Real Estate Information Archive

Blog

Displaying blog entries 1-10 of 19

Financing Myth #6

by Diane Cardano-Casacio & Her Team

I’m purchasing my first home and my available investment cash is minimal.  This means that I must get an FHA loan, right?

There are several advantages to an FHA loan: 1) it is possible to add some of the costs of financing to you loan amount, 2) the mortgage insurance premium can also be added to your loan amount, 3) FHA underwriting guidelines are more liberal on your debt to income ratio (you can possible qualify for a slightly higher loan amount), 4) interest rates are typically more attractive than conventional mortgage rates.  Notice that most of the advantages increase how much you can borrow.  You are (essentially) leveraging yourself into a higher debt position just to compensate for a couple of factors.  Even if you go with conventional financing, there is a good chance you can negotiate with the seller of a property to pay closing costs when negotiating the purchase of a property.

 

As noted previously, lenders are constantly creating new loan programs. One of the current focal points for new programs is related to the first time homebuyers market.  Many barriers to home financing for the first time purchasers have been removed from the process to the extent that first time purchasers should definitely examine the

benefits to conventional financing.  There are even a few conventional products which require only 3.5% down payment with the option of the lender helping out with the closing costs and prepaid expenses.

To get pre-approved, contact us at 215-576-8666 or go to www.MontgomeryLoansNow.com!

Financing Myth #5

by Diane Cardano-Casacio & Her Team

5. It is important to get a detailed estimate of closing costs from all lenders I call  since loan closing costs vary widely from lender to lender.

Costs associated with purchasing your real estate are not controlled by the lender.  They include expenses such as attorney fees, title insurance, survey, recording fees, appraisal, and termite inspection.  These are costs which anyone will be required pay when purchasing a home regardless of loan amount or lender. All these expenses are provided by independent professionals who are not affiliated with your prospective mortgage lender.  It can be confusing if you compare these expenses item by item. Based upon individual experiences, each loan officer offers their best estimate as to what each cost might be and there will be some differences between individual loan officers.

 

When your loan officer prepares the good faith estimate, they will also include an estimate  for establishing your escrow account for future payment of taxes,  insurance, and mortgage insurance (often refered to as pre-paids). Property taxes are set by the appropriate government taxing authority.  Unfortunately, property taxes are not negotiable.  Premiums for homeowners insurance are set by the insurance company you select.  All mortgage lenders will require that you pay your first year homeowner’s insurance plus two additional months at closing.  All lenders work off of a schedule based upon the time of year that you close in determining how much is placed into escrow account will vary between lenders.  The regulatory agencies (Fannie Mae) only require you to disclose two months property taxes for escrow.  But, depending on when your closing is scheduled, you may be required to pre-pay up to 11 months of property taxes.  Again, based upon individual experience each loan officer will offer you what they believe is a reasonable estimate of your monthly taxes and homeowners insurance.

 

The most accurate method to compare lenders (in terms of closing expenses) is to ask about their specific fees for: Loan Origination, Underwriting Fees, Tax Service Fees, etc.  All lenders will offer a different set of scheduled fees and each has a tendency to establish unique names for each of these fees.  It is important to make sure you obtain all of these loan charges and fees.

You should also compare discount points charged by various lenders if you are considering advance payment to reduce your interest rate.  Discount points may be paid at closing to reduce the interest rate of your loan over the term of your mortgage.

Pay It Forward

by Diane Cardano-Casacio & Her Team

Ever Heard Of The Phrase "Pay It Forward"?

It means share, discuss, give, refer to someone else something that could benefit them.

As first class real estate consultants, 85% of our business comes from referrals, from clients paying it forward to their friends and family.

Our goal with all of our clients is that they are so outrageously happy with the service we provide them, that they gladly refer at least 2 people who are thinking about buying or selling a home- before we even finish helping them. The great thing is- it actually happens! People are that excited about what we do for them, they want to pass it on.

If you are thinking about buying or selling real estate and don't know where to start, may we suggest a consultation with Diane and the Team? We provide a no-pressure, no obligation consultation or room by room review for our sellers.

