HotelDel DownTown Sunset

Greetings from Jennifer Ross -  Realtor
 
Barry Rahm HospitalThis year I appropriately dedicate Valentines Day to my Father who just underwent heart surgery at Cedar Sinai and now has a finely tuned ticker!

 I have very fond memories of Valentines Day growing up!  My Mother was one of those Moms who went overboard for each holiday (the green cupcakes and green wine on St. Patrick's really stands out in my mind)!  As a child I remember making Valentines for every member of my class and stuffing tiny candy hearts inside the card with the message I wanted to convey!  At the end of the school day we were all allowed to open our decorated shoe boxes and remove the valentines with eager anticipation.  Maybe this is just a girl thing...but I still love Valentines Day. This year I will visit my Mom at her retirement home and give her and her friends  Valentines  with  heart cookies , and I'll mail  care packages to my kids filled with red and pink hearts!
 Signature
10 Tips To Snag A Mortgage Loan In 2011

Mortgage lenders tightened their standards after the subprime mortgage mess and that won't change in the coming year. But there are mortgage loans to be had.  Follow these tips in 2011 to secure a mortgage loan at an interest rate and under terms that are right for you.
 
1. Have the right credit score.  The best combination of interest rate and points requires a higher credit score than in the past. Before the crisis, the best mortgage loans came with credit score of 720. Then the industry went back to basics. Now the best deals often need a 740 credit score.
 
2. Protect and preserve your credit.  Multiple credit inquiries will cause your credit score to fall. For that reason, some would-be borrowers are wary of shopping around for a mortgage loan. They worry that if two or more lenders pull credit reports, their scores will go down. But the effect of rate-shopping is more complicated than that. When mortgage lenders make multiple credit inquiries within a few weeks of one another, those multiple inquiries are treated as one. Yes, it will cause the score to drop. But the hit is likely to be minor because multiple inquiries are treated as one.
One credit-scoring method treats all mortgage credit inquiries made within 45 days as one inquiry; an older, less-generous method lumps together all mortgage credit inquiries made within just 14 days.
 
3. Shop around.  The interest rate is important, but there are other costs to consider, such as discount points and even the type of mortgage loan. When shopping for best rates, compare combinations of discount points and loan types.
For example, if your best guess is that you'll live in the house for eight years before moving, compare the total fees and monthly payments that you would make under three or four different loan deals. Ask yourself how much it would cost to pay zero discount points and get a higher interest rate compared to paying discount points in exchange for lower rates? What about a 5/1 or 7/1 adjustable-rate mortgage?
You might quickly rule out some options, but at least you considered them. Bankrate.com's mortgage calculators will help you compare.
 
4. Know your borrowing limit.  Whether or not you get an FHA-insured mortgage loan, let the Federal Housing Administration be your guide to how much debt to take on.
For most borrowers, the FHA caps house payments at 31 percent of gross (pretax) monthly income. If you earn the median household income of about $4,200 per month before taxes, then your house payment -- principal, interest, taxes, insurance and association dues -- should be no more than 31 percent of that, or $1,302.
Some housing counselors say 28 percent to 30 percent is a safer number. The FHA limits total debt payments to 43 percent of monthly income. Total debt payments include first and second mortgages, auto loans, credit cards and child support. Some non-FHA loans let you borrow more, but you don't have to do it.

5. Don't reset the calendar to 30 years.  When refinancing a 30-year mortgage loan, many borrowers restart from the beginning, scheduling the payments so they pay off the loan in 30 years. You don't have to do it that way. When you refinance a 30-year loan that you've had for five years, pay off the new loan in 25 years. Just ask the lender to amortize the loan for the remaining period of the old loan.

6. Consider a no-closing-cost refi.  You're fortunate enough to have positive equity, but you don't have a lot of cash lying around. If you think that means you can't refinance, think again. You might be able to refinance the mortgage loan yet pay little out of pocket in a no-closing-costs refi.
The lender doesn't eat the closing costs out of a sense of generosity. After all, we are talking about a bank. With a no-closing-cost loan, the bank charges a slightly higher rate. You end up paying closing costs over time, instead of all at once.

