Middletown, CT Real Estate News

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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By George Souto, Your Connecticut Mortgage Expert
(George Souto NMLS #65149 FHA, CHFA, VA Mortgages)
Mortgage rates seem to be holding steady for the last month.  The Federal Government's purchase of more Mortgage Back Securities (MBS) seem to have played a huge part in keeping interest rates low. Once the Fed's announced that they would be buying more Mortgage Back Securities at their last meeting in March, the market reacted positively.  Since that meeting the Fed's have been purchasing around $30 billion in MBS per week, which would account for the leveling off of these near historic low interest rates. The Fed's hope that by lowering the interest rates, that in turn we will see an increase in refinancing, and sale of houses.  If we take a close look at what has been happening the past couple of weeks, we can see that at least initially the market has reacted as the Fed's expected i...
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By George Souto, Your Connecticut Mortgage Expert
(George Souto NMLS #65149 FHA, CHFA, VA Mortgages)
The Middlesex County Chamber of Commerce is a very active Chamber of Commerce. Each month there are multiple events for members to participate in.  I have written in the past about Networking events like the Business After Hours that the Chamber has on a regular basis, but there are many more events that may be of interest for those in the area. The Chamber just came out with its new calender, and there are several events on it for the month of May that I feel are worth attending. May 7   - 26th Annual Golf Tournament, at the Portland Golf Club. May 13 - Prevention Committee Seminar, Keeping Workplace Wellness High When Stocks Are Low" at the Crowne Plaza Hotel, in Cromwell. May 18 - Member Breakfast.  Congressman Joe Courtney will be the speaker.  The Member Breakfast will be held at i...
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By George Souto, Your Connecticut Mortgage Expert
(George Souto NMLS #65149 FHA, CHFA, VA Mortgages)
Today, Easter Sunday is a special day for many around the world.  Whether you celebrate it as a Religious Day or  simply as a fun day with family and Ester Egg Hunts, it is a special day. Me and my family enjoyed today with many of our friends at Church.  We get together every year right after Church for a meal together at one of our homes.  Everyone brings something, and we all eat way to much, and truly enjoy each others company.  It is both a family and friend time for me and my family, that we look forward to each year. I hope that each and everyone got to also enjoy this day in your own special way, and that you feel blessed at this time of the year.   ****************************************************************************************************************** Info about the a...
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By George Souto, Your Connecticut Mortgage Expert
(George Souto NMLS #65149 FHA, CHFA, VA Mortgages)
Presently it is easier to do am FHA Loan on a Condo than on a Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac (Conventional Loan), because of downpayment requirements and Condo Project Reviews.  Early last year Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac announced that they would no longer be keeping a list of approved condo's, and that it would be up to each individual Lender to develope their own list.   This means that each Lender has to not only do a Full Condo Review the first time they do a loan on a Condo Complex, but they aslo have to have all of the Condo Doc's reviewed by an Attorney.  This involves getting a copy of the Condo Packet, along with Insurance and current Budget, this increases the time and cost of approving a loan the first time on a condo complex. Minimum downpayment on Condo's can also be higher than...
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By George Souto, Your Connecticut Mortgage Expert
(George Souto NMLS #65149 FHA, CHFA, VA Mortgages)
Those of us in the Real Estate Industry, all recognize that FHA is one of the main Loan Products right now for a Buyer to consider.  FHA is HUD"s Federal Housing Administration arm which insures mortgages for Lenders/Banks.  FHA insured Loans presently offer Borrowers Loan Programs with Lower Downpayment, and more flexible underwriting guidelines, than Fannie Mae, or Freddie Mac (Conventional Loans) Loan Products.  What many are not aware of is that HUD is also a great resource for information on mortgage and housing related issues. The HUD website www.hud.gov is and easy way to find out about all of the Loan Products offered through HUD/FHA, but equally important it offers perspective Buyers great adice on what to watch out for when obtaining a mortgage.  There are four links on the HU...
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By George Souto, Your Connecticut Mortgage Expert
(George Souto NMLS #65149 FHA, CHFA, VA Mortgages)
Most people in the Real Estate Industry know of the FHA 203K program, which was designed to allow Buyers to obtain funds to make major repairs on properties that in a lot of cases are not habitable.  The FHA 203K is a loan that is challenging to do, and anyone looking to do one of these loans would be well advised to go to a Lender that specializes in doing them.  The HUD website contains a list of FHA approved Lenders for each state, and whether or not they do 203K Loans, but there is no assurance that each of these Lenders are proficient at doing them. We at McCue Mortgage made a decision many years ago that we would not participate in this program, we do not have the time and resource that the full 203K Loan Program requires.  However, we have recently decided to participate in a mod...
