alabama: Real Estate Agents - Fact or Fiction.... Learn the Underwriting Requirements of 2011 - 01/04/11 03:17 PM
As we begin 2011, underwriting guidelines remain the tightest that many in the mortgage and real estate industries have seen in recent years.  Today's rules/requirements echo those of the pre-2000 era.  Given that a great number of today's players in the real estate industry have been in the industry less than 10 years, many simply cannot understand these changes.  For those who have been in the business longer, many of those have forgotten the old days when today's guidelines were common practice.  Every still has the 2005-2006 era stuck in their head.  That is now what is know as HISTORY.  It's … (14 comments)

alabama: How Much Money Do I Need to Bring to Closing? - 01/02/11 06:08 AM
How Much Money Do I Need to Bring to Closing? 
This is a question that gets asked early on with every closing.  The reality is that its too early to have an exact amount.  At the time of your loan application, you are provided with an estimate that details your total estimated settlement charges.  This is your best estimate that is available. 
The lender fees from the estimate should not change.  Once the actual closing attorney/title company fees are available, they will then be updated on the estimate.  The closing attorney/title company will also provide the actual property tax amount.  It is … (6 comments)

alabama: What Is An Underwriting Guideline Overlay? - 01/01/11 05:23 AM
Why does it sometimes seem that underwriting guidelines vary from mortgage company to mortgage company?  Well, it is because, sometimes they do.  Each agency (Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, FHA, VA, USDA) sets the minimum guidelines for the approval of a mortgage that they will back if it defaults.  An overlay is when a mortgage lender adds an additional restriction to their guidelines.  One huge misconception is that
There are many types of overlays.  Some of the most common include:

When an Underwriter makes a condition that someone doesn't agree with, they are not just doing it because they want to.  There is a valid reason behind it. 

alabama: Fannie Mae Announces Increased Mortgage Rate Pricing Adjustments Effective Spring 2011 - 12/27/10 03:23 AM
On December 23, 2010, Fannie Mae announced an increase to its mortgage pricing structure.  This new pricing is effective with mortgage loans with purchase and mortgage backed securities delivery dates after April 1, 2011.  You can expect to see all mortgage lenders implement these pricing changes in February or March in anticipation of the April 1st deadline. 
With this change, even 740+ borrowers will see the cost of their mortgage rates rise.  Currently, Fannie Mae views 740+ as the top tier and does not have any credit score pricing add-ons for those borrowers.  Those borrowers will soon see a .25% pricing hit for all LTV's … (5 comments)

alabama: FHA Minimum Property Standards - 12/25/10 11:37 AM
With FHA mortgages continuing to take more of the market share, questions often arise regarding what are the potential repairs might be required when the buyer is obtaining an FHA mortgage.  In late 2005, HUD revised their minimum property standards requirements for FHA mortgages.  Prior to this change, even some of the most minor repairs might have required correction. 
FHA's minimum standards are much different today though.   Currently, HUD only requires the repair of conditions that exceed cosmetic and minor defects or normal wear and tear.  FHA Appraisers must still report all readily observable property defects.  The lender's FHA Underwriter must then … (7 comments)

alabama: Can I Close On My Mortgage on Saturday or Sunday? - 12/21/10 02:47 PM
Question: Can I close on my mortgage on Saturday or Sunday?
Answer:  The answer to this question is no.  Mortgage closings are only held Monday through Friday.  Saturday and Sunday are not considered to be funding days for mortgage transactions.  Mortgage company and closing attorney/title company offices are only staffed to work a normal Monday through Friday week. 
Federal holidays also limit when a loan can close.  Since the Federal Reserve is not open on the weekends or on Federal holidays, mortgage companies cannot wire funds for the closing. 
Closings are also held during normal business hours as well.  While actual times will vary … (10 comments)

alabama: FHA 203K Renovation Mortgage Alabama Contractor Requirements - 12/20/10 02:55 PM
The FHA 203K Renovation mortgage gives the borrower the ability to select their contractor(s) for their renovation project. The contractor must be licensed and insured.  Documentation requirements are as follows:
 Contractor's Profile completed with at least Three (3) References Copy of Contractor's Applicable License (per local jurisdiction) Copy of Liability Insurance Policy (Worker's Compensation, if applicable) Contractor's Acknowledgment signed and date W-9 completed, signed and dated You can verify a contractor's license at   
For your next renovation project, choose one of the largest volume 203K mortgage lenders in the country.  Call (404) 591-2453.

