Welcome to the Team!

HFH Welcomes Eileen Scates

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Homes for Heroes is happy to introduce affiliate Eileen Scates!

Involved in my community and church and an advocate for raising awareness and money to causes like Susan G Komen and local charities.  Homes for Heroes was just a naturally fabulous addition.  Growing up with friends and family in the medical, teaching and military fields it was just wonderful to hear about a program that helps reward families that give so much to their community.  I love that not only I can help a family relocate and find a home that fits the entire family’s needs – I can have a network of friends alike to assist them with their other their.  It’s as if their family joined them on their journey to help them move.  Its a wonderfully glowing feeling of accomplishment and sense of pride to be part of this group.

Police Sgt. Killed In The Line Of Duty

Homes for Heroes extends their sympathy towards those affected in the tragic shooting death of a Minnesota Police Sergeant. This is a very sad reminder of why we do what we do here at Homes for Heroes every day. We will continue to try and reward those who put their lives on the line every day to protect us, as best as we can.

Maplewood police Sgt. Joseph Bergeron was killed after what is described as a cold-blooded ambush on Saturday morning. Watch the day’s events unfold as the two suspects were hunted down.

HFH Teams Up With Village Lawn Service

Village Lawn Service

Village Lawn Service offers professional Lawn, Snow and Landscaping services for residential and commercial properties. With over thirty-five years of trusted service, we are the people you can depend on. Please think of Village Lawn Service the next time you need lawn, landscaping, or snow removal services. We would love to add your home or business to our service route! Give us a call at: 651-455-0971

Serving the following areas: West St. Paul, St. Paul, South St. Paul, Mendota,
Mendota Heights, Inver Grove Heights, Eagan, Lilydale, Sunfish Lake, Oakdale, Maplewood and Woodbury.

Visit the Village Lawn Service website here.

HFH: Home Buyer Credit, Rebates That Never Expire

Home buyer credits and rebates that never expire…

Today, April 30th, marks the last day to buy a home and get the federal tax credit. Homes for Heroes discounts and credits never expire! In fact, through the Friends of Heroes program, the discounts continue far after the closing.

Minneapolis – April 30th, 2010 – Homes for Heroes® offers large savings to local heroes when buying or selling a home. With the Spring housing market here, Homes for Heroes is gearing up to serve as many heroes as possible. Homes for Heroes aims to help close the gap between the cost of housing and buyers in the following groups: military personnel, police officers, firefighters, teachers, first responders and others who serve our community and nation.

Homes for Heroes is celebrating its ninth year of bringing big savings to everyday heroes. Inspired by the hometown heroes who serve and protect their communities and our country, a partnership of Realtors, mortgage lenders, title companies and appraisers created Homes for Heroes, Incorporated. The sole purpose of this collaboration of real estate professionals is to offer savings when buying or selling a home. With the May launch of sister program, Friends of Heroes, community vendors outside of the real estate related profession can offer discounts to heroes for savings beyond the closing. This offers local businesses the opportunity to show its community that they are proud of your local and national Heroes and set their company apart from the competition.

Police Officer, soldier, and Homes for Heroes spokesperson Katie Blackwell returned from serving alongside her husband, Steve, in Iraq with the National Guard. Through her efforts in distributing information about the program to fellow soldiers, Homes for Heroes has been able to assist soldiers returning home, matching them to enthusiastic real estate affiliates eager to support our troops by way of great benefits offered by the program. We are ramping up quickly to align with the debriefing and reintegration initiatives at several military bases in anticipation of the large amount of returning troops.

Ruth Johnson is one of the founding members who started Homes For Heroes, Inc. in 2001. “We all share an admiration for the people who serve our community and our nation selflessly and we wanted to recognize and show our appreciation in a meaningful way, “said Johnson.

While the program’s genesis and primary concentration originally was intended to serve the Minnesota real estate market, word of the Homes For Heroes benefits spread throughout the country. With the far-reaching power of the Internet, this originally local-only effort spiraled into a growing nationwide program. Homes for Heroes is now in 25 states and hopes to be in all 50 by the end of the year.

