6 Myths of FHA Loans – What’s True What’s Not!

Though FHA Loans now represent more than 30% of mortgages, there are still a lot of misconceptions that both real estate agents and the borrowers have about this program. All the myths that I have listed below have been raised to me numerous times. I finally decided to post a blog on this so that I can clarify this to a much larger audience. 1. It takes longer to close an FHA Loan- Towards the 2nd half of last year when FHA loans started exploding, most of the lenders were caught off guard. They did not have enough trained underwriters to take decisions on the loans that were being sent their way. That resulted in longer turn times for FHA loans. Within months, lenders realized that this was soon becoming the fastest mortgage product on the block. Since then they have staffed themselves adequately on the FHA underwriting side and hence it's not atypical anymore for FHA loans to close in 30 days or less. (more…)

FHA Vs. Conventional Loans – Which one is better?

FHA Loan vs Conventional Loan - which one is better? I was speaking at an FHA seminar for real estate agents in Fremont, CA recently. The topic was "How FHA loans are playing a big part in qualifying more First Time Home Buyers". At the end of the presentation, I was asked this question - "Are FHA loans really better than conventional". I had similar questions asked by Buyers and Real Estate agents in other forums in San Jose and rest of the San Francisco Bay Area too. There is no black & white answer to it - because it all depends on your situation. Below, I have compiled a table to compare the loan features of both the programs. As you would see depending on your specific situation, either one could be better. ** Since I wrote this post FHA Up front Mortgage Insurance Premium (UFMIP) requirements have changed** (more…)

CA $10,000 Tax Credit for San Jose First Time Buyers is almost over

This is not a good news for first time home buyers in San Francisco Bay Area and rest of the state. CA state tax credit of $10,000 for First Time Home Buyers has reached the $100 million limit. Background - In April this year California government made the $10,000 tax credit (or 5% of the purchase price whichever is less) available to qualified buyers who purchased a qualified Principal Residence that has never been occupied,after March 1, 2009 and before March 1, 2010. The buyer must reside in the new home for a…continue reading →

FHA allows $8000 tax credit for down payment in San Jose

But can you really use it? Not so fast.... Federal Housing Administration (FHA) announced today that the first time home buyer credit of $8000 can be used as down payment in San Jose & rest of the Bay Area. If you are a first time buyer with limited down payment and you are the type who doesn't read fine prints, it certainly is a great news. But I have my reservations - some serious ones. I see some very basic issues with the announcement which would either delay the implementation or may have…continue reading →

Buying a foreclosed home in San Jose with an FHA Loan?

So are you planning to buy a foreclosed home in San Jose with an FHA Loan? Foreclosed properties can be sold by 2 entities: Directly by the Mortgagee (The bank that held the mortgage), or By entities that purchase foreclosed properties either singly or in bulk for resale FHA has a property flipping rule that says that the new owner has to own the property for 90 days before he/she can sell again. FHA on Friday 5/15/2009 extended it's Property Flipping Waiver to 5/10/2010. Meaning, a bank can foreclose on a property today…continue reading →

4 Cs of Home Loans in Bay Area

If you are planning to get a Home Loan in Bay Area, you should be aware of the 4Cs of Lending. Capacity Lenders usually look for a minimum of 2 years of work history in the same line of work. Any employment gaps or extended time off must to be explained. If you had a recent job change or if your income is derived from seasonal work, your income may be considered for qualifying purposes in certain situations. However, less than 2 years of work history may be acceptable if you have been…continue reading →

Are Foreclosure Properties a Good Deal in Santa Clara?

DataQuick said 43 percent of all homes sold in Santa Clara County was in foreclosure upon sometime in the previous 12 months. The number for Alameda county is 46.2 percent. Evidently, most of the current sale is being driven by foreclosed properties; that also explains the falling median prices in these counties. But before jumping on the bandwagon be cautioned that not all foreclosed houses are good deal. Most foreclosures sell at a discount, but the benefit of a lower sales price is often negated by the cost of repairs required to restore…continue reading →

$10,000 California State HomeBuyer Credit

A recently passed law established a personal income tax credit for purchasers of a qualifying principal residence. The tax credit is capped at the lesser of $10,000 or 5 percent of the purchase price for the purchase of a principal residence that has never been occupied made between March 1, 2009 and March 1, 2010. The credit will be provided in equal amounts ($3,333 for the $10,000 credit) over the three successive taxable years beginning with the year in which the purchase is made. Qualifying residences must never have been occupied and must be eligible after purchase, for the Homeowner's Property Tax Exemption. The taxpayer must live in the home as their principal residence for at least two years or be subject to payback for any tax credits received. (more…)

Five Factors That Impact Your Credit Score

What are the factors that impact your credit score? 1. Payment History 35% Impact Paying debt on time and in full has the greatest positive impact on your credit score. Late payments, judgments and charge-offs all have a negative impact. Missing a high payment will have a more severe impact than missing a low payment, and delinquencies that have occurred in the last two years carry more weight than older items. 2. Outstanding Credit Balances 30% Impact This factor marks the ratio between the outstanding balance and available credit. Ideally, you should make…continue reading →

$8000 First Time Home Buyer Tax Credit for San Jose Purchase

First Time Home Buyer Tax Credit for San Jose and rest of the Bay Area Who is Eligible? The $8,000 tax credit is available for first-time home buyers only. The law defines first-time home buyer as a buyer who has not owned a principal residence during the three-year period prior to the purchase. All U.S. citizens and residents (as defined by IRS) who file taxes are eligible to participate in the program. Payback Provisions The tax credit is a true credit. It does not have to be repaid. The only repayment requirement is…continue reading →