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Displaying blog entries 1-10 of 15

The New TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosure

by Kijner & Sons International Realty


As of August 1st, 2015, the Good Faith Estimate and the Truth-in-Lending Disclosure for most closed end residential loans are going away. Those two forms will be combined into a single Loan Estimate, to be given to consumers within three business days of applying for a loan. Additionally, the Closing Disclosure Form will replace the HUD-1 Settlement Statement and the final Truth-in-Lending Disclosure.

Watch this short video courtesy of Stewart Title to learn more about what the TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosure (TRID) rule means and how the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) changes impact real estate agents. To watch the video, just click on the image below. 

 


Source: http://bbemaildelivery.com/bbext/?p=video_land&id=4fc771bf-cb5f-67e1-cbe3-845e5218dff5

Buying a home during the holiday season

by Kijner & Sons International Realty


Although home buying is generally not people's primary focus during the holiday season, it might actually turn out as a great time if you are on the market for a new house. Whether you wish to relocate to or invest in South Florida, you won't need to slow down your search for the perfect Miami home.   

Let's see some of the advantages of buying a Florida property during these festive months:

1) It's always sunny in Florida: you won't have to cancel your open house because of bad weather conditions. No need to shovel or prep your car for the snow. Just ask anyone from snowbirds to overseas visitors, Winter is probably one of the nicest seasons to enjoy Florida and shop for a house in Miami. 

2) Less competition: let's face it, between shopping for the perfect Christmas gifts, decorating the house, entertaining friends and family or planning your upcoming Winter holidays, fewer people are looking for a house this time of the year. You will thus have more chances to plan and visit properties and snatch your dream house.

3) Motivated sellers: sure home prices in South Florida and Miami have increased in 2014, but generally speaking, people putting their house for sale during the holiday season have a good reason to do so. They are highly motivated to sale and since there are less potential homebuyers looking, they might be more willing to negotiate. 

4) Motivated lenders: again, this is not the busiest season for closings, so lenders might approve you faster. 

5) Better interest rates and possible tax cut with an early mortgage payment: we are currently in a buyer's market with lower interest rates. This is definitely a great time to consider buying a home in beautiful Miami, Florida. In addition, since mortgage payments are made for the month prior, homeowners paying their January mortgage payment early - before end
of December - could benefit from a tax deduction for the upcoming year*.

If you are looking for your next Miami House, Miami Condo or Miami real estate investment opportunity, KSI Realty can help! Contact us today at info@kijner.com

Search now for Miami properties available for rent or for sale by clicking here

Register now to our free and easy email alerts and get your tailored listings daily in your mailbox by clicking here

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*For more information on mortgage payments, possible tax deductions and/or fiscal benefits, please see
 a licensed professional such as certified public accountant or mortgage broker.

Specialty Mortgages: Risks and Rewards

by Kijner & Sons International Realty

In high-priced housing markets, it can be difficult to afford a home in Miami or Sarasota Florida. That’s why a growing number of homebuyers are forgoing traditional fixed-rate mortgages and standard adjustable-rate mortgages and instead opting for a specialty mortgage that lets them “stretch” their income so they can qualify for a larger loan.

But before you choose one of these mortgages, make sure you understand the risks and how they work.

Specialty mortgages often begin with a low introductory interest rate or payment plan - a “teaser” - but the monthly mortgage payments are likely to increase a lot in the future. Some are “low documentation” mortgages that come with easier standards for qualifying, but also higher interest rates or higher fees. Some lenders will loan you 100 percent or more of the home’s value, but these mortgages can present a big financial risk if the value of the house drops.

Specialty Mortgages Can:

  • Pose a greater risk that you won’t be able to afford the mortgage payment in the future, compared to fixed rate mortgages and traditional adjustable rate mortgages.
  • Have monthly payments that increase by as much as 50 percent or more when the introductory period ends.
  • Cause your loan balance (the amount you still owe) to get larger each month instead of smaller.

