Christmas Spirit Alive & Well in Real Estate

ImageAs a Realtor, we work with clients going through so many different major life events. From divorce, death of a loved one, loss of job, relocation, health issues, natural disasters, foreclosure, marriage, baby on the way, empty nesters, upsizing, downsizing, first time home buyers, you name it.

Realtors not only sell homes but become friends, confidants, trusted advisors & compassionate listeners. We help our clients get through these major life events and help them sell their homes or find new homes to live in. In addition, we handle a constantly changing market that brings forth low appraisal challenges or multiple offer situations. The emotional weight at times can be tremendous for all parties involved.

This past year having worked with clients going through these events, I am amazed and in awe of how it always works out. A wise woman told me often, “Debra, I don’t know why you worry, you always find a way to make it work”. In our business the worry can consume you. I pray a lot, and give my worry for my clients to God (as much as my mind will let me), & trust in Him, while doing everything that is humanly possible to make it all work out for my clients. Staying positive & focused on the end, and not letting the negative challenges or emotions get to you.

Last week, I truly witnessed a Christmas miracle for a family of 5 relocating here from Florida (fixed income & disabled family members who had to be out of their Florida rental by Dec 20th). The true reality of the situation 8 days prior to closing, if you had looked at the situation at hand, one would have thought that there was no way this was going to close in December. Yet no one working on this voiced or thought that.

Everyone did everything they could possibly do to make it work out, and I prayed to God for his guidance & trusted Him to help guide all the parties involved to do all they could. My clients were buying a Bank of America foreclosure (for all my Realtor friends I probably don’t need to say any more) but these are challenging to work through. Add to that the weather was in the 20 degree range, the heat didn’t work & we couldn’t get the water on (the home was winterized with temps dropping nightly to below freezing). And these were the least of the concerns.

Through it all, everyone involved kept focused on the end & remained positive. Was it the Christmas Spirit at hand? We all worked through every challenge. It took a coordinated effort from my amazing clients, the lender getting it to close in 21 days, the appraiser, the underwriters, home inspector, plumber, heat & air company, listing agent, BOA asset manager & closing company. I am still amazed it all worked out last week, we closed and my clients got a new heat & air unit and hot water heater, and were moved into their new home by Saturday the 21st.

I am thankful, and feeling very blessed that I work with so many amazing people & companies that made a miracle happen last week for a wonderful family. Ameris Bank-Armando San Miguel & Sandra Flowers (who found a way to translate a German pension into English!), Premier Home Inspections, DHC Heat & Air Co., Art’s Quality Plumbing, All American Pest Control, co-op agent Amanda Bell with At Home Realty & yes, even the BOA asset manager.

In a week filled with closing on a development I had had for over 4 years, and successfully working out a low appraisal that’s closing next week, the Christmas Miracle Closing as I call it, where a family was blessed with a home, and having SO many people working quickly & positively together to make this happen for them, was the most rewarding. I found the Christmas Spirit truly alive and well in real estate.

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Closed an FHA 203K renovation loan in 33 days!!! It can be done!

The Little Known Loan That Could – The  FHA 203K Rehab Loan

I love this loan, the FHA 203k Rehab loan. It is not commonly known, but let me tell you, it does exist and is a super choice for many distressed properties out there. I closed a Standard FHA 203k loan yesterday, on a bank foreclosure, from offer acceptance to closing, in 33 days!!! It was a team effort that made it happen and we have proof that it can be done.

What is the FHA 203k program all about?

The FHA 203k renovation loan program provides  funds for both the purchase and renovation of a home packaged into one mortgage loan. Once the purchase of the home is closed, renovation funds are held in escrow to pay for pre-determined renovation work done by approved renovation  contractors.

The purchase of a house that needs repair is often a catch-22 situation,
because the bank won’t lend the money to buy the house until the repairs are
complete, and the repairs can’t be done until the house has been purchased. We’ve
all seen this happen before, buyer is getting home for an unbelievable price but appraisers & home inspectors find things that need repaired, neither the seller or the buyer have the money to make the repairs. Or a buyer wants to buy an “as is” bank foreclosure but repairs need to be made, this was the case in my closing yesterday. An FHA 203K loan is a great solution.

HUD’s FHA 203k program enables the owner occupant borrower to borrow funds for the purchase or refinance of a home plus the cost of making the repairs and improvements in one mortgage.

Down payment, credit qualification, loan limits and other requirements are the same as standard FHA loans.

There are two types of FHA 203k loans available:

  1. The Streamlined 203k
    is designed for less extensive improvements and for projects that will not
    exceed a total of $35,000 in renovation and related expenses. This version
    does not require the use of a consultant, architect, and engineer or as
    many inspections as the Standard 203k. As a result, when applicable, the Streamlined  203k generally becomes the simpler, less costly option. Less paperwork.
  2. The Standard 203k 
    is intended for more complicated projects or when the repairs are over the
    streamlined limit of $35,000. The Standard 203k also covers structural
    changes, such as room additions, exterior grading and landscaping, or
    renovation that would prohibit you from occupying the residence. A
    Standard 203k is also used if your project requires engineering or
    architectural drawings and inspections,

It takes a great team to get the 203k  loan done and for people to believe in it. I handle a great many bank owned REO properties and struggled to get bank sellers to understand & see that an FHA 203k loan, from the seller’s perspective, is the same as a cash buyer. I couldn’t understand why the banks wouldn’t consider it. Inspections are made but repairs are done post close. The buyer buys the home as is. Getting banks with foreclosure properties to consider accepting an FHA 203k buyer’s offer has been a challenge but I finally got one to accept, AND we closed in 33 days from offer acceptance to close. The bank was happy & the buyer was happy.

If you are thinking about using a 203k loan it is important that you work with people who understand and can help you through the process of making your home purchase a reality. A trained FHA 203k Specialist and 203k Lender are a must. Contact me to find out what you need to do to purchase a home using a FHA 203k loan.

Debra Beagle – Licensed Realtor & FHA 203k Specialist

A FHA 203k Specialist™ is trained to provide the expertise and support to help you find a great home at a great price that can be improved through the use of the FHA 203k program.

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