What is HomeSteps and HomePath?

You’ve seen the logo’s, but what is HomePath and HomeSteps?

Fannie Mae HomePath lender in MN and WIThe HomePath and HomeSteps programs allows a person to buy a specially designated Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac owned foreclosed property with a low down payment, flexible mortgage terms, no lender-requested appraisal and no mortgage insurance. Expanded seller contributions to closing costs are allowed as well

Freddie Mac HomeSteps lender in MN and WIHow Does It Work?
Simple. Just follow these steps:

  • Apply with a lender. Get Pre-Approved. Just qualify for a traditional financing with at least 3% down.
  • Meet with a Realtor – Look at homes, buy your dream house.  You MUST select a home to buy from a special list of available foreclosed properties
  • Close and move in!

Where can I see the list of available houses?
Easy. Contact a Real Estate Agent,  and they’ll show you a list of qualified HomePath and HomeStep properties.

What about closing costs?
Closing costs can be rolled into the transaction, up to 6% of the loan amount.

How do I get started?
It all starts with a no obligation application, and a visit to a special lender offering the programs.

 

Buying a home in MN or WI? Click here for a HomePath, HomeSteps lender in MN and WI, or call (651) 705-6261, where one of their specially trained Loan Officers will assist you.


New Rules for First Time Home Buyers

It is a great time to be a first time home buyer, but some of the rules have changedMortgage interest rates in MN are still amazing, and home prices are super affordable. New mortgage lender and broker rules are making it a little harder to qualify for a home loan, and your costs are going up a little, but don’t let that hold you back. First time home buyers, it’s safe to come out now!

 


Smart financial move, the 15-yr mortgage

Smart financial move, the 15-yr mortgage

Minneapolis, MN:  “I own my home free and clear!“. How great would it be to say that? No payments when you retire. No payments while you are also paying for college. Putting money into your 401k vs paying it to the bank.
Look into a shorter term mortgage. This is the hottest new trend in home ownership.
Your parents probably took a 30-year fixed rate FHA mortgage, then tried to pay extra along the way to pay it off early in hopes of having no payments going into retirement.
During the period of 2001 – 2008, it was just the opposite. Many people opted for an adjustable mortgage, interest only mortgage, or even a 40-year mortgage. The reasoning was they would be flipping the house in a few short years at a great profit, so they didn’t really care what the payment was.
Today, old school thinking on the fast plan of a shorter term home loan is very popular.  Me me me, now now now, has been replaced with a pay it off fast mentality.
Clearly a shorter term loan saves you a lot of money in interest. On a $200,000 loan at 4.75%, the payment (just the loan) is $1043 per month. The total interest paid is a whopping $179,888. Switch that over to a 15-yr loan at 4.25%, and the payment goes up to $1504 per month, but the total interest is just $75,079. Half as much! A interest savings of $104,809

Many people claim they can’t afford the 15-yr payment, but I say otherwise. The average person can usually easily absorb the slightly higher payment with a little discipline and a slight adjustment to their monthly budget.

Eliminate the second new car, go out to a nice dinner a little less often, and shutting off the cable or satellite premium service all start to add up quickly, giving you one of the best savings opportunities of your lifetime.

I also hear many people talk about the loss of the interest tax deduction. I have a challenge for you. Can you tell me exactly what your tax write off benefit was this year?  Most people can’t.  The tax deduction is over-rated. Once you figure out how little it really adds up to in real dollars, you’ll quickly see the benefit of paying your home off faster.
Stop pissing money away on a 30-yr mortgage, refinance to a 15-yr mortgage. Earn equity faster, own your home in half the time, and make one of the best financial moves of your lifetime.


Buying a Home in 2011 is a Good Idea

Rent vs Buy minneapolis st paul mn Mortgage first time home buyerBuying a Home in 2011 is a Good Idea

Minneapolis, MN: As we enter the traditional spring home buying market, many people are trying to decide if owning a home is better than renting. Renting may be preferable for some folks… but there’s a reason 68% of Americans choose home ownership over rent.

Here are several very good reasons to own:

  • Mortgage interest and property tax deductions
  • Appreciation
  • Amazingly low mortgage interest rates
  • Home Affordability is at an all time high.
  • Ability to decorate, remodel, modify or enlarge the structure
  • Build up of equity and ability to borrow against that equity
  • Capital gains exclusions (up to $500K for a married couple)

Use this online “Rent vs Buy” calculator – it’s Free!

 


I want to buy a duplex!

