Homes that are foreclosed are known as being Real Estate Owned since the lending institute takes back the possession of the house as a result of failure to receive payments. Generally, lending institutions try their best to avoid a foreclosure and give the homeowner plenty of chances not forfeit the house. However, when there is a default in mortgage payments, the institutions have no chance but to foreclose the house in an attempt to recover deferred payments.
For people looking for houses, foreclosed homes are considered to be a good option as there are no move-in delays. Moreover, a foreclosed home sometimes presents a unique opportunity to people to buy a house at a low price. If you are interested in buying a foreclosed home, the following steps should be followed:
1. Look For an Agent
You can find a number of realtors that work with banks to carry when it comes to selling foreclosed homes. It is recommended to find an agent who deals with homes located in the area you are interested in. You can tell the agent about your specific needs and wants and can share with them your over-all criteria for the purchase. Negotiations can also be done through your real estate agent. However, it is worth mentioning that in the case of a foreclosure there are rarely any chances of any type of negotiation.
2. Get a Pre-approval
In the case of buying a foreclosed home, it is necessary that you are pre-approved by a lender if you are looking for financing your purchase. Foreclosed properties attract a lot of attention from numerous buyers and thus it is better to be prepared for the process beforehand to make sure that you do not miss any opportunity to get the best price. Getting pre-approved by a lender will speed up the process for you and will make you look like an attractive potential customer. You will need to have a letter of pre-approval from the lender to prove your interest.
3. Survey the Market for Comparable Properties
To make a competitive offer for the house, you need to conduct a proper survey of comparable homes in the market. This will help you understand the discount that you will end up getting and will enable you to make the right offer. Since there are so many buyers in line, you would not want to miss the offer just because you valued the house too low. Doing a comparative analysis of similar homes will help you avoid making such a mistake. Also, as mentioned earlier, the chances of a negotiation taking place are extremely low in case of a foreclosed home and thus, it is beneficial for you not to expect a discount for the repairs and maintenance required by the home.
4. Study the Chances of Seeking Financing for Repairs
Before you make an offer to the bank or make a decision of buying the house, it is recommended that you hire a contractor who will survey the house and will give you an estimate of all the repairs needed. This will bring about many benefits. First, it will help you evaluate whether the deal is profitable or not. Second, it will help you assess whether you should be applying for a loan for repairs or not. The FHA 203 (K) Loan is a viable option for this purpose. Such a loan will pay for numerous repairs and renovations and will make any changes to the house that you feel are fit.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Financing a Foreclosure
- Opportunity to buy the property at a price lower than the standard.
- Ability to find properties that are unique and are not being considered by investors.
- A profitable option for both, short and long term investors.
- In case the property is being sold at an auction, the interested buyer will not have a chance to conduct an inspection.
- There is no ‘right’ offer in such cases and the lending institution might keep on waiting for the highest offer.
- It will be extremely difficult if you are interested in financing foreclosed condos.
- You might be faced with a number of code violations while conducting inspection.
Common Problems Faced by Interested Parties
- If the property is being sold at an auction, it will be difficult for amateur investors to take part since the price can reach unreasonable levels at an auction. And since there is no chance to conduct an inspection beforehand, you might end up making an unprofitable decision.
- Lack of maintenance is fairly common in case of foreclosed homes. This is because as the previous homeowner was not able to make the monthly payments, there is a high likelihood that the maintenance was not performed regularly either. Moreover, if you are considering a property that has been vacated for a long time, there might be higher chances of the property being damaged due to vandalism.
- Apart from maintenance problems, there are also increased chances of termite damage done to the property during the owner’s stay or during the time when the house was empty.
- You will find the lending institutions to be increasingly lazy and slow when it comes to transferring the ownership of the house. This is because the lending institutions are always looking for a bid that is higher.
- Unlike all the above mentioned risks, there is also a risk of increased competition associated with buying a property that is deemed attractive by many investors. This is because there is a great chance of the occurrence of a bidding war when the property in question is considered a good deal.
While there are many benefits associated with buying a foreclosed property, there are also many challenges faced when attempting to finance it. Moreover, the likelihood of running into major maintenance expenses makes the buyers give the idea a second thought.
PITI – What Is It and How to Estimate It Yourself
PITI, or “Pity”, is a sum of mortgage payments that include the principal amount, Interest on the loan, property tax, and insurance premiums. PITI helps lenders calculate a loan applicant’s ability to pay their mortgage payments based on the income level. Using PITI, lending institutions, such as banks, decide on how much loan amount they can offer to an applicant. Lenders also use PITI to create a reserve requirement as well. This is a multiple of PITI, which the lender keeps as a deposit. They use it to cover any shortages, if the borrower faces financial hardship and defaults on their monthly payment.
