Tag Archives: ocala housing market 2011

Facing Forclosure in Ocala? | Tips to Help Prevent Foreclosure

Rhonda Buckner- Buckner Homes Realty 3200 SE 20 Ave. Ocala, Florida
34471 Phone 352-266-2637

In early 2011, you may remember there was a lull in foreclosure activity – a lull that was prompted by nationwide scrutiny into lenders’ home-seizure practices. But in more recent months, as barriers that have been holding foreclosures back have been removed, banks, anxious to rid their books of long-delinquent mortgage loans, have been stepping up foreclosures — all over the country.

Granted, we’re well below the peak levels we saw from 2007-2010, but even so, consider this: In March, 2012, foreclosure filings were reported on nearly 200,000 properties — that’s 7.4 out of every 10,000 homes. With many more foreclosures in the pipeline, here’s how to avoid becoming a statistic:

Buy a home you can truly afford

Ok, so this is an obvious point, but reiterating the numbers is never a bad idea: Your housing costs (mortgage, insurance, taxes) should be no more than 25-28% of your monthly take-home pay. Use Zillow’s affordability and mortgage calculators. They’ll estimate the monthly costs of home ownership within the context of your monthly budget. If the payments seem too unruly (Give them a test drive!), you may need to come up with a larger down payment or shelve your purchase plans altogether.

Contact your lender immediately!

Doesn’t look like you’re going to be able to make that payment .. again? You need to let your lender know about your financial woes immediately, and, ideally, while your head is still above water and your credit is in tact.

Consider temporary relief

If you think that your inability to your make your mortgage payments is going to be temporary, see what kind of temporary relief your mortgage servicer can offer. They may be willing to accept reduced payments over a certain period of time; they may allow you to skip payments over a certain period of time; they may extend the grace period for late payments. Just remember: these solutions are temporary, so in the interim, try to find new ways to slash spending and save more. You must also prioritize your bills, paying attention to the ones that are the most essential.

Look into a modification

If your financial situation has permanently changed, then temporary relief is not going help much. You may need to have your loan modified. And while there are many different ways to do a modification, they generally incorporate interest rate cuts, term extensions and principle reductions – or a combination of these methods. Yes, there is a lot of paperwork involved, and yes, it can be complicated, but banks are under pressure to do these modifications and as a result, we are seeing higher success rates: the average savings, per modification, is about $500 a month. To see if you are eligible for a modification, go to makinghomeaffordable.gov.

Explore a short sale

If you’re underwater (as 23% of homeowners are today), cash-strapped, desperate for relief, and foreclosure is looking imminent/speed is of the essence, then you might want to consider a short sale. This where you’re selling your home, for less than what you owe on it, to your mortgage lender. The upside: No more negative equity burden; it’s not as damaging to your credit as a foreclosure is; you can purchase a home again in as little as 3 yrs; and you’re selling your home with your pride in tact.

Rhonda Buckner Specializes in Short Sales and can help get you through the entire Short Sale Process. Call Rhonda Buckner at 352-266-2637

Ocala Creative Options for Financing | Low on Down Payment Cash? FHA Not Only Option

Rhonda Buckner with Buckner Homes Realty 3200 SE 20 Ave Ocala, Florida. 34471 352-266-2637

With interest rates at historical lows and home prices being more affordable than they have been in decades, many people know that now is a great time to buy a home, but they may be worried about large down payment requirements.

When looking to finance a home, two of the most common questions asked include:

What loan options require a low (or no) down payment?
Is down payment assistance available?
Traditional loan options

While it is true that a 20 percent down payment is still required to avoid mortgage insurance for conventional loans, there certainly are mortgage options that require a low or no down payment. Almost all mortgage lenders offer at least these options:

VA mortgages requiring zero down.
USDA mortgages requiring zero down.
FHA mortgages requiring 3.5 percent down.
Conventional mortgages requiring 5 percent down.
Down payment assistance

In many parts of the country, down payment assistance programs are available. These programs usually work in conjunction with a local government in the form of a bond, government grant or community development program.

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development maintains a database of state and local home buying assistance programs on its website.

