DEAR BOB: I just thought you should know about how great a really good mortgage broker can be. Having read your articles every week for years, I know there are a few “sleezeball” mortgage brokers out there. But my husband and I had a real tough situation. We sold our old home because of my husband’s job promotion and transfer. His employer’s relocation company was worthless. We found the home we wanted to buy. But, we have a “checkered” credit history. My credit report is great, with a 740 FICO score. But my husband’s credit report is pretty bad, with only a 594 FICO score. Thanks to you, we obtained our credit reports and FICO scores at www.myfico.com so we knew our situation. The mortgage lender recommended by my husband’s employer refused to help us. Then we saw a little ad in the newspaper that said “Credit problem? No Problem.” So we applied. Within four days, we had a 100 percent mortgage at 6.25 percent fixed interest with only a 2 percent loan fee. Thanks to that mortgage broker who knew about an out-of-town lender for our situation, we are happily settled in our new home with 100 percent financing. Just thought you should know a good mortgage broker can get an “impossible” mortgage – Jessie Y.

DEAR JESSIE: Thank you for sharing that great mortgage broker experience. I have often said experienced, savvy mortgage brokers can obtain impossible home mortgages such as your situation.

Purchase Bob Bruss reports online.

For example, I’ve written before about my mortgage broker friend, Don Douglass, who obtained an impossible home loan for my buyers, Melvin and Denise. They wanted to buy the house they rented from me. And I wanted to sell it to them. But they had very bad credit although Melvin has a great job as a county employee.

It took Don several months to find a lender willing to make their mortgage loan. But about a week before the closing date, Melvin went out and bought a Mercedes, obtaining a car loan from his credit union. As a result, that messed up his credit report and made him ineligible for the mortgage to buy the home.

Fortunately, Don saved the day by telling Melvin to get rid of that car and its loan, which he did. The lender cooperated and today Melvin and Denise still enjoy their home.

CAN WELFARE RENTER BUY A HOME?

DEAR BOB: Although I am disabled and on welfare, plus Section 8 housing, I want to buy a condo or a town home. As I am unable to work, I don’t see much hope to ever own a permanent home. Is there any way I can buy a modest little condo or town home to call my own? – Clara W.

DEAR CLARA: Yes. You are very fortunate to already be qualified for the low income Section 8 federally-subsidized housing program. As a general rule, you pay up to 30 percent of your income for rent and the federal government pays the balance under the Section 8 program.

As a landlord, I’ve had Section 8 tenants who paid as little as $10 per month rent with the federal government paying the balance of their rent.

My Section 8 “star tenant” lived in one of my rental houses for 13 years until her children were grown and either employed or in college. Then the local housing authority, which administers Section 8 funds, said she didn’t need a subsidy any longer. She then moved to a nice garden apartment, which she could afford on her hospital employee income.

Please contact your local Section 8 housing authority for details about their home ownership programs. Because you are already qualified for Section 8, you might be able to obtain fast approval to use your rent subsidy to buy a home rather than renting.

IS HOME BUILDER LIABLE FOR LATE DELIVERY OF NEW HOME?

DEAR BOB: Last February we signed a contract to buy a brand new house to be built in a new subdivision. The promised delivery date was September 30. Due to various excuses, the builder now says our new home will be completed by January 31, 2005. Meanwhile, we told our landlord we would be moving out so we didn’t sign a new lease. The result is we have to pay $75 extra rent each month. Also, we learned our home builder has a very bad reputation for construction complaints. Do we have any recourse? – Ted W.

DEAR TED: Please read your home purchase contract. Does it promise a firm home completion date? If so, the builder might be liable to you for damages.

But most home builders have very tightly written purchase contracts, prepared by high price lawyers, which explain there is no penalty if the builder doesn’t deliver the home by the estimated completion date.

The fact your home builder has a bad reputation is outside the contract. If you want to get out of the purchase agreement, you might have grounds for breach of contract by the builder. Please consult a local real estate attorney to review your contract and explain your legal rights.

The new Robert Bruss special report “Robert’s Realty Rules: How to Avoid the 10 Worst Home Buyer Mistakes” is now available for $4 from Robert Bruss, 251 Park Road, Burlingame, CA 94010 or by credit card at 1-800-736-1736 or instant Internet PDF download at www.bobbruss.com. Your questions for this column are welcome at either address.

(For more information on Bob Bruss publications, visit his
Real Estate Center
).

***

What’s your opinion? Send your Letter to the Editor to opinion@inman.com.

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