Archive for the ‘First Time Home Buyers In Spring Hill FL’ Category

postheadericon What’s Not Covered In Florida Home Owners Insurance?

Do You Know What is NOT Covered in Your Home Owners Insurance Policy?

You Might be Surprised


In recent years, insurance carriers in Florida have added many exclusions to property insurance policies, with little oversight or public debate. These exclusions are drafted into policy leaving consumers with less coverage for the same (if not higher) premium.

Because many policyholders rarely read every word of their large and complex policies, they may not even be aware of what is NOT covered. Since policyholders are unable to negotiate policy language, they are left with a choice of accepting the changes, purchasing new endorsements or seeking a different carrier.

Examples of common policy exclusions include:

Eliminating Your Rights to Appraisal – For 200 years, policies have included the binding appraisal process to settle disputes between insurance companies and the insured over amount of loss or value of damaged property. Many insurers are restricting or eliminating this provision, which provides important consumer protections.


Giving You a Sinking Feeling – Many policies no longer cover damage from sinkholes unless the sinkholes are deemed “catastrophic,” usually meaning large and sudden. But slowly occurring sinkholes can cause catastrophic damage to a home and its value. Damage can run into the hundreds of thousands, often more than the value of the home, leaving many homeowners with no other choice than to walk away from their mortgages.


Requiring You to See Through Walls – Most insurance claims deal with water damage, often stemming from damage behind walls or under slabs that doesn’t become noticeable for weeks or months. Citizens and other insurance companies now deny claims for leakage occurring over more than 14 days, even if it is hidden from sight. In fact, Citizens has just announced plans to further expand its water exclusion.


Eliminating Coverage for Mold – Where there is water damage mold often forms. Though it is recommended that water be removed and damaged areas dried within 48-72 hours, company insurance adjusters often are unable to visit the home within that time. No matter the reason, if mold forms, most companies will no longer cover the cost of its removal.


Leaving Screened Structures Uncovered – Popular in Florida, screened enclosures used to be covered under most homeowner insurance policies. Many carriers have now added exclusions that remove screened structures from coverage.


Re-Defining “Falling Objects” – Typically, damage from falling objects in a home or condo (such as floor damage from a falling light fixture or fan) is covered. Citizens’ new condo policy, however, only covers such damage if the falling objects come down from the sky through your roof or walls. Great coverage for meteorites, but little else.


postheadericon Home Buyer's Guide To Purchasing A Home- Part 2

As promised, here is part 2 of the Home Financing Guide for borrowers looking to purchase a home in Spring Hill Florida and the surrounding Tampa Bay Real Estate Market. In this section, we will be looking at different aspects of the appraisal process. A Real Estate Appraisal is an important part of the lending process and can determine the outcome of your transaction beyond a borrowers own qualification. In addition to any borrower requirements, the property iteself has to also qualify in order to meet the lenders requirements. Different loan programshave some different requirements with regard to how the property is appraised and the condition of the home is assesed. As always, if you have any questions regarding this process, please feel free to contact me at any time.

Beyond the Borrower’s qualification for obtaining a loan (credit, ability to pay, etc.) the value and condition of the home is the next important consideration. The home is the collateral for the mortgage loan which means that if there is a loan default, then the property is taken and typically sold to cover the unpaid balance of the home loan. Therefore the home property needs to have sufficient value and be in good enough condition so that if default occurs, the lender can sell and recoup the loan money.
There seems to be a lot of confusion between the difference of a County Assessment and an Appraised Value. These are two different thins yet many people associate Assessment with Appraisals. A County Assessment is a method of declaring property value so that a county or other government entity can levy a tax on that property. It is not a true market assessment of what the home could sell for nor is it based on market data. When property values were appreciating rapidly the rule of thumb was that Assessed Value was lower than what one could actually sell the home for so it was understated. But when property values dropped and government entities were short of funds then Assessed Values became higher than what the home could sell for. This makes the use of Assessed Values an unreliable indicator of true market value.

