Down Payment Grants
Nonprofit organizations like Partners in Charity and the Genesis Program provide from 1 to 10 percent down payments, up to $22,500. While the qualifications vary according to program, each program requires that buyers qualify for financing with their lender. Other requirements may include completing a Home Ownership Counseling course, or that the home buyer provides 1 percent of their own money. Sellers are sometimes asked to contribute as well.
Sellers benefit as well from these programs. By broadening the pool of potential homebuyers, grant programs help sellers and lenders sell homes faster than they might otherwise with a smaller group of eligible buyers. In effect, down payment grant programs bring more buyers to the marketplace.
As you might expect, many programs have income/asset restrictions, recapture clauses, reserves required or geographic boundaries.
Down payment assistance programs generally participate with FHA, conforming and jumbo loan products, and can be used for single family homes, manufactured/modular home, condos, townhomes, existing or new construction, rehab and jumbo.
Most of the programs don’t underwrite the loan or add any cost in the form of points or fees. They just provide the gift for the down payment and/or closing costs.
Partners in Charity (PIC):
l Provides 2 to 10 percent down payment.
l No cash investment required of the buyer.
l No extra qualifying after mortgage lender approval.
The Genesis Program
l Homebuyers are not required to provide any of their own money.
l Sellers are required to put up a contribution equal to the gift amount provided by Genesis to the home buyer (1 percent of the contract sales price or $750 whichever is less).
l Buyers are automatically qualified for a gift from Genesis if they purchase a Participating Home (a home in which the seller has entered into a participating home agreement with Genesis Housing Development Corp. The Participating Home Agreement outlines the contribution the seller makes to Genesis and its use.) and obtaining financing through an eligible loan program.
It may seem that homebuyers and sellers don't agree on much, but they share one important concern: that the transaction is successful. This comradery is never more evident than during the appraisal process. It's only natural, since the results of the appraisal can send the deal spiraling out of control.
Appraisers take into account many factors when determining the worth of a home. While some of these, such as location, can't be helped, there are things a homeowner can do to ensure that the home is appraised for maximum value.
1. Information is King
Appraisers don't spend a lot of time in the home. In fact, Brian Coester, chief executive of appraisal firm CoesterVMS, tells CNBC that the interior inspection typically takes 30 minutes or less.
"After inspecting thousands of homes, it does become quite easy to quickly assess the amenities in a home," reiterates Ryan Lundquist on Sacramento Appraisal Blog. That isn't much time to make a good first impression, so line up those ducks in advance of the appraiser's visit. The first one should be a packet of information that you can hand the appraiser as he or she speeds out the door after the inspection. This packet should contain not only the basics about your home but anything that will help back up the buyer's offer.
Include a fact sheet about the home with the address, the year the home was built, the square footage, number of bedrooms and bathrooms, and the size of the lot. Also include a listing of recent sales in the area, especially if you know of any for-sale-by-owner homes that have sold or homes that sold for less than they should have for any reason. For example, a home may have been sold to a relative, or the owners may have sold quickly to take a job out of town. Yes, the appraiser has access to recent home sales, but there's always a chance he or she may miss something.
Create a list of any improvements you've made to the home. List them by date and include contact information for the contractor who did the work.
2. If It's Broken, Fix It
The appraiser will assign the home with what is known in the business as an "effective age."
It's largely based on the condition of the home and how well it has been maintained. This age may be older or younger than its actual age. "Say you have a cracked window, thread-bare carpet, some tiles falling off the shower surround, vinyl torn in the laundry room, and the dog ate the corner of the fireplace hearth, these items could still add up to an overall average condition rating as the home is still habitable, however your effective age will be higher resulting in comparables being utilized which will have the same effective age and resulting lower value," Doreen Zimmerman, an appraiser in Paradise, California, tells the Wall Street Journal.
Fix anything that will age the home in the eyes of the appraiser.
3. Give the Home a Quick Cleaning
Most appraisers will tell you that it doesn't matter if your home is clean or dirty - it has no bearing on its value. We, on the other hand, know how illusions can sell, and if a clean house gives the illusion that the home has been well-maintained, what harm can it do to clean it before the appraiser's arrival? I don't know about you, but before I trade in a car at the dealership, I give it a good cleaning.
"Things like overgrown landscaping, soiled carpeting, marks on walls - those do affect value and are part of the property's overall condition rating," Dean Zibas, of Zibas Appraisal in San Clemente, California, tells the Wall Street Journal.
While some things impact a home's value more than others, the bottom line is that the process can vary by appraiser. Anything you can do in the three areas listed above has the potential to streamline the appraisal process and increase the value of your home. Plus, going through these steps prior to listing your home will only help increase the number of potential buyers. And ultimately, selling your home is what it's all about.
3 Tips for a Higher Home Appraisal
Aug 03, 2016