Property Damage & Disaster Restoration Blog: Long Island & New York City

Do You Know Anyone Looking to Buy or Sell a House?

Posted on Mon, Jan 18, 2010 @ 10:53 AM

Tell them about this most important educational opportunity!
Thursday, January 21st at 7PM...

house

Buying or selling a home can be an intimidating process. Before you make one of the largest financial transactions of your lifetime, attend our free seminar. You will empower yourself with the knowledge and skills you need to make wise decisions - before you begin to shop for a home or place one on the market. The program runs 1½ - 2 hours including questions and answers related to everything you would want to know about buying or selling a house.

Just some of the topics we will discuss:

What you can afford on your present income

Credit scores and optimizing your credit score

The mortgage process

Closing costs

Down payment assistance programs

The tax advantages of owning a home

What a realtor does

Getting the most out of your Realtor

Benefits of working with a Realtor as your Buyer Representative

How to find a home that meets your needs

What title insurance is all about

The important ways a good Real Estate attorney can help you

Critical information to be learned from a thorough home inspection

...and much more!

 For location and more information, please Click Here

 

Tags: Product Information, foreclosure, foreclosures, advanced restoration, restoration, home repair, Announcements, resources, buying a home, selling a home, free real esate seminar

HUD Inspector General Probes Mortgage Companies With Significant Claim Rates

Posted on Fri, Jan 15, 2010 @ 12:12 PM

WASHINGTON - U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Inspector General Kenneth M. Donohue and Federal Housing Administration (FHA) Commissioner David H. Stevens announced today an initiative focusing on mortgage companies with significant claim rates against the Federal Housing Administration mortgage insurance program.

HUD Office of Inspector General (OIG) subpoenas were served to the corporate offices of 15 mortgage companies across the country demanding documents and data related to failed loans which resulted in claims paid out by the FHA mortgage insurance fund.

Inspector General Donohue said, "The goal of this initiative is to determine why there is such a high rate of defaults and claims with these companies and whether there is wrongdoing involved. We aren't making any accusations at this time, we have no evidence of wrongdoing, but we will aggressively pursue indicators of fraud. We are members of the President's Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force and today's activities reflect our commitment to seeking information on red flags that may arise from data analysis.

" This initiative was prompted, in part, by the FHA Commissioner, David Stevens, who was alarmed by the incidence of claims against the FHA insurance fund by a number of poor performing companies and reached out to the HUD OIG for assistance.

FHA Commissioner David Stevens said, "We are taking risk management extremely seriously. In addition to the policy changes we are implementing and additional changes we plan to announce later this month, we need to hold FHA lenders accountable for the high rates of defaults and claims against FHA. The Inspector General's initiative will help us determine whether there is fraud and better manage risk in the long run.

" The HUD OIG identified these direct endorsement companies from an analysis of loan data focusing on companies with a significant number of claims, a certain loan underwriting volume, a high ratio of defaults and claims compared to the national average, and claims that occurred earlier in the life of the mortgage. These are key indicators of problems at the origination or underwriting stages. The HUD OIG wants to see why these loans failed.

Some actions available to the HUD OIG are audits, investigations, and inspections and evaluations. In addition, we rely on the support of the Department of Justice (DoJ), and of State and local law enforcement. The DoJ is available to pursue both civil and criminal legal actions against wrongdoers. HUD is available to proceed with administrative sanctions such as suspensions, limited denial of participation, debarment, and civil monetary penalties.

The probe will be conducted by the HUD OIG's Audit and Investigation staff jointly. They will assess why these companies have high default rates, especially at this unprecedented time when the FHA mortgage insurance program represents such a significant percentage of mortgages currently in force in our country.

This probe is a new type of approach in which HUD OIG is focused on corporate offices rather than individual branch offices. This is a starting point for more detailed reviews if abuses are uncovered, and the HUD OIG anticipates that more probes may follow.

