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Sunday, September 25, 2022
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My husband and I saw a house for sale that is in the perfect neighborhood and town for our family. The house needs a lot of work and we don’t have the money for the needed updates. We really love this house. We are also worried that we won’t be able to get a loan if the bank feels that the house is not inhabitable. We hate to walk away. What can we do to salvage this deal??

LYDIA RUSSO: The idea of buying a “fixer-upper” and turning it into your dream home is more than just a dream! This is where an FHA 203K Loan comes in. This loan will include the money you need to buy the house (the down payment) plus the money to do the repairs at a very reasonable interest rate. Once you spruce up things like the kitchen and your bathrooms you increase the value of the home and your investment! Do note that not every house or property will qualify for this type of loan. You need to work with the right Realtor and Lender to find the right loan for you.

ASK THE REALTOR: My husband is coming home soon from serving in the military. We have been staying with my family. It is becoming too crowded and now that my husband is coming home and we are expecting another child, it is time to move on. I found a property that will be perfect for us, but don’t think we have the down payment needed. Are there any special programs available for us?

LYDIA RUSSO: Your husband may qualify for a VA Loan through the Department of Veterans Affairs. This is one of the few mortgage options for Veterans and active military members who don’t have down payments. You can read about some of the requirements online. You will also need to find a private lender who is familiar with this type of loan. The VA only guarantees a portion of the loan. They are not a direct lender. This enables the lender to give you more favorable terms – up to 100% financing with zero down payment! Don’t give up if the first lender you speak to denies you. You need to press on and find the lender who is familiar with this program and can walk you step by step through the process.

ASK THE REALTOR: I don’t think I can afford to purchase a single-family home at this time without more income. Do you have any suggestions so I don’t have to wait?

LYDIA RUSSO: There are many styles of homes available for sale. One type is a multi-family home. With this style of housing you can occupy one of the units and rent out the others. The monthly rent you will collect from a Tenant may be that needed income you are looking for and may cover the cost of your taxes, utilities and possibly more! A multi-family home has multiple separate housing units contained within one building. A common form is an apartment building with many units. A two-family home often has one apartment occupying the first floor and another occupying the second floor. Sometimes these units are side-by-side. This is one way to get started owning real estate.

Homeownership is the greatest investment. Be sure that whatever you buy, you use the right Realtor who can direct you to lenders with the programs that support your special needs and requirements. You also need to be sure that you have purchased in the right town and the right neighborhood. You can always change any house with paint and updates. You cannot change the town, neighborhood, location. I am giving you advice that I have given and taken myself. Trust me, IT WORKS!!!

Russo Real Estate is a family owned business that has been servicing the northern Bergen County area of New Jersey for over 40 years. Lydia Russo and her son Robert, offer a personal service not often found in large, corporate owned agencies. Our agents have the knowledge, experience and dedication needed to make the process of either buying or selling a home an easy one. From start to finish our agents will provide assistance with any of your questions. Please visit us online at www.RussoRealEstate.com or call us directly at (201) 837-8800.

By Lydia Russo

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