Tag Archives: VA

A Government Shutdown and Your FHA, VA, or USDA Mortgage Loan

updated: seems there’s been a reversal on FHA mortgages, as first mentioned by Marianne Washington of Wells Fargo Home Mortgage.

Certainly you’ve heard about this whole idea of a government shutdown. Regardless of your feelings on the issue, PLENTY of home borrowers and home sellers need to know what to expect moving forward.

Several types of mortgage loans are backed by the United States Government, including FHA, VA, and USDA loans. If you are a borrower currently under contract on a property and have applied for financing under one of these mortgage programs, you are most certainly going to be affected should when the government shuts down on October 1st. Contact your agent to see what options you might have going forward, but chances are they’re not going to know much, either. My suggestion to our clients would be to contact a lender to see what other options might be available, including low-money down conventional programs (since they’re issued by Fannie and Freddie). If you want to know who to talk with, email me and I’ll be glad to make a recommendation.

Sidenote – I’ve heard conflicting reports on whether VA loans will be affected by a government shutdown. Since VA loans are funded at least in part by user fees there’s the possibility that they will continue, but I’m a cynic … I’m going to suggest that they’ll be placed on hold, as well.

If you’re a home seller currently under contract and your buyer is using one of these three programs, I hope you’re patient. All three of these loan programs are most certainly going to be put on hold indefinitely, so hold tight.

This too, shall pass, and perhaps it’ll be good for Washington to see we’re doing just fine despite them. Want to know more? Here you go.


government shutdown affects mortgages

Photo credit.

Where Are You Voting, Christiansburg?!

It’s the day before election day in Christiansburg, but do you know where you’re voting?

From this press release, dated April 29th (links and bolding are mine):

Montgomery County, Virginia – The Christiansburg Town election on May 4, will be held at the Christiansburg Armory, 15 College St., Christiansburg. The polls will be open from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Citizens will be voting to fill three open seats on the Christiansburg Town Council, as well as the position of Mayor. There are five candidates on the ballot for Council and two for Mayor. For candidate information, visit MontgomeryCountyVa.gov/vote.

If you are registered to vote in the Town of Christiansburg and will be unable to vote on May 4, you may absentee vote in person at the Montgomery County Voter Registrar’s office, 755 Roanoke St., Suite 1F, Christiansburg, from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. The last day to vote absentee in person is Saturday, May 1 and the Registrar’s office will be open that day from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

For more information, call the Registrar’s office at 382-5741.

Exercise that right to vote, Christiansburg!

Radford Schools

As we head into the last half of the grade school year, you might need information about your child’s upcoming school year.  Here’s how to contact the local schools in Radford, VA – thanks to education.com for the data.

[schoolsearch city=”Radford” state=”VA” groupby=”schooldistrictname” output=”table”]

“Best in the New River Valley” series – Part 3

The Best in the New River Valley series continues today!  We had fun with Part 1 and Part 2, and this time we introduce Mike Eggleston, the New River Valley’s #1 real estate agent in 2009 as voted by Roanoke Times readers.

Don’t forget to vote!  Voting is now open at The Roanoke Times‘ website, or by clicking through on this link, and the deadline to cast your vote is February 14th.

Disclaimer #1 – your participation entitles you to nothing but our undying admiration. And – we hope – perhaps a chuckle or three.

Disclaimer #2 – thank you for thinking so much of us.  Seriously.  We’ve had a lot of fun with these videos, and we hope that you enjoy them, but in all honesty none of this would be happening if you didn’t think well of us and vote.

Disclaimer #3 – see Disclaimers 1 and 2.  Rinse and repeat.

The State of the New River Valley Real Estate Market – November 2009

The turkey’s done, it’s time to put up the tree.

But how about a little light reading first?

The State of the New River Valley Real Estate Market – November 2009

You can download the report here.

Welcome to Single Property Websites

Single property websites, now live and only on NRVLiving.com!

The video below talks about the site, how it’s laid out, and what buyers – and sellers – can expect to find.  I’ll be working on NRVLiving.com/Properties over the next couple of weeks to finish things up, but I was so excited about getting this going that I had to share.