If you would like more information about Homes For Heroes or to schedule an interview with Ruth Johnson, please call 866-443-7637 or email Ruth at ruth@homesforheroes.com

Home Buyer Tax Credit – Special Rules For Military & Savings With Homes For Heroes

Homes for Heroes wants to share this post, blogged by affiliate Abby Noble!

The home buyer tax credit offers special rules and extensions for our country’s military members who may miss out on this great opportunity due to deployments.  Below is some information regarding these special circumstances provided be the National Association of Home Builders:

Special Rules for Members of the Military, the Foreign Service
and the Intelligence Community

Provided by: http://www.federalhousingtaxcredit.com/service_mem.php

Congress has acknowledged the unique circumstances affecting members of the military, the foreign service and the intelligence community by making the following exceptions that apply to both the $8,000 tax credit for first-time home buyers and the $6,500 tax credit for repeat home buyers.

Exemption From Tax Credit Recapture Rules

  • Typically, homes that are sold or that cease to be used as a principal residence within three years of the initial purchase are subject to recapture of the tax credit.
  • However, qualified service members who sell or move from a tax credit home within three years of the initial purchase due to official extended duty are exempt from the recapture rule.

Extension of Tax Credit Deadlines

  • The home buyer tax credit is available for qualified purchases with a binding sales contract in place on or before April 30, 2010 and closed by June 30, 2010.
  • However, for qualified service members who are ordered on a period of official extended duty, these dates are extended for one year. For these home buyers, the tax credit applies to sales with a binding sales contract in place on or before April 30, 2011 and closed by June 30, 2011.
  • A person who is forced to return to the U.S. for medical reasons before completing an assignment of at least 90 days of qualified official extended duty outside of the United States may qualify for the one-year extension.

Definitions

  • “Qualified service member” means a member of the uniformed services of the U.S military, a member of the Foreign Service of the U.S., or an employee of the intelligence community.
  • “Official extended duty” means any period of extended duty outside of the United States for at least 90 days during the period beginning after December 31, 2008 and ending before May 1, 2010.

Military members are also eligible for real estate discounts and rebates with the Homes for Heroes program.  Homes for Heroes offers substantial savings to military personnel, police officers, fire fighters, teachers, and other local community heroes.  Better yet, Homes for Heroes savings NEVER end or expire! In Illinois, the Homes for Heroes program near Scott AFB has teamed up with 15 local businesses to provide discounts every step of the way through the home buying and home selling process saving their hero clients thousands of dollars.  For more information please contact Abby Noble at (618)444-6188 or via email abby.noble@gmail.com

 

ABBY NOBLE

EXIT REALTY CONSULTANTS

2100 S. ILLINOIS ST, BELLEVILLE, IL

DIRECT: (618) 444-6188

EMAIL: abby.noble@gmail.com

For more information about homes for sale near Scott AFB, O’Fallon, and the Belleville area please don’t hesistate to contact me.  Your local Scott AFB Military expert! Offering unparalleled, full service real estate at discounted prices for our local community heroes.

HFH Teams Up With Pillar to Post

Welcome to Pillar To Post. As part of your community, we are pleased to be working with “Homes For Heroes”, and providing our local customers, real estate professionals, home buyers and home sellers with a home inspection service that brings to the buying or selling of a home unmatched quality, precision, integrity, and professionalism.

We call what we do “The Moment of Truth.” It is the moment when the emotion of buying and selling a home meets the reality of the issues of that home. Our work is to communicate effectively, knowledgeably, efficiently, and openly about the condition of a home. We understand that our customers trust us to inform and educate them about what we see and what we find, and this is a trust we hold in the highest regard.

Real estate professionals
For real estate professionals, our work is a commitment to the understanding that their reputation is our responsibility and that a relationship with us reinforces the confidence their clients have in them.

Home buyers
For the home buyer, our work is a detailed explanation of the condition of the potential new home to which an emotional tie is already being formed.

