to buy, DON'T DELAY it could cost you thousands of dollars! Call or email us at Pilgrim Team for more details and property that would qualify.

You may be eligible for a Keystone Home Loan if you meet the following six conditions:

  1. You are not a first-time homebuyer, but you plan to buy a home in a Targeted county or area or you are a discharged veteran of the United States Armed Forces. Target counties are indicated by a "T" in the listing of Purchase Price and Income Limits. Please note that some Non-Target counties have targeted neighborhoods within them. Those areas are listed by county and census tract starting on page three of the purchase price and the income limits above. To determine the census tract of a specific property, visit www.ffiec.gov, and select 'Geocoding/Mapping System'.
    OR
    You and all other adults who intend to live in the home within 12 months from closing are first-time homebuyers. This is defined as someone who has not owned (had Title to) their principal residence during the previous three years.
  2. The gross annual household income for all adults that intend to occupy the home within one year from loan closing does not exceed the Keystone Home Loan Program income limit. All sources of income must be included, except for income received by persons under age 18 and income received by dependants enrolled in a full-time undergraduate program.
  3. The purchase price of your prospective home does not exceed the Keystone Home Loan Program purchase price limit. This includes all costs for a complete home. It is also known as the total acquisition cost. The appraised value of land owned outright for more than two years does not need to be included.
  4. You have an acceptable credit history and the ability to make monthly payments on the home you expect to buy. Generally, you should plan to use no more than 30 percent of your income for your monthly Home Financing payment. A participating lender or PHFA network counseling agency can help you determine how much of a home you can afford, as well as any credit issues you may need to work on.
  5. You have sufficient funds to pay standard Home Financing application and closing fees. Check with a PHFA participating lender to determine the specific costs. These would commonly include such things as credit reports, appraisals, title fees, etc. Buyers who qualify for a PHFA home loan may be able to receive a 25 percent discount on their title insurance, upon request. This could be a savings of hundreds of dollars, depending on your loan amount. So, be sure to ask the lender to request the discount, if applicable. The discount does not apply to loan amounts greater than $200,000 or to the Approved Attorney Procedure.
  6. You have sufficient funds for a downpayment on your prospective home. Borrowers who have a downpayment of less than 20 percent of the home’s purchase price or appraised value are required to obtain Home Financing insurance to protect the lender and PHFA in the event that the mortgage becomes delinquent (you fall behind on your payments). The amount of the downpayment differs according to the loan type as listed below.

PHFA Appendix A Seller’s Guide Page 1 of 5 July 2010

 

KEYSTONE HOME LOAN PROGRAM

PENNSYLVANIA HOUSING FINANCE AGENCY

MAXIMUM PURCHASE PRICE AND INCOME LIMITS * By Region and County (Target Areas indicated by "T")

Maximum Purchase Price

Income Limit

County

Purchase Price Limit

1 & 2 Member Households

3 or more Member Households

Region 1

Bucks

$ 378,000

$ 93,900

$ 109,600

Chester

378,000

93,900

109,600

Delaware

378,000

93,900

109,600

Montgomery

378,000

93,900

109,600

Philadelphia (T)

417,000

93,900

109,600

Region 2

Berks

$270,000

$75,900

$ 87,100

Bradford (T)

298,000

77,000

89,800

Carbon

362,000

84,000

98,000

Lackawanna (T)

298,000

77,000

89,800

Lehigh

362,000

84,000

98,000

Luzerne (T)

298,000

77,000

89,800

Monroe

243,000

66,800

77,400

Northampton

362,000

84,000

98,000

Pike

348,000

76,500

89,300

Schuylkill (T)

298,000

77,000

89,800

Sullivan (T)

298,000

77,000

89,800

Susquehanna (T)

298,000

77,000

89,800

Tioga (T)

298,000

77,000

89,800

Wayne (T)

298,000

77,000

89,800

Wyoming (T)

298,000

77,000

89,800

Region 3

Adams

$ 243,000

$ 67,400

$ 77,200

Cumberland

243,000

71,000

81,600

Dauphin

243,000

71,000

81,600

Franklin

243,000

67,500

77,600

Lancaster

345,000

80,000

93,300

Lebanon

243,000

67,800

77,400

Perry (T)

298,000

85,200

99,400

York

380,000

82,400

96,100

*The maximum purchase price for a two unit property (duplex\doubles) cannot be greater than the lesser of 10% above the current existing single unit limit, or $417,000.

Costly Trends Impacting Homeowners Insurance

by The Pilgrim Team

Homeowners insurance continues to rise at alarming rates. Additionally, some new home buyers are facing challenges in finding companies to cover their property at all; and existing homeowners are seeing policies cancelled after years of rate increases.

What’s going on with property and casualty insurance?