To schedule yours, call us at 215-567-8666 or email us at dianeandteam@consultantsforlife.com

 

Seller Advantages To Pre-Market Home Inspections

by Diane Cardano-Casacio & Her Team
The idea of the seller having their home inspected before it goes on the market is starting to become more popular these days. This has been a practice of The Diane Cardano Team for years and there are many benefits to sellers. Here are a few:
  • The seller can schedule the inspections at the seller's convenience.
  • It might alert the seller of any items of immediate personal concern, such as radon gas or active termite infestation.
  • The seller can have the inspector correct any misstatements in the inspection report before it is generated.
  • The report can help the seller realistically price the home if problems exist.
  • The report can help the seller substantiate a higher asking price if problems don't exist or have been corrected.
  • A seller inspection reveals problems ahead of time which:
    • might make the home show better.
    • gives the seller time to make repairs and shop for competitive contractors.
    • permits the seller to attach repair estimates or paid invoices to the inspection report.
    • removes over-inflated buyer procured estimates from the negotiation table.
  • The report might alert the seller to any immediate safety issues found, before agents and visitors tour the home.
  • The report provides a third-party, unbiased opinion to offer to potential buyers.
  • A seller inspection permits a clean home inspection report to be used as a marketing tool.
  • A seller inspection is the ultimate gesture in forthrightness on the part of the seller.
  • The report might relieve a prospective buyer's unfounded suspicions, before they walk away.
  • A seller inspection lightens negotiations and 11th-hour renegotiations.
  • The report might encourage the buyer to waive the inspection contingency.
  • The deal is less likely to fall apart the way they often do when a buyer's inspection unexpectedly reveals a problem, last minute.
  • The report provides full-disclosure protection from future legal claims.

To find out other secrets The Diane Cardano Team uses to help sell your home fast and for top dollar, give us a call at 215-576-8666!

 Taken From: http://www.nachi.org/sellerinspections.htm

$15,000 First Time Home Buyer Credit?

by Diane Cardano-Casacio & Her Team

Will the $8,000 First-Time Home Buyer Tax Credit Expand to $15,000?

June 12, 2009 05:31 PM ET

In an effort to jump-start the ailing housing market, Sen. Johnny Isakson, a Republican from Georgia (and a former real estate professional) has introduced legislation that would beef up the tax credit for first-time home buyers. Under the terms of his bill, which was introduced Wednesday, the size of the credit would expand to a maximum of $15,000 from the previous cap of $8,000, and it could be taken by anyone who buys a primary residence, instead of only by first-time home buyers. The bill would also remove the income limits that had prevented individuals making more than $75,000 a year from claiming the credit, which would be available for a year after the date of the bill's enactment.

Isakson played a crucial role in establishing the $8,000 tax credit and believes it has been successful in bringing first-time home buyers into the market. But he argues that the current tax incentive is insufficient because it misses a second set of buyers who are essential to a housing recovery. "We don't have a recession in first-time home buyers," a statement from the senator said. "We have a recession in the move-up market." The legislation aims to convince these "move-up" buyers that, despite falling real estate prices and mounting job losses, now is the time to buy that larger house.

Bringing the move-up buyers back into the market is a key for a housing recovery, says James Gillespie, president and chief executive of Coldwell Banker Real Estate. "There are so many people out there that have had a lifestyle change that has taken place in their families in the last three or four years—whether it is a birth, multiple births, a marriage, a job promotion—and they are either still in their apartment or they are in their starter home or their second home, knowing that they should be moving up," he says. Given the current market turbulence, many such buyers remain on the sidelines because they are concerned that if they buy a home today, it could decline in value in the future. "A $15,000 tax credit takes that [concern] off the books," Gillespie says.

Senator Isakson's bill would give a significant boost to the real estate market, says Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody's Economy.com. "I think it would have a meaningful impact on the housing market," Zandi says. "I don't think it puts an end to [the slide in home prices], but I think it helps to ensure that they don't crash further."

Industry groups have thrown support behind efforts to expand the first-time home buyer tax credit. The Business Roundtable pledged its support this week for key provisions of Isakson's bill, and the National Association of Realtors and the National Association of Home Builders also are in favor of expanding the scope of the credit.

But Isakson's bill faces an uphill battle in Congress. With the public growing increasingly frustrated with federal bailouts and massive government spending, lawmakers won't be eager be to sign off on a second handout for home buyers. Isakson says his bill would cost about $32 billion over one year.

