FHA 203K Home Loan

FHA 203K Home Loan Folsom & Sacramento, CA

The FHA rehab loan program, otherwise known as the 203(K), has been requested more and more by our clients, so I think it’s a good time to talk about it here. The 203(K) is broken into two programs, the Streamline and the Full. This loan program can work with FHA or Conventional home loans. The streamline permits work up to approximately $35,000 including the contingency holdback, and the Full permits more extensive work over $35,000. One thing to note is that this programs is not for any work the FHA deems as a luxury item, such as a pool.

203(K) Streamline Loan

Let’s just talk about the 203(K) Streamline. The Streamline permits homebuyers and homeowners to finance up to $35,000 into their mortgage to repair, improve, or upgrade the home they want to purchase or refinance. The Full 203(K) can go much higher than the streamline. Now, this includes work such as a roof, carpet, kitchen, bathroom, paint, downspouts etc. It’s a pretty extensive list of repairs and upgrades, and you can really improve the value of the home. The actual loan amount is based on the projected value of the home with the repairs and upgrades. Which may mean you walk in with more equity than if you bought a move in ready home. This program may not be used to do major structural work such as adding a room, moving a load-bearing wall or for projects that that will take over 6 months to complete.

203(K) For Homeowners

Are you not sure if you should Move or Improve? If you own a home that needs updating or repairs, you may be able to use a 203(K) Refinance to either make property repairs and improvements, or prepare your home for sale. It’s a great way to make your home move-in ready by remodeling the kitchen, painting the interior or purchasing new carpet. Plus, you have a better chance of getting top dollar for your home when you go to sell, as well as, potentially, a quicker sale when its move in ready! This type of loan product can also help you increase your equity faster. You won’t know unless you check it out.

203(K) History

The mortgage must be a first lien on a one-to-four unit owner-occupied dwelling. Over the years, lenders have successfully used the FHA 203(K) loan program in partnership with state and local housing agencies and nonprofit organizations to rehabilitate properties. This program was critical to municipalities that needed to revitalize neighborhoods and reclaim them as desirable areas to live. This revitalization is also good for the homeowners in the area, that felt helpless as their neighborhoods fell into disrepair, taking their home values down with them.

Everything Good Takes Time

As a loan product, it takes a little extra time and work for all, but this program can be very useful for homebuyers that are interested in a property that needs a little TLC. Buying a property that needs work means you may often get it at a lower price so you aren’t paying for someone else to do the renovations. As a result…instant equity!

The Forgotten Manners

The Forgotten Manners

Now and then, we occasionally look at our kids, and think… wow, my kids really do have manners… mostly when we are around other kids that don’t! Isn’t that always the way it is? It’s easier to see the misbehavior’s and disrespect of other parent’s kids, rather than your own. But it’s also easy to feel annoyed by kids that have bad manners.

Manners Our Parent Taught

When we were kids, our parents were always correcting us… sit up straight, back away from the TV you’ll ruin your eyes, get your elbows off the table, and (most often) respect your elders! Now, it is common to see kids slumped in a chair, earbuds in with their phones 6 inches from their face, and ignoring whoever is talking to them.

The Forgotten Manners

Well, this started me thinking about how we got to this point in our society with kids that do not respect authority! So, I wrote down another “tongue-in-cheek” list to ponder, I call The Forgotten Manners:

  1. Always say, ‘Please’ and ‘Thank you’
  2. Say, ‘Excuse me’ when you need to get go in front of someone or through a crowd
  3. Don’t interrupt others when they are talking.
  4. Enforce the importance of gratitude, like writing a simple thank you note.
  5. Table manners. Ask for something to be passed, don’t just reach across the table!
  6. Eat with your mouth closed.
  7. Use silverware and a napkin! Please don’t lick your fingers at the table!
  8. Teach them to hold the door open for others!
  9. Show them how to clean up after themselves both after play time and eating a meal.
  10. Talk to your kids about the importance of good sportsmanship whether you win or lose.
  11. Teach them not to litter and how important is it to keep our earth clean.
  12. Tell them how it’s impolite to comment on other people’s characteristics or physical appearances, unless it is a compliment. From the mouths of babes as they say!
  13. When you have spent time at your friend’s house, remember to thank the parents for having you over and for the good time you had.
  14. Knock on a closed door and wait for a response before entering.
  15. Cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze, and don’t pick your nose in public!
  16. Do not argue with an adult.
  17. If you bump into someone, say excuse me or sorry.
  18. And finally, teach your kids how to use their inside voice when indoors!

Manners Help Form Who We are as Adults

The manners you are taught in childhood carry on with you into adulthood. How we treat each other is important. Having well-mannered children brings freedom for the parents as well, especially when your friends say, bring the kids! That’s when I know that my kids have left a good impression! Well, I’m sure you have a few other manners that you would like to see make a comeback, so send me an email or give me a call. I’m available if you’d like to get a preapproval for purchase or refinance. The Sacramento area, including the Folsom Housing Market is on fire! Have a great day.

