TODAY'S PAPER
81° Good Afternoon
81° Good Afternoon
ClassifiedsReal Estate

Real Estate transcript

From Peter: 
Any chance that this will be extended again? It seems that many still haven't a clue about the first time buyer credit. Last fall it seemed to be better publicized.

Ron Roel: Peter, regarding the home buyer tax credit...The Washington insiders I've talked to say that it's not likely the credit will be extended again, especially since there was a political deal made to extend it beyond November. Then, again, you never know; if the economy stays flat, there could be another deal. If not, you've got to close a sale by the end of June.

VK: Peter, I think as we get closer to the April 30 deadline to be in contract, you will see more publicity. The Long Island Board of Realtors is, for example, planning an Islandwide open house to help get the word out about the tax credit.

 

From PC:
HI...looking to sell my home and buy another...what is most effective way to finance this..

VK: My advice, PC, is to sell your home first. The market is slow. You want to avoid having to pay two mortgages.

From James:
How much money should you save in order to purchase your first house (roughly)

EY- hi james, amount of money depends on so much, including how big a house, price, whether u want to pay PMI, which is mortgage insurance that's required of those who don't put 20 percent down

EY -- james, i would prolly save at least $20,000 for LI. loans insured by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) will let u put down as little as 3.5 percent but if ur credit is 580 or under, u have to put down 10 percent now under new FHA rules

 

From KEN:
Are property prices still declining and when will they bottom out?

LDB: Ken, It's hard to say without the crystal ball, but experts are thinking prices will hit bottom out at the end of the year. But keep an eye on interest rates.

RR: Ken, many experts believe that home prices overall, will continue dropping through this year, perhaps as much as 10 percent. Some people predict that the market may not bottom out for another two years.

The problem is, there are lots of exceptions to this general prediction (which, of course, could be wrong). Sellers are being much more aggressive and realistic today about adjusting their prices to today's market, so don't assume that a home priced at $400,000 will come down $40,000.

It may be priced right--you need to do your homework and check prices in the area where you want to buy to find out who's priced right and who's overpriced. And remember, if you get a good deal, prices may still come down but if you stay in your home at least seven years, it's highly unlikely that you won't see decent appreciation on your home.

From MarcMarc:
What's a good interest rate? How many lenders should see before deciding on one?

ey -- marc, a good rate nowadays is 5-6 percent fixed 30-yr if u have good credit, at least a 700 score.

ey -- marc, also be careful when lenders promise low rates, then u see the fine print, such as buying of points required. a few days before closing, i wud as the lender to send u copies of all the papers that u will be signing at closing so u have time to read and make sure the rates/terms are what u promised

From Marie: 
What's your absolute #1 piece of advice for first-time buyers on LI?

ey - marie, read everything and google to do ur own research. so many times, borrowers have told me they signed papers at closing w/o reading because they felt the pressure, etc. then they ended up with rates that they didnt expect, etc. as they say, knowledge is power


From Builder7:
What are the pros and cons of signing a disclosure statement regarding the condition of the house that is being sold as opposed to paying a flat fee since I understand paying a flat fee does not absolve one of liability should there be something inherently wrong with the house? Should a first-time home buyer ask for a disclosure statement instead of the seller paying a one-time fee?

VK: To Builder 7 -- A disclosure statement is good, but many sellers opt to pay the fee. Signing a statement doesn't necessarily absolve them of any problems that might arise with the house, as some litigation has shown.

From Steven:
First time home buyer classes? I've seen flyers for them...what are they?

ey - Steven, lenders and housing nonprofits offer first time home buyers classes, which guide u thru how the process goes, define terms in home buying, such as PMI. give us a sense of pitfalls to watch for, what to do, how appraisals work, etc. they are almost always free. HUD has a list of HUD-approved housing nonprofit counselors for every region. on LI, two of the big ones are Long Island Housing Partnership and Community Development Corp of LI.


From Vanessa:
What's better for a first-time-home-buyer...a condo or a coop?

VK: Hey, Vanessa, probably a condo. It's much easier to buy and sell. When you buy a coop, you have to go through a coop board. It's the same with selling.


