Thursday, March 8, 2012

URGENT NEWS! FHA Announces Mortgage Insurance Premium Increase!

The Department of Housing and Urban Development and the FHA have announced a plan to increase FHA Mortgage Insurance Premiums.

In a press release, HUD No. 12-037, it was announced, “As part of ongoing efforts to encourage the return of private capital in the residential mortgage market and strengthen the Federal Housing Administration’s (FHA) Mutual Mortgage Insurance Fund, Acting FHA Commissioner Carol Galante today announced a new premium structure for FHA-insured single family mortgage loans.”

“FHA will increase its annual mortgage insurance premium (MIP) by 0.10 percent for loans under $625,500 and by 0.35 percent for loans above that amount. Upfront premiums (UFMIP) will also increase by 0.75 percent.”

Some of these changes take effect for loans in April 2012, while others take effect in June of 2012. The FHA plans to issue a mortgagee letter fully explaining the changes and how they affect new home loans on and after those dates.

As stated previously, the FHA Up Front Mortgage Insurance Premium is affected as well–increased from the current rate of one percent to 1.75 percent of the base loan amount.

According to, “This increase applies regardless of the amortization term or LTV ratio. FHA will continue to permit financing of this charge into the mortgage. This change is effective for case numbers assigned on or after April 1, 2012,” adding, “Borrowers already in an FHA-insured mortgage, Home Equity Conversion Mortgage (HECM), and special loan programs outlined in FHA’s forthcoming Mortgagee Letter will not be impacted by the pricing changes announced today.”

How does this affect you? Well, as long as you have locked in the FHA case number prior to April 1st, then you will be allowed to utilize today's pricing. However, if you fail to lock before April 1st, you will be stuck with the increased MIP payments.

For more information call me, 469.774.2703 or visit the FHA official site.

6 points to ponder about selling your home NOW + 3 ways to prep for April 15th!!

Many homeowners ready to sell are instead waiting a couple of months until the popular Spring home selling season begins. But the fact is, in many locations, NOW may be the right time to put that property on the market. Here are 5 things to think about:

1. Pay no attention to media reports on nationwide statistics for the housing market. They mean nothing to you as a seller because real estate markets are purely local.

2. Remember, the ratio of supply to demand is key to the health of your local real estate market. So no matter what you read about the housing market nationally, the local facts determine your chances of making a sale at any point in time.

3. So, the first question to ask your Realtor is how much competition you'd have if you put your home on the market now, before the Spring activity begins.

4. Because not many sellers put their homes on the market the first few months of the year, the inventory of homes for sale usually dwindles during the winter months. So, if your area is shy on inventory of good homes, now could be a good time to sell.

5. Interest rates are low but won't stay that way forever. There could be a fair number of savvy buyers in your market who know this and want to take advantage of the situation now.

6. Many experts believe that the big price declines are behind us. More than a few buyers are beginning to realize this and are taking a good look at today's market.


Preparing your tax return needn't be an annual ordeal. Getting organized can take a whole lot of stress out of the process. Now is the time to gather the information you'll need to do your return or hand over to your tax professional. There are just three categories:

1. Paperwork:
Last year's return
All income info: W-2 forms, 1099 forms, alimony, self-employment income
Any 1098 forms: mortgage, educational institution statements, etc.
IRA info
Savings and investments info

2. Deductions:
Charitable contributions
Job hunting costs
Moving costs
State and local income taxes and sales taxes
Real estate and personal property taxes
Home mortgage interest and investment interest
Points on a home mortgage or refinance
Casualty and theft losses not covered by insurance
Non-reimbursed business entertainment and travel expenses, including car use
Business use of home
Medical expenses
Educational expenses

3. Miscellaneous expenses:
Tax preparation and tax advice fees
Safe deposit box rental
Investment fees and expenses, including service charges on dividend reinvestment plans and trustee's fees for your IRA, if separately billed and paid
Convenience fees charged for paying income tax, including estimated tax payments, by credit or debit card
Appraisal fees for a casualty loss or charitable contribution
Ask a tax professional about other expenses you can deduct if you have extensive investments, or estate, trust, IRA or Social Security issues

The above are only guidelines to help you organize some of the information you'll need to prepare your tax return. If you have any questions about these or other tax matters, always consult with a qualified tax professional.

... Have a great day!

PS With today's mortgage rates at historic new lows and the most affordable home prices ever, many people are upsizing, downsizing or refinancing. Please call or email us now to discuss your situation.