Friday, March 25, 2011

Super Moon

Did you see the Super Moon last Saturday? It was closer to the Earth and bigger and brighter than usual. Monday morning that big old Moon peeked through my venetian blinds at 6:00 AM and woke me up. I went out to watch the Moon set and the Sun rise.
It looked to me as though the saguaro was roasting marshmallows.

FHA loan costs to increase. Again.

Most first time home buyers use FHA loans because of the low down payment requirement. Only 3.5% of the sale price is needed for down payment. Other advantages are the buyer can have a lower credit score than he can with a conventional loan (a loan that is not insured by the government), and the buyer can receive a gift for the down payment, even if the buyer has no savings.

Because of FHA's popularity, its reserve funds are low. In order to ensure the continued solvency of FHA, mortgage costs are increasing again.

For FHA case numbers pulled on or after April 18, 2011, the annual mortgage insurance premium (MIP) will increase from 0.85% of the base loan amount to 1.1%.

For example, for a house with a sale price of $150,000, the down payment would be 3.5%, or $5,250. The base loan amount would be $144,750.

If you have a purchase contract and your lender pulls an FHA case number lender before April 18, your annual MIP will be $144,750 x 0.9% = $1,303 per year = $109 per month. After April 18, your annual MIP will be $144,750 x 1.15% = $1,665 per year = $139 per month, and increase of $30.

FHA says this will have minimal impact on borrowers. I say if a borrower's buying power is reduced by $30 per month, at 5% mortgage interest rate, the buyer who could afford a $150,000 house this month will only be able to afford a $144,400 house next month.

The mortgage insurance is to protect the lender against loss in the event the buyer doesn't make his payments. It does not protect the buyer.

Why pay any more than necessary for insurance that doesn't benefit you? If you are an FHA buyer sitting on the fence, this might be the time to climb on down and make an offer.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

6781 E 4th Street

Simply exquisite home on cul-de-sac in lovely neighborhood.
Designed for gracious entertaining and comfortable family life.
You'll love the family room with its arched doors opening to the screened porch.
Cheerful kitchen has abundant natural light and gorgeous quartz composite (silestone?) countertops. The owner calls this sweet room "the heart of the home." The dining area is between kitchen & living room.
Beehive fireplace gives warmth and character.
Beautiful ceramic tile in public areas. Split bedroom plan for privacy. Three linen closets and generous bedroom closets. Huge laundry room with more storage. Fabulous 1/4 acre lot with mature landscaping, art fountains and privacy walls.
Less than a mile to Bookman's, Gaslight Theater, libraries, Trader Joe's, Maya Palace, Lowe's & several restaurants. The interactive floor plan is here. Come tour your urban oasis today. Open Sunday March 27 from 1:00 to 4:00 PM. From Speedway and Kolb, go south on Kolb. West on Rosewood. South on Caribe. West on 4th Street to your new cul-de-sac hideaway.

This Sweet Desert Home sold for $178,000 on July 27. There were multiple offers and unfortunately, it was a short sale. If the buyers hadn't been deterred by the hassles and delay of a short sale, I am certain it could have sold for considerably more.