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Friday, January 23, 2015

Reduced Mortgage Insurance Premiums Allow More Buyers to Qualify



CF Funding is happy to share that the Department of Housing and Urban Development recently announced a 50 basis point reduction in MIP rates. In the HUD’s Mortgagee Letter 2015-01 , they shared that the new MIP rates will take effect January 26th. The executive order announced January 8th that the annual premiums on FHA backed loans with terms greater than 15 years will be reduced from about 1.35% of the loan balance to .85% of the loan balance.*

Since the change is only in effect for borrowers with case numbers issued on or after January 26th, FHA is allowing cancellation requests for borrowers currently in process. Ask your CF Funding loan officer to see if you could be eligible for this cancellation!

According to Jann Swanson of Mortgage News Daily, “For borrowers who have recently closed an FHA loan which has been funded there will be no immediate recourse.  They will have to wait the mandatory 210 day period  and have made six payments on their existing FHA loan before refinancing through a streamline loan in order to secure the lower MIP.”


*for most FHA loans. 

Monday, January 5, 2015

New Year, New Goals for Homeowners and Homebuyers

Are you struggling to find a great New Year’s Resolution? As a homeowner, you may be wondering what you can do to improve your finances or keep your home safe. As a homebuyer, you may wonder what you can do to prepare yourself mentally and financially. Not to worry—CF Funding has a few ideas!

New Years Resolutions for Homeowners

One great resolution to kick off the new year is to improve and maintain your safe home habits. Check your alarm system and smoke detectors to make sure they are running properly. Reduce the risk of fire by checking for damaged appliance cords and “[Keep] clothes, curtains and other potentially combustible items at least three feet from all heaters,” according to the National Association of Home Builders. You can also implement a family emergency plan if you don’t already have one. For example, make sure contact information is easily accessible for children and an escape route is planned in case of a fire.

Another way to protect your family from disasters is to check up on your homeowners insurance. You may have purchased a great plan when you first bought a home, but if you have remodeled your home or purchased new items, you might need to expand your coverage. If your goal is to spend more time with family this year, consider taking on a home improvement project. Visit our new pinterest page at www.pinterest.com/cffunding/ for some fresh ideas.

A simple New Year’s resolution that many people overlook is to understand your credit history and credit score. Checking your credit history regularly can reduce the risk of errors, and knowing what affects your credit score both positively and negatively can help you to maintain a good score. A good score can lead to better rates on credit cards or a home refinance. If you are considering refinancing your home in the New Year, talk to a CF Funding loan specialist first. You may be able to reduce your interest rate or consolidate your debt.
Another way to save on your mortgage in the new year is to make extra mortgage payments. You could potentially cut years off your mortgage by making an extra payment each year.


New Years Resolutions for Homebuyers

One very important step in the homebuying process is to save for a substantial down payment on a home. If you have done your research or have purchased a home before, you know that down payments range from 5 to 20 percent, possibly lower if you are a veteran or qualify for an FHA loan. Saving up for a higher down payment can help to lower your interest rate and put more equity into your home from the start.

You may also want to check your credit report for inaccurate information before applying for a home loan. Understanding your credit is important for everyone, but especially for potential homebuyers. An error on your report could lead to a higher rate or denial of your application. One way to keep your credit in line is to watch your holiday spending. The holidays may be over, but the after-holiday sales are still in full swing. Opening store credit cards and raising your amount of debt for holiday spending can cause your credit score to go down and your loan rates to go up.

Attend a homeownership education course to learn more about the process of buying and maintaining your new home. There are plenty of classes available across the U.S. including seminars and online education. CF Funding also hosts classes for first-time homebuyers at local libraries. Check our
Facebook page or call 630-328-8900 for more info.

Build a great home-buying team to help you along the way. Your support team can make all the difference in the home buying process. That may include lawyers, agents, and of course our team of Loan Specialists here at CF Funding.

And finally, after moving in, Keep safety in mind by ensuring that your new home has working smoke detectors, locks, & alarm systems. Check to see that your homeowners insurance properly covers you in case of an emergency. If you don’t already have a family disaster plan, make one! You can find tools to help you at http://www.ready.gov/make-a-plan.

Do you have new years resolution ideas you would like to share with CF Funding? Visit us on Facebook at ww.facebook.com/cffundingcorp and leave us a comment!



Thursday, December 18, 2014

Guide to Buying and Selling in the Winter

There are many pros and cons to buying (or selling) a home during the winter season. Although the winter is generally known as a "slow season" for home buying and selling, it can have many benefits on both sides.





Here are CF Funding's list of Pros and Cons for Buying and Selling during the Winter season: 

Buying Pro's

Reduced Competition means less pressure, lower prices, and less likelihood of a bidding war.
Realtors may have more time during "slow season," are more available and responsive to your needs
Sellers may have less showings during winter months, therefore they may be quicker to respond.
Tax Benefits may be available for those who close by December 31, such as mortgage interest and property taxes.
Home shopping in winter allows you to see how well the house is built for winter weather (heating system, hot water, drafts, etc.)