What is A Real Estate Appraisal? An Appraisal is considered to be a process that provides an accurate figure of what the home could actually sell for in the current market.A licensed, professional Appraiser will typically conduct a walkthrough of the home and property, take measurements and pictures and assess the condition of the home. They will then find similar homes (size, features, etc) that have recently sold in the area using county records and determine the subject home’s value based on the actual sales price and features of the similar homes. This is what the term “Comps” (comparables) come from. Armed with many other details including zoning, surrounding neighborhoods, and average time to sell a similar home, the Appraiser will determine the market value of the home that the lender will use as the collateral for the home loan.
If the borrower is applying for an FHA, or VA loan then that Appraiser must be approved by those agencies. The appraisal requirements for those kinds of loans are a bit more stringent and may require repairs that need to be completed and re-inspected prior to the loan being approved and funded. Buying a new home under construction requires additional work on the Appraisers part including a review of the materials list, the blue prints and the builder contract to predict the value of the home after it has been constructed.

Due to past abuses in the Lending and Appraisal communities many regulations and restrictions have been put in place to prevent Appraisers from being coerced into provided inflated values.The Home Valuation Code of Conduct (HVCC) and new regulations from HUD have the set the tone for the independence and separation of Appraisers to individuals (such as Loan Officers and Borrowers) who are directly involved in the loan origination process. The Appraiser cannot be told what the target appraisal value needs to be (although they will have a copy of the sales contract). The Loan Officer is not allowed to have direct contact with the Appraiser and in fact are not allowed to even select the Appraiser for the loan. The Appraisal Management Company makes the Appraiser selection and conducts all communications with the Appraiser. The Borrower (home owner) cannot try to persuade the Appraiser as to the condition or value of the home and property in any way. This hand-off approach allows true independence and reduces undue influences others may have on the valuation of the home.
Appraisals costcan be anywhere from $400.00 and up depending on the size, location, and use of the property being appraised. It may be important to wait on the appraisal order until one is confident that the loan has a good chance of approval. Otherwise the appraisal may be a sunk cost that cannot be recouped if the loan does not get approved and subsequently funded. We always will hold of on this part of the process until much of the approval process is complete and we are confident that the loan will close, this eliminates wasteful spending of the borrowers own funds and safeguards our clients from having wasted their funds. Generally, by the time the appraisal is complete much of the underwriting is already complete and many of the borrowers conditions have already been satisfied.
Be on the look out for the next series in the Home Financing Guide where we will take in depth look into Interest Rates and go over all the different things that determine rates, including buy downs, paying points and credit. If you have any questions regarding your home purchase in Spring Hill Florida.

Steve Fingerman
Branch Manager

Allied Home Mortgage
4117 Mariner Blvd.
Spring Hill FL, 34609
Office 352-688-7949
Cell 727-946-0904

Spring Hill Mortgage Lender

postheadericon Home Buyer’s Guide To Purchasing A Home- Part 1

I have been asked lately if I have a guide of some type that would help educate first time buyers with regard to to all the things they should know about buying thier first home. With that in mind here is the first part of what will be a multiple series of blogs designed to tell you everything you need to know about buying and financing a home from A-Z. Since one of the biggest factors in obtaining mortgage financing is credit, let’s dive right in with information you need to know about credit, how credit scoring works and what you can do to correct errors in your credit report.

This Home Financing Guide is designed to provide information so that you can reach your home financing goals while avoiding mistakes along the way that can not only delay the process but can be costly as well. This guide will be broken down in several posts and I will try to keep it as comprehensive as possible. Check back for updates often as this may easily be a 7 or 8 part blog giving you the most comprehensive information you can find about purchasing and financing your new home. If you have any questions while reading the material, please feel free to call me any time.
                                              Steve Fingerman
                                              Branch Manager

Allied Home Mortgage
4117 Mariner Blvd.
Spring Hill FL, 34609

Your credit is one of the key factors in your ability to obtain home financing. You may have heard many companies talk about credit, about how important it is and how you need to know what is on your credit report. They are absolutely right. Your credit not only determines whether you qualify for a home loan, it also determines costs such as interest rate on credit cards, premiums on auto insurance, and in fact it can be used to screen your employment. You credit is definitely important.

