Mortgage Q & A

Here’s a link to a quick mortgage Q&A I recently completed for Berkshire Hathaway Knight Gardner Realty.  Just published!

https://www.facebook.com/keysfinancial/

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Big Rate drop possible in 2015!

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Is this for real?  Could rates possibly go even lower?! We’ve been hitting record lows again on mortgage rates and there are signs that a significant move lower is possible. One of the analysts that we follow (Barry Habib: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barry_Habib) … Continue reading

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Warren Buffet says buy your retirement home now!

Two years ago Warren Buffett advised baby boomers to buy their retirement homes “now”, while prices and interest rates were low.  More importantly, competition for retirement homes in the sunbelt states would become fierce as more boomers entered retirement age.

It’s now two years later, and prices in our Key West market have seen double digit percentage increases (24% increase in 2013 and it appears we will end 2014 with a similar increase).  Buffett’s advice was clearly dead on, and just as valuable today while interest rates are still low.

Boomers are due to inherit the largest transfer of wealth that has ever occurred in this country as their parents pass away.  They will be spending “found” money and largely paying cash!  Tough competition in any market!

Click here for Buffet’s 2012 Forbes piece.

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Fried Turkey Safety Video – HAPPY THANKSGIVING!

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Wishing you and your family a safe

and Happy Thanksgiving! 

 Click here fried turkey safety video.

Enjoy your turkey!

 

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Tips for a smooth closing – THE CLOSING DATE

SmoothWe don’t always have a choice.  Usually the circumstances and timelines of the transaction will dictate the necessary closing date.  But when there is flexibility, is there an IDEAL time of the month to close?  Yes, in my opinion, the middle two weeks of the month are best.  Here’s why:

AVOID end of month closings when possible!  EVERYONE is trying to close before the end of the month.  This is consistently a bottleneck period.  Performance for most involved in the process is measured on MONTHLY production.  Commissions, bonuses, and financial reporting are at stake!  There is a push to close as many transactions as possible before month end.  Closing departments get swamped, turnaround times slow down, and inevitably service levels suffer.  If you can avoid this ‘crunch time’, you have a better chance at a smooth and timely closing. 

The first week of the month can often be challenging as well.  This period is usually calmer than month end, but sometimes suffers from the spillover effect of the month-end backlog.  The closings scheduled for the first week of the month should receive their finishing touches the week prior.  Unfortunately, that finishing period sometimes gets pushed back due to the month end bottleneck – resulting in a scramble to meet the timing on these early month closings.

Therefore, when there is a choice, the middle two weeks of the month can work best!  Lenders tend to have less backlog during this period, and their closing departments can devote more time and attention to your important closing.  We find there are less errors and delays during this time, and would therefore choose this as the best time of the month to ensure a smooth and timely closing!

 

 

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Quicken Loans

QLMS

Yes, it’s true.  We are now proud to be a Quicken Loans partner and have been growing this relationship over the past year!  However, I’ve been asked more than once if I have sold Keys Financial to or merged with Quicken  – and the answer to that is absolutely not!  Quicken is simply another great asset in our stable of lenders.

Quicken Loans is now the second largest mortgage lender in the nation (Wells Fargo is the largest).  We are enjoying very competitive rates, excellent service, fast closings, and superior technology from our relationship with Quicken.  Our customers are obviously benefiting greatly from this relationship!

At Keys Financial, we have made a shift in our business over the last few years to move towards using lenders that ONLY do mortgage lending.  (We have moved away from relationships with the “Big Box Banks” as they were proving to be slower and too restrictive).  We now avoid lenders where mortgage lending is a separate department of a larger institution.  Our present lenders are technologically forward companies with a strong customer service culture and 100% commitment to the mortgage business!

If you have a client who is considering using Quicken Loans for their financing, have them give us a call.  We’ll be able to provide local representation, a face-to-face meeting, and terrific pricing!  We believe our local knowledge and relationships, coupled with Quicken’s resources, are a combination that’s hard to beat!

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The Boomerang Buyer!

What are “Boomerang Buyers”? Past homeonwers who lost a property during the housing crisis via foreclosure, short sale and/or bankruptcy – and are now ready to buy again.

The numbers are staggering!! Almost 7 million foreclosures and short sales in the last 6 years (source statisticbrain.com). That’s certainly a huge pool of experienced homeowners who could potentially come back to the market.

There are penalty/waiting periods in place dictating when those previously affected can reapply for conventional financing. Since it’s been several years now since the peak of the crisis, many of these folks are reaching the end of their penalty period and may be eligible to qualify for a new mortgage.

The penalty periods have been a source of great confusion, as the wait varies among loan programs and lenders. The most important thing to remember is that the waiting period starts when the foreclosure or short sale is COMPLETED. In other words, when title to the property is actually transferred out of the homeowner’s name and into the name of the bank or new owner. It does NOT start when the homeowner stops making payments, or vacates the home, or receives a foreclosure notice, etc.

Here is some current guidance on waiting periods:

FHA & VA                                2 years from bankruptcy*

                                                   3 years from foreclosure or short sale

 FHA Back To Work**           1 year from bankruptcy, foreclosure, or short sale.

 Fannie/Freddie                     4 years from bankruptcy* or short sale

                                                   7 years from foreclosure

*bankruptcy above refers to Chapter 7. For Chapter 13 reorganizations, the waiting periods could be shorter depending on circumstances).
**FHA back to work is a special loan program for those who can prove “extenuating circumstances” outside of their control (such as layoff, illness, etc) resulted in the BK, foreclosure or short sale, and whose credit and income have since recovered.

It is estimated that about 10% of all buyers in 2014 will be “Boomerang Buyers”! (source Washington Post).

Bottom Line: There are a lot of potential buyers out there that want to come back to the market. The ability to do so will depend on their particular circumstances. It’s important to start the process early by getting PREQUALIFIED for financing. Getting a head start on the process will allow time to deal with any potential issues and deliver a ready buyer with a smoother path to the closing table!

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