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Real Estate

Crowdfunding Your Way Into a Home

RisMedia Consumer News - October 9, 2017 - 2:11pm

Editor’s Note: This was originally published on RISMedia’s blog, Housecall. See what else is cookin’ now at blog.rismedia.com:

Crowdfunding has appeared in the real estate industry in a variety of forms: house flip investing, mortgage payoff and down payment support. High fees and legality issues have made it difficult for the popular funding method to be taken seriously within U.S. real estate markets.

A new crowdfunding platform—HomeFundMe—was recently launched by CMG Financial, a privately-held mortgage banking firm. This could be a game changer, since it’s the first crowdfunding service approved by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

Here’s what CMG financial says about HomeFundMe:

  • No fees for using the service (Anything deposited into HomeFundMe can be used towards the buyer’s down payment.)
  • Better loan terms, more buying opportunities and the possibility of getting rid of or lowering mortgage insurance
  • Potential to receive a grant ranging from $1,000 to $2,500 in exchange for completing required homebuyer education or housing counseling.
  • Matching donations ($2 for every $1) up to the grant limits once the counseling is completed

While over 100 people have already used the platform, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have only approved the service on a trial basis until June 2018. The mortgage giants are keeping a close eye on results before giving it their stamp of approval.

There are a few caveats, of course. Borrowers must first be pre-approved for a mortgage by CMG Financial in order to use the crowdfunding service, which is limited to $7,500 in gifted funds. The loan must also be a Fannie Mae- or Freddie Mac-approved loan (their 30-, 20- and 15-year fixed loans are eligible, as well). In addition, borrowers must earn less than their area’s median income in order to qualify for matching contributions/grants.

This method will force borrowers into CMG Financial’s rates and fees. Millennial and Gen Z buyers, who are most likely to use such a service because of challenges in obtaining a down payment, will not be able to shop around for the lowest rate—a huge snag that may turn off borrowers from the crowdfunding service.

While other services charge fees and may complicate loan processing, borrowers will have to compare costs, as they may be able to save by using an alternative lender.

Here are some other crowdfunding options:

  • HomeFunded: 5 percent usage fee on total funds and 2.9 percent for processing each transaction
  • GoFundMe: 5 percent usage fee per donation and 2.9 percent plus $0.30 for processing each transaction
  • FeathertheNest: 5 percent usage fee per donation and 2.9 percent plus $0.30 for processing each transaction
  • Honeyfund: No usage fee and 2.8 percent plus $0.30 for processing each transaction

Keep in mind that these services may come with additional gifting restrictions in the lending world. Most Fannie, Freddie and FHA loans only allow gifted down payment funds from family and close friends. Loan processing may also be more time consuming if using these services, and you stand the chance of being rejected by lenders.

Crowdfunding may be a quicker way of amassing down payment reserves, but it can be a complicated process—extending your mortgage commitment dates or even threatening your loan approval. It may, however, be a useful option for borrowers who are dealing with high student loan or other debt payments and can’t afford to save.

If given final approval, HomeFundMe may open the door to a widespread financial backing of crowdfunding services in the real estate industry.

Liz Dominguez is RISMedia’s associate content editor. Email her your real estate news ideas at ldominguez@rismedia.com.

For the latest real estate news and trends, bookmark RISMedia.com.

The post Crowdfunding Your Way Into a Home appeared first on RISMedia.

Categories: Real Estate

Crowdfunding Your Way Into a Home

RisMedia - October 9, 2017 - 2:11pm

Editor’s Note: This was originally published on RISMedia’s blog, Housecall. See what else is cookin’ now at blog.rismedia.com:

Crowdfunding has appeared in the real estate industry in a variety of forms: house flip investing, mortgage payoff and down payment support. High fees and legality issues have made it difficult for the popular funding method to be taken seriously within U.S. real estate markets.

A new crowdfunding platform—HomeFundMe—was recently launched by CMG Financial, a privately-held mortgage banking firm. This could be a game changer, since it’s the first crowdfunding service approved by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

Here’s what CMG financial says about HomeFundMe:

  • No fees for using the service (Anything deposited into HomeFundMe can be used towards the buyer’s down payment.)
  • Better loan terms, more buying opportunities and the possibility of getting rid of or lowering mortgage insurance
  • Potential to receive a grant ranging from $1,000 to $2,500 in exchange for completing required homebuyer education or housing counseling.
  • Matching donations ($2 for every $1) up to the grant limits once the counseling is completed

While over 100 people have already used the platform, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have only approved the service on a trial basis until June 2018. The mortgage giants are keeping a close eye on results before giving it their stamp of approval.