From LIEBALIEBA:
Coming from another state where my agent was a buyer agent and represented me, it is strange that there are few buyer agents here. How does one go about locating a buyer agent? And more important, what is the difference between a buyer agent and an exclusive buyer agent?

RR: LIEBA, yes, many home buyers coming to New York are surprised at the lack of buyer's agents in NY--we're behind many other states, but more agents are starting to do this because a lot of younger buyers are demanding that agents represent THEIR interests, not sellers. At some firms, agents are both buyer and seller agents, and the more progressive firms are encouraging this.

There are some firms that are exclusive buyers agents, meaning, they ONLY represent buyers. Sometimes this presents problems when deals are struck and agents argue about commissions, but increasingly less so.

To find buyer's agents go to the website of the LI Board of Realtors www.mlsli.com and search for agents, or call the board 631-661-4800 and ask the for a list of these agents.


From Yashira:
What are the criteria I should be looking at when deciding on a broker? Should I have one?

LDB: Yashira, Agents and brokers have various designations. You can check with Long Island Board of Realtors (they have a web site) as to what they mean. But mostly, look for experience. Someone who is well versed in the community in which you are looking at. Shop around...ask questions and decide who you are most comfortable with.


ey - yashira, just be aware that the broker/real estate agent showing u places technically represents the seller when it comes to the deal..... that's the way it works in NYS. there is something called the 'buyer's agent'... u sign a contract with an agent -- it can be any agent but try to look for one who's taken courses in being a buyer's agent.... the contract stipulates payment terms, usually a percentage of sale, length of contract, what happens if u don't buy (who pays the agent of if the agent gets any payment)....


From Wilson:
I know the buyer tax credit deadline is looming. Will this actually drive property prices up. Would better to wait till after the deadline to buy a home. Will prices actually come down?

ey - wilson, some experts say prices will go up and down this year and probably stablize and rise in 2012. i don't think that prices are going to decline that much to make it profitable for u to wait after the tax credit.

From Mike4263:
Which LI neighborhoods should i be looking in for bargains? Which are way overpriced?

VK: Hi, Mike4263, there are bargains to be had throughout Long Island. I don't think there is any neighborhood where prices haven't gone down.


From Paul:
What are real estate agents charging these days, %-wise? It is best to use one to sell a home or go out on your own?

ey - paul, they are charging anywhere from 2-5 percent. if u are not pressed for time, try doing it urself first. there are lots of for sell by owner sites where u can list ur home but some mite charge, depending on what services u want to buy.

other sellers have created websites to showcase their homes, put their listings on craigs list , youtube videos nd just put flyers out in the community, such as the supermarket bulletin boards.


From LILove:
Are there towns that are more dog friendly than others? I have six dogs, and I want for them to have room to play and be themselves, but I don't want them to bother neighbors.

Hey, LILove, you must have a lively home life. Newsday did a great little piece about this for the Best Places to Live series. See the article here: http://www.newsday.com/classifieds/real-estate/best-places-to-live-on-li-if-you-have-dogs-1.1655306, Huntington, Merrick and Bay Shore all were cited, as well as Northport/East Northport. Look for special features like kennels and heated dog runs. Some sellers actually offer such amenities.

From Firsttime:
Can I ask the seller to pay for closing costs? What would be the best way to go about it?

LDB: Sure you can ask. Or even ask to split the cost. Everything is negotiable. The worst that can happen is they say no.

From Confused:
What downpayment should I be aiming for? 20%?

From Sabrina Teplin:
@confused: 20% allows you to not have to roll your property taxes in with your mortgage payment. You keep your money until tax due deadline date

RR--Confused about your down payment? Well, the standards have gotten much tougher. It's not bad to think about 20%, or at least 10% (which is now required even for FHA loans, if you have a lower credit rating). The most important thing is to remember that banks are hesitant to approve loans, so get approved BEFORE you even look for a house. And remember that lenders are looking for down payment, income, assets, good credit history--all the traditional stuff.

From NeedAdvice:
Would you guys recommend against buying a place with my gf? I still don't have the marriage bug, but I need her help to take advantage of the weak real estate market?