Several people I’ve shown this to have asked the same thing – “what’s the point?”. One of my goals in real estate is to provide as much information as possible to buyers and sellers alike, and as home buyers are out riding around I want them to have the things they want to know at their fingertips.  That’s why the signs were redesigned, and now – with just a web-enabled cell phone, they can find out even more.

NRVLiving Real Estate – maybe the tagline should be modified to read “Transparent AND Simplified.”

First-Time Buyer in Pulaski VA? There’s $1 million Available For You

That’s right, $1 million has been set aside to help first-time buyers ease into the Pulaski VA real estate market.  From WSLS.com:

The Virginia Housing Development Authority has set aside $1 million for the town of Pulaski for a reduced interest rate housing program.

Home buyers who qualify for the loan will receive a one half percent reduction in the standard VHDA interest rate.

To qualify, households must have an income between $34,500 and $46,000.

“A lot of people are looking for housing already and this just gives them a chance to get a reduced interest rate,“ said Pulaski Town Manager John Hawley.

As part of the program, the town will pay for the home inspection and waive any building permit fees.

Here’s a look at the complete news release from the town of Pulaski:

The Virginia Housing Development Authority (VHDA) recently notified the Town of Pulaski that it has been selected to receive a set-aside (reservation of funds) for the SPARC program (Sponsoring Partnerships and Revitalizing Communities).  These funds will be available until June 30, 2010.

The SPARC loan is a program that reserves funds for localities and organizations to promote affordable housing to first-time home buyers.  Homebuyers who qualify for a SPARC loan receive ½% (one half percent) reduction in the standard VHDA interest rate for first-time homebuyers.  The Town of Pulaski for Round 8 currently has $1,000,000 (one million dollars) reserved by VHDA at the ½% reduction.  A citizen who is interested in buying or building a home in the Town of Pulaski may want to consider applying for a SPARC loan through one of the VHDA approved lenders.

The Town has targeted households with an income between $34,500 and $46,000 to receive the ½% reduction in their mortgage.  As part of the program, the Town will cover the cost of the required home inspection and waive any building permit fees. Connection fees for new construction will be waived.  Houses may be purchased or built up to $225,100.

If someone is interested in this opportunity, they should work with an approved VHDA lender.  The following three have agreed to work with the Town or you may check with your lender:  Suntrust Mortgage, Bank of America and Stellar One; or contact the Town of Pulaski Managers Office at 994-8600.

So what would $225100 get you in the Town of Pulaski?  A lot.  There are currently 74 homes on the market in the Town in that price range, and the median list price is $119500.  If you qualified, with a 1/2% interest rate reduction, a home inspection paid for, and an $8000 first-time buyer tax credit from the federal government, there’s a lot of money to be saved.  Let me know if you’d like more details.

Condos in Blacksburg A Mixed Bag

As reported in The Roanoke Times this weekend:2712510857_1b691b4e72

“The town of Blacksburg saw 30 condos sold during the first nine months of 2009, down from 49 during the same period of 2008, a reduction of 39 percent, according to figures real estate agent Jeremy Hart pulled from the Multiple Listing Service, a real estate database.

Hart said he would be cautious about recommending either of the stalled projects to clients.

‘There’s an oversupply [of condominiums in Blacksburg], financing is tough to get, and people are more carefully watching their money,’ Hart said.”

You can read the full article here.

I wrote about this last week, and talked about this particular issue of game day condos in Blacksburg back in January 2008.  And I hold firm – until financing guidelines for condominiums loosen up, and consumer confidence – and spending – increases, we’ll continue to see condos in Blacksburg sit on the market.  You just can’t manufacture buyers because you think they’re big fans, or think that because they have money they’ll spend it.

Buyers – if you want to purchase a condo in Blacksburg, for ANY purpose (to live in, to stay in part-time, or to invest in the student market), and you want to get conventional (15 or 30-year fixed) financing, you’ll need to:

And Sellers, if you have a Blacksburg condominium you want to sell, I’d suggest weighing the balance between having to sell and covering your mortgage payment and HOA fees with the rental market.  Swift sales in such a tumultuous financing environment are not going to be happening anytime soon, so if you don’t HAVE to sell, consider speaking with a qualified property manager – contact me for recommendations – until these products begin selling again, and expect that that time frame might be as long as 24 months away … or more.

Photo from Sean Dreilinger