Category Archives: Advice from Nicole
Real Estate Advice from Nicole
NO MORE SURPRISES
It used to be too common a story: you’re excited about signing the paperwork, shaking hands, and grabbing the keys to your new home. But the day before closing, the lender advises that your closing fees are several hundred dollars more than their Good Faith Estimate listed. Suddenly, your excitement turns to pressure to just pay it and close the deal.
Now those days are over, thanks to the Mortgage Disclosure Improvement Act (MDIA). What was once the Truth In Lending Act has been rewritten with new rules to help consumers understand the loan costs and alert borrowers to changes in fees well in advance of closing.
Now the lender must provide their Good Faith Estimate within three days of receiving the borrowers’ application, and closing cannot occur until the buyer has seven days to review the disclosure. If the final APR (annual percentage rate) differs more than 0.125% from the original quote, a new disclosure must be provided, granting the borrower the right of rescission.
This relieves the pressure that buyers once felt to agree to pay higher fees and rates at the very last minute. As always, borrowers can review the final documents one day before closing, providing an excellent opportunity for you to review all the figures with your real estate agent and to ask any lingering questions before you make it official.
According to a recent survey conducted by the National Association of REALTORS®, close to one third of existing home sales were either foreclosures or short sales (meaning sales in which the lender agreed to allow the home to sell for less than the amount outstanding on the mortgage). Indeed, it seems for now that these “distressed properties” have become the new “traditional” sales transaction.
This is why it is so important to seek the representation of a specially trained and qualified real estate professional. Sellers particularly need assistance in navigating these complex short sale transactions, and buyers need guidance if they are to take advantage of these delicate opportunities.
Obviously, real estate agents are among the biggest advocates for homeownership, and we strongly believe that any home lost to foreclosure is one too many. Regrettably, some circumstances arise where homeowners are simply unable to maintain their mortgage payments, and risk going into default. In those cases, a trusted agent’s specialized knowledge can help secure a short sale and keep the sellers out of the grueling foreclosure process.
Aside from staying current on national and local laws that apply to short sales and foreclosures, realty professionals are trained in qualifying sellers for assistance, negotiating with lenders, protecting buyers, and limiting risk. Now more than ever, it makes sense for both sellers and buyers to seek professional representation.
To view properties for sale or get the latest real estate information in Richmond County, NC, visit my website at
I can be reached by e-mail @ Nicole@NicoleHayden.com if you have any questions or need to schedule a listing or showing appointment.
•· Home Sales- Existing and new Construction
•· Investment properties
•· REO/Foreclosure Properties
As a professional in my community I also participate in our local Chamber of Commerce and am a member of the newly formed Ambassador Group that helps bring in and work with new members. Also, I am a member of the Richmond County Education Foundation Board, Richmond County Women’s Service League, Vice-President for the Richmond County Board of Realtors, and RPAC Chair for 2009.
I look forward to working with you.
Many retirees are facing dwindling incomes from their battered investments, which explains why applications for “reverse mortgages” have risen nearly 50% in the last two years. It sounds like a great option: a lender essentially gives you a cash advance on your home’s equity, which doesn’t have to be paid back until you either move or “move on.”
There are drawbacks hidden in the details, however. Although recent legislation has raised maximum allowable home values, the formula for determining how much you’ll get includes other factors like your age and current interest rates. Your current mortgage balance and the loan’s fees are then subtracted from that number.
Although loan origination fees have been capped at $6,000, the monthly mortgage insurance premiums and service charges could push the total cost of the loan up to twice that much. If you think you might move anytime soon, this just doesn’t make sense.
While anyone 62 or older may qualify, it’s the youngest who run the biggest risk with a reverse mortgage, because you may very well outlive the life of your payments. When that happens, the equity you would have fallen back on has disappeared.
It’s best to seek other alternatives first, with your best option being to make your move now and downsize to a smaller home, pocketing the equity from your sale for the future.