Common Types of Specialty Mortgages:

  • Interest-Only Mortgages: Your monthly mortgage payment only covers the interest you owe on the loan for the first 5 to 10 years of the loan, and you pay nothing to reduce the total amount you borrowed (this is called the “principal”). After the interest-only period, you start paying higher monthly payments that cover both the interest and principal that must be repaid over the remaining term of the loan. 
  • Negative Amortization Mortgages: Your monthly payment is less than the amount of interest you owe on the loan. The unpaid interest gets added to the loan’s principal amount, causing the total amount you owe to increase each month instead of getting smaller.
  • Option Payment ARM Mortgages: You have the option to make different types of monthly payments with this mortgage. For example, you may make a minimum payment that is less than the amount needed to cover the interest and increases the total amount of your loan; an interest-only payment, or payments calculated to pay off the loan over either 30 years or 15 years. 
  • 40-Year Mortgages: You pay off your loan over 40 years, instead of the usual 30 years. While this reduces your monthly payment and helps you qualify to buy a home, you pay off the balance of your loan much more slowly and end up paying much more interest. 

Questions to Consider Before Choosing a Specialty Mortgage:

  • How much can my monthly payments increase and how soon can these increases happen?
  • Do I expect my income to increase or do I expect to move before my payments go up?
  • Will I be able to afford the mortgage when the payments increase?
  • Am I paying down my loan balance each month, or is it staying the same or even increasing?
  • Will I have to pay a penalty if I refinance my mortgage or sell my house?
  • What is my goal in buying this property? Am I considering a riskier mortgage to buy a more expensive house than I can realistically afford?

Be sure you work with a REALTOR® and lender who can discuss different options and address your questions and concerns!

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Sources:

Learn about the National Association of Realtors® Housing Opportunity Program at www.realtor.org/housingopportunity.

For more information on predatory mortgage lending practices, visit the Center for Responsible Lending at www.responsiblelending.org.

 

10 Questions to Ask Your Lender

by Kijner & Sons International Realty

Kijner & Sons International Realty gives you the 10 questions you should be asking your lender when looking to buy a home either in Miami or Saraosta Florida.

1. What are the most popular mortgages you offer? Why are they so popular?

2. Which type of mortgage plan do you think would be best for me? Why?

3. Are your rates, terms, fees, and closing costs negotiable?

4. Will I have to buy private mortgage insurance? If so, how much will it cost, and how long will it be required? (NOTE: Private mortgage insurance is usually required if your down payment is less than 20 percent. However, most lenders will let you discontinue PMI when you’ve acquired a certain amount of equity by paying down the loan.)

5. Who will service the loan — your bank or another company?

6. What escrow requirements do you have?

7. How long will this loan be in a lock-in period (in other words, the time that the quoted interest rate will be honored)? Will I be able to obtain a lower rate if it drops during this period?

8. How long will the loan approval process take?

9. How long will it take to close the loan?

10. Are there any charges or penalties for prepaying the loan?

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Sources:

The National Association of Realtors® (NAR)
Used with permission from Real Estate Checklists & Systems, www.realestatechecklists.com

Tips for Buying in a Tight Market

by Kijner & Sons International Realty

Increase your chances of getting your dream house in a competitive housing market such as Miami or Sarasota Florida with Kijner & Sons International Realty, and lower your chances of losing out to another buyer.

1. Get prequalified for a mortgage. You’ll be able to make a firm commitment to buy and your offer will be more desirable to the seller.

2. Stay in close contact with your real estate agent to find out about the newest listings. Be ready to see a house as soon as it goes on the market — if it’s a great home, it will go fast.

3. Scout out new listings yourself. Look at Web sites such as REALTOR.com, browse your local newspaper’s real estate section, and drive through the neighborhood to spot For Sale signs. If you see a home you like, write down the address and the name of the listing agent. Your real estate agent will schedule a showing.

4. Be ready to make a decision. Spend a lot of time in advance deciding what you must have in a home so you won’t be unsure when you have the chance to make an offer.

5. Bid competitively. You may not want to start out offering the absolute highest price you can afford, but don’t go too low to get a deal. In a tight market, you’ll lose out.

