Holiday shopping tip

Sign up for Amazon Prime Free Trial for 30 days. Not only do you get free shipping, you also get special member discounts.  If you subscribe to regularly used items, like toilet paper, laundry soap, K-cups, etc you can get additional discounts!

Prepayment penalty?

Did you know that in Alaska charging a pre-payment penalty on a 1-4 unit dwelling is not allowed?  So make sure if you are using a lender from outside of Alaska or an owner finance that there are no pre-payment clauses in your loan paperwork.

Financing your home….

moneyOne of the most commonly asked questions for me is ‘how do I get financing for my purchase’.  There are many different types of mortgages, but some of the most common are:

Conventional loans are not government-insured, so lenders typically require 20% downpayment, although I have seen conventional loans with large PMI (Mortgage Insurance that protects the lender) that will loan as low as 5%.  Keep in mind that anything less than 20% down will required this insurance and increases the monthly mortgage payment considerably.

FHA loans are federally insured loans that allow qualified borrowers to borrow with a lower downpayment of 3.5%.  This loan also includes monthly PMI.

Other common loans in Nome and Kotzebue are:

  • HUD184 available to Alaska Natives, with a 2.25% downpayment.
  • USDA/RD has zero downpayment, but there are some upfront guarantee fees and income restrictions
  • VA loans are available for eligible veterans.  Often veterans can purchase a home with zero down, and the loan terms are very favorable.

In addition to rules about who can borrow on the government insured loans, the lender will have requirements for the property you are trying to purchase.  A fixer-upper may not work for your loan program.

These programs are available from most lenders, but beware of the ‘found on the internet’ lenders.  If the lender is not familiar with the challenges of living and doing business in Alaska, you WILL have problems with closing.  Feel free to give me a call to discuss qualifying for a loan or to find out if your lender has successfully been able to close properties here!

Now is a great time to buy!

According to Freddie Mac reports for last week, 30-year-fixed mortgages averaged 4.01%, a slight decrease from the prior week and much less than the reported average of 4.35% from November 2013!

Sand is free!

With the crazy Nome temps right now, don’t hesitate to head down to the beach for a few buckets of sand. It works wonderfully to increase traction on icy driveways/walkways, its environmentally safe and best of all it’s FREE!