Buying Cons

Limited inventory means you have less houses to choose from.
You may have difficulty seeing all features of the home's exterior due to weather (snow-covered defects may be hidden) leading to an unpleasant surprise.
You may feel a lot of pressure trying to balance holiday shopping / events with home shopping and mortgage tasks. Completing your holiday shopping early can help relieve this pressure !

Selling Pro's

Less competition from other sellers
Winter buyers tend to be more motivated, with a pressing need to move quickly.
Adorning your home with Christmas decorations is an easy way to make it look warm and welcoming!
According to a Redfin survey analyzing homes listed from March 2011 - March 2013, homes listed in winter had a 9% better chance of selling and sold about a week faster. They also sold for 1.2 percent higher price than those listed in other seasons! Read more on Redfin.com

Selling Cons

Showings may interrupt holiday events and activities.
Many home shoppers avoid looking during the winter, as they want more inventory, and may want to avoid moving in the cold and snow.


If you are looking to buy or sell this season, be sure to contact CF Funding for your mortgage needs. We can refer you to a great Realtor to help you get started, and we offer free preapprovals ! Give us a call at 630-328-8900 today, or visit our website at www.cffunding.com .


Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Tax Breaks for Mortgage Insurance

In an article posted Tuesday, CNN shared a list of "temporary" tax breaks that have been extended into 2014, including breaks for teachers, commuters, and parents of college students. CF Funding is happy to share two great tax breaks for homeowners, including deductions for mortgage insurance premiums:

1. For those who may have purchased a home with a small down payment, and therefore were
required to pay mortgage insurance, this break would allow you to deduct the cost of your premiums (if you itemize your deductions).

2. For those who have foreclosed on a home, or sold their home for less than what is owed, this tax break allows you to exclude that remaining debt from your income. Normally, the IRS would count the remaining debt as taxable income.

Another great tax break worth noting is that "commuters may reduce their pre-tax income to account for their commuting costs... those who drive to work and pay for parking are allowed to exclude more (250 per month) than those who use mass transit (130 per month)."

According to CNN, the bill has been sent to President Obama and is awaiting signature.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

CF Funding Launches "Graduate Advantage" Program to Benefit College Students, Recent Grads

CF Funding has launched a new loan program this month, which is aimed to benefit college students and recent graduates. The program allows those with large amounts of student debt (and lower income) to add a non-occupant co-borrower, in other words-- a "cosigner," to help create a better debt-to-income ratio. This blended ratio can help students & recent grads to qualify for lower interest rates, and mortgage loan terms that they might not otherwise qualify for.

Other benefits of this program include future income qualifications, for a student or grad who may be expecting to start a job or get a raise within 60 days. Depending on the buyer's income and credit qualifications, down payments as low as 3.5% may be required. CF Funding offers free credit counseling for those who need a score increase to qualify.

Graduate Advantage is available for any Freddie Mac purchase, rate and term, or cash out refinance.
Contact a CF Funding loan specialist today to learn more at 630-328-8900 or visit www.cffunding.com.

Company NMLS #202670, Illinois License MB .0005978

Friday, October 24, 2014

Take 2 Tylenol, Reduce the Asking Price?

Yesterday, Wall Street Journal published an article titled "Can Tylenol Ease the Pain of a Home Sale?" in response to a study at the Univeristy of Kentucky. The study "Can Acetaminophen Reduce the Pain of Decision Making?",  based on the principle that physical and emotional pain can overlap, has now been connected to the real estate industry. Psychologists, journalists, and real estate professionals are asking the question, could painkillers cause homeowners to reduce their asking price? 

According to www.scientificdirect.com, "experiments showed that acetaminophen reduced the pain of decision-making, as indicated by lower attitude change that accompanies cognitive dissonance and lower selling prices when selling personal possessions." The study of 95 undergraduate students compared asking prices when the students were asked to sell a mug. The students were asked to study the mug for 30 seconds "to create a sense of attachment," before making an offer, according to WSJ. Students who took acetaminophen asked for about $4.15 to $5.92, while students who took a placebo asked for about $5.55 to $6.27. 

Stefanos Chen of WSJ explained that "the results illustrate 'loss aversion'... the thought of losing the mug caused pain, and the acetaminophen helped students who were attached to the mug decide to sell at a lower price." Professor Nathan DeWall of Univeristy of Kentucky stated, "It's the same principle at play when a sentimental homeowner balks at an agent's comparable sales figures and demands a higher price for his home."

It is hard to say without further research whether or not the same results would apply to an item with much higher sense of attachment - such as a home. 

What do you think?  Leave your comments below! 

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Advice for Homebuyers

CF Funding was recently featured in an article by Melissa Newton of MoneyBasicsU.com, titled "5 Tips of Achieving Homeownership." Based on a one-hour workshop that our very own CF Funding loan officers presented at the Plainfield Public Library, the article provides great advice for first-time homebuyers. Check it out here: http://moneybasicsu.com/5-tips-of-achieving-homeownership/

In a recent blog post on www.nahb.org, the National Association of Homebuilders gave advice on financing your first home, and suggested that all first-time homebuyers attend an educational seminar to familiarize themselves with the homebuying process and common mortgage terminology. To sign up for CF Funding's next free class, contact mgarland@cffunding.com or visit our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/cffundingcorp for updates.