mortgage: Gwinnett Homestretch Program - 02/03/11 01:16 PM

Ken Cook and I are working with Gwinnett Homstretch Down Payment Assistance. As a buyer, you need to have $1000 going into the purchase, but Gwinnett Homestretch may contribute up to $7,500, if you qualify. There are a few things to keep in mind:
It is paid as a 0% loan, which will be forgiven after 5 years of using the property as your principal residence. In effect, that makes it a grant... there are no payments due during the 5 years. You will be required to complete an 8-hour counseling class from a HUD approved Housing Counseling Agency. Total … (4 comments)

mortgage: So, You Have An Accepted Offer... All Is Good, Right? - 11/13/10 04:01 PM
Image by Alan Miles NYC via Flickr Not so fast there, Mr and Mrs Homeseller...
A lot of sellers think that the sailing is going to be smooth after they go "Under Contract".  After all, the hard part is getting an offer, right?
Maybe...  Maybe not...
Actually, I have dealt with a rash of buyers falling out of contract lately.  Inspections haven't been good to a couple of sellers.  The specific issues aren't as important as the concept here.  The home isn't sold until you clear the closing table.
Homes fall out of contract for a variety of reasons.
Inspection issues … (5 comments)

mortgage: Flashback Friday... Tax Credit Gambling - 11/12/10 12:49 PM
Image via Wikipedia This week last year, the biggest news in housing was all about the Tax Credit expansion and extension.  It went from just being for First Time Home Buyers to allowing existing home owners to get a credit also.
Those credits finally expired in April (with closing mostly by June).
Looking back on the market reports for the last year, the effect of the tax credits is pretty obvious.  And I wouldn't call it all a good thing.  There certainly was an increase in closed sales leading up to the original June deadline.  But, there was a VERY sharp … (2 comments)

mortgage: Wayback Wednesday... Set the Hook... - 11/10/10 02:35 PM
Image via Wikipedia Two years ago there were worries among sellers that buyers couldn't obtain financing.  Those worries are back... but, then as now, money was available.
Of course, in the middle there were issues with getting loans funded.  But now, the loans are available.  Of course the credit restrictions are tighter and there are fewer loans available for those with weak credit.  But, many would be buyers think that getting a loan is all but impossible... that may be what they heard on TV or saw in the paper.
So, a great opportunity for sellers (and their agents) is to … (3 comments)

mortgage: Flashback Friday... Mortgage Thoughts... - 10/29/10 03:51 AM
Ken is on the right Image by The Ken Cook via Flickr Over the last few weeks I have worked with a few buyers that have had questions about mortgages, pre-approvals and "the process"...  Oddly, as I was looking for a post from last year, I stumbled onto a collection of Ken Cook (the mortgage dude, not the weather dude) posts I had highlighted about those very things.
I assembled a few quotes from 3 of Ken's (then) recent posts and linked back to them for more info.  He puts out a LOT of great info about the mortgage side of … (3 comments)

mortgage: Wayback Wednesday... What do YOU Deserve? - 10/27/10 02:04 AM
Image via Wikipedia I am very NOT perfect.  I have had credit issues just like many others... I have fought back from the brink and suffered setbacks.  And one thing I have learned is that there are NO easy remedies.  You can't make a call, spend $500 and get magically good credit from some dude driving around in a crappy car... or even an expensive car.
A couple of years ago I wrote a post about a Credit Repair company I saw advertised on the back window of an older SUV.  What really ticked me off was that it said...
Get … (8 comments)

mortgage: WayBack Wednesday... Don't Go to Jail... - 03/17/10 04:26 AM
Image by eshm via Flickr A couple of years ago I wrote a post about Mortgage Fraud... and the dangers it can pose to sellers.  It is a good read, and can clue you in about one of the ways you (as a seller) can get dragged into fraud... and then dragged off to jail.  Be careful.
Link.
Now for a little story...  Early in my career, the agent on the other side of a transaction from me asked me to prepare a second contract and increase the sales price.  Even as a "newbie" I knew that what this "seasoned … (2 comments)

mortgage: FHA Changes On The Way... - 01/27/10 12:13 PM
Ken Cook, from America Home Key Mortgage, is an FHA expert and extremely knowledgeable about the Mortgage Industry in general.  And of course he is on top of the recent and pending changes HUD announced for the FHA. 
The Federal Housing Administration, the division of the Department of Housing and Urban Development which insures home mortgages for qualified borrowers, has recently announced pending changes which will affect all borrowers and specific borrowers.
Reports show FHA defaults and foreclosures to be at 18% of the total number of loans where the average number of defaults and foreclosures on other loans is … (0 comments)