LDB: Hey, NeedAdvice...I'm no Ann Landers, but I would have to say don't do it. It could get real messy if it doesn't work out.


From Joann: 
someone below asked about buyer agents-- can you respond to that-- why do I need one and how do I get one

ey - joann, beyond what i wrote for yashira, the buyer's agent is supposed to work on ur behalf, from getting u the best price to telling u everything that's wrong with the house/location, etc. i have spoken to some agents who said they prolly wouldn't have told the buyer some things if they werent the buyer's agent.


From GerryG:
Is Newsday planning on providing this type of format again in the future?

VK: We would like to, Gerry. Do you have any ideas for topics?

From Roslyn:
Do i need to hire an attorney for all this? Any tips to cut costs there?

ey - roslyn, u mite not need an agent but u will prolly need an atty, especially if u are a first-time buyer, dont know the process/terms or mite not have time to read all the papers or if problems crop up at closing. but also, dont rely on atty for everything. in the big mortgage mess, many attys did not feel it was their legal role to tell the buyer that they were getting a bad deal, etc. so some buyers ended up signing loans with terms that were not good or were not what they promised

From Katie: 
How much money do I need to buy my first home on Long Island?

VK: Hey, Katie, it depends on where you're buying. There are places where you can find a house for $200,000, or less even, although they might need a lot of work. If they need too much work, you might not be able to get a traditional loan.

RR: Katie, It depends a lot on where you buy, but the median price on LI is probably in the mid-300,000s right now. You can find something for $250,000 but it might be in a community that's too far to commute from where you work. You should think about putting down between 10-20% of the sales price (3.5 % for an FHA loan, with good credit history)...plus about 3% of the loan amount for closing costs.


From Retired: 
I'm looking to downsize. Where are some calm low key commnunties that I should be looking at?

LDB: Retired, Many of the communities in eastern suffolk are calm. It really depends on your budget and housing preference. Are you looking for a small house with some property or condo community?


From Curious:
How I find a good inspector? How much do they cost? What should he be looking for?

VK: Hi, Curious, I would definitely go the word-of-mouth route. But make sure that the inspector is licensed in New York State.

From Sabrina Teplin L.A.B..:
Home inspectors that are licensed http://www.ashi.org/find/


From Eric:
I believe Long Island is one of the places that allows for higher than $417k as the Jumbo loan threshold. Is this correct? Do lenders typically honor the higher limit?

ey -- eric/SBA, yes, LI Is a high-cost area and the max loan limit is $729,750 before it becomes jumbo, according to the HUD website. but double check that first because congress made some loan limits temporary and not sure when that max ends


From Priscilla:
In this market, are home improvements recouping their costs?

RR: Priscilla, re: home improvements...Be careful about home improvements, if you're really just looking to recoup costs. The ones that traditionally matter are kitchens, bathrooms and adding bedrooms--and keep the master suite on the first floor. Also, curb appeal (landscaping) is adding value these days.


But don't think about improvements unless you plan to stay in your home for awhile. And don't necessarily expect to recoup full value--you should also do it because it improves your living experience for your family, not just financial value. You can go on the website of Remodeling magazine, which usually does annual surveys of how much value is recouped for specific renovations.

From Steven:
Buyers are always looking for some "rule of thumb" about how much of an offer to make on a home. Do any rules apply in this market?


VK: Hi, Steven, it used to be that a buyer would get laughed at when making a low offer. Now not so much. Put in the lower offer, but realize that the seller may not take it. Some are still having a hard time adjusting to the realities of the market. They don't accept the lower offer at first, but later after several price reductions, and it could be a year later, their asking price is lower than the offer they originally received.


From hmmm...hmmm...:
You mentioned that the houses are listed near true value in an earlier post. Is a bid of 10% - 15% off of the listed price okay or an insult to the owner?


From CRCR:
From a seller's position, co-op sales in Nassau County appear to be very slow. Is the market for co-op units expected to increase as we enter into the time of year when sales typically occur more?


VK: I think everything will pick up as spring gets closer, especially because of the tax credit deadline....


VK: In order to take advantage of the tax credit, CR, you have to be in contract by April 30.


From Lisa:
I want to live close to the city, but property taxes are pretty high on LI. What's a town with reasonable property taxes?


