Friday, May 24, 2013

Flood Insurance premiums in Cape May, New Jersey

Poverty BeachA lot of uncertainty surround ds the issue of new flood insurance premiums in Cape May for existing homeowners as well as home purchasers.  From what we have been told, flood insurance premiums in Cape May will be rising but the extent of the increase is a matter of debate.  I have spoken with several agents from Marsh and LcLenahan, Cape May's largest insurance agency, and they are telling me that what they are seeing is flood insurance premiums in Cape May increasing by an average of 25% for each of the next 4 years for second home/investment properties and 15-20% for primary homeowners.  We are also being told that US Congressman Frank LoBiondo has proposed legislation that would limit the increase in floor insurance premiums in Cape May, in particular, but for policy holders in general to about 12% for the next 8 years.  I also understand that flood maps are being proposed that re-categorizes flood zones in Cape May, but that they will probably go through 2 or 3 iterations before being finalized.

In addition, mayors, councilmembers and members of the general public are pressuring FEMA (Federal Emergancy Management, the body charged with updating the maps) to take a closer look all areas covered by the maps.  When you think about it, Cape May is not a barrier island like Wildwood, Stone Harbor, Avalon and LBI - where the ocean and back bays are separated by less than 5 blocks in some areas.  Cape May is really a peninsula, with the l940-50's creation of the Cape May canal giving the town a feel of an island.  Additionally, the ground elevations in the barrier towns is no more than 5 feet above sea level, in many cases, while the ground elevations in Cape May generally run from 7 to 14 feet above sea level.  One would think that this difference would afford better flood insurance premiums in Cape May - so we wait and see.

By the way, it isn't really the flood insurance premiums in Cape May that are being raised, it is the removal of the Federal subsidizations that all floor insurance policy holders have been the beneficiary of.

While I am not going to pretend that the above info is dead on, it is the latest that we have been able to draw from the people who are supposed to know.

William Bezaire
Coldwell Banker Sol Needles Real Estate
609-884-8428 work
609-884-3006 home
609-827-3513 cell

Monday, April 8, 2013

Why USDA Might be Right for You

OK, so the first thing you are probably asking is:
"What the heck is USDA, and how is it going to help me?" Well the USDA is the United States Department of Agriculture and they have loan programs in place to help lower income families afford housing in rural areas. So by now you are saying....Low Income Families....Rural Areas....Well that's definitely not Cape May.

Actually based on the government's maps, most of Cape May County is considered rural and you would be surprised to know that the income guidelines to be considered a moderate income household is from $91,550 for a single person to $120,850 for a household of 4 or more. With incomes at these levels you would still receive a guaranteed USDA Loan from a private mortgage company. Combine that with the maximum loan limit of $233,100 and there are plenty of properties in Cape May County, and even a couple in Cape May itself that you would be able to get this government subsidized program for, . Even if you are not looking to purchase in the Cape May Area, this program is Countrywide, so you might qualify in your own home town.
So why would I want to use this program? Well, because the program has several very attractive benefits:
  • 100% financing, no down payment is required. The loan amount may not exceed 100% of the appraised value, plus the guarantee fee may be included.
  • Guarantee Fee applies: may be rolled into the loan amount.
  • Flexible credit guidelines. Non-traditional credit histories may be accepted.
  • Fixed 30 year interest rates apply. Lenders and applicants agree upon interest rate.
  • Qualifying ratios are 29% for housing costs and 41% for total debt. Lenders may request an exception to exceed these ratios when strong compensating factors are identified.
  • No maximum purchase price. Qualifying ratios and the applicant’s stable and dependable income will determine home affordability.
  • Eligible property types include existing homes, new construction, modular homes, Planned Unit Developments (PUD’s), eligible condominiums and new manufactured homes.
  • Eligible closing costs and lender fees may be included in the loan or paid by the applicant.
  • Gift/Grant Funds/Mortgage Credit Certificates (MCC’s)/Seller Concessions are allowed.
  • Eligible repairs and improvements may be included in the loan.
  • Applicants apply with an approved lender of their choice.
  • Not limited to first time home buyers.

So now that you are interested in learning more and how this program may help you, contact your trusted mortgage lender to see what else is needed and if you qualify. If you don't have a mortgage professional to talk to about this program, don't worry I have several that can help.

Chris Bezaire
609-972-6927 (c)