Using Your VA Loan Benefit to buy a condo – Is it worth it?

Are you looking to purchase property with your VA loan benefit?

Although condos are a good alternative to single family homes, buyers should be aware that to get a VA loan on a condo there are more requirements than a single family home.

So what are they?

  • At least 50 percent building occupation
  • No more than 15 percent of owners can be behind in HOA fees
  • 75 percent of the units in a new construction must be sold prior to getting VA approval

If you have a condo in mind, you can check the database to see if it’s approved. Or, you can work with a real estate agent or lender to see if it can be approved.

If you’re looking for a VA loan in Michigan, get pre-approved today by visiting our website at!

Original article here.


We have received news that FHA is increasing their monthly and up front mortgage insurance premium on all FHA loans starting April 9th! Any new files submitted on or after April 9th will be subject to this increase.

What does this mean to YOU and YOUR clients?

Based upon the increase your client will be paying more each month and in closing costs when they purchase a home using an FHA mortgage. We believe with this increase we may see more clients opt for a conventional mortgage as you can put as little as 5% down if their credit rating is 660 or above. The PMI will be cheaper on a conventional mortgage and there is no upfront mortgage insurance added to the closing costs.

These increases applied to a $150,000 loan:

OLD UFMIP: $1,500 (1% of loan)
NEW UFMIP: $2,625 (1.75% of loan)
* Financed into the loan amount on every FHA loan

OLD MONTHLY PMI: $143.75 (115 bps)
NEW MONTHLY PMI: $156.25 (125 bps)

If you and your client would like to avoid these changes as soon as possible, please submit your loan to us on or before April 7, 2012 to ensure you have current rates on upfront and monthly costs.

We are hiring!

John Adams Mortgage is searching for a General Sales Manager to oversee its Loan Officers. Based in Southfield, John Adams is “Southeast Michigan’s #1 FHA/VA purchase Lender” but also focuses on conventional and USDA lending. The company needs a General Sales Manager to be able to focus on growth, quality and maintaining & improving its already-strong purchase business. For more information on the company, visit our website, and for more information on opportunities contact Larry Bsharah at

The Market in October

Homebuyers scooped up more previously owned homes in October, slowly putting a dent in the huge inventory on the market, an industry report showed. Sales of existing homes rose 1.4% last month to an annual rate of 4.97 million homes, up from a downwardly revised 4.90 million homes in September, the National Association of Realtors reported. That was higher than expected. Economists polled by had expected an annual rate of 4.85 million homes in October. Compared to a year ago, the rate of existing home sales has jumped 13.5%, from 4.38 million units. Continued gains in home sales have lightened up the inventory of homes on the market, the report showed. Total housing inventory at the end of October slipped 2.2% to 3.33 million existing homes for sales, representing an 8-month supply at the current sales pace. That’s down from an 8.3-month supply in September, and continues an ongoing downward trend since hitting a record high of 4.58 million in July 2008. Source: CNN/Money

‘Tis The Season To Be Spending

Black Friday has arrived and that means that the Holiday spending frenzy has begun. This season is a very important measure of the health of the economy every year. This year, the results could be even more important. In our prolonged struggle to recover from the severe recession, we have encountered many obstacles. Initially, the housing crisis certainly put a major dent in the pace of consumer spending. The good news is that over the painful years of the recovery, consumers have been saving and this puts them in better shape to return to more “normal” spending habits. Indeed, retail sales growth has been strong for the majority of this year. But nothing is more important than the spending that occurs in the last quarter of the year.

Keep in mind that we still face obstacles. The European debt crisis is in the headlines every day and the fear is that a meltdown in Europe will be felt at home. Congress seems to be getting nowhere with regard to deficit reduction while state and local governments have been laying off workers for the better part of two years. The shadow inventory of foreclosures is holding the important real estate sector back. Where does that leave us? We need the consumer to lead the recovery right now. If consumer spending continues to be strong then the housing recovery will follow more quickly. Companies which are flush with cash will be more likely to hire. The November employment report to be released early in December will be a good gauge of business optimism going into the Holiday season. Our best hope? Everyone has a great Holiday season and gets the gifts they want and we have momentum going into the New Year.

