Primemax Mortgage Group

Why the Wood Destroying Report "WDIR"? Determining Termite Damage

Termites may be small insects that often stay out of plain sight, however, the damage they leave behind can quickly become an issue—and one that’s very expensive to fix. In the U.S. alone, these wood-destroying insects are responsible for billions of dollars of property destruction every year.

As a prospective homebuyer, you’ll want to know if these destructive pests are causing damage to the property or have left some behind in the past. A must when buying, selling, or refinancing a home, the WDIR (Wood Destroying Insect Report) is an inexpensive way to avoid problems before you seal any deal.

What is a WDIR?

A Wood Destroying Insect Report (WDIR), or a termite certificate, is a legal document usually required by the lender that has been issued by a licensed inspector. It states whether or not a particular structure has an infestation or has had one in the past. More specifically, it determines the following:

  • Does the structure, or home, have a current infestation?
  • What type of insect is causing the infestation?
  • Has the structure had an infestation in the past?
  • Is there structural damage due to current or past infestations?
  • Has the home been treated in the past for infestations?

Termites are not the only wood-destroying insects that are common in the state of Pennsylvania, although they often are the most damaging. Some others include:

  • Powder post beetles
  • Carpenter ants
  • Carpenter bees
  • Wood-destroying organisms (WDO)

If you are using a real estate agent they likely will have a pest control professional that they recommend for a termite certificate, or WDIR. Make sure to ask them or research some good local companies on your own. A qualified professional will be able to spot any current wood destroying insect infestation or damage from a previous one. If they inspect the dwelling and find nothing concerning then that is one less thing you need to worry about as you look to close on your new home.


Posted by on May 11th, 2017 1:00 PM

Tax Returns & the IRS Validation of the Returns Can Cause Closing Delays or Even Unexpected Loan Denials!


Most think that mortgage loans are as simple as providing a tax return, and by showing an income, the mortgage income verification is done.  This couldn’t be further from what actually happens in the background which mortgage lenders are required by laws, lending agencies such as FHA, and/or by investors.  A sampling of the things lenders are looking for that have to do with tax returns are as follows: 

  1. Tax return transcripts from the IRS: This is to verify that the tax returns provided are the actual ones provided to the lender
  2. W2 transcripts: This verifies the W2’s provided are the actual ones
  3. Income tax debts owed: If money was owed on the most recent tax return, it could still be a potential outstanding lien or payment
  4. Additional business losses: There could be a business that has losses and could reduce the borrower’s total income
  5. Tax returns are actually filed: We have had a couple recently where borrowers provided tax returns for previous years that were never filed. This would never work because the tax returns could be change or never even get filed
  6. Extra properties that are owned: If the borrower is using a first time buyer product, there can’t be other properties listed or mortgage interest reported. Always disclose property you own
  7. Un-reimbursed employee expenses: If a borrower is commissioned income accounting for over 25% and there are un-reimbursed employee expenses written off, it could lower the qualifying income
  8. Business expenses paid by the business: Some products require that the tax returns show the debt being written off by the business to exclude the debt from debt ratios
  9. Determining nontaxable income: Some sources of income are nontaxable and to gross up the income, it must be shown as non-taxable income on the returns or some cases not shown on the returns if allowed
  10. And of course a good thing, trying to find any income that can be counted for the borrower

We get the argument a lot from borrowers that this should not matter but most do not realize the amount of fraud or mistakes that are on tax returns and that is why lenders have to obtain transcripts of tax returns to close a mortgage loan in many circumstances.

So to avoid delays or issues late in the process, it is best to provide all documentation requested at once and up-front.  Then it can be reviewed, accurate income and debt ratios calculated, and have more confidence later in the process.



Posted by on March 15th, 2017 1:48 PM

The NAHB Housing Opportunity Index shows that home prices have risen year-over-year since 2012.

Home prices are now up 40% since hitting bottom in 2011.