"The overall concern is the funding," Gillespie said after he returned from a trip to Washington to rally support for expanding the tax credit. Gillespie met with a handful of members of Congress, including House Financial Services Committee Chairman Barney Frank, a Massachusetts Democrat.

"Is there going to be any dramatic action [on the legislation]? I don't think so," Gillespie continued. "But the message was definitely heard, and they totally understand that housing is vital to our economy."

"In the Senate, I think it will pass. It's the House where I worry about the most opposition," Isakson said in an interview.

Could that outlook change? It's possible. If mortgage rates—which have gone up sharply in recent weeks—continue rising, Congress could come to see the expanded tax credit as a viable option to offset escalating housing costs. Or another sharp drop in housing or economic data could convince lawmakers that additional tax incentives are needed. "My guess is that if the economy does continue to struggle . . . if these rates stay higher and the scenario that the recession will end this year is wrong, then there will be another stimulus package early next year, and [the expanded tax credit] could be part of it," Zandi says.

Taken From: http://www.usnews.com/blogs/the-home-front/2009/06/12/will-the-8000-first-time-home-buyer-tax-credit-expand-to-15000.html

Search For Homes Here!

by Diane Cardano-Casacio & Her Team

Are you tired of looking at homes online only to find that they are sold or that the information is old?

Then check out our new search site, www.nomorerentcheck.com to view all homes in the realtor Multiple Listing Service.

Call us if you'd like to view any of these homes! 215-576-8666

Rain Drenched

by Diane Cardano-Casacio & Her Team
By Anthony R. Woodand Jacqueline L. Urgo

At the Shore, the sand is the texture of thick, cold porridge. On the mainland, a promising strawberry season has met a painfully premature end. And if you feel as though you've been living under a cloud for a month - you have.

Whatever songwriters Rodgers and Hammerstein had in mind by the phrase, "fresh and alive and gay and young, June is a love song sweetly sung," this probably wasn't it.

June 2009 has been a month that only a fungus could love.

The next clear day in Philadelphia - and showers are in the forecast at least through Sunday - will be the first of the month. Officially, rain has fallen on 14 of the 18 days at the airport. The 3.4-inch total is 1.59 above normal. The temperature has yet to go above 85, and it's been so chilly at night that even people without air-conditioning are keeping the windows closed.

With the ground soaked with sun-repelling moisture and the weather pattern stubborn, some meteorologists are wondering if this will become the summer without a heat wave. And all these rains could affect crops into the fall.

In the meantime, the gloom is having more immediate effects.

"It's been horrible," said Laurie Spann, 28, a Philadelphia graduate student who is working as a casino beach-bar waitress in Atlantic City, where rainfall for the month is 170 percent of normal. "If it rains, it means no customers - no work.

"I've been down here since late May, and thanks to the weather I've probably made less than 500 bucks in tips so far," Spann said.

"It's so wet I think I'm going to sell my truck and buy a boat," said Alex Falcone, owner of Panini's restaurant in Old City, where business is down 40 to 50 percent. In April, he beefed up his staff for the tourist season - and then had to lay off the new hires. He blames the weather more than the economy.

"There's nothing I can do about it, that's for sure," he said. "You can't fight mother nature."

Across the river at the Pennsauken Country Club, general manager Robert G. Prickett said he's seen nothing like this in his 33 years at the golf course.

"We're way down," Prickett said, flipping open a notebook showing that from January through May, the course had 80 no-play days - meaning no one showed up to play.

"If you're a fungus you're happy," said Timothy E. Elkner, an educator at the Lancaster County Penn State Cooperative Extension, proving that you can't displease all the organisms all the time. "There's some smiling pathologists around these days."

The rains have generated a bumper crop of fungi, and an outbreak of fungal rot on the strawberry crop, which exiting a little earlier than usual this year, thanks to the rot and rain.

"When you get these really hard rains, it just beats up the strawberries," he said.

The rains have clouded the outlook for the rest of the rest of the crops, experts said.

"It's more of an indirect effect," said Raymond J. Samulis, interim chief of the Rutgers University agricultural extension in Gloucester County. "It's preventing farmers from getting out into the field." The rains could have an impact on some of the sweet corn and soybean harvests, he added.

"It's just not very pleasant out there," Samulis said.

In recent weeks the region has found itself in an atmospheric soup. It's been the borders of frontal boundaries, almost never a good place to be, since storms tend to ripple along those fronts.

