American Security Mortgage

“Onslow County Economy Fastest Growing in Nation”

Published: Friday, January 25, 2013 at 08:00 AM.

Onslow County is America’s fastest-growing county over the past five years, according to a federal agency that tracks economics.

Total personal income in Onslow climbed 55.5 percent, from $5.3 billion in 2006 to $8.3 billion in 2011, according to the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis. Total personal income is defined as the amount of money earned by all residents of a given area in a particular year.

Douglas County, Colo., a Denver suburb, ranked No. 2. Rounding out the top five were Loudoun County, Va.; Paulding County, Ga.; Fort Bend County, Texas; and Pinal County, Ariz.

Wayne County, Mich., home to Detroit, is last on the list.

Onslow’s booming economy is fueled by Marines and sailors stationed at Camp Lejeune and New River Air Station, according to a recent report in the Charlotte Business Journal.

But that’s just a third of the story, said Shelia Pierce, director of Jacksonville-Onslow Economic Development.

“Our economy is powered by the U.S. Marine Corps, of course, but Onslow County also has a wide agricultural base and its tourism, which is beginning to be recognized at the national level, is a major component as well,” she said.

The military, agriculture and tourism are the top three economic areas for North Carolina, which bodes well that they are also the top for Onslow County, she said.

“Our local economy will stay secure for some time,” Pierce said, adding that now is the time to invest in infrastructure.

Onslow County Manager Jeff Hudson said growth in the county has been pronounced in the past few years.

“Information from our tax office and our building inspections offices verify that fact,” he said.

Onslow County’s total estimated tax base is $13.2 billion, said Harry Smith, the county tax administrator.

Hudson said an increasing county population has begun to strain the services provided by local government. But he said the county is committed to providing services to the expanding population as efficiently as possible.

“Onslow remains committed to high quality local government,” he said.

Contact Daily News Senior Reporter Lindell Kay at 910-219-8455 or lindell.kay@jdnews.com. Follow him on Twitter and friend him on Facebook @ 1lindell.

April 17, 2013 by · Leave a Comment

Courting The Owner – Make your offer sizzle with this tip!

Just as temperatures are starting to rise, so are multiple offers on the most attractive properties in many markets.  To stand out from the pack, consider penning a love letter to the seller telling them what you adore about the house and why you are the best suitor to end up with it.

 

Courting the owner

In this digital age, there’s something nice about getting a personal letter written, even if it comes from someone you are doing business with.

 

What to include in the letter

  • Specific features or things that you like about the house and the community.
  • How long you’ve been looking.
  • A little bit about yourselves, including names and ages of any kids.
  • Anything that speaks to your purchasing power or creditworthiness.
  • A commitment to the house and a willingness to do “whatever it takes” to land it.
  • Anything else you and the seller have in common.
  • A picture of yourselves. 

 

Keep it short and sweet and don’t give so many compliments that the sellers think they’ve underpriced the home.

 

Make your offer even stronger by pairing it with a pre-approval letter from American Security Mortgage.  We close quickly!

April 17, 2013 by · Leave a Comment

When Applying For A Loan, Put Yourself In The Lender’s Shoes

When Applying
North American Precis SyndicateNCCOAST

(NAPSI)—If someone you didn’t know asked to borrow money from you, what would you need to know before you took the risk of making the loan? Most likely, you would want to know that this person had borrowed money before and had a good track record of repaying it.

Banks and other lenders are no different. They decide whether to loan you money based in part on the history they see on your credit report. They use this information to determine how much of a risk you are—the lower your credit risk, the lower the interest rate they charge you.

So what do lenders look for when they size you up?

1. Your payment track record. Whether you’re applying for a credit card, cell phone service or new utilities hookup, creditors want to see that you have a history of making regular, on-time payments. A single missed payment can lower your score. Bankruptcies, collections, judgments, defaults, liens, foreclosures or repossessions may result in a decline.

2. Your current debts. The less you owe, the better. What you spend each month on credit payments shouldn’t be more than 40 percent of your total after-tax income. This is known as your debt-to-income ratio.

3. Your credit history. Naturally, lenders want to see that you have a long, consistent track record of repaying what you owe.

4. New accounts. Lenders also want to see how much new debt you’re taking on. So it’s important to remember that each application you submit—regardless of whether you’re approved—will show up on your credit report and potentially lower your score.