Credit is made up of several components all of which become part of your credit report.

  • Applications for credit
  • Number of open accounts credit accounts and account age (credit cards and loans)
  • Accounts Balances
  • Payment history (on-time or late)
  • Collections, foreclosures, repossessions
  • Bankruptcies, liens and other public records
  • Past addresses, employers and names
  • Your calculated credit score (FICO score)
Your credit score (commonly called a FICO score by many) is the most commonly used key indicator of your credit worthiness. Many creditors rely on the credit score since it closely measures the risk that a prospective borrower presents. The lower the credit score the more likely the borrower will default or be late on their payments. Credit scores range from a low of 350 to a high of 850. The average consumer has a credit score in the 680 range. Here is a quick scale of credit scores and how they are rated.

A person that has a credit score below 620 will have a difficult time obtaining a mortgage loan. (There used to be a category of loans called Subprime but given the high risk and abuse that program is all but gone today). A credit score between 620 and 659 may need to select a government sponsored program to qualify. If the credit score is between 660-719 most loan programs become available. But at 720 and above the best interest rates and terms are available to those Borrowers.
Each of the three major credit bureaus will assign a credit score. When it comes to mortgage lending all three credit scores are used in the evaluation of credit with the middle score of the three being the determining factor. For example if a prospective borrower had scores of 719, 728 and 721, the 721 would be the determining score (the middle one). One other important factor to remember is that if you have a co-borrower (e.g. spouse) that the lower of your and all co-borrowers middle credit score will be the score used for loan qualification.

750 and up Excellent
720-749 Good
660-719 Fair
620-659 Marginal
619 and below Poor

Of the various components that affect your credit score the one that has the most impact is payment history (making on-time payments). That is followed by your credit balances (how much you owe), and how long you have had established credit. The chart to the right shows the importance of each of these factors. However, it should be noted that if a person has a recent bankruptcy, foreclosure, or collection account, those kinds of situations will cause the credit score to drop sharply.
It is important that you review your credit report on a periodic basis. Often individuals find that there are errors and inaccuracies that are causing their credit report to look worse that it really should be. Sometimes credit entries are posted to the wrong account. You may also find collection accounts for medical bill that you thought your insurance had covered. There are some estimates that over 40% of all credit reports have one or more errors on them. But if you don’t look at your credit report, you would not know that they were there.
You can obtain your free credit report from This website is sponsored by the big three credit bureaus: TransUnion, Experian and EquiFax. Do not go to other credit advertising websites such as unless you wish to buy additional services. On those websites you may be lulled into a free credit report but in order to receive it you have to sign up for a trial subscription to a service. You are allowed one free report from each of the major credit bureaus each year (up to 3 free reports). Given that it may be a good strategy to obtain a credit report from each credit bureau four (4) months apart and that way you are able to look at the report multiple times each year at no cost to you.
If you do find problems with your credit report, first contact the creditor (card issuer or loan holder) that the problem lies with. If you cannot get a satisfactory resolution with the creditor then contact each of the credit bureaus that shows the reported credit item in question and conduct a formal dispute by writing letters to the credit bureaus stating what the issue(s) is and requesting correction(s) to the credit report. The credit bureaus are pretty helpful when it comes to clearing up issues such as these. You have the right to an accurate credit report under the Fair and Accurate Credit Reporting Act. Anytime you get a positive response from the creditor be sure to ask for the confirmation of correction or removal in writing and keep that document for future reference.
For Additional Information about Credit and The impact it can have on your Mortgage please call me to discuss your needs in detail. I am available any time, and will do my best to give you the best information possible so that you can make sure we are securing the best possible terms on your first home.