"The FHA market share has skyrocketed," Inspector General Donohue further said. "Our job is oversight. We work for the American taxpayer. Each loan on this list will be thoroughly examined and we will track down the reasons why it failed. Once we determine the causes, we will look to see whether there is a need for further review or remedial action. We want to send a message to the industry that as the mortgage landscape has shifted we are watching very carefully and that we are poised to take action against bad performers."

    The following companies were served OIG subpoenas today:

    First Tennessee Bank N.A., Memphis, TN
    Alethes LLC, Lakeway, TX
    Security Atlantic Mortgage Co., Edison, NJ
    Pine State Mortgage Corporation, Atlanta, GA
    Birmingham Bancorp Mortgage Corporation, West Bloomfield, MI
    Alacrity Financial Services, LLC, Southlake, TX
    Assurity Financial Services, LLC, Englewood, CO
    D and R Mortgage Corporation, Farmington, MI
    Webster Bank, Cheshire, CT
    Mac-Clair Mortgage Corporation, Flint, MI
    Americare Investment Group, Inc., Arlington, TX
    1st Advantage Mortgage, Lombard, IL
    American Sterling Bank, Independence, MO
    Sterling National Mortgage Company Inc., Great Neck, NY
    Dell Franklin Financial LLC, Columbia, MD

###

For more information, visit the HUD Website.

The Department of Housing and Urban Development Office of Inspector General is statutorily authorized to detect and prevent waste, fraud and abuse, and to promote the effectiveness and efficiency of government operations. The Federal Housing Administration provides mortgage insurance on loans by FHA-approved lenders throughout the United States and its territories. The FHA insures mortgages on single family and multifamily homes including manufactured homes and hospitals. It is the largest insurer of mortgages in the world.

Tags: 203(k) loan, property damage, foreclosures, hud loan, advanced restoration, restoration, suffolk county restoration, restoration company, disrepair, home repair, buying a home, refinance, 203k, 203k streamline, rehab, mortgage companies

Wind Damage to Your Home: Wind Advisory in New York

Posted on Tue, Dec 29, 2009 @ 08:54 AM
Heavy winds are pounding Long Island today and the National Weather Service has issued a Wind Advisory for parts of New York. 

During a severe storm or a hurricane, homes may be damaged or destroyed by high winds. Debris can break windows and doors, allowing high winds inside the home. In extreme storms, the force of the wind alone can cause weak places in your home to fail.

Some helpful tips regarding wind damage and preparing for storms are listed below: 

The Roof
During a windstorm, the force of the wind pushes against the outside of your home. That force is passed along from your roof to the exterior walls and finally to the foundation. Homes can be damaged or destroyed when the energy from the wind is not properly transferred to the ground. The first thing you should do is determine what type of roof you have. Homes with gabled roofs are more likely to suffer damage during a hurricane. A gabled roof looks like an A on the ends,with the outside wall going to the top of the roof. The end wall of a home with a gabled roof takes a beating during a hurricane or wind storm, and those that are not properly braced can collapse, causing major damage to the roof.

Exterior Doors and Windows
The exterior walls, doors, and windows are the protective shell of your home. If your home's protective shell is broken, high winds can enter and put pressure on your roof and walls, causing damage. You can protect your home by strengthening the doors and windows.

Double Entry Doors
Most double doors have an active and an inactive or fixed door . Check to see how the fixed door is secured at the top and bottom. The bolts or pins that secure most doors are not strong enough. Some door manufacturers provide reinforcing bolt kits made specifically for their doors. Check with your local building supplies retailer to findout what type of bolt system will work for your door.

Double-wide Garage Doors
Double-wide (two-car) garage doors can pose a problem during storms because they are so large that they wobble as the high winds blow and can pull out of their tracks or collapse from wind pressure. If garage doors fail, high winds can enter your home through the garage and blow out doors, windows, walls, and even the roof.

Check the track on your garage door. With both hands, grab a section of each track and see if it is loose or if it can be twisted. If so, a stronger track should be installed.