There are a few caveats, of course. Borrowers must first be pre-approved for a mortgage by CMG Financial in order to use the crowdfunding service, which is limited to $7,500 in gifted funds. The loan must also be a Fannie Mae- or Freddie Mac-approved loan (their 30-, 20- and 15-year fixed loans are eligible, as well). In addition, borrowers must earn less than their area’s median income in order to qualify for matching contributions/grants.

This method will force borrowers into CMG Financial’s rates and fees. Millennial and Gen Z buyers, who are most likely to use such a service because of challenges in obtaining a down payment, will not be able to shop around for the lowest rate—a huge snag that may turn off borrowers from the crowdfunding service.

While other services charge fees and may complicate loan processing, borrowers will have to compare costs, as they may be able to save by using an alternative lender.

Here are some other crowdfunding options:

  • HomeFunded: 5 percent usage fee on total funds and 2.9 percent for processing each transaction
  • GoFundMe: 5 percent usage fee per donation and 2.9 percent plus $0.30 for processing each transaction
  • FeathertheNest: 5 percent usage fee per donation and 2.9 percent plus $0.30 for processing each transaction
  • Honeyfund: No usage fee and 2.8 percent plus $0.30 for processing each transaction

Keep in mind that these services may come with additional gifting restrictions in the lending world. Most Fannie, Freddie and FHA loans only allow gifted down payment funds from family and close friends. Loan processing may also be more time consuming if using these services, and you stand the chance of being rejected by lenders.

Crowdfunding may be a quicker way of amassing down payment reserves, but it can be a complicated process—extending your mortgage commitment dates or even threatening your loan approval. It may, however, be a useful option for borrowers who are dealing with high student loan or other debt payments and can’t afford to save.

If given final approval, HomeFundMe may open the door to a widespread financial backing of crowdfunding services in the real estate industry.

Liz Dominguez is RISMedia’s associate content editor. Email her your real estate news ideas at ldominguez@rismedia.com.

For the latest real estate news and trends, bookmark RISMedia.com.

The post Crowdfunding Your Way Into a Home appeared first on RISMedia.

Categories: Real Estate

Safety Warnings for Fidget Spinners

RisMedia Consumer News - October 9, 2017 - 1:54pm

Any household where kids live or even visit today probably has a couple (or dozens) of fidget spinners lying around. On Aug. 10, Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) Acting Chairman Ann Marie Buerkle announced the agency was investigating some reported incidents that prompted a warning to parents and caregivers to keep fidget spinners and similarly branded toys from small children because the plastic and metal spinners can break and release small pieces that can be a choking hazard. Buerkle said there have also been reports of fires involving battery-operated fidget spinners.

She said it is key to use the charging cable that either comes with the fidget spinner or has correct connections for the device. Charging cables are not interchangeable, Buerkle warns.

Also, if a fidget spinner is marketed and is primarily intended for children “12 years of age and younger,” its manufacturer and/or retailer must certify it meets standards, including limits for phthalates, lead content, and lead in paint, including the U.S Toy Standard ASTM F963-16, and be labeled as such.

Remember:

  • Keep fidget spinners away from children under 3 years of age.
  • Plastic and metal spinners have small pieces (including batteries) that can be a choking hazard. Choking incidents involving children up to age 14 have been reported.
  • Warn children of all ages not to put fidget spinners or small pieces in their mouths or play with the fidget spinner near their faces.

If you have battery-operated fidget spinners:

  • Have working smoke alarms in your house to protect you if there is a fire;
  • Be present when products with batteries are charging;
  • Never charge a product with batteries overnight while you are sleeping;
  • Always use the cable that came with the fidget spinner; or
  • If the fidget spinner did not come with a cable, use one with the correct connections for charging; and
  • Unplug your fidget spinner immediately once it is fully charged.

Buerkle urges consumers to visit the CPSC Fidget Spinner Safety Education Center for additional safety tips, and urges consumers to report fidget spinner safety incidents to CPSC at www.SaferProducts.gov.

For the latest real estate news and trends, bookmark RISMedia.com.

The post Safety Warnings for Fidget Spinners appeared first on RISMedia.

Categories: Real Estate

Easy Maintenance Tips to Boost Value

NAR Daily News Magazine - October 8, 2017 - 11:00pm

Pass these four tips on to buyers to help protect their home investment through simple repairs and upkeep.

Categories: Real Estate

Refinance Scams Target Military Vets

NAR Daily News Magazine - October 8, 2017 - 11:00pm

The federal government is investigating predatory lending schemes that prompt borrowers with VA loans to switch from a fixed-rate mortgage to a...

Categories: Real Estate

More Retirees Carry Mortgage Debt

NAR Daily News Magazine - October 8, 2017 - 11:00pm

Baby boomers are not as likely to own their homes free and clear by retirement age than previous generations, which could exacerbate the housing...

