FHA Changes effective October 4, 2010: What's it really mean to the average buyer?

The good: FHA has maintained a miniumum 3.5% down payment.

More Good:The up front mortgage insurance premium (ufmip) has been reduced from 2.25% of your loan amount down to 1%. This amount is not actually collected upfront, but rather financed back into your loan. The lower this is, the lower your final loan amount is.

The Bad: The monthly mortgage insurance, or annual premium as FHA calls them is going from .55% to .90% on all loans that are for 95% or more of the sale price/value, and from .50% to .85% for all loans less than 95% of the sales price/value. So this monthly premium is almost doubling.

Simply put, for a buyer purchasing a $100,000 home with an FHA loan…

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The key here is you have to have been in contract by April 30 of this year. If you were, they are giving you until September 30 of this year to close and take advantage of the $8000 tax credit for first time home buyers and $6500 credit for homebuyers who are buying a new primary residence.

The first tax credit that was to expire June 30 of this year has caused some back log with buyers trying to meet that deadline. This new deadline to September 30 should give everyone some breathing room.

Read the Reuters Article lining out the details of the extention.

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As of the end of April the Reno Sparks area had an inventory of 2.3 months.  This means that at the current pace of housing sales we would sell all of the inventory in 2.3 months. Compare that with November of 2008, when we had about 13 months of inventory on the market. A typical buyers market is defined as 8 months of inventory on the market. You do the math. Some people say banks are holding back on releasing foreclosures. If that is true there could be a flood of houses hitting the market. All I know is we have been very busy putting buyers in homes.

Interest rates are unbelievably low.  Remember...your home is your home, that is where you hang your hat. Nothing more nothing less.



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The recession has hit downtown Reno in a crazy way and the trend is not exactly what Reno officials were looking for. They were working for a mix of housing, shops and restaurants to help the faultering casino industry. The reason for the downturn in casino gaming is the Indian casinos in California which are just about three hours away.


The problem is the elephant in the room, which was Nevada's real estate crash. Reno's downtown condo market has floundered.  The biggest project downtown is the Montage which has 377 units and sits nearly empty and has been put on the auction block. There are some other condo projects downtown that are still selling units, like the Palladio. They think the idea of all the condo projects downtown was a great idea but…

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The tax credit that was scheduled to end at the end of November has been extended until June 30, 2010. You must have a signed purchase contract in place by April 30, 2010. It is for first time home buyers, meaning you have not owned a home in the last 3 years and it is up to a maximum of $8000.

They have also made it to include existing homeowners who have owned a home for the last 5 consecutive out of the last 8 years and it is to a maximum of $6500.

If you are a fist time home buyer and do not take advantage of this you are throwing away valuable dollars that can be used against your tax liability.

 For more information go to Federal housing tax credit to answer all of your questions.


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April 4 single game tickets went on sale and they sold out the first game in 30 minutes. There are still some great half and full season packages available. The Reno Aces who is the farm team for the Arizona Diamond backs will open their season on April 17 against the "Salt Lake City Bees". Our Aces are in the Pacific Coast Triple A baseball league and will be facing other opponents such as the Albuquerque Isotopes and the Sacramento River Cats.

I don't know if a lot of people know we have had baseball here since back in the the late 1940's. Link Piazzo, founder of the Sportsmen Sporting good store, did the broadcasting for the " Reno Silver Sox". Back then they played in Moana Stadium which was built in 1946 by Lou Berrum on the old rodeo grounds at…

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The following article was written by Stephanie Hanna, Platinum 1st Mortgage 

It doesn’t really matter what side of the political fence you sit on, there’s no denying that the new stimulus bill offers good news for potential home buyers.  The way I see it, there are two specific portions of this bill that impact buyers most directly:

-  Increased tax credit benefit for first-time homebuyers.  Let me first define a first-time homebuyer because the government’s definition is probably different than what you’re thinking.  If you have not owned a principal residence in the past three years, you are considered a first-time homebuyer. 

If you fit that bill and you purchase a home between January 1, 2009 (yes, it is retroactive) and December 31, 2009,…

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Go to a UNR game


The University of Nevada-Reno has a lot going on for all of us to enjoy.

Mens Basketball games are very entertaining from the second you step into Lawlor Events Center.  The crowd will already be loud and cheering, awaiting the arrival of the Wolf Pack to step onto the court.  The team is fairly young, but the games have been really good and most have been nail biters up to the end of the game.  The average home game attendance is approx. 7059 screaming fans.  The next home game is will be Friday, February 20 at 6:00 pm, against Virginia Commonwealth for the ESPNU Bracket Buster tournament.  For a list of the full schedule of games click here. 

Women’s Basketball games are in full swing as well.  Their overall record is 13-9 and…

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Let’s go skiing


Reno is a great area for skiers.  There are 18 ski areas that are reachable within an hours drive of Reno.  That’s right, 18 ski resorts that offer great skiing, snowboarding and cross country skiing.  With the high elevations in Tahoe and the Donner Summit areas we get up to about 20 foot snow packs which means you can sometimes ski from November to the beginning on July.  Everyone loves the spring ski season.  You can go ski in the morning then golf or bike ride in the afternoon.  It’s a great time for all outdoor enthusiasts to enjoy it all.


If skiing doesn’t interest you then you can also go to the other snow parks in the area that offer snowmobiles, sledding, ice skating, snowshoeing, dog sledding and more. 


There is no…

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The Washoe County Assessor is coming out with a report saying values of raw land are down from 30-40% since the height of the market. The shocking fact is that most homeowners will be hit with a 3-5% tax increase this year because of a report that came out stating the replacement values of actual homes and buildings are up. Nevada  property tax caps were put in place in 2004 which states that excess property values were not taxed in prior years and can be pulled from abatement to increase taxes by the full 3% to be able to help schools and local governments. Land values in Northwest Reno, Stead, Spanish Springs and other communities north of the river are down by 30%. Large custom homes in the SW Suburban neighborhood are up by the full measure the county…

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