Tag Archives: Loan

No Down Payment Product for Rural Buyers – USDA Loans

Logo of the USDA Rural Development office, par...

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This is a repost from The Raleigh Mortgage Guy.  Please see another related blog from him at the bottom of this post.


From the National Office in Washington DC

June 15, 2011



The Single Family Housing Guaranteed Loan Program (SFHGLP) has $24 billion dollars of funding available for lenders, but it will expire on September 30, 2011!

SUMMER TIME IS HOME-BUYING TIME!  When temperatures rise, homebuyers arrive!  Summer is a perfect time to buy a new home!  Guaranteed loans offer eligible rural homebuyers tremendous benefits including, no down-payment required, flexible credit and qualifying ratios, and fixed thirty year interest rates.

SHOP WITH CONFIDENCE!  Congress has ensured ample guaranteed loan funding will be available throughout FY 2011!

As of June 15, 2011:


TOTAL # LOANS:                 78,075 



Related article:

Thanks for reading.  Interested?  More information?  Contact me today!


Making an Offer on a Home? Negotiating the Deal:

Buying a home is by far the biggest financial decision you’ll make, and it’s also the most stressful one.  It isn’t an easy task; so how willing are you to do the work?  It can be a long process.  You can spend years saving for a down payment, many months looking for a home, and several weeks trying to find the best mortgage.  However, after all is said and done and you find the home of your dreams, the work is far from over!

You found the home and now it’s time to make an offer.  This part is not to be taken lightly because it’s an investment.  Once both parties agree, you have a binding contract.  Your real estate agent will do his/her research and follow these important tips and make suggestions to you when negotiating.

Negotiating the Deal:

1.  Pull comparable properties.  It’s important to back up your offer with the facts.  Comparable sales data is strong!  If you’re thinking of presenting a low ball offer then you could potentially be making a big mistake!  This drastic action may cut you out on any chances at buying the home, especially if you insult the seller.  You may not hear back from them again.  It just makes sense to be cautious and factual.

2.  Don’t fall in love with the home!  It’s okay to really like the home, but not to the point where it clouds your decision-making skills and judgement. This could cost you tens of thousands of dollars.   Also, be discreet with how you feel because you don’t want the seller to have leverage over you when negotiating.  Remember, even if you do find the perfect home, you want to get it for the best deal.

3.  Research property and owners.  People put their home up for sale for various reasons.  Some like to cash-in on their built up equity while others may need to downsize/upgrade, and some do it out of necessity ~ financial hardship or new job.  You can’t obviously get this information directly; however, a real estate agent can look at the history of the property, which may include how long it’s been on the market, any price reductions or increases, etc.  This information is helpful because depending on how long the listing has been on the market and number of price changes during a given period of time whether short or long, can be clues to the sellers urgency, motivation to sell, or lack there of.

4.  Negotiate more than price.  There are other items that are negotiable in a real estate transaction.  Price is only one of them.  For example, asking for a home warranty, if one is not offered, is a must when buying a home.  You may like the big screen television, the armoire, the playset, or washer and dryer.  Negotiate those items.  When buying a home, make sure you get what you want at a price that’s right!

5.  Put yourself in the sellers’ shoes.  We all want a good deal these days!  However, imagine that you are the seller.  How would you feel if it were your home and you were given the offer?  Is it ridiculous?  Is it lowball?  Is it realistic?  How would you react?  Sometimes empathy allows us to put things into perspective.

To sum it all up, buyers should really put major efforts into placing value to an offer when negotiating.  Once you find the home, you’re just getting started!  Happy negotiating!

Rebuilding Your Credit for the Future…

American Express

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Rebuilding credit to prepare you for the future is so crucial right now.  Having good credit allows you to be prepared for life’s emergencies and big purchases.  Like I mentioned in a previous blog, you need credit to be able to show your credit worthiness to lenders.  However, maintaining and managing credit is just as important.

Ok so, you got the credit and now it’s in need of major repair.    Well, it can be done!  However, the success of rebuilding and repairing credit depends on you.  You have to be willing to do the work, make the calls, and the sacrifices.  Easier said than done.  I hear ya!  Have you heard of this quote before?

“It’s not that I’m so smart, it’s just that I stay with problems longer.”  ~Albert Einstein

Well, that’s exactly how you have to change your perception of why everyone else is able to do what they do and buy what they buy.  I stated that to say it really takes hard work and self-discipline.  Never give up!  Some have to do more work than others to bring their credit back to par.

How do you repair credit, you ask?  Well it depends on each individual situation.  I’ve included an article from ehow.com  that provides tips that should help you get started:

  • 1

    Pay all of your bills on time. Late payments (payments that are 30 days late  or more) have a negative effect on your credit rating.

  • 2

    Reduce the number of credit cards you carry. Write to your creditors to  request that they close your accounts and report this status change to all three  credit-reporting agencies.

  • 3

    Avoid bankruptcies, tax liens (a lien for not paying state or federal income  taxes or property taxes) and collections. A bankruptcy stays on your credit report for  up to 10 years. Collection accounts and paid tax liens stay on for seven years,  and unpaid tax liens will haunt you forever.