RR: Dear hmmm...There's no one answer...You need to do your homework...First decide what area or areas you want to look..Then go to open houses, talk to brokers, look at listings online..and check out sites like liprofiles.com, which will give you recent sales...gradually, you'll get a feel for what homes are priced right....and which are still overpriced....So when you find an overpriced home you like, you'll know you can bid 10-15% under the list price...If the seller gets insulted, walk away...chances are, after the miffed seller waits awhile and stops being in denial, they'll come back to you if they really want to sell.
Monday March 1, 2010 12:48
12:48

ey - alli/hmmm, yes, u can finance closing costs. but remember, that means u are paying interest on that for the life of the loan. also, u can try to get 'seller's concessions,' in which they pay for closing. but feds and other critics said this mite prompt some sellers to jack up asking price if they know u want them to pay closing
Monday March 1, 2010 12:48
12:48


[Comment From joannjoann: ]
so don't you think then that most buyer's especially first time ones should hire a buyers agent? I went on that msli link and don't see how to find an agent who represent buyers-- what other choices are there? and what is an Exclusive buyer agent and how do you get one of those?
Monday March 1, 2010 12:48 joann
12:49

VK: Hi, Joann, please see the answer to LIEBA for info on buyer's agents
Monday March 1, 2010 12:49
12:49


[Comment From TedTed: ]
Can you recommend any non-profit that assist first-time-home-buyers?
Monday March 1, 2010 12:49 Ted
12:50

VK: Hi, Ted, try the Long Island Housing Parnership, the Community Development Corp. of Long Island and Housing Help.
Monday March 1, 2010 12:50
12:52


[Comment From hmmm...hmmm...: ]
I had heard that closing cost can range from 12,000 to 15,000 on Long Island. Is there a way to finance this cost? What are the odds that the seller would pay?
Monday March 1, 2010 12:52 hmmm...
12:52

VK: Hey, all, there's a lot of good information about buying and selling at newsday.com/realestate. And it's local to Long Island.
Monday March 1, 2010 12:52
12:52

LDB: Lisa, Check out listings on the www.mlsli.com website. Choose towns that interest you and scan the taxes on all the listings to get a feel. Remember, villages have additional taxes.
Monday March 1, 2010 12:52
12:52


[Comment From KevinKevin: ]
I am upside down on my mortgage in Islip. How much do banks usually take off for a shortsale. i bought my house at 25 years old and now I cant afford it and its upside down
Monday March 1, 2010 12:52 Kevin
12:54

ey -- kevin, it all depends on the lender and investor/owner of ur loan. a short sale is when the lender/investor will agree to accept a buyer's bid that's less than what's owed on mortgage. so take ur mortgage amount, and figure it's less than that.
Monday March 1, 2010 12:54
12:54

VK: Hi, Retired, I would definitely look at the North Fork. It's very serene, and there are some bargains to be had.
Monday March 1, 2010 12:54
12:55

ey - kevin, also, some lenders/investors mite include all the late charges, legal fees into the short sale bid price that they'll accept.
Monday March 1, 2010 12:55
12:55


[Comment From LesLes: ]
thinking about putting house on market...what is realtor commission these days? Is it negotiable, particularly if Ill be getting realtor referral on the relocation end?
Monday March 1, 2010 12:55 Les
12:56

VK: Hi, Kevin, we're hearing 2- to 5 percent.
Monday March 1, 2010 12:56
12:56

ey -- kevin, just know that it takes a long time to do a short sale -- many agents/attys are complaining that it's taking a yr or more to do a short sale. the banks are swamped/disorganized. buyers walk away.
Monday March 1, 2010 12:56
12:56

VK: Les, we're hearing 2- to 5 percent.
Monday March 1, 2010 12:56
12:57

RR: Kevin, sorry to hear about your situation; you're not alone.... There's no easy answer for your short sale, banks are having a hard time dealing with short sales but the process is getting easier......The most important thing--by far--is to find an agent who has experience and credentials to handle distress sales..... They will walk you through the process; they know the lenders, the paperwork and what you need to provide to get approved...Otherwise, it could be a nightmare and you'll end up in foreclosure....
Monday March 1, 2010 12:57
12:57


