Happy July 3rd! Here are three real estate hot spots: on fireworks and home insurance; that it is easier for people with student loans to qualify for a mortgage; and over the billions of dollars (OK, just billions) of real estate in Oklahoma County.
Home fireworks and insurance
From Oklahoma Insurance Commissioner Glen Mulready, something I had never thought of since my days of floor space, fuse and leak were pretty much behind me:
âAny injury caused by fireworks to yourself or your family will likely be covered by your health insurance,â he wrote in a column. âPlus, your home insurance would cover any damage caused to someone else.
âUsually, liability will pay that person’s medical bills and legal fees up to the policy limits. Always check with your insurance agent to understand your policy coverage.â
But, as with your home, beware of damaging it with fireworks if they are illegal where you live.
âWhile most people know that fireworks can be dangerous, many assume that home insurance will cover any damage they cause. There are always exceptions,â Mulready wrote. âFireworks are illegal in most cities in Oklahoma, so you should check to see if your policy excludes fireworks coverage.
âHomeowners’ policies generally exclude damage caused by illegal activity and may exclude fireworks coverage altogether. Check with your insurer to see if you are sufficiently covered for liability and damage to your home resulting from the use of fireworks. “
Home Loans Easier For Student Loans Borrowers
Scott Senner, senior loan officer at InterLinc Mortgage in Edmond, alerted me to this change in the way the US Department of Housing and Urban Development allows lenders to calculate student loan repayments when they qualify borrowers for home loans guaranteed by the Federal Housing Administration:
âIn recognition of the expanding student loan repayment plan alternatives offered by the US Department of Education, including plans with variable amortization schedules based on the borrower’s income, HUD is adjusting the policy options available. to calculate the monthly obligation of student loan liabilities, âHUD said in a June 17 letter to lenders. “These changes are intended to continue HUD’s mission of providing access to credit, while ensuring that borrowers retain a long-term ability to repay their debt.”
The letter specifies the details:
âFor outstanding student loans, regardless of payment status, the mortgagee (lender) should use the payment amount shown on the credit report or the actual documented payment, when the payment amount is greater than zero; or 0.5% of the outstanding loan balance, when the monthly payment reported on the Borrower’s credit report is zero. “
Senner likes this.
âThis is really a really big deal (in a good way) as it will drastically reduce the amount of payment a lender will have to use to qualify,â he said. âIf a person has an income-based repayment plan resulting in a much lower than normal payment, we can now use that lower payment to qualify. For a lot of people, that will make the difference between qualifying for a house and not. “
That’s $ 73 billion with aB in property value
You are well, Oklahoma County homeowners and taxpayers.
Property values âârose 2.2% last year to $ 73 billion, county appraiser Larry Stein said in reporting his annual filing of the county summary to the Tax Commission of Oklahoma.
âA summary of our county is the basic document that contains the information needed by public schools, cities and other recipients of property taxes,â said Stein. âThe data is used to prepare budgets for schools in Oklahoma County, some of the 19 towns and cities that benefit from these funds and essential services provided by the county. Over 72 cents of every property tax dollar funded by state go to kindergarten through grade 12. education and technology centers.
He noted that the value of property in the county has more than doubled in the past 15 years.
âIn 2005, the total value of all properties in Oklahoma County was approximately $ 32.6 billion. That’s an increase of over 123% over the past 16 years, âhe said. âDue to constitutional limitations on real property first passed by voters in 1996, Oklahoma County residents saved over $ 1 billion in property taxes.
Real estate editor Richard Mize edits the Oklahoman Real Estate section and covers housing, construction, commercial real estate, and related topics for the newspaper and Oklahoman.com. Contact him at [email protected]. Please support his work and that of other Oklahoman journalists by purchasing a subscription at http://subscribe.oklahoman.com.