Albuquerque Real Estate with Joe Brooks

October 9, 2008

There is money still being lended out there!!!

Filed under: News — Tags: , — joebrookshomes @ 8:41 pm
Happy Thursday.
I received the following information from a lender friend of mind.  So if you are worried about not being able to get a loan read below.  As always feel free to call me if you have any questions.  Your ABQ Realtor Joe Brooks  505 977 3474
Home sales up 7.4%
Realtors’ data show pending U.S. home sales up 7.4% in August
FED cuts prime by .5%…….
Hey everyone: just wanted to let you know that we hear a lot of questions like ‘is there any money for mortgages?’ from the general public. The fact is there is money to lend….

Unfortunately the media is far more an influence in what goes on in this country than they should be.  I am pretty sure that many people throughout the country are under the impression that there is very little mortgage money to lend and probably little or no down payment assistance.  I think pretty much everyone in the industry knows this is not true.  But now, in addition to the fact that sales are slow, we are moving into what is normally a slower time of year, and many other economic factors are weighing on things, we have to overcome the perception that it is next to impossible to get financing.
There is money for mortgages.   Yes, the guidelines have become more strict.  But then, let’s face it, they needed to be.  We are, in essence, going back to the future.  That is a reality of the changing landscape.  For those of us who have been in the industry for some time it is going back to the basics of years ago.  For those newer in the industry look for those who have been around for some time and use their experience to assist you. 
The government programs are there and they are just fine.  Yes it is a little more work, but the homebuyer education and counseling that is required is extremely valuable and entirely worthwhile.Education is what will help keep people in homes and motivate people to buy during these times of lower home prices and interest rates.
If this is true, what money is hard to get then?
The money that is really tight (although not the only one) is the short term credit that business use to operate in lieu of cash flow timing. Here’s an example:If I have an order for 10,000 widgets, I may get a down payment from my buyer( or maybe not, if the customer is an A+ client,), but I need to obtain raw materials and pay WIP(work in process) costs on credit until my Accounts Receivables acquire the completed payment. This is a normal way a business ‘leverages’ credit to reduce the amount of cash reserves it maintains to ensure positive cash flow.The credit markets here are tight with the failures of Lehman Brothers and others….
The stock market and economy react negatively as businesses may slow down because of this…
I am taking apps and obtaining financing for clients the same as always….there are credit score bumps to rates, underwriters are scrutinizing files,etc.. but no one I knows has had a loan denied for LACK OF FUNDS FROM LENDER!!!!!!!

Stay positive…..spread the good news as well….

October 8, 2008

Important Safety Tips from Joe Brooks

Filed under: News — Tags: — joebrookshomes @ 6:21 pm


Better safe than sorry. This month’s edition is all about protecting yourself! After all, if you don’t make sure your accounts and information are safe… who will? And in today’s hyper-technical world where everything from bank accounts to business communications are available online, one of the best ways to protect yourself is to make sure you create strong, unique passwords. The article below describes the characteristics of secure passwords and provides a step-by-step formula for creating them.
Making sure your credit card accounts are safe is another important step to protecting yourself. Especially, when you consider a new scam that criminals are using to charge money on your accounts… even if your cards are safely tucked in your wallet. Read the article below to make sure you know how to look for and guard against this new credit card scam.
This information is important for everyone, so please forward these articles on to your friends, coworkers and family members. And if you need any help or advice, please call or email any time.

 Passwords are crucial to accessing your personal accounts and information. The problem is: We all have so many accounts that we worry more about remembering our passwords than we do about making sure they actually protect our data from hackers. So we end up using passwords like our mother’s maiden name or child’s first name. But even if you add a few numbers to the end, those types of passwords are easy to break. And that means your data isn’t safe.
The tips below can help you avoid the most common password pitfalls and even implement a few new ideas that will make your passwords easy to remember…and hard to break!
Strength Training
A well-protected password is not only unique, but also hard to guess. How do you do that? It’s pretty simple really. Just follow this advice:
Use a random string of characters. That means no sequential letters or numbers. None.

Make it looooong. The longer the better–even up to as many as 10 to 14 characters.

Switch things up. Use a combination of upper and lower case letters, along with a few numbers mixed in the middle or end.

Don’t use substitutes. Using “@” for “a” or “1” for “I” may look good to you, but most hackers are smart enough to break those substitutes rather quickly.