Michigan Homes Sales: Steady on Units and Average Sales Price

For the fourth straight month, Michigan’s monthly home sales outpaced last year while average prices remained steady. According to the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) reports compiled by the Michigan Association of REALTORS®, 8.717 single-family homes sales increased 3.26% in October compared to October 2010. At the same time, the average sales price for Michigan homes was $109,708 in October; the YTD price has been over $105,000 for five months straight. Sales in the last four months are nearly 9% above last year.

Several locals showed an increase in sales volume while Eastern Thumb, Emmet, Grand Rapids and West Central all showed an increase in number of sales of 15% or more.

Key Statistics:
$107,941 – 2011 average sales price, YTD
88,774 – 2011 single family units sold, YTD
$ 9,582,354,334- 2011 total sales volume, YTD

Monthly housing statistics for MAR are reported by participating Michigan REALTOR® local boards and associations.

View the October Housing Statistics in Michigan

Rental Vacancies, Homeownership Rates Rise

via Mortgage News Daily

The Homeowner Vacancy Rate declined slightly in the third quarter while vacancies rose in rental housing according to information reported today by the U.S. Census Bureau.  Rental vacancies are currently at 9.8 percent, up from 9.2 percent in the second quarter but 0.5 percent lower than one year earlier.  Rental vacancies peaked in the third quarter of 2009 at 11.1 percent.

What are termed homeowner vacancies, i.e. the proportion of the homeowner inventory that is vacant for sale, fell to 2.4 percent from 2.5 percent in both the second quarter and Q3 of 2010.  This vacancy number has remained relatively stable throughout the housing crises.

There were 132.4 million housing units counted in the third quarter, an increase of 519,000 since Q3 2010.  Of that number, 113.5 million were occupied, an increase of 644,000 units.  75.2 million of those units were owner occupied (-244,000) and 38299 were rental units (904,000).   A total of 14.2 percent of the housing stock is vacant.  10.9 percent of all properties are vacant year-round properties, 3.2 percent are for rent, 1.4 percent are for sale, and 5.4 percent are being held off of the market.

Rental vacancies are slightly higher in principal cities (10.4 percent) than in the suburbs (9.1 percent) and were lower in the third quarter of 2011 than in the corresponding quarter of 2010 (10.5 percent.)  The change in the suburbs was more dramatic with vacancies dropping to 9.1 percent from 10.1 percent year over year.  Vacancies inside of MSAs decreased from 10.3 percent to 9.8.  Homeowner vacancies ranged from 2.3 percent outside of MSAs to 2.6 percent in principal cities and all rates were slightly lower than the corresponding numbers in Q3 2010.

There was a wide variation among both rental and homeowner vacancies rates on a regional basis, and more definitive rates of change.  In the Northeast the rental rate was 8.0 percent, up from 7.4 percent year-over-year and the homeowner rate was 2.2 (compared to 1.6 percent.)  The Midwest rental rate was 10.5 percent (down from 11.5 percent) and 2.4 percent for homeowner properties (down from 2.6 percent.)  The rental and homeowner rates were 12.2 percent and 2.5 percent in the South compared to 12.9 percent and 2.8 percent in 2010, and in the West the rates were 7.3 percent and 2.3 percent compared to 8.1 percent and 2.6 percent.

The median asking price for vacant rental housing units in the U.S. is $700, up slightly from Q2.  Median rents peaked in mid-2009 at around $725.  The median asking price for a vacant home for sale is approximately $140,000 down slightly from Q2 but well below the pre-crisis peak of $200,000 in early 2007.

The current homeownership rate is 66.3 percent compared to 65.9 percent in Q2 and 66.9 percent one year earlier.  The rate is highest in the Midwest (70.3 percent) and lowest in the West (60.7 percent).  Demographically, the rate rises steadily through each age group, from 38.0 percent among those under 35 years to a peak of 81.1 percent among persons 65 years of age and older.  Non-Hispanic Whites have a rate of 73.8 percent Blacks 45.6 percent, Hispanics 47.6 percent and all other races 56.4 percent.   Not surprisingly, households with a family income equal to or greater than the median have a homeownership rate of 81.3 percent compared to a rate of 51.3 percent among household with less than a median family income.

Read full article here.