Spring Has Sprung Early!

Posted by: najirashid on Thursday, February 23rd, 2017

The Real Estate market in Baltimore feels like a spring market even though we are still in February. January was just as competitive. 80% of my clients have gone up against multiple offers. I have a client that want to submit an offer on a property in Baltimore County today, and the listing agent has informed me that she has received 6 offers between yesterday and today. The seller will be reviewing offers tomorrow. I believe it will be even more competitive in the spring. The main reason the competition is so fierce is because we have low inventory of properties so the really nice ones sell quickly and usually for a little more than asking price. If you are going to compete in this market here a couple of things you need to do.

1. Get Pre-approved now. You don’t want to lose out on a property because you could not get a pre-approval letter in time to get your offer submitted.

2. Make sure you are working with a full-time agent who can get you out quickly to see a property and get your offer submitted. Sometimes a couple of hours can be the difference between you getting your offer accepted or you lose the property to another buyer.

3. Put your best foot forward first. Submit your best offer because you might not get a second opportunity at the property.

4. Don’t become attached to any property you submit an offer on because you might not win your first one.

FHA Guidelines on Student Loans Changing June 30, 2016

Posted by: najirashid on Friday, June 17th, 2016

The FHA guidelines on student loans is changing again effective June 30, 2016. I believe this is going to have a big impact on buyer’s purchasing power. If you have student loans and have been pre-approved. I would highly recommend that you re-examine your pre-approval amount with your lender if you plan on purchasing after July 1st. FHA seems to be getting tougher on student loans which could mean that they are seeing higher default rates for buyers that have student loan debt.

Last year before September 2015, your lender could exclude student loan debt if you could show it was in forbearance or deferment for 12 months from the date of your settlement. In September 2015 FHA changed the guideline again.

The new guideline starting this month is lenders must use the GREATER of, 1% of the outstanding balance on the loan or the monthly payment reported on the borrower’s credit report OR the actual documented payment providing the payment will fully amortize the loan over its term.

Here is an example of how this will affect a buyer’s purchasing power. A buyer owes $40,000 in student loan debt. The payment base on 1% of the balance of $40,000 is $400 per month. The lender will have to add $400 to the buyer’s monthly debt when qualifying. This can have a big impact on a buyer’s purchasing power.



Federal Home Loan Bank (FHLB) is Back! $5,000 Forgivable Grant!

Posted by: najirashid on Wednesday, January 27th, 2016

Federal Home Loan Bank of Atlanta first-time home buyer grant program is back! All buyers must contribute a minimum of $1,250 into buying their home, and those funds can actually be gifted as well. This grant is forgivable after 5 years. If a buyer sells the property prior to 5 years then the grant is forgiven at 20% per year. FHLB does not cap out the buyer’s debt ratio at 45% like most other grant programs. The buyer does their home buying counseling over the phone for this program. FHLB can also be combined with other first-time home buyer grant programs. All banks or lenders do not participate in this program. You can contact me for a list of mortgage companies or lenders that participate. 

Maryland Grand Slam Program for Baltimore City!

Posted by: najirashid on Friday, September 4th, 2015

Effective September 2, 2015, Maryland is offering four special incentives (hence the name Grand Slam) for borrowers who are purchasing a home in Baltimore City. The Maryland Grand Slam Program in Baltimore City is open for reservations until the allocated funds for the grants are expended. The remaining balance of these funds will be posted daily in a flashing bulletin on Lender Online.


Incentives & Highlights are Listed Below:

First Base: the interest rate is 1/4% below the regular MMP interest rate for a conventional or government loan, whichever is applicable.

Second Base: $5,000 outright grant for down payment and closing costs from the state of Maryland.

Third Base: $2,500 outright grant for down payment and closing costs from Baltimore City.

Home Plate: $450 CDA Mortgage Credit Certificate (MCC) fee waived for an MMC associated with an MMP loan under the Maryland Grand Slam.


*Property must be in Baltimore City*

*Grants under the Maryland Grand Slam cannot be combined with matching funds from CDA Partner Match Programs*

*The entire city of Baltimore is a targeted area and therefore, someone buying a home in Baltimore City does not have to be a First-Time Homebuyer; however, they cannot own real property at the time of closing*

*The income limit for a one or two member household is $108,600 and $126,700 for a three or more member household*

*A CDA-approved lender must originate the loan*

*The maximum loan amount is $417,000*

If you have any questions contact me at 410-977-7176.

