Middletown, CT Real Estate News

By George Souto, Your Connecticut Mortgage Expert
(George Souto NMLS #65149 FHA, CHFA, VA Mortgages)
We are right now in what is called a Refinance Market, because of the low interest rates.  If you took out a mortgage more than a year ago, the odds are that your interest rate is now about 1% lower than when you took it out.  A 1% percent difference in the interest rate is in my opinion when a Borrower should begin to inquire about refinancing if you are just looking to lower your monthly payments, but there are other things that you need to consider besides just the lower interest payment. For example if they are refinancing because they need to take equity out of their property for improvements to the house, consolidate bills, or even for their kids college tuition, the decision of whether or not to refinance has fewer things to consider.  The reason why I say that is that they have ...
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By George Souto, Your Connecticut Mortgage Expert
(George Souto NMLS #65149 FHA, CHFA, VA Mortgages)
Back in January 2007 I did a series of blogs on First Time Homebuyer Seminars that were very well received, so I thought that it would be useful to make those who were not around back then aware of these blogs.  In these blogs I covered everything from advertising them to what material to cover during the seminar. Below are outlines of each of the blogs and links for each of them. First Time Homebuyer Seminars…..Part #1. This first blog was an initial introduction into the series. First Time Homebuyer Seminars…..Part #2 Do they really want to own their own home. The advantages of owning a home. A place of their own Stable housing costs Increase in value Tax benefit (under this I also talk about the $8,000 tax credit that is available now) Can they afford to purchase a home (in other wor...
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By George Souto, Your Connecticut Mortgage Expert
(George Souto NMLS #65149 FHA, CHFA, VA Mortgages)
  ****************************************************************************************************************** Info about the author: George Souto is a Loan Officer who can assist you with all your FHA, CHFA, and Conventional mortgage needs in Connecticut. George resides in Middlesex County which includes Middletown, Middlefield, Durham, Cromwell, Portland, Higganum, Haddam, East Haddam, Chester, Deep River, and Essex. George can be contacted at (860) 573-1308 or gsouto@mccuemortgage.com
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By George Souto, Your Connecticut Mortgage Expert
(George Souto NMLS #65149 FHA, CHFA, VA Mortgages)
Yesterday I was driving by one of our local Little League Fields, and it brought back some very pleasant old memories.  I stopped the car and luckily had my camera with me, so I was able to take the picture below.     Both my sons played many games on these two fields, but they did not look this nice back then.  Through a lot of work and lobbying when I was on the Middletown Little League Board of Directors, we were able to get Lights and Sprinklers put in, as well as a concession stand.  Back then there were more weeds than grass on these fields, and they were not maintained very well.  They didn't even have scoreboards until my youngest son, Brandon, made scoreboards for these fields as well as three others, as his Eagle Scout Project.  Brandon made Eagle Scout at the age of 12 1/2. S...
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By George Souto, Your Connecticut Mortgage Expert
(George Souto NMLS #65149 FHA, CHFA, VA Mortgages)
Many areas of this great county of ours are facing serious employment issues.  Here in Connecticut the Insurance Capital of the world, we have been particularly hard hit.  Insurance Companies have suffered many losses, and as a result, have had to down size and let many people go. Because of the many job loses, several of the Lenders/Banks have add one more condition to their Commitment Letters, condition #3 of the Commitment Letter below: Employment Verification has always been part of the Loan Approval Process, but I have never seen Employment Verifications done a second time until recently.  Most people might think that this condition might not apply very often, but in reality we are finding that a number of Borrowers have lost their jobs between the time they meet with the Loan Offi...
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By George Souto, Your Connecticut Mortgage Expert
(George Souto NMLS #65149 FHA, CHFA, VA Mortgages)
That is right you read the title correctly.  Most people, especially here on the East Coast think of Vermont when the subject of Pure Natural Maple Syrup comes up.  But Vermont is not the only State in New England that produces Pure Natural Maple Syrup, Connecticut does as well.  And the best Connecticut Maple Syrup, in my opinion, is produced by my neighbors, the Graves Family. located on Chancey Road in Middletown. They do not produce it in large amounts, and it is only sold at a Stand located on their farm, but it sure is good. I missed taking pictures earlier this year, when they were collecting the Maple Sap from the trees.  But the three pictures in this blog should give everyone a good idea of their little operation.  They collect the Maple Sap from the trees twice a year, late W...
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By George Souto, Your Connecticut Mortgage Expert
(George Souto NMLS #65149 FHA, CHFA, VA Mortgages)
MI Companies are notorious these days for making changes without any advance notification.  The latest change that we are seeing is that MI Companies have lowered the back end ratio, especially on loans with a 95 LTV to 41%.  Also if the area happens to be one that is being classified as a declining area, the lowest LTV that they will issue MI on is 90%. I don't know if EVERY MI Company has made this change, but the four major ones that issue MI here in Connecticut have adopted these changes.  These latest changes further make FHA and VA Insured Loans much more attractive loan products than they have ever been before, especially where First Time Homebuyers are concerned. There will probably be more changes, given the recent losses that MI companies have been hit with.  These days we can...
