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Posts Tagged ‘military’

Flip Your Home Through 2014

December 12th, 2012 at 4:03 pm by Rick Schutte

house flipping your house through 2014If you are considering investing in real estate in the new year or in selling your home that was recently purchased, you’ll be excited to know that the Federal Housing Administration has agreed to a temporary extension on the waiver on home flipping.

At one point in time, home owners were required to hold title for more than 90 days before selling their property. Now, however, you can buy your home, fix it up, and resell it without time restrictions, per the original policy put into place in 2010 by the Obama administration.  Since 2010 the extension has been granted on a yearly basis, but this announcement extends it for two years.

The renewal of this policy, announced at the end of November, will remain in force until December 31, 2014 to allow security to buyers and lenders who wish to engage in these practices. The waiver is subject to certain restrictions, and may result in an increase in available home inventory.

According to Carol J. Galante, Acting FHA Commissioner, the extension was granted to increase resales of foreclosed properties in struggling neighborhoods. He said,  “FHA remains a critical source of mortgage financing and stability and we must make every effort to promote recovery in every responsible way we can.”

Learn About How the Extension Affects Your Home and Neighborhood

To read the actual waiver and restrictions placed on anti-flipping regulations, such as the need to show renovations and an inspection to support a sales price increase of greater than 20%, click here.  If you are interested in learning more about investing and how this change can impact your home, give me a call.


Top VA Loan Questions From Military Buyers

May 25th, 2012 at 11:08 am by Rick Schutte

Every week, we field a number of questions from our VA buyers regarding VA loan questions.  VA is an outstanding loan program and we would like to make this information available to all of our readers.  Here are some of the top questions we respond to.

Q:  How do I deal with bad credit?

A: Bad credit is a common challenge. In order to qualify for VA financing, military home buyers must have at least a 620 credit score. This minimum can be a stretch for those with a past bankruptcy or foreclosure. We work closely with credit-challenged military buyers. Rather than dismissing applicants with low credit scores we partner with the potential borrowers to help point them in the right direction to repair their credit rating and position themselves to qualify for the loan.

Q: What if my spouse has bad credit?

A: All VA loan borrowers and co-borrowers will be under close scrutiny by a lender. Credit scores for both applicants have to measure up to the 620 minimum. It may be advisable for a potential buyer to obtain a loan without a co-borrower, provided the solo borrower can afford the mortgage payments and meet all criteria.

Q: What can I buy with a VA loan?

A: VA loans can only be used to finance primary residences (up to a 4-plex if the veteran lives in one unit). Vacant land and commercial properties are ineligible. It is possible to finance new construction with a VA loan, but only through certain lenders.

Q:  What are current VA loan rates?

A:  It’s not uncommon for VA loan interest rates to be lower than conventional loan rates. But as with any loan, the interest rate on a VA loan will shift with the market. Borrowers can get a sense of VA rates during the pre approval process.

There are many local lenders and qualified real estate professionals here on Whidbey Island that can help with the VA process.  If you or someone you know has questions that aren’t answered here, there are many available resources available locally. We are proud to serve our military and our veterans.


Foreclosure Rescue Scams Are Going Strong

September 16th, 2010 at 1:00 pm by Rick Schutte

The housing market in the United States may not be thriving, but business is booming for foreclosure rescue and loan modification scammers.

The US Government Accountability Office (GAO) released a report in July 2010 entitled “Home Ownership Preservation”. It states that: “The current foreclosure crisis has provided persons who may perpetrate mortgage foreclosure rescue and loan modification schemes with unprecedented opportunities to profit from homeowners desperate to save their homes.

The GAO report says there are two main types of foreclosure rescue and loan modification scams: advance-fee loan modification schemes and sales-leaseback schemes, with advance-fee schemes being the most common.

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) reports on a new twist on the advance-fee scam that’s showing up this year, a “forensic mortgage loan audit.” The scammer offers to find regulatory violations in your original mortgage that will help you avoid foreclosure or even cancel your loan. There’s no evidence that anyone has ever succeeded in modifying their loan using this approach.