Avoid easy targets like words straight out of the dictionary or things like family names and birthdays.
Multiplication Facts
Most of us cheat when it comes to passwords. We have trouble remembering our passwords, so we come up with two or three that we can remember and use them everywhere. But you should avoid the temptation. The fact is, once a password is compromised, all of your accounts are vulnerable. There’s no way around it, you need a way to create and remember multiple passwords–a different one for each account!
Sure-Fire Technique for Memorable, Unique Passwords
For all the advice above, good passwords come down to two things: they’re easy for you to remember, and they’re hard to break. Implementing the tips above can make your passwords hard to break, but what about remembering them–especially if you have a unique password for every account? Here’s a sure-fire tip to help!
1. Think up a phrase. Instead of a common word or family member name, think up a unique phrase that only you know. For example, you may think up something off the wall such as “I Like Short Hair Too.”
2. Make it an acronym. In our example, “I Like Short Hair Too” would become ILSHT.
3. Add Complexity. Remember those substitutes you’re not supposed to use with dictionary words? Well, you CAN use them with your acronym. For example, “I Like Short Hair Too” can become “1 Like $hort Hair 2” which makes: 1L$H2. You can also use upper and lower letters to make it 1L$h2. The point is to be creative, but in a way that you can easily remember it.
4. Make it unique. A password is only really unique if you use it for one account and one account only. So you can’t just use 1L$h2 for every account. And, in reality it’s still too short. Here’s the key to the whole process: Mix in additional letters and numbers that are unique to each account. For example, if you’re logging into a “gmail account” you can use the “gm” and “@cct” (for acct) to make: 1L$h2gM@cct. Then, for a Netflix account, you may use: 1L$h2Nf@cct.
Of course, these are just examples. You’ll want to be creative and think up your own acronym and ways to add unique characters for each account. And then keep that little secret to yourself so no one will be able to guess your account passwords.
Follow these simple steps and you’ll have passwords that are tough to break, unique to every account, and easy to remember!

 We’ve all heard about high tech online and email scams that are used by criminals to trick consumers out of their money. But now, some scammers are relying on good old low-tech skills to steal money from consumers… sometimes without being detected for months!
Authorities are reporting increased “credit card shaving” activity. Credit card shaving–or resurfacing–occurs when a criminal essentially creates a duplicate credit card using numbers from other cards.
Here’s how it works…
Criminals obtain valid credit card numbers (either by purchasing a list of numbers from a black market dealer or by stealing numbers from other sources, such as financial paperwork). Then, criminals use a razor blade to shave the raised numbers off of expired credit cards or gift cards. Once the numbers are off, criminals re-arrange those numbers into the order of a valid credit card number and glue them back onto a clean-shaven card. Finally, the criminals use a knife or a pen to scratch the magnetic strip on the back of the newly created card, so that store clerks have to enter the number manually rather than swipe the card.
It’s all very low-tech, but very effective! Especially, when you consider that the victims have no idea they’re even being robbed. And why should they? Their actual credit cards haven’t been stolen… they’re safe and sound in a wallet or purse.
So what can you do to protect yourself?
First, spread the word about this type of crime. That means telling your friends, family members, and even your local merchants. Experts agree that the best line of defense is at the store register. After all, these card numbers need to be entered manually by a store clerk. If the clerk is perceptive and takes a minute to inspect cards for evidence of mismatched and crooked numbers or even traces of glue, many of these types of crimes could be stopped before they begin.
Second, monitor your accounts. All too often, people file their credit card bills or check card statements without really inspecting them. To help protect yourself, make sure you take a few minutes to examine what charges are listed. If anything looks remotely suspicious, look into it. You can start by checking it against your recent purchases, and if anything looks suspect, get in touch with your credit card company and the merchant for help in tracking down the issue.

 The material contained in this newsletter has been prepared by an independent third-party provider. The material provided is for informational and educational purposes only and should not be construed as investment, financial, real estate and/or mortgage advice. Although the material is deemed to be accurate and reliable, there is no guarantee it is not without errors.

As your Trusted Advisor, I always want to make sure you are clear on all details of the home buying or selling process. If you or someone you know are interested in purchasing or selling a home, give me a call today!


