Lakewood, CO Real Estate News

By Laura Lomba-Berg
(Your Castle Real Estate)
Colorado Mortgage Broker Licensing In response to the troubled national real estate market and Colorado's high volume of home foreclosures, efforts have increased to make higher caliber professionals involved in real estate. Licensing, rules and regulations have become more stringent for agents, appraisers, title companies and mortgage brokers.  In regards to mortgage brokers, the below items are mandatory.  No longer can someone open up the Yellow Pages, claim to be a mortgage broker and then be compensated for placing a loan --- what a novel concept.  Before committing to a mortgage broker, please make sure that they are licensed in Colorado by searching for them on the following link:  http://eservices.psiexams.com/crec/search.jsp   LicensingAll mortgage brokers conducting business i...
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By Matthew Bailey
(Your Castle Real Estate)
Investing in Real Estate 9 – Scrapes, Pops and New ConstructionThis blog will discuss a type of real estate investment, scrapes, pops and new construction, in the Green Mountain area. What this investment is:  Purchasing a small home in an expensive neighborhood that may or may not need work.  The home is bulldozed and a new home or duplex is put on the lot.  Alternatively, the existing home is renovated and more square footage is added on.  A pop-top is adding a second story to an existing home to add more square footage (commonly, a master bedroom suite).Equity needed:  Being able to document your income and your assets will be critical.  For a commercial loan, your net worth should generally be at least as much as the loan you are seeking.  The good news is that the commercial loan u...
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By Matthew Bailey
(Your Castle Real Estate)
Investing in Real Estate 8 – Condo ConversionsThis blog will discuss a type of real estate investment, fix and flips, in the Green Mountain neighborhoods.What this investment is:  A synthesis of the fix and flip and rental operations - purchasing an apartment building in a neighborhood dominated by owner occupants, then converting the building from apartment building to condominium.  Often requires renovation of the units to meet the expectations of owner-occupant buyers in that area.  Complex and time consuming, but has wonderful tax advantages compares to fix and flips and often has superior returns to all other asset classes.  Ideally suited for the sophisticated investor with extensive experience. Equity needed:  Being able to document your income and your assets will be critical.  ...
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By Matthew Bailey
(Your Castle Real Estate)
Investing in Real Estate 7 – Fix and FlipsThis blog will discuss a type of real estate investment, fix and flips, in Green Mountain.What this investment is:  Purchasing a home that needs work.  The scope can range from the basic "paint and carpet" to extensive overhauls to scraping a decrepit property and completely starting over.  Usually does not involve tenants, and the objective is to get in and out of the property as quickly as possible.  Great for beginners with the right skill sets or the willingness to learn.Equity needed:  With hard money loans (defined in next paragraph), potentially 0% and they’ll finance the construction costs, too.  Expect a LOT of strings to be attached.  A small local lender might give you 75% of the purchase price and the renovation budget, and the terms...
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By Matthew Bailey
(Your Castle Real Estate)
Investing in Real Estate 6 – Lease OptionsThis blog will discuss a type of real estate investment, lease options, in Green Mountain.What this investment is:  A lease option (L/O) is Acquiring control of a property (though not necessarily ownership), then leasing the property to a tenant.  The lease is bundled with an option, so the tenant can (but does not have to) purchase the property for a given price within a given time frame.  Again you are seeking a tenant for a property, but usually for a slightly longer term (12-18 months) and frequently (though not always) with the goal that the tenant purchase the property from you at the end of the lease.  If you purchase the property, then it's an easier process; if you find a highly motivated seller to let you re-lease the property to anoth...
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By Matthew Bailey
(Your Castle Real Estate)
Investing in Real Estate 5 – Large (5+ unit) Apartment BuildingThis blog will discuss a type of real estate investment, large apartment buildings, in the Green Mountain area in Denver.What this investment is:  Still targeting tenants for 6-12 months at a time, buildings with more than five units are considered "commercial" property.  The loans are more difficult to qualify for, and usually a larger down payment is needed.  Uncommon for the new investor; this is usually what landlords with several years of experience "trade up" to.  Cash flows on larger buildings are more stable than for smaller buildings, and the economies of scale make it practical (and desirable) to hire a property manager to take over most the work for you.  This takes reduces the hassle factor of the landlord proces...
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By Matthew Bailey
(Your Castle Real Estate)
Investing in Real Estate 4 – Small (2-4 units) Apartment BuildingThis blog will discuss a type of real estate investment, small apartment buildings, in Green Mountain.What this investment is:  Purchase of duplex, triplex or quadplex to be rented to tenants, usually for 6-12 month terms.  Usually what the rental home / condo landlords graduate to.  In most markets they cost a little more than a rental home, but are much more likely to cash flow on the average month.  Less cash flow risk; if one unit is empty you have other tenants that still help you with the mortgage payment so it doesn't all come out of your pocket.  Many owners will start to delegate some of the property management tasks to an on-site assistant (typically the most responsible tenant), such as yard maintenance and show...
