Bea Chaiklin

Senior Loan Officer NMLS#: 59771

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The latest mortgage rate forecasts for New Jersey and the nation suggest that borrowing costs could rise gradually over the coming months. Analysts from two key organizations have predicted that 30-year loan rates could rise above 4% by the start of 2018. (They were averaging 3.83% as of September 21, 2017.)

Housing and economic forecasts are an imperfect science. Mortgage rate forecasts for New Jersey are the equivalent of an educated guess. Still, they do offer some useful insight into how the market might change over the coming months. And if the latest predictions prove accurate, that change could be summed up with just two words: gradual rise.

Two Mortgage Rate Forecasts for New Jersey Borrowers

According to the latest forecasts, mortgage rates in New Jersey are expected to rise gradually through the end of 2017 and also throughout 2018.

On September 20, the economists at Freddie Mac publish their latest long-range forecast for the U.S. economy and the housing market. Among other things, this report includes an outlook for lending rates.

Freddie Mac’s analysts expect that the average rate for a 30-year fixed home will end up averaging 4.0% for 2017. Looking beyond that, they expect the benchmark 30-year loan to average 4.4% during 2018. This is just one of several forecasts that suggest New Jersey mortgage rates could climb over the months ahead.

Similarly, the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) updated its ...


FHA-insured mortgage loans are a popular financing option among home buyers in New Jersey. They’re especially popular with first-time buyers, though they are not limited to this group. Here’s a quick look at the basic FHA loan requirements for New Jersey borrowers, updated for 2017.

FHA Loan Requirements in New Jersey

The Federal Housing Administration’s mortgage insurance program is managed by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). So it is HUD that establishes all of the guidelines and requirements for FHA loans issued to New Jersey borrowers.

Many of these guidelines can be found in HUD Handbook 4000.1, also known as the Single-Family Housing Policy Handbook. But that resource contains nearly 1,000 pages, and you’re a busy person. So we’ve pulled out a few of the most importantrequirements for an FHA loan in New Jersey.

Related: A forecast for the NJ housing market

A Minimum Down Payment of 3.5%

New Jersey home buyers who use an FHA loan to purchase a house must make a down payment of at least 3.5%. Specifically, that’s 3.5% of the purchase price or the appraised value, whichever is less. HUD refers to this as the minimum required investment, or MRI.

The good news is you can obtain down-payment funds from a third party, such as a family member or employer. FHA allows for “gift funds” from a variety of sources, including family members, ...


What is a Survey?

Sep 11
11:51
AM
Category | Blog

What is a Survey?  

A survey is a graphic description of a property, similar to a map, outlining its legal boundaries, dimensions and other features such as structures, roads, driveways, fences, easements, setbacks, flood zones and elevation. It is typically ordered by your attorney or the title company.

Cost:

The cost varies depending on the size and complexity of the property along with other features such as staking each property corner. Without corner stakes the cost of a survey ranges from $700-$1,000.

Why get a Survey?

Surveys are conducted to determine the boundaries between parcels of real estate and are used to determine the exact legal area of ground that will be transferred when a property is sold.   A land survey will give you important information including if the property is in a flood-zone and if the deed shown to you by the seller indeed reflects the correct size of the property being transacted.   The Survey will also determine whether all structures are completely within your property’s boundaries and meet municipal requirements for the required distance, commonly known as setback, from your property’s border.


Understanding Title Insurance

Sep 1
2:42
PM
Category | Blog

When you buy a home, you “take title” to the property and establish legal ownership which is documented by recording your deed in the county’s public records. The objective of title insurance is to protect a buyer’s rights and interest in the property and to assure the property transfer is secure.  In the event that there is an error in the process, the title insurance policy protects you from any financial exposure as a result of those errors.

Prior to issuing the title policy, the title company will obtain a title search which is needed to discover any liens against the property so they can satisfied prior to or at closing.   Approximately 25 percent of all residential real estate transactions have issues with the title and in almost all cases get resolved prior to closing.  The following are some examples of title issues:

  • Unpaid liens for real estate taxes
  • Mechanic liens from contractors who worked on the home but were never paid
  • Judgments, state or federal taxes or business loans owed by the seller
  • Mistakes in the legal description of the property or human error on previously recorded documents
  • Paid mortgages that were not properly discharged

There are two types ...


How the VA Views Credit Scores

Aug 14
10:04
AM
Category | Blog

The VA doesn’t require a certain credit score. Rather, the VA does task approved lenders to determine the veteran has established a responsible credit history over recent years. However, individual lenders do require a minimum score with few exceptions. The most common minimum credit score is 620.

There are three main credit repositories

  • Experian
  • Equifax
  • TransUnion

 All three use the same FICO algorithm to calculate a credit score. Yet while they all use the same algorithm most often the three scores are different.

 For instance, a veteran submits a loan application for an approval, the lender then pulls a credit report as well as requests credit scores. The three reported scores are 710, 701 and 719. In practice, the lender will throw out the highest and lowest score and use the middle one.

 If there are two people on the loan application the lender will also pull scores from the second borrower and use the lowest middle score of the two applicants. These scores may be different because different merchants report payment activity at different times and may not subscribe to all three agencies.

The five categories that affect a credit score and to what extent are:

  • Payment history contributing 35% to the score
  • Available credit at 30%
  • Length of credit 15%
  • Types of credit 10%
  • Credit inquiries also 10% of the score.
...

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