The jet stream, the upper-air boundary between warm and cold air, has been displaced farther south than usual, said Mike Halpert, deputy director of the government's Climate Prediction Center, outside Washington. That has helped keep the region generally cool and wet.

Why the oft-maligned jet stream - which gets blamed for almost everything except swine flu and the Phillies' losing record - has been so out of joint remains a mystery.

"Things happen. They're not really explanable," Halpert said, adding that the internal variability of weather may always elude computer models. "It will probably never be solved," he said.

It is possible that the wetness of the soil could delay serious summer heat because the sun will have to evaporate it before it can heat the surface. "You've got to dry everything up," said Anthony Gigi, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service in Mount Holly.

"We may already have had our hottest part of the summer," said Joe Bastardi, a meteorologist with Accu-Weather Inc., in State College. He was referring to the stretch from April 25-27, the last time the temperature here hit 90.

The weather actually has had an upside for Christopher Toriello, who owns Executive Auto Salon in Center City. True, business is off by about half because of the rain. But he also runs a body shop, and that's been booming - thanks to rain-induced accidents. So, on some days when the detailers are filing their nails, over in the body shop, "We can't handle all the work."

And the silver-lining award may go to Ian Caton, a designer at Larry Weaner Design Associates in Glenside, where crews usually work in the rain.

"It's nothing too bad," said Caton, "and we don't have to irrigate the new installations."

Contact Anthony R. Wood at 610-313-8210 or twood@phillynews.com

Rain Drenched

by Diane Cardano-Casacio & Her Team
By Anthony R. Woodand Jacqueline L. Urgo

At the Shore, the sand is the texture of thick, cold porridge. On the mainland, a promising strawberry season has met a painfully premature end. And if you feel as though you've been living under a cloud for a month - you have.

Whatever songwriters Rodgers and Hammerstein had in mind by the phrase, "fresh and alive and gay and young, June is a love song sweetly sung," this probably wasn't it.

June 2009 has been a month that only a fungus could love.

The next clear day in Philadelphia - and showers are in the forecast at least through Sunday - will be the first of the month. Officially, rain has fallen on 14 of the 18 days at the airport. The 3.4-inch total is 1.59 above normal. The temperature has yet to go above 85, and it's been so chilly at night that even people without air-conditioning are keeping the windows closed.

With the ground soaked with sun-repelling moisture and the weather pattern stubborn, some meteorologists are wondering if this will become the summer without a heat wave. And all these rains could affect crops into the fall.

In the meantime, the gloom is having more immediate effects.

"It's been horrible," said Laurie Spann, 28, a Philadelphia graduate student who is working as a casino beach-bar waitress in Atlantic City, where rainfall for the month is 170 percent of normal. "If it rains, it means no customers - no work.

"I've been down here since late May, and thanks to the weather I've probably made less than 500 bucks in tips so far," Spann said.

"It's so wet I think I'm going to sell my truck and buy a boat," said Alex Falcone, owner of Panini's restaurant in Old City, where business is down 40 to 50 percent. In April, he beefed up his staff for the tourist season - and then had to lay off the new hires. He blames the weather more than the economy.

"There's nothing I can do about it, that's for sure," he said. "You can't fight mother nature."

Across the river at the Pennsauken Country Club, general manager Robert G. Prickett said he's seen nothing like this in his 33 years at the golf course.

"We're way down," Prickett said, flipping open a notebook showing that from January through May, the course had 80 no-play days - meaning no one showed up to play.

"If you're a fungus you're happy," said Timothy E. Elkner, an educator at the Lancaster County Penn State Cooperative Extension, proving that you can't displease all the organisms all the time. "There's some smiling pathologists around these days."

The rains have generated a bumper crop of fungi, and an outbreak of fungal rot on the strawberry crop, which exiting a little earlier than usual this year, thanks to the rot and rain.

"When you get these really hard rains, it just beats up the strawberries," he said.

The rains have clouded the outlook for the rest of the rest of the crops, experts said.

"It's more of an indirect effect," said Raymond J. Samulis, interim chief of the Rutgers University agricultural extension in Gloucester County. "It's preventing farmers from getting out into the field." The rains could have an impact on some of the sweet corn and soybean harvests, he added.

"It's just not very pleasant out there," Samulis said.

