Specialities: Residential mortgage lending including VA & FHA Construction Perm with One-Closing, VA, USDA, FHA, Reverse Mortgages, NC Housing products with down payment assistance
NMLS # 78989 2012
2011 Prime Power Producer
2012 Chairman's Circle
Russell Smith is always eager to respond to any and all inquiries. He attends closings and goes the extra mile in helping to meet the needs of his clients. He is extremely knowledgeable in all areas of lending, conventional, FHA, USDA, and first time buyers. Russell has been able to close difficult transactions in record time. Anyone who needs a genuinely dedicated lender should contact Russell Smith.Leroy RisingRussell and his team at Prime Lending did an excellant job. I had been searching for my first house for over a year and he was very patient and helped me determine how much house I could afford and was ready with my paperwork when I found the house of my dreams. I would recommend Prime Lending for your financial needs in buying a home.Amy HigginsI was blessed to have Russell and his team assist me with the purchase of my first home. I'm a single parent to 2 beautiful daughters, one which serves in the US Navy. The dream of someday having my own home was always something that I desired but with the direction our economy was going thought it might not happen without the need of a co-signer. June 4 2012, I heard the voice by phone of Russell Smith say to me Ms Powell you have been approved with Prime Lending!!!!!!. I began the search for my new home with the help of an awesome Broker Leroy Rising !!!!!!and in less than 2 months found and closed on my new home August 17 2012. Russell was careful to guide me though the entire process of the largest investment I have ever made, even making sure that I could afford and be able to maintain the mortgage rate.The weeks of getting this process done, Russell and his staff made me feel at ease and excited that my dream was about to happen, I would recommend all my friends, family and co-workers to allow Prime Lending to be the company and team that will always render Excellent Service.Samantha PowellRussell and I have worked together now for over three years. It gives me peace of mind to refer my clients to him and his team. o be able to say that this team is the BEST in the industry to a client that needs direction is a benefit that I have enjoyed now for countless numbers of deals. Licensed in North and South Carolina and a personal touch that is unprecedented to clients make Russell my go to guy for every loan that my clients need. I discovered Russell in the toughest time in the industry midst the crash of the Real Estate Market. I had buyers but no one would finance them. Russell and his team took my database and approved all but one of them even though all had been rejected at several lenders apiece. He earned my business and the top slot as the mortgage pro for my network. If you need to educate your client, a team that handles it all for you, and an open line of access to do your job well, then Russell is the man for you. Give them a try and you too will see that after one deal he will earn your business as well.Kenneth "As a Realtor, I have referred numerous clients to Russell over the years and have always had nothing but positive feedback. Russell and his team work very efficiently and are always willing to assist. From my experience, the communication is unmatched by his competitors - he is always very prompt, polite and to the point. Even clients that did not qualify for his company's services for one reason or another have been very positive about Russell and his efforts to explain to them why they did not qualify and how they can improve their chances for the future. In addition to general clients, I have referred friends and family members to Russell and won't hesitate to do so in the future.Eric Hill
Answers (27)Displaying: 27 Most Recent AnswersAnswered: Aug 15, 2015An appraisal's primary purpose is to show the fair market value of a particular home based on homes that have sold similar to the subject and in the same area. If an appraised value comes in lower than the price or mentions required repairs, then typically the buyer tries to negotiate with the seller for the lower appraised value as it is tough to pay more than the appraised value. if the property has repairs that need to be completed, they would either need to be repaired satisfactorily prior to closing or you would need to get a renovation loan. I hope this helpsAnswered: Aug 15, 2015Lenders are going to require that you have filed tax returns. If you haven't filed in years and you were supposed to, that would be a problem more than likely. If you have IRS liens, it will more than likely show up on the title search even if not on the credit report. Lenders care about IRS liens because it may supercede the lender's first mortgage position You would also need to ask a CPA about your request and think about asking questions like this before you do it because you don't want to purposely avoid the IRS/government. Hopefully you have asked an accounting professional by now.Answered: Aug 15, 2015The USDA guideline is that lenders must include the greater of 1% of the outstanding loan balance or the verified fixed payment (not payments in the income based repayment plan). We would request that you provide how much your normal payment would be from your student loan company(ies). There are exceptions to use other amounts but for IBR, one of the above must be used. Keep in mind that since you are in the Raleigh area, that you are very familiar with the areas that qualify for USDA as a lot of the RDU area does not qualify. It sounds like you have the understanding of the income requirements but make sure that an experienced USDA lender figures this for you. Max income for Wake County for a family of 4 is $91,850 but there are ways to lower your "compliance" income by $480 per child and by documented childcare expenses for instance. USDA