Independence Day – 2019

EXP Realty of California Inc.Chuck Barberini Real Estate

 On our nations Independence Day, remember why we celebrate. Despite the constant attacks on the United States, we are the greatest country ever created. Brave men and women have in the past and continue to fight for our way of life. We, as citizens have been entrusted to fight daily, to hold on to the legacy that was handed to us by our forefathers all the way back to our nation’s fathers. People smarter than I, with an awful lot to lose put their lives on the line because they knew that a government for the people was far better than the ruling class that they left behind. They warned us about government intervention and what would happen when the government has too much power.

The founding fathers believed in a limited government and that is why they believed that they needed a constitution and that it needed to be written. If the constitution is written, all the citizens would know the limitations of the government and that they could prevent the government from exceeding their limitations.

Contrast that to what is happening today, and could we be living in the world that our founding fathers warned us about? Open boarders, Socialism, large government, free health care for all, race baiting, erasing the past, reparations?

These are the very things that our founding fathers fought against and for some reason we are living in these times where common sense is shunned and ostracized.  Is it any wonder, since civics is no longer taught in schools, that kids don’t even know anything about WW2 or what it was about much less the Civil War or Revolutionary War?

Taxation without representation? What is socialism? Although we are a Democratic Republic, I keep thinking back to a quote that I wrote down years ago that was said by a Scotsman named Alexander Fraser Tyler over 200 years ago, he said; “A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the majority discovers it can vote itself largess out of the public treasury. … will endure until politicians realize they can bribe the people with their own money.”

My challenge this Independence Day is to spread the word, teach our young and to fight for common sense and to save our great nation, because it is worth fighting for.

God Bless America

Have you ever wondered what happened to the 56 men who signed the Declaration of Independence?

Five signers were captured by the British as traitors,

and tortured before they died.

Twelve had their homes ransacked and burned.

Two lost their sons serving in the Revolutionary Army;

another had two sons captured.

Nine of the 56 fought and died from wounds or

hardships of the Revolutionary War.

They signed and they pledged their lives, their fortunes,

and their sacred honor.

What kind of men were they?

Twenty-four were lawyers and jurists. 

Eleven were merchants, 

nine were farmers and large plantation owners; men of means, well educated, 

but they signed the Declaration of Independence knowing full well that the penalty would be death if they were captured. 

Carter Braxton of Virginia, a wealthy planter and trader, saw his ships swept from the seas by the British Navy. He sold his home and properties to pay his debts and died in rags.

Thomas McKeam was so hounded by the British that he was forced to move his family almost constantly. He served in the Congress without pay, and his family 

was kept in hiding. His possessions were taken from him, and poverty was his reward.

Vandals or soldiers looted the properties of Dillery, Hall, Clymer, Walton, Gwinnett, Heyward, Ruttledge, and Middleton.

At the battle of Yorktown, Thomas Nelson, Jr., noted that the British General Cornwallis had taken over the Nelson home for his headquarters. He quietly urged General George Washington to open fire. The home was destroyed, and Nelson died bankrupt.

Francis Lewis had his home and properties destroyed. The enemy jailed his wife, and she died within a few months.

John Hart was driven from his wife’s bedside as she was dying. Their 13 children fled for their lives. His fields and his gristmill were laid to waste. For more than a year he lived in forests and caves, returning home to find his wife dead and his children vanished. 

So, take a few minutes while enjoying your 4th of July holiday and silently thank these patriots. It’s not much to ask for the price they paid.

Remember: freedom is never free!

I hope you will show your support by sending this to as many people as you can, please. It’s time we get the word out that patriotism is NOT a sin, and the Fourth of July has more to it than beer, picnics, and baseball games.

#ChuckBarberiniRealEstate

Helpful Links:

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  3. Probate Property Specialist
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  6. Real Estate 4 Life
  7. Property Management
  8. Captain Charlie

DIY Doesn’t Mean Doing It All Yourself

EXP Realty of California Inc.Chuck Barberini Real Estate

How handy would you say you are? Can you fix a leaking faucet or install a new backsplash? Do you own all the drills, power saws and sanders used by the pros?

It can be tempting to DIY it all — especially if you’re on a budget. After all, you can have an active role in improving your home, and save cash to put toward other things. Why wouldn’t you want to?

The truth is not all projects are suited for a DIYer — no matter how much of a shiplap expert you might be. 

If you’re considering a few renovations, here’s when to put on your toolbelt and when you might want to call a pro: 

In the Kitchen: You can probably replace a sink, reface your cabinets or install a new dishwasher. 

Want to move the sink or add recessed lighting? You’ll want a pro.

In the Bathroom: Installing new floor tiles, upgrading your toilet seat or changing your showerhead are all tasks you can do. 

If you want in-floor radiant heating or to install a tub where there isn’t one, bring in a pro.

On the Exterior: Looking for more curb appeal with a new garden bed and a fresh coat of paint on your front door? Have at it. 

