Angela Paul

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Angela Paul's Blog


Posted On: October 30th, 2017 10:27PM


Home ownership rates are the lowest they have been in the last 50 years. Yet a large portion of Americans are still renting properties, instead of enjoying a home of their own. Consumer reports believe this is an issue because of a buyer’s lack of trust in their ability to purchase. It is still a long standing notion that a buyer needs 20% towards the cost of the home in order to move forward, but this isn’t true. With countless down payment assistant programs, and closing cost roll-ins, a home owner could move in with as little as a few hundred to a couple thousand dollars. Which is a huge difference in the time it takes to save up to make the move.

With interest rates still at an all time low, home ownership in today’s market is a great investment. The money saved over a mortgage’s lifespan can result in tens of thousands of dollars, if not hundreds. That’s more money in your pocket today. Don’t wait to buy when interest rates soar again. With low interest rates, that means your monthly mortgage payments are at a significantly lower cost, as well. With such a heated housing marketing, rental prices are soaring, and statistics are constantly showing that home ownership can be equivalent to your rental rate each month, if not less. Why get stuck in a small 2 bedroom apartment, if you can move into a home and pay a monthly rate that is the same, and get a 3 bedroom house with a great backyard? 

There is also a fear that a home can keep you “stuck” or “rooted” to one place, without an easy transition out if you decide to move. Although the future of the housing market isn’t easily predictable from location to location, you can always discuss with your agent about buying a home in an area that has a strong turn-over rate when a home hits the market. The equity build up when it comes time to selling is going to be far more beneficial, than if you put money into a rental and decided to move. The money from selling the property can be used to purchase a new home. With renting, there would be no additional funds to transition into a new place. 

Now imagine if you were renting a home for $2000/month. If your landlord is renting to make a profit, think how much less you’d be paying on a monthly basis towards your mortgage, if the home was yours. Then you wouldn’t be paying a landlord to profit off of you, you’d be paying a reasonable rate, and get to call the property your own. Discuss with your agent and lender the steps you need to take towards home ownership, you might be happily surprised about the type of home you can afford to move into.

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Fall Leaves Bring Sold Signs

Posted On: October 18th, 2017 7:08PM

Fall Leaves Bring Sold Signs

Summer has come to an end and you probably are thinking you’ve lost the opportunity to sell, and need to wait till next summer. But that’s far from the truth! Although it’s not as hectic and crazy with the swarm of buyers on the market, the fall season brings out the most serious of lookers. They are the pool of buyers that waited out the summer frenzy to find their perfect home in the fall, and you don’t want to miss these buyers! They are ready to make a move, today! Selling in a slower period does not equate to less money. That’s a misconception that home owners have based on untrue data that floats around. With the right agent, and your home being priced correctly, you can get a great deal selling your home during the fall season. And might actually prefer it. Here are the top 3 benefits to listing during the fall season:

1. Serious Buyers – Let’s be honest, if buyers are out during the busy season, looking for homes, they are serious and ready to buy. Although the summer brings in a large crowd, that crowd contains a lot of people that are excited by the season, and fall into the “trend” of house hunting. These people end up not really being serious about the process, and tend to hold off for another time. If people are investing time to look during the fall season, they are more likely to be interested in actually buying your home, instead of touring it.

2. Less Competition – Selling in the fall isn’t something many families can accomplish due to personal schedules. That’s why a significant amount of homes get listed during the summer season. Which means that summer time brings in a lot of competition. Selling in the fall means the potential house next door that has slightly more perks that may have been listed during the summer, doesn’t make your home sit stagnant, since everyone wanted your neighbor’s house. It also doesn’t devalue your home because of the house that could go up next door that could be under-priced in your neighborhood, and draw all of the attention.With a slower season, you get dedicated attention to your property, which increases the chance of a sale.

3. Easier to Find Your Dream Home – Not only do you get to benefit from a slower season during the selling process, but you can also benefit on the buying side. With less competition on your dream house, you can get a better deal. The summer brings a lot of missed opportunities for buyers on their dream homes, because they go off the market instantly. This will give you the opportunity to get your home on the market and take your time to find the right one to resize into. A much calmer pace to the transaction will make it less stressful, and everyone all around happier. Don’t feel rushed into buying a home overnight during the summer, it could turn into a headache. If you want a far more peaceful transaction, that has calmer pace, then selling during the fall is perfect for you.




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What is the VA Funding Fee?

Posted On: October 13th, 2017 1:29AM

What is the VA Funding Fee?

