Effective October 1, 2013, HUD has announced the following changes to their Federal Housing Administration (FHA) short sale requirements.
To be eligible, one must successfully complete a short sale under the FHA short sale program.
Short Sale Requirements for Columbia SC Borrowers
1) They cannot list the property with or sell it to anyone with whom they are related or have a close personal or business relationship. In legal terms, it must be an "arm's-length" transaction.
2) Any knowing violation of the arm's-length requirement may be a violation of federal law.
3) Your mortgage must be in default on the date the short sale transaction closes. Before closing, any additional liens against the property must be released. A lien holder who demands a payment to release its lien must submit a written statement, and an agreement to release the lien if that amount is paid.
For a standard preforeclosure sale, servicers must use a Deficit Income Test (DIT) to determine a homeowner's financial hardship. The IRS Collection Financial Standards is used to verify homeowners expenses not reflected in their credit report. Only owner-occupied properties are eligible for the standard preforeclosure sale.
Homeowners eligible for a streamlined short sale may not be required to submit financial information or have a financial hardship. Principal residences, second homes, investment properties, and service members who have received Permanent Change of Station (PCS) Orders are potentially eligible.
The appraisal of one's property should be completed within approximately ten business days. After the appraisal, the short sale file will be updated and prepared for review. In some cases, approval may be required by the investor and/or FHA, which may take more time.
As a new condition, one might be required to make a final payment (sometimes called a cash contribution) before closing. This payment will reduce the deficiency balance.
If one is an owner-occupant, acting in good faith, and successfully selling one's property, one may be eligible for an incentive of up to $3,000.
The revised FHA short sale addendum must be signed and dated by all parties. Under this addendum, all parties agree that the subject property must be sold through an arm's-length transaction. An arm's-length transaction is defined as a short sale between two unrelated parties that is characterized by a selling price and other conditions that would prevail in an open market environment. Also, no hidden terms or special understandings can exist between any of the parties (e.g., buyer, seller, appraiser, sales agent, closing agent, and mortgagee) involved in the transaction.
Get more mortgage tips and information by clicking the Columbia SC Mortgage Info link to your right under Columbia SC Real Estate Categories.
Fall is a great time to make Columbia SC home repairs because during the winter months, small problems can become expensive nightmares. The following tips can save you hundreds, if not thousands, in Columbia SC home repairs.
Outdoor Columbia SC Home Repairs
Take advantage of the cooler weather to do home and yard repairs and spruce-ups.
Leaves that have fallen can kill grass when they're matted all winter. Leaf piles can also attract rodents. But using leaf bags means work and waste if they go into a landfill.
Don't overlook your mower's mulching mode. Ground-up leaves feed your lawn and save money. You might need to make a few passes to slice the leaves small enough to decay.
Along with saving the cost of leaf bags, you avoid blisters on your hands and sidestep the stooping and bending of raking and bagging.
Check Your Roof
Leaks can eventually damage the wood sheathing and rafters below the shingles, leading to thousands of dollars in Columbia SC home repairs. Use binoculars to spot cracked, curled, or missing shingles from the ground. Consider having a roofing pro check flashing around chimneys, skylights, and roof valleys for leaks, and the rubber boots near vents for cracks that can let moisture seep in.
Clear Your Gutters
Gutters full of leaves, pine needles, and other debris allows water to spill over the side, pool around your home's foundation, and seep inside. Water that freezes in gutters can force snow and ice into roof shingles, causing damage and leaks. Consider a gutter-guard system to keep debris out and water in.
Close Your Hoses
Pipes can burst when water inside expands as it freezes, creating an expensive mess in your home. Shut off inside valves that control water flow to hose spigots. Then briefly open the spigots to drain any leftover water in pipes and hoses. Also drain water from supply lines for water sprinklers and pools, and shut off inside valves that control them. And help prevent freezing by insulating pipes in unheated areas.
Inside Columbia SC Home Repairs
Your furnace or heat pump will be less likely to fail on a cold day if you just take care of a little maintenance now.
The swiftest savings come from sealing air leaks in your home's walls, windows, and especially its ductwork. Duct insulating and sealing are best left to a professional. But you can use a combination of caulk, foam board, expandable sealant, and weather stripping to plug leaks around windows, doors, electrical outlets, and other openings in your home.