Breaking It Down
Breaking PITI down into its individual components helps us understand the term better and realize why each element is important in a mortgage payment calculation.
This is the base amount that you borrow from your bank to finance the new property you require. Your monthly payment doesn’t depend only on the principal amount. Principal will only make part of it while other portions will include interest, taxes, and insurance premiums.
When a lender such as a bank or any other financial institution offers you a loan, they are losing out on an opportunity to invest that amount somewhere else. To cater to this opportunity cost, the bank will charge you an interest on your loan amount. Most banks want to recover maximum interest during the beginning of the loan tenure. Hence, interest amount forms a major chunk of initial mortgage payments.
The amount of PITI can vary based on the tax rate and assessed value of the property being financed. Some of the elements that determine your property tax include:
- The state in which your property is located
- Local tax assessor who comes to assess the value of property being financed
- Market value of the property and its surrounding areas
The property tax is calculated by applying your local county tax rate on the assessed value of the property. After the principal and interest amount, property tax is the major contributor to the PITI amount.
Just like property tax, home insurance is another variable that plays an important role in raising or lowering your PITI. The type and amount of home insurance you have to pay for depends on two factors:
- The area you would like to live in
- How much down payment you are willing to make
The most common types of insurances include:
- Homeowners Insurance – This type of insurance protects you against vandalism, theft or other hazards such as a fire.
- Flood Insurance – Depending on the area you are willing to move to, your lender may require flood insurance as well. This will be in the interest of both the parties in case of a natural disaster such as flood or hurricane, which can completely destroy the financed property.
- PMI or Private Mortgage Insurance – According to 20% down payment rule, if a borrower makes a down payment of less than 20%, they are liable to purchase PMI as well.
Various elements can increase or decrease the amount of insurance premium on a property. Hence, borrowers need to be mindful while choosing a locality and making down payment to minimize their monthly mortgage payments.
Estimating Your PITI
It is always good to do a little homework and get a rough estimate about your monthly mortgage expense before you finance a property. This will help you maintain your monthly budget once you start making your loan payments. Your interest rates and principal amount are determined by your bank, but having a good grip on variable expenses such as taxes and insurance premiums can help reduce your mortgage payments. Some useful steps to determine your PITI value include:
1. Looking For a PITI Calculator Online
An online PITI calculator will help you identify your monthly payments by amortizing your interest rate over the loan period. It will also take into consideration your property tax and home insurance by dividing the yearly payment in to 12 equal installments. It then adds all these elements together to form your monthly payment schedule.
2. How Much You Need
PITI is calculated based on the amount you are financing from the lending institution rather than the property value itself. Before entering the loan amount in PITI calculator, you need to subtract your down payment from it as well. It is important to note that there are some closing costs associated with the mortgage loan. It would be wise if you allocate some of your savings to these charges to avoid any surprises after you have paid your mortgage in full.
3. Tax and Insurance Variables
Almost any PITI calculator you choose will ask you for the tax and insurance amount. Banks usually include these variables in their monthly payment to protect themselves from property damage or tax liens.
- Estimating Insurance Premium – A general rule of thumb is to set aside $35 for every $100,000 of your loan amount. If your bank requires you to acquire flood insurance, then your insurance premium may rise accordingly.
- Tax Estimate – Check your local state regulations to figure out the tax rate and multiply it by market value of your property to get a rough tax estimate on your property.
Putting all these variables along with the loan tenure in the calculator will give you a rough idea of how much your PITI would come around to. You can then use this figure to manage your monthly budget accordingly.
Having an understanding of PITI is an essential part of taking out a mortgage. Lenders use the ratio of PITI to your gross income to determine your repayment capacity on a mortgage loan. For most lenders to offer you a mortgage loan, this ratio should be above 25%. Hence, doing your own PITI calculation beforehand will help you choose property that will provide you with best value for money.
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How Does a Reverse Mortgage Work?
With rising healthcare costs and increase in property taxes, many retirees face difficulty in meeting their monthly expenses. Reverse Mortgage is an effective way for old age homeowners to convert their home equity into cash. Homeowners can use this cash in multiple ways such as renovating their property or paying off their monthly dues.