  1. Buyers should be aware of Chinese drywall and other inferior materials. Recently, Consumer Reports has highlighted an issue with faulty Chinese drywall. Bought cheaply, thousands of complaints are stating that the product is not only inferior and likely to fall apart, but is actually a health hazard. The problem is not widespread, but presents enough of a trend that insurers are covering their bases by excluding it from coverage or raising rates as a preventive measure against possible claims.
  2. Location, location, location – and if your dream home is on a coastal waterway, be prepared to pay more for your homeowners insurance. What’s more, insurance companies are requiring separate deductibles for coastal property – primary insurance and secondary wind, water or specifically hurricane risk. If you file often, be prepared to go without; frequent claims cause insurers to cancel or not renew.
  3. Lower home prices are also driving rates up and replacement or rebuilding coverage down. Even if the value of your home falls, shop around for the best price on covering your home in the event of a disaster, and make sure your coverage is adequate.
  4. And if things aren’t bad enough, bad credit scores continue to drive up rates on homeowners insurance (as well as auto and other insurance). People with poor credit are considered to be a high risk for responsible behavior and an indicator of future financial trouble. With unemployment rates high and home prices falling, poor credit is driving up rates across insurance plans.

Understand your current homeowners insurance policy and the coverage you are paying for. Shop around – it pays off to compare and switch insurers for better rate plans. And remember, all kinds of market trends can factor in what you pay – and what you get for it.

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Positive Housing Outlook From NAHB

by The Pilgrim Team

In last few years , it seems that we area always hearing negative news regarding the real estate market but now finally some good news is welcomed. According to National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and Wells Fargo, for the 5thconsecutive quarter, nationwide housing is near its highest level of affordability in 19 years  Housing prices and interest rates are still low and 72.2% of both new and existing Homes for sale in york pa are affordable to families who earn $63,800 (the national median income).

According to Bob Jones, NAHB Chairman, “Today’s report is very encouraging because it indicates that homeownership continues its more than year-long trend of remaining within reach of more households than it has for almost two decades.”

“With interest rates still hovering at low levels, companies starting to hire new employees and the economy beginning to rebound, this should encourage more home buyers to enter the market and help further stabilize housing and the economy.”

The national median home price for the quarter was $175,000. The NAHB uses a rule that no more than 28% of take-home pay can be used toward housing.

As with all real estate, location is key – Indianapolis and Youngstown, Ohio led the nation in affordability – 95% affordable based on local median income, followed by Dayton, Ohio, Syracuse, New York and Grand Rapids, Michigan.

New York City remains one of the least affordable cities, regardless of income. Still, any good housing news these days is cause for optimism, and home ownership is more than just a dream for many American families whose employment picture is stable.

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Getting Ready For Lawn and Garden Season

by The Pilgrim Team

Summer is offically still a few weeks away but we are in the swing of lawn and garden season. Taking care of your lawn and garden does not have to be a chore, it can be a pleasure with the right tools. To get prepared, below is what every home owner should have in the tool shed:

  1. Lawnmower – Of course this is a necessity! Most of us are familiar with standard rotary mowers – either gas or electric. The blades spin horizontally and often have a bag system for colleting grass clippings. Rotary mowers can be push, propelled or riding style. Reel mowers are push powered only. Falling out of favor to technology, reel mowers are becoming more popular because they are better for the environment and are much cheaper than rotary mowers.
  2. Weedeater – string trimmers are almost exclusively referred to by the famous brand name, but there are a number of styles and brands available, electric and gas-powered. They are a must have for flower beds, around trees and for other small tight areas that can’t be mowed.
  3. Spreader – these are generally push type, inexpensive buckets on wheels that spread fertilizer, seed or pest control materials quickly and evenly. Like lawnmowers, they also range in style and price depending on the size of your lawn and how much automation you choose.
  4. Blowers – also gas and electric, (backpack blowers are gas-powered) these tools blow air directionally to clean sidewalks, walkways, patios, carports and garages. Faster and less back-breaking than a broom, they are especially handy if your lot is heavily treed.
  5. Sprayer – sprayers come in various gallon sizes and are used to spot treat weeds or pests with liquid chemicals, allowing you to target troubled areas

Some of the smaller lawn maintenance tools that can be helpful, based on the complexity of your lawn and garden, and your interest in the details of lawn management can include:

  • Thermometer
  • Rain Gauge
  • Soil probe and thermometer
  • Trowels and hand tools

As with all tools, it’s a good idea to understand both the use and the care for your lawn equipment – including cleaning and storing them properly for the next use. Enjoy your landscape!

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National Flood Insurance Program

by The Pilgrim Team

The National Flood Insurance Program expired May 31, 2010 after three extentions. After May 31, the NFIP will not have the authority to issue new or renewal policies until Congress reauthorizes the program. Although this will not affect existing policies, renewal policies within a 30-day grace period, or policies purchased prior to the program's lapse, any new policies will be effected.

