Real Estate

Neighborhood Housing Services has a Home with Down Payment Assistance for Sale.


Would you like to buy a house that is in great condition and has been updated?

Have you thought you might not be able to purchase a renovated home on your salary? Are you one of those hard-working people who has not been able to save a lot of money to buy a home and yet are tired of renting?  Do you live on a limited budget? Did you know there is a program that will allow you to purchase a home with little money out of your pocket? Usually 1% to 1.75% of the purchase price.  Neighborhood Housing Services and Community Action have grant programs for those who qualify.  These grant programs are federally funded assistance programs with the intent of helping low to moderate income families achieve the American Dream of home ownership.. 

The grant program will pay your down payment and closing costs not to exceed a certain dollar amount. Depending on the program, this could be up to $12,750, $14,299 or $40,000.  The grant programs change every year and so the actual dollar amount will most likely change.

Neighborhood Housing Services has some great homes that they rehab as well as some new construction. The homes they rehab are brought up to current code and evaluated so they are a good home for the new buyer. Older homes are tested for lead based paint and remediated as needed.  While not every home gets the same upgrades, you can often expect to see new plumbing, electrical, heat and air, roofs, kitchen cabinets, and counter tops as well as appliances.  These homes are then offered to the general public at a fair value.  The buyer does need to be an owner occupant to purchase these properties with the intention to live there a minimum of 5 years.  They will also need to qualify for the program based on income guidelines per family size.  As of this writing (2017) a single person will need to make $36,050 or less a year, while a family of 4 can make up to $51,500.  If your income is close, please apply.  Sometimes certain types of income are not counted, only the home buyer specialist can tell you for sure.

Currently Neighborhood Housing Service has a fabulous home at 2808 NW 14th Oklahoma City, OK 73107.  The neighborhood has been getting a facelift with several investors updating homes in the area.  This 2 bed, 1 bath home built in 1912 has almost everything new–new drywall, insulation, kitchen cabinets, counter tops, vinyl flooring, carpet, refinished wood flooring, new deck and wood fence, new wiring, plumbing, heat pump HVAC, roof, reworked windows, electric box, hot water tank, and carport.  The improvements in this house would cost the average homeowner a lot of money.  They are done for you and the house is ready to move in.  This house is currently priced at $105,000, with you the buyer receiving up to $14,299 towards down payment assistance and closing costs.

If you are interested in viewing this house or have questions regarding down payment assistance, please feel free to give me, Sandi Walker, a call at 405-213-2992 or visit my website

Real Estate

Affordable Housing in Oklahoma City

Affording a home of your own on a limited budget seems to be getting harder and harder. The cost of housing continues to increase faster than most people’s paychecks. This includes both to rent and to purchase. Part of this is the constant increase in taxes and insurance. In addition, as people continue to move here it increases the demand for housing. As demand rises the cost of housing goes up. So, what is a person to do. In most cases buying is still less expensive than renting provided you are planning on living here for a length of time. If you are planning on living her 3 years or less, renting may be a better option.
When trying to maximize your buying budget, find a Realtor who knows the market and can help you know a good value when you see one. You may be able to get a better deal on a home that needs some cosmetic updates versus one that has been all dolled up and staged. Be careful of large projects if you are unfamiliar with construction repairs as those could cost you more than you originally budgeted for.
Look around for insurance. Call three or four different insurance companies and get a quote. You may want to transfer your car insurance in order to get a multipolicy discount. Ask the agent how that would affect your policy. Make sure that you review your policy yearly. You may need to change insurance companies if the rate is going up too much. Just make sure you know your roof will be covered if you change. It would be awful to change carriers for $100 a year difference and then find out that the hail damage your roof received should have been covered under your old insurance company.
Review the property taxes. You will get a new assessment of the homes value every year, generally around March. Look at it. Does the county believe your property has gone up or down in value? This is the taxable value and not the amount of money someone will pay you for it. The county does get it wrong sometimes. I saw a lady’s taxes fluctuate year to year significantly because she lived near a golf course. The years when the homes that backed up to the golf course sold her taxable value would go up $10,000-$15,000. The next year homes on the gold course wouldn’t have sold and her taxable value would hold or go down a few thousand dollars. She was living on a small income and was having a hard time with the payment due to the increase in property taxes over the years. I advised her to review her assessment yearly and protest the increases with the county. You cannot wait until you get your tax bill in November or December to talk to the county. Do it when you get your assessment. You only have 20 days to protest. She was also older and would shortly be eligible for a senior freeze. This would freeze the valuation so that it would not continue to go up yearly.
Being diligent in reviewing your taxes and insurance is one way to help keep your payments affordable. If you have real estate questions or are looking to buy or sell or invest in real estate, I would love to visit with you. Feel free to contact me at 405-213-2992 or visit my website.

Real Estate

What is a Mortgage Inspection Cert (MIC) and why does the seller pay for it?

A mortgage inspection cert is a drawing of the property that is being conveyed between two parties. It is often called a survey. It is not a pin survey and should not be used when determining actual lines to say install a fence. It is a useful to know easements and encroachments. It will also show whether a building is actually on the property it is supposed to be as per the legal description.
The seller pays for the MIC to prove that they have a marketable title. Sometimes I get sellers who rebuke the idea of needing a survey. Yet it is important. They are disclosing to the buyer that the title of the property through the survey is clear of encumberment and encroachments.
I have seen gas line easements which have run down the middle of a property, pools in easements, driveways that are over property lines and other easement issues. The most common easement violation are sheds in the utility easement. Just because there is an easement violation doesn’t mean you should stop the sale. You should investigate more to know what you are purchasing and to understand how it will affect the usefulness of your property.
The worst MIC I saw was one where the house didn’t actually sit on the property being sold. The seller and the previous seller had done a quick claim deed about 20 years ago and then did a corrected deed and then another corrected deed all to get the property correct. Unfortunately, they still did not convey title correctly. When the seller refinanced the property 12 years ago, the lender didn’t do a survey since the borrower owned the property. Had the borrower ever defaulted on the loan, the lender would have had a driveway as collateral. We had to go back and correct the deed in order to sell the property. It took about 5 weeks to accomplish, but my team did it. The other option would have been to quiet title the issue. The seller had been living in the house for 20 years paying taxes and would have won the quiet tile suit; it just would have cost attorney fees.
If you are purchasing property, always get a survey so you know what you are buying. You will want to know exactly what you are purchasing.
If you have real estate questions or are looking to buy, sell or invest in real estate please feel free to contact me at 405-213-2992. Feel free to visit my website