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So I had breakfast with a Lender this morning.

By
Real Estate Agent with Spa Realty, Inc Team Riley

Guess what, as I keep trying to relay to my clients and associates; the Hot Springs and Garland County, Arkansas Real Estate market is not spiraling out of control like Las Vegas or Florida or parts of some 20 metropolitan areas across the country. It has slowed some, but still is doing stronger than in 2002.....it had to peak sometime, and now that its leveled off things are starting to fall back in place. 

Beings stated income and no money down loans are a thing of the past, how does one purchase a home?  FHA and VA loans are simply the best option for almost all clientele.  Even those with "good" credit need to consider this as a viable option for obtaining financing.  A 680 credit score used to get you any loan, but now without being over a 700 FICO score you almost certainly need to look at FHA type loans unless your prepared for at least putting 10% down.  There is a great market of homes that fit under the FHA/VA guidelines for pricing and Hot Springs is still seeing steady home sales and purchases largely in part due to some great lenders who work in the area.

Hot Springs home prices grew so fast, so quick that now that they have "COOLED OFF" prices are coming back to in-line with reality.  The best of the best will survive and those who just got by the seat of their pants are in for a tough road.  No matter what your situation, rest assured, at least locally, that things are going to be OK.  Interest rates are still at phenomenal levels and with the right REALTOR and a knowledgeable LENDER purchasing a home is still a pleasant, smart, and economically viable investment. 

I can't stress enough the power of having an agent that knows the market, knows how to put you in position to purchase the home and get you through the process without losing all your hair or sanity.  It is a bright future if your willing to stick it through.  Trying to wait for home prices to continue falling will only put you that much farther behind when the market comes back....ever heard the saying "being ahead of the curve?" 

Well in todays market you must be educated, informed, have good counsel, and know just what options are available for seller and buyers.  There is no dumb question in Real Estate and working with an agent you are comfortable with can help make a stressful situation almost seem enjoyable.  There is no bad time to invest in Real Estate, and in Hot Springs, the future has never looked brighter. 

James Monastero
Texana Bank - Fuquay Varina, NC
The Matchmaker

FHA and VA are great options for those with little funds for a down payment- or those that simply want to keep a larger nest egg in the bank for a rainy day. There are up front costs associated with FHA loans, as well as mortgage insurance. On the VA side, you don't have mortgage insurance, but instead a hefty 'funding fee'. BUT, most often the numbers work to the borrowers benefit regardless of those fees. The problem is, many loan officers are pushing the loans even in situations where the client would not benefit, or they simply don't offer up enough information to the client for them to make an educated decision.

There are MIP and VA funding fees to worry about, and explaining that to the borrower up front- and also working out solutions to nullify those fees (seller's concession) - is super important. I just wish more originators would get more educated on these products before hoisting them onto consumers. :)

May 06, 2008 04:54 AM
-- Casey Brischle
Columbia Bank - Spokane, WA
Spokane Home Loan Mortgage Professional

Jennifer,

I couldn't agree more.  There is a place for FHA and VA loans, but it is not always in the clients best interest to go that route.  I always detail out FHA and conventional and VA if the client qualifies.  By doing this, you will be surprised how many people see the benefits of conventional.

Granted each case is different though.

May 07, 2008 05:12 AM
-- Casey Brischle
Columbia Bank - Spokane, WA
Spokane Home Loan Mortgage Professional

Jennifer,

I couldn't agree more.  There is a place for FHA and VA loans, but it is not always in the clients best interest to go that route.  I always detail out FHA and conventional and VA if the client qualifies.  By doing this, you will be surprised how many people see the benefits of conventional.

Granted each case is different though.

May 07, 2008 05:12 AM
James Wexler
wexzilla.com - Scottsdale, AZ

Drew

Great piece.  It is amazing how many options are available to buyers.  In a booming market very few people care about the financing they receive, but when times get tough its nice to have an agent who can match the property with the loan. 

by the way, Do you have an outside blog that I can add to my Blogroll ?

Thanks and look forward to reading your thoughts on the world of real estate.

Jun 18, 2008 08:52 AM
Anonymous
Anonymous

Drew

I have really enjoyed reading your blog.   I am relatively new to AR and have noticed you have received a lot of points and have achieved a remarkable high ranking. Congratulations!   May I ask if you have had success in turning your high ranking into business?   I am curious if it has been a profitable venture personally as well as financially.   Thanks for sharing and best of luck in your business.

Jul 09, 2008 05:21 AM
#5
James Wexler
wexzilla.com - Scottsdale, AZ

I have really enjoyed reading your blog.   I am relatively new to AR and have noticed you have received a lot of points and have achieved a remarkable high ranking. Congratulations!   May I ask if you have had success in turning your high ranking into business?   I am curious if it has been a profitable venture personally as well as financially.   Thanks for sharing and best of luck in your business.

Jul 09, 2008 05:29 AM