Storm Shutters
Installing storm shutters over all exposed windows and other glass surfaces is one of the easiest and most effective ways to protect your home. You should cover all windows, French doors, sliding glass doors, and skylights. There are many types of manufactured storm shutters available. For more information on manufactured shutters, check with your local building supplies retailer. If you install manufactured shutters, follow the manufacturer's instructions carefully.

The recommendations discussed here are not intended to replace local building code requirements or to serve as the only options for protecting your home from hurricane wind damage. For more information on protecting your home from hurricane wind damage, contact your local building official; your local building supply retailer; or a building professional.

Advanced Restoration is a property damage restoration company that is trained and ready to respond to any disaster situation, including wind damage to your home or business. We are a preferred vendor for many insurance carriers and have been serving Long Island and the NY Metro area for 20 years. 

Do you have a property damage situation you need help with? 
Call us today at (800) 693-6263!

 

Tags: wind damage, hurricane tips, property damage, restoration companies, water damage restoration, nassau county restoration, winter storm, cold winter, insurance, restoration, suffolk county restoration, homeowner tips, restoration company, rebuild, home repair, buying a home, weather, nor'easter

FHA 203K Rehab Loan Q&A Summary

Posted on Mon, Dec 21, 2009 @ 11:13 AM
If you are thinking about purchasing a foreclosure in disrepair (needs rehabilitation), you should look into applying for an FHA 203k loan. The 203k program is HUD's primary program for the rehabilitation and repair of single family properties. As such, it is an important tool for community and neighborhood revitalization and for expanding homeownership opportunities.
Listed below are some general questions & answers regarding 203k loans to help you better understand the 203k concept:


Is the Section 203(k) program restricted to single-family dwellings? No. The program can be used for one-to-four unit dwellings. Maximum mortgage limitations are the same as for properties under Section 203(b).
Can Section 203(k) be used to improve a condominium unit? Yes, however, condominium rehabilitation is subject to the following conditions:
A. Owner/occupant and qualified nonprofit borrowers only;
B. Rehabilitation is limited only to the interior of the unit. Mortgage proceeds are not to be used for the rehabilitation of exteriors or other areas which are the responsibility of the condominium association, except for the installation of firewalls in the attic for the unit;
C. Only the lesser of five units per condominium association, or 25 percent of the total number of units, can be undergoing rehabilitation at any one time;
D. The maximum mortgage amount cannot exceed 100 percent of the after-improved value. After rehabilitation is complete, the individual buildings within the condominium must not contain more than four units. By law, Section 203(k) can only be used to rehabilitate units in one-to-four unit structures. However, this does not mean that the condominium project, as a whole, can only have four units or that all individual structures must be detached.

Example: A project might consist of six buildings each containing four units, for a total of 24 units in the project and, thus, be eligible for Section 203(k). Likewise, a project could contain a row of more than four attached townhouses and be eligible for Section 203(k) because HUD considers each townhouse as one structure, provided each unit is separated by a 1 1/2 hour firewall (from foundation up to the roof). Similar to a project with a condominium unit with a mortgage insured under Section 234(c) of the National Housing Act, the condominium project must be approved by HUD prior to the closing of any individual mortgages on the condominium units.


Can a six (or more) unit building be done using the 203(k) program? No. However, the building could be renovated and reduced to a four unit building.

Can nonresidential (storefront) property be eligible for a 203(k) insured loan? Yes. Mixed-use residential property is acceptable provided the property has no greater than 25% (for a one story building); 33% (for a three story building); and 49% (for a two story building) of its floor area used for commercial (storefront) purposes. The rehab funds can only be used for the residential functions of the dwelling and areas used to access the residential part of the property.
Can HUD-owned properties be purchased using the 203(k) loan? Yes. However, the property must be advertised that it is eligible for financing with a 203(k) loan. If the HUD-owned property is purchased with other funds, a 203(k) loan can be made after the property is in the buyers name. In this case, cash back will be allowed to the borrower for a period of six months from purchasing the HUD-owned property.
Can an investor use the 203(k) program?
No. In October, 1996, the Department placed a moratorium on investor participation in the 203(k) Rehabilitation Mortgage Program.

