Get Motivated with a Chance at a Free Home Inspection – Valid for 2 Years

Life is good, so so I am spreading the joy this Fall and Winter. I am raffling off a free home inspection for every 20 new potential clients that join my email list between now and the end of the year. Each raffle winner gets a free home inspection (useful for buyers and sellers) as long as they complete a transaction with me within the next 2 years. Tell anyone who plans to buy, sell or invest in the next couple of years and they will thank you.

Also, don’t feel any pressure to wait two years. Spring market is over and every buyer and seller should consider the advantages of making deals in the Fall and Winter. Sellers are happy in the winter since buyers tend to be more qualified, serious and decisive. There is less wear and tear on homes from buyer traffic; and buyers have less home options to choose from so your property can truly stand out.

Buyers also have advantages in the Fall and Winter. Sellers tend to be more serious about selling and prices and negotiations tend to be more efficient. Buyers also have less competition from other buyers.

Everyone is more agreeable if they want to complete a move before the holidays. If you are not the ultra-competitive type, buying this time of year might work for you.

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3% Down Home Run Program with no PMI. Now that’s incredible!

My colleague, Ross Marlin, was kind enough to remind me today of the Home Run program for home buyers in CT. Here are the loan specifics, which are really fantastic and can save you thousands of dollars!

  • 3% down payment on conforming loans and 5 % on jumbo loans
  • No PMI (private mortgage insurance)
  • 2% of loan amount back at closing for closing costs
  • Rates on par with market rates.
  • 640 min credit score required (depending on loan amount and debt-to-income ratio )
  • Must own no other real estate at the time of closing. (Buyer does not need to be a first -timer)
  • Must take a free 8 hour Buyer Counseling class available at Bridgeport Neighborhood Trust. (But otherwise it’s standard processing, review of assets, income, etc.)
  • Ratios are firm but reasonable. If you can’t prove you paid your last 12 months of housing payments on time, it’ll be more strict but still reasonable.
  • For condos, the loan requires 5% down and the credit limit is 660.

Please feel free to contact Ross Marlin with any questions.

Ross P Marlin
Home Lending Officer
Citibank, N.A.
Cell:(203) 524-3939
Office: (203)-341-2019
NMLS Identifer: # 1070860




BNT is a Great Recource for First-time Buyers

I am a proud sponsor of BNT, Bridgeport Neighborhood Trust, because they provide buyer education and down payment assistance for qualified buyers in all of Fairfield County. BNT is also a leader in the re-developmment of urban communities.

Even if you are not quite ready to buy, BNT will help you create a plan to become ready.

For more information, check out the BNT Resource Guide.

My Client Made $94,000 on a Stamford Condo Property in 2 Years

Here’s an actual account of net profit that one of my clients made by just buying and holding a property in the last two years without making any significant improvements.

My client was renting in 2012, and I advised him to buy a short sale for $365,000 at the very end of the year in December. Two years later, he sold it for $485,000, making a total investment net gain of $94,000. Here are the details:

Purchase Sale Price: $365,000

Down Payment: $73,000

Interest Rate: 3.375%

Loan Amount: $292,000

Monthly P&I Payment: $1,291

Principal Paid Over 2 Years: $19,388 (In addition to the minimum required of $11,644, he paid an extra $7,744 by adding $323 per month)

Interest Paid Over 2 Years: $19,338

Transaction Expenses: $26,320

Common Charges Over 2 years: $19,344 ($806 per month included heat)

Net Proceeds After Sale at $485,000: $186,000

Actual Net Gain (accounting for down payment and principal paid Over 2 years):  $94,000 plus the additional tax savings on mortgage interest expense and property tax deductions.

Please note my client does not have to pay capital gains taxes if he occupied the property for two years.

Also, many analysts would say my client had additional expenses consisting of common charges and the interest expense. This cost of $38,000 was his true out-of-pocket expense to live in the condo for 2 years. This cost can be compared to what it would have cost him to rent the same property for two years, which would have been at least $72,000. This comparison has to be made since most people don’t live in luxury condos for free.

This analysis also assumes the down payment funds came from a savings account or similar account where interest would have been minimal. This lost interest has not been accounted for in this scenario. Please call with any questions, 203-570-2096.


New Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI) Rates Effective January 26, 2015

The following table shows the existing and new annual MIP rates by amortization term, base loan amount, and Loan to Value (LTV) ratio. All New MIP amounts set forth in this table are effective for case numbers assigned on or after January 26, 2015. (Source: US Department of Housing and Urban Development Jan 9 2015 Memo)

Base Loan Amt. LTV Previous MIP New MIP

Term > 15 Years

≤ $625,500 ≤ 95.00% 130 bps 80 bps

≤ $625,500 > 95.00% 135 bps 85 bps

> $625,500 ≤ 95.00% 150 bps 100 bps

> $625,500 > 95.00% 155 bps 105 bps

Term ≤ 15 Years

≤ $625,500 ≤ 90.00% 45 bps 45 bps

≤ $625,500 > 90.00% 70 bps 70 bps

> $625,500 ≤ 90.00% 70 bps 70 bps

> $625,500 > 90.00% 95 bps 95 bps


Can The Young Adults You Know Do A Rent v. Buy Calculation?

Often young adults don’t understand how to do “rent versus buy” calculations. Many people forget to take into account equity increases and tax savings. I am always happy to meet with anyone and walk through the math based on his or her lifestyle choices. Here’s an example based on a current listing I have at 140 Grove Street 4I. If you were to rent this unit now, it would cost $1500 per month which includes your heat expense. That is $18,000 per year.

If you were to purchase this property at an interest rate of 4.1% and 20% down on a purchase price of $180K, your annual interest expense in the first year is only $5,857 and decreases each year thereafter; and your property taxes are $2,179. The balance of your annual mortgage payment totaling $2,037 comes back to you in equity. Your common charges on this property of $365 per month are offset substantially by your mortgage interest tax deduction and property tax deduction.

The average rent in Stamford is $2500 per month or $30,000 per year. With the right strategy and savings plan, it is easy to spend less than that to live in Fairfield County or at least have something concrete to show for it in terms of home equity if you choose to spend that much or more. Take the time to do the math for yourself and your adult children.

PMI Basics and New Changes in PMI for FHA Loans

PMI (Private Mortgage Insurance) Basics:

Cost is generally one .5% – 1% of the loan amount charged on an annual basis and divided into 12 payments per year

Not Tax deductible

Applied if down payment is less the 20% of purchase price of home

Can be avoided if you pay more interest or if you get a 80-10-10 loan (a loan at 90% and a second loan for 10% at a higher rate brings you to the 80% threshold to avoid PMI)

PMI for FHA Loans is increasing in 2013. Below is a summary of the FHA Changes:

Changes April 1, 2013…

  • Cost of Monthly Mortgage Insurance is increasing by additional 10 basis points annually – (see 1st table below)

Changes June 3, 2013…

  • Time period (duration) borrower must keep mortgage insurance is increasing
  • 30 Year Mortgages with less than 10% down will require buyer to keep mortgage insurance for entire term of the loan (See 2nd table below)
  • For more information about these changes, contact Perry Gaa (917-881-4944) at our affiliated Citibank lending group.

New Cost of Mortgage Insurance
Effective for case #’s assigned after 4/1/13…
– Applies to FHA loan amounts less than $625,000

LTV Ratio Annual Premium for over   15 Years and up to 30 Years

LTV Ratio

Annual Premium for Loans   15 Years and Under
95.00% and Under 1.30% 78% and under 0.45%
95.01% and Over 1.35% 90.00% to 78.01% 0.45%
90.01% and Over 0.70%

FHA – New Term of Mortgage Insurance

Changes effective for case #’s assigned after 6/3/13…

    •   Revision to the period for assessing the annual MIP;
    •   Removal of the exemption from the annual MIP for loans with terms of 15 years or less and LTVs of less than or equal to 78 percent at origination;
    •   Increase in the annual MIP for mortgages with terms less than or equal to 15 years and LTV ratios less than or equal to 78 percent at origination.


LTV (%)



≤ 15 yrs

≤ 78

No annual MIP

11 years

≤ 15 yrs

> 78 – 90.00

Cancelled at 78% LTV

11 years

≤ 15 yrs

> 90.00

Cancelled at 78% LTV

Loan term

> 15 yrs

≤ 78

5 years

11 years

> 15 yrs

> 78 – 90.00

Cancelled at 78% LTV & 5 yrs

11 years

> 15 yrs

> 90.00

Cancelled at 78% LTV & 5 yrs

Loan term