[Comment From KevinKevin: ]
So me as a seller cant negiotiate with the bank
Monday March 1, 2010 12:57 Kevin
12:57

ey - kevin, yes u can negotiate. but u really have to prove ur case. they sometimes require a hardship letter (just like for loan modififications).
Monday March 1, 2010 12:57
12:58


[Comment From GeorgeGeorge: ]
How much different is a school district put value on a house?
Monday March 1, 2010 12:58 George
12:58

VK: Sabrina Teplin, a Huntington agent, just wrote in to suggest that buyers who want a buyer's agent look for the CBR designation. If you want to work with an agent who specializes in short sales, look for the CSSP designation.
Monday March 1, 2010 12:58
12:58

VK: Thank you, Sabrina.
Monday March 1, 2010 12:58
12:59

RR: Kevin, you can try to negotiate, but if you're not a pro at this, you may not have time before you get foreclosed.
Monday March 1, 2010 12:59
12:59


[Comment From KevinKevin: ]
Ellen I am a mortgage banker who is looking to getting into real estate. I thought I was so smart buying a house so young but, the market went to garbage so i feel like I am paying to much money for a bad investment
Monday March 1, 2010 12:59 Kevin
12:59

ey - kevin, in hardship letter, u have to say why u cant pay -- lost job, health, etc.. -- and also demonstrated that u are trying to cut down costs/bills. that means no movies, getting rid of cable, selling that motorcycle....
Monday March 1, 2010 12:59
12:59


[Comment From LesLes: ]
tht's a big range..wha's the difference between a 2 and 5% commission in terms of service, etc? How do I bet negotiate with a listing agent?
Monday March 1, 2010 12:59 Les
1:00


[Comment From KevinKevin: ]
I am only a month behind and rather get out before its too late
Monday March 1, 2010 1:00 Kevin
1:02

ey - kevin, i wud suggest trying to get a loan modification w/the help of a nonprofit housing counselor approved by HUD. they have lists of agencies on its site. u can also pursue a short sale at the same time. i
Monday March 1, 2010 1:02
1:02

VK: You can shop around, Les, but don't sacrifice quality. If you list with someone exclusively, they might be more apt to reduce the commission because they don't have to share it with another agent.
Monday March 1, 2010 1:02
1:02

LDB: George, a desirable school district can most certainly make it easier to sell a house...Pricing will depend on the condition of the house, however.
Monday March 1, 2010 1:02
1:02


[Comment From MarkMark: ]
I am a teacher in a private school earning a moderate income. How am I supposed to afford a house and taxes living on Long Island? It's almost impossible and I'm considering leaving completely.
Monday March 1, 2010 1:02 Mark
1:03

VK: I don't have all the answers, Mark, but I do know that this is the best time ever to buy a house -- low interest rates, tax credit, low prices. I wish I were buying now....
Monday March 1, 2010 1:03
1:03

ey - kevin, if u sell ur house short, u can also negotiate w/the banker to pay the rest later, after u sell house and get back on feet. u can also try to get the lender to agree to forgive the debt. have that in print. some lenders do. the good thing is u now dont have to pay taxes on any debt forgiven
Monday March 1, 2010 1:03
1:04

RR: Les, my opinion on negotiating with a listing agent: Ask them for references and track record--that is, how many homes have they sold...how close to the listing price..and importantly, how long did it take...then ask to speak to their clients. The better agents will be worth the higher commissions.
Monday March 1, 2010 1:04
1:04

VK: Look around, Mark. There are some really great properties out there, some need work.
Monday March 1, 2010 1:04
1:04

ey - mark, a FHA-backed loan allows u to pay as little as 3.5 percent down, with closing wrapped in possibly.
Monday March 1, 2010 1:04
1:04


[Comment From LesLes: ]
what is "exclusive" listing?
Monday March 1, 2010 1:04 Les
1:05

ey - mark, also do u have any relatives who can help u or have a co-signer on ur loan? if u can't make it, now mite not be the time to buy for u. so many people bought during the boom times whether they cud afford homes or not and now they're in trouble
Monday March 1, 2010 1:05
1:05