Lease options and owner-carry

Particularly in states that were hit by the downturn in property values, the lease option has become a popular means to buy a house. The lease-option model can take many different forms and may or may not include the current owner agreeing to finance the home to the buyer.

In simple terms, the lease option is an agreement between the homeowner and the buyer where the buyer agrees to lease the property for a set period of time and at some point there is the option to get other means of financing.

In the event that the current owner of the home is willing to carry the buyer immediately, it is often referred to as an owner-carry, and the terms of the agreement can be extremely flexible regarding down payment, interest rate and term of the loan.

Essentially, there are no rules when it comes to an owner-carry or lease option: It is a negotiation between the homeowner (who is also acting as the landlord or lender or both) and the buyer (who may be a tenant for a period of time).

If you are not experienced in real estate contracts, it is always a good idea to work with an attorney or real estate agent who can help you understand what is customary in a lease option — and remember, pretty much anything goes in these agreements.

But one thing is certain: If you want to buy a home and are wondering what your options are for a low (or no) down payment, there are far more options out there than just getting an FHA loan. The easiest way to learn more about financing options? Start by asking a real estate agent. They sometimes tend to know far more about “creative financing” than loan officers do.

It is a great time to buy! Give Rhonda a call at 352-266-2637 and she can help you find the perfect place to call home!

Ocala FHA Homeowners Consider a FHA Streamline Refinance.. | What Is An FHA Streamline Refinance?

Rhonda Buckner with Buckner Homes Realty, 3200 S E 20 Ave. Ocala,
Florida 34471 phone 352-266-2637

The FHA Streamline Refinance is a special mortgage product, reserved for homeowners with existing FHA mortgages. Homeowners with conventional mortgages via Fannie Mae or Freddie can’t use it. FHA Streamline Refinances are the fastest, simplest way for FHA-insured homeowners to refinance their respective mortgages.

The FHA Streamline Refinance program’s defining characteristic is that it does not require a home appraisal. Instead, the FHA will allow you to use your original purchase price as your home’s current value, regardless of what your home is actually worth today.

In this way, with its FHA Streamline Refinance program, the FHA does not care if you are underwater on your mortgage. In fact, the program encourages underwater mortgages. Even if you owe twice what your home is now worth, the FHA will refinance your home without added cost or penalty.

The FHA allows for unlimited loan-to-value with its Streamline Refi program — a huge help to FHA homeowners in places like Florida, California, Arizona and Georgia.

Except for this “no appraisal” benefit, the FHA Streamline Refinance is very much like other loan products. It’s available as a fixed rate or adjustable mortgage; it comes with 15- or 30-year terms; and there’s no prepayment penalty to worry about.

Another big plus is that FHA mortgage rates are as low with the Streamline Refinance program as with “regular” FHA loans.

Click here for today’s FHA Streamline Refinance mortgage rates.

FHA Streamline : No Verification Of Job, Income, Credit

Another big plus is that the FHA Streamline Refinance is fairly easy for which to qualify.

In a sweeping guideline update, in April 2011, the FHA abolished verification for practically everything on an FHA Streamline Refinance mortgage application. Now, as written in the FHA’s official mortgage guidelines, the mortgage approval process for an FHA Streamline Refinance says :

Employment verification is not required with an FHA Streamline Refinance
Income verification is not required with an FHA Streamline Refinance
Credit score verification is not required with an FHA Streamline Refinance
And, as mentioned earlier, there’s no need for a home appraisal, either.

Click here for today’s FHA Streamline Refinance mortgage rates.

Put it all together and it means that you can be (1) out-of-work, (2) without income, (3) carry a terrible credit rating and (4) have no home equity — and yet, you will still be approved for the FHA Streamline Refinance program.

That’s not as crazy as it sounds, by the way.

To understand why the FHA Streamline Refinance is a smart program for the FHA, we have to remember that the FHA’s chief role is to insure mortgages — not “make” them.

Therefore, it’s in the FHA’s best interest to help as many people as possible qualify for today’s low mortgage rates. Lower mortgage rates means lower monthly payments which, in theory, leads to fewer loan defaults.