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By George Souto, Your Connecticut Mortgage Expert
(George Souto NMLS #65149 FHA, CHFA, VA Mortgages)
****************************************************************************************************************** Info about the author: George Souto is a Loan Officer who can assist you with all your FHA, CHFA, and Conventional mortgage needs in Connecticut. George resides in Middlesex County which includes Middletown, Middlefield, Durham, Cromwell, Portland, Higganum, Haddam, East Haddam, Chester, Deep River, and Essex. George can be contacted at (860) 573-1308 or gsouto@mccuemortgage.com
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By George Souto, Your Connecticut Mortgage Expert
(George Souto NMLS #65149 FHA, CHFA, VA Mortgages)
One of my Borrowers Closed on a Refinance Loan yesterday that many of us in this Industry would consider a "Slam Dunk Loan".  This Borrower had Credit Scores in the 800's, ratio's of 15/17, and 60% LTV.  "Slam Dunk" right? Wrong! This house was located in a neighborhood made up of a small cluster of house that are separated from most of the other residential neighborhoods in town.  The last known sale in this neighborhood was 8 months ago, and nothing comparable to it in near by neighborhoods had sold in a lesser time period.  The Appraiser did an amazing job in documenting and justifying the value of the house on the appraisal, but the 8 month time period began to create a big problem. See Banks/Lenders need to have the option to sell off loans on the Secondary Market when they need to...
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By George Souto, Your Connecticut Mortgage Expert
(George Souto NMLS #65149 FHA, CHFA, VA Mortgages)
At the beginning of the month I did a blog announcing the Middlesex County Chamber of Commerce Work After Hours event that was hosted by the Galleria Design Center in Middletown last night.  I encouraged everyone that could attend to do so, and promised that they would not be disappointed.  Well the Chamber and the Galleria did not make a liar out of me, the evening was as promised. The turnout was one of the best that I have seen, and there was no lack of shrimp, wine, beer, soft drinks, and several varieties of d'oeuvres.  The Galleria is large and spacious, but yet perfect for this type of event, and I was able to both make new contacts as well as renew some old ones. Last night the Galleria also introduced a new product that they will be manufacturing themselves. Within the next cou...
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By Valerie Osterhoudt, ABR, Cromwell, CT Real Estate ~ 860.883.8889
(Johnson Real Estate, Inc.)
 THIRD CONGREGATIONAL CHURCH 94 MINER STREET MIDDLETOWN, CT The Third Congregational Church on 94 Miner Street in Middletown, CT is holding its annual Pot Roast Dinner.  This event is being held this Saturday, April 26th from 5:00pm to 7:00pm.  Yes, another WONDERFUL dinner!!  If you haven't come to one of these dinners.. this would be one NOT to miss. The menu will feature pot roast, mix vegetables,and oven roasted potatoes.    Vanilla Ice Cream with for dessert if you have room.  Coffee and Tea, or milk for the children.   Price:  $9.00 for adults; $4.50 for children 10 or under.  Come with your family, come by yourself... come with the neighborhood.  As usual, this is ALL YOU CAN EAT.  Last year's pot roast dinner was the first time I went to the Third Church for one of their dinners...
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By George Souto, Your Connecticut Mortgage Expert
(George Souto NMLS #65149 FHA, CHFA, VA Mortgages)
I wrote a blog at the end of last month Social Networking Workshop informing those within driving distance of Middletown, Connecticut, about a Social Networking Workshop/Presentation, at the Middlesex Chamber of Commerce, on how we can more effectively use Social Networking Websites. The workshop was presented by one of our members Diana Bartolotta, who after listening to her is not only very knowledgeable about what she presented, but a Social Networking junkie to boot. Diane concentrated mainly on Linkedin and Facebook, but also briefly touched on Twitter.  I of course brought up ActiveRain and Diane stated that she would most likely add ActiveRain to her presentation in the future.  I try to go to and take advantage of all workshops like this, because I always walk away with a better...
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By George Souto, Your Connecticut Mortgage Expert
(George Souto NMLS #65149 FHA, CHFA, VA Mortgages)
Click Here to See How McCue Mortgage has gone Green   ****************************************************************************************************************** Info about the author: George Souto is a Loan Officer who can assist you with all your FHA, CHFA, and Conventional mortgage needs in Connecticut. George resides in Middlesex County which includes Middletown, Middlefield, Durham, Cromwell, Portland, Higganum, Haddam, East Haddam, Chester, Deep River, and Essex. George can be contacted at (860) 573-1308 or gsouto@mccuemortgage.com
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By George Souto, Your Connecticut Mortgage Expert
(George Souto NMLS #65149 FHA, CHFA, VA Mortgages)
Earlier today I read a blog by Bill Gassett titled Buying a Bank Owned Home that focused on the process of purchasing a foreclosed property.  In his blog he made a statement that I thought would go very well with this blog which I had planned on writing earlier. In his blog he stated "Buying a foreclosed home however, is not for the timid at heart and there are many things that buyers need to be aware of going into a REO transaction." That statement is very true, and anyone who plans on purchasing a foreclosed property would do well to take it seriously. I am in the process of doing a Connecticut Housing Finance Authority (CHFA) VA Loan for a young man that is purchasing a Bank Foreclosure.  When I was Pre-Approving him for a loan on this property, I tried to prepare him for the frustra...