[Comment From MarkMark: ]
I know...I want to buy a house because of all of those reasons. With the state in such financial ruin, do you think we will see a surge of property taxes on the Island?
Monday March 1, 2010 1:05 Mark
1:06

VK: An exclusive is not on Multiple Listing Service of Long Island Web site, so the agent has to market the house different ways.
Monday March 1, 2010 1:06
1:07

LDB: That's a tough one Mark. Now is the time to look, but never ever go over your head. If you really want to stay on the Island, save what you can and make your move when you can.
Monday March 1, 2010 1:07
1:08

ey - mark, i think property taxes will go up.....the assessed value of a home mite go down but that doesnt mean the property tax bill will go down too. that's cuz skul district costs go up and with fewer homeowners around due to foreclosures, the remaining homeowners will have to pay more to share tax costs
Monday March 1, 2010 1:08
1:08


[Comment From ifif: ]
Les, an exclusive listing is usually kept within the office and not circulated in the MLS or with other agents - a "secret home for sale", it does not sound like it is in the best interest of the seller.
Monday March 1, 2010 1:08 if
1:08


[Comment From MarkMark: ]
I have enough for 20% down on most houses I'm looking at. It's the mortgage plus property taxes that's killing me.
Monday March 1, 2010 1:08 Mark
1:09

ey - mark , u mite consider putting down less than 20 percent, paying PMI, then when u reach 20 percent equity, u can stop paying PMI. but make sure that u are no longer charged PMI when u have 20 percent....
Monday March 1, 2010 1:09
1:09


[Comment From KevinKevin: ]
Thanks for your help
Monday March 1, 2010 1:09 Kevin
1:09

RR: Mark, I feel your anguish. My kids go to a private school and it's tough to recruit good, young teachers because of this....Still, there are more properties available these days and choices are likely to be good for awhile. Look at communities you like and go to the lowest prices in those communities...also, check out the HomeShare LI program in either Nassau or Suffolk. This is a good program just to get a foothold--you share a home with a qualified senior (at a reduced rent) and buy some time, when you can live here and save money for buying your first house....
Monday March 1, 2010 1:09
1:10


[Comment From LesLes: ]
doesn't an exclusive seriously lilmit the pool of potential lookers/buyers?
Monday March 1, 2010 1:10 Les
1:10

VK: Yes, Les, it does.
Monday March 1, 2010 1:10
1:11


[Comment From JoeOJoeO: ]
Havent owned a house since 2003, Do I qualify as a First time home buyer? Do I qualify for FHA? Do I have to pay PMI with an FHA or any loan under 20% down/
Monday March 1, 2010 1:11 JoeO
1:11


[Comment From MarkMark: ]
thanks
Monday March 1, 2010 1:11 Mark
1:12


[Comment From SoniaSonia: ]
How do I calculate closing costs?
Monday March 1, 2010 1:12 Sonia
1:12

ey = JoeO, yes u do qualify for FHA. the definition of first time home buyer is someone who hasnt owned in past three yrs. on FHA loan, u are paying for the privilege of getting FHA loan, low downpayment, etc., for the life of the FHA loan. that's what one lender told me. so it' not like PMI, where u dont pay it after 20 percent
Monday March 1, 2010 1:12
1:15


[Comment From PeterPeter: ]
Would it be weird to ask a seller to hang out in their home at night? I feel like I would get a better sense of the neighborhood and home.
Monday March 1, 2010 1:15 Peter
1:15

VK: Peter, I know there are some sellers who offer buyers a chance to sleep over. I think it's a great idea...
Monday March 1, 2010 1:15
1:16

VK: It hasn't really caught on, though. Are you selling a house?
Monday March 1, 2010 1:16
1:16


[Comment From PeterPeter: ]
Is there a basic formula to figure out how much I can afford on a mortgage?
Monday March 1, 2010 1:16 Peter
1:16


[Comment From GerryGerry: ]
The FHA version is called MIP. It is also more expensive than PMI, but part of it is financed into the mortgage amount reducing your cost of MIP
Monday March 1, 2010 1:16 Gerry
1:17