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By Matthew Bailey
(Your Castle Real Estate)
Investing in Real Estate 3 – Rental Condo or Rental HomeThis blog will discuss a type of real estate investment, rental condos or rental homes, in Green Mountain.What this investment is:  Purchase of a residential property to be rented out to tenants, usually on a 6-12 month lease term.  This is how most new landlords get started.  You can hire out all of the property management functions, but in many cases you will do many of them on your own.  There are smaller down payment requirements than for larger rental buildings.  The purchase process and financing process is very similar to what you experienced buying the home you live in now.  It's a great way for beginners to get started.Equity needed:  Currently 20% - 25% Downpayment.  In some cases you might be able to do it with 10% down,...
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By Matthew Bailey
(Your Castle Real Estate)
Investing in Real Estate 2 – AssignmentsThis blog will discuss a type of real estate investment, assignments, in the Green Mountain area.What this investment is:  An investor who is interested in Assignments gets a property under contract for an attractive price then assigns the contract to another buyer, usually another investor.  The first investor will be paid a fee for the work.  If you don't have much equity to work with, and/or if your credit power is limited, assignments can be a way to get started in real estate investing.  You will need to have a strong "sales" personality to succeed at it, though. Equity needed:  None, just earnest money.Importance of credit:  Not important, since you are not purchasing the property yourself.Importance of experience with contractors:  Not impo...
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By Matthew Bailey
(Your Castle Real Estate)
 Topic:  Special considerations for Investor loans The talk around the water cooler these days is all about LOANS. Who can get them? At what price? What if I already have a few loans, do I still qualify?  A year or two ago the question was at what price do I get a loan (those were the days!).  Today it is "am I still in the game?"     Here's the deal:  if you have an owner occupied loan and 3 investor loans you cannot buy any more properties and get Fannie Mae / Freddie Mac financing, meaning you can't get a conventional 30-year fixed loan. Now, my hope is that someone reads this and tells me I'm wrong. That would be great!  But as far as I know that is the case.    Where does this leave you?  You can pursue loans that are warehoused by lenders, meaning they are not sold on the backend ...
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By Matthew Bailey
(Your Castle Real Estate)
Colorado Mortgage Broker Licensing In response to the troubled national real estate market and Colorado’s high volume of home foreclosures, efforts have increased to make higher caliber professionals involved in real estate. Licensing, rules and regulations have become more stringent for agents, appraisers, title companies and mortgage brokers.  In regards to mortgage brokers, the below items are mandatory.  No longer can someone open up the Yellow Pages, claim to be a mortgage broker and then be compensated for placing a loan --- what a novel concept.  Before committing to a mortgage broker, please make sure that they are licensed in Colorado by searching for them on the following link:  http://eservices.psiexams.com/crec/search.jsp•    LicensingAll mortgage brokers conducting business...
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By Ryan McCue
(Your Castle Real Estate)
Loan Considerations for Buy and Hold InvestorsAs far as investment loans, little or no money down loans are impossible.  However, lenders do permit the use of Home Equity Lines of Credit or second mortgages from other properties owned by the borrower as a source of down payment.  Or, self-employed borrowers are using funds from business lines of credit to fund down payments or renovations (please note: there are asset seasoning guidelines for doing so and the debt incurred by accessing other credit lines must be accounted for against the borrower’s debt-to-income ratio). Thus, we have clients leveraging themselves with other homes they own in order to get in with little or nothing down.  There are exceptions, but practically every lender requires Full Income Documentation on any investm...
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By Ryan McCue
(Your Castle Real Estate)
Loan Considerations for Fix & Flip / Short-Term InvestorsSecuring conventional financing on a fix & flip or short-term loan is not recommended.  Most conventional lenders sell off their mortgages to investors on the secondary market.  If the loan is paid off early (before six payments are made), the investor has not recovered their initial investment.  The investor will attempt to recover their loss from the lender, who will ultimately come after the loan originator.  The loan originator would then be obligated to pay back any premium paid out by the lender.  If such activity becomes habitual with the loan officer, the lender can cease doing business with them and their firm.Furthermore, conventional loans require conventional appraisals.  The lender will require that the home is a) hab...