Have a Great Wednesday


October 3, 2008

International Balloon Fiesta 08

Happy Friday,  

I hope you all have a fun weekend planned.  For everyone here in Albuquerque Saturday is the begining of the balloon fiesta with a Mass Assention “weather Permitting” at sun up.  The Fiesta Schedule is below.

I will be holding an open house on this Sunday 10-5-08 from 1pm to 3pm up in the High Dessert area in a million dollar house.  So in between the balloon fiesta you could come check out some awsome houses in the high dessert area.  Call “Joe Brooks, your albuquerque Realtor  at 505 977 3474 “for the address or look for my signs on Tramway.  I look forward to see you there.

I am actuall going to be at the balloon fiesta at least two time this year minimum.  I am volunteering with the make a wish foundation   on Thursday Oct 8th durring the evening balloon glow.  I you have a chance you should come visit me. 

While you are there if you would like to see the balloons from the top of the tram.  Let Joe Brooks your ABQ Realtor know I have some season passes for you.


2008 Schedule
Saturday, October 4
5:45am – 6:45am     Dawn Patrol Show presented by Coleman Vision   more…
6:45am – 7:45am     Opening Ceremonies   more…
7:00am – 8:00am     Mass Ascension   more…
8:00am – 6:00pm     ECHO Series Chainsaw Carving Championship   more…
12:00pm – 8:00pm     Fiesta del Vino – Wine Festival separate admission required   more…
2:00pm – 6:00pm     America’s Challenge Gas Balloon Race Inflation   more…
2:00pm – 6:00pm     52nd Coupe Aeronautique Gordon Bennett Gas Balloon Race Inflation   more…
6:00pm – 7:00pm     52nd Coupe Aeronautique Gordon Bennett Gas Balloon Race Launch   more…
6:00pm – 7:00pm     America\’s Challenge Gas Balloon Race Launch presented by Matheson Tri-Gas   more…
6:00pm – 7:30pm     Twilight Twinkle Glow™   more…
8:00pm – 9:00pm     *AfterGlow™ Fireworks Show presented by Albuquerque Journal   more…
8:00pm – 9:00pm     Josh Gracin   more…
Sunday, October 5
5:45am – 7:45am     Dawn Patrol Show presented by Coleman Vision   more…
7:00am – 8:00am     Mass Ascension   more…
8:00am – 4:00pm     ECHO Series Chainsaw Carving Championship   more…
9:00am – 10:00am     Fiesta of Wheels Car Show   more…
11:00am – 2:00pm     Balloon Fiesta Pin Trading (Balloon Discovery Center)   more…
12:00pm – 8:00pm     Fiesta del Vino – Wine Festival separate admission required   more…
5:00pm – 6:00pm     ECHO Chain Saw Carving Championship Awards & Charity Auction   more…
5:45pm – 7:30pm     Balloon Glow   more…
8:00pm – 9:00pm     AfterGlow™ Fireworks Show presented by Albuquerque Journal   more…
Monday, October 6
5:45am – 6:45am     Dawn Patrol   more…
7:00am – 8:00am     Flying Competition – Balloon Fiesta Hold’em presented by Sandia Resort & Casino   more…
Tuesday, October 7
5:45am – 6:45am     Dawn Patrol   more…
Wednesday, October 8
5:45am – 6:45am     Dawn Patrol Show presented by Coleman Vision   more…
7:00am – 8:00am     Flight of the Nations Mass Ascension & Flying Competition presented by Continental Airlines   more…
Thursday, October 9
5:45am – 6:45am     Dawn Patrol   more…
7:00am – 8:00am     Wells Fargo Special Shape Rodeo™   more…
8:00am – 9:00am     Flying Competition & Prize Grab   more…
4:00pm – 6:00pm     Chainsaw Wood Carving Contest north end of launch field   more…
5:45pm – 7:30pm     Wells Fargo Special Shape Glowdeo™   more…
8:00pm – 9:00pm     *AfterGlow™ Fireworks Show presented by Albuquerque Journal   more…
Friday, October 10
5:45am – 6:45am     Dawn Patrol   more…
7:00am – 8:00am     Wells Fargo Special Shape Rodeo™   more…
8:00am – 6:00pm     Chainsaw Wood Carving Contest north end of launch field   more…
8:00am – 9:00am     Honda Key Grab Competition presented by American Honda Motor Company   more…
5:45pm – 7:30pm     Wells Fargo Special Shape Glowdeo™   more…
8:00pm – 9:00pm     *AfterGlow™ Fireworks Show presented by Albuquerque Journal   more…
Saturday, October 11
5:45am – 6:45am     Dawn Patrol Show presented by Coleman Vision   more…
7:00am – 8:00am     Mass Ascension   more…
8:00am – 6:00pm     Chainsaw Wood Carving Contest north end of launch field   more…
5:45pm – 7:30pm     Night Magic™ Glow   more…
6:00pm – 7:00pm     Chainsaw Carvers Auction north end of launch field   more…
8:00pm – 9:00pm     *AfterGlow™ Fireworks Show presented by Albuquerque Journal   more…
Sunday, October 12
5:45am – 6:45am     Dawn Patrol Show presented by Coleman Vision   more…
7:00am – 8:00am     Farewell Mass Ascension   more…