Home sellers
For the home seller our work is to honor the home they have lived in, and to report on its condition as they move on to their own new home.

For all of our customers, Pillar To Post considers the home a place of the heart, as it houses the people that are loved and the memories of lifetimes. This is why we call Pillar To Post The Home of Home Inspection.

HOMES FOR HEROES DISCOUNTS
20 % Discount Off Any Home
(Example: Single Family up to 3000′ is normally $340. HFH price $272/ townhouses $315/$252 up to 2000′)

Jim Thompson
763-232-3400
jim.thompson@pillartopost.com
pillartopost.com/anokacounty

Certified Home Inspector

30% of Certified Radon Testing

NEHA State Certified Radon Testing

(Example: Normal rate $150. HFH= $98)

NAHI Associate Member

Call 763-232-3400 to schedule an Inspection.

Get to Know Homes for Heroes®

We recently put together a video explaining who Homes for Heroes is and what the people behind the scenes do to help our nations heroes save a substantial amount when when purchasing a home.

Read more

In memory of CWO3 Windorski

On January 26th, 2009, Minnesota lost a Hero. Chief Warrant Officer 3 Philip Windorski Jr. gave his life in Iraq. Homes for Heroes sends our sincerest condolences to CWO3 Windorski’s wife and 3 children. We are truly sorry for your loss and sacrifice. May God bless you and guide you through this difficult and trying time. This nation owes you our gratitude for your husband’s sacrifice.

When I heard of CWO3 Windorski’s death I wanted to know more about him. I am not sure that you realize this, but the rank of Warrant Officer is something that is not lightly handed out in the Military. Out of 2.5 million men and women in the military, only 25,000 hold the rank of Warrant Officer. There is a long tradition, starting in 1918, of using the rank of Warrant Officer to those who had special talents that did not fall into the normal duties of the military. This rank was and still is reserved for those that are considered experts in a technical field. The U.S. Department of Defense describes the Warrant Officer as such “The warrant officer is a highly skilled technician who is provided to fill those positions above the enlisted level which is too specialized in scope to permit effective development and continued utilization of broadly trained, branch qualified commissioned officers.” For more info try this site and this one.

Philip Windorski enlisted in the Army right out of High School in 1991. Seven short years later he was accepted into the Warrant Officer Program. After graduating from the program WO Windorski enrolled into the Army’s Helicopter flight training school. In 1999 CWO3 Windorski was a commissioned pilot flying the Army’s OH58D Kiowa Warrior.

CWO3 Windorski was assigned to the 6th Squadron, 6th Cavalry Regiment, 10th Combat Aviation Brigade, 10th Mountain Division, Fort Drum New York in 2007. Or as history will remember them since the Civil War, the “Six Shooters”. The mission of the Six Shooters is; On Order, 6th Squadron 6th Cavalry deploys worldwide to conduct offensive operations, tactical reconnaissance, and limited security operations in support of the ground maneuver commander. On order, command and control an Aviation Task Force.

In other words, their job is to fly a small lightly armed helicopter into enemy operational areas, find them and engage. Then when the ground troops arrive provide close air support. Not a job for the light-hearted.

What is Annual Percentage Rate?

At Homes For Heroes we often have one of our heroes say that they found a lender who will give them the same discount as the Homes For Heroes affiliate does.  That’s great but we caution our heroes to pay attention to all of the fees that they are being charged so that the discount that they think they are getting isn’t made up somewhere else in the transaction.  I am posting an article that we received from Paul House, one of our Houston, TX mortgage affiliates, on the topic of APR.  I was amazed at how this article takes the often misunderstood and confusing topic of Annual Percentage Rate (APR) and actually makes it understandable!  Here you go:

THE TRUTH ABOUT APR’S

APR stands for Annual Percentage Rate

It is also one of the most misunderstood numbers people find when applying for loans. As consumer loans and mortgages in particular, turned more complicated it became necessary to help regulate the way lenders advertise and notify the potential borrower of their interest rates. The attempt was to help people compare similar loans from different lenders and to explain the ultimate cost of credit. The APR is defined as the cost of credit to the borrower in relation to the amount borrowed expressed as a yearly rate. This is required by the federal Truth in Lending Act, Regulation Z.