This is good for homeowners that want lower mortgage rates, and for the FHA, but mostly for the FHA.

Are You FHA Streamline Refinance Eligible?

Although the FHA Streamline Refinance eschews the “traditional” mortgage verifications of income and credit score, as examples, the program does enforce minimum standards for applicants. The official FHA Streamline Refinance guidelines are below.

Click here for today’s FHA Streamline Refinance mortgage rates.

Perfect, 12-Month Payment History Is Required

The FHA’s main goal is to reduce its overall loan pool risk. Therefore, it’s number one qualification standard is that homeowners using the Streamline Refinance program must have a perfect payment history stretching back 12 months. 30-day, 60-day, and 90-day lates are not allowed. Furthermore, loans must be current at the time of closing.

210-Day “Waiting Period” Between Refinances

The FHA requires that borrowers make 6 mortgage payments on their current FHA-insured loan, and that 210 days pass from the most recent closing date, in order to be eligible for a Streamline Refinance.

Employment And Income Are Not Verified

The FHA does not require verification of a borrower’s employment or annual income as part of the FHA Streamline process. There is no Verification of Employment, nor are there paystubs, W-2s or tax returns required for approval. You can be unemployed and get approved for a FHA Streamline Refinance so long as you still meet the other program requirements.

Credit Scores Are Not Verified

The FHA does not verify credit scores as part of the FHA Streamline Refinance program. Instead, it uses payment history as a gauge for future loan performance. This means that FICOs under 640, under 620, under 580, and under 500 are eligible for Streamline Refis.

The Refinance Must Have “Purpose”

Streamline Refinance applicants must demonstrate that there’s a Net Tangible Benefit in the refinance; a legitimate reason for refinancing. Loosely, Net Tangible Benefit is defined as reducing the (principal + interest + mortgage insurance) component of the mortgage payment by 5 percent or more. Another allowable Net Tangible Benefit is to refinance from an adjusting ARM into a fixed rate loan. Taking “cash out” to pay bills is not an allowable Net Tangible Benefit.

Loan Balances May Not Increase To Cover Loan Costs

The FHA prohibits increasing a Streamline Refinance’s loan balance to cover associated loan charges. The new loan balance is limited by the math formula of (Current Principal Balance + Upfront Mortgage Insurance Premium). All other costs — origination charges, title charges, escrow population — must be either (1) Paid by the borrower as cash at closing, or (2) Credited by the loan officer in full. The latter is called a “zero-cost FHA Streamline”. Click here for a zero-cost FHA Streamline Refinance mortgage rates.

Appraisals Not Required

The FHA isn’t concerned about home value — it’s insuring your loan regardless. Therefore, the FHA does not require appraisals for its Streamline Refinance program. Instead, it uses the original purchase price of your home, or the most recent appraised value, as its valuation point. Homes that are underwater are still FHA Streamline-eligible.

FHA Streamline Refinance Mortgage Insurance Requirements

The FHA Streamline Refinance is an FHA-insured mortgage, and FHA borrowers are required to make two types of mortgage insurance payments — an upfront mortgage insurance payment paid at closing, plus an annual one split into 12 installments, paid with your mortgage payment each month.

With respect to mortgage insurance premiums, as of June 11, 2012, homeowners using the FHA Streamline Refinance program are split into two classes :

Homeowners whose new loan replaces an FHA-backed mortgage endorsed before June 1, 2009
Homeowners whose new loan replaces an FHA-backed mortgage endorsed on/after June 1, 2009.
Beginning June 11, 2012, homeowners in the first class — those with”old” FHA mortgages to refinance — will pay markedly lower mortgage insurance than homeowners in the second class of borrowers.

Click here for today’s FHA Streamline Refinance mortgage rates.

FHA Streamline Refinance MIP Rates (For Loans Endorsed Before June 1, 2009)

If your existing FHA mortgage was endorsed prior to June 1, 2009, your mortgage insurance premiums have been “grandfathered”. You can refinance to the FHA Streamline Refinance program and pay reduced rates for both for upfront MIP and annual mortgage insurance premiums.

