Over the holidays FHA Condo rules were modified! Changes were made to condo policies making it easier for condos to be approved for FHA loans.
The main FHA condo rules modified are:
•Redefining “owner occupied,” streamlining the recertification process for Condo developments. Properties that aren’t strictly investor properties, such as second homes, will now be included in the percentage of units that are owner-occupied. FHA requires that 50 percent of the units in condo buildings be owner occupied in order to qualify for FHA certification. This means more complexes will qualify for FHA financing!
•A streamlined recertification process internally for HUD ( FHA) to approve condo complexes.
•Allowing more insurance options. An expansion of the types of insurance considered acceptable coverage according to FHA rules, including state-run programs and co-insurance, among others.
FHA is committed to making financing available for more first time homebuyers and changes to condo policies are welcomed as many first time buyers are perfectly suited to buy condos as their first home. The lower price points of condos vs. single family homes is more attractive and policies that focus on making more condos eligible for FHA financing are welcomed by first time homebuyers.
Jesse Madison is a real estate broker in Orange County, CA who is very experienced in all types of FHA loans. To get qualified for an FHA loan and purchase a home in Orange County, CA call Jesse at 949-306-8416 or email Jesse@JesseMadison.com.
These FHA Condo rules will benefit first time homebuyers and lower income buyers immensely as they looking to purchase Orange County condos. FHA offers options for traditional FHA mortgages and Rehabilitation loans including FHA 203k loans. The rehab loans allow buyers to do thousands of dollars worth of repairs to the home and finance all the costs of the repairs in the home loan with just a 3.5% down payment on the home. Call Jesse or check www.hud.gov for more details!
Beware of Email Scams targeting wire transfers in Real Estate Transactions
Recent reports show that there is an uptick of email scams targeting wire transfers of real estate buyers. Sophisticated criminals are trying to steal money from unsuspecting buyers.
Here is how it works:
Criminals hack into email accounts of someone involved in your real estate transaction.
The criminal then steals information relating to the transaction.
The criminals then email unsuspecting buyers from an email that appears to be from an individual legitimately involved in the transaction. These emails inform the buyer there has been a last minute change in wiring instructions and dupe them into wiring funds to the hackers account.
It is important to proactively communicate with your escrow and title contacts to verify proper wire instructions. The National Association of Realtors has urged all members to be on high alert for these types of email scams or fraud. Here are some recommendations per NAR for fraud prevention:
Follow this guidance from Realtor.org to avoid becoming a victim of email scams targeting wire transfers:
•Immediately contact all parties to all of your upcoming transactions and inform them of the possibility of this fraud. Attorneys, escrow agents, buyers, sellers, real estate agents, and title agents have all been targeted in these scams. You can also download and distribute NAR’s online fraud prevention handout, accessible here. •If possible, do not send sensitive information via email. If you must use email to send sensitive information, use encrypted email. •Immediately prior to wiring any money, the person sending the money must call the intended recipient to verify the wiring instructions. Only use a verified telephone number to make this call. •Do not trust contact information in unverified emails. The hackers will recreate legitimate-looking signature blocks with their own telephone number. In addition, fraudsters will include links to fake websites to further convince victims of their legitimacy. •Never click on any links in an unverified email. In addition to leading you to fake websites, these links can contain viruses and other malicious spyware that can make your computer – and your transactions – vulnerable to attack. •Never conduct business over unsecured wifi. •Trust your instincts. Tell clients that if an e-mail or a telephone call ever seems suspicious or “off,” that they should refrain from taking any action until the communication has been independently verified as legitimate. •Clean out your e-mail account on a regular basis. Your e-mails may establish patterns in your business practice over time that hackers can use against you. In addition, a longstanding backlog of e-mails may contain sensitive information from months or years past. You can always save important e-mails in a secure location on your internal system or hard drive. •Change your usernames and passwords on a regular basis, and make sure your employees and licensees do the same. •Never use usernames or passwords that are easy to guess. Never, ever use the password “password.” •Make sure to implement the most up-to-date firewall and anti-virus technologies in your business.
If you believe your e-mail or any other account has been hacked, or that you or a client has otherwise been a victim of online fraud, you should take the following steps: •If money has been wired via false wiring instructions, immediately call all banks and financial institutions that could possibly put a stop to the wire. •Contact your local police. •Contact any clients or other parties who may have been exposed during the attack so that they take appropriate action. Remind them not to comply with any requests from an unverified source. •Change all usernames and passwords associated with any account that you believe may have been compromised or otherwise made vulnerable by the attack. •Report any fraudulent activity to the Federal Bureau of Investigations via their Internet Crime Complaint Center. More information can be found by clicking here. •Brokers should report any fraudulent activity to their state or local REALTOR® association so that the associations can send out alerts or take other appropriate action, including contacting NAR. Email Scams targeting wire transfers are real threats and you should do all you can to protect your assets from cyber-crime. Be sure to use a real estate broker you trust that can guide you safely through your transaction. Contact Jesse Madison 949.306.8416 for all your Orange County Real Estate needs.
During the rainy season its important to protect your home from a water leak. As a real estate broker I have seen and experienced many leaks due to damaged roofing that only appears during a constant water source when raining. If you experience flooding here is what you should do.
Place large buckets or trashcans to protect the flooring in your home.
Dry up the existing water on the floor and place an additional plastic sheet to protect the flooring under your buckets.
Poke a small hole with a pencil or nail in your drywall to prevent water accumulation in your ceiling. This provides a place for the water to drain out from the roof.
If water buildup is significant be sure to cut open the drywall so the air can dry out the area above.
Contract a roofer to evaluate if the damage to the roof is due to damaged paper in one small area of the roof or if the damage is more widespread. Complete roof repairs as soon as possible.
Be sure that the area above the drywall is dry. Fans may be necessary to blow into the area above and dry out wet areas. Bleach may also be sprayed into wet areas to kill any mold that may be developing in these areas.
Patch up drywall and texture to match the existing texture on your walls and ceiling.
Contact your insurance company to see if you have coverage for these repairs. Its important to fix leaks immediately to prevent mold and further damage to your home. If mold exists please contact a mold remediation specialist to provide mold remediation immediately. Your health an the health of all occupants in your home is the most important factor when dealing with any water leak or water damage.
If you need any assistance locating local Orange County Contractors or Roofers to assist you with your needs call Jesse Madison, Local Orange County Real Estate Broker to assist you with reputable vendors at 949-306-8416.