Substantial upgrades like installing a skylight, repairing your roof or repaving your driveway are better suited for a professional.

Structural Changes: If you’re super handy, you can probably install drywall or relocate a door. 

But if you’re changing an area that’s load-bearing? Definitely call a pro.

Remember, DIY doesn’t mean doing everything yourself. You’ll want to hire a professional for anything that requires specialized knowledge. There’s no shame in asking for help from an expert. 

Want to discuss what home renovations might improve your property’s value? Get in touch today.

#ChuckBarberiniRealEstate

Helpful Links:

  1. Today’s Mortgage Rates
  2. EXP Realty – The Agent Owned – Cloud Based Company
  3. Probate Property Specialist
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  5. Tax Deferred System
  6. Real Estate 4 Life
  7. Property Management
  8. Captain Charlie

Have you checked out the neighborhood?

EXP Realty of California Inc.Chuck Barberini Real Estate

This is the post that went out in my e-mail blast this week and it one that I really like. It is so simple, but in all my years of selling homes, it is not something that I even considered. When you consider that the purchasing of your home is the largest purchase that most people will make in their life, why not check it out first. In one of the articles that I read, the buyers asked the agent if they could rent the house that they were looking to purchase for a week, after all, the house is vacant. Because of the nature of the housing market that we have in the Bay Area, there are still multiple offers on houses, so the chances of sellers allowing buyer to rent their house for a week is highly unlikely. But there is a contingency period to do your inspections, why not check out an Air BNB in the neighborhood during that week. Check out the neighborhood at night, see what the streets are like, check out the noise level. See what your commute will be like what the walk to school will be. It’s a great thought and something that I will mention to my buyers in the future. Check out my e-mail post and let me know what you think.

Drive Before you Buy

Have you checked out the neighborhood?

You wouldn’t pick out shoes before choosing an outfit, right? Or buy car accessories without first deciding if you want a truck or a sedan?

Well, house hunting should be treated the same way.

You shouldn’t search for a dream home without vetting neighborhoods or experiencing the new area for yourself.

If the area doesn’t meet your needs, the property may not provide a dream scenario. So how do you make sure you’ve found the right neighborhood? Keep these details in mind:

Cost of Living
Are the property taxes and HOA fees trending upward? Are there mostly trendy boutiques and high-end businesses in the area, or does it have a good mix of local and national retailers?

Planned commercial development could affect the long-term affordability of the area. However, having more access to retailers and entertainment could enhance your lifestyle.

Commutes and Social Life
How close do you want to be to the friends and family you visit the most? How far are you willing to drive to get to the restaurants, theaters or stores that you frequent?

It’s understandable to prioritize your work commute, but keep in mind the other places you visit on a daily or weekly basis.

Long-Term Goals
How does the community fit into your future goals? Are there good schools, parks or sports leagues for your family?

A thriving community adds to your quality of life. And it’s a good sign for future home values.

Want to try before you buy? Where possible, consider renting a unit in the area for a few days through a short-term rental site. Experiencing the neighborhood like a resident can help you to decide if it fits your current and future needs.

Are you looking for a new home? Get in touch if you’d like to see a neighborhood report.

#ChuckBarberiniRealEstate

Helpful Links:

  1. Today’s Mortgage Rates
  2. EXP Realty – The Agent Owned – Cloud Based Company
  3. Probate Property Specialist
  4. Search for Homes
  5. Tax Deferred System
  6. Real Estate 4 Life
  7. Property Management
  8. Captain Charlie

It’s Your Bottom Line – Chuck Barberini Real Estate

EXP Realty of California Inc. – Chuck Barberini Real Estate

TV shows make finding a profitable fixer-upper seem easy. But in the real world, there are real challenges and decisions to be made.  

Whether you’re buying an investment property or a starter home for your family, there are dozens of factors to consider. How much will it cost to renovate? Are home values rising or falling in the neighborhood? How in-demand is the area? 

Want to make sure your purchase isn’t a money pit? Ask yourself these four questions:

1. Does it have good bones?
We want to avoid expensive repairs that would eat into your bottom line. It’s vital to have structural elements like the roof, foundation, plumbing, electrical and HVAC system inspected. 

2. Is the price comparable to the area? 
The property may come at a fixer-upper price, but how does it compare to others in the area? Let’s also take a look at new developments or zoning laws that could influence future home values.

3. Does it need special inspections?
Fixer-uppers need to go beyond standard inspections. Things like sewer lines, septic systems and pools age with the property, so it’s important to have each evaluated. 

4. What does your contractor think?
Bringing a contractor on board early is essential when creating your renovation budget. We need to estimate the cost of any aesthetic changes or upgrades to avoid over improving the home.

Remember, it’s not just the sticker price you want to consider when buying a fixer-upper, but the cost of the entire project. 

Do you need help finding the fixer-upper of your dreams? 
Together, we can evaluate the purchase price, factor in repair costs and determine the future resale value of the home. 