Upfront MIP

For an FHA Streamline Refinance that replaces a loan endorsed prior to June 1, 2009, the new FHA mortgage’s upfront mortgage insurance is equal to 0.01 percent of the loan size, or 1 basis point.

For example, if your new FHA Streamline Refinance is for $100,000 mortgage, the FHA will assess a $10 upfront mortgage insurance premium (MIP) to be paid by you at closing. The FHA automatically adds the $10 payment to your new loan balance.

Click here for today’s FHA Streamline Refinance mortgage rates.

Annual MIP

Annual MIP is similarly cheap. For an FHA Streamline Refinance that replaces a FHA loan endorsed prior to June 1, 2009, the annual MIP is 0.55% annually, or 55 basis points.

The complete annual MIP schedule is as follows :

15-year loan terms with loan-to-value over 90% : 0.55 percent annual MIP
15-year loan terms with loan-t0-value under 90% : 0.55 percent annual MIP
30-year loan terms with loan-to-value over 95% : 0.55 percent annual MIP
30-year loan terms with loan-to-value under 95% : 0.55 percent annual MIP
15-year fixed rate mortgages with LTVs of 78% or less pay no annual MIP.

For an FHA Streamline Refinance that replaces a FHA loan endorsed prior to June 1, 2009 and for which the mortgage is a jumbo FHA mortgage in excess of $625,500, there is no additional mortgage insurance premium.

Click here for today’s FHA Streamline Refinance mortgage rates.

FHA Streamline MIP For Loans Endorsed On/After June 1, 2009

If your existing FHA mortgage was endorsed on, or after, June 1, 2009, your new FHA mortgage insurance premiums are the same as for all other FHA mortgage applicants.

Upfront MIP

For an FHA Streamline Refinance that replaces a loan endorsed on, or after, June 1, 2009, the new FHA mortgage’s upfront mortgage insurance is equal to 1.75 percent of the loan size, or 175 basis points.

For example, if your new FHA Streamline Refinance is for $100,000 mortgage, the FHA will assess a $1,750 upfront mortgage insurance premium (MIP) to be paid by you at closing. The FHA automatically rolls the $1,750 payment into your new loan balance.

Not all FHA homeowners will pay this full amount, however.

One great thing about the FHA Streamline Refinance program is that the FHA offers refund on previously-paid upfront MIP so long as you’re still within the first 3 years of your mortgage.

As an example, refinancing after 11 months grants a 60% refund, but waiting just one more month lowers that refund down to 58%. This is why is rarely a good idea to “wait to refinance” with the FHA. With the FHA Streamline Refinance, the sooner you refinance, the bigger your MIP refund, and the lower your final loan size. This preserves home equity.

You can review your own FHA mortgage insurance refund chart at top.

Click here for today’s FHA Streamline Refinance mortgage rates.

Annual MIP

For an FHA Streamline Refinance that replaces a FHA loan endorsed on, or after, June 1, 2009, the annual MIP varies based on loan type and loan-to-value.

The annual MIP schedule, for loans with case numbers assigned on, of after, June 1, 2009 :

15-year loan terms with loan-to-value over 90% : 0.60 percent annual MIP
15-year loan terms with loan-t0-value under 90% : 0.35 percent annual MIP
30-year loan terms with loan-to-value over 95% : 1.25 percent annual MIP
30-year loan terms with loan-to-value under 95% : 1.20 percent annual MIP
15-year fixed rate mortgages with LTVs of 78% or less pay no annual MIP. Mortgages made for $625,500 or more are subject to an additional 0.25 percent annual mortgage insurance fee.

A Los Angeles, California homeowner, therefore, using the FHA’s full $729,750 local loan limit for a low-downpayment, 30-year fixed rate mortgage will pay annual mortgage insurance premium of 1.50% to the FHA, or $912 per month.

Note that mortgage insurance payments are included in the FHA’s Net Tangible Benefit requirement. You must lower your monthly payment by at 5 percent to qualify for the FHA Streamline Refinance.

Click here for today’s FHA Streamline Refinance mortgage rates.

