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Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Common Misconceptions About FHA Home Loans

Common Misconceptions About FHA Home Loans

FHA home loans are a popular financing strategy for home buyers. They’re especially popular with first-time buyers who don’t have much of a down payment saved up. But FHA loans are also commonly misunderstood. Here are some of the biggest misconceptions about these loans.

But first, a quick definition. An FHA loan is simply a mortgage loan that’s insured by the Federal Housing Administration. The FHA is part of the Department of Housing and Urban Development, better known as HUD. This government agency insures mortgage lenders against losses resulting from borrower default. This makes the lenders more inclined to use the program, and to give loans to people who might not otherwise qualify for a mortgage.

Myth #1: Anyone can qualify for an FHA loan.

Truth: Not everyone will qualify. Generally speaking, it’s easier to qualify for an FHA home loan than a conventional mortgage loan. But that doesn’t mean they’re available to everyone. In fact, the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has recently tightened up their lending standards for FHA loans. One of the changes affects people with low credit scores. If your credit score is below 580, you’ll have to make a larger down payment. If your score is way below 580, you probably won’t get approved for the loan. With good credit, you’ll still have to make a down payment of at least 3.5% to get approved. You’ll also need to document your income and expenses, to show that you can afford the monthly payments.

Myth #2: You can get an FHA loan with no money down.

Truth: In the current economy, you can’t get any kind of loan without making a down payment of some kind. The days of “easy credit” and “no money down” disappeared when the housing bubble burst. The minimum down payment for an FHA loan is currently 3.5%. And, as mentioned earlier, you’ll need a credit score of 580 or higher to qualify for the 3.5% down payment. If your score falls below that cutoff point, you’ll have to put 10% down.

Myth #3: FHA loans are safer, because the government will bail you out if you fall behind.

Truth: Wishful thinking. If you fall behind on an FHA home loan, you can be foreclosed upon — the same as any other type of loan. Remember, the FHA is not the one giving you the money. You must apply for one of these mortgages through an FHA-approved lender. The government just insures the lender against losses resulting from borrower default. So the lender can still foreclose on you, if you fail to make your payments. As an FHA borrower, you might have more workout solutions and modification options available, but that’s about it. The FHA will not “bail you out.” So make sure you buy an affordable house!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Should you be buying an investment property?

In reports recently housing experts are stating we could see a housing shortage in the next 1-2 years. New home construction has hit some current lows and with a population that never ceases to grow, this will pose a problem in the future. This will bode well for sellers down the road along with individuals holding rental property. There are many valued single family homes on the market today. Should you buy an investment home? Call me and let’s talk. 608-214-9844

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Monroe Wisconsin Home sales

May Home Sales in Monroe

Monroe: 18 sold;average price, $107,976 Average of 79 days on market. Many of the homes sold have been influenced by the 1st Time Home Buyers Credit. We should see June home sales higher also. With interest rate at historic lows now is a great time to buy a home.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

What can you do about pet urine spots?

Strong pet odor can ruin a showing, so what can you do to avoid this problem?

First the bad news: Not all urine stains are removable. The types of damage caused vary according to the urine content. This is determined by the pet's diet, age, sex, and any medications being taken. If it is removable, the following steps may get it out.

1. Blot up the urine as soon as you discover it. Use plain white paper towels to avoid dye transfer.

2. Mix 1/4 teaspoon liquid dishwashing detergent (non-bleach and non-lanolin) in a cup of warm water. Apply this to the spot.

3. Blot up the moisture, rinse with warm water, and apply more of the detergent mixture. Rinse, and continue the process until you don't see any urine transfer to the paper towels.

4. Mix two tablespoons of ammonia in a cup of water. Apply this to the spot, blot it up, rinse with warm water, and repeat. Blot the area dry.

5. Mix one cup of white vinegar with two cups of water. Apply this to the spot, blot it up, rinse, and repeat. Rinse well when you are done, and blot the area to remove as much moisture as possible.

6. Put a stack of plain white paper towels on the spot and weigh them down with something flat and heavy (something that won't lose its color if it gets wet). Change the paper towels occasionally, until the spot is dry.

The faster you get to the spot, the more likely it is that it can be removed. When urine spots develop over time, and are not noticed right away, the dyes and carpet fibers may be permanently damaged. In beige carpet, the stains will appear red, yellow or orange. Color can sometimes be restored by treating with a solution of two tablespoons of clear, non-sudsy ammonia in a cup of water.

To get urine odor out, it's often necessary to remove virtually all the urine - especially in the case of cat urine. Many products simply mask the odor, and fail even at that during times of high humidity. Some pet stores and veterinary offices now have enzyme treatments that work better, and professional carpet cleaners can apply these for you if you aren't sure how to do it.

If odor persists, you may have to remove that section of carpet. You can replace it with scraps if you have saved them, or cut a piece from an area that isn't visible. Unfortunately, sometimes the padding and even a section of flooring has to be removed to totally eliminate odor from old urine stains.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Another satisfied customer

Becky Robertson May 19 at 12:39pm

The sale of our home with Scott Larson was an amazing experience. Before we had even met he had pages of comparative market research done on our home which allowed us to compare our home with others for sale in the area. That was helpful to us as we decided on an asking price for the home. During the first meeting he was also extremely helpful in explaining to us all the details of selling a home. We had sold a home before and yet, after our first meeting with Scott, we realized that we didn't understand a lot of what happened with the sale of our first home.

Scott also explained to us the numerous routes he would take to market our home; routes which included various online websites, as well as newspaper ads and word-of-mouth networking. The latter form of marketing was what sold our home is record timing! 24 hours after we listed the home with Scott we had our first showing and 4 hours later we were signing the paperwork on the accepted offer!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Are you at RISK? 12 Things a Burglar Won't Tell You,

12 Things a Burglar Won't Tell You

Number 8 just happened to one of my clients, have you warned yours?

1. Of course I look familiar. I was here just last week cleaning your carpets, painting your shutters, or delivering your new refrigerator.

2. Hey, thanks for letting me use the bathroom when I was working in your yard last week. While I was in there, I unlatched the back window to make my return a little easier.

3. Love those flowers. That tells me you have taste … and taste means there are nice things inside. Those yard toys your kids leave out always make me wonder what type of gaming system they have.

4. Yes, I really do look for newspapers piled up on the driveway. And I might leave a pizza flyer in your front door to see how long it takes you to remove it.

5. If decorative glass is part of your front entrance, don’t let your alarm company install the control pad where I can see if it’s set. That makes it too easy.

6. A good security company alarms the window over the sink. And the windows on the second floor, which often access the master bedroom—and your jewelry. It’s not a bad idea to put motion detectors up there too.

7. It’s raining, you’re fumbling with your umbrella, and you forget to lock your door—understandable. But understand this: I don’t take a day off because of bad weather.

8. I always knock first. If you answer, I’ll ask for directions somewhere or offer to clean your gutters. (Don’t take me up on it.)

9. Do you really think I won’t look in your sock drawer? I always check dresser drawers, the bedside table, and the medicine cabinet.

10. Here’s a helpful hint: I almost never go into kids’ rooms.

11. You’re right: I won’t have enough time to break into that safe where you keep your valuables. But if it’s not bolted down, I’ll take it with me.

12. A loud TV or radio can be a better deterrent than the best alarm system

From Scott Larson of Towne Square Realty in Monroe, Wisconsin

"Your Realtor of the Region"

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I think you will be surprised how affordable the Dairyland is,

so come to my land of cows and plows and visit for a day, but stay for a lifetime

608-2124-9844 Direct