Categories: Real Estate

Cats or Dogs? These Cities Show a Preference

NAR Daily News Magazine - October 8, 2017 - 11:00pm

Some areas tend to be more welcoming to canines while others favor felines. Realtor.com® breaks down the top cities for home buyers who are...

Categories: Real Estate

Big Roadblock for Owners of Tiny Homes

NAR Daily News Magazine - October 8, 2017 - 11:00pm

Zoning regulations in many cities prevent smaller structures from having a permanent home. So what’s the future for the tiny home movement...

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Real Estate Pros Become Hurricane Advisers

NAR Daily News Magazine - October 8, 2017 - 11:00pm

Amidst devastating storms, many agents are helping clients find temporary housing and matching them with reputable contractors to repair their...

Categories: Real Estate

Nation’s High Earners Prefer the ’Burbs

NAR Daily News Magazine - October 8, 2017 - 11:00pm

Homeowners who earn a high income are showing a preference for the suburbs—and even the far-out “exurbs”—over downtown...

Categories: Real Estate

Relaxation Awaits: 2018 Best Places to Retire

RisMedia Consumer News - October 8, 2017 - 11:01am

Editor’s Note: This was originally published on RISMedia’s blog, Housecall. See what else is cookin’ now at blog.rismedia.com:

Are you getting ready to find your retirement paradise? There are a lot of things to consider before making the big move. Lucky for you, U.S. News & World Report just unveiled their 2018 Best Places to Retire list to help you make your decision.

These rankings reflect a number of factors that can affect your retirement, such as happiness, housing affordability, desirability, retiree taxes, the job market and healthcare quality. In order to narrow down the list, U.S. News & World Report surveyed pre-retirees (ages 45-59) and retirement-aged (ages 60-plus) individuals.

If an overall happy life is the most important to you, head on over to Sarasota, Fla. But if you need strong housing affordability, then maybe San Antonio, Texas is for you. Weigh out your pros and cons before making a decision.

Here are the top 10 retirement spots. Is your relaxing oasis on this list?

  1. Sarasota, Fla.
  2. Lancaster, Pa.
  3. San Antonio, Texas
  4. Grand Rapids, Mo.
  5. El Paso, Texas
  6. McAllen, Texas
  7. Daytona Beach, Fla.
  8. Pittsburgh, Pa.
  9. Austin, Texas
  10. Washington, D.C.

View the entire list on U.S. News & World Report.

View the methodology.

Liz Dominguez is RISMedia’s associate content editor. Email her your real estate news ideas at ldominguez@rismedia.com.

For the latest real estate news and trends, bookmark RISMedia.com.

The post Relaxation Awaits: 2018 Best Places to Retire appeared first on RISMedia.

Categories: Real Estate

Porches Are Making a Comeback

NAR Daily News Magazine - October 5, 2017 - 11:00pm

More new homes are touting front porches, making them a great selling point for builders. 

Categories: Real Estate

Are Hipsters The Secret To A Hot Market?

NAR Daily News Magazine - October 5, 2017 - 11:00pm

The places that hipsters tend to call home are among some of the hottest housing markets in the country, according to a joint study by realtor.com...

Categories: Real Estate

Mortgage Rates Hit Highest Levels in 6 Weeks

NAR Daily News Magazine - October 5, 2017 - 11:00pm

The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage inched upwards this week, but still remains below the 4 percent threshold many borrowers have come to expect....

Categories: Real Estate

Hopeful Buyers Turn To Crowdfunding

NAR Daily News Magazine - October 5, 2017 - 11:00pm

Some desperate home buyers who aren’t able to save enough for a down payment are turning to crowdfunding. 

Categories: Real Estate

Renter Households Aren’t As ‘Cost Burdened’

NAR Daily News Magazine - October 5, 2017 - 11:00pm

The share of households considered burdened by high rents is dropping, but it’s not because landlords are softening up on rents. 

Categories: Real Estate

How to Appear More Confident to Clients

NAR Daily News Magazine - October 4, 2017 - 11:00pm

Whether it’s a meeting with a client or a listing presentation, use these five tips to show more confidence as an agent.

Categories: Real Estate

5 Tips For A Lower Heating Bill

NAR Daily News Magazine - October 4, 2017 - 11:00pm

Share these tips with homeowners to unlock some savings during the colder months ahead. 

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More Real Estate Pros Among Vegas Victims

NAR Daily News Magazine - October 4, 2017 - 11:00pm

Several in the real estate industry were in the crowd Sunday when a gunman opened fire in the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history....

Categories: Real Estate

Cities Where Homebuying Means a $100k Salary

NAR Daily News Magazine - October 4, 2017 - 11:00pm

Here are the top U.S. cities where homebuying clients must have an income of $100,000 or higher to comfortably purchase a home.

Categories: Real Estate