Monday, August 29, 2011

Indianapolis Tops The List!

Where Can You Get Your Best Bargain for a House and a Job?

It’s not always easy to find a great job and a reasonably priced home in the same area, especially in today’s economy. Deerfield, Florida is known for it’s affordable housing, but finding employment might be difficult.

States like Arizona, South Carolina, and Maine have a high cost of living and low earning potential, while states like Texas, Utah, and Nebraska are better cost-of-living bargains with higher wages. What are the best cities? They might surprise you.

Yahoo Finance combined several lists: the U.S. Office of Management and Budget, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Forbes, CNN, and Sperling’s Best Places to rate the top five cities for both job opportunities and affordable housing.

No. 1 Indianapolis, Indiana
Yes, there’s more than corn in Indiana. This Hoosier city is the 12th largest city in the country, according to the 2010 Census and it received high marks for a wide range of offerings. It’s home to the Colts and the Indianapolis 500. There’s a romantic Canal Walk, clean downtown and it’s known as the Amateur Sports Capital of the World featuring the NCAA headquarters. Plus, the Racing Capital of the World as it is home to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Indianapolis has one of the lowest costs of living for a major metro area at nearly 18% less than the national average while the median price for a home is $120,000.

Plus there’s a solid job market in Indy, which has a wide range of pharmaceutical, scientific and tech jobs. Corporations like Eli Lilly and Company, Brightpoint, Finish Line, Roche Diagnostics, CNO, Emmis Communications, Steak ‘n Shake and many others. The jobless rate in Indianapolis is 8%, nearly 3-5% below the national average .

The other cities on the list in order of their ranking:

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; Omaha, Nebraska; Columbus, Ohio; and Austin-Round, Texas.
Second ranked, Pittsburgh was ranked No. 1 by Forbes in 2010 as their top most livable city for its culture scene and revitalizing job market, which includes a Google test site for the company’s new high-speed broadband network, has expanded its Pittsburgh offices.

Others on Forbes’ list include college towns like: Ogden, Utah, home to Weber State University, Ann Arbor, Michigan, Provo, Utah, and Manchester, N.H. because there is a constant job market demand thanks to the universities. Ogden ranked No. 2 on the Forbes list followed by Provo, which is just 80 miles away, since unemployment in the Ogden metro area is below average, incomes have increased by 3.4% over the last five years.

What to Look For?
If you’re looking to move, make sure you check out an area that has the potential for steady or increasing incomes and a job market which allows housing to remain affordable.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

The 203K Mortgage

Real estate consumers today can find ample value in distressed homes – properties that are under a foreclosure order or up for short sale. In many cases, however, “distressed” speaks more for the condition of the homes than their recent financial histories, as they’ve sat empty for extended periods and have been subject to vandalism and theft.

Those considering homes in need of repair and renovation should consider a 203k mortgage, which enables homebuyers to finance both the acquisition and rehabilitation of the property with just one loan.

“FHA 203k purchase loans are the perfect financing vehicle for homeowners seeking the value proposition offered by REO homes,” said David Wind, president and board chairman of White Plains, N.Y.-based Guaranteed Home Mortgage Company, in a company statement this June. “Home buyers’ ‘perfect’ home can be purchased in less than perfect condition with a single-close loan product that allows repairs and remodeling.”

There are two types of 203k loans: the 203k streamline and the full 203k. The 203k streamline is the most popular among homebuyers and lenders.

“The maximum allowable in repairs is $35,000 under the 203k streamline and it does not allow any structural repairs to be done to the home, unless [the repairs are] a result of an unforeseen circumstance,” explained David Krushinsky, a certified mortgage planning specialist for Mesa, Ariz.-based AmeriFirst Financial Inc. “The full 203k allows structural repairs and will allow the buyer to exceed the $35,000 in home repairs. Both loans allow up to $1,500 in swimming pool repairs.”

Contractors chosen to perform repairs must be licensed, bonded and insured, and they usually must provide the lender with a resume and two client-reference letters.

“After the close of escrow is when all the rehabilitation work begins,” said Krushinsky. “Funds usually aren’t released immediately so it’s important for your contractor to start work in a timely manner. Typically, if they’ve been in business, they have existing relationships with vendors so they can order materials and begin work. If not, the project may take longer than anticipated.”

Since the 203k mortgage is based on the home’s potential value after repairs -- not its existing value -- you can be approved for a higher loan amount. The mortgages also carry long-term-fixed rates, are insured as soon as they fund, and include escrow accounts for the scheduled repairs.

Loan amounts are capped according to local FHA limits. Only owner-occupied properties of one to four units qualify for 203k mortage financing; homes also must be at least one year old.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Homeownership....Dream or Reality?

Homeownership...for years we have been told it is the American Dream. And for many people it may be in fact just that, a dream. 

If you are one of the many people in Central Indiana who struggle with credit issues or have good credit but are unable to secure down payment funds owning your own home could seem like just a dream.  Working to repair credit or save funds for a down payment could be such a daunting task that you choose to give up on the dream. 

Maybe you are one of the many who have concerns and fears about what all is involved in homeownership and wonder if it is really for you.

Let me tell you that help could be just a phone call away.

The Indianapolis Neighborhood Housing Partnership is a non-profit organization that empowers people in Indianapolis and Central Indiana to be able to realize this dream.  INHP offers a variety of programs designed to help individuals and families in the Indianapolis Metro area to become successful homeowners.

With serivces ranging from credit counseling and one-on-one advising to homebuyer & homeowner education courses to mortgage lending, INHP goals are to make buyers credit worthy, get buyers qualified to purchase and eliminate homebuyer fears.

According to advisors at INHP, the typical timeframe for clients to repair their credit is 10-12 months although some individuals may take a longer time period.  During this time, advisors will meet with the clients on a regular basis to help them develop a personal work plan to achieve their goals, support and guide the client in removing credit barriers and establish a savings plan.  When the client is credit worthy, INHP will make recommendations as to the various loan options that best fit the needs of the client depending on the client's specific set of circumstances.

The Indianapolis Neighborhood Housing Partnership works with a variety of programs such as Habitat for Humanity, the Intercultural Homeownership Preparation Program and Section 8 to Homeownership.  INHP also provides a variety of mortgage options such as their lender referral progam and their Partnership Loan Program which carries no PMI with a minimum 580 credit score requirement as well as a low down payment.

If you would like more information about how INHP can benefit you please contact me or visit their website.