Home Construction & Renovation in October

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


Newly constructed residential home
From specs, plans and a vacant lot to this perfect abode.

Home Construction and You. A Couple of Thoughts (2 min read)

For a home buyer having a new home built or buying an existing older home is a big decision. More first time home buyers are even considering new construction is a great opportunity to personally design their dream home and save big money down the road on the repairs and maintenance costs of owning an older home. Here are a couple things to think about if you are considering new home construction:

Customization

New construction allows you to design everything from the roof to the basement. You can choose your floor coverings, windows, doors, cabinets, appliances, bath fixtures, built security and entertainment systems and a lot more. Some predesigned home floor plans even allow for customization of interior space like the location of walls and number of bedrooms and bathrooms. Brand new homes come with modern energy efficient heating and cooling and Smart Home technologies. All can be designed to your specification when you build a new home. All customization items should be factored into the total construction cost budget. This is very important when selecting custom items to avoid any unexpected financial issues during construction.

For economic and social reasons it seems fairly certain, there will be more multi-generational households in the years to come. New construction can be designed specifically for multi-generation occupancy, or with that option to convert later. They may even sell for more someday when it comes time to move (something else to think about!)


Financing

Unless you plan to use personal funds for everything, financing will be a critical part of the home construction process. Lenders require more documentation than they did a few years ago. So have your paperwork in order and ready to go. Your lender will tell you what’s needed. Speak to a mortgage loan officer with construction lending experience. An upfront review of the documentation and a prequalification interview will help you determine an affordable budget. This, in turn, will help you to determine what type of home you can build.

Building a new home provides many personal rewards and personal satisfaction but it’s also complex and can also be costly. A “one-time-close” construction to permanent mortgage can help keep monthly expenses low with interest-only payments during the construction phase.

On a purchase, you can finance up to 80 percent of the land and construction costs. If you own the land (or house if it’s a knock-down) you can finance 100% of the construction costs but you will need to pay off any outstanding loans on the land. This can be included in the new construction to permanent mortgage. When the 12 to 18 month construction phase is complete the construction loan converts to a permanent mortgage with principal and interest payments.

One final thought. Don’t be in a hurry. The planning out, design and construction of a new home can take a lot longer than you might think. Expect delays. In fact, plan ahead for them if you can.

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


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An Ideal Time to Sell Your Home Might Be Now

Houses Bought As-Is for ALL CASH! Fast Closings!

If you are a home owner who contemplated selling your home, but were apprehensive, unsure or even tentative because market conditions were still not reflective of the promising signs you had expected; then now may be the time for you to take another, closer look at the real estate market.

First you will notice that the Conventional 30-Year fixed rate mortgage (FRM) at the time of this writing is 4.09% (FHA: 3.75%) which is closer to the 52-week low of 3.94% (FHA: 3.50%) than the 52-week high 4.85% (FHA: 4.60%) and therefore is more favorable for attracting more buyers.

You will be pleased to learn also that home prices – according to leading analysts – rose higher in February and March of this year, but more importantly, property values “…rose 13.1 percent compared to February 2013…” and were “…up 12.9 percent on an annual basis….” according to a Mortgage News Daily article titled, ‘Price Increases Slow in Latest Case Shiller Report,’ in which the home pricing index reports were relied upon.

And this from an article published to CNBC’s website: “Year over year, the index jumped 12.4 percent, S&P/Case-Shiller said, a slightly slower rate than February’s 12.9 percent surge but well above Wall Street’s estimates.”

What this means is the rise in property values even exceeded what the Wall street experts had predicted, and when the market out-performs analysts and experts, it might be time to approach the matter of selling in a more serious way.

However, this is not to suggest that you rely solely on what is being said here, as it is always important to do your own research and market watch in a more consistent and diligent manner using the above data as more of a starting point than a marketing plan. Another factor which must be taken into consideration is what can only be thought of as “pent-up” demand of your buying market after such a long cold winter.

Pent-up demand is a term often used by real estate professionals to describe a condition that exists in the marketplace.

It is a condition which can be described as previously restrained home buyers now eager, and maybe overly anxious, to buy a home thereby satisfying a previously overwhelming desire to acquire the home they have long coveted but were unable to, because of an existing condition that prevented them; albeit a condition they had no control to stop or to change, such a phenomenon which in this case was the weather.

