Real Estate Information Archive


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Home Equity Line Of Credit Freeze (HELCOs)

by Diane Cardano & Team

Dear Friends

There’s a growing trend among lenders that I feel compelled to tell you about.

Several major lenders are freezing withdrawals from Home Equity Lines of Credit (HELOCs) – and I don’t want you to be caught off guard by this development.

Don’t Get Burned by the HELOC Freeze

HELOCs, though secured by your real estate, are treated by lenders as consumer credit. And just as a lender can revise the terms of your credit cards, or even cancel them, the same can be done with your HELOC.

Previously, HELOC withdrawals were usually only frozen for reasons such as bankruptcy, declining credit and payment problems.

While these events can still cause a freeze, there’s another factor that lenders are considering more often today: the value of your property. You should be aware that the lender retains the right to suspend or reduce the line of credit available if your property value falls below the appraised value used to originate the loan. Lenders are actively assessing properties and then suspending access for account holders who have seen a downward slide in their home value.

If you’re in a market that has seen real estate values decline, then access to your HELOC may be at risk. Your financial security and success are my highest priority. Please call me for a Lender Referral to discuss your options in this rapidly changing marketplace.


FHA Loans Are Better Than Ever

by Diane Cardano & Team
 Looking for A Mortgage, FHA may be the right way to go!!! Check it out and call Diane & The Team for an FHA lender referral!!!

The reduction in upfront mortgage insurance (MI) fees on FHA (Federal Housing Administration) loans isn’t the only good news for your aspiring homebuyers. Mortgage companies are now offering the FHA Hybrid ARMs in addition to the traditional fully amortized fixed loan products to best meet your client’s needs.

FHA loans provide many benefits; including less out-of-pocket cash required from the borrower:

  • 2/1 buydown option – customers must qualify at Note rate
  • Minimal cash neededJust a 3% minimum investment that can come from a variety of sources. 
  • Alternative credit references acceptable – utility payment history, insurance premiums.    

  • Increased loan limits: FHA has increased the maximum loan limits determined by median house prices for that area and will vary from county to county.

  • ExpandExpanded loan products: Fixed rate and FHA Hybrid adjustable rate mortgage (ARMs).
  • Reduced appraisal requirements: FHA permits an “as-is” appraisal for existing properties and eliminates required inspections for wood destroying insects/organism, a water well (individual water system), and for a flat roof when certain conditions are met (See Bank of America for details).  

  • Streamlined refinancing: Less documentation and automated underwriting for faster approvals



Choosing A Fence

by Diane Cardano & Team

The decision to erect a fence on your property is usually made for any number of reasons: to provide a safe space for children and pets to play, to increase privacy on your property, or to protect your possessions. In certain situations you may be legally required to erect a fence, the most common one being to enclose a backyard pool.

There are many different types of fences to choose from to best suit your budget and situation. Visit the fence project estimator  to get an idea of cost and how to find a quality fence company in your area.

 Wood Fences. This type of fencing is an excellent choice for privacy fencing and cost effective. Wood fences can be made out of Western red cedar, cypress, or treated pine. When maintained properly, wood fences can endure the harshest weather and provide you with several years of serviceability. Wood fences can come in privacy, picket or rail style.  If you decide to install the fence yourself, here is some tips and suggestions to help you!

Vinyl (PVC) Fencing. Vinyl fences are strong and highly durable - retaining their shape, color and structural integrity. In addition to their attractive appearance, this style of fencing offers many benefits. It is fireproof, wont rust or rot, termite resistant and is virtually maintenance free. While this type of fencing is more costly than wood, you will not need to replace the fence in a few years, they are built to last a lifetime. There are many styles of vinyl fencing available to suit your needs from privacy to picket.

Chain Link Fencing. Chain link fences are an economical way to provide years of maintenance-free security and access control. These types of fences are extremely versatile; they can be made in a variety of heights, and can handle anything from a simple boundary marker for a homeowner to perimeter security. You can also get vinyl coated chain link fences in different colors for added versatility.

Wrought Iron Fences. This style of fencing is extremely durable and has a classic look. They are available in different colors, patterns and heights. This style of fencing can be used for walkways, porches, and perimeter and driveway gates as well. Click here to find wrought iron fencing contractors in your area.

Whether you choose to install the fence your self or hire a professional,  it is important to reference property deeds and legal surveys and not to assume that a prior fence or hedge was located on the property boundary. In some locales, you will need to obtain a building permit prior to the fence installation and be sure to contact your local utility companies to help you determine the location of underground gas, water and power lines.

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Contact Information

Photo of Diane Cardano & Associates Real Estate
Diane Cardano & Associates
CARDANO Realtors
1021 Old York Road, Suite 401
Abington PA 19001
Office: 215-576-8666
Fax: 215-576-8677