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By Ryan McCue
(Your Castle Real Estate)
Loan Considerations for Jumbo MortgagesFor the Greater Metro Denver area, any loan amount greater than $417,000 is considered a jumbo loan.  Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac assign different thresholds for various regions across the country.  For instance, $417,000 is not considered a jumbo loan in a high cost city like San Francisco, yet there will still be higher rates for going above $417K.  Due to the size of jumbo loans, they are considered greater risk for lenders, resulting in higher rates.  Rates have fluctuated greatly over the past few years on jumbos.  As of today, a 30 year fixed could range from 7% - 8%; a full point higher than the prime rate below a loan amount of $417,000.  Five year ARMs are popular on jumbo loans, as they typically price out a half point lower than fixed pro...
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By Ryan McCue
(Your Castle Real Estate)
Loan Considerations for Loan Amounts Between $200K - $417KWith all the doom and gloom publications that are mostly exaggerated, many potential borrowers believe that home mortgage lending options have dried up.  While underwriters and investors are scrutinizing files more closely, attractive rates and terms still exist for owner occupied purchasers seeking a conforming loan limit (under $417,000).  FHA and VA can still lend up to 100% LTV and conventional permits up to 97% LTV.  There are certain guidelines to meet when going to these high LTVs, but they are not impossible to surmount.Every home buyer should first ask themselves what payment they feel comfortable in committing to on a monthly basis.  Too many buyers over-extended themselves in recent years on homes they simply could not...
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By Ryan McCue
(Your Castle Real Estate)
FHA First-Time Buyer Tax CreditIn an effort to boost the sagging real estate market and overall economy, first-time home buyers are being offered a limited time tax credit when purchasing a primary residence.  The highlights of the tax credit are:•    The tax credit is available for first-time home buyers only. •    The maximum credit amount is $7,500. •    The credit is available for homes purchased on or after April 9, 2008 and beforeJuly 1, 2009. •    Single taxpayers with incomes up to $75,000 and married couples with incomes up to $150,000 qualify for the full tax credit. •    The tax credit works like an interest-free loan and must be repaid over a 15-year period. Due to the volume of questions that can be generated with the above, I would recommend clicking on the below link for ...
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By Ryan McCue
(Your Castle Real Estate)
Loan considerations for a first time buyerLending guidelines are changing on a daily basis for every type of loan: conventional, FHA, VA & commercial.  Nevertheless, there are still very attractive first-time home buyer options available.   If you are or will be a first-time buyer, it is critical to speak with a loan officer before looking at homes.  It is a crushing feeling to view a home, picture making it your own and then find out that you cannot qualify to purchase it.  A loan officer will pull credit, analyze debt-to-income ratios, review assets and income and determine what you can afford.  Presuming a pre-qualification occurs, the loan officer will then be able to provide an array of loan options.  Presently, FHA loans are the predominant loan for first-time home buyers as they ...
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By Ryan McCue
(Your Castle Real Estate)
How can you improve your FICO score?To improve one’s credit score, it’s critical to understand the factors influencing a credit score.  The factors that contribute to a FICO score and the weighted percentages for each are as follows:•    35% — timeliness of payments •    30% — the ratio of used debt to allowable debt for consumer credit •    15% — length of credit history (the more credit history and showing proof of consistent timely payment, the better the score) •    10% — types of credit used  •    10% — recent credit inquiries and recent new credit The greatest driver behind a score is making timely payments on all accounts.  Scores will be adversely affected for any payment that is 30 days late or more.  Being late on a mortgage payment will not only crush one’s score, but will al...
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By Ryan McCue
(Your Castle Real Estate)
How does your FICO score impact your interest rate on your loan?Low credit scores are deemed greater risk for lenders since the likelihood for defaulting on the loan increases.  As such, lower FICO scores translate into higher interest rates.  Mortgage lenders will group credit scores in a range, usually in 20 or 40 point increments, with interest rates progressively getting better for each higher interval.  For example, a borrower with a middle credit score between 660 – 680 will have a higher interest rate (presuming all other variables being equal) compared to one with a 680 – 700 score.  Typically, when a borrower has a 750+ credit, they will be able to secure the best possible rate, assuming their income, assets, collateral and down payment are acceptable.For qualifying, underwrite...
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By Ryan McCue
(Your Castle Real Estate)
What is a FICO score?FICO stands for Fair Isaac Corporation, a company that created the most used credit scoring model in the United States.  An individual’s credit score is calculated through a statistical algorithm and is used as a factor in determining the likelihood of a borrower defaulting on a loan.  FICO scores are generally used for obtaining mortgages, car loans or consumer credit.  The scores are provided from the three major credit reporting agencies: Equifax, Experian and Transunion.  Typically, there is a variance amongst the scores since each agency has a slightly different scoring formula.  FICO scores range from 300 – 850, with higher scores being considered less risky.  For mortgage lending purposes, any score over a 680 is considered good and above a 750 is considered ...
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