4 Hacks Every Pet Owner Needs

4 Hacks Every Pet Owner Needs

Pet owners love their pets. In the U.S., 44% own a dog and 29% own a cat. Only 3% own other pets, like parakeets, snakes and hamsters. As much as we love our pets, they can create challenges in maintaining a home.

Four-legged Family Member

Most folks that have indoor pets, love their pets like a member of their family. We have clients that consider the needs of their pets as part of their home search in buying a home. They want a big yard for their larger dogs, or they want a laundry room large enough to set up a pet feeding station… One family only wanted a single-story home, as their aging dog had a difficult time with stairs. Yes, it’s true! That’s how much pet owners love their four-legged family member!

Indoor Pet Hacks for the Home

Owning a pet is a lot of responsibility. I’ve had friends that wanted to get their child a dog so they could learn to be responsible by feeding, bathing, walking, etc… Most end up doing it all themselves, as our kids grow up and have a busy life between school, activities, sports and socializing! So, keeping on top of the pet ownership job can help free up time. So, here are my 4 hacks that every pet owner needs to know:

#1 – Repurpose an old cabinet as a hidden cat litter box. Remove any shelves and add a hinged door on the front so you can get in and out of it easily. Paint it, install a cat door on one side, and there you have it… a cool looking piece of furniture and no litter box in sight.

#2 – Store dog or cat food in large plastic pitchers. It will stay dry and be easier to pour into the food bowl.

#3 – One of the biggest downsides of pet ownership is the never-ending collection of hair that piles up on furniture and carpeting. Eliminate fur from carpet and upholstery by scraping the surfaces with a squeegee.

#4 – Make your own pet odor eliminator… mix ½ cup each baking soda and 20 Mule Team Borax. Now add 20-25 drops essential oils or 1 teaspoon of cloves or cinnamon. Now put into an empty parmesan cheese container and sprinkle it on your carpeting and furniture. The cloves also prevent moths. Also check out the homemade Fabreze recipe here!

These hacks should help with the chores that pet ownership brings. Pets bring us a lot of unconditional love and joy, so not having a pet because of the extra work would be a shame. There is always a solution to every problem, right?

If you have other ideas, be sure to email me and I’ll share them too. When you are house shopping and looking for a home that suits your family (including Fido), we can get you preapproved so you know how much house you can afford! The housing market is hot in Sacramento, Folsom, El Dorado Hills, Roseville, and Elk Grove, like many of the areas within the Counties, so let’s get in the game! Rates are still near historic lows, so get in while the getting is good! Well that’s my tip, and I hope it helps you keep your home cleaner. Enjoy your 4 legged family member! Give me a call if I can help with a preapproval or refinance. Have a great day.

The Real Truth About Rent vs Buy

The Real Truth About Rent vs Buying in Sacramento, CA

In the United States, there is somewhere around $13.1 trillion in total value of the equity held by over 75 million U.S. homeowners, according to the latest estimates from the Federal Reserve Board. And that works out to almost $175,000 per owning household. This is undeniable proof that homeownership is a crucial part of household wealth. In large part, because purchasers were able to put a good chunk of money down on a house, and to qualify for a mortgage. Paying for a mortgage actually helps produce more wealth, by freezing payment amounts and building equity through forced savings over the life of the loan.

A Mortgage is a Beautiful Thing

Having an option for a 30-year amortized, fixed-rate mortgage is a beautiful thing, providing an affordable route to purchasing a home while locking in today’s cost of that home for the life of the loan. The traditional rent versus buy argument compares the total monthly costs of buying a home with a mortgage with the corresponding rent. Although, that doesn’t take into account the equity that is built over time with a 15-year or 30-year Fixed Rate Mortgage. That simplistic  look at the dollar for dollar expenditure on a monthly basis, hides the fact that a mortgage is unlike a rent check. It’s really comparing apples and oranges, as they say!

A percentage of every monthly mortgage payment, after the interest is paid, goes toward the owner’s home equity. And over time, less of the mortgage payments go toward interest and more go toward equity, so the savings power is enhanced over the life of the loan. Whereas, if you continued to pay rent over the same 30 years, you end up with no asset and no equity at the end.  Even if the house only keeps pace with inflation over 30 years, which is a very conservative assumption, the forced savings built into a mortgage guarantees a homeowner is building wealth.

Building Equity in Your Sacramento Home

So it’s not just about the equalization of the monthly outlay of funds, it’s also the tax benefits, the principal paydown, and building equity. Just owning a home in the right neighborhood, that increases in value can build equity. Next, it’s what you can do with that equity… the smartest uses of equity are to put money back into your asset, your home, by keeping it maintained and upgraded, or to keep your debt at a low interest rate such as using it to pay for a kid’s college.

Now, that is the real truth about the power of homeownership over renting.

The Sacramento area, including Placer County, El Dorado County, and Yolo County is number 4 in the top Hottest Housing Markets in the nation, so now is a great time to buy or sell. So, check out the Home Buying University on the Resource Page to help you get started building wealth! Have a great week.

