Richard Sciarrone

Mortgage Consultant NMLS#: 68051

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Phone: 631-807-8295
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With consumers severely impacted by the coronavirus pandemic, individuals now can examine their credit report more frequently than just once per year. The three primary US national credit reporting agencies, Equifax , Experian and TransUnion , agreed that they will offer free weekly credit reports to Americans for the year to help consumers protect their financial profile during the COVID-19 crisis. The free reports can be obtained from AnnualCreditReport.com . Since consumer credit reports monitor credit activity and payment history used by lenders, creditors, service providers and other businesses to extend credit this will allow consumers to better understand the impact of the crisis on their future financial needs. Consumers are encouraged to review their credit reports frequently to understand the information that is being reported about their payment history. The three credit reporting agencies also have worked with their U.S. trade association, Consumer Data Industry Association, to provide guidance to data furnishers on how to support consumer credit reporting during the pandemic.

As mortgage rates have fallen back to recent lows, there are many people looking to buy a home (or refinance their current one) during the COVID-19 crisis. Unfortunately, both of these loans have become difficult to obtain due to recent impacts on unemployment rates and the economy.  Lenders have been making adjustments to credit criteria to better account for the increased likelihood of forbearance and defaults. According to a survey conducted by the Mortgage Bankers Association in March, mortgage credit availability fell to the lowest level that we’ve seen in five years.  Changing Guidelines for Self-Employed Borrowers  JPMorgan Chase has changed it’s underwriting guidelines to require new mortgage applicants to have a minimum FICO credit score of 700 and the ability to provide a 20% down payment. Typically, some lenders allow self-employed borrowers with a FICO credit score as low as 580 may qualify for a loan with a 20 percent down payment if they can provide 24 months of bank statements proving they can afford their loan payments. Borrowers with a FICO score of 720 or above may be able to qualify for a mortgage with a 10 percent down payment and a lower interest rate. For self-employed applicants, lenders have generally looked to verify the existence of the borrowers’ business, income, and assets within 120 days. Typically, a natural disaster would bring an extension of that timeframe to 180 days before a vendor would have to re-verify income and assets but that window has now shrunk to just 10 days amid the COVID-19 crisis.  New Eligibility for Self-Employed Workers as of April 2020 As of April 10, ...

Why It Is Imperative to Pay HOA fees!

Apr 2
9:46
PM
Category | Blog
Condo living provides many benefits and there are plenty of buyers are looking to enjoy or invest in an amenity filled community lifestyle.  During these tumultuous times here are some things to keep in mind regarding condominium communities and mortgage financing. MOST IMPORTANT: Protecting Homeowner Investment & Community Worth It behooves all residents to stay up to date with HOA fees to keep their community in good standing in order to secure the maximum value of their investment.  Home Owner Associations and owners equally want to safeguard their real estate assets by preserving the equity of each unit and the entire development. Keeping Communities Safe & Well Maintained When working with sellers, buyers or investors, it’s a good idea to remind them that keeping current with HOA fee payments is essential. When finances are precarious it is tempting to skip a fee, but if many neighbors have the same inclination, the entire neighborhood can suffer as maintenance may be interrupted or scaled back, creating potential safety concerns or aesthetically unpleasing upkeep.  Homeowners and realtors alike strive to present listings in the most appealing light to obtain the properties’ optimum worth . The Mortgage Effect Having a significant number of owners in HOA fee arrears within a community adversely affects everyone. For instance, “approved” developments (per Fannie, Freddie & FHA guidelines*) may lose their status if 15% or more residents fall behind on fees. Why is this important? By losing a positive evaluation, a substantial pool of potential buyers is eliminated. ...

More than 1 in 4 mortgaged properties were considered to be equity rich in the fourth quarter of 2019 according to the latest U.S. Home Equity and Underwater Report by the real estate data company ATTOM Data Solutions.  Making the Cut A total of 14.5 million homes within the United States, 26.7% of mortgaged properties, were considered to be equity rich. For a home to be classified as “equity rich”, the combined estimated amounts of loans on the property must be 50% or less of the property’s market value. While this share was unchanged from the third quarter of the year, the figure is up from 25.6% in the fourth quarter of 2018. On the other hand, 6.4% of mortgaged properties were considered to be underwater. “Underwater” homes have combined loans on the home that are worth at least 25% more than the property’s market value. This share has inched down from 6.4% in the third quarter of the year and is also down 2.4 percentage points from the previous year. Good News for New York The highest shares of equity rich properties during Q3 2019 were located in both the Northeast and the West: California                 +40.8% Hawaii                      +39.2% Vermont                   +39.0% New York                 +35.7% Washington             +35.6% States with the lowest percentages of equity-rich properties were ...

It’s no secret that New York home sellers have quite the variety of buyers to choose from so it’s important to make sure that your offer stands out from the crowd. The best way to get the competitive edge you’ll need in this competitive market is to get pre-approved for a mortgage. The resulting pre-approval letter lets home sellers and real-estate agents know that you’re serious while alerting lenders that you may be taking out a mortgage soon. Know How Much You Can Borrow  It’s easy to get caught up in the excitement of your search and look for homes outside of your budget. Getting pre-approved can help you set realistic expectations for your finances so you can focus on homes within your price range. It’s important to review your budget and make sure that your loan amount is one that you’re comfortable with.  Make a Competitive Offer Getting pre-approved for a mortgage lets sellers know that a lender has reviewed your current financial situation and determined that you can afford to buy a house. As a result, sellers can be confident that the process is unlikely to get derailed because you can’t secure the proper financing.  Be Aware of Potential Problems While each lender’s process can vary, many will review your credit history, income, and assets before granting a pre-approval. Many people realize that there’s some work to do before making their first offer. From paying down debts, saving for a larger down payment, or resolving inaccuracies on your credit report, it’s important to take care of any potential issues before you make an offer.   ...

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