That's great for homeowners. Not so great for home buyers.

Chasing ever-rising prices is hard to do on a budget. As soon as a buyer has a down payment saved -- say 5% -- the price on which that percentage was based has risen.

(The solution, though, is to find loan programs with low-down payment guidelines. FHA loans require just 3.5% down, while there are now a multitude of programs offering 100% financing.)

Home prices may be tempered by rising rates in 2017.

The historic election

 threw markets into a state of upheaval. The stock market raced upward, and mortgage rates followed suit.

That will put pressure on affordability in the fourth quarter. Maybe shockingly so.

But, there is an upside. Rising rates might pull the brakes on seemingly unstoppable home prices. Home values have been catapulted upward by almost-free borrowing. Home buyers were getting 30-year fixed rates in the low 3s, and fifteen year rates solidly in the 2s.

That's lower than the rate of inflation is likely to be in coming years.

Cheap money makes monthly payments lower. Homes are affordable, even at very high prices.

In 2017, though, that trend could reverse. Rising payments could mean fewer bidding wars and over-market-price offers.

The everyday home buyer might have a better chance at securing a home at a reasonable price. Affordability may continue its winning streak, despite rising rates..

2017 should remain a stellar year to be a home shopper.

Posted in:General
Posted by Regina Rickles, NMLS# 222362 on January 6th, 2017 9:29 PM


When the monthly rates are averaged and compared to the average over the years no big seasonal pattern emerges. These calculations involve averaging all the January rates and comparing them for the overall average of the annual rates. The calculation is repeated for each of the months. The month with the lowest average mortgage rate, according to the FHA data, is April. May and August were the next lowest, only a hundredth of a percent higher than the April average.

Now, let’s talk about the benefits of an FHA mortgage loan. While federally insured mortgages are less risky to lenders, there are also many benefits that make FHA mortgages attractive to borrowers.

  1. While conventional loans do not usually fund housing repairs, FHA mortgages set up an escrow account designated for contractor repairs. The borrower is required to provide estimates for the repair work together with details describing the work needed and the nature of the repairs.
  2. Borrowers who may have had some past credit problems may more easily qualify for a FHA loan because the federally backed mortgage insurance makes them less risky to lenders.
  3. However, the personal credit history will determine the percentage required for down payment from individual borrowers. Nevertheless, the percentage required for a down payment is usually less than a conventional mortgage.
  4. FHA mortgages do not allow penalty clauses for prepayment.
  5. Closing costs can be financed with the mortgage and are usually lower than conventional mortgages.
Posted in:General
Posted by on March 25th, 2015 1:05 PM

A growing trend among home buyers is buying a bank owned property. Many home buyers believe that there is a great possibility of buying a home for a fraction of the appraised value and the most commonly asked question by homebuyers seems to be "Do you know of any foreclosures?"

Buying a foreclosed home can actually be a great opportunity. It is a true fact that many foreclosed homes sell for less than the appraised value. However, there are other factors to consider when looking for bank owned (REO) properties. In talking with Real Estate Agents we have compiled a list of useful information for borrowers looking for the perfect REO deal;

1. REPAIRS, RENOVATIONS AND RISK - Typically, the seller is aware of any problems with the home they are selling. However, in an REO transaction, the seller (a bank) has never lived in the home and is not familiar with it. They are unable to advise you of the repairs which are needed. This leaves the burden of uncovering necessary repairs to a home inspector. Many times, the previous owners were in distress and could not make repairs or even maintain the property. For this reason, most REO properties are sold "As Is" meaning basically, "what you see is what you get". The bank can not make any guarantees of the condition the home is in. We strongly suggest a complete home inspection by a licensed inspector along with estimates from contractors on any necessary repairs. This will help you know what to expect once you have bought the house.

