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Highspire : Real Estate Advice

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Activity 5
Mon May 7, 2012
Ian A. Wolf answered:
It sounds like what you are looking for is an agent who has their SRES(Seniors Real Estate Specialist) designation. You can learn more by visiting which will allow you to search for someone who has this or you can also search for an agent with this qualification at

Hope that helps.
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Mon Oct 24, 2011
Me&3 answered:
Thank you all for answering my question! However my LO said it would have to be 12 months with prof (which I have 6 mos prof) anyways he didn't say anything about when we got a divorce that we had to show papers of him paying the loan or that he would be responsible for the bill. He said the underwriter would only take 12 months of showing he is paying. ... more
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Wed Oct 12, 2011
Shane Milne answered:
@NonRealtor - Someone can pull their own credit as many times as they want and it will not impact their scores, those types of inquires are called "soft" inquiries and do not have any effect. When credit is checked by a creditor that is when it can impact scores, as it's a "hard" inquiry. Those should be kept to a minimal but when shopping for a mortgage, all inquiries within a 30 day period are treated as 1 when it comes to your credit score... but a credit check on day 31 starts a new 30 day cycle.

@ Me@3 - I suggest explore at least 3 options, and preferably at least 1 mortgage broker, 1 mortgage loan officer who works for a bank, and also one that would work at a smaller direct mortgage lender (not a broker, and not a bank, just a mortgage lender who arranges loans and sells them afterwards - usually to the banks)... it wouldn't be a bad idea if you had the time to interview up to 6. That way you can get a feel for how each does business, because not every mortgage broker is the same as another mortgage broker, etc.

You'll want to ask what the pre-approval process entails and how long it takes. Will the underwriter who will be allowing your loan to close be the person reviewing your file as part of that process? Will it just be the loan officer reviewing your information? Will they even ask you for documentation?

You'll also want to ask what types of programs they offer, and once your documentation has been thoroughly examined you'd want to get what options would then apply to you, as well as ask what your loan officer thinks would be the best loan program for your situation. Ask about the other program that would be 2nd best (as if the first one didn't exist), so you can realize why the loan you are being suggested would be the best.

You'll want to ask what type of fees & costs you could expect to incur along the way (credit report, earnest money deposit, home inspection, appraisal fee, lender & 3rd party closing costs, etc.), how much those costs are estimated to be, and when they are expected to be paid (at the time the service is performed, at closing, etc). You'll want to ask how much of a down payment you'll need, and if you have to provide it or if a family member or relative can gift it to you. You'll want to know how much extra money you would need to have beyond those costs & down payment, which are called "reserves" (ie. 2 months of reserves = 2 times your proposed housing payment), some programs don't need them but a lot do. You should also consider yourself how much you want to have on hand after you close on the home, it will vary depending on your comfort level but personally I feel at least 6 times the proposed housing payment is a safe plan.

You'll also want to ask what type of loan terms can they offer you if you were to lock in your interest rate today (you should ask all lenders you are considering this question on the same day so you can have an exact comparison, as interest rates fluctuate day-to-date and even can be intraday).

You should also ask when & how they will be available - are you someone who likes to discuss things after the normal work hours on the phone? In person on a Saturday? Through email? Someone where or not where you live?

There are more variables to think of, some will have greater importance to you and others will not, however I truly believe that you will have a feeling of pure comfort inside of you when you have found the loan officer who will be the perfect fit. You will leave the conversation having a full understanding of the road ahead and what is expected of you, as well as you'll feel the loan officer has left no stone unturned when going over your situation, listening to and addressing your needs.
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Tue Oct 11, 2011
Me&3 asked:
I have just read that PHFA interest rate update was made on 10/07/2011 10:00 AM, Does anyone know the new rate? I have tried the website to look for myself but it's not working right…
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Mon Jul 28, 2008
Mim Heisey answered:
Michael is right tha $1,000 is not considered a high tax bill in most areas, and gave good information on how the taxes are figured.. I know that is little consolation if that is an increase over what she has budgeted.
There may be a Homestead Exemption that would reduce the tax burden for your grandmother. More and more areas are setting a threshhold of value that a resident homeowner has an exemption for, when computing the taxes. This helps to offset those rising tax bills for seniors and others. Check with your county tax office or local school officials.
May I offer some additional input? Another thing to keep in mind is that while your grandmother may not have anyone currently in school system, she probably is the beneficiary of some programs that other taxpayers are carrying the financial burben for. That is the way tax structures work to provide services for us all--not on a pay as you use them basis.
Hope that helps
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