The VA loan offers outstanding benefits for eligible veterans. These hard to beat benefits include a no down payment requirement, lower interest rates and no private mortgage insurance. When added together, these benefits can save VA buyers a significant amount on out-of-pocket costs. At the center of the program is the VA guarantee. You can think of it like insurance the VA provides to the lender in case the buyer defaults on the loan. In order to continue to offer this amazing loan program, the VA charges a funding fee to cover the cost of offering the guarantee.


The funding fee is a one-time fee charged by the VA on every VA loan. The fee ranges from 2.15 percent to 3.3 percent of the loan amount depending on your type of service and whether this is your first or subsequent use of the loan program. The fee is discounted if you choose to make a down payment and the fee is waived if you receive compensation for a service connected disability.


The funding fee is treated differently than other closing costs in that it can be rolled into your loan amount or you can choose to pay it at closing. There are a few exceptions or deviations from this chart for certain circumstances or loan products. You'll want to talk with a knowledgeable lender to determine the funding fee for your particular loan type and circumstances.


As a VA-savvy real estate agent I can guide you through the homebuying process using your VA loan. I have the knowledge and expertise to make it a great experience. Give me a call today!

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Building Your Dream Home With a VA Loan

Posted On: October 2nd, 2017 9:26PM

Building Your Dream Home with a VA Loan

If you are at the point in your life where you are ready to build your dream home, or you are just interested in working with a builder to build your next home, the VA loan can be a great option. With no down payment requirement and no private mortgage insurance, VA loan benefits are hard to beat. The process of working with a builder to design and build your next home is a little different than the process of purchasing a currently existing property. Here are three things you need to know:


Building a home takes time.

This one is pretty obvious but still worth mentioning, especially for those who may be relocating to the area. If you want a custom home it will take time for the builder to complete. Talk with your builder about the estimated timeline and determine how that will impact your housing situation. Will you need a short term rental until the home is completed or do you have other living quarters lined up? Does the builder guarantee a completion date or is it just an estimate? Make sure you have a plan in place in advance of your home build.


Builders need a VA Builder ID Number.

The VA requires builders to register with them and complete some paperwork prior to your closing. If your builder doesn't have a Builder ID, your VA knowledgeable loan officer can walk them through the process and forms necessary to request approval. The home will also need to meet the VA's minimum property requirements which ensure the home is safe, structurally sound and sanitary.

You have options.

When it comes to building a home, you have a lot of options. And one of the fun and/or exhausing (depending on the day) parts of the process is the time you'll spend researching these options. Here are a few decisions you'll have to make:


- Which builder is the best fit for you? Before you even begin the home build, you have to decide which builder to work with.There are lots of builders out there, from large corporations to small local businesses. Do your research and find the one that best meets your needs and communication preferences.


- Wall colors, appliances, counter tops, oh my! It can be really fun to look at all the options you have when building a home. But it can also be overwhelming. Don't let decision fatigue get the best of you. If you are feeling overwhelmed with all the decisions consider scheduling them out over several days or weeks. Maybe one week you spend time looking at exterior colors and finishes and the next week you research appliances.


-What lender do you want to work with? The VA loan is unique. It's a good idea to work with a lender who has experience with this loan product. Do your research and find a lender that provides great customer service and support and VA loan expertise.


If you are interested in new construction, lets talk! As an experienced real estate professional I can walk you through the entire process! Give me a call today.


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What is a Certificate of Eligibility?

Posted On: September 14th, 2017 7:46PM

What's a Certificate of Eligibility?

A Certificate of Eligibility is a very important piece of paper in the VA home loan process. So what is it and why is it important?


The Certificate of Eligibility, commonly referred to as the COE, is the document issued by the VA stating whether or not you are eligible for VA home loan benefits. It also lists any previous VA home loans and lists the amount of entitlement you have available. This document is important because it has to be in every VA loan file before a lender is willing to close and fund a VA loan.


In order to request your COE you'll need proof of service. For those who've served on active duty this will be your DD214. For those who were in the Reserves or National Guard, you'll need to provide your points statement. If you are currently serving, you'll also need to provide a statement of service.


There are multiple ways to obtain your COE. Most of the time, a VA savvy loan officer will be able to pull your COE through the VA's Automated Certificate of Eligibility (ACE) portal system and access it immediately. But, there are some circumstances where it can take longer to obtain. You can also request a copy of your COE directly from the VA.  Ask me how you can do this.


Your loan officer will review the COE to determine whether you have VA loan entitlement. If you've used your entitlement before or if a portion of it is tied up in a current loan, they'll also calculate how much you have remaining.


If you'd like to get started with your home search utilizing your VA loan give me a call!

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