House to Home

The time to buy a home is now

Posted by Amy Patterson on 4/28/15 3:43 PM

If you’ve been thinking about purchasing a home, now is the time to make the jump – the Federal Reserve is discussing the possibility of raising interest rates in June. While this could mean slightly higher interest rates for borrowers, it could also have great benefits for the economy as a whole.

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Topics: Insider, Mortgage, Home Loans, Community, Home Sales, interest rate, 100% financing

"Zestimates" getting a bad rap

Posted by Amy Patterson on 3/26/15 2:22 PM



With 73 million distinctive visitors in December, Zillow is the most popular real estate information site out there. But questions about the accuracy of its “Zestimates,” or housing estimates, have been growing among critics.

With such a well-publicized and trusted platform, many Americans utilize Zillow Zestimates when buying or selling their homes. According Dilbeck Real Estate agent Tim Freund, clients not willing to budge from a Zestimate will quickly “kill a deal.”

Zillow CEO Spencer Rascoff recently appeared on CBS This Morning, where co-host Norah O’Donnell asked him to talk about the accuracy of Zestimates. Rascoff referred to Zestimates as a “good starting point,” but said that nationwide Zestimates had a median error rate of about 8%.

However, while Rascoff admitted that the median error rate was about 8%, he did not delve into the issue of localized error rates, which in some cases – like in Somerset County, Md. – are up to an incredible 42%, according to the LA Times. 

 Zillow is a great site for viewing listings, but ultimately a home’s price is based on an up-to-date appraisal. 



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Topics: Insider, Finances, Home, Homeowners, Home Loans, FHA loans, Realty, Sales, Zillow, Market, Home Sales

Are You One of 248,000 Home Owners Missing Out on a Cut of $175 Million?

Posted by Amy Patterson on 3/16/15 12:40 PM


The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) is working to locate approximately 248,000 home owners who are owed a total of $175 million in FHA mortgage insurance refunds. While the HUD has recently increased its efforts to find these home owners, some have not been found – mostly due to relocation and a lack of current address records.



But why does HUD owe home buyers money?

Before January 1, 2001, it was mandatory for all home buyers to purchase mortgage insurance on FHA loans.

When a home owner with an FHA-insured loan pays off the loan within five years, they get a portion of the mortgage insurance premium back. It is similar to any home owner’s fire insurance policy, for example, if you purchase a policy for one year, and then decide to move from your home after six months, a portion of the premium is refunded.


Who does this impact?

There are two different kinds of refunds, the first, called the “premium refund,” is available to home owners who: originated their loan after September 1, 1983, paid an up-front premium for insurance at their closing, and did not default on their mortgage.

The second refund, called the “distributive share,” is available for home owners who: acquired their loan before September 1, 1983, paid on their loan for over seven years, and terminated their FHA insurance before November 5, 1990.


How do you find out if you’re owed money?

Find your FHA loan number and visit HUD’s website or call toll-free 1-800-697-6967.



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Topics: Insider, Mortgage, Finances, Home, Credit, Home Loans, Money, Banking, FHA loans, Mortgage Insurance, Private MI, FHA

Bill Withdrawn After Critics Boast its Favor of Banks over Home Owners

Posted by Amy Patterson on 3/12/15 10:14 AM

Last week, a state lawmaker withdrew one of his own bills after a harsh response from critics.

The foreclosure bill, House Bill 407, which was backed by Jeff Greer, the House Banking and Insurance Chairman, would have permitted a quicker and more direct mortgage foreclosure process.

However, the opponents of the bill say that it threatened to favor banks over home owners. They expounded by saying that the bill would force home owners to deal with obstacles such as no longer being able to regain their home by paying the amount owed within six months. Home owners would also be forced to file lawsuits – at their expense – in order to halt a wrongful foreclosure.

“My intention was to give some relief to the banking industry, but I had no intention to hurt anybody,” said Greer, who went on to explain that the overall issue with the bill was the lack of time he had to present it adequately. “That’s what you get for trying to rush a bill through.”

Last year, Greer received a minimum of $9,400 from Kentucky’s banking industry, from both individuals and political action committees, in political donations.