6. Keep contingencies to a minimum. Restrictions such as needing to sell your home before you move or wanting to delay the closing until a certain date can make your offer unappealing. In a tight market, you’ll probably be able to sell your house rapidly. Or talk to your lender about getting a bridge loan to cover both mortgages for a short period.

7. Don’t get caught in a buying frenzy. Just because there’s competition doesn’t mean you should just buy it. And even though you want to make your offer attractive, don’t neglect inspections that help ensure that your house is sound.

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Source: The National Association of Realtors® (NAR)

How Big of a Mortgage Can I Afford?

by Kijner & Sons International Realty

Not only does owning a home in Sarasota or Miami, Florida give you a haven for yourself and your family, it also makes great financial sense because of the tax benefits — which you can’t take advantage of when paying rent.

The following calculation assumes a 28 percent income tax bracket. If your bracket is higher, your savings will be, too. Based on your current rent, use this calculation to figure out how much mortgage you can afford.

Rent: _________________________

Multiplier: x 1.32

Mortgage payment: _________________________

Because of tax deductions, you can make a mortgage payment — including taxes and insurance — that is approximately one-third larger than your current rent payment and end up with the same amount of income.

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Source:

For more help, use Fannie Mae’s online mortgage calculators

The National Association of Realtors® (NAR)

What You Can Do to Improve Your Credit

by Kijner & Sons International Realty

Credit scores, along with your overall income and debt, are big factors in determining whether you’ll qualify for a loan and what your loan terms will be. So, keep your credit score high by doing the following: 


1. Check for and correct any errors in your credit report. Mistakes happen, and you could be paying for someone else’s poor financial management.

2. Pay down credit card bills. If possible, pay off the entire balance every month. Transferring credit card debt from one card to another could lower your score.

3. Don’t charge your credit cards to the maximum limit.

4. Wait 12 months after credit difficulties to apply for a mortgage. You’re penalized less for problems after a year.

5. Don’t order items for your new home on credit — such as appliances and furniture — until after the loan is approved. The amounts will add to your debt.

6. Don’t open new credit card accounts before applying for a mortgage. Too much available credit can lower your score.

7. Shop for mortgage rates all at once. Too many credit applications can lower your score, but multiple inquiries from the same type of lender are counted as one inquiry if submitted over a short period of time.

8. Avoid finance companies. Even if you pay the loan on time, the interest is high and it will probably be considered a sign of poor credit management.

Looking to purchase a new property in Miami or Saraosta, Florida? Contact Kijner & Sons International Realty at info@kijner.com

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Source:

The National Association of Realtors® (NAR)

This information is copyrighted by the Fannie Mae Foundation and is used with permission of the Fannie Mae Foundation. To obtain a complete copy of the publication, Knowing and Understanding Your Credit, visit www.homebuyingguide.org.

Tips to avoid a mortgage disaster in the state of Florida

by Kijner & Sons International Realty

There are several mistakes that homebuyers in Florida make and many of them pertain to their mortgage. Whether you find your dream home in Sarasota, the perfect property in Miami or a home you can turn into your dream home in either Miami or Sarasota, nobody wants the mortgage to ruin the fantastic experience of buying a home for sale in Florida. Kijner & Sons International Realty is here to help!

Here are a few tips to avoid a mortgage disaster:

Check your credit score. A bad credit score means you pay higher mortgage rates, and you want to know what to expect before getting to that point. If you check your credit a few months before applying for a loan you can change mistakes and even higher your credit score.

Don’t apply for other credit, like an auto loan or credit card. You look like a bigger risk and your rates will go up, if you’re approved at all. Wait until after the approval process is finished completely before applying for other credit.

Look at your total house payment. A mortgage payment includes principal, interest, taxes and insurance, or PITI. Some homebuyers don’t factor in taxes and insurance into their overall mortgage payment. So when deciding how much you can spend per month on your house, remember to factor in everything.

