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Trevor Curran's Blog

By Trevor Curran | Mortgage Broker
or Lender in Bronx, NY
  • There was a time...

    Posted Under: Home Buying in Brooklyn, Financing in Brooklyn  |  August 8, 2012 2:36 PM  |  350 views  |  No comments

    There was a time we mortgage professionals had a menu of programs and products available to help us provide financing solutions to potential HomeBuyers.  Ahh! Those were the days!  But like much that's only a nostalgic memory of better times, those days are long gone.

    Today the competent and Licensed Mortgage Loan Originator has one "product" to rely on: The Loan Originator's personal ability to dig deep within a potential HomeBuyer's Income, Credit and Asset history to provide a valid and rock-solid Prequalification for mortgage financing.

    WE LO's are the "product" and the "program."  Our knowledge of the most up to date Underwriting guidelines (constantly changing and fluid like a stormy sea!) and our experience in seeking out potential obstacles to a loan approval buried within a client's documentation is what makes us the mortgage financing solution in the year 2012.  One minor overlooked item on a client's tax returns or bank statement, or one qualifying question not asked ("Are you required to pay alimony or child support?") is all it takes to torpedo a home purchase after the HomeBuyer, Seller, and Realtors have invested time (and money) to bring about the deal.

    Rely on your Licensed Mortgage Loan Originator to provide the financing solution for your Home Purchase.  Your MLO is ALL You've Got left!

    You can verify the License and experience of any Loan Originator at the NMLS Consumer Access website: http://www.nmlsconsumeraccess.org/

    Trevor Curran
    NMLS #40140

  • How To Get Your OFFER Accepted: Create a Dialogue with the Seller

    Posted Under: Market Conditions in Brooklyn, Home Buying in Brooklyn, Property Q&A in Brooklyn  |  August 7, 2012 7:24 AM  |  502 views  |  No comments

    As many years as I've been helping First Time Buyers (22 and counting!!!) my clients have often asked me, "How do I know what the Seller really wants for the house?"

    My response has always been: "Make an OFFER!"

    When you make an Offer you are opening a dialogue with the Seller of the home (through their Realtor unless you're buying a FSBO).   Conversations are a great way to get to the nuts and bolts of a home purchase.   Too often Buyers want to ask lots of questions to get "inside information" about the Seller's wants in terms of price.  With the internet, Buyers can frequently research what a Seller paid and how much the Seller may owe on their existing mortgage(s).  IMHO this is a flawed method for getting to the truth about Price.

    Create a dialogue with the Seller by making an Offer.  Watch and listen for the Seller's response.  Is there no response?  Consider increasing your offer slightly.   If there is a response to your Offer, what kind of response is it?  A counter-offer?  A resounding, "NO?" Or, best of all, an Acceptance?

    No matter the response, you've opened a conversation.   Once the conversation has begun the purchase transaction begins to gain momentum.  I know it may not feel that way, but the parties involved, including the Realtors, are thinking "We have a potential deal on the table. What do we have to do to make it work?"  Your Offer will soon lead to a serious dialogue and hopefully an acceptance.  You won't know unless you make that opening bid; so, make an Offer, create a diaogue with the Seller and Buy Your Home!

    Trevor Curran
    NMLS #40140

  • FHA 203k Loan Basics for First Time Buyers

    Posted Under: Home Buying in Brooklyn, Foreclosure in Brooklyn, Property Q&A in Brooklyn  |  July 19, 2012 7:05 AM  |  640 views  |  3 comments

    The Miracle Rehabilitation Loan 
       Known as the FHA 203k Loan

    So many Buyers today are eager to purchase homes at below market prices. Often these homes are in need of serious repairs or improvements to update the property. The 203k Program handily meets the needs of Buyers today.

    This miracle program allows a Buyer to purchase a home and obtain the monies for repairs or home improvements all rolled into a single loan with a SINGLE monthly FIXED RATE payment. The repairs can cost as little as $5,000 or can run as high as necessary to fully gut-renovate a home.

    The limit on the repair monies included in the loan is the Loan-To-Value (LTV) Limit based on statutory FHA Loan Limits in your area (see below). And this LTV percentage is calculated based on the value of the house AFTER improvements.

    The 203k program even has a provision allowing the Buyer to request that up to 6 months worth of mortgage payments be included in the loan so they don’t have to pay two monthly housing
    expenses—rent and mortgage—while the house is under construction.

    With more and more bank-owned “REO” properties offered for sale, Buyers need the 203k
    Program more than ever before.

    203k Interest rates run higher than market, but this is still an ideal program to help Buyers achieve their goals of homeownership while simultaneously updating or renovating a home for the lowest possible cost.