Automate Energy Savings
Simply lowering temperatures 10 to 15 degrees while you're at work or asleep can trim 15 percent off your heating bill if you use oil or gas to heat your home. You can lower temperatures manually on any thermostat or install a programmable thermostat (about $40 to $300) to do it for you.
If you use a heat pump, don't be making drastic changes in your thermostat setting. Doing so with a heat pump can actually cost you more when you crank up the temperature and cause your electric back up heat strips to kick in.
Replace Air Filters
A dirty air filter reduces heat and airflow, which can lead to expensive repairs. Check the air filter in the furnace or heat pump each month. Have a pro check the system annually, tightening electrical connections, lubricating moving parts, and checking drains, controls, and connections for oil and gas systems.
Clean Your Chimney
A wood-burning fireplace or stove may be cozy, but creosote buildup can block the flow of smoke and cause chimney fires and carbon-monoxide poisoning. Even unused chimneys can develop cracks that weaken the structure. If your chimney hasn't had a recent inspection, now's the time.
Just going through and making these simple Columbia SC home repairs and checking to make sure things are in order for winter, can save you thousands of dollars later on.
There is growing trend today among older Americans who are increasingly looking at a Columbia SC reverse mortgage to tap the equity they've built up in their home over the years, now that they are in the low or no income category and can no longer qualify for the traditional refinance or home equity loan.
There are some pros and cons to a Columbia SC reverse mortgage as explained by NBC Today Show financial editor Jean Chatzky…
To learn more and stay current on the pros and cons of a Columbia SC reverse mortgage as well as tips and information on mortgages in general, check out our other articles by clicking on the Columbia SC Mortgage Info link to your right under Columbia SC Real Estate Categories.
Columbia SC home prices improved year-over-year for the 18th straight month in August, though the arrival of housing's usual "off-season" brought negligible monthly growth.
Home prices nationwide increased 12.4 percent on a yearly basis in August. On a monthly basis, prices were up only 0.9 percent.
Excluding distressed sales, home prices increased 11.2 percent over August 2012 and 1.0 percent over July 2013. Again, no states experienced depreciation.
Columbia SC Home Prices Slowed in August
After a strong run, the rate of Columbia SC home prices appreciating slowed in August. In addition to normal seasonality, the recent sharp rise in mortgage rates off their historic lows was a clear driver behind the slowdown.
Anand Nallathambi, CoreLogic's president and CEO says "For September, the company's Pending HPI indicates prices (including distressed sales) will gain 12.7 percent on a yearly basis and 0.2 percent on a monthly basis, continuing the slowing trend. Removing distressed sales, Columbia SC home prices are poised to rise 12.2 percent year-over-year and 0.7 percent month-over-month.
Meanwhile, Redfin reported another slip in homebuyer demand in August, with both home tours and offers declining.
While homebuyer demand typically falls from July to August—signaling the end of the normally active summer season—this year’s drop in demand was more drastic than usual, says Redfin analyst Ellen Haberle.
Looking ahead to the rest of 2013, Redfin is keeping its eye on mortgage rate trends, which will likely play an even bigger role. "If rates were to spike above five percent, many buyers who have been rushing to find a home while rates are low may step out of the market temporarily, which would trigger a sharp drop in demand," Haberle concluded. "On the other hand, if rates remain stable, we expect demand will flatten this autumn."
Rates are now expected to remain flat or drift a bit lower since the Fed announced it was not yet ready to cut back on its Bond purchase program. This could help Columbia SC home prices as we head into the winter months.
Columbia SC mortgage rates are declining after the recent announcement by the Federal Reserve that they were not going to start to reduce their Bond buying program. Instead they left their easing program intact for the time being and will continue to buy 85 Billion dollars' worth of Mortgage backed and Treasury Bonds per month.
The slowing pace of economic growth, along with recent lackluster labor and housing market conditions, has clearly spooked the Fed into remaining accommodative.
All told, it appears that any tapering is now more likely to begin sometime next year.
To stay on top of Columbia SC mortgage rates, check out our other articles and tips by clicking on the Columbia SC Mortgage Info link to your right under Columbia SC Real Estate Categories.