Can a local government agency or a nonprofit organization use the 203(k) program?
Yes. The same qualification requirements will be used as for an owner-occupant of the property.

What is the definition of a First-Time Homebuyer?
A single person or an individual and his or her spouse who have not owned a home (as a tenant in common or as a joint tenant by the entirety) during the three years immediately preceding the date of application for the 203(k) loan. Any individual who is legally separated or divorced cannot be excluded from consideration, because the three-year waiting period does not apply, provided the individual no longer has an interest in the home.

Tags: 203(k) loan, homeowner, property damage, fire restoration, restoration companies, fha, advanced restoration, emergency service, homeowner tips, rebuild, home repair, buying a home, refinance, 203k, 203k streamline, rehab

Why Renovate With a 203K Streamlined Loan?

Posted on Mon, Sep 28, 2009 @ 02:19 PM

Because You Can!

I'll keep this very brief...


You are purchasing a home that needs minor repairs (repairs under $35,000 qualify for a streamlined loan). Incorporating the rehab into your mortgage payment allows you to have just one payment. Some highlights include:

  • Loan amounts up to 110% of the home's appraised value; renovation amounts up to $35,000.
  • No work write-up, no inspection required if repairs are less than $15,000 and no HUD consultant required.
  • There is no longer a minimum of $5,000 in repairs for a 203K Streamline.
  • On a 203K Streamline, up to 50% of the rehab amount can be requested immediately following the closing. After closing the work can start.
  • For a 203K Streamline, there is a maximum of 2 draws per contractor.
  • Loan can be used for many improvements, including repair/replacement of: roofs, plumbing, electrical, flooring, minor remodeling, windows, doors, etc.
  • Available for mortgage refinance transactions including those where the property is owned free and clear.

203K Streamlined Loans are available through HUD approved lenders. For more information on how Advanced Restoration can be your 203k contractor, please contact Gary Matzelle at (516) 903-4107.

Tags: foreclosure, 203(k) loan, mortgage, fha, advanced restoration, disrepair, rebuild, home repair, buying a home, 203k, hud, 203k streamline, rehab

Ineligible 203k Streamlined Repairs

Posted on Wed, Sep 02, 2009 @ 04:09 PM

What items remain ineligible for the Streamlined (k) program?

FHA's Streamlined 203(k) program permits homebuyers to finance up to an additional $35,000 into their mortgage to improve or upgrade their home before move-in. With this product, homebuyers can quickly and easily tap into cash to pay for property repairs or improvements, such as those identified by a home inspector or FHA appraiser.

A question that has consistently come up over the past few weeks has been related to 203k streamlined repair exclusions.

Per HUDs' Mortgagee letter 2005-50, the following information will help identify what is not covered if you are applying for a 203k Streamlined loan.

Properties that require the following work items are not eligible for financing under the Streamlined 203(k) program:

  • Major rehabilitation or major remodeling, such as the relocation of a load-bearing wall;
  • New construction (including room additions);
  • Repair of structural damage;
  • Repairs requiring detailed drawings or architectural exhibits;
  • Landscaping or similar site amenity improvements;
  • Any repair or improvement requiring a work schedule longer than six (6) months; or
  • Rehabilitation activities that require more than two (2) payments per specialized contractor.

Mortgagors may not use the Streamlined (k) program to finance any required repairs arising from the appraisal that do not appear on the list of Streamlined (k) Eligible Work Items or that would:

  • Necessitate a “consultant” to develop a “Specification of Repairs/Work Write-Up”;
  • Require plans or architectural exhibits;
  • Require a plan reviewer;
  • Require more than six months to complete;
  • Result in work not starting within 30 days after loan closing;
  • Cause the mortgagor to be displaced from the property for more than 30 days during the time the rehabilitation work is being conducted. (FHA anticipates that, in a typical case, the mortgagor would be able to occupy the property after mortgage loan closing).