Apply For Your FHA Streamline Refinance Here

The FHA Streamline Refinance is among the easiest and best-valued mortgage products available.

If you have an existing FHA mortgage, get yourself a FHA Streamline Refinance rate quote. FHA mortgage rates are low and my office underwrites and funds FHA loan in-house. This means we can close your mortgage faster, entitling you to a bigger FHA refund check on your Streamline Refinance.

Click here to get a rate quote and start your FHA Streamline Refinance application.

This FHA Streamline Refinance information is accurate as of today, . If you get FHA Streamline Refinance information somewhere else, it may be inaccurate or out-of-date.

For all of your real estate needs contact Rhonda Buckner with Buckner Homes Realty at 352-266-2637

Ocala It is looking like a Good time to Sell! /Existing Home Sales Improve in July

Rhonda Buckner with Buckner Homes Realty 3200 SE 20 Ave. Ocala, FL. 34471 352-266-2637.

WASHINGTON (August 22, 2012) – Sales of existing homes rose in July even with constraints of affordable inventory, and the national median price is showing five consecutive months of year-over-year increases, according to the National Association of Realtors®. Monthly sales rose in every region but the West, where inventory is very tight.

Total existing-home sales1, which are completed transactions that include single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops, grew 2.3 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.47 million in July from 4.37 million in June, and are 10.4 percent above the 4.05 million-unit pace in July 2011.

Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, said housing affordability conditions are very good. “Mortgage interest rates have been at record lows this year while rents have been rising at faster rates. Combined, these factors are helping to unleash a pent-up demand,” he said. “However, the market is constrained by unnecessarily tight lending standards and shrinking inventory supplies, so housing could easily be much stronger without these abnormal frictions.”

NAR is asking the government to expeditiously release the foreclosed properties it owns in inventory-constrained markets.

Given population and demographic demand, Yun said existing-home sales could be in a normal range of 5 to 5.5 million if all conditions were optimal. “Sales may reach 5 million next year, but it will require more sensible lending standards and stronger job creation to push beyond that,” he said.

According to Freddie Mac, the national average commitment rate for a 30-year, conventional, fixed-rate mortgage fell to a record low 3.55 percent in July from 3.68 percent in June; the rate was 4.55 percent in July 2011; recordkeeping began in 1971.

“Fewer sales in the lower price ranges are contributing to stronger increases in the median price, but all of the home price measures now are showing positive movement and that is building confidence in the market,” Yun said. “Furthermore, the higher median price naturally means more housing contribution to economic growth.”

The national median existing-home price2 for all housing types was $187,300 in July, up 9.4 percent from a year ago. The last time there were five back-to-back monthly price increases from a year earlier was in January to May of 2006. The July gain was the strongest since January 2006 when the median price rose 10.2 percent from a year earlier.

Distressed homes3 – foreclosures and short sales sold at deep discounts – accounted for 24 percent of July sales (12 percent were foreclosures and 12 percent were short sales), down from 25 percent in June and 29 percent in July 2011.

Foreclosures sold for an average discount of 17 percent below market value in July, while short sales were discounted 15 percent.

NAR President Moe Veissi, broker-owner of Veissi & Associates Inc., in Miami, said pricing is the primary factor in determining how long homes stay on the market. “Correctly priced homes, regardless of price range, are selling quickly these days,” he said.

“Fully one-third of homes purchased in July were on the market for less than a month, and only 21 percent were on the market for six months or longer. Sellers should carefully consider a Realtor’s ® advice about marketing their homes,” Veissi said.

Total housing inventory at the end July increased 1.3 percent to 2.40 million existing homes available for sale, which represents a 6.4-month supply4 at the current sales pace, down from a 6.5-month supply in June. Listed inventory is 23.8 percent below a year ago when there was a 9.3-month supply.

Yun said there are distortions in housing inventory. “The total supply of housing inventory appears to be balanced in historic terms, but there are notable shortages in the lower price ranges which are limiting opportunities for first-time buyers,” he said. “The low price ranges also are popular with investors, so entry-level buyers are at a disadvantage because many investors are making all-cash offers.”