If you’ve already got your eye on a fixer-upper, or want help finding a contractor in our area, get in touch today.

Check out my Listing of the Week –

283 So Wildwood –
Hercules, CA 94547

#ChuckBarberiniRealEstate

Helpful Links:

  1. Today’s Mortgage Rates
  2. EXP Realty – The Agent Owned – Cloud Based Company
  3. Probate Property Specialist
  4. Search for Homes
  5. Tax Deferred System
  6. Real Estate 4 Life
  7. Property Management
  8. Captain Charlie

3 Ways to Know it’s The Right Property For You…

EXP Realty of California Inc. – Chuck Barberini Real Estate

Want to take the pain out of homebuying? Keep your lifestyle priorities top of mind.

If you’re planning to buy a new home, there’s great news: More houses have hit the market in recent months. This means you’ve got more options to choose from.

Choice is always good, but it can also be overwhelming.

The key? Careful, disciplined prioritization. 

Let’s go beyond square footage or the number of bedrooms and consider how the property fits your life. By focusing on what matters the most to you, we can refine your search to the closest matches. 

Here are the three questions every potential homebuyer should ask themselves: 

Where do you want to live?
Think beyond your commute. Do you want to be in a specific school district? How much street noise can you cope with? 

Are you looking for an established neighborhood or one that’s up and coming? That could affect future home values

What does the future hold?
Think about the next 10 years. Are you planning to have kids? Will your aging parents move in? 

If you plan to stay for the long haul, you might want a property to accommodate your family today, and in the future. If you know your career will have you on the move, will you want to sell the property or rent it out?

How much work are you willing to do?
When considering condition, be honest with yourself. How much work are you truly willing to take on? 

If the home needs cosmetic updates, will you want them completed before you move in? If you fall for a fixer-upper, do you have a budget for renovations?

Communication is a critical element of your home search. The more information you share, the better we’re able to match you with a home that fits your life.

Got your priorities in order? Let’s find your dream home. Reach out today.

#ChuckBarberiniRealEstate

Helpful Links:

  1. Today’s Mortgage Rates
  2. EXP Realty – The Agent Owned – Cloud Based Company
  3. Probate Property Specialist
  4. Search for Homes
  5. Tax Deferred System
  6. Real Estate 4 Life
  7. Property Management
  8. Captain Charlie

Well In My Day – Chuck Barberini Real Estate

Chuck Barberini Real Estate – BR Real Estate Group

I follow a blog by Doug Giles called Clash Daily it is mostly political and most of it is conservative politics.

Doug has written several books, none of which I have read, the latest might be on my list to knock out soon “Pussification: The Effeminization of the American Male”. Just from reading some of Doug’s blogs and listening some of his pod casts, it occurs to me that Doug is a master of stating the obvious, making connections that we have been conditioned to overlook or ignore, or more importantly accept as the norm. Like cooking a frog, societal changes take place gradually over time, the heat slowly gets turned up, the frog gets comfortable, then sleepy then cooked. One of Doug’s most recent blogs is called 20+ ‘Dangerous Things’ Kids Used to Do – Before P*SSIFICATON Took Over. It is a fun article and insightful and something that we have all talked about, without sounding like an old fart “well in my day” … Check out this blog and let me know what you think and see if you can come up with a few of your own.

20+ ‘Dangerous Things’ Kids Used To Do – Before P*SSIFICATON Took Over

Safe spaces?
Aw, HELL no! Back in the day, that’s the LAST thing any of us wanted!

If you’re old enough to remember when being a kid meant riding your bike in the summer, with your curfew being ‘when it gets dark’, you will remember some of these awesome ‘dangerous pleasures’. (h/t ArtOfManliness)

How many of these are from YOUR list?

Play with fireworks:

Does anything quite compare with the anticipation of lighting, followed by the thrill of watching when it goes off?

(Also, you learn pretty quickly which mistakes you really, REALLY don’t want to make with combustible materials.)

Hammer a Nail

Do you know that not everything that gets put together comes out of a ‘flatpack’ from Ikea?

Knowing how to hit a nail, properly, without tapping it 200 times, bending it in half or flattening your thumb is an important life skill. Let kids learn how while they’re young, so they don’t have to embarrass themselves with ‘Hashtag Adulting’ the first time they need to hang a picture on the wall,

Stick Your Arm Out a Car Window

Because it’s fun. Fun that gives you a ‘hands-on’ physics lesson in aerodynamics, resistance, lift, drag. As long as you’re not trying to learn Braille at 55MPH, relax… your arm will be fine.

Jump Off a Cliff

(Preferably into water.)
If kids learn to manage risks early on, they won’t be paralyzed by the fear of them later.

Use a Bow and Arrow

(Or better still, build your own.) Marksmanship isn’t just about shooting. It’s about a steady hand, judging distance, and understanding variables like wind, and gravity well enough to compensate for them.


Cook a Meal

Because you’ll want options besides Ramen Noodle and take-out when you’re out on your own. The sooner they learn, the better they’ll get.

