It just goes to show you that change is inevitable. Cyd West from First Community Mortgage is always keeping me on my toes. This message is from her:
In my efforts to keep everyone apprised of the changes that are taking place in the market, I received a memo this morning that states that FHA and VA loans will soon be priced based on credit scores. This is huge! Historically, VA and FHA loans have not been sensitive to credit scores - contrary to what some subprime lenders have said in the past to get higher rates. But, it's changing... I suspect it will be across the board within 90 to 120 days.
Advice to agents out there with VA and FHA loans in processing with less than great credit scores (<680)..... LOCK 'EM IF YOU'VE GOT 'EM! Make sure your customers have locked their rates with their lenders. Once they're locked, the lender cannot come back and change the pricing. This is the time to get 90-120 day closings locked with a fee, if necessary. Get your lock commitments in WRITING... no verbal stuff right now. Make sure you close before the commitment expires... extensions will be non-existent. This will be extremely important on new construction. Make sure your builders know this is coming – they must complete on time!
This is IMPORTANT INFORMATION that all of you should know.
I have had many past clients call me about the solicitations that they are receiving for refinancing. Most of these are generated by out of town and many times, out of state, lenders whose markets are soft and they have nothing else to do. The solicitations look as if they are from the VA, but are actually from private mortgage brokers looking for business. They offer unbelievably low rates, like 4.25%, and ask clients to call for more information. That is like the spider inviting the poor unsuspecting fly into the web for a snack…before long the fly IS the snack! In the very fine print at the bottom, the rate is usually disclosed as an APR and is for 15-year financing with 2 points financed into the deal. That will add several thousand dollars to the principal balance of the loan and will make that house more difficult to sell in a few years…especially in a soft market. It offers very little real benefit to the property owner. I’ll be happy to counsel with anyone who is considering refinancing to see if it is truly in their best interest. Please refer them to me. In the meantime, I hope that buyers will consult your blog page to see what the realities of the LOCAL market really are.
Sr. Vice President
First Community Mortgage
Please make sure and always read the fine print. Make sure and take your glasses; you might need them.
Cyd West of First Community Mortgage sent this to me yesterday:
"Good Friday was just too quiet, but Monday has started off with a BANG! Stocks are way up and bonds are taking a beating. Rates are still in the 6% range, but look for possible upward revisions if the day continues as it started. Buckle up... we may be in for a wild ride!"
Just trying to keep y'all up to date on our market.
For over five years, Jean Shine of Shine Team REALTORS® has been organizing a community wide garage sale with proceeds benefiting the American Cancer Society. It has become quite an event and it will definitely be the place to be on Saturday, April 12, from 7:30 AM until 2:00 PM. The sale is always held in the front parking lot of the Extraco Bank building located at the corner of Central Texas Expressway and Knights Ridge/FM 2410.
Over the next few weeks, local residents will see the Shine Team moving trucks driving through neighborhoods to pick up donations for the sale. Items being accepted are furniture, small appliances, housewares, books, toys, games, tools, and gently worn clothes. All items should be clean and in good condition. For your convenience, one of the Shine Team trucks will be parked at the corner of Pioneer Trail and FM 2410 on Saturday, March 22, and at the intersection of FM 2410 and Wampum on Saturday, March 29. Pick up of large items can be scheduled in advance and smaller items are requested to be delivered to one of the drop-off points or directly to the storage facility prior to the sale. To schedule a pick up for a large item or get directions to the storage space, please call The Shine Team at 254-690-4321.
Another way that residents can help is to make a cash donation in honor or in memory of a loved one. Checks payable to American Cancer Society can be mailed to The Shine Team, 100 West Central Texas Expressway, #302, Harker Heights, TX 76548 or you may drop off your donation at any of the Shine Team offices. Your donations can also be accepted online at http://main.acsevents.org/goto/shineteam. Contributions of cash or garage sale items are tax deductible and receipts are available.
Residents who want to buy booth space for their own sale or fundraiser may pay $25 per family or $50 for businesses and keep all the proceeds from their day. This is a great opportunity for schools, churches and other non-profits to benefit from the foot traffic that the garage sale generates.
Volunteers are always needed and appreciated. There is much work to be done before, during and after the sale. If you, or your volunteer organization, are interested in helping, please call the Shine Team office or email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Community support is vital to make this effort a success, so local residents are encouraged to participate in one of the ways detailed above. TOGETHER, WE CAN HELP FIND A CURE. We must do this for our children and grandchildren.
The Shine Team earned the title as the #1 independently-owned Coldwell Banker team from the international Coldwell Banker System. Shine Team sold more than 600 homes in 2007. To read the full article that appeared in Wednesday’s Killeen Daily Herald, click the link below.
I am always looking for phone numbers and I am in my car or at the airport and do not have access to a phone book. Instead of bugging someone else, I use this fantastic service from Jingle Networks.
Jingle Networks is providing free directory assistance when you call 800-FREE411 (800-373-3411). The only charge you incur is from your cell phone carrier for the minutes used to make the call. Jingle Networks’ automated voice recognition system asks for the location, type of listing and name.
Try it out, I think you will like it.
P.S. If you are in the area and looking for a home come by one of our Open Houses. We will have 1917 Merlin in Knights Ridge & 1422 Loblolly in Evergreen Estates open this weekend. Both of these homes are located in Harker Heights. Our agents look forward to assisting you.
Cyd West, Senior Vice President of First Community Mortgage, just told me that the FHA limits have been officially increased. The single family limit for the Killeen-Temple-Fort Hood MSA (including Bell, Coryell and Lampasas counties) is now $271,050. Duplex limit is $347,000; tri-plex $419,400 and four-plex $521,250. This increased amount should allow some home buyers to qualify for more expensive homes and be a great marketing tool. These increases are temporary and will be reviewed by a HUD panel at 12-31-2008 to determine if the increases should be made permanent.
Don't forget to check out www.jeanshine.com and Realtor.com for extra information on our wonderful listings.