Revised Downpayment and Maximum Mortgage Requirements

Filed under: News — Tags: , — joebrookshomes @ 8:18 pm

























WASHINGTON, DC 20410-8000



September 5, 2008



For your information.


Call if you have any questions …..


Joe Brooks



SUBJECT: Revised Downpayment and Maximum Mortgage Requirements

The Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008 revised the National Housing Act to:



Require that the mortgagor “shall have paid, in cash or its equivalent…an amount equal to

not less than 3.5 percent of the appraised value of the property….”;




Eliminate the variable loan-to-value limits that were based on the combination of the

property value and the average closing costs of the State where the property is located (also

known as “downpayment simplification”); and




Limit the total FHA-insured first mortgage to 100 percent of the appraised value, and

require the inclusion of the upfront mortgage insurance premium (UFMIP) within that limit.

This mortgagee letter provides guidance to mortgagees regarding the revised downpayment and

maximum mortgage requirements for single family mortgage to be insured by FHA. Please also

note that this mortgagee letter rescinds, in their entirety, the following: ML 2003-01; 2000-44; and

98-29. These instructions also replace the maximum loan-to-value percentage charts on pages 1-7,

1-20, and 1-24 of handbook HUD-4155.1 REV-5, and page 4 of ML 2008-13.


Additional Information Regarding the Revised Downpayment/Maximum Mortgage

Requirements and Downpayment/Mortgage Amount Calculation Examples:



Effective Date:

The revised downpayment requirement as described throughout this

mortgagee letter takes effect with all new FHA case number assignments on or after

January 1, 2009.




Closing costs:

Closing costs may not be used to help meet the minimum 3.5%

downpayment requirement. Closing costs are not considered in the mortgage

amount/downpayment calculation for purchase money mortgages.





For purchase money mortgages, the LTV is 96.5 percent, i.e., the reciprocal of the

3.5 percent downpayment requirement. The examples that follow will use 96.5 percent and

apply it to the lesser of the appraiser’s estimate of value or the adjusted sales price. The

examples do not include UFMIP or closing costs to be paid by the borrower.





Premium pricing:

FHA will continue to permit premium pricing, as described in

paragraph 1-9J of handbook HUD 4155.1 REV-5, to pay the closing costs and prepaid





Combined loan-to-value ratio (CLTV

): When combined with the FHA first mortgage,

government subordinate liens are not limited to 100 percent. When a unit of government or

an instrumentality of one is offering downpayment and/or closing costs assistance in the

form of secondary financing, the CLTV can exceed 100 percent of the appraised value. The

guidance in paragraph 1-13 of handbook HUD 4155.1 REV-5 remains in effect




Calculation of the maximum mortgage:

The maximum mortgage is calculated by

applying 96.5 percent to the




of either a) the appraiser’s estimate of value or b) the

contract price for the property minus any required adjustments.

Example 1

Sales Price: $218,000 Appraiser’s Estimate of Value: $220,000

Maximum Mortgage: $218,000 x 96.5% =




Downpayment: $218,000 – 210,370 =




The maximum mortgage shown does not include any upfront mortgage insurance

premium, and the example does not consider any closing costs that must be paid by

the borrower.



Seller Concessions:

Sellers are still permitted to provide financing concessions up to 6

percent of the sales price. Amounts exceeding six percent must be subtracted from the sales

price (or value, if less) before applying the downpayment percentage multiplier. Other

inducements to purchase, as described in the mortgage credit analysis handbook (HUD-

4155.1 REV-5) must also be subtracted from the sales price or value, as appropriate, in

calculating the maximum mortgage amount/downpayment. In such cases, the actual

downpayment is increased by the amount of the inducement.

