In late January two big players in the lending industry loosened up their FICO requirements. According to one consumer group a third of Americans currently have a FICO score less than 620. Most lenders currently require 620 or higher to qualify a buyer for a loan which is why Wells Fargo and Quicken’s decision to lower this by 40 points has caused such a buzz. Like most Realtors, I had clients who stood to benefit from this program so I picked up the phone and called Tammy Mazza at our local Wells Fargo to find out the details.
In a recent poll of “American Attitudes About Homeownership” by the National Association of Realtors, 95% of owners and 72% of renters said they believed that it makes more sense to buy than rent. So, why is it so hard to make the switch? If you have ever purchased a home, you know that there are some significant upfront fees involved with buying. Most first time buyers look to an FHA loan because it has the lowest required down payment at 3.5% of the sales price compared to the 5% required by a conventional loan. In addition to the down payment, there are lender fees, title fees, inspection and appraisal fees, etc. The good news is that there is help available to low to moderate income families.
Whether you’re buying or selling, when it’s moving time, you’ll have the tedious task of setting up or transferring utility services. Your time is valuable, so that’s why I’ve created a list of public utility contacts by city, for you. Just find your city in the list below and call, or follow the links to check for pricing information.
Each day as I look through hundreds of listings on the OKC MLS the photos never cease to amaze me. I see Aunt Betty poking her head around the corner, Realtors taking pictures of themselves in the mirror, last nights dinner still sitting on the counter top, laundry on the floor, chochkties everywhere. People, do you really want to sell your house? And, what was the hiring criteria for your Realtor? Holy moly.
In January, Oklahoma City Metropolitan Association of Realtors launched a Green REsource Council. Our mission is to make the knowledge of green real estate practices available to everyone and to encourage our industry to produce greener homes and buildings. We have had two meetings to date and our agenda gets longer each time. The committee includes, Sarah Del Valle, Ryan Hukill, Katrina Washington, Shawna Vann, Simon Shingleton, Vickie Dupree, Elizabeth Foraker, Gayle Hough and myself.
The percentage of buyers who purchase an existing residence far outweighs the number purchasing new construction, at least in the Oklahoma City housing market, so it is important to be familiar with the available Residential Service Contracts and all that they have to offer.