You can use a Reverse Mortgage to pay off a regular mortgage. This way, you can avoid monthly payments to your lender. If you can manage your property dues, such as taxes and other maintenance costs, you can apply for a Reverse Mortgage. You can pay the loan off any time before the last surviving property owner passes away or moves out.
Step By Step Guide To Securing a Reverse Mortgage
The first step towards securing a Reverse Mortgage facility is obtaining objective information about the Reverse Mortgage loan from counselors approved by Housing and Urban Development organization. Once the counseling session is complete, you will receive a certificate of completion at your home address. This certificate is part of the Reverse Mortgage loan application.
2. Submit Loan Application
To initiate the Reverse Mortgage loan, borrowers need to submit an application packet to their lender, which usually includes:
- A Valid Identification document
- Proof that the property put up as collateral is your primary residence
- Proof of income showing that you have enough money to pay for homeowner insurance and property taxes on your property
- Reverse Mortgage counseling certificate
Once you submit the loan application, the lender will appraise your property value. This is a major step in the Reverse Mortgage process as it determines the amount you are eligible to receive as a loan.
- Request for Appraisal – According to latest housing regulations, lenders cannot order appraisers of their own choice and need to contact an independent Appraisal Management Company to appraise the property’s value.
- Property Visit By An Appraiser – Once the lender makes a request for appraisal, FHA-approved property appraisers will visit your home for inspection and take necessary pictures to determine the property’s worth.
- Submission of Appraisal Report – The appraisal report is shared with the lender within 3-5 business days after the property visit. Latest regulations require that lenders share a copy of the latest appraisal report with the applicant as well.
4. Underwriting the Loan
During this stage of the loan process, underwriters review the application along with submitted documents and stipulate the terms and conditions associated with the loan. Once the application meets all the conditions, the lender will set a closing date for loan disbursal.
Cash Payment Options
- One-time Disbursal – You can receive a lump sum payment from your lender through Reverse Mortgage. However, this is only available for fixed-rate
- Term Option –Using this option borrower can receive a fixed amount of cash on a monthly basis for a pre-determined period.
- Line of Credit –This is useful for applicants who need to utilize their Reverse Mortgage facility as and when required. The interest accrues depending on how cash the borrower draws over a period of time.
- Since these loans were designed for senior citizens, Reverse Mortgage facility is available for people above 62 years of age.
- You should either own the home or have low enough mortgage to pay it off using a Reverse Mortgage loan.
- You must be living at the property and must not stay at any other place for more than 12 months.
- For multi-family homes, you should be using one of the units as your primary residence. In the case of manufactured homes, they are approved for Reverse Mortgage as long as they follow FHA requirements. An HUD-approved condominium can also be used for availing Reverse Mortgage facility.
- You must be able to pay your monthly dues during the life of the loan. These may include home insurance, property taxes, and maintenance fee such as homeowners
- Many lenders require that you must not be delinquent on any federal loan.
Fees Associated With Reverse Mortgage
1. Origination Premium
The federal government insures Reverse Mortgage loans, but the loan applicant has to bear the insurance costs. Insurance premium can range between 0.5% and 2.5% depending on the appraisal value and the amount you borrow from your initial limit in the first 12 months.
2. Processing and Closing Fee
The lender can charge you up to $6,000 for processing the loan depending on your property value. Closing costs include fees for background and credit check, property appraisal, taxes and any other fees.
Risks Associated With Reverse Mortgage
- Reducing Family Inheritance – Reverse Mortgage is a high-interest loan, which is compounded over a period of time. The upfront costs and accrued interest can considerably reduce your home equity. This means you may not be leaving behind much for your family or surviving spouse as an inheritance.
- Risk of Foreclosure Proceedings – This could be a major problem for a surviving spouse who did not co-sign the Reverse Mortgage facility with the primary applicant. In case the applicant passes away, their spouse will be forced to sell the property to pay-off the loan. Hence, it is important that borrowers talk to other house occupants about a backup plan in case they do not survive.
- Stringent Terms – Reverse Mortgage borrowers’ risk of losing equity in their home very quickly as the high-interest rates compound over a period of time. The terms for Reverse Mortgage are quite stringent as well, with lenders refusing to amend loan terms such as lowering interest rates or adding a co-borrower after loan disbursal.
Reverse Mortgage allows borrowers to use their home equity to manage their monthly expenses. However, before availing this type of loan, borrowers should spend some time in understanding the loan terms and devising a strategy to maximize the loan proceeds. Otherwise, they may end up leaving little or no inheritance to their spouse or other family members.