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By George Souto, Your Connecticut Mortgage Expert
(George Souto NMLS #65149 FHA, CHFA, VA Mortgages)
The Middlesex County Chamber of Commerce will be holding its next Business After Hours on Thursday, April 23, from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m at the Galleria Design Center in Middletown.  This will be the second time that the Chamber has held a Business After Hours at the Galleria.  The first was last year and the turnout was outstanding, as well the food that was provided. If you have never been to the Galleria, this will be truly a treat for you.  Their selection of bathroom, and Kitchen fixtures are amazing, and I have never seen a larger display of Granite Counter tops anywhere else.  You will also find several displays of cabinets, tile flooring, decks, windows, doors, window treatments and a whole host of other things. There will be complimentary hot and cold hors d'oeuvres, wine, beer, and ...
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By George Souto, Your Connecticut Mortgage Expert
(George Souto NMLS #65149 FHA, CHFA, VA Mortgages)
We are starting to see the first signs that Spring in Connecticut.  It is not here yet, but today the weather was warm and I saw for the first time this year buds on the maple trees in my back yard.  This to me is a good sign that warmer weather will be here real soon.  Spring is my favorite time of the year, everything just seems fresh and new.  The birds have not returned yet, but now that the trees are beginning to bud, they will, and will begin to build their nests. We have been know to still get snow at this time of the year.  We have had so much snow this year that I hope I do not see another snow flake until December.  I don't mind it then because it is nice to have a White Christmas. Several types of flowers have been coming up in my front yard for a couple of weeks, and this we...
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By George Souto, Your Connecticut Mortgage Expert
(George Souto NMLS #65149 FHA, CHFA, VA Mortgages)
The third Bill that was covered up at the Capitol on Wednesday was HB 6600 which would establish the SustiNet Plan, which would finally provide affordable Health Insurance for Realtors as well as other self-employed, and small businesses.  For years Realtors as independent contractors, along with self-employed people, and small businesses have not been able to get comprehensive affordable health insurance.  This is because they do not usually have access to group plans, which others are able to get through their employer, or government entities.  Without being able to get group coverage, members are limited in what coverage they can get.  Furthermore they are underwritten as individuals which results in much higher costs for restricted coverage. I found some figures that we given very i...
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By George Souto, Your Connecticut Mortgage Expert
(George Souto NMLS #65149 FHA, CHFA, VA Mortgages)
Yesterday I wrote about my visit to Hartford for Realtor Day At The Capitol, and the first issue that I felt needed to be brought to everyone’s attention, and that those of us in the Real Estate Industry need to come out in opposition of this Legislative session, was House Bill HB 6349, Tax On Professional Services. The second Bill that I feel everyone needs to aware of, and to strongly oppose is House Bill HB 6397, which has been proposed and defeated the last two years, which would create a new 1% Real Estate Conveyance Tax on Buyers on properties with a sales price over $150,000. This means that here in Connecticut just about all houses would be affected by this new conveyance tax, as well as many Condominiums. This Bill as well as HB6349 that I wrote about yesterday, flies in the fa...
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By George Souto, Your Connecticut Mortgage Expert
(George Souto NMLS #65149 FHA, CHFA, VA Mortgages)
I spent Wednesday morning in Hartford for Realtor Day At the Capitol, where we were given details on issues that we should consider supporting, and issues that we need to come out enforce against. I plan on covering a couple of the issues that we need to strongly oppose, and one that should be supported.  I will start with the one that probably ticked me off the most House Bill HB 6349, and cover the other two in their own posts. It was no surprise to learn that Connecticut like a lot of other States is hurting for money right now.  It was also no surprise that our State Legislators are trying to come up with creative of ways of coming up with the money to meet their budget, instead of making tough decisions to cut back on spending.  As a result the minds of of our State Legislators hav...
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By George Souto, Your Connecticut Mortgage Expert
(George Souto NMLS #65149 FHA, CHFA, VA Mortgages)
I am fairly new to USDA Loans, because in the past they were limited in where they could be done here in Middlesex County, Connecticut, where I do about 90% of my business. However, this loan program is now available in all of Middlesex County except Middletown, and Cromwell. In fact this Loan Program is now available in most of Connecticut. There are only three Counties that now have limited number of towns that it can be done in, Hartford County, New Haven County, and Fairfield County. The rest of the Counties in the State, there are only one or two towns in each County that it is not available. Here in Connecticut my main go to Loan Product for First Time Homebuyers has been Connecticut Housing Finance Authority (CHFA) which I have blogged several times in the past about. But the USD...
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By George Souto, Your Connecticut Mortgage Expert
(George Souto NMLS #65149 FHA, CHFA, VA Mortgages)
The Middlesex Chamber of Commerce will be conducting a workshop on Social Networking on Wednesday April 22nd from 9:00 to 10:30 a.m. The workshop will actually be conducted by an ActiveRain member in Middlesex County, Connecticut, Diana Bartolatta. This was actually discussed at our monthly Middlesex Realtors Council meeting a couple of months ago, and everyone present felt that this playing a big part in the way we do business today. The goal of the workshop is to help us expand our business, and should benefit all who attend. The workshop will be tailored specifically for the Real Estate Industry, and presented in a way that those who are new to Social Networking will be able to understand. This workshop is free to all who want to attend and will demonstrate methods that we can all us...
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