Climb a Tree

If we need to explain why this is awesome, you’ve been indoors too long. Just go and try it. You’ll thank us later.

Roughhouse

Lions do it. Wolves do it. We should too. It’s Science!

DeBenedet and Cohen boldly claim that roughhousing “makes kids smart, emotionally intelligent, lovable and likable, ethical, physically fit, and joyful.” In short, roughhousing makes your kid awesome.
Source: ArtOfManliness

Sledding
If you have snow where you are, don’t let it go to waste. And high-speed wipeouts just make it all the more awesome!

Drive a Car

I was 5 the first time dad put me on his lap and steer a moving vehicle. And most of my farm kid friends were driving the farm vehicles before they turned 10.

If you’ve got somewhere safe to let them learn, like my dad did and see what’s involved, go for it!

Then again, how about if you want a safe way to let them drive independently, even before they’re street legal?

There’s always the go-kart tracks, where some of those go-karts can hit speeds that can still make the grown-ups sweat.

Burn Things With a Magnifying Glass

A useful skill, and a lot of fun.
(Just make sure they’re not starting fires on school property. School officials get real twitchy about ‘insurance’ issues and such.)

Walk or Ride a Bike to School

Exercise is important for success in school. (Look what happened with the school that tripled their recess!)

What did the other ‘dangerous things’ on the list look like?

Shoot a Gun
Stand on the Roof (one of my personal favorites), Squash a Penny on a Railroad TrackSword Fight With SticksShoot a SlingshotExplore a Construction Site(another favorite, and demolished/burned down buildings were fun, too), Use a Pocket Knife (now in some places there’s a minimum age to even buy one!), and Ride Your Bike Off a Ramp.

(The number of times we all ‘should have died’ doing dumb stuff on our bike is past counting. But, somehow, we lived through it all!),

Don’t forget Climb a Rope (how many people can still do that?), explore a tunnel, or Make a Fire (that magnifying glass is only one way. It’s also important to know the basics of how to go from a single flame to a sustainable fire.)

The list keeps going and going chock-full of memories of what made childhood awesome!

Did our list miss any? Name them in the comments.

Better still, drop a picture in the comments to let the poor kids suffering under today’s ‘structured play’ programs what they’re missing out on.

Maybe they’ll get restless and demand change!

Effeminization Of The
American Male

by Doug Giles

Doug Giles, best-selling author of Raising Righteous And Rowdy Girls and Editor-In-Chief of the mega-blog,
ClashDaily.com, has just penned a book he guarantees will kick hipster males into the rarefied air of
masculinity. That is, if the man-child will put down his frappuccino; shut the hell up and listen and obey
everything he instructs them to do in his timely and tornadic tome. Buy Now:The Effeminization Of The American Male
Wear this to the gym and I guarantee you’ll get some comments.

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Chuck Barberini Real Estate – BR Real Estate Group

I follow a blog by Doug Giles called Clash Daily it is mostly political and most of it is conservative politics.

FHA vs Conventional loans – Chuck Barberini Real Estate

Chuck Barberini Real Estate – BR Real Estate Group

FHA vs Conventional loans – Thursday November 9th

I get asked this question a lot and for the most part I either defer to the lend or say that FHA offers 96.5% loan. There are different qualifications for the property in FHA appraisals that are much stricter. The subject property is not only appraised for value, it is also inspected for safety, soundness of construction and adherence to local code restrictions. I came across this article yesterday written by Hal Bundrick a staff writer at NerdWallet, it does a great job of explaining the benefits and disadvantages of FHA loans. Take a moment and read this article and share with anyone that is considering purchasing a home in the near future. If you have any questions, I work with quality lenders that can further explain what loan better fits your situation.

Tech Sec

I saw this article On Linkedin this morning, a couple of big names teaming up:

New Salesforce and Google Partnership Shakes Up the Cloud Race

FHA loan vs. conventional mortgage: Which is right for you?

Nerd Wallet

11:59 PM, Nov 7, 2017

When exploring mortgage options, it’s likely you’ll hear about Federal Housing Administration and conventional loans. Let’s see, FHA loans are for first-time home buyers and conventional mortgages are for more established buyers — is that it?

Not necessarily.

Actually, the differences between FHA loans and conventional mortgages have narrowed in the past few years. Since 1934, loans guaranteed by the FHA have been a go-to option for first-time home buyers because they feature low down payments and relaxed credit requirements.

But conventional loans — which are not insured by a government agency like the FHA, the Department of Veterans Affairs or the U.S. Department of Agriculture — have gotten more competitive lately.

Both types of loans have their advantages. Here are the factors to consider when deciding between an FHA and a conventional mortgage.

Property standards

What kind of property are you buying? You can use a conventional loan to buy a vacation home or an investment property, as well as a primary residence.

The same can’t be said about FHA loans.