FEMA allows buyers to "assume" the seller's existing policy without having to re-issue it.  The purchase requirement for flood insurance may be met with non-NFIP policies; for instance, Lloyd's of London, Chubb and AIG have offered such insurance, but it can be very expensive and is limited to a certain number of states, with other conditions.

The National Association of Realtors  has been working with FEMA, FHA, Fannie, Freddie and the VA to provide guidance, similar to what it provided in April, for lenders as to the steps they may take to meet flood insurance purchase requirement during an NFIP lapse. With updated guidance in hand, lenders should have the assurances that they need to continue to close loans. FHA has already issued updated guidance. Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, the VA, and other lending authorities are expected to release guidance shortly, and NAR will post the guidance at www.realtor.org.

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Fixed Rate Mortgages

by The Pilgrim Team

When looking for financing on your new home purchase, you will be given many different options.  One of the most common is the fixed rate Home Loans, typically with a 15 year or 30 year term.  These traditional mortgages are amortizing, which means that you pay off the entire loan amount by the end of the term of the loan. This type of loan is very common but there are both advantages and drawbacks to these mortgages.  Depending on your financial situation, and the prospects of changes in your financial future, a fixed rate Home Financing may or may not be the best product for you.

Below are some of the pro's and con's of fixed rate Home Loans:

PROS

  • Interest rate on your Home Financing cannot be increased for the life of your loan
  • Monthly payment will remain the same for the life of the loan
  • Loan will be completely paid off by the end of the term

CONS

  • Fixed monthly payment amount may be difficult to make at the start of the loan
  • Large percentage of payment goes to interest payment in first years of the loan
  • Usually has a higher interest rate than a variable rate loan initiated at the same time
  • Interest rate cannot be reduced as in some variable rate programs
  • Maybe harder to qualify for, as higher income may be required

Depending on your financial situation, a fixed rate Home Financing may be the best solution for you.  If you can afford the monthly payment required to obtain the loan, then the fact that your interest rate and monthly payments will stay the same for the life of the loan while give you peace of mind and make monthly budgeting easier.

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Real Estate Attorneys

by The Pilgrim Team

If the purchase of a new home is in your future, you will have many decisions to make. Many home buyers may consider using the services of a real estate attorney for assistance with complicated documents and legal advise during the sale. Using a real estate attorney is a good idea, because the process of buying a house is complex, and most people find it's easiest to get through with a professional by their side.

Laws vary from state to state and some states require an attorney to create the purchase agreement and do the title search. There may be legal issues arise that your real estate agent can't answer, then you'll need an attorney's help. An attorney is also beneficial if there is any confusion or if you have questions about the documents then it is important to have an attorney look the documents over. Below are some other reasons you might want to consider using a real estate lawyer.

  • They can help protect your interests by examining all the legal documents before you sign them and can ensure that you’re not signing something that isn’t in your best interest. Always make sure you consult with a real estate attorney before you sign any legally binding documents to avoid signing a contract that can be damaging..
  • A real estate attorney is also better equipped to negotiate with the seller’s attorney; something that most buyers can’t do successfully because they’re too emotionally involved in the purchase.
  • If funds are being held in escrow as part of the sale, a real estate attorney has the authority to administer escrow. They can disburse funds as appropriate according to the terms of the escrow.

The cost of an attorney can vary, but typically the legal fees are higher when you buy than sell because the role of the buyer’s lawyer is more extensive. Most fees range from $500 to $1,500 for an average home whether you’re the buyer or the seller. You may find an attorney that will charge a flat fee for specific services and others bill by the hour. Usually, a lawyer can easily estimate costs related to a real estate transaction.

 

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Successful Negotiation Tips

by The Pilgrim Team

Having a successful negotiation and sale is what ever homebuyer and homeseller wants to achieve during the real estate transaction.. The negotiation process can be both complex and confusing for both sides. Bot the seller and the buyer want to have a fair transaction and achieve the best deal. Even if you have been thru the negotiation process before, below are some tips to help you get the most from the  transaction and walk away with what you want.

1. Time the market right. At this time, we are in a "buyers" market, where most sellers are very motivated to sell, this can give a buyer the upper hand. On the other side,  a "sellers" market, or a market where housing supply and demand are roughly equal might give the seller an advantage. If possible, you want to be in the market at a time when it favors your position as a buyer or seller.

2. Pay attention to the details. Buyers and seller pay a lot of attention to the transaction price. It is a good idea to consider other perks or benefits that can add to the overall worth. For example, if you negotiate that the roof be replaced or perhaps having the seller pay some of the closing costs this can sweeten the deal. Don't be stuck with the idea that the purchase prince is the only financial gain to the transaction.

