February 22nd, 2017 by homehappily

Home Repair Services strengthens Kent county homeowners. They are located at 1100 South Division Avenue, Grand Rapids, Michigan 49507.

I recently went to one of the monthly lunch and learns offered by Home Repair Services. And, wow! If you’re a homeowner in Kent County, this is an organization you NEED to know about.

Home Repair Services is a non-profit organization focused on strengthening Kent County homeowners post purchase. It offers a repair team for vulnerable homeowners, as well as DIY services for all Kent County Homeowners.

For example, low income homeowners could get repair assistance to replace a furnace, a roof — or even a leaky faucet — for about 15 percent of the cost. Homeowners, and also renters, with mobility issues could get help adding a ramp for easier access to their home.

And no matter the income or ability, any Kent County homeowner can take advantage of the organization’s Home Maintenance Check UpRemodeling Together, or Financial Coaching programs.

Scroll down for more detailed information on each program and service offered.

Follow the links for:

Home Repair Assistance

DIY Self Help Registration


Speaking of remodeling… the following is a short, but cool video on three Kent County homeowners who remodeled their kitchens DIY style, with coaching and discounted materials with Home Repair Services. Any Kent County home owner qualifies, as long as they reside in the home!


Quick Summary of Offerings by Home Repair Services in Kent County

(Each heading is a link to its associated webpage)

Repair Team

Each working day, Home Repair Services sends professional service technicians into neighborhoods to handle minor or even the most urgent and critical repair problems facing qualifying lower-income homeowners. More info…

Money Matters Classes

These are free financial coaching classes to any Kent County resident who can attend. The next set of classes begin March 1, 2017. Class titles include: 21 Day Financial Challenge; Cash is King; Managing Credit; Insurance; Foreclosure. There are no income restrictions. Download the PDF schedule OR get more info…

Home Maintenance Check Up

This is amazing! I want to recommend all Kent County homeowners take advantage of this service! It’s a free program in which the HRS Self-Help team will work with you to help plan for regular maintenance and home repairs. This routine maintenance and long-term planning will help save time and money, as well as maintain the value of your home. More info…

During the check-up you will-

  • Learn about how your house works
  • Learn to estimate repair costs and where to buy materials
  • Plan for which things to do now and which to postpone
  • Learn how to make simple repairs yourself
  • Receive a free Home Maintenance Tips booklet

Help to Avoid Foreclosure & Financial Coaching

Last year, HRS handled about 20 pre-foreclosure cases per month. They helped 112 people avoid foreclosure. Financial coaches assist in getting in contact with the mortgage company and working out a payment plans. There are no income restrictions. Flyer. HRS Financial coaches also spotted 20 households with 2015 tax exemptions and were able to help these homeowners get a refund for up to three years in over payment. More info…

Access Ramps & Modifications

Qualifying lower-income residents throughout Kent County with mobility impairments can request home access modifications from Home Repair Services. These include wheelchair ramps, bathroom grab bars, handrails and bathtub modifications. The copay for services is based on a sliding fee scale and ranges between 10% and 20% of a typical job’s total cost. More info…

Fix it School

HRS offers DIY classes in plumbing, electrical, drywall, ceramic tile, flooring and cabinet installation. All classes take place at 10 a.m. every Saturday, are free and open to the public. Download the PDF schedule of upcoming classes. There are no eligibility requirements. Just walk in and have a seat! Participants who complete all six sessions of our “Rookie Renovators” series will receive a certificate of completion. More info…

Remodeling Together

Thinking about remodeling your kitchen? What about your bathroom? Remodeling Together offers resources you need to do it yourself successfully and at a lower cost. There are no income restrictions. The program includes free in-home design support, hands-on classes, lots of time with experienced remodeling coaches and a large selection of high quality kitchen cabinets, countertops and tile with passed on discounts. If you own or are buying your home and are willing to do some home remodeling work yourself, then Remodeling Together is a great option! (Scroll up to see video posted earlier in this blog post)  More info…


 

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Sylvia Dana
Realtor
Coldwell Banker AJS-Schmidt, 3744 28th St. SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49512
616-570-8864
Licensed In: MICHIGAN
License #: 6501400118
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Posted in DIY, Foreclosure, Home Repair, Home Values, Homeowners Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

January 12th, 2017 by homehappily

UPDATE: The Trump Administration has suspended the FHA mortgage insurance premium cut described in the following post. See article. This post will be updated again if anything changes.

Mortgage insurance premiums on FHA-backed home loans will be lowered by 25 basis points, starting January 27, 2017.

The FHA estimates that the reduction will save homeowners an average of $500 this year, lowering the typical FHA house payment by more than $41 a month.

According to a HUD press release published January 9, the reduction will significantly expand access to mortgage credit and is expected to lower the cost of housing for the approximately 1 million households who are expected to purchase a home or refinance their mortgages using FHA-insured financing.

Consumer Affairs summed it up this way: when borrowers take out an FHA loan, they can borrow up to 96.5% of the home’s purchase price. For any loan in which the borrower puts up less than 20% of the money, the borrower is required to purchase mortgage insurance.

Since the government is guaranteeing the loan, the mortgage insurance reimburses the government in the event of default. The mortgage insurance premium is added onto the borrower’s monthly payment.

“After 4 straight years of growth and with sufficient reserves on hand to meet future claims, it’s time for FHA to pass along some modest savings to working families,” Julian Castro, secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), announced January 9.

National Association of Realtors President Bill Brown praised the move. “Dropping mortgage insurance premiums will mean a lot more responsible borrowers are eligible to purchase a home through FHA,” he said. “That puts more money in the fund to protect taxpayers, and it puts more families in homes so they can live out the American dream.”

FHA loans are very popular, especially with first-time home buyers because the requirements are less strict than conventional loans. Borrowers can qualify for an FHA loan with a down payment as little as 3.5% and a credit score of 580 or higher. The borrower’s credit score can be between 500 – 579 if a 10% down payment is made. It’s important to remember though, that the lower the credit score, the higher the interest borrowers will receive.

I’m Sylvia Dana, a realtor with Coldwell Banker in Grand Rapids. Find me at www.shesellsgr.com

Related Links:

What is an FHA Loan?

FHA reducing mortgage insurance rates this year

FHA to Reduce Annual Insurance Premiums On Most Mortgages

U.S. cuts fees for FHA mortgage insurance

FHA cuts mortgage costs for certain borrowers

HUD Lowers FHA MIP by a Quarter Point

Government-backed mortgages are about to get cheaper

Posted in Buying, FHA Loans Tagged with: , , , , ,