When you apply for a mortgage the Federal Truth in Lending Disclosure form will be sent. At the top of the page you will see lots of numbers. Two of those numbers are the Note Rate (the actual rate used to calculate your monthly payments) and the Annual Percentage Rate (APR). The Annual Percentage Rate will most always be slightly higher than the note rate because the APR includes other items associated with obtaining a mortgage.

Did you need an interest rate to get a mortgage? Of course. But you also needed some other things. Origination fees, points, mortgage insurance premiums, inspections, prepaid interest and other items may also be required to obtain a mortgage. If so, these things need to be included when calculating the APR. Why is the APR useful? I’ll give you an example:

Great Big Bank offers a 30 year fixed mortgage for 8.00%. Really Small Bank offers a 30 year fixed mortgage for 7.00%. Easy choice, right? Maybe. Before lenders and mortgage brokers were required to state the APR it was hard to tell. Really Small Bank has the lowest rate (note rate) but neglected to mention a few other items.

There were also 7 points, an origination fee, and mortgage insurance required.

Great Big Bank had no points, no origination and just prepaid interest (your first month’s house payment).

On a $100,000 loan, Really Small Bank charged an additional $10,000 when compared to Great Big Bank’s fixed rate loan. You could save an additional sixty eight bucks per month with Really Small Bank’s mortgage but you had to pay $10,000 for the privilege. The $10,000 must be included as a cost to obtain the mortgage and is reflected in the APR number.

Here’s another example: Mr. and Mrs. Smart want to buy a $85,000 home. The Developer of the project they really like has a home and offers an interest rate similar to what they could get at their Credit Union. The Developer quotes 6.00% fixed with no points. The Credit Union also quotes 6.00% with no points but had an origination fee equal to 1 percent of the loan amount (for all practical purposes an origination fee is another name for a “point” if it is expressed as a percentage of the (loan).  BUT WAIT! The Developer failed to disclose there was a 2 percent origination fee!  What looked like a better deal at the Developer’s lender turned out to be higher. If the APR’s were given, it would be evident. In this instance, the APR for the developer would be 6.24% and the Credit Union APR calculates to 6.15% due to the higher fees charged by the Developer. Even though the note rate (the rate used to figure monthly payments) was the same, it cost more at the Developer. Therefore, Mr. and Mrs. Smart (the name is more than just a coincidence) chose the mortgage from their Credit Union.

There are many other examples, but if I’ve still got your attention thus far I won’t want to lose you with boring annual percentage rate stories, except this one: The higher the loan amount, the less impact additional fees or points will have on the APR. Why? If you obtain a mortgage with $2,000 of closing costs and you borrow $10,000, then the $2,000 will be nearly 20% of the loan amount. This increases the cost of your money dramatically.

Usually home equity or home improvement loans show a higher disparity between note rate and APR because of this. Likewise, if you borrow $100,000 and have $2,000 of closing costs then the fees won’t make as significant an impact on the cost of funds. The bottom line is the APR is your friend, a way to compare like mortgages.

The Fees used to calculate the APR?

There are some fees that are excluded from the calculation but below you will find fees typically included when calculating APR:

1. Origination fees

2: Points

3: Buy down funds from the buyer

4: Prepaid mortgage interest

5: Mortgage insurance premiums

6: Other lender fees (application, underwriting, tax service, etc.)

Other fees such as title insurance, appraisal and credit are not included in calculating the APR. The idea here is these other fees are not coming from the lender, and they would be charged anyway, although in the real world, this also may not be true. Like I said we’re talking Federal Government here. Many states now have additional laws that require the lender or broker to state the APR in their advertisements beyond the requirements of the Federal Regulation. When you compare APRs, ask the lender which additional fees are included when calculating their APR. If they don’t know the answer you may want to find a lender that does know. APRs are a way of helping the consumer determine the best loan.

Get to know your new friend!