Here are some “red flags” that at-risk homeowners should watch out for when looking for foreclosure help, courtesy of the FTC. You should avoid any business that:
• guarantees to stop the foreclosure process – no matter what your circumstances
• instructs you not to contact your lender, lawyer, or credit or housing counselor
• collects a fee before providing you with any services
• accepts payment only by cashier’s check or wire transfer
• encourages you to lease your home so you can buy it back over time
• tells you to make your mortgage payments directly to it, rather than your lender
• tells you to transfer your property deed or title to it
• offers to buy your house for cash at a fixed price that is not set by the housing market at the time of sale
• offers to fill out paperwork for you
• pressures you to sign paperwork you haven’t had a chance to read thoroughly or that you don’t understand.

courtesy of


Should I or Shouldn’t I ????

September 10th, 2010 at 11:04 am by Rick Schutte

Short Sales? Foreclosures? REO Properties? Bank Owned Properties? HUD Repos? What kind of houses are these? Are they good Deals? Should I buy one?

VA? FHA? Conventional Financing? ARMS? 15 Year? 30 Year? What Down payment? Points? Buy Down? Closing Costs? Yikes, what should I do???

There are many opportunities and questions in today’s real estate market. I believe because there are also so many unknowns and choices that consumers are overwhelmed and fearful of making a decision. They don’t want to make the WRONG decision.

Our responsibility is to help you make the decision that is RIGHT for you. We are passionate about this. We want what is best for you. As professionals, we have been guiding home buyers and sellers through this maze for a long time. We are continually educating ourselves on the latest laws, trends, marketing ideas, and technology so that we can answer your questions and point you in the right direction.

If you are a buyer with questions or frustrations, let us help you with some answers. If you are a seller and need some counsel or want to know our marketing strategies, give us a call or email or visit our website. We consider it an honor to be of help to our neighbors and friends. Thank you


Home Selling Assistance for Military Members

August 20th, 2010 at 10:22 am by Rick Schutte

Many military members are not aware of the Homeowners Assistance Program
(HAP) that went into effect when the Stimulus package was signed last month.
Most of the info on the “Homeowner’s Assistance Program” is found on their
website (

- Current provisions from HAP:
*Reimburse the applicant for part of your loss from selling the
*Assist the applicant if you don’t receive enough proceeds from the
sale of the home to pay off the mortgage
*Buy the applicant’s home by paying off the mortgage (not available
for overseas applicants).
*Help the applicant if the mortgage is in default.

- Individuals eligible for HAP now that the Economic Stimulus Package is
*Wounded warriors with at least a 30% disability rating relocating
for medical treatment or medical retirement
*Uniformed Service Members under PCS orders to a duty station
outside a 50-mile radius of their current station. The primary residence
must have been purchased before July 1, 2006 and sold between July 1, 2006
and Sep. 30, 2012.
*Uniformed Service Members, & Federal Civilians including NAF
funds) employees who are affected by BRAC (Base Realignment & Closure),
without tying the decline in home values to BRAC.
*The Spouse of a member of the Armed Forces or a civilian employee
of the Department of Defense or the United States Coast Guard if – the
member or employee was killed in the line of duty or in the performance of
his or her duties during a deployment on or after September 11, 2001, in
support of the Armed Forces or died from a wound, injury, or illness
incurred in the line of duty during such a deployment.

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About Rick Schutte

Rick is the owner/designated broker of Coldwell Banker Koetje Real Estate and Koetje Property Management. He has been involved with the real estate industry on Whidbey Island for over 32 years. He is a past president of the NWMLS as well as a current board member of the North Puget Sound Association of Realtors. He has been designated by the National Association of Realtors as a Certified Real Estate Brokerage Manager as well as a Graduate of the Real Estate Institute. Rick can be reached at 360-675-5811 or You can also check out his website at

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