The FHA-backed 203(k) rehab loan is an increasingly popular option in today’s market because so many available properties, especially foreclosures, are in need of repair. A streamlined 203(k) provides money to pay for improvements such as a new roof, appliances, furnace, energy-efficient windows, and cosmetic improvements like carpet, paint, and remodeled kitchens and baths. The maximum loan available is $417,000 (Burlington County NJ) and allows you to use 110% of the "After-Improved" value for Lending Purposes.
The buyer must put down 3.5 percent of the acquisition. At closing, the seller is paid and the remaining money goes into an escrow account to pay for repairs. A licensed contractor must complete the work within six months. Some lenders allow the borrower to do minor cosmetic work like painting themselves. Source: Minneapolis-St. Paul Star-Tribune
Green market research firm SBI Energy forecasts that in the next five years, the market for energy-efficient home renovation products will grow 15 percent, 50 percent faster than the renovations market as a whole. According to the report, the energy-efficient market will reach $35 billion and claim 15 percent of all home renovation dollars spent. 'The growth will come as a result of the tax credits, new incentives, and the reality that more agencies and utilities are promoting the fact that adding improved energy efficiency is the most cost-effective way to decrease home utility bills,' says Norman Deschamps, author and SBI Energy analyst. Source: SBI Reports
Falling prices for real estate and the declining value of the dollar are luring investors from all over the world to purchase properties for as little as half what they might have paid four years ago. 'This could be a once-in-a-generation opportunity for real estate investment,' says Arthur Wong, whose Calgary, Alberta-based U.S. Real Estate Fund has invested $5 million in properties in the U.S. Southwest and plans to buy millions more. Buyers from countries like Brazil, Canada, France, and the Netherlands, whose currencies are particularly strong against the dollar, are spending millions on luxury condos in New York City, Las Vegas, and Miami. Foreign buyers also find the warm climates of California, Texas, and Arizona attractive. Peter Zalewski, a principal with Miami-based Condo Vultures, says he has sold foreign condo buyers seven bulk deals in downtown Miami alone, with investors coming from Argentina, Canada, Colombia, Italy, Norway, and Venezuela. Source: MSNB
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