7. Small down payment? See the feds.  Most lenders require borrowers to have down payments of at least 10 percent of the home's price. In the case of refinances, lenders want borrowers to have at least 10 percent equity. That leaves out a lot of borrowers and refinancers. But there are options for people without much savings or equity.
For borrowers with good credit, the FHA requires a down payment (or equity) of 3.5 percent.
The Department of Agriculture's rural development program guarantees mortgage loans with zero down payment. Those loans are limited to designated rural areas. The Department of Veterans Affairs offers zero-down mortgages for qualified veterans.

 8. Small loan? Act early.  This tip is based on the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act and concerns mortgage loans of a relatively small amount of less than $100,000.
New restrictions on how loan officers are paid go into effect April 1, 2011. The law forbids lenders from basing loan officer compensation on interest rates or other loan terms. Essentially, a broker or loan officer will be able to earn more money only by lending more money. As an unintended consequence, loan officers are likely to chase bigger loans, and they won't want to spend as much time working on smaller loans. For borrowers getting small mortgages, customer service could suffer.
Some loan officers and brokers will be conscientious and will treat customers equally, regardless of loan size. But keep the regulation in mind.

9. Make an extra payment any time of the year.  You've heard that making an extra mortgage payment at the end of each year will shorten the repayment time. That's true. But the extra payment doesn't have to come at year's end. An extra payment is effective any time of the year -- the important thing is to pay it consistently.
If money is tight during holiday season, maybe it would feel less painful to make the extra payment after receiving a tax refund, or after an annual bonus, or at some other time of year.

10. Behind on your house payments? See a counselor.  Delinquent homeowners who receive HUD-certified foreclosure counseling are more likely to keep their houses and not lose them to foreclosure, according to a study commissioned by NeighborWorks America, a national network of more than 240 community development and affordable housing organizations, based in Washington, D.C. When late borrowers get counseling, they are more likely to get a mortgage modification and their payments are reduced more.
 
Courtesy of BankRate.com
News and Views  

The Commerce Department reported that new home sales rose by 17.5 percent in December to an annualized rate of 329,000 units. That's the highest level since April when the first-time homebuyers tax credit was pushing up sales activity. There were a couple of important elements in the news. First, the median price of a home sold was $241,500 in December, up from $215,500 in the previous month. And, the inventory of new homes for sales fell from 8.4 months in November to 6.9 months in December. That is a big decline and, when you look at the low number of building permits for new homes that were issued in 2010, is evidence of a housing shortage around the corner.
*****
The December report on existing home sales from the National Association of Realtors showed sales rose 12.3 percent last month. Once again it was the West that led the way with existing homes sales here rising 16.7 percent. "The recovery will likely continue as job growth gains momentum and rising rents encourage more renters into ownership while exceptional affordability conditions remain," said Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist.
*****
Sunset Magazine has ranked San Diego as the No. 1 "Best Place to Hatch Big Ideas" in its February issue. The piece notes the region's 75 research labs and compares counting companies within our innovation economy to counting plants in the Amazon jungle. The piece also credits the smart phone and faster computer capability to regional innovators Qualcomm and Cymer, and the decoding of the human genome to researchers at the J. Craig Venter Institute.
Video of the Week


Stand By MeStand By Me

From the award-winning documentary, "Playing For Change: Peace Through Music", is a cover of the Ben E. King classic by musicians around the world adding their part to the song as it travelled the globe.

Famous Quotes
 

Everyone wants to be appreciated, so if you appreciate someone, don't keep it a secret.

Mary Kay

 
As always, feel free to give me a call 800-913-7677 with your real estate needs.  I appreciate your referrals.
 
Signature

Acedemic Earth 

Jennifer Ross

 
Experience Counts!
Over 21 years in
Real Estate sales
Serving all of San Diego
 
Office: 800.913.7677
Direct: 619.985.7340
JennRossRealtor@gmail.com
 
 

 

Current Mortage Rates
 (BankRate.com weekly avg)
 30 yr fixed: 4.97%
15 yr fixed: 4.28%

 

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