    Highlights of the 203k Program:

    • Buyer can obtain the cash needed to conduct improvements on a home
    • purchase folded into the same mortgage loan needed to purchase the house.
    • Borrower must qualify according to regular FHA Underwriting criteria with regards to Income, Assets and Credit.
    • The Program is only open to Owner-Occupants; no investors permitted. BUT you do NOT have to be a First-Time Homebuyer.
    • No Income Limits; no minimum income requirements. No geographic limitations, with the exception that the property is here in the good ol’ USA!
    • Purchase + Improvements = ONE Mortgage and ONE Monthly Payment

    Current FHA LOAN LIMITS for the New York Metropolitan Region:

    • 1Fam: $729,750
    • 2Fam: $934,200
    • 3Fam: $1,129,250
    • 4Fam: $1,403,400

    FHA Basics:

    * No Reserves on 1 and 2 Family homes (but it helps!)
    * 3 Months Reserves required on 3 and 4 Family homes
    * 3.5% Downpayment
    * 6% Seller’s Concession

    There you have a good fundamental look at the miracle program known as FHA 203k.

    Trevor Curran
    NMLS #40140

  • Loan Officers and Licensing

    Posted Under: Home Buying in Brooklyn, Financing in Brooklyn  |  June 20, 2012 3:08 AM  |  428 views  |  No comments
    In the event you are shopping around for mortgage professionals, here is some advice on how you can make the best selection:

    The SAFE Act of 2008 or Secure and Fair Enforcement put in place new regulations for the Licensing or Registration of mortgage professionals.  A National Mortgage Licensing System was created to provide a clearinghouse for Mortgage Loan Originators and guidelines for their Licensing or Registration.  

    1. ALL Loan Officers working for Mortgage Bankers and mortgage brokers must be Licensed under the SAFE Act of 2008.   The National Mortgage Licensing System oversees our licensing and education. Our licenses can be found for verification at http://www.nmlsconsumeraccess.com You can verify if a Loan Officer is Licensed AND Authorized to do business in your State. Just because a Loan Officer is Licensed does not mean she can do business in your State.  Look at the bottom of the NMLS profile page and you will see the individual State authorizations for that Loan Officer.  You can also click on "Employment History" to get a sense of the experience level of the L.O. You definitely want to do this (see #4 below)

    2. L.O.'s who work for regular, depository, banks are not Licensed; they are Registered. You can verify the same information on the same website: Authorized in your State and Employment history. The registration process is carried out by the bank that employs the Loan Officer.

    3. ALL OF US Mortgage Professionals, whether Licensed or Registered are required to include our NMLS License number in (and I quote) "ALL communications except internal company communications." Therefore, beware of Loan Officers who betray their disrespect for this important regulation by failing to include their NMLS number when they respond to you.

    4. Experience will work best for you, so you definitely want to check the employment history on the NMLS website to see your Loan Officer has 10-15 years minimum experience in the mortgage business.

    5. Local Mortgage Bankers, or Direct Lenders, are the place where you'll find the highest quality of service and accuracy for your mortgage needs. Mortgage Bankers are also Licensed with New York State Dept. of Financial Services and with NMLS

    A Mortgage Banker is a Direct Lender and is typically a Non-Depository Institution (no deposits, no CD's, no credit cards or auto loans: just Mortgages Done well!). 

    A Mortgage Broker works on behalf of the client to locate a Lender (whether that's a Mortgage Banker or regular bank) who will approve the client's loan appllication at good terms.

    A regular bank is a Depository Institution offering a wide array of banking services including, but not limited to mortgage loans.

    Good luck!

    Trevor Curran
    NMLS #40140
    Office: 516-829-2900
    Mobile: 516-582-9181
    Fax: 516-829-2944
    PowerHouse Solutions, Inc.
    185 Great Neck Rd, Suite 240
    Great Neck NY 11021
    Licensed Mortgage Banker – NYS Dept. of Financial Services
    NMLS#3528 http://www.phsloans.com
  • Buying a Foreclosure or a Short Sale: Advice for First Time Buyers

    Posted Under: Home Buying in Brooklyn, Foreclosure in Brooklyn, Property Q&A in Brooklyn  |  June 11, 2012 7:44 AM  |  606 views  |  2 comments

    I've been helping First Time Buyers for 22 years as a mortgage professional and I will tell you what I have always told my clients here in New York: If you are a First Time Buyer, steer clear of foreclosures and short sales.

    Foreclosures are someone else's headache.  The home probably has not been well-maintained and you're a First Time Buyer adjusting to paying a mortgage.  Do you really want to walk in the door to someone else's deferred maintenance that YOU will have to pay for?  Also, if you're thinking there are deals to be had in terms of lower prices, mostly those "deals" go to professional investors who can pay cash, negotiate hard with a Lender, and close fast.

    For Short Sales, my attitude of late is that First Time Buyers should steer clear.  Short Sales tend to be a better deal for the homeowner than for the Buyer.  You'll wait MONTHS for the homeowner's Lender to approve the short sale; maybe as long as Six or Seven Months.  Meanwhile, you're stuck in a contract to buy that home.  I closed a short sale recently with a Buyer who, after seven months said this at the closing table, "I don't even want this house anymore."  

    And he didn't even get the "deal" on price he thought he was getting!  The house appraised for only slightly more than he paid for it at the short sale price.  He walked into this deal thinking he was buying a home for $100,000 less than it's value.  In the end that wasn't the case.

    There are plenty of motivated Sellers with their homes listed on your local MLS.  Go find a good Local Mortgage Banker, get prequalified, then find a great, experienced Realtor, and buy the home you want at the price you're willing to pay.  It's a Buyer's Market, after all!

    Trevor Curran
    NMLS #40140

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