6 Laundry Organization Tips

6 Laundry Organization Tips


Taking care of household laundry can be grueling if you let it pile up and take over your life. Especially with kids, school, sports, and work! When life gets crazy, going here, going there, and family time is precious, doing household chores can be overwhelming. We have three boys, all in school and sports, primarily soccer, here in the Folsom area. That means a lot of sweaty, dirty, stained clothes. In my household, it is important to stay on top of this dreaded chore and keep it organized. So I wanted to share these laundry organization tips with you, as they just may help ease this household job.

6 Tips for Laundry Organization

Just like most tasks, setting up a process, getting organized and staying on track, will make the laundry chore much easier to manage as a family. So, here are 6 ways to organize your laundry duties:

  1. Teach your kids how to do their own laundry. You can assign one day of the week for each one to get their laundry done. Also, include stripping their bedding once a week. They aren’t going to do it perfect, but giving them responsibility helps them grow in many ways. This is a life maintenance skill your kids will eventually need anyway, so they will thank you when they go off on their own.
  2. When you have same sex kids and close to age, it truly helps to color code each kid’s towels and sheets. It will make it easy to know where they go and who’s they are! Plus, you will know who’s are left in the dryer!
  3. We all know that the dryer is a black hole for socks. So, keep a mesh bag in every laundry basket and have them put their socks and underwear in the bags. You won’t have to worry about pairing the socks and figuring out who’s is who. This can be a huge time saver.
  4. Use laundry sorting bins if you like to do whites and colors separately.
  5. Make sure your laundry room is well organized and equipped. Not everyone has the luxury of counter space for folding, but if you do, make sure to keep it clear for the next load coming out of the dryer. Having a trash can for lint next to the dryer is essential. Add some fun elements like a penny jar for loose change, a bin for single socks, and maybe a small tub for emptying pockets for each person.
  6. My favorite is to keep extra hangers in the laundry room for hanging clothes right out of the dryer, and prevent ironing! No one likes to iron! And it’s not necessary if you hang them up right away. Having that steam feature on the dryer is nice if they do sit for a bit but it never gets all the wrinkles out.

Family Citizenship

Teaching our kids how to participate in getting jobs around the house done, is teaching citizenship. That lesson starts in the home. It also helps them to be more independent as they mature and need to know how to do these things. Getting their cooperation at first can be a hassle, but worth it for everyone in the long run. And, household chores aren’t a favorite way to spend a weekend, but I do have to say, that when the laundry is kept up and put away, it feels good. Well that’s my tip, and I hope it helps you keep your sanity with all of the laundry chores. Give me a call if I can help with a preapproval or refinance. The Real Estate Market is taking off strong this year here in Sacramento, Placer and El Dorado Counties. Watch for my next blog on The Real Truth About Rent vs. Buy. You’ll have a better picture of that age-old debate. Thank you for joining me. Have a great day.

5 Tips to Start the VA Loan

5 Important Tips to Start the VA Loan

For military home buyers, the VA loans offer some unbeatable advantages, like a $0 down payment, no mortgage insurance, and more lenient credit requirements. This is a hard-earned benefit for those that qualify and isn’t all that different from buying with other loan products. Having the correct information and the right mortgage and real estate team in place can make a big difference.

The 5 Tips to Get Started

Whether this is your first VA loan or your 10th, you will want to have these tips:

  1. Start with the right Loan Officer – Not all mortgage professionals have experience and knowledge of the VA Loan. When selecting your Loan Officer, find out how many VA loans they have done in the past and if their team has experience in processing these loans. A lender that stays up on the VA requirements will facilitate the speed in which you can close your loan.
  2. Start with the right Realtor – To save yourself a lot of time, look for an agent who has VA experience, or is also a Vet. Buying a home isn’t any more complicated for veterans, but it helps to have someone who knows the ropes to negotiate your contract.
  3. Budget extra time to find the right home. – Do your research up front, to know what neighborhood you want to live in, the affordability of that area, and how much you can spend. Inventory can be tight in the most sought after areas. They may be experiencing multiple offers on homes in your price range. It may take several offers to get into contract. This is another reason, having the right Real Estate Agents is essential.
  4. Use technology to help your home search – If you are moving from out of state, you can do your home search online. Most Realtors will view homes for you and guide you in the decision-making process. Online searches will also be valuable in understanding what neighborhoods are attractive, school systems, and the median home prices.
  5. Be familiar with the VA rules on what homes are eligible – The VA has specific guidelines on what properties are eligible for VA financing. If you are looking for a condo, make sure it is on the VA Condo list. If it is a fixer upper, the VA appraisers require certain aspects of the property be in acceptable condition.

Great Benefit for Veterans

The VA Loan is an awesome loan product for Veterans and their families. It’s one of the only loans that requires zero down and doesn’t require Mortgage Insurance. It’s definitely a benefit you should take advantage of if you are an eligible Veteran. If you are unsure of your eligibility, give us a call and we can assist you with that as well. With the right lender and real estate agent, you can use this great benefit you deserve. I have an eBook on the VA Home Loan you can download. Thanks again for taking time to read my blog.

We love to serve our Veterans and our Loan Officers have experience in the VA Loan process. Have a great day.