5. Types of credit. Creditors want to see that you’ve had experience using different types of credit. They look more favorably, however, on some types of credit than others:

a. A mortgage looks good as long as you’ve kept up your payments.

b. Vehicle loans and bank loans can show a history of repaying a significant amount of money consistently over time.

c. Credit cards can be a plus, as long as you’ve made regular payments and don’t apply for multiple new cards in a short period of time. Avoid using more than 35 percent of your total available credit.

When is the last time you checked your credit report?

It’s important to keep tabs on your credit report so you can:

• Know what lenders will see when you apply for credit

• Be sure the information is correct—and if it’s not, take steps to get it corrected

• See where you may have opportunities to improve your score.

By law, you can request a free credit report once every 12 months from each of the nation-wide consumer credit-reporting companies: Equifax, Experian and TransUnion.

You can order all three reports online at annualcreditreport.com.

April 10, 2013 by · Leave a Comment

DID YOU KNOW…

DID YOU KNOW…American Securiy Mortgage is regularly able to approve loans that would have been declined by other lenders.
No Minimum Number of Trade Lines Prospective buyer moves to NC looking for a place to live. He has a mid 600 credi…

t score but no current trade lines on his credit report. We were able to approve him for a new home purchase using his VA loan and he’ll soon be paying less for his mortgage than he would have paid in rent.
Credit Repair Prospective buyer has been thinking for sometime about buying but is unsure how to fix his credit. After a consultation, we were able to enact a credit repair plan. Now his credit score is up over the 620 minimum and he is out looking at houses this week.
Bankruptcy Prospective buyers have found the home of their dreams, however, they declared bankruptcy a little less than 2 years ago. We conditionally approved their loan and conditioned for closing to occur the day after their 2 year bankruptcy mark. As a result, they made an offer on the home of their dreams and will soon be the owner of that property.

November 5, 2012 by · Leave a Comment

Why Pay A Commission?

Homeowners attempting to sell their home without the assistance of a real estate professional generally do so for one and one reason only: to avoid paying a commission fee. Is it worth it? Only the homeowner can answer that, but experience has shown that many for-sale-by-owners find that it’s not. Before making a costly mistake, consider the benefits, from A-Z, you receive from working with a trained real estate professional:

Advertising-Agent pays all advertising costs

Bargain-Research shows 77% of sellers felt their commission was “well spent”

Contract Writing-An agent can supply standard forms to speed the transaction

Details-Agent frees you from handling the many details of selling a home

Experience/Expertise-Agent knows marketing, financing, negotiations, and more.

Financial Know-How-Agent is aware of the many options for financing the sale

Glossary-real estate professional understands, and can explain, real estate lingo.

Homework-Agent will do homework on how to best market your home.

Information-Agent will know or can get the answer to your questions.

Juggle Showings-Agents will schedule and handle all showings.

Keeps Your Best Interests in Mind-It’s an agent’s job!

Laws-Agents will be up-to-date on real estate laws that affect you.

Multiple Listing Service-Most effective means of bringing together buyers and sellers.

Negotiation-Agent can handle all price and contract negotiations.

Open Houses-Popular marketing technique.

Prospects-Agent has a network of contacts that can produce potential buyers.

Qualifies Buyers-Avoid opening your home to “curiosity seekers.”

REALTOR®-Agent and member of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® who subscribes to a strict code of ethics.

Suggested Price-Agent will do a market analysis to establish a fair price range.

Time-Is one of the most valuable resources in an agent.

Unbiased Opinion-Most owners are too emotional about their home to be objective.

VIP-That’s how you’ll be treated by your agent!

Wisdom-Agent can offer wisdom that comes with experience.

X Marks the Spot-Agent is there with you through the final signing of papers.

Yard Signs-Agent provides professional signs, encouraging serious buyers.

Zero-hour Support-Selling a home can be emotional; an agent can help.

from NCCOAST Homes Magazine, Coastal Coast Edition  May 25-June 29, 2012

 

2012 by

November 1, 2012 by · Leave a Comment

“Jacksonville makes prestigious Kiplinger Best Cities List!”

How Does Your City Stack Up?

Updated July 2012

Here are the 361 U.S. metropolitan areas that Kiplinger’s Personal Finance  considered for its list of Best Cities for Every Age, 2012. Find out where your  city ranks by sorting the criteria below. The Cost of Living Index is based on  100 being the national average. Job growth is the increase in employment from  2006 to 2011. Income growth is the increase in household income from 2006 to  2011.

