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Archive for September, 2010

With the current interest rate hovering around the mid 4% range and the extremely aggressive pricing of the homes in the Las Vegas market, Fannie Mae has come out with a program to make home buying a no-brainer.

The program highlights of the HOME PATH Mortgage are:

*Up to 97% financing

*No MI required-pricing adjusters in lieu of Mi will apply to LTS’S greater than 80%

*Purchase transactions only

*Fixed Rates, Arms and Interest Only Arm options are available

*High Balance transactions allowed. See guidelines for specific High Balance guidelines for this program.

*No Appraisal required-use sale price as the appraisal value

And the down payment (3%) can be funded by borrower, gift, or loan. (See your mortgage lender for specific guidelines)

Considering a Las Vegas Home purchase?  Search all Las Vegas Homes for Sale using our free, interactive map-based search.

Whether buying a Las Vegas Home or renting, don’t try to go at it alone. There’s lot of resources online, and an email to a local real estate or mortgage pro can set you in the right direction.

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Sep
22

Short Sale Hardship Letters

Posted by: Kathryn Bovard | Comments (4)

Nevada Underwater homeowners and other statesThe latest statistics show that over 70% of Las Vegas home-owners are “underwater” on the value of their home.  Short Sales will continue to be a large part of our market for a number of years and one of the key components of the short sale package is the hardship letter that the homeowner writes to the bank. We have found working in the Las Vegas short sale market that this letter causes the most concern and confusion for our clients.

The Hardship Letter should be an honest and heartfelt statement outlining the circumstances that have created the problem. It should include 3 main components:

  1. A brief apology and specific statement asking the lender for a “short sale”.
  2. A description of the steps the homeowner has taken (used credit cards, borrowed from family, borrowed from retirement account, etc.) to stay current on the mortgage.
  3. A clear statement that the homeowner has extended all available options to stay currrent on the mortgage and that the Short Sale is the only remaining option other than foreclosure.

Although it is important for the client to relate all of the financial details, try  to avoid a lengthy letter and  keep the information to one page.

Attach any documents that will support the homeowners hardship such as:

*Layoff notice

*Letter from employer detailing reduction in pay or hours

*Cancellation notices due to non-payment

*Letters from doctors regarding injury or illness

*Disability benefits letter

*Divorce or separation papers

*Receipts for excessive payments fro medications or emergency payments

*Any documents supporting a family crisis hardship

Sample Hardship Letter Example:

It is with great regret that I am writing this letter to ask the bank to please accept a short sale on our home.

As a result of upward adjustments to our monthly mortgage payment, my wife and I are unable to afford our mortgage. As I sit here today its’ not clear to me how I ever thought that we could afford the mortgage once payments started adjusting. I wish my loan officer would have explained to us where our monthly payments were going to be when they adjusted.

We have borrowed money from family and we have taken cash advances on credit cards, but we are falling further and further behind with no real hope of affording the payment. At this point, we can’t do it any longer.

Both my wife and I are very sorry that this has happened. We are losing our dream house, and we know you are losing too. We just don’t have any other options.

Please work with us on the Short Sale. We don’t want to go through foreclosure, but if we can’t do a Short Sale we will not be able to avoid it.

Thank you for your consideration.

Sincerely,

If you are a Las Vegas area homeowner facing a possible foreclosure and wanting to learn more about your options – including a Las Vegas short sale, contact us today for a no obligation short sale consultation.

Kathryn Bovard is experienced with the often lengthy and stressful Las Vegas short sale process.   If you are contemplating a  Las Vegas short sale , she can assist and navigate you through the entire process. Call Kathryn direct at 702-348-7191 to schedule a short sale consultation today.

Categories : Short Sale Tips
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Downtown Las Vegas as seen from the Stratosphe...

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Is it better to rent a Las Vegas home, or to buy one? The answer may not be as clear-cut as you think. In this balanced, 3-minute joint interview from NBC’s The Today Show, you’ll hear the case for both sides.

From the pro-renting part of the talk, there’s valid points about the economic impact of low credit scores and/or no cash for downpayment, and the ongoing, annual cost of home maintenance — estimated at 2% of a home’s value.  Plus, renters have the ability to “follow a job” to a new town or region whereas a homeowner may be restricted, somewhat.

The interview points out these pro-buy excellent points … ones to consider for Las Vegas Homes purchase:

  • Mortgage rates are low and each 1% drop to rates equates to a 9% drop to home price
  • Buyers can zero in on a particular area with particular schools or walkability, for example, better than renters
  • A home can a piggybank over the long-term; a place for “forced savings” for families that want it

Whether buying a Las Vegas Home or renting, don’t try to go at it alone. There’s lot of resources online, and an email to a local real estate or mortgage pro can set you in the right direction.

Considering a Las Vegas Home purchase?  Search all Las Vegas Homes for Sale using our free, interactive map-based search.