Example 2

Sales Price: $218,000 Appraiser’s Estimate of Value: $220,000

Gift Card worth $3000 Adjustment to Sales Price: $218,000 – $3000

Maximum Mortgage: $215,000 x 96.5% =




Downpayment Calculation: $218,000 – $207,475 =




The calculation of the maximum mortgage requires that the gift card value, which

was provided by the builder at closing, be subtracted from the sales price and, thus,

the 96.5 percent applied to $215,000 rather than $218,000. The downpayment, of

course, is calculated by subtracting the mortgage amount from the actual contract

sales price.




Specialty products with higher LTVs:

Section 203(k), Section 203(h) for disaster victims,

and FHA’s Energy Efficient Mortgage (EEM) programs are not affected by the LTV limit.

All existing policy guidance regarding the rehabilitation program under Section 203(k),

including streamlined (k), mortgage insurance for disaster victims, and the EEM program

remain in effect. (Please note that a separate mortgagee letter announcing higher EEM loan

limits will be published.)




Refinance transactions

: Refinances, including FHASecure refinances, are not subject to

the 3.5 percent downpayment requirement since there is no “downpayment” on a refinance.

The LTV will be calculated, as it has been, by dividing the loan amount prior to adding the

UFMIP by the appraiser’s estimate of value. However, the loan amount, including the

UFMIP, may not exceed 100 percent of the appraiser’s estimate of value for all new case

number assignments made on or after January 1, 2009; this will result in various refinancing

products including rate-and-term, FHASecure (including refinances of both non-delinquent

and delinquent mortgages), streamlined refinances, and cash-out refinances having possibly

different LTVs before adding the upfront mortgage insurance premium.

Example 3

Appraiser’s Estimate of Value: $220,000 UFMIP of 1.5%




Maximum Mortgage before adding UFMIP =




Maximum Mortgage w/UFMIP = $216,749 + $3251 =




LTV before UFMIP: $216,749/$220,000 =




This example assumes that the borrower’s payment of the existing first lien, closing

costs, amount to establish a new escrow account, discount points, etc., yield an

amount before adding the UFMIP of at least $216,749. Any shortfall would require

payment in cash. If less is needed to extinguish the existing mortgage and pay

associated transaction costs, a lower amount is required before adding the UFMIP.

Cash-out and FHASecure refinances have lower LTVs as described in ML 2008-13.

(The amount of mortgage before adding the UFMIP can be determined by adding

the insurance premium percentage, in this example1.5%, to 100% and then dividing

that result into the appraiser’s estimate of value ($220,000/1.015 = $216,749

(rounded up)). The resulting amount substitutes for the “LTV ratio applied to

appraised value” instructions in handbook HUD-4155.1, paragraphs 1-11A1 and 1-


If you have any questions regarding this Mortgagee Letter, call 1-800-CALLFHA.






For illustrative purposes only. UFMIP percentages will vary.

April 9, 2008

Home prices slip in Albuquerque

Filed under: News — Tags: — joebrookshomes @ 5:34 am
Home prices slip in Albuquerque
The latest housing report for Albuquerque shows home prices are starting to slide, and some home buyers say this is just what they have been waiting for.The report indicates that houses are not only slipping in price, but they are also staying on the market for a lot longer.

“For someone like me, it makes it nice to have a lot of stuff to look at and make sure I get what I want,” said Michael Chavez, who is looking to purchase a home.

Numbers released Tuesday show the average home price has dropped to $229,000. That is down almost 3 percent from the same time last year.

And despite the lower prices, fewer houses are selling, about 800 less than in the first three months of 2007.

And those that do sell are sitting on the market for about 71 days compared to the 46 days it took to sell them a year ago.

But Cathy Olson of the Greater Albuquerque Association of Realtors says the numbers are much better than the rest of the country’s numbers.

Olson says Albuquerque’s housing market is correcting itself after the enormous growth over past couple of years

“There was some over building going on, I also think that we couldn’t catch up to the number of builds as well as the onslaught of investors coming in,” said Olson.

Realtors say the slump is not hitting areas like Nob Hill and northeast Albuquerque as hard as it’s hitting people on the West Side.

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