Posts Tagged ‘federal program’

Too Much of a Good Thing?

March 18, 2010

Last month we posted an article on RD (Rural Development) home loans.  We outlined the basics and how this is a great option to consider when purchasing a home, especially when so many areas and buyers may qualify.  Unfortunately, this program may come to a sudden halt – at least for the rest of this fiscal year.

Early last week a memo from the US Department of Agriculture Rural Development alerted lenders that they anticipated funding for this year’s program to be exhausted by the end of April, 2010.  This news itself is nothing earth shattering, but the timing most certainly is.  Normally funds start to become depleted in the fall near the end of USDA’s fiscal year which ends September 30th. 

The other challenge is that there will not be any Conditional Commitments.  Typically as funds are depleted, loans are conditionally approved pending more fund allocation.  Once the department has the new fiscal year’s budget approved with new government funding those loans are fully approved and business continues as usual.  Not this year.  Since there is such a huge gap between now and the start of the next fiscal year, Conditional Commitments are just not appropriate.

So what caused this problem?  Why did the funding end so quickly?  The easiest explanation is the growing popularity of the program.  Kevin Smith, Area Director for Rural Development says, “Record demand, not only in Michigan but nationally, for the Guaranteed Rural Housing loan program will led to the full utilization of Congressionally appropriated funding at an early time frame this fiscal year.”

We too have seen a steady increase in RD loans; and our company continues to underwrite more RD loans than any other lender in the state of Michigan.  As more borrowers learn about the program with low income requirements, 100% financing options, and the vast amount of area classified as rural; demand will continue to increase. 

The next obvious question is what can be done to ease this challenge in the future?  Should more money be allocated to the program?  Should the upfront funding fee be increased like the FHA program has done?  Should this be a top subject for Congress to focus on?  Smith could not comment on policy issues of the federal government, but one thing is sure.  If you want to take advantage of this program yet this fiscal year, you need to have a signed purchase agreement as soon as possible.  There are only 6 weeks left before committed funds are anticipated to be exhausted.  Miss this window, and you may need to wait until October to get in on this program again.

Things could always change based on how the federal government reacts.  Time will tell.  In the meantime, we’ll keep watching and will let you know how this program progresses.

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No Time like the Present

March 1, 2010

There are many things in life where timing matters.  In order to gain the benefits involved, we need to take action within a specific timeframe or the opportunity is gone.   You could be the one who finds out a little too late that you missed the opportunity to recoup some significant money.  The offer referred to here is the Home Buyer’s Tax Credit, and the amount of savings involved could be as much as $8,000.  If you are thinking of buying a new home this spring, your opportunity to act is now

This incentive program has been making headlines and front stories for some time, but perhaps you still wonder if this applies to you.  When the federal government extended the program last fall, they also expanded the criteria to qualify making this a widespread opportunity.  The general guidelines contain two parts: first-time homebuyers and existing homebuyers. 

First-time homebuyers have been traditionally defined as those who have not owned a home in the past three years.  For these buyers, you may be eligible for a tax credit of 10% of the purchase price of your newly acquired home, up to $8,000.  (Consult with a tax professional for specific details on meeting this program’s qualifying criteria.)

One of the most significant additions to the Home Buyer’s Tax Credit program was to extend the credit to existing homeowners.  The general criteria are that you must have lived in the same home as your primary residence for any 5 consecutive years out of the past 8 years.  Existing homeowners purchasing a new primary residence home may also be eligible for a credit of 10% of the purchase price, up to $6,500.  (Again, consult your tax advisor for the exact qualifications of the program.)

The crucial point is to act now.  This program ends April 30, 2010.  Your purchase agreement must be fully executed by both buyer and seller by this date to qualify.  Take the first step to get pre-approved for a home loan by calling 866-982-9273.  We also have a secure on-line application on our website to get you started.  This is one event where being a split second off the timing means the difference between a nice rebate and nothing at all.