An FHA loan must be for a property that is occupied by at least one owner, as a primary residence, within 60 days of closing. Investment properties and homes that are being flipped (sold within 90 days of a prior sale) aren’t eligible for FHA loans.

FHA appraisals are more stringent, as well. Not only is the property assessed for value, it is thoroughly vetted for safety, soundness of construction and adherence to local code restrictions.

Loan limits

Where you’re planning to buy your home can play a role in what kind of loan is best for you. FHA and conventional loan guidelines allow wide latitude for borrowers in expensive areas, but in some cases you may end up needing a jumbo loan, which is bigger than FHA or conventional limits.

FHA loans are subject to county-level limits based on a percentage of a county’s median home price. In certain high-cost areas, the limit in 2017 can be as high as $636,150 — and in Alaska, Guam, Hawaii and the Virgin Islands, limits can be much higher than that.

For loans guaranteed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the government-sponsored companies that help fund the conventional mortgage industry, single-family home loan limits are $424,100 in most of the country. Again, higher loan ceilings are available in pricier counties.

You can find your county’s loan limits for FHA (shown at the link as “FHA forward”) and conventional mortgages (“Fannie/Freddie”) on the Department of Housing and Urban Development website.

Down payment

This is where conventional loans have really improved. FHA loans used to be the low-down-payment leader, requiring just 3.5% down. But now, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac both offer 97% loan-to-value products; that means a 3% down payment option — even lower than FHA — for qualified buyers.

From time to time, you can find lenders offering down payment options that are even lower on conventional loans. Quicken Loans, for instance, has offered a 1% down loan.

Foreclosures

Another instance where FHA and conventional standards have converged: how bad credit is accounted for. Over the past few years there have been numerous changes to the policies regarding bad-credit issues and how they are treated for FHA and conventional loans, with new standards implemented — and then expiring.

However, as it stands now, for a buyer to qualify for either an FHA or conventional loan, it typically must be two years since a bankruptcy was discharged and three years since a foreclosure or short sale.

There will definitely be hurdles to clear to prove to a lender that you have re-established your creditworthiness:

  • You’ll have to document that circumstances leading to the financial setback were beyond your control
  • You may have to attend a credit education course
  • Your loan will likely have to go through a manual loan approval process, which means approval and closing will likely take longer.

Mortgage insurance

With a down payment of less than 20%, both FHA and conventional loans require borrowers to pay mortgage insurance premiums. This insurance helps defray the lender’s costs if a loan defaults.

There are some differences between the two insurance programs.

With an FHA loan, if you put less than 10% down, you’ll pay 1.75% of the loan amount upfront and make monthly mortgage insurance payments for the life of the loan. With a down payment of 10% or more (that is, a loan-to-value of 90% or better), the premiums will end after 11 years.

Conventional loans with less than 20% down charge private mortgage insurance. It can be charged as an upfront expense payable at closing, or built into your monthly payment — or both. It all depends on the insurer the lender uses.

“The rates for PMI vary according to two factors: credit score and loan-to-value ratio,” Joe Parsons, a senior loan officer with PFS Funding in Dublin, California, says. He provides the following examples:

  • A borrower with a 620 score with a 97% loan-to-value will pay 2.37%
  • The same loan for a borrower with a 760 score will cost 0.69%
  • A borrower with a 620 score and a 90% loan-to-value will pay 1.10%
  • The same loan for a borrower with a 760 score will cost 0.31%

PMI generally can be canceled once your loan is paid down (and/or your property’s value appreciates) to 78% of your home’s value.

Mortgage insurance

FHA Conventional
Upfront premium cost 1.75% Depending on the insurer, there may or may not be an upfront premium. You can also opt to make a single-premium payment instead of monthly payments.
Monthly premium cost Cost varies. Based on loan term, amount and down payment. For purchase loans, the premium ranges from 0.45% to 1.05%, according to the FHA. Cost varies. Based on credit score and loan-to-value. For purchase loans, fees can range from 0.55% to 2.25%, according to Genworth and the Urban Institute.
Duration With down payments less than 10%, you’ll pay mortgage insurance for the life of the loan. With a loan-to-value equal to or greater than 90%, you’ll pay the premiums for 11 years. Usually can be canceled once your loan balance reaches 78% of your home’s value.

Credit score standards

Here is the primary distinction between the two types of loans: FHA loans are easier to qualify for. As far as a credit score, FHA sets a low bar: a FICO of 500 or above. Lenders can set “overlays” on top of that credit score requirement, hiking the minimum much higher.

But to qualify for the lowest FHA down payment of 3.5%, you’ll need a credit score of 580 or more, says Brian Sullivan, HUD public affairs specialist. With a credit score between 500 and 579, you’ll need to put down 10% on an FHA loan, he adds.

The average FICO score for FHA purchase loans closed in 2016 was 686, according to mortgage industry software provider Ellie Mae.

Conventional loans typically require a FICO credit score of 620 or better, Parsons says.

