Seller Terms: “FHA Rehab 203k, Conventional, Conventional Rehab, Adj. Rate/Gr Payment, Cash”

MLS Shorthand for “Potential Tear-Down” Test your knowledge of today’s housing market, and field this question: How can you determine that a “For Sale” home on MLS is a potential tear-down? A.  The MLS photos show a home in decrepit condition — or, there are no photos. B. In the “Seller Terms” field on MLS,...
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FHA Fees: Up, Up, and Away

Getting a Mortgage?  Focus on the A.P.R., Not the Interest Rate One of the least remarked — but most important — numbers in residential real estate is the difference between a loan’s “face” interest rate, and what’s called the “A.P.R.,” or annual percentage rate. The latter captures the interest rate plus all the costs and...
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Low Appraisal Double Jeopardy

Sticking With the Bird in the Hand The reason that Buyers and Sellers typically renegotiate the price when a home appraises low is that the Seller has no guaranty that . . . it won’t happen again. Either with the same Buyer, and another lender. Or, if they scuttle the deal, with another Buyer and...
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203(k) Rehab Loans: Guilt by Association?

Ways to Finance a Home Purchase One of the more obscure fields on MLS lists the various kinds of financing the Seller will accept, or may be available to buy the home. So, it’s typical to see “Conventional” (federally guaranteed mortgages under $417k), “FHA,” “DVA” (Department of Veteran Affairs), and “Jumbo” (loans over $417k) —...
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“HUD Home,” Defined

Wouldn’t That Make it an FHA Home?? If Realtors can’t keep it straight, I doubt non-professionals can, either. So, for the record, a “HUD home” is a home that was financed by FHA, defaulted, and is now owned by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (by the time that happens, the lender has long...
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Maximum Seller Contribution: Not Just 3% Anymore

“Your Mileage Points May Vary” Once upon a time, it was (fairly) safe to tell Buyers that the maximum contribution that a Seller could make toward the Buyer’s closing costs was 3%. No more. Here’s the current, updated “cheat sheet,” courtesy of Edina Mortgage’s Keith O’Brien: FHA is 6% regardless of down payment. Conventional is...
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