will count overtime, bonuses, etc in this calculation so be careful since you are near or above this limit. For best rate and chance of approval, make sure that you pay down any balances on credit cards as balance compared to credit limits as a percentage is 30% of your credit scores. If you have other questions, please ask! I hope this helps.Answered: Aug 15, 2015I would say that sounds like a good plan since you are buying next year. While in that mode of saving, make sure you have an up front planning meeting on your finances with an experienced mortgage lender. You have lots of time to get your credit scores and assets to be in the best possible position too Good question and good luckAnswered: Aug 15, 2015In answer to: How do I list my rental propertyContact a good realtor that handles a good amount of rental properties and they will list them on the appropriate sites for youAnswered: Oct 20, 2014In answer to: How should I go about becoming a first time home owner?It is very important to speak with a knowledgeable mortgage loan officer early on to review your credit to see what steps to take in order to be ready to purchase. There are great mortgage products for first time buyers as well such as USDA which will lend 100% of the purchase price, down payment assistance products, and the MCC tax credit up to $2000 per year. You are doing the right thing by starting early and you will find out that it will pay great dividends for you when you do buy. I hope this helps.Answered: Feb 4, 2013In answer to: Was looking at a home in Lumberton, brick, for $159,000Make sure that you get pre-approved for a mortgage prior to looking at homes unless you are a cash buyer. Then you know how much you qualify for, how much your payment will be, and gives seller more comfort in knowing you are an approved buyer.Answered: Jan 14, 2013Find a Cape Fear Farm Credit near the property you are looking at purchasing. They are great for land financing.Answered: May 27, 2012You should always have the title searched an ask for a title insurance policy. It seems that family transactions have more title issues than nonarmslength transactions. There are lots of situations that can cause a title issue and you should have a legal professional review the title.Answered: May 27, 2012If you are a cash buyer the mortgage rates aren't the factor to worry about. the market trend or more importantly, the price of the particular home you are interested in, is the factor to look at. Look at price compared to comparable sales, potential for increase or decrease in value, and other factors that you prefer in a home.Answered: May 27, 2012In answer to: I have little credit how can I buy a home?If you have no credit or limited credit it is possible to use "nontraditional credit" to establish a credit history. Remember that nontraditional credit cannot take the place of derogatory credict. I wrote a blog specifically on this topic which is as follows: What are nontraditional credit sources that can be used for borrowers purchasing a home that need to supplement their thin credit file? A common problem when some are trying to qualify for a mortgage loan is the lack of recent good credit. If a borrower does not have enough credit or any credit at all reporting on their mortgage credit report, some of our mortgage programs will allow a borrower to prove pay history through alternative sources to supplement the credit report. Nontraditional or alternative credit sources include but are not limited to the following: •Rent – if the borrower can supply the last 12 month’s cancelled checks, it would be best •Insurances such as auto, life, medical, supplemental (excluding those paid through payroll deductions) •School tuition •Payments to retail stores •Evidence of reserves of assets built through steady monthly savings •Rent to own stores •Small finance company accounts •Car lot financing •Gym or other club membership If a borrower is looking to use these sources for additional credit, request a credit reference letter from each source covering at least the last 12 months historyAnswered: May 5, 2012If the doublewide has a brick foundation and meets FHA foundation requirements as far as how it is anchored, moisture barrier, and perimeter foundation, you will have a better chance of approval. We offer an FHA product in some states but I believe Wells Fargo offers conforming, VA, and FHA financing on doublewides.Answered: May 5, 2012With being in the bankruptcy and if the mortgage history is no paid separately, there regretfully not any mortgage products available for a refinance. Try calling the HOPE Hotline at 888-995-HOPE. They are housing counselors that are free and can help walk you through potential modification of your mortgage terms so that they are more affordable. Hopefully you will be able to get relief in your situation.Answered: May 5, 2012In answer to: usda guaranteed loansThe bankruptcy is too recent for a USDA mortgage. Pull all 3 credit bureaus on you and make sure everything is reporting correctly (such as all accounts included in the BK should show a zero balance and state it was included in the BK). Make sure you pay any rent on time each month and pay by check. Also make sure you re-establish new credit such as credit card accounts and just charge $30 or so per month and pay off the balance every month.Answered: Apr 14, 20123 years discharge is typical for most programs with re-established credit which you have done well. Make sure you don't have any late payments since the bankruptcy and pay your rent by check each month so you can provide the last 12 + months cancelled checks to prove you paid on time. Also keep your credit card(s) balances around 10% of the limit if you can to maximize your scores. Having a down payment and money left over for reserves will help a lot as well. FHA, VA, and USDA will be great options for you though.Answered: Apr 7, 2012The income doesn't have to be social security but if a buyer's income