Read more and view the Chart Here

September 6, 2012 by · Leave a Comment

12 Things You Should Know About VA Loans

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Get your FREE Copy of the

“12 Facts You Need to Know

 About VA Loans” Today!

August 27, 2012 by · Leave a Comment

Seven Things Your Agent Should Know About Your Mortgage Approval

While many experienced real estate agents have a general understanding of the mortgage approval process, there are a few important details that frequently get overlooked which may cause a purchase to be delayed or denied.

New regulation, updated disclosures, appraisal guidelines, mortgage rate pricing premiums, credit score, secondary approval layering, rescission deadlines, property type, HOA insurance requirements, title and property flip rules are just a few of the daily changes that can have a serious impact on a borrower’s home loan financing.

With today’s volatile lending environment, it’s obviously important for home buyers to get a full loan approval which clearly defines all contingencies that pertain to each unique home buyer’s scenario prior to spending any time looking at new homes with an agent.

Either way, we’ve listed a few of the top things your agent should keep in mind while showing you new properties:

Caution – Agents Beware:

Property Type –

High-Rise, Condo, Town House, Single Family Residence, Dome Home or Shoe House… all have specific lending guidelines that can influence down payment, credit score and mortgage insurance requirements.

Residence Type

Need to sell one home before moving into another? Is a property considered a second home if it’s in the same city?  What if I’m buying a home for my children to live in, it is still considered an investment property?

These are just a few of several possible residence related questions that should be addressed by your agent and loan officer at the initial loan application.

Rates / Locks

Mortgage Rates are typically locked for a 30 day period, and one of the only ways to get a new rate is to switch mortgage lenders.  Rates also have certain adjustments for property / residence type, credit score and down payment which could have a big impact on monthly payments and therefore approvals.

A 1% increase in rate could literally mean the difference between an approval or denial.

Headline News / Employment

Underwriters watch the news as well.  Borrowers who work in a volatile industry during hard economic times may have to jump through a few extra hoops to prove that their employment and income is secure.

Job changes, periods of unemployment or property location in relation to the subject property are other things to consider that may cause a speed bump in the approval process.

Title / Property Flip –

A Flip is considered a property that has been purchased by an investor and quickly sold to a new buyer within a 30-90 day period.  Generally, an investor will do a little rehab work, fresh paint, landscaping…. and try to re-sell the property for a significant profit margin.

While it seems like a perfectly fair transaction, many lenders have strict guidelines in place that prevent borrowers from obtaining financing on properties that have a previous owner with less than 90 days of documented ownership.

These rules change frequently, and are specific to particular property types, so make sure your agent is aware of all the boundaries associated with your approval letter.

Homeowner’s Association Insurance

Some lenders require Condos and Town House communities to have sufficient insurance and reserves coverage pertaining to specific ratios on units that are owner occupied vs rented.

It may also take a few weeks and cost up to $300 to receive an HOA Certification, so make sure your Due-Diligence period is set accordingly in the purchase contract.

Appraisal Ordering Procedures

Appraisal ordering guidelines are changing quite frequently as regulators implement many new consumer protection laws created to prevent future foreclosure epidemics.

Unfortunately, some of the new appraisal regulations have proven to slow the home buying process down, as well as confuse lenders about the true estimate of neighborhood values.

VA, FHA and Conventional loan programs all have separate appraisal ordering policies, so make sure your agent is aware of which loan you’re approved for so that they document any anticipated delays in the purchase contract.

For example, if an appraisal takes three weeks and the average time for an approval is two weeks, then it probably isn’t smart to write a purchase contract with a four week close of escrow.

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Related Articles – Home Buying Process:

April 1, 2010 by · Leave a Comment

Do I Need To Sell My Home Before I Can Qualify For A New Mortgage On Another Property?

Although every situation is unique, it is not uncommon for homebuyers to qualify for a mortgage on a new home while still living in their primary residence.

Perhaps you are outgrowing your current house, or have been forced to relocate due to a job transfer?  Regardless of the motivation for keeping one property while purchasing another, let’s address this question with the mortgage approval in mind:

So, Do I Have To Sell?

Yes. No. Maybe. It depends.

Welcome to the wonderful world of mortgage lending. Only in this industry can one simple question elicit four answers…and all of them may be right.

