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REAMS is the shorter and easier way of saying Real Estate And Mortgage Section; But the term also describes large quantities of paper and hard copy documents, and – as such – we hope to bring you the equivalent of large quantities of quality content relating to real estate and mortgages. So…

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…We hope you are successful in finding information relating to real estate and mortgages that will meet your needs; and you have an open invitation for future visits to REAMS as often as you’d like. New and updated content is added on a regular basis and we hope this is your Web destination for all your REAM information. So browse at your leisure, we appreciate your support.

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One of the programs I wrote extensively about on this blog, and spent much of my time promoting while still active as a mortgage lender representative, is the FHA-insured 203k rehabilitation loan. Having said that, I recently came across a video on the subject of 203k mortgages which does a great job of promoting the program and I want to share it with you. Click the REbuild USA link below to watch the video:

REbuildUSA With 203k on NBC Miami

Here are my remarks on this video:

This video hits the nail on the head about the FHA-insured 203k program!
It manages to convey (in 4 minutes, 45 seconds) the true essence and real
benefits of the program, something I have been writing about for at least
3 years as of the time of this post. Thanks to Dennis & Teresa for putting
203k in the spotlight where, hopefully, more first-time home buyers and
qualified refinancing homeowners, will take advantage of the program.


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Admin’s Observation: In civilized society we adhere to certain codes, some of which you may be familiar with: Code of Ethics, Code of Conduct, Code of Honor, Dress codes, Tax codes, Penal Code, etc. And that’s only a smidgen of the offline codes we are all subjected to in one way or another.

But there are also a number of codes that are specific to the online world that affect those of us who are frequent users of the Internet and the digital marketplace; and if you are reading this you may also be familiar with some of these online codes: Country codes, QR codes, Internet Access Codes, Promo codes, Coupon codes, HTML codes, CSS codes, PHP codes and various others that cannot be listed here at this time.

However, there is one basic code which is the most fundamental of all codes pertaining to the use of this incredible resource we know as the Internet. It’s the code upon which passwords are being created; and how frustratingly difficult and vulnerable would our Internet lives be without codes on which to base strong passwords that are easy to create and remember, but tough to crack into? Very difficult indeed without the code!

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Read This Story About The Grand Colonial

Home Construction & Renovation – July

These words (except for quotes) are my views & opinions and do not represent those of my employer.

One Loan, One Rate, One Close

Framing of a newly constructed home
Framework of a future gorgeous home!

A Construction to Permanent Mortgage

This is one loan with one set closing to fund the construction and provide a permanent mortgage. The loan can be used to finance the purchase of the property and the construction costs. If the property is already owned, any equity created when the construction is complete can be used toward the total equity to finance the transaction, effectively creating a No-Down Payment Option. During the typical 12 month construction phase interest-only payments are made on the funds advanced to pay for the construction. A Loan Disbursement Schedule is set up prior to closing so both the borrower and builder will know how the construction will be funded. When all the work is complete the construction loan converts to a 30 fixed rate mortgage.

Depending on the borrower’s needs, the rate on a Construction to Permanent mortgage is locked at application or prior to the closing. This will be the same rate when the construction loan converts to a permanent mortgage.

At application, the borrower will need to provide the lender with a signed construction contract, signed property purchase contract, if applicable and a set of building plans. Building permits are not needed to apply but will be required before any actual construction may begin.

Because of the lengthy time frame involved with construction, up to a year or even longer in some cases, there are special considerations when it comes to construction financing. Each Construction to Permanent mortgage is structured to meet the borrower’s specific needs. Being prepared to make the transition financially and physically while a home is being built or undergoing major renovation can require some juggling and careful planning.

If the borrower waits to sell their current home until the new home is ready to move in, they must qualify for the new construction loan while still making payments on their existing home even if it’s listed for sale but has not closed. Borrowers who cannot qualify this way, may need to consider selling their current home before construction begins and temporarily rent or live with family until the new home is ready.

On a construction purchase transaction the borrower must put down at least 20% of the total acquisition cost, i.e. the combination of the property contract and construction contract. The lender will typically finance up to 80% of this amount. Construction costs are generally categorized as “hard costs” and “soft costs.” The materials and labor are hard costs and things like design plans, architectural drawings, engineering fees, permits, etc. are soft costs. Some soft costs can be financed if they are included into the construction contract.

The borrower may need the proceeds from the sale of their current home to help with the down payment on their new home. If that’s the case they’ll need to sell before they close their construction to permanent mortgage. In addition to the down payment the borrower will need money for closing costs and reserves. With only one loan needed for both construction and permanent mortgage, closing costs are much less than when two separate loans are used to finance the project.

The borrower must also have additional funds on hand to cover any potential cost overruns and may need reserves to cover certain housing expenses during the construction phase. The reserve requirements depend on the transaction and are calculated by the lender before the loan is approved so the borrower is prepared upfront for what is needed. Building a new home or renovating an existing one is a complex process. A one-time close Construction to Permanent mortgage makes the financing simple. The borrower can focus their energy and time on their project with peace of mind knowing both the construction financing and the mortgage are approved, the rate is set and the details for financing each stage from start to finish has been worked out ahead of time.

“Possession make you rich? I don’t have that type of richness. My richness is life, forever” Bob Marley

Arthur Aranda • NMLS #1042093
Construction & Renovation Loans
New Jersey, New York, Connecticut
201-741-1537 talk/text


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Home Construction & Renovation – May

These words (except for quotes) are my views and opinions gathered from my experience in home construction finance and do not represent those of my employer.