alabama: HUD Makes Changes to FHA Condo Project Expiration Dates - 12/11/10 05:41 AM
Beginning Wednesday, December 8, 2010, an estimated 45,000+ condo projects were set to have their FHA approvals expire.  As one can imagine, re-approving that many projects expiring at the same time would be a formidable task for lenders as well as HUD. 
Earlier this week, HUD changed the expiration dates of thousands of FHA approved condo projects.  This move will give both HUD and DELRAP approved lenders, like Prospect Mortgage, more time to get expired condo projects re-approved.  Instead of thousands of units expiring on December 8, 2010, the expiration dates are now spread out of the next 9 months taking us to September … (2 comments)

alabama: FHA 90 Day Flip Financing Is Still Available - 12/11/10 03:13 AM
I have seen several inaccurate posts and comments lately regarding the ending of HUD's 90 Day Flip Waiver for FHA mortgages.  On January 15, 2009, HUD announced a waiver to its restriction of a borrower being able to obtain FHA financing on a property that had been acquired by the seller in the 90 days preceding the sales contract date. 
The waiver took effect on February 1, 2010.  The expiration date of the waiver was set as 12 months from its starting date.  That leaves the waiver to expire on January 31, 2011 unless HUD extends it further.
Over the past couple … (38 comments)

alabama: RainCamp Atlanta Annnounces Its Venue for Dec 8th - 11/23/10 02:42 AM
RainCamp Atlanta has announced its venue location and it is coming to Midtown Atlanta.  The event will be held on Wednesday, December 8 at the W Atlanta Midtown.  Registration opens at 8:00 am. 
W Atlanta - Midtown
188 14th St NE · Atlanta, GA 30361
(404) 892-6000

alabama: Atlanta, GA Market Update - November 22 2010 - 11/23/10 01:34 AM
Monday morning saw Mortgage Bonds open higher,  This is a welcome change after several days of sharp declines which had been pushing interest rates higher. 
In global news, Ireland has accepted a bailout package.  Ireland sought 80 to 90 Billion Euros ($109 to $123 Billion) of loans from the European Union and International Monetary Fund.  The US Bond Markets continue to benefit from the European fallout as money leaves the US Stock Market. 
At 1:00 pm EST, the Treasury announced the results of its $358B 2-Year offering.  By the end of the day, the market reaction to it was mostly neutral. 


alabama: Atlanta, GA Market Update - November 19 2010 - 11/20/10 02:53 PM
Mortgage Bonds opened on Friday relatively unchanged from Thursday's close.  This is mostly due to no new economic date being released.  News surrounding Ireland continuing to be the driving force behind the market. 
In Frankfort, Germany, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernake spoke on Friday.  He defended Quantitative Easing Round 2 (QE2) and stated that the program would give a needed boost to economic activity.
The Market closed with Mortgage Bonds slightly down on the day.  This pressure will continue to drive interest rates higher.

alabama: Conventional Loan Limits to Remain Unchanged in 2011 - 11/19/10 07:13 AM
Today, Fannie Mae announced that the conventional mortgage loan limits will remain unchanged in 2011 from current limits.  This is no big surprise since they have remained unchanged for a few years now.   
First Mortgage Loan Limits for 2011:

The high-cost area loan limits, will however see a change in 2011.  For high-cost mortgage loans originated in 2011, pursuant to FHFA's announcement, are as follows:
For mortgage loans originated on or before September 30, 2011, loan limits remain unchanged from the 2010 high-cost area loan limits. The maximum limit is $729,750 for a 1-unit property in the continental United States, established under … (3 comments)

alabama: Atlanta, GA Market Update - November 18, 2010 - 11/19/10 02:00 AM
The market opened on Thursday morning with Mortgage Bonds once again trading lower.  This comes as investors leave the safe haven of Mortgage Bonds and move to the riskier stock market. 
The Philadelphia Fed Index came in much higher than anticipated for November. The report was almost 5 times better than expectations of a 5 reading.  November came in at 22.5 after October's level of 1.  The reading was also its highest level in near a year. 
Global stocks also surged on news from Ireland.  It looks as though they will be accepting aid to assist with their debt crisis.


alabama: Atlanta, GA Market Update - November 15, 2010 - 11/15/10 04:42 AM
Monday morning saw the Mortgage Bonds once again trading lower.  This pattern continued from Friday afternoon's sell off. 
The Fed QE2 policy is the source of much discontentment in the market. Each day this week, they are scheduled to buy Treasuries.  This is part of the Fed's action plan to pump $600 billion into the economy through June. 
Improvements in economic data combined with QE2 has sparked inflationary concerns.   As reported this morning, Retail Sales rose 1.2% and beating market expectations.

alabama: Atlanta, GA Market Update - Week Ahead - 11/14/10 01:08 PM
The week of November 15 - 19 is full of economic reports.
Monday morning had the release of Retails Sales and the Empire State Index.  Tuesday morning will see the release of the Producer Price Index (PPI), the Core Producer Price Index (PPI), Industrial Production, and Capacity Utilization reports. 
Building Permits, Housing Starts, Consumer Price Index (CPI), and Core Consumer Price Index (CPI) reports will all be announced Wednesday morning.  On Friday morning, Jobless Claims (Initial), Index of Leading Economic Ind (LEI), and the Philadelphia Fed Index will be released. 
Reports that are better than expected will typically case interest rates to … (0 comments)

alabama: Is Cash Back to a Buyer at Closing Allowed? - 11/13/10 04:57 AM
Is Cash Back to a Buyer at Closing Allowed? 
It all depends on the situation and the loan program being obtained for the financing.  Lending guidelines only allow a buyer to get cash back at closing under very specific circumstances.  The buyer can never get back more money than they have contributed toward the transaction.  The contribution would typically come in the form of earnest money given when the sales contract was written.  The cash back to the buyer at closing can only come after they have satisfiedall of their down payment, closing costs, and pre-paid expense requirements. 
Many down payment assistance programs state that … (5 comments)

alabama: Atlanta, GA Market Update - November 12, 2010 - 11/13/10 04:44 AM
The Market opened on Friday with reactions to fears from China. Both Stocks and Bonds suffered due to Market concerns that China may raise their interest rates to fight the country's rising inflation.
The University of Michigan reported that the consumer sentiment index jumped to 69.3 in November.  This number is just slightly better than the market expectations of 69.  November's number is considerably better than October's level of 67.7. 
At 11:30 AM EST, the New York Federal Reserve began its buyback of treasuries, now know as QE2.  The expectation was to purchase $6 to $8 billion lower range securities.
All of this caused interest rates to lose considerable ground throughout … (0 comments)

alabama: Atlanta, GA Market Update - November 11, 2010 - 11/11/10 05:16 AM
In observance of Veteran's Day, the Bond Market is closed today.  The stock market, however, is open for business today.  This morning, the stock say a drop.  This is due to overseas debt issues along with a worse than expected outlook for Cisco. 

alabama: FHA Condo Recertification Processing Requirements - 11/07/10 02:41 PM
FHA Condo Recertifcation Approval Requirements
1)   Determine date project was initially given its FHA approval.  This can be found at:
2)   If project initially approved prior to January 1, 2000, then a full project approval is going to be required.
3)   If project initially approved on or after January 1, 2000, then the project may be eligible for the recertification process.
4)   Projects that are currently FHA approved may be recertified beginning six (6) months prior to the approval expiration date or within six (6) months after the approval expiration date.
5)   Projects that are not recertified within six (6) months after the approval … (1 comments)

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