In recent weeks the region has found itself in an atmospheric soup. It's been the borders of frontal boundaries, almost never a good place to be, since storms tend to ripple along those fronts.

The jet stream, the upper-air boundary between warm and cold air, has been displaced farther south than usual, said Mike Halpert, deputy director of the government's Climate Prediction Center, outside Washington. That has helped keep the region generally cool and wet.

Why the oft-maligned jet stream - which gets blamed for almost everything except swine flu and the Phillies' losing record - has been so out of joint remains a mystery.

"Things happen. They're not really explanable," Halpert said, adding that the internal variability of weather may always elude computer models. "It will probably never be solved," he said.

It is possible that the wetness of the soil could delay serious summer heat because the sun will have to evaporate it before it can heat the surface. "You've got to dry everything up," said Anthony Gigi, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service in Mount Holly.

"We may already have had our hottest part of the summer," said Joe Bastardi, a meteorologist with Accu-Weather Inc., in State College. He was referring to the stretch from April 25-27, the last time the temperature here hit 90.

The weather actually has had an upside for Christopher Toriello, who owns Executive Auto Salon in Center City. True, business is off by about half because of the rain. But he also runs a body shop, and that's been booming - thanks to rain-induced accidents. So, on some days when the detailers are filing their nails, over in the body shop, "We can't handle all the work."

And the silver-lining award may go to Ian Caton, a designer at Larry Weaner Design Associates in Glenside, where crews usually work in the rain.

"It's nothing too bad," said Caton, "and we don't have to irrigate the new installations."

Contact Anthony R. Wood at 610-313-8210 or twood@phillynews.com

It's All About Who You Know!

by Diane Cardano-Casacio & Her Team

Do you know of anyone who could benefit from our first-class real estate consulting?

If someone you know is thinking of buying or selling their home in the next few years, we'd like to know about them!

Let us know and we can provide you with information to give to them that will help them plan their next real estate move.

Reach us at 215-576-8666 or dianeandteam@consultantsforlife.com!

Basement Waterproofing Options

by Diane Cardano-Casacio & Her Team

It is incredibly easy for moisture to invade your home. Most people think that if they live in a relatively dry climate that they won't have to worry about things like basement waterproofing systems (or any waterproofing at all). What surprises these people is just how easy it is to flood a basement and case water damage from a water source inside the home. Even worse, the moisture level in most basements is higher than it is anywhere else in the house because the basement doesn't have the moisture relief methods that are available in the rest of the home. For those who are interested in learning about the different basement waterproofing systems available, here is a quick rundown of the systems that are available to you:

1. Exterior Fountain Drains (also known as the "French Drain")
These are moisture relief methods that are usually installed in houses that are constructed in parts of the world that regularly see heavy rain showers and terrible weather patterns. This system involves a draining mechanism that is built on the outside wall of your home's foundation. It moves the water through an in-ground drainage system and moves the moisture away from your basement walls.

2. Tanking
Tanking is the most common form of external basement waterproofing. Tanking is the name for the process in which a bonding substance or membrane is applied to the outside walls of your basement. This should be done during your home's building process, especially if your basement is underground.

3. Outside Drainage System
The outside drainage system is another type of external basement waterproofing. The outside drainage system refers to a process in which the basement floors are built at a slant toward the home's sump pump. A thin, plastic honeycomb membrane is installed in the walls and the floors of the basement to ensure that any moisture that enters your basement will be promptly removed.

4. Interior basement waterproofing
Interior basement waterproofing isn't technically a basement waterproofing system but it will help you keep the moisture from invading your basement and covering it in mildew and mold. Interior basement waterproofing involves spreading a coating all over the floors and walls of your basement. The coating acts as a sealant for the basement which makes it far more difficult for water and moisture to get in through your basement's floors and walls.

Obviously if you want to be incredibly prepared, you should use both exterior and interior basement waterproofing systems. You will need to be very up front with your contractors and home builders as your home is being constructed and you will have to apply any interior basement waterproofing before you do any furnishing or decorating of your basement. Home building and fixing is expensive so you want to do everything you can to make sure that your home is as safe as you can. Basement waterproofing systems are all ways to keep the foundation of your home as safe as possible.

Taken from: http://www.buzzle.com/articles/basement-waterproofing-systems-what-are-your-options.html

Displaying blog entries 1-10 of 19

Syndication

Categories

Archives

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