I want to buy a duplex

I hear this every week. Seems like when it is a buyers market, everyone want to be Donald Trump Jr.

OK, so what is my #1 question? How much do I need for down payment!

Buying a duplex, triplex, or quad isn’t really overly complicated on the mortgage side.  You basically have two options:

1) Are you going to live in one unit?

If yes, then you can potentially get an FHA loan with as little as 3.5% down payment.

2) Is every unit going to be a rental?

If yes, then your down payment options are more expensive. Basically you are going to need 20% down. You can usually get a better interest rates with even bigger down payments.

Of course there are many other factors that come into play. Credit scores are a great example, as is trying to get a mortgage if you already have more than 4 mortgage loans.

While 20% down payment is a lot of money, the investment in rental property at today’s prices should realize you double digit returns…  and that is a LOT better than the banks are giving you to leave it sit in their vault!


DID YOU KNOW? Not all Loan Officers are Licensed!

DID YOU KNOW? Not all Loan Officers are Licensed!

Buying a home? Need a home loan? You call the various banks, brokers, and mortgage lenders shopping for the best deal, thinking this is the correct way to get a mortgage loan. Unfortunately, you’ve only did half of your homework, as the big issue is NOT where you get your mortgage from, but WHO you get your mortgage from. There are major differences in the quality, education, and experience between Loan Officers, and you DON’T want to be working with the wrong person.

Until recently, most Loan Officers got their training simply by being hired, given a desk, a telephone, and the employer saying “Watch and learn from this guy.” There were no schools, no classes, no educational or background requirements. A very small number of Loan Officers would take voluntary classes to be the best they could be (like myself), but this was the exception, not the rule.

As of January 1, 2011, there are two distinct classes of Loan Officer. Those with or without a personal license. Those WITH a personal license must have pre-license education, pass a difficult Federal test, pass a difficult state test for every state they wish to conduct business, criminal background checks, personal credit report checks, and having continuing education every year thereafter. Those without? No requirements at all (yikes!)

Furthermore, those WITH a personal license, YOU CAN LOOKUP ONLINE to verify their license, the company they work for, the company license, what state(s) they are  license, any disciplinary action, and where they have worked for at least the past 10-years. The system is called The Nationwide Mortgage Licensing System and Registry (NMLS). The NMLS Consumer Access web site is a fully searchable website that allows the public to view information concerning state-licensed companies, branches, and individuals.

Those Loan Officers who have a personal license are required to place their NMLS number on all materials; web sites, brochures, business cards, E-Mail, etc.

NMLS - Verify your loan office or mortgage company

Finally, THIS IS A CLEAR REASON why people should follow my other mortgage shopping rule: GOOGLE THE NAME OF YOUR LOAN OFFICER, and check them out in the public NMLS registry. What do you find before allowing them to handle the largest financial transaction of your life!

Be Smart – Get Answers. Your financial future is too important to gamble with than to simply use the guy at the bank, or the person giving you a low quote on some web site!


Affordable Advantage Zero Down Payment Program in MN

Zero Down Payment Home Loans for first time home buyers are back in Minnesota with the new AFFORDABLE ADVANTAGE program.

Read moreAffordable Advantage Zero Down Payment Program in MN


City Living Home Loan Program – Minneapolis and St Paul.

Learn all about The City Living Program in Minneapolis and Saint Paul. River walks, people, fine dining and concerts. And that’s just the beginning.

From condos and lofts in downtown to charming homes in historic residential neighborhoods, the Twin Cities area has much in the way of housing options that allow you to enjoy all that major cities have to offer.

With City Livings loan programs, the reality of urban living and home ownership is not far away. Home buyers accessing this First Time Home buyer Loan may qualify for a below market interest rate may also be eligible for Down payment and Closing Cost Assistance. As a borrower, you can choose from two market mortgage interest rates; one rate comes with a Down Payment Assistance Grant (DPA) of either 2% of your new homes purchase price, while the other rate is without the grant (Non-DPA).

This program is made available by the cities of Saint Paul and Minneapolis, and is available for homes within the Minneapolis and St Paul City limits.

General Program Information and Qualifications

  1. You must live in the home.
  2. Property must be single family home, or duplex in Saint Paul or Minneapolis city limits.
  3. Income and purchase price limits apply.
  4. Home Buyer counseling class is required. (call 651-552-3681 to register)
  5. First Time home buyer funds are reserved on a first-come, first-serve basis First Time Home Buyer money NOW AVAILABLE.

Apply online and be ready to go!