Thomas Murphy - Pine Shores Real Estate



Posted by Thomas Murphy on 12/29/2013

If you are looking to buy a home you may be wondering how you will be able to come up with the down payment. One way that many buyers come up with down payment money is from gifts.  If you are planning on using gift money to help buy a home there are some guidelines you will need to follow. Here are some simple rules: 1. Get a Gift Letter If you are getting gift money to help you buy a house you will need a gift letter. The letter has a few requirements:

  • Have the letter hand-signed by you and the gift-giver
  • State the relationship between the buyer and the gift-giver.
  • State the amount of the gift.
  • State the address of the home being purchased.
  • A statement that the money is a gift and not a loan that must be paid back.
  • A statement that says: “Will wire the gift directly to escrow at time of closing.”
2. Document a paper trail Mortgage underwriters want proof of where the money came from and where it went. Get copies of transactions showing the withdrawals and deposits. You will also need to make sure that the transaction is for the exact amount of the gift. Following these simple guidelines will get you to the closing table hassle free.    





Posted by Thomas Murphy on 11/10/2013

Buying your first home can be confusing. Securing a mortgage is one of the most important parts of the home buying process. Making sure that you have the right loan and have chosen the right loan officer are among the things a first time buyer has to do to start the process. Here are some more tips on how to ensure a successful purchase: 1. Make sure your deposit is in order. Talk to your loan officer about what amount of a deposit is required for the purchase and type of loan. You will also want to make sure the funds are accounted for and readily available. You can expect deposits to run anywhere between 3 and 20 percent of the purchase price. 2. Plan to have a cash reserve in addition to your deposit. You may want to have a reserve of at least two months mortgage payments. 3. Ask your lender to go over all the fees that apply to the purchase. It is better to be prepared and know how much the actual purchase will cost. These costs are typically added into your loan but there may be some out of pocket expenses too. 4. Consider how much you can comfortably afford not how much you have been approved for. These numbers may vary considerably. Your mortgage costs should not be more than 30% of your household income. 5. The lowest rate is not always the best deal. You will want to look at not only the rate but also the terms and fees associated with the loan.      





Posted by Thomas Murphy on 10/7/2012

The first step in home buying is getting a mortgage. Many home owners also find themselves in a maze when they start the refinance process. Navigating the mortgage process can be confusing. There is so much to know between rates, types of mortgages and payment schedules. Avoiding making a mistake in the mortgage process can save you a lot of money and headaches. Here is a list of the biggest mortgage mistakes that potential borrowers make. 1. No or Low Down Payment Buying a home with no or a low down payment is not a good idea. A large down payment increases the amount of equity the borrower has in the home. It also reduces the bank’s liability on the home. Research has shown that borrowers that place down a large down payment are much more likely to make their mortgage payments. If they do not they will also lose money. Borrowers who put little to nothing down on their homes find themselves upside down on their mortgage and end up just walking away. They owe more money than the home is worth. The more a borrower owes, the more likely they are to walk away and be subject to credit damaging foreclosure. 2. Adjustable Rate Mortgages or ARMs Adjustable rate mortgages or ARMs sound too good to be true and they can be. The loan starts off with a low interest rate for the first two to five years. This allows the borrower to buy a larger house than they can normally qualify for. After two to five years the low adjustable rate expires and the interest rate resets to a higher market rate. Now the borrowers can no longer make the higher payment not can they refinance to a lower rate because they often do not have the equity in the home to qualify for a refinance. Many borrowers end up with high mortgage payments that are two to three times their original payments. 3. No Documentation Loans No documentation loans or sometimes called “liar loans” were very popular prior to the subprime meltdown. These loans requires little to no documentation. They do not require verification of the borrower's income, assets and/or expenses. Unfortunately borrowers have a tendency to inflate their income so that they can buy a larger house. The problems start once the mortgage payment is due. Because the borrower does not have the income they are unable to make mortgage payments and often end up face bankruptcy and foreclosure. 4. Reverse Mortgages You have seen the commercials and even infomercials devoted to advocating reverse mortgages. A reverse mortgage is a loan available to borrowers age 62 and up. It uses the equity from the borrower’s home. The available equity is paid out in a steady stream of payments or in a lump sum like an annuity. Reverse mortgage have can be dangerous and have many drawbacks. There are many fees associated with reverse mortgages. These includes origination fees, mortgage insurance, title insurance, appraisal fees, attorney fees and many other miscellaneous fees that can quickly eat at the home’s equity. Another drawback; the borrower loses full ownership of their home and the bank now owns the home Avoiding the pitfalls of the mortgage maze will hopefully help you keep in good financial health as a home can be your best investment. .





Posted by Thomas Murphy on 11/7/2011

Mortgage rates have been at all time lows but if you haven't taken the plunge it may now be time to refinance. This week the average rate on the 30-year fixed mortgage fell to 4 percent. Just a few weeks ago the lowest rate ever was 3.94 percent, according to the National Bureau of Economic Research. The average rate on the 15-year fixed mortgage fell to 3.31 percent from 3.38 percent. Four weeks ago, it too hit a record low of 3.26 percent. Rates are dropping in reaction to the financial turmoil in Europe and homeowners with rates over 5% should may want to research refinancing. You can check out daily mortgage rates here. Make sure to consult with a mortgage professional who can evaluate your personal situation.




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Posted by Thomas Murphy on 11/4/2011

There is good news on the home front for homeowners whose mortgages amount to more than their home’s value. These underwater homeowners may qualify for a new program HARP, or Home Affordable Refinance Program. Many homeowners have found they owe more than what their home is worth. When the housing bubble burst some homeowners were left with a $250,000 house, for example, but a $350,000 mortgage. HARP was first introduced in 2009 by President Barack Obama but the program is now being expanded to include homeowners who are unable to qualify for refinancing under conventional guidelines. HARP's previous terms included restrictions that eliminated any homeowner whose existing mortgage represented more 125% of the loan-to-value of their home. The new and improved HARP will allow borrowers whose mortgages are backed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac refinance. The new plan still has eligibility limits. Previous homeowners that refinanced under HARP will not be allowed to refinance at the even better rate of 4%. In order to qualify, the mortgage has to be a Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac and you must be current on all loan payments in the last six months or not have more than one missed payment over the last year. The FHFA, or Federal Housing Finance Agency, is expected to announce final program parameters by November 15.