Advanced Restoration Corporation is a full-service restoration contractor with the ability and 203(k) knowledge to provide complete Rehabilitation & Restoration services to your new home!

For more information about 203(k) loans and partnering with Advanced Restoration, please contact Gary Matzelle at (516) 903-4107.

Tags: foreclosure, 203(k) loan, property damage, restoration companies, mortgage, fha, hud loan, advanced restoration, reconstruction, homeowner tips, home repair, buying a home, refinance, 203k

Rehab Your Foreclosure with a 203k Loan!

Posted on Wed, Aug 19, 2009 @ 05:05 PM

You are thinking about buying a home foreclosure on Long Island, but the properties you are looking at need serious rehabilitation.
What Can You Do?

You may want to apply for an FHA 203(k) restoration loan through an approved lender!
The purchase of a house that needs repair is often a catch-22 situation, because the bank won't lend the money to buy the house until the repairs are complete, and the repairs can't be done until the house has been purchased.

HUD's 203(k) program can help you overcome this obstacle by enabling you to purchase or refinance a property plus the cost of making the repairs and improvements in one mortgage. The FHA-insured 203(k) loan is provided through approved lenders nationwide and is available to persons wanting to occupy the home.

The downpayment requirement for an owner-occupant (or a nonprofit organization or government agency) is approximately 3.5% of the acquisition and repair costs of the property.

The 203(k) loan includes the following steps:

A potential homebuyer locates a fixer-upper and executes a sales contract after doing a feasibility analysis of the property with his/her real estate professional. The contract should state that the buyer is seeking a 203(k) loan and that the contract is contingent on loan approval based on additional required repairs by the FHA or the lender.

The homebuyer then selects an FHA-approved 203(k) lender and arranges for a detailed proposal showing the scope of work to be done, including a detailed cost estimate on each repair or improvement of the project.

The appraisal is performed to determine the value of the property after renovation.

If the borrower passes the lender's credit-worthiness test, the loan closes for an amount that will cover the purchase or refinance cost of the property, the remodeling costs and the allowable closing costs. The amount of the loan will also include a contingency reserve of 10% to 20% of the total remodeling costs and is used to cover any extra work not included in the original proposal.
At closing, the seller of the property is paid off and the remaining funds are put in an escrow account to pay for the repairs and improvements during the rehabilitation period.

The mortgage payments and remodeling begin after the loan closes. The borrower can decide to have up to six mortgage payments (PITI) put into the cost of rehabilitation if the property is not going to be occupied during construction, but it cannot exceed the length of time it is estimated to complete the rehab.

Escrowed funds are released to the contractor during construction through a series of draw requests for completed work. To ensure completion of the job, 10% of each draw is held back; this money is paid after the lender determines their will be no liens on the property. It is essential for a borrower to select a general contractor (restoration company) that is familiar with the 203k loan process, including the required forms and documents.

Streamlined 203k Loan
FHA's Streamlined 203(k) program permits homebuyers to finance up to an additional $35,000 into their mortgage to improve or upgrade their home before move-in. With this new product, homebuyers can quickly and easily tap into cash to pay for property repairs or improvements, such as those identified by a home inspector or FHA appraiser.


Advanced Restoration Corporation is a full-service property restoration contractor with the ability and 203(k) knowledge to provide complete Rehabilitation & Restoration services to your new home or refinance! We service the New York Metro area (Nassau County, Suffolk County and the NY Boroughs).

For more information about 203(k) loans and mortgage professionals authorized to generate FHA 203(k) loans, please contact Gary Matzelle at (516) 903-4107.

Tags: foreclosure, 203(k) loan, property damage, water damage, advanced restoration, reconstruction, restoration, restoration company, disrepair, rebuild, home repair, buying a home, refinance, 203k, hud

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