Saturday, March 21, 2009

Purchase a home with as little as 3.5% for Down Payment

There are many reasons for homebuyers to investigate an FHA home purchase. First time homebuyers should explore FHA loan options because it’s easier to qualify for an FHA home mortgage. Your loan is guaranteed by the government, making your application more attractive to lenders. Since the typical first-time FHA home loan applicant is young and in the early phases of their careers, chances are they still have student loans and other debt to content with; an FHA home mortgage often costs less and is more forgiving of youthful indiscretions with credit and payments.

FHA home loans don’t require a big down payment at closing time. For first-time homebuyers this can be a real plus; that typical borrower in the early stages of a new career often doesn’t have a lot of money set aside specifically for purchasing a home. The FHA mortgage requires a low 3.5% down payment, and that money can come from a variety of sources including HUD down payment assistance grants.

For first time buyers, closing costs are another issue that can be a financial drain; typical closing costs for FHA home loans are around 2% or 3% of the total mortgage. One advantage when taking out an FHA loan? FHA mortgage terms may allow you to build in closing costs into your mortgage.

To read more about the FHA loan program as well as the guidelines and requirements, visit

Thursday, March 5, 2009

See whether you can get mortgage relief available to 9 million American homeowners

The Obama administration says the Making Home Affordable plan (MHA) should cut mortgage bills for up to 9 million Americans who are having trouble making their monthly payments.

The program could provide some borrowers mortgages with interest rates as low as 2 percent and there are also incentives that may pay down principal in some cases.
There are two programs -- Home Affordable Refinance and Home Affordable Modification.

Check out the federal government's Q&A about the new program to see if you qualify:

As always, we will keep you up to date on any new information that becomes available with regards to this plan. So come back often or register to follow our blog to receive up to date information.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac announce making home affordable initiatives

Fannie Mae today began making two new initiatives, Home Affordable Refinance and Home Affordable Modification, available to its servicers and borrowers as part of the Obama Administration's Making Home Affordable program.

The two initiatives are designed to significantly expand the numbers of borrowers who can refinance or modify their mortgages to a payment that is affordable now and into the future. Details are available at;jsessionid=1AI52Q21C4Z03J2FQSISFGA?p=Media&s=News+Releases.

Freddie Mac also announced two new mortgage initiatives, tied to the Making Home Affordable plan, designed to help families with Freddie Mac-owned mortgages who are delinquent, at-risk of default, or struggling to refinance because of declining property values.

The new initiatives include Freddie Mac's Relief RefinanceSM Mortgage and the implementation of the Obama Administration's new Home Affordable Modification program. Details are available at

Obama administration unveils homeowner affordablity and stability plan details

The Obama Administration today announced new U.S. Dept. of the Treasury guidelines to enable servicers to begin modifications of eligible mortgages under the Administration's Homeowner Affordability and Stability plan. The Making Home Affordable program details announced today will offer assistance to as many as 9 million homeowners. The guidelines will implement financial incentives for mortgage lenders to modify existing first mortgages and set standard industry practice for modifications.

The Treasury Dept. also announced that the Making Home Affordable program will include additional incentives for efforts made to extinguish second liens on loans modified under this program. Extinguishing second liens will make mortgages more affordable, improve loan performance, and help prevent foreclosures.

In conjunction with the release of the new guidelines, the Treasury Dept., the U.S. Dept. of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), and others have prepared a consumer-friendly Q&A and eligibility assessment tools for borrowers available at

More details, including a fact sheet, are available at the following links:

Making Home Affordable Refinance and Modification Options:;

Summary of guidelines:;

Modification program guidelines:;

Fact sheet:

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Get up to $18,000 in Tax Credits!

$8,000 Federal Tax Credit
In its efforts to stimulate the economy and revive the housing market, Congress has enacted legislation providing a tax credit of up to $8,000 for first-time home buyers.But time is of the essence for buyers who want to take advantage of this opportunity. Only homes purchased on or after January 1, 2009 and before December 1, 2009 are eligible.

$8,000 Home Buyer Tax Credit at a Glance:

  • The tax credit is for first-time home buyers only.
  • The tax credit does not have to be repaid.
  • The tax credit is equal to 10 percent of the home’s purchase price up to a maximum of $8,000.
  • The credit is available for homes purchased on or after January 1, 2009 and before December 1, 2009.
  • Single taxpayers with incomes up to $75,000 and married couples with incomes up to $150,000 qualify for the full tax credit.

For more information, please visit the following site:

$10,000 California State Tax Credit
The new California state budget includes a $10,000 tax credit for the purchase of a new home!
The $10,000 tax credit has no income limit, and is good only for new homes that close escrow between March 1, 2009 and March 1, 2010 - but only while newly allocated state funds are available!

$10,000 Home Buyer Tax Credit For New Homes at a Glance:

  • A tax credit of up to $10,000 (5 percent of home price or $10,000, whichever is less) for the purchase of a newly constructed, previously unoccupied home.
  • Available starting March 1, and running until March 2010 or whenever the $100 million funding authority runs out.
  • $100,000,000 will be allocated by the state’s Franchise Tax Board on a first-come, first-served basis (Once the funds have been allocated, the tax credit will no longer be available).
  • Paid out to home purchasers over three tax years in equal amounts (i.e. $3300 for 2009, $3300 for 2010, etc.).
  • Purchasers must reside in the home for at least two years.
  • There are no income limitations that have to be met by purchasers.
  • There is no first-time homebuyer requirement.
  • There is no repayment requirement (unless the purchaser sells or rents out the property before two years expire).

For more information, please visit the following site:

The new California state tax credit can be used in conjuction with the recently enacted federal homebuyer tax credit of $8,000, for a combined total of up to $18,000.

**As always, please do not use this information to rely on any tax advice. Talk to your tax advisor or other professional to discuss your personal situation and see if you qualify.

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