New FHA Guidelines Starting September 14, 2015

Posted by: najirashid on Friday, September 4th, 2015
Deferred Student Loans:
 The old guidelines said we did not have to count student loan debt if we could show the student loans deferred for 12 months.  The new guidelines states they must be counted regardless of the deferment period.  Lenders will be required to use the actual payment for qualification or if the payment is unknown, 2% of the outstanding balance of the loan to calculate the payment.  
What does this mean for your buyers?  They will qualify for LESS because we have to count more debt against them if they have student loan debt.
 The old guidelines allowed charged off debt (debt that has been written off by the creditor) to be excluded without counting a payment against the buyer for it or requiring it to be paid prior to closing.  The new guidelines will still allow for it not to paid but will require lenders to document why the charge-off exists, document reason for approving the loan, obtain a letter of explanation and supporting documentation behind the charge-off.
What does this mean for your buyers?  Tougher underwriting guidelines that are not as forgiving and more documentation requirements for buyers with charge-off debt.  
Frequent Job Changes:
 The old guidelines allowed a buyer to change jobs multiple times as long as they were advancing in income or benefits.  The new guidelines state that if a buyer changes jobs more than 3 times in the prior 12 months or has changed their line of work the lender has to provide transcripts of training and education demonstrating qualification for the new position or employment documentation evidencing continual increases in income and/or benefits.
What does this mean for your buyers?  Tougher underwriting guidelines that require more documentation for someone who changes jobs frequently in the 12 months prior to a mortgage application.  
Installment Debt Less Than 10 Months:
 The old guidelines stated that an installment debt less than 10 months may be excluded from the buyer’s debt ratio. The new guidelines state that the debt may be excluded only if they have a cumulative payment of less than or equal to 5% of the borrower’s gross monthly income and the borrower may not pay down the debt to achieve this percentage.
What does this mean for your buyers?  Buyers may potentially not qualify for as much if they have installment debt that is ten months or less.

Governor Larry Hogan Announces Maryland Grand Slam

Posted by: najirashid on Thursday, August 13th, 2015


$3 Million Allocated to Encourage Home Buyers in Baltimore City

ANNAPOLIS, MD – Governor Larry Hogan today announced Maryland Grand Slam, a $2 million program to build stronger communities in Baltimore through homeownership. These funds will be maximized with an additional $1 million from the City of Baltimore following today’s approval by the city’s spending board. Both state and city funds will provide grants to home buyers purchasing through the Maryland Mortgage Program, the state’s premier home loan product.

The new Maryland Grand Slam will help make homeownership more accessible by offering prospective buyers four ways to reduce the cost of buying a home, including $7,500 in down payment assistance grants. The initiative builds upon the governor’s comprehensive and ongoing efforts to help the city rebound from the civil unrest in April.

“Maryland Grand Slam will help change Maryland for the better by giving hardworking families that extra boost they need to get into the home of their dreams,” Governor Hogan said. “This initiative will revitalize neighborhoods in our state’s largest city while helping families build a lasting financial legacy for their children and their children’s children. A strong housing market is key to a strong economy. This program will help more families become homeowners and will improve our economy.”

The four benefits of Maryland Grand Slam are:

$5,000 for down payment assistance in the form of an outright grant from the state. The Hogan administration has allocated $2 million from Maryland’s rainy day fund for this initiative, a decision affirmed by the state’s Board of Public Works in June.

$2,500 for additional down payment assistance from the City of Baltimore, also in the form of a grant. Baltimore’s Board of Estimates approved the program on Wednesday.

A federal tax credit through the Maryland HomeCredit program that can save the homeowner tens of thousands of dollars over the life of the loan. In addition, Maryland is waiving its usual fee for a savings of as much as $450.

A 0.25 percent discount on the already low Maryland Mortgage Program interest rate.
“The Hogan administration is putting the power of homeownership to work to revitalize Maryland’s economy,” Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development Secretary Kenneth C. Holt said. “Working together, we can and will accomplish great things for Baltimore and for Maryland.”

