Housing Starts Fall 8.5% in January

USA Today | February 20, 2013
Housing starts fell 8.5% in January after surging 15.7% the month before, the Commerce Department said Wednesday.
Housing Starts Plummeted in January. Here’s Why Not to Panic
The Washington Post | February 20, 2013
Well, that didn’t take long. After a blistering run over the last few months, the level of housing starts took a big step back in January, falling 8.5 percent. It is the first major read on the state of the housing market in 2013, and, at first glance at least, it isn’t a very happy one.

“NEW Fannie Mae and FHA Condo Financing Changes”

Hello Betty,
Condo approvals do vary among the agencies. FHA does not follow FNMA.
There has been no recent changes to the 10% ownership guideline, however this can vary based on the equity position and the need for a streamline or a full approval.
For instance on some new construction it is accepted since the developer owns more.
If the loan being refinanced was put into place prior to 5/31/2009, and is a FNMA or Freddie Mac owned loan, it may also qualify for an affordable home product. This will not have an issue with the 10% single owner. If these are not an option I would suggest your blogger contact either Johnson Bank or Associated Bank. Both of these lenders offer what is called non-warrantable condo financing.

Thank You,

Cindy Wawrzyniak
Branch Manager
NMLS# 211924
414-254-3623 Direct
414-254-3623 Cell
877-611-6829 Fax

NEW Fannie Mae and FHA Condo Financing Changes

Fannie Mae and FHA has made some changes to their condo financing. The change are highlighted below. Keep in mind that these are the guidelines that Fannie Mae and FHA is allowing. Each lender may have overlays on top of the guidelines making the financing more restrictive. Our guidelines tend to mirror what Fannie Mae and other investors will allow and as such, these changes apply to condominium financing that we provide. These changes should occur within the next 30 days.

FHA Changes:
1. Eliminated the requirement that no more than 10% of the units can be owned by a single person or entity. The max is 50%, since 50% of the units must be owner occupied.
2. Has changed the delinquency requirement that no more than 15% of the units owners can be no more than 30 days delinquent on their association dues. The new guideline is that no more than 15% of the unit owners can be more than 60 days delinquent.
3. The max allowable commercial space of 25% to include the “work” portion of live/work units. Exceptions can be made up to 35% with full project submission.
4. New construction condo’s now allowed with a lower presale requirement of 30%.

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac:
1. No appraisal waivers allowed. All condo’s will now require a full condo appraisal.
2. Limited condo review is now allowed for established condo projects (100% full complete, essentially sold out projects). It is now allowed on owner occupied purchases with a loan to value of 80% or less or a combined loan to value of 80% or less ( applies if there is a second mortgage, the combined 1st and 2nd mortgage cannot exceed 80%).

Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP)

If you’re not behind on your mortgage payments but have been unable to get traditional refinancing because the value of your home has declined, you may be eligible to refinance through MHA’s Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP). HARP is designed to help you get a new, more affordable, more stable mortgage. HARP refinance loans require a loan application and underwriting process, and refinance fees will apply.

+ Eligibility

You may be eligible for HARP if you meet all of the following criteria:

  • The mortgage must be owned or guaranteed by Freddie Mac or Fannie Mae.
  • The mortgage must have been sold to Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac on or before May 31, 2009.
  • The mortgage cannot have been refinanced under HARP previously unless it is a Fannie Mae loan that was refinanced under HARP from March-May, 2009.
  • The current loan-to-value (LTV) ratio must be greater than 80%.
  • The borrower must be current on the mortgage at the time of the refinance,?with a good payment history?in the past 12 months.

*Eligibility criteria are for guidance only. Contact your mortgage servicer to see if you are eligible for HARP.

+ Steps to HARP Refinance
  • Determine whether your mortgage is owned or guaranteed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac by visiting their respective Loan Lookup Tools.
  • Contact your current mortgage servicer or another that is approved by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac to inquire about HARP.
  • Compare rates and costs with additional mortgage companies to ensure best refinance terms.


Follow this link to additional information -? An official program of the Departments of the Treasury & Housing and Urban Development


HomeSteps offers a credit at Closing for your home warranty

Beginning May 25, 2012, HomeSteps will offer a credit at closing for the actual price of a home warranty up to $500 for owner occupant offers.
Here is how it works:
??? ?The home warranty incentive must be submitted with the initial purchase offer.
??? ?The home warranty incentive is only available for owner occupant offers (primary or secondary home) submitted on or after May 25, 2012. Investor purchases, auction sales, sealed-bid sales and bulk sales are ineligible for this incentive.
??? ?The home warranty incentive is valid on any HomeSteps home for sale in the United States (including PR, VI and GU).*
??? ?Under the home warranty incentive, HomeSteps will pay for a home warranty up to $500. Seller’s contribution is for a home warranty up to $500. No credits will be given for any unused amount nor will the credit exceed $500 even if the price of the home warranty is greater than $500.
??? ?Credit will not be paid directly to buyer as a reimbursement but instead be dispersed by the closing agent to the buyer?s home warranty company.
??? ?HomeSteps reserves the right to remove any property from this incentive or end the incentive at any time. The home warranty incentive will not be paid if closing does not occur for any reason. Any dispute over the payment of a credit or fee shall be resolved by Freddie Mac in its sole discretion.
??? ?The home warranty incentive is void where prohibited by law or applicable MLS rules. Selling agent is responsible for determining same prior to making offer.

For more information on check out <a href=”http://www.homesteps.com/homebuyer/offers.html” title=”Homesteps.com” target=”_blank” rel=”nofollow”>http://www.homesteps.com/homebuyer/offers.html</a>.
*The HMS Home Warranty is only offered in the continental United States.

?2012, HMS National, Inc. All Rights Reserved.