The long, cold winter to which I refer is known as the polar vortex which crippled a large swath of the country, with the northeast having been hit hardest, thereby rendering any home buying activity almost non-existent.

Other factors that strengthen this current demand is the consistently low interest rates already mentioned, the sustained appreciation in property values evidenced by market data and analysis and “double-digit price increases” seen in many of the country’s metro areas over the past year supported by “home price index reports” mentioned above, as well as the ever decreasing supply of available homes for sale.

This decreasing supply of homes can be attributed to a phenomenon that has its origins in a statement made by the highly regarded and respected investor, Warren Buffett, who holds the multiple positions of chairman, president, and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway, a company he started some fifty years ago.

Candace Taylor, in her article ‘Hedge funds try to turn a profit, one home at a time’ quoted Mr. Buffett as saying that he would ‘buy up “a couple hundred thousand” single family homes if it were practical.’

Based on Mr. Buffett’s immense influence in the investment community, this statement – as with most other statements he makes – has had a tremendous influence on other investors, and was enough to create a single family home buying frenzy “so intense that distressed homes in [a number of] areas have grown scarce, driving up prices and forcing investors to expand into other markets.” Types of investors participating, and the markets in which they were first active as described by Ms. Taylor are captured in the following passage from that article:

REITs, hedge funds and private equity players have competed to buy thousands of foreclosed houses in states like California, Nevada and Arizona — where the downturn left thousands of homes available for pennies on the dollar — renting them out to yield handsome returns.

So yes, now might be as good a time as any – since the pre-recession days of last decade – to sell your home; and this time of the year when the weather is increasingly more pleasant, and potential home buyers who were almost to the point of hibernation in their places of residence due to the harsh winter weather, are more actively looking to buy that home they have wanted for such a long time, is ideal for putting your house on the market.

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First time Home Buyer Loans – Plus and Minus!


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click the Mortgage Rates and Market Data link!

When you buy a house for the first time, it is not only a great deal, but also a great feeling for you. How much time and energy you would have spent in buying the house. To mobilize the necessary funds, you would have moved heaven and earth and, finally, you would have availed of a First Time Home Buyer Loan. These loan programs are based on the location of the property as well as where you live. The main idea of this type of no credit check loans is to help financially the qualified borrower. Certain benefits are there in this loan. You should search for them.

Take the right decision

These loan programs are mainly for those who have never owned a home. There are, however, some lenders offering this loan even to those who own a house, provided they have not purchased any house in the last three years. There are some income restrictions, to qualify as a first time home buyer. The purpose of such restriction is to benefit those who have low and moderate income. Those who earn much will not qualify. Similarly, even those who have reasonably huge assets will not qualify.

In many of these loan programs, there is a monetary limit fixed on the property you are going to buy. This means you cannot avail of this loan if you are thinking of buying a very expensive property. Another thing is, if you want to avail this loan, you should live in the house you are buying; if you are thinking of renting it out, you cannot use this loan. Apart from these restrictions, the home you are buying should meet a few ‘physical requirements.’ The property must be in perfect condition; it should be free from any possible safety hazards like lead-based paint, to cite an example.

This loan program is quite good for some of the first time home buyers. This paves the way for their home ownership, which otherwise would not have been possible for them. The local community also stands to benefit with the arrival of such first time home buyers because, as a home owner, the individuals will take care to maintain the property and get involved in the community activities, thus contributing to the economy. Some negative aspects are there: price restrictions, prospects of losing benefits if the property is sold, payment of tax for the benefits received, and limitation of the loan period with fixed rate mortgage – these are the negative factors in this bad credit loans program.

Now that you have got all the pros and cons of this loan program, it is time for you to take the right decision. In case you have a good credit, you consider availing the ‘plain-vanilla mortgage.’ If you have a credit score of more than 720, then there is no point in going for the first time home buyer loan. Besides, there is a possibility of your getting traditional mortgages or FHA loans which require very little down payment. So, you explore all these options; also find out what the regular mortgage lenders will offer. Compare all the details and then take a final decision.