mortgage: Short Sales, Bank Owned Properties and Credit Pulls - 11/19/09 09:55 AM
A few days ago I wrote about how the purchase offering process is having issues… issues that are especially apparent on Bank-Owned Properties (we call them REOs).
Banks are often requiring that ALL offers be accompanied by pre-qualification letters from specific approved lenders (perhaps even from their own loan department).  In other cases, the brokers representing the properties are interjecting this “requirement” on their own.
This morning, local (and nationally syndicated) radio talk show host, Clark Howard mentioned one of the reasons that these things chap my hide.  The specific reason he doesn’t like them is that the “credit pulls” for … (4 comments)

mortgage: Job Loss/Mortgage Payment Insurance for Buyers! - 11/16/09 12:54 PM
We are pleased and excited to announce the roll-out of a new program for buyers...  Job Loss Insurance. 
This is a cool program to take a little bit of apprehension out of buying a home.  In effect, it is an insurance policy that protects the buyer in case of job loss.  The policy will make up to 6 payments during the first year of ownership if you lose your job involuntarily (two periods up to 3 months each).  It is available with coverages up to $2000/mo. 
In addition to the year of job loss/mortgage payment protection, the policy also offers two … (3 comments)

mortgage: An Ovation for Novation - 07/31/09 03:16 PM
After you find the house, you have to find a way to pay for the house.  Sure, there are a few people that just write a check, but most of us find ourselves calling a mortgage broker or banker. 
When people ask me who they think I should call, I have a short list.  I have several folks that I have interacted with that are still in business... but near the top of the list is Ken Cook, President of Novation Mortgage.  There are a few reasons that I give out Ken's number so liberally.  The first reason is that he … (6 comments)

mortgage: Get out of your mortgage for FREE?!? - 07/09/09 02:21 PM
Probably not...
But that doesn't mean that people aren't trying it... and it doesn't mean that people aren't getting in trouble for it.
Here is the way it works (and it all sounds so legit...):
Mr. and Mrs. Consumer buy a house and get a mortgage from MonsterMegaMortgageCompany (MMMC). MMMC sells their mortgage to Investor Pool #1. Then it is bundled and sold to IP#2... and #3 and #4 over a span of a few years. Mr. & Mrs. Consumer start having problems, and despite everything they are facing foreclosure. To try to get help they contact a "Foreclosure Mitigation" Law … (74 comments)

mortgage: Can I tell my sellers it is a good idea to offer seller financing? - 04/24/09 05:34 PM
Looking at the legislative landscape, I see a new danger on the horizon.  In addition to the existant dangers of financing a mortgage for a buyer such as their credit-worthiness and ability to repay, there is another risk which could soon be inserted into the pool... 
Cram-Downs
If you aren't already familiar with the term, take a moment to read the definition...  From the perspective of a lender, it is a scary scenario.  In effect, a bankruptcy judge could force down the balance of a loan based on their view of the value of the property. 
Regardless of whether the seller … (7 comments)

mortgage: A (very) Quick Rundown of Some Current Buyer Programs - 04/07/09 02:41 PM
Just in the last few days I have highlighted a couple of Buyer Programs that are currently available.  I have also hit a couple of others in the last few weeks... there are a lot of programs out there to spur buyer attention!
photo credit: pfala
If you are a buyer, especially one that doesn't have to sell a house in order to buy, you can find all sorts of great options to help with the purchase.  Let's hit some...
$8,000 First time Home Buyer Tax Credit.  And while you can't have owned a home in the last three years, you … (2 comments)

mortgage: Do you have a Dream? Georgia has a Dream... for Buyers! - 04/07/09 03:17 AM
Image via Wikipedia Have you heard of the Georgia Department of Community Affairs Georgia Dream NSP Purchase Plan?
In effect it can provide $14,000 to qualified buyers of qualified properties that can be used as down payment or for re-hab of the purchased property.  And, if the buyer is a First Time Home Buyer, they may also be eligible for the federal tax credit of $8,000.
Here are some of the qualifications (from the DCA website):
Buyer must recieve 8 hours of HUD approved home buyer counseling/education. Eligible income level for Gwinnett County for a family of four is $85,450.  Smaller … (0 comments)

mortgage: HUD American Dream $100 Down Program - 04/02/09 04:13 AM
Seriously!  I actually was going to write about this yesterday, but didn't want to release something this important on April Fool's Day...  Because this is NO JOKE. 
HUD has a $100 Down Payment Program that is available on specific homes and through specific lenders.  I have one of those lenders programmed in my phone...  So, while the rates are amazingly low, prices have come down and the inventories are still generous, this is the time to take advantage of this kind of program. 
Home ownership is the foundation of the American Dream.  Being able to have a home to call your … (4 comments)

 
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Lane Bailey

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Suwanee, GA

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