“A borrower with that score who can document income and assets will, in all likelihood, receive a loan approval,” he says. “They will pay a higher price for that loan because of ‘risk-based pricing’ from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, but it is unlikely that they will be declined because of their credit score.”

Risk-based pricing means compensating the lender for taking the additional risk on a borrower with a lower credit score (the average FICO score for a conventional loan was 753 in 2016, according to Ellie Mae). In other words, the lower your credit score, the higher your mortgage interest rate.

Debt-to-income ratios

HUD’s Sullivan says your debt-to-income ratio — including the new mortgage, credit cards, student loans or any other monthly obligations — must be 50% or less for an FHA loan. Ellie Mae reports the average debt ratio for borrowers closing FHA purchase loans in 2016 was 42%.

Conventional loans usually require a debt-to-income ratio no higher than 45%, Parsons says. In 2016, borrowers with conventional purchase loans averaged a 34% debt ratio, according to Ellie Mae.

Mortgage rates

Another distinction for FHA loans: generally lower mortgage interest rates. However, the difference between the two was incremental last year. The 30-year fixed rate for FHA purchase loans closed in 2016 averaged 3.95%, compared with a conventional mortgage rate on the same term of 4.06%, according to Ellie Mae.

Refinancing

As far as mortgage refinancing goes, the edge goes to FHA “streamline” refinancing. With no credit check, no income verification and likely no home appraisal, it’s about as easy a refi as you can get. But there are five requirements for an FHA streamline refinance.

So, which mortgage to choose?

Your decision may initially be based on your credit score. If it’s well below 620, an FHA loan may be your only choice. Above 620 and you’ll want to run the numbers on both to see what works best for you.

However, if you are serving in the military or are a veteran, a loan backed by the VA may be the way to go. VA loans usually require no down payment. And if you live in a suburban or rural area, a USDA loan could be a smart option, too.

FHA Loans vs. Conventional Loans

  FHA Conventional
Property type Financing for a primary residence only Financing for a primary residence, second home or investment property
Down payment  Down payments as low as 3.5% Some programs offer down payments as low as 3% or even lower
Mortgage insurance Mortgage insurance premiums required: 1.75% upfront and monthly premiums that vary with your loan term, loan amount and down payment, from 0.45% to 1.05% With a down payment lower than 20%, private mortgage insurance is usually required. Monthly fees vary according to credit score, loan-to-value and insurer, and range from 0.55% to 2.25%.
Credit score Credit score of 500 or better is usually required, though this depends on the lender. Average FICO score in 2016: 686. Credit score of 620 or higher is usually required, though this depends on the lender. Average FICO score in 2016: 753, according to Ellie Mae.
Debt ratio Average 2016 debt ratio: 42% Average 2016 debt ratio: 34%
Interest rates Interest rates for FHA loans tend to be slightly lower than for conventional loans Interest rates for conventional loans tend to be slightly higher than for FHA loans

Hal Bundrick is a staff writer at NerdWallet, a personal finance website. Email: hal@nerdwallet.com. Twitter: @halmbundrick.

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FHA loan vs. conventional mortgage: Which is right for you?

 FHA vs Conventional loans

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Are Homes More Affordable – Chuck Barberini Real Estate

Chuck Barberini Real Estate – BR Real Estate Group

Check out this article from Realtor Magazine Online. It is a real unique look at the housing market and offers a very original point of view. It gives us some good insight into the rapid rise of house prices and how they compare to the prices prior to the pre-crash prices.

Homes Are More Affordable Than 20 Years Ago

DAILY REAL ESTATE NEWS | WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 08, 2017

Homes are actually more affordable now than they were in the late 1990s, according to the latest Mortgage Monitor Report by Black Knight Inc., a mortgage data and performance information provider.

A Closer Look: NAR’s Housing Affordability Index

Interest rates have plunged by 40 basis points over the past six months. However, the bulk of the potential savings is offset by the accelerating rate of home price appreciation across the country.

“Rising home prices continue to offset the majority of would-be savings from recent interest rate declines, which has kept affordability near a post recession low,” says Ben Graboske, executive vice president of data & analytics for Black Knight. “That being said, when viewing the market through a longer-term lens, affordability across most of the country still remains favorable to long-term benchmarks.”

As of September, 21.4 percent of the median income nationwide was required to purchase a median-priced home. From 1995 to 1999, that percentage was 24.2 percent, and from 2000 to 2003 it was 26.2 percent, according to Black Knight’s report.

While the monthly payment needed for a median-priced home is up $100 from a year ago, the national “payment-to-income” ratio remains 2.8 percent below averages from the late 1990s, according to the report.

“In looking at the affordability landscape across the country, we certainly see varying levels of affordability in each market compared to their own long-term benchmarks,” Graboske says. “But, by and large, the overall theme is that affordability in most areas, while tightening, remains favorable to long-term norms.”

Black Knight researchers note that 47 of 50 states’ payment-to-income ratios remain below their 1995–2003 averages. Hawaii, California, Oregon, and Washington, D.C., are the lone exceptions, where payment-to-income ratios are higher today than their long-term benchmarks.