Teardown & Rebuild…Its Easier Than you Think

Demolition of property for nmew construction
Tearing down to rebuild

A house that may be a good candidate for a teardown is in a desirable location but below the standards of the other homes in the neighborhood. It may be much smaller than average, have serious structural problems, require too many repairs, or have outdated heating, cooling, plumbing or electrical systems. It tends to be priced below the average for the neighborhood and often remains unsold for a longer period, unless it is actively marketing as a prospective teardown.

A Rule of Thumb to help determine if a teardown will support a newly built house is when the value is at two to three times the price of the teardown house at acquisition. For example, if you can buy an older, functionally obsolete house in a good location for $250,000 and a brand new house built on the same lot will support a market value of $500,000 to $750,000, it may be a good teardown candidate.

Once you’ve decided on the neighborhood, contact a real estate agent with experience in teardowns or substantial renovations. Realtors can often recommend potential builders for your project or you can contact the local chapter of the National Association of Home Builders for advice. Some mortgage lenders may also be able to provide a list of approved builders they have worked with on new home construction.

New homes are energy efficient, from the roof, windows, and doors to the heating and cooling system, an important feature for home owners today. They are wired for all the in-home entertainment and modern appliances we use today. The interior layout of a new home is customized for the style of living the home buyer wants for their family. For example, many homes are custom built now for multi-generational living. If these features are important and cannot be attained at a reasonable cost by renovating, then a teardown may be the way to go.

Buying a house in order to tear it down requires planning, some extra homework and some added expense. Demolition costs vary with the size and location of the teardown property, but generally range from $10,000 to $25,000. You may be able to recoup most of the demolition expenses by recycling some of the materials in the teardown by selling the contents or by tax-deductible donations.

Your municipality will require you or your builder to obtain a demolition permit before you start doing anything. You will need to contact the utilities companies to determine when and how to disconnect gas, electric, water services. Check with the fire department to determine what sort of inspections or oversight is required prior to demolition. Local government may also require inspections for toxic materials inside the house, which is a concern if the structure dates back to the 1960s and earlier, when asbestos was commonly used as a construction material in ceilings & duct work.

Can I finance a teardown?

Absolutely yes! Some banks offer mortgage products for new home construction and have a lot of experience lending on teardown projects. One such mortgage product ideally suited to finance a teardown is a construction to permanent mortgage, sometimes called a “one time close” construction to permanent mortgage.

Each construction to permanent mortgage is structured to meet the specific needs of the borrower. A one time close construction to permanent mortgage makes the financing simple. The borrower can focus on their project with peace of mind knowing both the construction financing and the permanent mortgage are approved, the rate is set and all the details for financing each stage from start to finish have been worked out ahead of time.

“The urge to destroy is also a creative urge.” – Pablo Picasso

Arthur Aranda • NMLS #1042093
Construction & Renovation Loans
New Jersey, New York, Connecticut
201-741-1537 talk/text


Are you interested in the networking possibilities and new business opportunities through social media? If yes, then let’s stay connected!

Home Construction & Renovation – April

These words (except for quotes) are my views and opinions gathered from my experience in home construction finance and do not represent those of my employer.

New Construction Loans driven by Cloud Technology!

This Trend is Good for Builders

The home building & remodeling industry is bouncing back. The busy throng of builders, realtors, construction trades people, lenders and other professionals at the Atlantic Builders Convention last month in Atlantic City was proof the market is showing positive signs of growth. In the two days I was there I had a chance to talk to some of the exhibitors about their products and services. An especially interesting conversation was with Schuyler Lovell, Sales and Marketing Manager for BuilderTrend.

BuilderTrend is an all in one cloud-based project management software for the home building and remodeling industry. This privately held software company has its headquarters in Omaha, NE. Founded in 2006, the company survived the housing crash in 2008 and is now a leader in the construction software industry with a proven track record of success.

With thousands of clients in 30 countries, BuilderTrend’s experience is firmly established. The company helps construction professionals communicate more effectively with subcontractors & suppliers regarding the building process while also keeping the homeowner in the loop on the progress. It has very useful features for managing selections and change orders. A fully integrated “all in one” system, it replaces multiple programs or systems builders often use for creating proposals, managing schedules and to-do lists, and making and tracking change orders.

BuilderTrend helps builders market and manage new business. The lead management function tracks client leads and creates proposals and bids for new projects. The builder can go online from anywhere and at anytime using their mobile phone or tablet to quickly send proposals to prospective clients. Accepted proposals can be saved and re-used for future business. For additional marketing support the company also offers website development and hosting services for home construction professionals. As a project management tool the software covers all stages of the construction life cycle. The scheduling tool can automatically update everyone involved in the project when any changes are made. It can manage purchase orders to reduce the possibility of errors and delays.

The BuilderTrend software package of services can be a game changer for construction professionals that may currently be using different systems to help manage their business. For 10 years this company has been helping both home builders and home improvement contractors operate a more efficient & productive business which in turn provides a better client experience. I also like their website, their demo videos and their quirky “about us” YouTube video. Check it out.

(I am not affiliated with or compensated in any way by this company. But I do like the company and think they have a very cool product.)

“Baseball is like a poker game. Nobody wants to quit when he’s losing; nobody wants you to quit when you’re ahead.” -Jackie Robinson

Arthur Aranda • NMLS #1042093
Construction & Renovation Loans
New Jersey, New York, Connecticut
201-741-1537 talk/text


Are you interested in the networking possibilities and new business opportunities through social media? If yes, then let’s stay connected!