  • 4

    Request in writing that your creditors reduce the credit limits on your  accounts to lower your amount of available credit. The total amount of available  credit is considered by lenders even if you owe nothing.

  • 5

    Ask a family member or friend to co-sign on a small loan or credit card to help you  re-establish credit. Make your payments on time.

  • 6

    Get a secured credit card to help reestablish your credit. You will have to  keep a designated amount of money in an account that will be sufficient to cover  your charges. Make payments on time.

  • 7

    Get a yearly copy of your credit report  to  catch any errors (see ‘eHow to Obtain a Copy of Your Credit  Report’).

Read more:  http://www.ehow.com/how_4757_repair-credit-history.html#ixzz1MBwCxonU

Got Credit? Why Shoud I Have It?

Credit cards

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There’s a great need to build credit in this country, especially if you’re considering buying a home or making other large purchases.  If you don’t have credit or if you need to rebuild it with credit repair, I hope this post will be a great reference point.  To prove credit worthiness, consumers and young people should build their credit over time to qualify for larger loans in the future and to also show that they are responsible debt payers.  In other words, if you don’t have credit, lenders won’t know if you’re a good customer.  When you prove your credit worthiness, the result is high credit scores.


Who needs to have credit?   Everyone of legal age, especially young adults who are beginning to have more financial responsibilities and  U.S. immigrants who have no credit history at all need to establish credit.  When the time arises, such as a major need or emergency, solid credit will help you be able to qualify for what you need.  You certainly need to have solid credit to buy a home.  It’s the American Dream and the single most biggest purchase you will make, so build it!


It is actually pretty easy to build credit.  Try one of the following ideas:

  • Ask your bank or credit union about a secured credit card.  You can make a deposit to your account and have a credit limit in the amount of your deposit.  The bank takes little risk and you build credit slowly (avoid Secured Credit Card Problems).
  • Use a co-signer on your first few credit accounts.  Lenders will consider the co-signer’s existing credit.  The co-signer essentially ‘vouches’ for you while you build credit.  Note that this is a big responsibility – you can cause major headaches for the co-signer if you don’t pay as agreed (see How Co-Signing Works for details).
  • Use retailer programs for modestly large purchases like furniture.  For example, you may buy a television on the “$40/Month Payment Plan”.  Gas station cards may work as well.  These programs can be easier to qualify for and they certainly help you build credit.  Be sure that the retailer will report your loan to the major credit reporting companies.
  • Get a credit card with any reputable institution that will give you one.  Again, you have to make sure they’ll report your timely payments to the credit reporting companies.  Of course, you have to always pay at least the minimum before the due date.

Please, please be careful after you start to build your credit.  It can lead to trouble!  Make wise decisions when it comes to purchases and “enticing” credit card deals.  Credit card companies, banks, and retail institutions may inundate you with offers so please use good judgement.  Also, monitor your credit reports for correct information and to remove any errors.  However, in case you do get into trouble, there are ways to improve it and get your life back on track.  In my opinion, these days, credit is like a life-line so in a future post, I will discuss repairing credit and other related information.  Thanks for reading my thoughts.

March Sales ~ On the Move!

Wow!!  What a terrific article about where sales have been and where they’re headed.  Consumer confidence is certainly back, if you ask me!Please take time to read this great report from Allen Tate’s very own President, Pat Riley.

 When you read the national housing reports talking about Q1 2011, you need more information to figure out the “rest of the story.”

Let me try, from my perspective, to help you. First and foremost, you must understand that the report for the month or quarter might be speaking to numerous categories. For example, sales, pending sales and solds – or even a category like new homes vs. resale – might be represented in a single report.

The data indicates that sales of existing homes fell 9.6 percent in February, the lowest level in 9 years. To understand why, you need to remember what happened last year in Q1 and Q2. We had a tax credit incentive that “borrowed” sales from the second half of the year, sending us into 2011 with a very small pipeline. Additionally, new home sales continue to drag, due to the availability of lot-ready opportunities and lender restraints on speculation building at this time.

Now … for the rest of the story. Sales in March in the Carolinas – without a tax incentive – were very strong. In fact, at Allen Tate, we rivaled last year’s numbers without the incentive. This indicates that the recovery is real and this is what we need… gradual and steady.

Yes, lending standards remain very tight and we are overcompensating for the Ills of the past, where lending standards were much too loose. The rental inventory is full of folks getting their credit in order so they can buy. Clients who have credit are listening to today’s mantra of selling low in order to buy low, instead of what their neighbors did just a few years ago – selling high and buying high, which is all relative. Everyone is realizing that there will still be downward pressure on pricing in 2011, but waiting is not a wise decision, with interest rates pushing.

The first half numbers of 2011 may not rival last year, but the real story will be told at year-end. Sales and closings will prove that the “bottom” (according to me) was October 2010. Interest rates, while still historically low, are up considerably from last April.  Smart buyers will understand that waiting for another price concession will simply not make up for the difference in higher interest rates.

Rental vacancy rates went from 10.7 to 9.4 percent in the last year, so competition for the opportunities is out there. With lower home prices, the first-time home buyer today is KING. It is “time to get off the fence” for sure!

By Pat Riley

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