For more information about Maryland Grand Slam and other Maryland Mortgage Program products, visit http://mmp.maryland.gov or contact me at 410-977-7176.

Spring Has Sprung!

Posted by: najirashid on Thursday, May 7th, 2015

Prepare Your Home Now for Warmer Days Ahead.

Take these tips into account during the spring months


National Association of Realtor Survey

Posted by: najirashid on Sunday, March 8th, 2015

Types of Homes Sold

67% residential 20% investment property 13% vacation homes

Home Buyer Demographics 

Average age – 44 Average gross income – $84,500 Married couples – 65% Single females – 9% Single males 8% Own a second home – 21% First–time home buyers – 33% Multigenerational households – 24%

Primary Reason for Buying a Home – Order of Importance 

Desire to own their own home Job-related relocation Home in a better area Change in family situation Need a larger home Desire to be closer to family/friends Retirement Establish a household Need a smaller home Financial security

Obstacles to Buying a Home – Order of Importance

Trouble saving for a down payment Too much debt High credit card debt Student loans Auto loans Childcare expenses Healthcare expenses Tight inventory of homes on the market

Type of Homes Purchased

Single-family home – 79% 3 bedrooms, 2 baths 1870 sq. ft. Age of home – built 1993 12 miles from previous residence

Where Homes Were Purchased

Suburbs – 50% Small town – 20% Urban – 16% Rural – 11%

Why Location Chosen – Order of Importance

Quality of neighborhood Convenient to job Affordable location Close to family and friends Convenient to shopping Quality of school district Design of neighborhood

Searching for Homes

Buyers saw 10 homes before buying Search time online/auto for 10 weeks Contacted FSBO Seller- 15% Online home search – 74% Real estate agent home recommendations – 53% Mobile apps – 34% Yard signs – 16% Open house – 12% Homes magazines – 2%

Value of Website Features – Order of Importance

Photos Detailed property information Interactive features Virtual tours Neighborhood information Comparing listing to sold homes Bio of real estate agent Videos

Mobile Devices Used when Searching for a Home

iPhone – 52% iPad – 46% Android phone – 27% Mobile app – 27% Different tablet – 10% Windows-based computer – 6% QR code – 3%

How Home Buyers Prefer Agents to Keep Them Informed – Order of Importance

Personal phone call Send property info as soon as properties are listed Email Market reports on recent listings/sales Text messages Website pages Mobile app to keep them updated on listings Newsletters Facebook/Twitter Blog pages

Real Estate Agent Use

88% purchased home using real estate agent 67% interviewed only one agent 20% interviewed two agents 12% interviewed three or more agents

How Buyers Found Agent to Work With

Referred by family/friend – 40% Used agent they worked with before – 12% Found agent online – 19%


FHA Lower Annual Mortgage Insurance Premiums Rates!

Posted by: najirashid on Tuesday, January 13th, 2015

Great news for FHA buyers. Effective January 26, 2015 FHA is lowering the annual Mortgage Insurance Premiums rate from 1.35 percent to 0.85 percent. For the typical first-time homebuyer, this reduction will translate into a $900-$1,000 reduction in their annual mortgage payment. Existing homeowners who refinance into an FHA mortgage will see similar reductions to their mortgage payments as well. This action will help millions of families save billions of dollars in mortgage payments in the coming years, helping the housing market recovery.

House Hunting Tips!

Posted by: najirashid on Friday, November 14th, 2014

Knowing how much house you can afford is just a starting place for your search. You also need to answer the following questions to narrow down your options to those that are most relevant to you.

1. How many bedrooms and bathrooms do you need?

2. Do you want a new home or would you prefer an older one?

3. Are there special features you must have?

4. Is the school district a factor for you?

5. Do you want to be close to a shopping center?

6. Is commuting to work an issue? If so, how far are you willing to drive?

7. Do you have a style of home preference?

Searching for a home can be overwhelming, but here are a few tips to make it a bit easier;

* Take a notepad with you. Save each home listing sheet.

* Limit the homes you look at in each session to five so you can focus on the details. ( some buyers are able to view more homes in one session and keep good records).

* Take a picture of the homes that appeal to you so you can remember their features). Use discretion when taking photos of sellers properties that you don’t include their personal or private items.

* Make sure you get all your questions answered before making an offer.