General counsel for the Kentucky Bankers Association, Debra Stamper, said the bill was designed to expedite the foreclosure in such cases where everyone – borrower included – wanted things to be resolved quickly.

Stamper continued to say that there was a lot of misinformation about the bill and that there was a lack of time to, “talk it out with everyone.”

Stamper also said that the association has plans to pursue a similar bill in 2016.

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Topics: Insider, Loans, Mortgage, Finances, Homeowners, Politics, Bill, Frankfort, Foreclosure, Kentucky News, Banking

KHC Lender Luncheon

Posted by Amy Patterson on 3/6/15 11:44 AM

We were so excited to be a part of the 10th annual Kentucky Housing Corpoartion's Lender Luncheon on Wednesday. The Lender Luncheon honors lenders who achieved great production the previous year. We are very grateful for our Stockton family and all of our loyal customers. 


{from left} Belina Bay, Marty Spurlock, Teri Knott, Doug Stockton, Nick Adams, Nancy Thompson and Guy Huenecke





Second Runner Up for Top Producing Lender 


Marty Spurlock with his award for Top Loan Officer 


{from left} Teri Knott, Phyllis Block and Nancy Thompson holding their awards for Top Loan Officer 

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Topics: Insider, Loans, Finances, Home, KHC

Mortgages Are Not Actually Scary

Posted by Amy Patterson on 3/4/15 10:43 AM

Getting a loan that will take over a decade to pay off can be scary. Appraisals, inspections and big decisions can also be scary – and I’m willing to bet that you’ve probably heard the dreaded phrase “surprises at the closing table.” 

But do you know what is scarier? Paying someone else’s mortgage and getting nothing in return. Or, as some landlords like to call it, renting. Now, I get it, renting can be great for some people in certain stages of life. College students, for example, or those who aren’t sure where to dig their permanent roots, are great candidates for renting.

Now, for those of you ready to rid yourselves of renting, let’s tackle that monster under the bed that is the mighty mortgage. While signing on for that big of a loan can be intimidating – and understandably so – the important thing to remember is that once you have paid that loan off, you will have that much in equity – which you can do a lot with. You will also be living for free (sans property taxes and insurance costs).

The real secret to buying a home, and alleviating the scare factor, is working with a great mortgage company – luckily, you’ve already found us. Your mortgage company can walk you through every appraisal, inspection and insurance door – and recommend the best companies for you to use.

And as far as those closing table surprises, thanks to this nifty invention called a Good Faith Estimate, you will know all of your closing costs before you even sign your loan documents.

For those of you who have found a place you would love to live and are considering buying a home, I hope this helps to dispel some of the typical fears associated with the mortgage industry.

If you would like to read more about buying your first home, keep an eye out for our First Time Home Buyers Study Guide – it's coming soon! It’s a fun way to learn about the steps of the mortgage process, with easy, simple language that won’t bore you to death.

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Topics: Insider, Loans, Mortgage, Finances, First Time Home Buyers

Low Rates Push Millennial Finance Boom

Posted by Amy Patterson on 3/3/15 9:28 AM


Numbers show an impressive jump in first time home sales, indicating that the lagging amount of Millennials are finally taking the housing plunge. In January, Redfin, a national real estate brokerage, reported that 57% of home tours led by its agents were for first time buyers.

But it’s not only the real estate market that is witnessing the growth. According to the Campbell/Inside Mortgage Finance HousingPulse Tracking Survey, first time buyers made up 36.3% of all home purchases in the month of December. These numbers are remarkable, especially considering that previously, the millennial era, first time buyers’ percentage, has been as low as 10%.

So what’s causing these millennials to buy after such a lengthy resistance? Industry specialists believe it’s a mixture of a few things: record low rates, sky rocketing rental costs and the mounting desire to own. The final piece of the puzzle may be increasing, especially in the millennials who fall within the early-thirties age group; the desire for more stability and the ability to be able to design and renovate their own homes is a large selling point for this group. 




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Topics: Insider, Mortgage, Finances, Rates, First Time Home Buyers, Millennials

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