2. LENDER REQUIREMENTS AND LOAN TYPES - Before you shop for a REO property, consult your mortgage originator and get pre-qualified for your mortgage. By getting pre-qualified, you will have a better idea of the type of REO you have the ability to purchase. FHA loans and Conventional loans have different guidelines and requirements concerning repairs. The type of loan you qualify for will greatly impact when and how repairs can be made. Also, the owner of the REO may have restrictions concerning when and how repairs can be made. This could turn a great deal into a challenge and cause a delay in closing or even prevent a closing! Be sure to speak with your loan originator and know your options for repairs.

3. KNOW YOUR ABILITIES - Everyone loves the idea of a "Do it yourself" project. Pinterest, Stumble Upon and other sites have inspired many people to attempt renovations and repair projects. However, certain types of renovations should only be completed by a contractor. Attempting these repairs yourself can at times cost more money than necessary and result in disappointment and frustration. Before making an offer on a REO in need of repairs ask yourself exactly how much work and time you want to devote to the house.

4. BE READY! - Even with repairs and renovations, there are many great REO properties for sale. If you are waiting on the perfect time to buy a home this is probably the right time for you. Although, you are not alone! There are many people taking advantage of the rates and opportunities available and many homes only stay on the market a few days. For this reason you should get prequalified, know your options and be ready to move quickly!

Buying a REO property can be a great investment. If this is something you are considering and think could be perfect for you please feel free to call and speak with one of our experienced loan originators. We are here to answer any questions you have!


Posted in:General
Posted by Regina Rickles, NMLS# 222362 on October 23rd, 2014 10:49 AM

Generation Y is the generation which follows Generation X.

If you are under the age of 30, you are most likely considered a “Millennial”. This means you are part of the generation which has been given a reputation for technological advances, social media, and pop culture.

Did you know you are also the generation that is responsible for a huge rise in the purchase of new homes???

It’s true! The Millennial generation is the fastest growing population buying new homes right now! Since 2011 the housing market has began recovering from economical difficulty and the majority of economists and financial experts believe this is a direct result of people age 19 – 28 buying homes.

So, if you are considering buying your first home, you are not alone! It’s easier than ever to be one of the many young people your age who are investing in their future and purchasing their own home!

Here is a list of things you should know to be prepared;

  1. KNOW YOUR CREDIT SCORE – Knowing your credit score is always important. However, when it comes to buying a home it is an absolute necessity. Your credit score will determine your interest rate, loan type, and loan program. These 3 items will effect what type of home you are able to purchase and the amount you are able to spend. You can obtain a free credit report once a year at Once you have your credit report, be sure to check it for any errors. When you call a loan professional for pre-qualification you will be one step ahead by knowing where you stand with your credit score. 

  2. GET PRE-QUALIFIED – Your time is just as valuable as anyone else. Don’t waste it! Getting pre-qualified for a mortgage is a simple, 5 minute process and doesn’t cost anything! Take advantage of this and have a loan professional discuss the options available for you. You may be happily surprised to know you can expand your buying options, or that you don’t need a down payment. This can only be determined by getting pre-qualified and will be well worth your time.

  3. KNOW HOW MUCH YOU CAN SPEND – By getting pre-qualified you will have the opportunity to discuss your financial situation with someone who is a professional. This means free advice concerning any other debt you may have, what options you are available to you and ultimately, how much home you can afford.

  4. KNOW YOUR OPTIONS FOR FINANCING – There are dozens of different programs and loan types available. Only a professional loan originator will be familiar with each one. Instead of filling out a form and accepting any offer, you should take advantage of the loan originators knowledge and ensure that you know all your options. There are loan options available which offer a lower monthly payment by eliminating mortgage insurance, no down payments, assistance with closing costs, and many many other benefits. Make sure you are receiving the best options for you and your family!

As always the loan professionals at Primemax Mortgage Group are ready to help you find the best option for your home purchase.

Apply today online or in person!

And don't forget to connect with us!!!!!