Steve Fingerman
Branch Manager
Allied Home Mortgage

Office 352-688-7949
Cell 727-946-0904

postheadericon Mortgage Brokers Are Dead, Is The Finacial Crisis Over?

BROKERS ARE DEAD? Really? I must have missed the bulletin on that one. It still amazes me how the entire regulatory community along with the Big Banks that are Too Big To Fail continue to spin the financial meltdown as something that was entirely the fault of Mortgage Brokers. It’s interesting to point out that there has never been a single Mortgage Broker who made any type of lending or underwriting decision what so ever. Yet somehow it has been the focal point of all regulatory reform, and the single biggest item that keeps getting pointed to as the reason for the entire housing mess.
While it’s true there may have been bad brokers during the housing boom, the uglier truth that no media or regulator wants to cover is that brokers had absolutely no lending authority what so ever! None! So if someone has no authority to make any relevant decisions then one has to ask; Who Did Have The Decision Making Authority? Well that one is simple, that would be the Bank. The same Too Big Too Fail Bank who would have you believe that none of this has been there fault or doing. Too Big Too Fail Banks along with other Bankers and Wall Street Banking Firms created all kinds of Sub Prime loans and then pushed them onto Brokers as their pawns to sell the products they created. Brokers never had the power to make the final decisions on funding. To make matters worse, many of the products they created were designed to fail and they knew exactly when the defaults would more than likely occur. This allowed Wall Street to simultaneously place bets against the very mortgages they were designing as sort of an insurance policy for when they finally blew up in everyone face.

Case in point, I give you Goldman Sachs who did exactly that.

The Truth is we need financial reform, but not in the form that we have seen thus far. HVCC killed the appraisers and made appraisals more expensive and lower in quality than we ever saw before, while at the same time allowing the Big Banks to own and operate some of the largest appraisal management companies in the country. Wasn’t the point of HVCC appraisal Independence? Now Loan Officer Compensation regs are doing to the originators what HVCC did to appraisers. Yet we still have not seen much reform with regard to the real culprits, the Too Big To Fail Banks who created, and pushed the products while telling consumers, regulators, and brokers alike that they were all safe. They did this while knowing the opposite was true, but somehow it seems the entire media and congress wants to sweep this ugly truth under the rug. Watch the video below, then let me know what you think? You opinion, views, and input matter and should be shared with all your State and Federal Regulators, and Representatives. After all, they do all work for you don’t they? Perhaps they need a prod and reminder of that, because the ones that seem to be represented best are not “The People” they are Too Big Too Fail Banks.

Branch Manager
4117 Mariner Blvd
Spring Hill FL, 34609
Office 352-688-7949 Cell 727-946-0904

postheadericon First Time Home Buyer Programs In Hernando County

Free Online Workshops

Welcome to Allied’s Home Buyer University
Free Online Workshops For Home Buyers

Here you will find a growing library of workshops that you may view completely free of charge which will provide valuable information that you will need as you prepare for your home purchase.

There is nothing being sold here so view them all at your earliest convenience. Of course if you have any questions or you would like a Free Pre-Approval feel free to contact us anytime. All of my contact information is listed below for your convenience. I look forward to hearing from you soon!

10 Secrets to Sell Your Home Fast…Even in a Down Market!

Click here to register now!

20 Things You Must Know Before Buying a Home

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25 Things You Must Know Before Applying for a Mortgage

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5 Ninja Strategies to Help You Negotiate Like a Pro!

Click here to register now!

8 Big Insider Secrets to Building Your Credit Score Fast!

Click here to register now!

Divorcing and Home Ownership: How To Avoid The Nine Biggest Mistakes

Click here to register now!

The Best Kept Mortgage Secret: USDA Guaranteed!

Click here to register now!

The Insiders Guide to Reverse Mortgages!

Click here to register now!

Zero Down! Fact or Fiction? The Truth About VA Loans!

Click here to register now!

Branch Manager
4117 Mariner Blvd.
Spring Hill Fl, 34609
Office 352-688-7949
Cell 727-946-0904
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