Search all Las Vegas Foreclosures, including Henderson, Green Valley and North Las Vegas.

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Foreclosures per capita, August 2010

According to foreclosure-tracking firm RealtyTrac, the number of foreclosure filings climbed 4 percent in August from the month prior. A foreclosure filing is defined as default notice, scheduled auction, or bank repossession.

Despite the number of filings surpassing 300,000 for the 18th straight month, RealtyTrac’s report shows some bright spots for housing.

  1. The number of default notices served per month fell for the 7th time this year
  2. Foreclosure activity in Nevada, the nation’s leading foreclosure state, is down 25% from last August
  3. Foreclosure activity has not materially increased since early-2009, pointing to a stabilization

For home sellers, it’s a welcome development.

Foreclosures have had a hand in falling home values in Nevada and across the country. And, although it’s self-serving for banks to meter the release of homes under ownership, everyday homeowners benefit, too.  Fewer homes on the market helps to provide a floor for Las Vegas housing values.

Nevada Continues to Lead the Nation with Highest Foreclosure Rate

Nevada continues to document the nation’s highest foreclosure rate for the 43rd straight month with one in every 82 housing units receiving a foreclosure filing in July. July saw nearly a 7% increase from the previous month in foreclosure filings with a total of 13,727.  However, this number represents about a 30 percent decrease from July 2009. July was the 10th straight month where overall Nevada foreclosure activity decreased on a year-over-year basis.

Foreclosure activity increased nearly 9 percent from the previous month in the (Clark County) Las Vegas-Paradise, Nev., metro area, which registered the highest foreclosure rate among metropolitan areas with a population of 200,000 or more. One in every 71 Las Vegas housing units received a foreclosure filing in July, more than five times the national average.

But, perhaps, most important, is that mortgage lenders and servicers appear to be managing their REO more effectively, making properties available for sale at a measured pace as opposed to flooding markets with new homes.  As noted by RealtyTrac, the probable reason is “to prevent further erosion of home prices”.

If you have an interest in buying foreclosed homes, be sure to talk with a real estate agent first. The process of buying a home from a bank is different from buying from “a person”. Having the help of a professional should work to your benefit.

If you are a Las Vegas area homeowner facing a possible foreclosure and wanting to learn more about your options – including a Las Vegas short sale, contact us today for a no obligation short sale consultation.

Kathryn Bovard is experienced with the often lengthy and stressful Las Vegas short sale process.   If you are contemplating a  Las Vegas short sale , she can assist and navigate you through the entire process. Call Kathryn direct at 702-348-7191 to schedule a short sale consultation today.

Considering a Las Vegas Home purchase?  Search all Las Vegas Homes for Sale using our free, interactive map-based search.

Search all Las Vegas Foreclosures, including Henderson, Green Valley and North Las Vegas.

Closing dates and rate locksWant a lower mortgage rate on your upcoming Las Vegas home buy?  Think about moving up the closing date.

The reason is rooted in “rate locks”, a bank’s guarantee to honor a specific mortgage rate for a specific, finite period of time. Rate locks allow home buyers to reserve mortgage rates today even though their respective closings may be scheduled as far as a year into the future.

A rate lock is a contract. No matter what the “current market rate” is at the time of closing, the bank will honor the terms of the original rate lock.

It would be like making an agreement to buy Microsoft stock at a specific price 60 days from now. No matter what the price, you already know what you’re paying for it.

In this sense, rate locks are predictions about the future and, meanwhile, as we all know, the future can be a challenge to forecast. Lenders know this, too, of course, so it’s easy to understand why longer rate locks tend to be more expensive than shorter ones.

The longer the rate lock, the more risk to the bank.

To compensate for this “time risk”, therefore, lenders typically step-up pricing for rate lock guarantees as lock period lengthen.

  • 15-day rate lock : The best of all pricing
  • 30-day rate lock : 1/8 percent extra cost versus the 15-day rate lock
  • 45-day rate lock : 1/4 percent extra cost versus the 15-day rate lock
  • 60-day rate lock : 3/8 percent extra cost versus the 15-day rate lock

One percent of “extra cost” is defined as one percent of the borrowed amount.

Now, this incremental price chart is just a rough guideline; exact spreads vary from lender-to-lender. Overall, however, it’s fairly close.

That’s why it’s important to manage your closing date vis-a-vis your mortgage rate. Closing in 30 days versus 31 can save you an eighth-percent in closing costs. Assuming a loan size of $200,000, that’s $2,500 saved.

So, when negotiating a closing date on a contract, keep in mind the math of mortgage rate locks. The shorter its length, the more money you might save.

Considering a Las Vegas Home purchase?  Search all Las Vegas Homes for Sale using our free, interactive map-based search.

Search all Las Vegas Foreclosures, including Henderson, Green Valley and North Las Vegas.

Categories : Las Vegas Mortgages
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