3. Don't forget about financing. Keep in mind that there are several factors that can impact the final sale:

• Has the buyer been pre-qualified or pre-approved by a lender?  Having buyers that are "pre-qualified" or "pre-approved" are more likely to pose less risk than a buyer who has never met with a lender. This also shows the seller that they are serious about the offer and will give the seller more confidence. that they are a qualified buyer.

•If there is a low interest rate, then there will be a larger selection of potential buyers. More buyers equal more potential demand, which is good news for sellers. On the downside, high interest rates will cause buyers to be more selective or cause them to withdrawal from the market all together.

•The traditional 20% downpayment is not standard anymore. If the buyer has good credit, loans with 5 percent down or less are now widely available. Many loans where 100 percent financing are still available, although not as much as a few years back.

Negotiation is an important tool of the real estate transaction. To be a successful home seller or buyer you should have a basic understanding of negotiation methods, knowing the motivation of the other party and adapting to their style.

 

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Piggyback Loans

by The Pilgrim Team

A piggyback loan may have a strange name but it is a home financing option in which a property is purchased using more than one Home Financing from two or more lenders. This type of financing is also called an 80/20 loan. There are many variations of this loan such as an 80-10-10 loan, which can typically be defined as a 10 percent second mortgage coupled with a traditional 80 percent first lien and a 10 percent down payment. There can also be different variations to make up the difference between a conventional loan and almost any amount of down payment, such as an 80-5-15 loan. 

These types of loans have advantages and disadvantages. The good news is that this type of a loan allows the home buyer to acquire or refinance a home with less than a 20 percent down payment or equity. In addition, another benefit is that the homebuyer does not need to carry private Home Financing insurance (PMI). 

One downside of these types of loans is they typically have higher interest rates than standard loans, mainly because lenders are assuming a higher risk. Also many piggyback loans attach a large balloon payment at the end of a loan. For homeowners who don't plan appropriately, this large payment can be a large financial strain. Homebuyers who assume these types of Home Loans should be aware that if they ever need an additional Home Financing or home equity loan in the future it will be difficult to obtain.

Homebuyers can also use piggyback loans as a source of funding for making a bigger downpayment on the new home. Homeowners who don't have the funds to make the 20 percent downpayment can use this loan to their advantage because private Home Financing insurance can be expensive and is not tax deductible. 

When considering these types of loans it is important to do the math on  how much money you have available for down payment. It is important to meet with your lender so that you clearly understand your budget before looking for a new home. Be sure to keep in mind that you'll likely need to cover expenses like earnest money, Home Financing insurance and closing costs for the transaction.

The Importance of Title Insurance

by The Pilgrim Team

Once you purchase a home and obtain a Home Financing, you will be required to obtain homeowners insurance. However, many potential homebuyers may not be familiar with another type of insurance, title insurance. So what is title insurance and why do you need it? Once you buy a home you are given a title, it then the owner's right to possess and use the property. It may be the homeowner who is selling the home or bank with a Home Financing on the property that has the title. It is also a possibility that a third party such as a homeowners association if the dues have not been paid or even the government may also have liens against the property for unpaid taxes.

Problems with the title can limit your use and enjoyment of the property, as well as bring financial loss. It is vital to not only obtain title insurance but to also have a  title search done to protect your interest. By doing a search, it will reveal if someone other than the owner of the property owns the title. This search can be done by examining public records to look up the history of property ownership. While you can easily do your own title search, if you are obtaining a loan to purchase the property, the lender will require that a qualified third party do the title search. The title search shows not only limitations on the use of the property and rights others may have in the property, but also liens or monetary obligations that are outstanding against the property. 

Title insurance is different than the standard insurance where you are covered in case of a future event. For example, if you get car insurance you are insured in case you have an accident, you buy health insurance in case you get sick.  Title insurance is different as it covers events relating to the title that have already happened. It does not cover anything that happens to the title after the date of issuance. For example if you have liens filed against the property for taxes that you have not paid, your title insurance policy is not going to help you. But, if the lien is for taxes not paid by someone who owned the house before you, then you may have coverage under your title policy.

A title company will do a title search on the property before issuing the policy to see if there are any problems with the title. This search is done in an effort to minimize the risks of offering insurance.  Problems such as deeds, wills, outstanding Home Loans, judgements, and tax liens can be located from the search and can typically be cleared up before the closing on the property. When these problems are not cleared they will often be listed as exceptions to the policy's coverage. You would then need to decide whether the property is still something you want to purchase given the known problems with the title.

 

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Contact Information

Photo of The Pilgrim Team Real Estate
The Pilgrim Team
Professional Realty Associates
2002 S Queen St, Suite 3
York PA 17403
Office: 717-757-5955
717-755-2683
Fax: 717-757-2887