[Comment From KevinKevin: ]
you have to pay mip if you go FHA
Monday March 1, 2010 1:17 Kevin
1:17

VK: Generally speaking, Peter, you should plan on spending no more than 30 percent of your gross income on the monthly payments. The payments include mortgage principal, interest, taxes, and insurance.
Monday March 1, 2010 1:17
1:17

RR: Sonia, Closing costs in NY are often about 3% of the loan amount...the biggest chunk is the mortgage tax...then there are a bunch of fees, like origination fees, bank inspection..appraisal...Ask the lender for statement on settlement costs. HUD has standardized these forms to make them more "transparent"......Having just gone through a closing, I don't think that's necessarily the case, but everything should be spelled out and there' much less wiggle room for lenders to suddenly spring undisclosed fees from their original estimate.
Monday March 1, 2010 1:17
1:17

ey -- thx gerry and kevin, yes it is the mortgage insurane premium MIP and it is wrapped up. thx
Monday March 1, 2010 1:17
1:17


[Comment From IsabelIsabel: ]
What are mortgage points? What does it mean that I can buy points?
Monday March 1, 2010 1:17 Isabel
1:20

ey - isabel -- u buy a point to lower ur interest rate... it's often one percent of loan amount to lower rate by one point (from 7 to 6 percent for example)....
Monday March 1, 2010 1:20
1:20


[Comment From ConfusedConfused: ]
Is there a database where I can find real estate lawyers?
Monday March 1, 2010 1:20 Confused
1:21

VK: Confused, call the Nassau or Suffolk bar association. But when looking for an attorney, I would get recommendations from people you know. I find these to be more helpful.
Monday March 1, 2010 1:21
1:24


[Comment From MikeyBiggsMikeyBiggs: ]
I own a house but would like to refinance to lower my payments. I have bad credit. DO I stand a chance?
Monday March 1, 2010 1:24 MikeyBiggs
1:25

ey - mikeybiggs, very little chance of refi w/bad credit. i suggest clean up ur credit record first, then try for refi. if a lender is willing to do a refi, it mite be at high interest rates or terms that u mite not like
Monday March 1, 2010 1:25
1:25


[Comment From RPRP: ]
Can you buy a house even though you have a bankruptcy on my credit? and how long after a bankruptcy can you start looking?
Monday March 1, 2010 1:25 RP
1:27


[Comment From joannjoann: ]
so what do you think the first steps in buying your first home should be?
Monday March 1, 2010 1:27 joann
1:27

ey - RP, yes u can but usually yrs, perhaps 7 yrs or more after ur bankruptcy. lenders wil look at how u've handled ur credit/finances in those yrs. also, it depends on the cause of bankruptcy. if it's health/illness related, some lenders mite look more kindly on that.
Monday March 1, 2010 1:27
1:27

VK: Hey, Joann, I would figure out how much you can afford, starting looking at what's on the market and how that matches up with your budget...
Monday March 1, 2010 1:27
1:28

VK: Then, Joann, get pre-approved for the mortgage before you actually start shopping. Of course, you should know where your down payment and closing costs will be coming from. The hope is that you were able to save or pull some money together for that...
Monday March 1, 2010 1:28
1:28

Vk: Just remember, Joann, that you have to be in contract by April 30 to take advantage of the home buyer's tax credit.
Monday March 1, 2010 1:28
1:30


[Comment From Joe MJoe M: ]
How much longer do you seeing the house market being in the buyers favor. My wife and I are looking all the time but just wanna save some more money before we buy
Monday March 1, 2010 1:30 Joe M
1:31

VK: Thanks for logging in Joe M. I think it will be like this for a while -- some say a year, some say longer.
Monday March 1, 2010 1:31
1:32


[Comment From GuestGuest: ]
I was recently told at a first time home buyer's seminar that when lawyers see paperwork from the FHA or VA they shudder because it means additional work for them. So much for "support the troops" I guess, right? A yellow magnet on your car is so much cheaper and easier! My husband and I are both veterans and we qualify for VA loans. Is the attitude that was quoted to me common or predominant on Long Island to your knowledge?
Monday March 1, 2010 1:32 Guest
1:33

ey - guest, before the housing boom and runaway credit times, a lot of lenders/attys didnt want to do them cuz there were lots of paperwork/red tape. but now, FHA-insured loans are about the only nonprime alternative so whether atty/lenders like it or not, they have to do it.. also, FHA has streamlined paperwork in past couple yrs
Monday March 1, 2010 1:33
1:35