Source: Black Knight Inc.

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 Chuck Barberini Real Estate – BR Real Estate Group

It’s Christmas – A Different Kind of Poem – Chuck Barberini

It’s Christmas – My boy Christopher is home for a couple of weeks and I saw this last night and it really hit me… It touched me and made me sad, it made me happy and proud, it made me think about the sacrifices of so many and how blessed we are to be American… Thank you to those in service all over the world, away from home… Merry Christmas.

Take a minute to read this poem and let me know what you think.

Different Christmas Poem

The embers glowed softly, and in their dim light,
I gazed round the room and I cherished the sight.
My wife was asleep, her head on my chest,
My daughter beside me, angelic in rest.


Outside the snow fell, a blanket of white,
Transforming the yard to a winter delight.
The sparkling lights in the tree I believe,
Completed the magic that was Christmas Eve.


My eyelids were heavy, my breathing was deep,
Secure and surrounded by love I would sleep.
In perfect contentment, or so it would seem,
So I slumbered, perhaps I started to dream.


The sound wasn’t loud, and it wasn’t too near,
But I opened my eyes when it tickled my ear.

Perhaps just a cough, I didn’t quite know,
Then the sure sound of footsteps outside in the snow.


My soul gave a tremble, I struggled to hear,
And I crept to the door just to see who was near.

Standing out in the cold and the dark of the night,
A lone figure stood, his face weary and tight.


A soldier, I puzzled, some twenty years old,
Perhaps a Marine, huddled here in the cold.
Alone in the dark, he looked up and smiled,
Standing watch over me, and my wife and my child.


“What are you doing?” I asked without fear,
“Come in this moment, it’s freezing out here!
Put down your pack, brush the snow from your sleeve,
You should be at home on a cold Christmas Eve!”


For barely a moment I saw his eyes shift,
Away from the cold and the snow blown in drifts…
To the window that danced with a warm fire’s light
Then he sighed and he said “It’s really all right.


I’m out here by choice. I’m here every night. ”
“It’s my duty to stand at the front of the line,
That separates you from the darkest of times.
No one had to ask or beg or implore me,

I’m proud to stand here like my fathers before me.


My Gramps died at ‘ Pearl on a day in December,”
Then he sighed, “That’s a Christmas ‘Gram always remembers. ”
My dad stood his watch in the jungles of ‘ Nam ‘,
And now it is my turn and so, here I am.


I’ve not seen my own son in more than a while,
But my wife sends me pictures, he’s sure got her smile.
Then he bent and he carefully pulled from his bag,
The red, white, and blue… an American flag.


I can live through the cold and the being alone,
Away from my family, my house and my home.
I can stand at my post through the rain and the sleet,
I can sleep in a foxhole with little to eat.


I can carry the weight of killing another,
Or lay down my life with my sister and brother.
Who stand at the front against any and all,
To ensure for all time that this flag will not fall.”


”  So go back inside,” he said, “harbor no fright,
Your family is waiting and I’ll be all right. ”
“But isn’t there something I can do, at the least,
“Give you money,” I asked, “or prepare you a feast?

It seems all too little for all that you’ve done,
For being away from your wife and your son. “


Then his eye welled a tear that held no regret,
“Just tell us you love us, and never forget.
To fight for our rights back at home while we’re gone,
To stand your own watch, no matter how long.


For when we come home, either standing or dead,
To know you remember we fought and we bled.
Is payment enough, and with that we will trust,
That we mattered to you as you mattered to us. “


PLEASE, would you do me the kind favor of sending this to as many
people as you can? Christmas will be coming soon and some credit is due to our
U. S. service men and women for our being able to celebrate these
festivities. Let’s try in this small way to pay a tiny bit of what we owe. Make people stop and think of our heroes, living and dead, who sacrificed themselves for us.

LCDR Jeff Giles, SC, USN
30th Naval Construction Regiment
OIC, Logistics Cell One
Al Taqqadum, Iraq

“Real Integrity is doing the right thing, knowing that no body’s going to know whether you did it or not. “

PFC Christopher Barberini

#ChuckBarberiniRealEstate

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Friday The 14th of October… Chuck Barberini Real Estate

Friday The 14th of October… Chuck Barberini Real Estate
Chuck Barberini Real Estate – BR Real Estate Group
For today, I’m just throwing some random stuff together and we’ll see where it goes.
The Giants – Even year and I’m up – I’m Down – I’m up then I’m down again

First of all, I’m still pissed that the Giants lost game 4 at home. I must admit that I was not overly optimistic that they were going anywhere this year. Every time that I counted them out they would prove me wrong. The season started and I was not excited, I didn’t think that they had done enough in the off season. Dennard Span, Jeff Samardzija and Johnny Cueto were good additions, but we missed out on Zack Greinke. We still had Posey, Pence, Belt, Pagan, Crawford, Duffy and Panik and of course Madison Bumgarner, so we should be competitive.