Having seasoned assets will help improve your chances of being approved for your loan. You can’t just transfer money from someone else’s account to make it look like you have money. The money needs to be in your accounts for a few months.

Steady work and income are a factor in being approved for loans. If you change jobs often an underwriter will look at how often you change and if your income is consistent. They want you to be able to make payments every month.

Get preapproved. Good preparation helps you get a good mortgage. Make sure you can qualify before you go house hunting. Look at different banks for the lowest rates. But don’t get too caught up with the game.

Don’t forget to lock in your mortgage rate. Rates change constantly and if you’re happy with the rate you have, lock it in. Don’t assume your rate is locked in until you get it in writing.

Read your new loan and mortgage documents. Make sure you understand and agree to everything you’re signing.

Follow these tips and you can be in your dream home in Florida soon enough!

Loan Types to Consider

by Kijner & Sons International Realty

Kijner & Sons International Realty helps you brush up on these mortgage basics to let you determine the loan that will best suit your needs if you are looking to purchase a property in Miami or Sarasota Florida.

  • Mortgage terms. Mortgages are generally available at 15-, 20-, or 30-year terms. In general, the longer the term, the lower the monthly payment. However, you pay more interest overall if you borrow for a longer term.
  • Fixed or adjustable interest rates. A fixed rate allows you to lock in a low rate as long as you hold the mortgage and, in general, is usually a good choice if interest rates are low. An adjustable-rate mortgage is designed so that your loan’s interest rate will rise as market interest rates increase. ARMs usually offer a lower rate in the first years of the mortgage. ARMs also usually have a limit as to how much the interest rate can be increased and how frequently they can be raised. These types of mortgages are a good choice when fixed interest rates are high or when you expect your income to grow significantly in the coming years.
  • Balloon mortgages. These mortgages offer very low interest rates for a short period of time — often three to seven years. Payments usually cover only the interest so the principal owed is not reduced. However, this type of loan may be a good choice if you think you will sell your home in a few years.

Slight variations in interest rates, loan amounts, and terms can significantly affect your monthly payment. For help in determining how much your monthly payment will be for various loan amounts, use Fannie Mae’s online mortgage calculators.

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Source: The National Association of Realtors® (NAR)

Negotiation tips for sellers in Florida

by Kijner & Sons International Realty

Sellers are sick of hearing about how this is a “buyers market.” Homebuyers are demanding so much right now. Here are some tips from Kijner & Sons International Realty to help you take some of the stress out of selling your home in this market.

Don’t mention deadlines for selling your house, even if you have one. Keep it to yourself. Letting others know you are in a hurry to sell gives them the upper hand. Don’t share too much information about yourself and why you’re selling either. That can hurt a potential sale. When asked why you’re selling give a vague and definite answer, and think about it before you’re asked. Don’t hint at your desire to move quickly. Don’t let the buyers know if it’s a divorce sale. That is code for buyers to give a low-ball offer because they know you need to sell quickly.

If you can’t afford the mortgage payments and that’s why you’re moving, try negotiating with the banks. They will generally work with you to lower payments when they know you are actively trying to sell the house. It’s good for the bank if you sell your house in a regular sale, so they may be willing to work with sellers in the Miami or Sarasota Florida areas.

Stop trying to prove that your house is worth buying. Let the house sell itself. You are attached to your house but potential buyers aren’t, yet. So try not to be there, so they can see themselves in the house rather than see you. Plus if you’re not there buyers can’t read your body language and ask you questions that could help them get a good deal on your house.

If you’re truly in a hurry to sell and you don’t have time to convince buyers that you’re not, try offering the agent an incentive. Make an offer short term, like for three weeks, and then you’re not stuck if six months down the line the sale is made.

Having a plan b is also a great idea in Florida. It’s better to be safe than sorry. Expand your options rather than panicking. Renting out the house is an option. Making it known that you have a plan b will let buyers know you aren’t desperate to sell and can take your time. The buyer will know they aren’t the only game in town.

Take back some of the power in selling your house! Kijner & Sons International Realty will help you get what you deserve.

Displaying blog entries 1-10 of 15

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