is below certain income limits for the # of members in the household, it is possible to get a first time homebuyer product with lenders approved with the NC Housing Finance Agency. The FirstHome product is usually a lower than market interest rate. They also have down payment assistance and an MCC tax credit.Answered: Apr 7, 2012Bedsides VA, USDA is a great option for 100% financing and there are a lot of areas around Palmdale that qualify for financing. The seller can pay all closing costs and pre-paid items so the buyer can potentially bring no money to closing at all.Answered: Apr 7, 2012In answer to: Is it possible to rent to own a home that is for saleYes it is possible and you never know until you ask.Answered: Mar 17, 2012This could potentially be a title problem because of the way this was done and you should definitely contact a real estate attorney. Just because someone pays the property taxes they do not have the right to own the property.Answered: Mar 17, 2012For USDA we would need to see at least a 620 credit score or even better, a 640 score for an automated approval through USDA which is not as strict as a manual underwrite at 620. There may just be a couple quick things to do so you have scores in this range such as paying down credit card balances to under 10% of their credit limits. If USDA doesn't work, there could be a chance of FHA but USDA is the better option if you are under the income limits for the area and number of members in your household.Answered: Mar 17, 2012Emily answered correctly and this is called a 2nd tier VA loan where you own a home with a VA mortgage and then purchase another with your 2nd tier entitlement. Check with an expert lender to help you on this. Good luckAnswered: Mar 17, 2012You are doing the thing that will raise a credit score the quickest and that is paying down debt and more specifically, credit card debt. Do not close the revolving lines but pay them down to under 30% of the credit limits or even better under 10% of the limits. 30% of your credit scores result from balance compared to credit limits on revolving accounts such as credit cards as a percentage. Be careful not to pay off collections until you have spoken to an expert lender. For instance if there is a collection reporting 3 years ago and you pay it off, the most recent activity will show now instead of 3 years ago. Your credit score will have no short term benefit and actually may lower your scores. So paying down the cards is a definite and other than that check with an expert.Answered: Mar 17, 2012If you refinance to a conventional loan you will have to represent it as a nonowner occupied home since you know you will be living there. That is important. There are cases where you can access your 2nd tier of VA to purchase a 2nd home using VA while you have another VA loan believe it or not. You would have to purchase a home over a certain price. One requirement is to show why you would need to purchase another home and prove that the new home makes more sense to live in than the other former home. This would be easy to do since you are moving quite a ways. Contact a knowledgeable mortgage lender and ask about this 2nd tier benefit.Answered: Mar 17, 2012In answer to: can you get a decent rate if your score is 671?A 671 score is good enough for a USDA or FHA loan but it does depend on the makeup of the credit report such as how many accounts are reporting with good pay history for the last 12 months. If there are not enough, you can often show proof of rent, utilities, insurances, etc that have been paid on time for the last 12 months to supplement credit. We use these techniques often with first time buyers with limited credit. Certainly check with a mortgage lender and find out.Answered: Mar 17, 2012Short sales have much more to do with how close the offer is to what the payoff is on the short sale property and also who the lender is deciding on the short sale. There are lenders that take a ridiculous amount of time to give an answer where many buyers give up and move on to another property. But when they work, buyers get a great deal right often.Answered: Mar 17, 2012If you had a chapter 7 bankruptcy, you will need more time since the discharge. If it was a chapter 13, you can provide proof from the trustee that you paid it on time, and have 3 other items paid as agreed for the last 12 months such as rent, utilities, and new accounts on credit, you may be able to get an FHA loan. An important thing to do is check your credit to make sure all items are reporting correct: Any accounts included in the bankruptcy should say that and show a zero balance, the bankruptcy should say discharged and the date, and keep your credit card balances under 10% of the credit limits. You can order your credit for free at annualcreditreport. It is very important to reestablish credit after a bankruptcy and credit cards would be the best way as long as you just charge $30 or so each month and pay them off when you get each bill. I hope this helps.Answered: Mar 17, 2012Hey Jessica. If you had a chapter 7 bankruptcy, you will need more time since the discharge. If it was a chapter 13, you can provide proof from the trustee that you paid it on time, and have 3 other items paid as agreed for the last 12 months such as rent, utilities, and new accounts on credit, you may be able to get an FHA loan. An important thing to do is check your credit to make sure all items are reporting correct: Any accounts included in the bankruptcy should say that and show a zero balance, the bankruptcy should say discharged and the date, and keep your credit card balances under 10% of the credit limits. You can order your credit for free at annualcreditreport. It is very important to reestablish credit after a bankruptcy and credit cards would be the best way as long as you just charge $30 or so each month and pay them off when you get each bill. I hope this helps.
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