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Ron G. Haddad


Vice President- Mortgage Lending (16 years experience)

Purchase Loan,
Home Equity,
Mortgage Planning


  • (6 Contributions,
  • 1 Best Answers,
  • 3 Helpful)

Contributions are sorted newest to oldest.

Downpayment - Gifts

Best Answer

Hi Kevin,There is a right and wrong way to accept a gift from family.  Its best to wait to accept the gift only "after" you've had the home inspection and appraisal of property.  Making sure the condition and value of the property meets, or exceeds, your expectations with the contract price... and, sometimes parents and family members feel more comfortable knowing you are truly moving forward before they issue a gift.  When the time comes to make mortgage application, ask the Loan Officer how his/her company prefers you to accept the gift- they will coach you on it.  Until then, here is some information you can use.- Accept only a personal check for the gift.  This allows the sourcing the of funds to the Donor/Family member since a copy of the canceled check can be easily printed/downloaded by the family members' bank website.  Wires and Transfers are difficult and intrusive with the gift-donor since not a lot of information is provided with the bank transaction.  Cash gifts is are the worst and unlikely to be honored since there is no way to source the deposit.-A gift letter will be required.  Signed and Dated by both the donor(s) and borrower(s) with details of the donor's bank information and date of transfer.  Usually the lender has their own approved format of the gift letter.  Your Loan Officer should provide the letter at the time of application.-Some lenders and banks may require a copy of the donor's bank statement, especially if you are applying for an FHA or VA mortgage.  Its to verify the "donor's ability to gift" which is another way of saying... they want to make sure its an actual gift.  Some parents are not so quick to offer-up their bank statement.  Some lenders allow a letter from the Donor's bank providing all the details needed to satisfy any requirements.  But, getting a banker to write a letter can be difficult nowadays... banks are really cracking down on this.I'm not int he position to comment on closing costs for your area.  Although, "a gift, is a gift" so you can use it towards downpayment and/or closing costs.  I welcome any questions and good luck!

Will we qualify for FHA?


2 years from BK discharge date is the minimum requirement for an FHA mortgage.  The FICO score will need to be at least a 620 middle score and many lenders will want a 640 or possibly 660.  I would perform a "credit report check up" to see where your fico scores are at and just an FYI- some creditors are not so quick to update negatively impacting items from your credit report after a bankruptcy... i.e. open collections or judgements, etc.  You may want to see if your credit report is accurate just to set yourself up for the future.

What is the monthly condo fee?


Assessments per month can cover many things.  Usually, it covers a master hazard insurance policy that takes care of the exterior replacement cost for insurance (homeowners insurance for the building).  It also takes care of many grounds costs for maintenance... some of them also can cover utilities.  I'm in Chicago and I advise my condo buyers that you can go out and find a 300k condo that has $200 per month assessments which covers the fundamentals of insurance and ground care only.  But, one can find a 170k studio condo on lake shore drive with $500 per month assessments becuase they have a 24hr doorman, swimming pool, work out room and it covers heat and cable/internet for the unit.

HOW can we find out for sure if this house is in a flood zone?


A Flood Cert can be issued that pulls maps from FEMA.  Also, the village/township zoning will have this available... likely online if you go to the website or just walk into the city hall.  Some outlets to offer this if you want to pay for it is online, or call your local mortgage broker (they may charge you 20 bucks or so) or maybe your agent.  If its a home you are looking into purchasing - just ask your agent and they will look into it.