Buying Your First Home with Bad Credit

Lenders are a lot more cautious these days making buying your first home with bad credit seem like mission impossible. Trouble is circumstances have changed in the past few years with new loan limitations making it harder for people to get loan approval. While there are things you can do to maximize your chances of getting a loan, you should ask yourself some tough questions before investigating loan options.

First, consider if buying a home is good for your financial situation. Owning a home can be a lot of pressure with costs like homeowners insurance, repairs and property taxes many first time homebuyers have not had to pay before. Buying a home is one of the biggest lifetime investments many people will make. So you’ll have to do some soul searching to determine if owning a home is right for you.
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New FHA Streamline Rules Help Make Refinancing Easier

Effective June 11th 2012, new rules regarding FHA Streamlines will help some borrower refinance into lower rates.

While everyone is well aware of mortgage rates being at all time lows, access to those low mortgage rates remains tight, with credit score minimums,  increasing mortgage insurance premiums and falling home property values.

In the Midwest, St. Louis, Kansas City, and Indianapolis, home values have not been hit as hard, but still, many customers who make their mortgage payments on time have missed out on the benefits of these low rates because of inability to qualify.

Specifically, for those who have a HUD backed mortgage, increasing mortgage insurance premiums have become the largest obstacle to helping borrowers take advantage of lower rates, having gone through numerous premium increases as rates have fallen in recent years.

However, effective June 11th, 2012 some who have paid their FHA mortgage on time will have the opportunity to cheaply save money by lowering their rate, and mortgage insurance premiums(both upfront and monthly)

In order for a borrower to qualify, the following will be needed:

  1. Must have an existing FHA mortgage endorsed prior to May 31st, ,2009.(Endorsed, not closed)
  2.  Mortgage must be paid on time.
  3. May be done without an appraisal.

Upfront Mortgage Insurance Premiums (UFMIP) will be reduced from 1.75% currently being charges to .01%(yes. 01%)

Monthly premiums will be reduced from 1.25% on 30 year mortgages over 95% LTV to .55% on most loans.

So What does that translate to?

About $100 on a $175,000 30 year fixed rate refinance compared to today’s FHA mortgage insurance tables.

Avoiding Bad Credit

Let’s face it, bad credit happens to all of us at one time or another. Whether you’re unemployed, are disabled, sick and cannot work or the victim of credit card fraud or identity theft, falling victim to bad credit is easy. Here are some ways to avoid bad credit.

One of the best ways to avoid bad credit is to prevent it from happening in the first place. Creating a monthly budget before you start developing credit is the ideal way to keep your credit from getting out of hand. By making a list of your monthly income and monthly expenses, you’ll know your spending limitations. Just because a credit card allows you to go out and buy a bunch of stuff right away doesn’t mean that you should. It’s important to put a cap on your spending and stay well below your credit card limit. When you spend close to your credit card’s limit, your credit score goes down.Continue reading

Making Your New House Feel Like a Home

After closing on a new home, many homeowners know a new house doesn’t feel like home when you first move in. Whether it still smells like the previous owners or it’s bigger than your previous home and the rooms just feel empty, it’s challenging to make your new house feel like home during that first week after the move. Here are some ways to make your new space your own, playing on all your senses.

Scents have powerful effects on us and your favorite smells can play a big role in making you feel more relaxed and at home in the new house. Light candles or incense throughout the rooms. To rid the house of the previous owner’s scent, or the smell of fresh paint, spray Febreze in all the rooms. The goal is to give your new home the same smell and atmosphere as your old one.Continue reading

Pre-Moving Day Tips for Pet Owners

Moving creates a lot of anxiety for pets, especially older pets, most cats and skittish pets. That’s why it’s important to do your homework and be prepared. Here are some pre-moving tips for pets that will make your move a smoother transition.

Many subdivisions in the St. Louis area and across the state have various ordinances and pet licensing requirements. Be sure you are familiar with these before you move in. You can familiarize yourself with your new home’s state/province laws by contacting the State Department of Agriculture or the State Veterinarian’s Office. In fact, depending on your new address, your pet may need additional medications, vaccinations or health certificates.
If your pet doesn’t like to travel, be sure to get your vet’s recommendations for behavior modification tactics or medication that can lessen the stress of travel. Your current vet may also be a valuable resource for lining up your pet’s vet in your new home town.
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