Understanding Subprime Mortgages
When seeking for financial assistance in the form of a Mortgage loan, it is imperative that the intended borrower has a good credit score to secure the ideal loan. In addition to a good credit score, a debt to income ratio of less than 35 percent is also required. Unfortunately, not all borrowers can meet such requirements because of their credit history and low income.
In such cases, borrowers can apply for a subprime mortgage which is specifically designed to offer assistance to people with low credit scores and other financial issues. In this article, we will explain what a subprime mortgage is, when you might need it and how to apply for it.
What is a Subprime Mortgage?
Many times borrowers with low income face difficulties while applying for a loan. A conventional mortgage requires the borrowers to have a good credit score and a steady income. However, a subprime mortgage is offered to people who have a credit score of 600 or below.
One would expect such a loan to be at a greater risk of default since the borrowers already have a bad history when it comes to the repayment of loans. This risk is compensated for at the beginning of the process by offering higher interest rates as compared to the conventional loans. In some cases, banks may also charge the borrowers in some other way, such as a greater down payment or a higher closing cost.
Types of Subprime Mortgage
Within the category of Subprime Mortgage, there are other subtypes to choose from. These are:
The main advantage of choosing this type of subprime mortgage is the longer term of repayment. Instead of the traditional 30 year period for the repayment, a fixed-interest mortgage allows the borrower to have a longer repayment period of 40 to 50 years.
This longer-term translates into reduced monthly payments for the buyer, however, since the lender has to compensate for the risk associated with the greater inability of the borrower to pay off the total amount, a higher interest rate is added. While choosing such a mortgage, it is important to find out the amount of interest rate that is being offered by different lenders and choose the one that offers the lowest.
2. Interest-Only Mortgage
An interest-only mortgage allows the borrower to have a period of 5, 7 or 10 years in which they are required to pay only the interest payments that are charged. Under such type of payment, the principal payment can be delayed and the borrower, if wishes, can regularly make payments towards the principal.
At the end of the term, the borrower is expected to pay off the mortgage or can refinance the mortgage. Such a mortgage is considered ideal for borrowers that are expecting to witness an increase in their income or an improvement in their financial condition over the years.
3. Dignity Mortgage
This kind of mortgage is considered to be relatively new and gives the borrower ease in paying off the principal amount. In the beginning, the borrower is required to pay about 10% of the principal amount. After this, if the borrower is found to be diligent in paying the regular interest payments for five years, the amount that has been paid in the form of a higher interest rate is compensated to pay off the principal amount by reducing the interest rate to the prime rate. This gives the borrower an opportunity to prove their ability to pay off the loan which is why the term “dignity’ is used.
4. Adjustable-Rate Mortgage
An Adjustable-Rate mortgage (ARM) uses a fixed interest rate at the beginning of the loan’s term after which the payment keeps changing and resetting according to an index. At the beginning of the repayment schedule, the borrower might be paying off a reduced amount. However, the unpredictable nature of such a mortgage does not give the borrower any guarantee about how the change might affect the payment schedule. There is a lot of unpredictability associated with such a mortgage due to its high dependence on the economic conditions and the index.
How to Get a Subprime Mortgage
When applying for a subprime mortgage, you will find the process to be extremely similar to the process that is followed when applying for a conventional mortgage. However, we have summarized the complete process of getting a subprime mortgage in the following steps:
- At the beginning of the process, it is important to consider your options by making a list of all the lenders that offer subprime mortgages. By looking at the interest rates offered by each lender, choose one that best meets your needs.
- Even though the documentation required in the case of subprime mortgage is not as complex as in the traditional mortgage, the lender will ask you for a steady proof of income, bank statements, and documents that reflect your monthly expenses.
- Read the contracts thoroughly and sign them.
- You might need to offer additional documents if the lender requires. Hence, you should not expect all the documents mentioned above to be sufficient and should be ready to gather and present any additional documents.
Pros and Cons of Subprime Mortgage
The biggest advantage of a subprime mortgage is the ability of borrowers with poor credit scores to get a loan and the less complex nature of the overall process as compared to that of a conventional one. Whereas, the disadvantages of subprime mortgage include, the higher interest rates and the requirement to show a steady income for borrowers who are presently unemployed.
Even though getting a subprime mortgage might be risky, as a borrower it allows you to have a more versatile mortgage option that you can use to buy a home for yourself without having to worry about your credit history or debt responsibilities. In case you expect your financial condition to improve shortly and are in need of temporary financial assistance getting a subprime mortgage is your best option.
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