[Comment From joannjoann: ]
are you going to have copies of this discussion anywhere on your website or anywhere else-- because there is so much info on here
Monday March 1, 2010 1:35 joann
1:35

VK: Yes, Joann, we will. You can read the entire transcript at newsday.com/homechat. Thanks for participating. You had great questions.
Monday March 1, 2010 1:35
1:36


[Comment From Joe MJoe M: ]
What do you prefer for a down payment- 5%, 10% or 20%? Ive been told to put 5% and use the extra money saved towards home repairs and emergencies
Monday March 1, 2010 1:36 Joe M
1:36

ey - kristie, i am not familiar with the term 'credit only mortgage.' if u are talking about options arms, the type of loan where u keep paying and almost never dent the principal, then no. those loans are basically gone. too risky. the number of lenders who wud do that are fast dwindling and lenders who offer the more exotic loans still will likely do it with terms that are big burdens to borrowers
Monday March 1, 2010 1:36
1:37


[Comment From Sabrina Teplin L.A.BSabrina Teplin L.A.B: ]
FHA down payment of 3.5% is slated to go up in the summer
Monday March 1, 2010 1:37 Sabrina Teplin L.A.B
1:37


[Comment From GerryGerry: ]
To Guest - the VA Loan program typically requires that the property being purchased meet minimum standards and that the seller assist with some of your closing costs. The VA website can provide you with approved VA lenders in this area.
Monday March 1, 2010 1:37 Gerry
1:38

ey- JoeM, if u can put more, do it because otherwise, u will be paying interest on a bigger loan. if u have the money in the bank, it's barely earning any interest anyway.
Monday March 1, 2010 1:38
1:39

ey - joem, but keep in mind also that u shud set aside some money for unexpected closing costs and home repairs that cant wait.
Monday March 1, 2010 1:39
1:39

VK: Thanks for all your questions. If you have more questions or questions we couldn't get to today, please write to us at realestate@newsday.com. We will answer them in Newsday and at newsday.com/realestate. Also, e-mail any ideas for future chats. I'd love to get the feedback.
Monday March 1, 2010 1:39
1:39

ey -- ey - thx all for participating. i cover real estate/mortgages for newsday and would love to hear more from you on the house hunting experience and also ask ur opinions when new, federal rules/programs come out. my email is yan@newsday.com....

i know many folks are worried about not getting a decent loan and lenders going out of business. one good research tool is the FHA's site on default rates and other info on lenders who have been approved to make FHA-insured loans. most lenders make such loans now because it's about the only non-prime alternative in town so even if u are getting a prime loan, u mite want to look up the lender. . the link is https://entp.hud.gov/sfnw/public/ u can search for name of lender or go to all lenders under the "early warning' drop down box on top left, then go to bottom half of options, click on "new york' for state or under MSA, find Nassau-suffolk or whatever are u want.

good luck
Monday March 1, 2010 1:39
1:44

Moderator: Well, that's going to wrap up our chat. Thanks to all who participated. Go to Newsday.com/realestate for the latest LI home listings, news, and buying/selling advice.
Monday March 1, 2010 1:44
1:44

[RSS]

[RSS] Writer: Moderator

[RSS] First Time Home Buyer Chat
Close

English English
???? ????
Dansk Dansk
Deutsch Deutsch
Español Español
Français Français
Italiano Italiano
??? ???
Nederlands Nederlands
Norsk Norsk
Português Português
??????? ???????
Svenska Svenska
Close
[Translate]
[Twitter]
[RSS]
Sound
Auto-Scrolling
Refresh
[Reader Information]
[Translate]
[Twitter]
[RSS]
[RSS]
Powered by: CoveritLive


You are now logged in.
Click here to view the event.
You are now logged in.
Click here to view the event.
 

Comments

We're revamping our Comments section. Learn more and share your input.

More news