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It’s About to Be Much Easier for You to Buy a Condo

If you’re interested in becoming a condo homeowner, but haven’t had much luck, this news will be a reason to renew your efforts. 

Today we’d like to make you aware of an upcoming change to FHA condo financing that just might benefit you—especially if you’re a first-time homebuyer. It could also be that you’ve previously tried to purchase a condo with a low down payment and had no such luck. 

Historically, very few condo buyers have qualified to purchase with less money down, so a lot of would-be millennial buyers have opted for apartments instead and the condo homeownership rate among millennials has suffered as a result. Those who are buying are sticking to single-family homes. 



Once this change goes into effect, you’ll likely see condo prices return to healthy levels and more first-time and millennials buyers qualifying to purchase them.


So what changes will soon take effect? 

Starting October 1, the FHA is allowing individual condo units to qualify for mortgage insurance. Until now, individual condo units have been treated as part of the whole, meaning they’ve been subject to rigid guidelines imposed upon the association that governs them. 

Thanks to this change, if one building is entangled in litigation, none of the other buildings within that particular association are affected. That clears the way for millennials to take advantage of lower down payments on condo mortgages. 

Once this change goes into effect, you’ll likely see condo prices return to healthy levels and more first-time and millennials buyers qualifying to purchase them. Mind you, you’ll want to pay attention to the specific guidelines regarding the number of units covered per building, but there will no longer be a long, complex process to get each building passed.    

Whether you’re a first-time, millennial, or condo homebuyer, keep an eye out for this exciting change coming October 1. If you have any questions or would like more information, please don’t hesitate to let us know. We look forward to hearing from you!

Which Is the Better Move: Refinancing or Selling?



Given today’s low rates, should you refinance or sell? Let’s discuss.

Interest rates have hit record lows, which has many homeowners wondering whether they should sell their home outright or refinance it, instead. 

Truth be told, there’s no one-size-fits-all answer, and either option will allow you to cash in on your hard-earned equity. Those more interested in selling their current home and buying a new one will be happy to know that current low rates translate to greater purchasing power, while those with their sights set on refinancing will rejoice in the fact that lower rates mean lower monthly interest payments.




There’s no one-size-fits-all answer as to whether you should sell or refinance right now, but either option will allow you to cash in on your hard-earned equity.


However, refinancing does carry certain fees. So if you plan on buying another property within the next year (or even the next six months), it makes more sense to make that move now rather than refinancing your current home. Conversely, those who are content to remain in their current property for the next few years are likely to see greater benefits from refinancing, rather than plunging into an unplanned move.

Whatever your circumstances may be, we’d be happy to discuss your options with you. If you have any other questions or would like more information, feel free to give us a call or send us an email. We look forward to hearing from you soon.

Why You Should Work With a Local Lender Instead of a National Lender



Why should you work with a local lender instead of a national lender? Today we’ll explain.

Lots of online lenders that have a nationwide reach can be misleading when it comes to getting information about quotes, interest rates, and the fees and services they offer. This is especially problematic for first-time homebuyers in the market who are trying to figure out what their monthly payment would be if they bought a home.

In places like Florida and the Bay Area, things like homeowners insurance rates, property taxes, and closing costs tend to be much higher. A local lender will be more familiar with the specific nuances of your area’s market than a national lender would be, so they’ll be able to use that information to give you a more accurate picture of what your monthly payment would be. They’ll also be able to tell you, for example, whether or not the home you’re purchasing is in a flood zone, which would mean you’d need to get a flood insurance policy with the home—this could also greatly affect your monthly payment.



A local lender will be more familiar with the specific nuances of your area’s market than a national lender would be.

Additionally, national lenders sometimes send you an online calculator that allows you to punch in some information and then shoots out an estimate of your monthly payment. You might think that that’s a great service, but often that estimate is lower than everyone else’s because they use a standardized, fake number for taxes and insurance. They can’t know the taxes and insurance on the house until they actually have a house to assess. So, when it comes to using online calculators, be sure to only pay attention to the principal and interest.

Another thing to consider is that a national lender may offer you a great interest rate, causing you to think you’ve struck gold, but once you look at the loan origination fees, closing costs, and the points that you pay in order to get that rate, you’ll learn that the overall costs may be substantially higher. Make sure that when you’re comparing different lenders, you’re comparing apples to apples.

All in all, working with local lenders will help prevent you from making certain, potentially costly mistakes when it comes to purchasing a house, on top of saving you time and money.

If you have any questions or would like recommendations regarding local lenders we know and trust, reach out to us. We’d love to speak with you.