First-time buyers accounted for 34 percent of purchasers in July, up from 32 percent in June; they were also 32 percent in July 2011. Under normal conditions, entry-level buyers account for four out of 10 purchases.

All-cash sales slipped to 27 percent of transactions in July from 29 percent in June; they were 29 percent in July 2011. Investors, who account for the bulk of cash sales, purchased 16 percent of homes in July, down from 19 percent in June; they were 18 percent in July 2011.

Single-family home sales increased 2.1 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 3.98 million in July from 3.90 million in June, and are 9.9 percent above the 3.62 million-unit level in July 2011. The median existing single-family home price was $188,100 in July, up 9.6 percent from a year ago.

Existing condominium and co-op sales rose 4.3 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 490,000 in July from 470,000 in June, and are 14.0 percent higher than the 430,000-unit pace a year ago. The median existing condo price was $180,700 in July, which is 7.7 percent above July 2011.

Regionally, existing-home sales in the Northeast rose 7.4 percent to an annual level of 580,000 in July and are 13.7 percent above July 2011. The median price in the Northeast was $254,200, up 3.5 percent from a year ago.

Existing-home sales in the Midwest increased 2.0 percent in July to a pace of 1.04 million and are 16.9 percent higher than a year ago. The median price in the Midwest was $154,100, up 5.8 percent from July 2011.

In the South, existing-home sales rose 2.3 percent to an annual level of 1.77 million in July and are 8.6 percent above July 2011. The median price in the region was $162,600, up 6.6 percent from a year ago.

Existing-home sales in the West were unchanged at an annual pace of 1.08 million in July but are 5.9 percent higher than a year ago. With pronounced inventory shortages, the median price in the West was $238,600, a jump of 24.5 percent from July 2011.

If you are interested in listing your home or learning more about how to short sale your home give Rhonda Buckner with Buckner Homes Realty a call at 352-266-2637. Call Rhonda when experience, knowledge, and expertise count the most!

Thinking of Short Selling your Ocala Home?/ Effective November 1st New Short Sale Guidelines

Rhonda Buckner with Buckner Homes Realty at 3200 SE 20 Ave Ocala, Fl 34471 352-266-2637

2011 and 2012 may well go down in history as “the years of the short sale.” Through the first six months of 2012, Fannie Mae had completed 38,717 short sales, and in 2011 it completed 70,025 total.
If you are in a situation where you owe more on your mortgage than your home is currently worth, chances are you have at least thought about short selling your house.
Recently the Federal Housing Finance Agency announced that both Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are issuing new guidelines for mortgage servicers that will essentially consolidate all short sale programs into one streamlined program.
These updated short sale program rules will allow lenders to qualify someone for a short sale, and homeowners will more easily be able to tell if they are eligible for a short sale.
New Short Sale Guideline Highlights
Under the new guidelines going into effect Nov. 1:
Homeowners with a mortgage backed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac will be able to do a short sale even if they are current on their mortgage if they have an eligible hardship such as
the death of a borrower or co-borrower, divorce or legal separation, illness or disability, or a distant employment transfer.
Homeowners will be able to make a financial contribution at closing in exchange for the lender not pursuing them for a deficiency judgment later (assuming the homeowner has sufficient income and/or assets).
Military personnel who are being relocated will be automatically eligible for a short sale and will be under no obligation to contribute funds to cover the shortfall between the outstanding loan balance and the sales price on their homes.
Subordinate-lien payments will be limited to $6,000. Previously lenders would often attempt to negotiate a higher payment from the homeowner.
In certain circumstances, homeowners will be eligible to receive up to $3,000 in relocation assistance.
New Guidelines For Lenders
The FHFA also recently announced that lenders:
Must respond to short sales within 30 days of receipt of the short sale offer.
Must provide weekly updates to the borrower.
Must communicate a final decision to the borrower within 60 days of receipt of the offer.
Combined these new short sale guidelines seem to indicate that homeowners who are faced with the difficulty of short selling a home will have a smoother transaction than ever before.

If you would like to learn more about short selling your home call Rhonda Buckner Ocala’s Short Sales Specialist 352-266-2637.