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Greenville, North Carolina Real Estate Blog

The Pistol Tingen Team


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What is an Energy Efficient Mortgage?

by Madeleine Tingen

An Energy Efficient Mortgage (EEM) is a mortgage that credits a home’s energy efficiency in the mortgage itself. EEMs give borrowers the opportunity to finance cost-effective, energy-saving measures as part of a single mortgage and stretch debt-to-income qualifying ratios on loans thereby allowing borrowers to qualify for a larger loan amount and a better, more energy-efficient home.

To get an EEM a borrower typically has to have a home energy rater conduct a home energy rating before financing is approved. This rating verifies for the lender that the home is energy-efficient.

EEMs are typically used to purchase a new home that is already energy efficient such as an ENERGY STAR qualified home. The term EEM is commonly used to refer to all types of energy mortgages including Energy Improvement Mortgages (EIMs), which are used to purchase existing homes that will have energy efficiency improvements made to them. EIMs allow borrowers to include the cost of energy-efficiency improvements to an existing home in the mortgage without increasing the down payment. EIMs allow the borrower to use the money saved in utility bills to finance energy improvements. Both EEMs and EIMs typically require a home energy rating to provide the lender with the estimated monthly energy savings and the value of the energy efficiency measures — known as the Energy Savings Value.

EEMs (and EIMs) are sponsored by federally insured mortgage programs (FHA and VA) and the conventional secondary mortgage market (Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac). Lenders can offer conventional EEMs, FHA EEMs, or VA EEMs.

For more information regarding EEMs and energy-efficient homes available in the Greenville, NC and Pitt County area, contact The Pistol Tingen Team at (252) 321-6161.

Mortgage Rates Move Slightly Lower

by Madeleine Tingen

Freddie Mac last week released the results of its Primary Mortgage Market Survey in which the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) averaged 5.07 percent with an average 0.6 point for the week ending April 15, 2010, down from the previous week when it averaged 5.21 percent.  Last year at this time, the 30-year FRM averaged 4.82 percent .

The 15-year FRM last week averaged 4.40 percent with an average 0.7 point, down from the previous week when it averaged 4.52 percent.  A year ago at this time, the 15-year FRM averaged 4.48 percent.

Last week Freddie Mac vice president and chief economist, Frank Northaft, made the following remarks. “After rising for four consecutive weeks, mortgage rates eased back to where they were two weeks ago and still remain historically low. The Federal Reserve (Fed) indicated in its April 14th regional business survey that consumer prices generally remained level and producers had difficulty passing along increases in some raw materials.  This will likely keep inflation at bay as evidenced by the 1.1 percent growth in core consumer prices for the 12-months ending in March 2010, which was the lowest annual increase since January 2004.”

Northaft further noted that, “Low mortgage rates continue to help stabilize the housing market.  The Fed noted that residential activity increased while home prices were stable across most of its 12 Districts over the six weeks prior to April 5th.  In addition, credit standards remained generally unchanged across the nation, while credit quality was mixed according to the report.”

For the most current mortgage and real estate information in the Greenville, NC and Pitt County area, contact The Pistol Tingen Team at (252) 321-6161.

How to Get the Extended Home Buyer Tax Credit

by Madeleine Tingen

You’ve decided to purchase a home and take advantage of the Extended Home Buyer Tax Credit.  Below are the steps to follow to get your benefit.

Close on your home purchase between November 7, 2009 and April 30, 2010, or have a binding written contract in place by April 30, 2010 with a closing date no later than June 30, 2010.

Decide whether to:  apply the credit to your 2009 tax return, filed on or before April 15, 2010; file an amended 2009 return; or, apply the credit on your 2010 return, filed on or before April 15, 2011.

Attach documentation of purchase to your return.

 Documentation of Purchase

Details concerning the precise documents required to confirm your purchase have not yet been released. When this information becomes available, it will be made available online.

When to Apply the Credit

Buyers purchasing homes on or before December 31, 2009 may claim the credit on their 2009 tax returns.

Buyers purchasing in 2010 will have the option to claim the credit on their 2009 return, even if the purchase is completed after April 15, 2010; or, claim the credit on their 2010 tax returns.

 Applying the Credit to Your 2009 Taxes

 You will need to do the following three things to claim the credit on your 2009 tax return-- fill out Form 5405 to determine the amount of your available credit, apply the credit when you file your 2009 tax return or file an amended return and attach documentation of purchase to your return or amended return.

For more information or questions regarding the Extended Home Buyer Tax Credit or, please contact a member of the Pistol Tingen Team.  The Pistol Tingen Team specializes in servicing real estate needs within Greenville, NC and the Pitt County area.


As part of its ongoing commitment to continuously improve housing relief efforts, the Obama administration announced  March 25  new adjustments to the Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP) and to the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) programs.  These program adjustments will better assist responsible homeowners who have been affected by the economic crisis through no fault of their own.

The program modications will expand flexibility for mortgage services and originators to assist more unemployed homeowners and to help more people who owe more on their mortgage than their home is worth because their local markets experienced large declines in home values.

These changes will help the Administration meet its goals of stabilizing housing markets by offering a second chance to up to 3 to 4 million struggling homeowners through the end of 2012.  Costs will be shared between the private sector and the Federal Government; the Federal cost of these changes will be funded through the $50 billion allocation for housing programs under the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP).

For more information regarding these new homeowner options, please contact The Pistol Tingen Team—the real estate specialists for Greenville, NC and the Pitt County area.

Homeowners - Claim Your Tax Credits

by Madeleine Tingen

Owning a home is its own reward, but homeownership can also bring rewards at tax time.

