Black Homeowners Top
Frequently Asked Questions

Note: Questions have been edited for clarity and brevity.
 
1. How Does a Short Sale Affect My Credit? Will I be able to purchase a home again in the future?
While a short sale is a negative on your credit report, because of the deficiency (paying less than you owe)- it's not as bad as a foreclosure. 
 
There is life after a short sale. Just continue to pay bills on time for 1 to 2 years and lenders will begin to look favorably at you again.
 
Note: Even if a lender accepts less than what you owe, the Internal Revenue Service considers the amount forgiven as income. (Consult a tax professional for further explanation).
 

2. How Can I tell the value of my property without hiring an appraiser or calling a real estate agent?

You can do it yourself by checking recent sales in your county public recorder or assessors office.
 
Make sure homes are similar in square footage, number of bedrooms, baths, construction and location.
 
You can also check with private companies who supply this service on the Internet without you having to leave the comfort of your home.
 
For more info. Click Here!
 
 
3. I am thinking of getting a home improvement loan, what project should be first on my list?
The top home improvements with the best
ROI (Return on Investment) is
 
1. Kitchen Remodel (84.8%)
2. Bathroom Remodel (82.3%)
3. Bedroom Remodel (77.5%)
 
Note: These are under average market conditions. Each homeowner should check their local area to see what's the most popular improvements.
 
 
4. I just bought a fixer-upper, are there any government programs that can help me out?
Yes, check out The US Department of Housing and Urban Development's (HUD) Section 203K rehabilitation loan program.
 
It's designed to help with the rehabilitation of houses with one to four units that are more than one year old.
 
For more information: Click Here!
 
5. I am having trouble paying my mortgage? What should I do first? Any suggestions?
 
For a checklist of suggestions Click Here!
 
 
6. I am thinking of refinancing. When is the best time to refinance?
Usually when interest rates fall 1.5 percent below your current mortgage interest rate.
 
Also if you expect to keep your home for at least three or four years, then refinancing is worthwhile as a general rule.
 
For more information Click Here!
 
 
7. I'm hearing a lot about short-sales, what is a short sale?
 
Because of the depressed home sales market, many home sellers are unable to sell their homes for what they owe.
 
A short sale is when the lender agrees to accept less than what the home is worth.
 
For example if you owe $200,000 on your home but the most a qualified buyer will offer is $150,000 and your lender agrees to it, that's a short sale.
 
Consult a qualified tax advisor for any tax issues this may cause. A short sale takes more time and involves more paperwork and other steps than a normal sale. So prepare yourself and make sure you have competent real estate advisors to guide you.
 
 
8. Should I get a home equity loan or use my Home Equity Line of Credit?
They both offer advantages and disadvantages. The home equity loan offers a fixed payback schedule to the homeowner. Offering you less temptation to over extend yourself.
 
The home equity line of credit allows you to use your home as a source of funds up to your credit limit. Most home equity lines of credit have a variable interest rate, which can get the undisciplined homeowner into financial trouble if not careful.
 
Consult a trusted financial advisor for additional help to which is best for your individual needs.
 
 
9. How do I pick the best contractor?
 
The best way is to try and get a referral from someone you trust.
 
The next best way is to get at least 3 estimates making sure to check references, experience and reputation (Better Business Bureau).
 
Never pay more than half the cost of the job up front.
 
 
10. How can I improve the value of my home in a flat or down real estate market ... for the least money?
By keeping your home in good repair (preventative maintenance)and updated, such as kitchen and bathroom fixtures.
 
Maintaining the cosmetic elements, the curb appeal appearance and landscaping also helps.
 
11. What Is Predatory Lending?
Predatory lending is the act of persuading or tricking borrowers to agree to extremely risky and punishing loan terms. To Learn More Click Here!
 
What organization should I contact if I think I've been a victim of predatory lending? Click Here!

12. I want to get a home improvement loan, but my credit is bad. What should I do?
Consider applying for a HUD grant. To learn more about HUD home improvement grants Click Here!

 

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