Buying Is a Good Investment, If You Choose Right

Pessimists are implying that the housing market will never get any better and housing will always be a lousy investment.

Are they right? Of course not, say experts at the Motley Fool finance Web site.

In fact, the Fools predict that pretty soon housing will be a great investment because prices will have fallen to the point where homes are cheap.

Then as now, the Fools say the key to buying a home that is a good deal will be:

• Location
• Don’t overpay
• Buy what you can afford

If the price goes up, great, the Fools say. If not, buyers will be OK because they have picked a great place to live.

Source: The Motley Fool (08/23/2010)

How Will Foreclosure Effect Credit Scores?

The amount of damage to a credit score caused by foreclosure, deed in lieu or a short sale during 2008 and 2009 may be mitigated by the slower economic times, say some credit and legal experts.

FICO may have to adjust its credit scores to lessen the impact of a foreclosure in the last two years, says Todd J. Zywicki, a professor of law at George Mason University.

”It just seems obvious that a foreclosure in 2008 or 2009 doesn’t have as much information value as a foreclosure five years ago,” he says. ”To the extent that foreclosure doesn’t predict future behavior as much as it did in the past, you’d expect that the FICO algorithm would change to adjust for that.”

One of the country’s largest credit unions Golden 1 has already figured out a way to lend to people with a foreclosure on their record by offering a mortgage repair loan specifically for those who have lost a home to foreclosure and who want to buy a new one.

BECU, another large credit union based in Washington State, is about to present a program to fellow lenders, ”How to Lend to the Newly Credit Impaired.”

Source: The New York Times, Ron Lieber (03/14/2009)

6 Creative Ways to Afford a Home

1. Investigate local, state, and national down payment assistance programs. These programs give qualified applicants loans or grants to cover all or part of your required down payment. National programs include the Nehemiah program, www.getdownpayment.com, and the American Dream Down Payment Fund from the Department of Housing and Urban Development, www.hud.gov.

2. Explore seller financing. In some cases, sellers may be willing to finance all or part of the purchase price of the home and let you repay them gradually, just as you would do with a mortgage.

3. Consider a shared-appreciation or shared-equity arrangement. Under this arrangement, your family, friends, or even a third-party may buy a portion of the home and share in any appreciation when the home is sold. The owner/occupant usually pays the mortgage, property taxes, and maintenance costs, but all the investors’ names are usually on the mortgage. Companies are available that can help you find such an investor, if your family can’t participate.

4. Ask your family for help. Perhaps a family member will loan you money for the down payment or act as a co-signer for the mortgage. Lenders often like to have a co-signer if you have little credit history.

5. Lease with the option to buy. Renting the home for a year or more will give you the chance to save more toward your down payment. And in many cases, owners will apply some of the rental amount toward the purchase price. You usually have to pay a small, nonrefundable option fee to the owner.

6. Consider a short-term second mortgage. If you can qualify for a short-term second mortgage, this would give you money to make a larger down payment. This may be possible if you’re in good financial standing, with a strong income and little other debt.

Did you know..

There are a number of State, City and Non profit programs available to help with down payment assistance?

There are a number of State, City and Non profit programs available to help those with challenged credit, to get you into a home within 90days or less?

There are a number of programs  available just for those wanting to live within the city? For those with low-mid income  wanting to live in neighborhoods such as the West End or Westview?

If you didn’t know- you better ask. I’ll gladly direct you to a few mortgage specialist that are approved for many of these programs, who will work with you in finding the right one for you!