This year is especially beneficial for people who are in the market to buy a home, thanks to the $8,000 first-time buyer credit and the $6,500 tax credit for repeat buyers. Current homeowners can benefit, as well. Tax credits are available for owners who undertake certain projects to improve the energy efficiency of their home, including replacing exterior windows, skylights and doors and installing efficient heating and air conditioning systems. Certain home improvements may qualify for as much as 30 percent of the project cost, up to $1,500.   Homeowners may also enjoy a mortgage interest deduction; allowing them to deduct all the interest paid on up to $1 million in mortgage debt.

For more information about current homeowner tax credits or details regarding tax credits still available to those considering a home purchase this year, please contact The Pistol Tingen Team at (252) 321-6161. The Pistol Tingen Team specializes in real estate located in Greenville, NC and the Pitt County area.

Freddie Mac Will Soon Cease Purchases of Interest Only Mortgages

by Madeleine Tingen

Freddie Mac announced Thursday, February 25 that on or about September 1, 2010, the company will cease purchasing and securitizing "interest only" mortgages--including Freddie Mac Initial Interest fixed-rate and adjustable-rate mortgages.

Interest only mortgages, including Freddie Mac initial interest mortgages, provide for interest-only payments for a specified period of time beginning with the first monthly payment after the note date, and principal and interest payments on a fully amortizing basis for the remainder of the mortgage term.

Freddie Mac was established by Congress in 1970 to provide liquidity, stability and affordability to the nation's residential mortgage markets.  Freddie Mac supports communities across the nation by providing mortgage capital to lenders. over the years, Freddie Mac has made home possible for one in six homebuyers and more than five million renters.

More Foreclosure Opportunities Available in 2010

by Madeleine Tingen

The current real estate market conditions make it a perfect time for a small investor to purchase one or more foreclosure properties for their private residence, rental or resale.  During economic downturns such as these, a variety of homes go into foreclosure—including those falling into the moderate to upscale priced market. So the idea that foreclosure homes are only available in undesirable areas is inaccurate.

A current snapshot of the number of U.S. households facing foreclosure in January 2010 increased 15% from the same month last year, and a surge in cash-strapped homeowners who’ve fallen behind on mortgages could be on the way.

According to a recent report by RealtyTrac, more than 315,000 households received a foreclosure-related notice in January.  Although high, that number is down nearly 10% from 349,000 in December—the third highest total since the company began tracking foreclosure date in 2005.

In January, one in 409 homes were sent a filing—which includes default notices, scheduled foreclosure auctions and bank repossessions. The numbers could stay above that level as unemployed homeowners who have tried to keep up with their mortgages finally start missing monthly payments.

Fannie Mae, the Federal National Mortgage Association, reported in late January that the rate of borrowers who have a conventional loan on a house and are seriously delinquent was 5.29% in November—more than doubling the rate of 2.13% in November 2008. Borrowers are considered seriously delinquent if they are past due by three months or more, or are in foreclosure.

On a local level, Pitt County, Greenville, NC and surrounding areas also continue to experience a growing number of foreclosures. On Saturday, February 27, The Pistol Tingen Real Estate Team will conduct a free, educational/Q & A seminar on how to buy foreclosures as a first-time home buyer, move-up buyer or investor. The seminar is free to the public and will take place from 9am-12pm at the Prudential Prime Properties office building located at 2625 Charles Blvd., Greenville, NC.  Attendees may expect to receive current statistics, locations and prices of specific foreclosure properties, and tips on how best to find and purchase foreclosures.  Both group and individual questions will be addressed by local experienced foreclosure specialists and lenders. Space is limited and reservations for the seminar are suggested.  Please contact The Pistol Tingen Team at (252) 321-6161 for more information.

An Overview of Buying Your Home in 5 Steps (Video)

by Anthony Litz

Home Buyer Tax Credits Explained (Video)

by Anthony Litz

Fannie May announced on  January 28, 2010, a new incentive as part of their ongoing effort to help stabilize neighborhoods.  Specifically, the incentive allows people purchasing a Fannie Mae-owned HomePath® property to receive up to 3.5 percent of the final sales price to be used toward closing cost assistance or their choice of appliances.  The offer is available to any owner-occupant who closes before May 1, 2010, on the purchase of a property listed as eligible for HomePath® financing.

HomePath® Mortgage offers special financing on Fannie Mae properties.  Benefits of this type of financing include low down payments--sometimes as little as 3 percent, flexible mortgage terms, and often loan qualification with less than perfect credit.  HomePath® Mortgage financing is available from a variety of lenders—both local and national.  Since lenders may impose their own limitations on the use of the 3.5 percent incentive, buyers should consult their lenders for guidance.

Fannie Mae’s HomePath® database includes only properties that are owned by Fannie Mae.  There is a wide selection of homes—including single-family homes, condominiums and town houses located in a variety of neighborhoods.  The number, the types and the sales prices of the homes offered for sale by Fannie Mae may vary substantially.  Many of these homes are relatively new; however, older homes are offered in some areas.  Some homes may require repairs.

To purchase a Fannie Mae property, buyers must go through a real estate professional.  Fannie Mae depends on the expertise of local real estate sales professionals and accepts offers only through a Fannie Mae-certified real estate listing agent.  Individuals may work with any real estate sales professional to submit an offer to the real estate agent who has listed the property.

For over 18 years, The Pistol Tingen Team has served as the exclusive Fannie Mae-direct real estate agents for the Pitt County, Greenville, NC and closely surrounding areas. The Tingen Team welcomes and encourages questions regarding Fannie Mae properties, as well as privately owned properties currently on the market. Call 252.321.6161 with questions or to see available properties.

Displaying blog entries 31-40 of 85

BERKSHIRE HATHAWAY HomeServices Prime Properties,   Greenville, NC, 2625 Charles Blvd.