Posted in:General
Posted by Regina Rickles, NMLS# 222362 on October 16th, 2014 7:26 AM

Primemax Mortgage Group is committed to helping senior homeowners get more out of life. For many, a reverse mortgage could be part of the answer. In fact, considering today's economic climate, a reverse mortgage may be more important than ever in making a difference in the lives of older adults.

A reverse mortgage is simply a way for older adults to access the equity in teir home to pay for the necessities of life or some extras they may want to enjoy - all while allowing them to keep their homes. It gives them the ability to turn the value of their home into cash without having to repay a loan each month.

  • Homeowners age 62 or older who live in the homes as their principal residence are eligible.
  • Borrowers retain ownership of the home. This means they're still responsible for paying property taxes and homeowner insurance, and making any property repairs. They can continue to live in the home as long as they want, and the loan doesn't have to be repaid until they leave or sell the home.
  • There aren't any monthly payments.
  • There are no income qualifications or credit approvals
  • Funds from a reverse mortgage are tax free and can not be acquired by a nursing home as assets.
  • Money from the reverse mortgage can be used for virtually anything. Common uses are paying for monthly living expenses, prescription drug or medical bills, home repair and improvement, travel, a car, or just peace of mind from having extra savings!

A reverse mortgage could be the perfect option for anyone who would enjoy access to the money they have placed in their home over their lifetime.

For more information please call us! There is no risk and no obligation!

Posted in:General
Posted by Regina Rickles, NMLS# 222362 on September 26th, 2014 11:28 AM

All mortgages are different. Different borrowers mean the situations, loan types, amounts, down payments, and virtually every other detail of the loan are different and unique. However, there is one thing that virtually every loan has in common; Questions.

From the first time home buyer, to the couple that is refinancing a current home, or the individual who is using a reverse mortgage for retirement, every borrower has questions. For this reason you should never feel as though you are wrong for asking those questions.  As your mortgage professional, it is our duty to ensure that you are fully comfortable with your mortgage and that it is tailored to suit your specific situation. Many times, borrowers feel as though they are supposed to already know how the home buying and financing process works. This is a common myth that couldn’t be further from the truth. The truth is, we are professionals who spend hours each week learning the ever changing laws, regulations, programs and monitoring rates. That is our job. Your job, as the borrower, is to provide us with information about your situation, and, you guessed it, ask questions! This is the only way your loan originator can provide you with the mortgage that will best suit your needs.

So the next time you are buying or refinancing, just remember… all you have to do is ask!

Posted in:General
Posted by Regina Rickles, NMLS# 222362 on July 29th, 2014 8:03 PM

Closing a loan is the happy end to the process of buying a home. The buyer, seller, real estate agents and loan officer sit down at the closing table with an attorney who reviews all the documents, obtains signatures and the ownership of a home is transferred.

Unfortunately, many people think this is not a realistic hope for their lives. Many people feel that their situation does not allow them to purchase a home and feel the satisfaction that comes with holding a set of keys in their hands after a closing.

This was true for Lynn and Kelly.

Lynn had never owned a home before, but had dreamed of a place he could give his wife as their own. After finding a home that was perfect for them, Lynn set out to find the right mortgage. Unfortunately, he was met with discouragement. After being denied, Lynn was feeling as though this dream would remain only a dream and never be possible for he and his wife. Before cancelling his contract, Lynn called Primemax, a company he had seen on Linked-In. Regina Rickles took his call and within 15 minutes had him preapproved.

Three weeks later, Lynn sat down at a closing table with his wife Kelly and heard the words he thought were impossible... "Congratulations, your a homeowner".

After the closing Lynn said there was one thing on his mind.

"I want people to know there is hope. I never thought this would happen. I had given up. People should know that its not hopeless, that there is help and they can buy a home too."

Congratulations to Lynn and Kelly, another pair of hopeful and happy PrimeMax Customers!

Posted in:General
Posted by Regina Rickles, NMLS# 222362 on July 29th, 2014 2:37 PM

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