They come out

of the gates, so-so, win some and lose some, then they catch fire… May, June and up until the All-star break they are winning. They are getting through injuries and nobody is on fire, but they keep winning. So, now I’m getting excited 57-33 and a 7 game lead, the best record in baseball. Then they came back from the break and lost and lost in every way possible. The Padres owned them, Santiago Casillas lost his confidence and in spite of 31 saves could close out a game. The Dodgers caught and passed them and they were leaking some serious oil and limping to the finish line. Just to make the playoffs, they had to sweep the Dodgers in the last series of the season.san-francisco-giants

Off to New York

for a one game playoff with the Mets, an awesome pitcher’s duel with Mad Bum tossing a complete game shutout and some late game heroics from Conor Gillespie and they were off to Chicago, to play the Cubs, the hottest team in baseball for a best of 5 series. I’m excited again… Game one, Cueto is pitching a gem, but throws one bad pitch and gives up a homer in the 8th and down go the Giants. Game 2 Samardzija pitching again in Chicago and gets roughed up early and its back to SF down 2 games and playing a sudden death at home. Game 3, the Giants have their Mr. October, Mad Bumm going, I’m cautiously optimistic, but it starts bad, an early homer to the Cubs pitcher and we are down 3 nothing, oh well it was a good run… but they come back and are up 5-3 in the 9th, here comes the bullpen and there goes the lead.

I’m bummed

but it’s October, it’s an even year and it’s the Giants… Crawford and Panik combined for a dramatic walk off win in the 13th, I’m stoked. Matt Moore was dealing in game 4 and the Giants take a 5-2 lead into the ninth… Here we come Chicago, game 5 and Johnny Cueto is set to go, but here comes the bull pen and there goes the game and game 5 and the season…. Un-freaking believable and, oh yea, I’m bummed…

October 14th 1947 Air Force test pilot Chuck Yeager broke the sound barrier piloting the experimental Bell X-1. x1

I read his book years ago and there was also a large section on him in “The Right Stuff” I have admired him for years and was surprised to see that he is alive and well, 93 years young and is quiet an accomplished Tweeter… Check out some of these classics. Chuck Yeager Twitter

 

“The Reaper”

I saw this article today, linked on my Task & Purpose email… I’m looking forward to seeing this production, but a couple of things jumped out at me from the article. Nicholas Irving aka the Reaper is the son of military veterans and is the first African American Sniper in the 3rd Ranger Battalion. What was really interesting is that the production is based on a self-published book that Irving wrote during a four-day alcohol binge. CB

Jay Z Is Producing A TV Show About Legendary Sniper Nicholas Irving

By ADAM LINEHAN on October 12, 2016

Irving earned the nickname “the Reaper” for purportedly killing 33 insurgents during a deployment to Afghanistan in 2009.

Rapper Jay Z is producing a six-part miniseries about Nicholas Irving, who earned the nickname “the Reaper” while serving with the U.S. Army’s 3rd Ranger Battalion from 2004 to 2010.

According to Page Six, the show is being produced for NBC.

Irving, who grew up in Maryland, deployed multiple times to Iraq and Afghanistan and saw heavy combat throughout his career. During a four-month deployment to Afghanistan as a direct-action sniper in 2009, he purportedly killed 33 enemy combatants.

In addition to

being one of the deadliest snipers in American history, Irving, the son of two Cold War military veterans, holds the distinction of being the first African-American sniper to serve with 3rd Ranger Battalion.the-reaper

The six-part miniseries will be based on Irving’s 2015 memoir, “The Reaper: Autobiography of One of the Deadliest Special Ops Snipers,” which primarily focuses on Irving’s legendary 2009 Afghan deployment. A source told Page Six filming will begin early next year.

In a recent interview with Task & Purpose, Irving explained that he had written “The Reaper” during a four-day alcohol binge after leaving the Army. The memoir was initially self-published on CreateSpace.com and then picked up by St. Martin’s Press. Irving’s second book, “Way of the Reaper: My Greatest Untold Missions and the Art of Being a Sniper,” was published in August of this year.

Irving is also

a co-host of Fox’s “American Grit,” a reality series that premiered in April and was recently renewed for a second season.

Actor Sterling K. Brown, who won an Emmy for his portrayal of Christopher Darden in FX’s critically acclaimed 2016 series “The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story,” will star as Irving, Page Six reports.

On Oct. 10, Irving confirmed the news on Instagram.

And another thing…

7Colin Kaepernick is starting for the 49ers this weekend. He is an embarrassment, his national anthem protest is disgusting and the 49ers are un-watchable. 3 years removed from the Super Bowl. Alex Smith has had a nice career since he lost his job and team to an injury…

 

Go Warriors
Friday The 14th of October…

Chuck Barberini
Chuck Barberini

 

Friday The 14th of October… Chuck Barberini Real Estate
Chuck Barberini Real Estate – BR Real Estate Group