If you are in a financial position where you qualify to afford both your current residence and the proposed payment on your new house, then the simple answer is No!

Qualifying based on your Debt-to-Income Ratio is one thing, but remember to budget for the additional expenses of maintaining multiple properties. Everything from mortgage payments, increased property taxes and hazard insurance to unexpected repairs should be factored into your final decision.

What If I Rent My Current Property?

This scenario presents the “maybe” and the “it depends” answers to the question.

If you’re not quite qualified to carry both mortgages, you may have to rent the other property in order to offset the mortgage payment.

In that scenario, the lender will typically only count 75% of the monthly rent you are proposing to receive.

So if you are going to receive $1000 a month in rent and your current payment is $1500, the lender is going to factor in an additional $750 of monthly liabilities in your overall Debt-to-Income Ratios.

Another detail that can present a huge hurdle is the reserve requirement and equity ratio most lenders have. In some cases, if you are going to rent out your current home, you will need to have at least 25% equity in order to offset your payment with the proposed rent you will receive.

Without that hefty amount of equity, you will have to qualify to afford BOTH mortgage payments. You will also need some significant cash in the bank.

Generally, lenders will require six months reserve on the old property, as well as six month reserves on the new property.

For example, if you have a $1500 payment on your old house and are buying a home with a $2000 monthly payment, you will need over $21,000 in the bank.

Keep in mind, this reserve requirement is incremental to your down payment on the new property.

What If I Can’t Qualify Based On Both Mortgage Payments?

This answer is pretty straightforward, and doesn’t require a financial calculator to figure out.

If you are in this situation, then you will have to sell your current home before buying a new one.

If you aren’t sure of the value of the home or how your local market is performing, give us a ring and we’ll happily refer you to a great real estate agent that is in tune with property values in your neighborhood.

…..

As you can tell, purchasing one home while living in another can be a very complicated transaction.  Please feel free to contact us anytime so we can review your specific situation and suggest the proper action plan.

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Related Articles – Mortgage Approval Process:

April 1, 2010 by · Leave a Comment

What Do Appraisers Look For When Determining A Property’s Value?

Most people are surprised to learn what appraisers actually look at when determining the value of a real estate property.

A common misconception homeowners generally have is that the value of their home is determined after the appraiser has completed their physical property inspection.

However, the appraiser actually already has a good idea of the property’s value by the time they have scheduled an appointment to stop by the property.

The good news is that you don’t have to worry so much about pushing back an appointment a few days just to “clean things up” in order to help influence the value of your property.

While a clean house will certainly make it easier for the appraiser to notice improvements, the only time you should be concerned about “clutter” is if it is damaging to the dwelling.

The Key Components Addressed In An Appraisal

The Site:

Location, view, topography, lot size, utilities, zoning, external factors, highest and best use, landscaping features…

Design:

Quality of construction, finish work, fixed appliances and any defining features

Condition:

Age, deterioration, renovations, upgrades, added features

Health & Safety:

Structural integrity, code compliance

Size:

Above grade and below grade improvements

Neighborhood:

Is the property conforming to the neighborhood?

Functional Utility:

Is the property functional as built – style and use?

Parking:

Garages, Carports, Shops, etc..

Other:

Curb appeal, lot size, & conforming to the neighborhood are obvious to the appraiser when they drive down into the neighborhood pull up in front of your home.

When entering your home, they are going to look at the overall design, condition, finish work, upgrades, any defining features, functional utility, square footage, number of rooms and health and safety items.

Be sure to have all carbon monoxide and smoke detectors in working condition.

Since the appraisal provides half the weight in any credit decision involving the security of real estate, the appraisal should be done by a qualified, licensed appraiser whom is familiar with your neighborhood, and the type of home you are buying, selling or refinancing.

If you’re interested in what specifically appraisers are looking for, here is a copy of the blank 1040 URAR form that is used by every appraiser in the country.

Related Update on HVCC:

Appraisers hired for a mortgage transaction on a conforming loan are chosen from a pool of qualified appraisers at random. Neither you nor your lender has the flexibility of deciding which appraiser will inspect your home.

This recent change was brought on with the Home Valuation Code of Conduct HVCC, and is effective with conventional loans originated on or after May 1, 2009.

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Related Appraisal Articles:

March 29, 2010 by · Leave a Comment

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