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By George Souto, Your Connecticut Mortgage Expert
(George Souto NMLS #65149 FHA, CHFA, VA Mortgages)
Loan Modifications must be the new scam in town, because I have been getting three to four e-mails each day, each one from a different sender, but all with the same message.  They all start with the same subject line which contains my address followed by "value drop notice". The message is also the same in everyone: Dear George: If you are still residing in your home at "my address" and would like a lower payment, just based on your location you could bring your payment down by as much as 45% through a loan modification working with current MIDDLETOWN home values. Late or in foreclosure, or already tried to negotiate with your lenders? We can help regardless of your circumstances to get current and keep your home, or relocate without your current home going to foreclosure. LINK: MIDDLET...
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By George Souto, Your Connecticut Mortgage Expert
(George Souto NMLS #65149 FHA, CHFA, VA Mortgages)
March 20th was officially the first day of Spring for 2009, but it was not my first day of Spring.  For me the first day of Spring is not a day on the calendar, or as defined by Wikipedia "Spring comes in between the 19th to the 23rd of March and at different times. It changes on a yearly basis because the first official day of spring is the (Spring) Vernal Equinox. This is when the sun is directly above the equator. It rises due East and sets due West and does not do so on the exact same day every year, since the calendar is not exactly 365 precise days every single year." Some might consider it Spring when they see the first sign of flowers, or leaves first appear on the trees. All those are great ways to define the first day of Spring, but for me the first day of Spring does not arri...
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By George Souto, Your Connecticut Mortgage Expert
(George Souto NMLS #65149 FHA, CHFA, VA Mortgages)
CHFA just rolled out its new CT Families Program which is now self-insured, unlike the previous program that followed FHASecure Guidelines.  This new version of that program might finally make this a viable program for those who are in trouble on their mortgage, because of it being an Adjustable Rate Mortgage (ARM). The previous program was basically a: Refinance program for subprime borrowers And it was Insured by FHA. The new programs main differences are: Refinance program for families experiencing or having experienced hardships Self-insured by CHFA The main thing that still remains common between the two is that only Adjustable Rate Mortgages qualify, but CHFA is trying to get legislation passed that would extend the new program to Fixed Rate Mortgages as well. The New CT Families...
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By George Souto, Your Connecticut Mortgage Expert
(George Souto NMLS #65149 FHA, CHFA, VA Mortgages)
Three weeks ago I wrote a blog "FHA Approvals" about how it looked like FHA was loosening up on the Debt-To-Income Ratio's, and that I would be keeping an eye on it to see if that was really the case.  Well it is now three weeks later, and in that time I have had five more Borrowers that received an Approved/Eligible through  Automated Underwriting (DU) with ratio's around 42+ on the front/top ratio and 55+ on the  back/bottom ratio. This is enough to convince me that FHA has made an adjustment to the level of risk that they are willing to accept on loans in the last month.  This can be viewed as good, in that during a time that we are trying to stimulate the Real Estate Market, this should have an impact on increased sales. But it could just as easily be viewed as bad, because it is st...
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By George Souto, Your Connecticut Mortgage Expert
(George Souto NMLS #65149 FHA, CHFA, VA Mortgages)
One thing that I quickly learned when I first became a Loan Officer, was that the Real Estate Business is full of surprises.  In fact that would be an understatement in many cases. We all have heard about surprises that happen during some loan transactions: Buyers not being able to document income. Income not being what you were told. Bank statements not having the balances that was stated. Buyers maxing out credit cards while the loan is in process, and credit gets re-pulled and score are way down. Houses not appraising. Lose of a job just before closing. inspection and repair issues. I could keep on going and going on the loan side and I am sure that Realtors could make my list look tiny, by listing things that happen on their end of things.  But the kind of surprises that I would lik...
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By George Souto, Your Connecticut Mortgage Expert
(George Souto NMLS #65149 FHA, CHFA, VA Mortgages)
Our Vice President of Advertising, Gary Kulik, just notified us of the Connecticut Association of Realtors (CAR) new advertising campaign called “Smart Move.”  Gary was excited about CAR's new campaign, because the campaign’s message is right in line with what we at McCue Mortgage have been saying for the past several months "It’s a great time to buy a home". We have been saying for months in our own advertising that there is a good selection of houses on the market, and CAR's similar message of “the home you want is on the market”, falls right in line with what we have been saying.  We all know that house prices are low right now, and interest rates are equally low.  Combined that with the efforts that the Federal Government is making, especially with the new $8000 Tax Credit for First...
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