Myths that Keep Renters from Becoming Buyers

Minneapolis, MN:  There are plenty of myths that keep renters from becoming buyers. As with many myths, urban legend, folklore, and old wives tales, there may be a little truth to the story, but most of it is false.

As a Mortgage Loan Officer for over 20-years, it is a constant battle to dispel these stories, So here are a few myths versus facts to better educate prospective home buyers.

Mortgage myths vs mortgage facts

Myth 1:

Nearly 50% of renters believe they need a down payment of 20% or more.

  • FACT: While a few programs and situations require large down payments, most don’t. There are plenty of low down payment programs like HomeReady accept as little as 3% down.  FHA loans are just 3.50% down payment. VA loans and USDA loans have no down payment required.

Myth 2:

1/3rd or renters believe they need a credit score over 700 to buy a home

  • FACT: Your best loan options are with a 640 or higher credit score, but there are also plenty of programs that will potentially approve a client with as credit low as 580.  If you have a really big down payment, all the way down to a 500 score is possible.

Myth 3:

The most common reason renter cite for not buying is the lack of down payment

  • FACT: Sure, having a big down payment helps, but down payment assistance is available for qualified buyers. Gift from parents is a popular option, as is taking money from your 401k for down payment.

There are plenty of myths that keep renters from becoming buyers, now you know the facts.

My best advice is to simply not assume anything. If you would like to own a home, and you are not sure about your qualifications, I’m always happy to review your situation, go over the numbers, and explain all your options to buy a home.

If we can’t help you today, we will go over what would be needed in your situation to help you tomorrow. You have nothing to lose, and everything to gain.

If you are looking to buy a home in Minnesota, Wisconsin, or South Dakota – I can help.  Simply call me at (651) 552-3681, or apply online at www.FirstTimeHomeBuyer-MN.com.

Mortgage application

If you are in any other state, I suggest you contact a local mortgage broker in your area. Stay away from the big banks and the large Internet Lenders.


Dispelling VA loan myths

Minneapolis, MN: VA home loans are one of the greatest benefit to our U.S. Military personal that most vets will ever use. Dispelling VA loan myths that prevent them from using their benefits is therefore very important.

VA mortgage loans in Minnesota, Wisconsin, South Dakota. VAMortgageMN.com

VA loan Myth 1):  All veterans are guaranteed a VA loan.

Reality: Veterans are NOT guaranteed a VA loan.   All loans, even VA loans have fairly standard underwriting guidelines that all applicants must meet, including debt-to-income ratios, credit scores, The confusion generally starts with that the Veterans Administration does NOT actually do loans. Instead, the VA guaranty is to the lender that actually makes the loan. If the veteran defaults, the VA guaranty will pay the lender some or all of their a small percentage of the loan that lenders do if the veterans defaults.

Veterans need to provide a VA Certificate of Eligibility to the lender, which tells us how much VA Guaranty you have available, and if your service in the military allows you to be eligible. If you work with us for your VA loan, we are usually able to obtain your certificate for you.

VA loan Myth 2): VA loans do not have a down payment.

Reality: Almost all VA loans have no down payment requirement, but if you are buying a very expensive home that is over the local area conforming loan limit, you may have a down payment requirement. For almost everywhere in the country, the current no down payment limit is $453,100 (as of this article date).  Click here to see how to calculate your minimum VA loan down payment for expensive homes.

VA loan Myth 3): VA loans have no closing costs.

Reality: ALL mortgage loans have closing costs. Appraisal, credit report, state deed taxes, title insurance, first years home owners insurance, and lender related costs. But with a VA loan, just like many loans, you can cover closing costs four ways:

  1. Pay yourself out of pocket
  2. Seller paid closing costs
  3. Increase the interest rate to offset costs
  4. Any combination of the above.

The combination of all the options is generally what happens. So with most of the VA loans I personally do, you are able to buy with very little out-of-pocket. Under $1,000 is extremely common.

VA loan Myth 4): VA loans require excellent credit

Reality: You don’t have to have perfect credit scores for VA loans, but just like all other loans, as your credit scores go down, your odd’s of loan approval go down too.

As I previously mentioned, the Veterans Administration does not actually give you a loan, only authorized VA lenders like Mortgages Unlimited do. The VA actually just insures the loan for the lender. So while the VA guidelines to lenders says you can potentially get a VA loan with no credit scores, or even super low score, virtually few, if any VA lenders actually offer that option.

If your middle credit score is over 640, you are probably OK. Once you drop below 620, expect a lot of no answers UNLESS your overall situation is actually pretty good, but there is some sort of minor fluke item on credit giving you that low score.

Ready to buy a home with the awesome VA Home loans?

Simply contact your local VA loan expect for the best experience, and avoid the large national online VA lenders.

VA lender MN, WI, and SD

For VA loans in MN, WI, and SD – Simply click here to complete the online VA loan application at www.VAMortgageMN.com or call our local Minnesota VA Loan Experts at (651) 552-3681.

Thank you for your service!

 


Minnesota Mortgage Loan Limits for 2018

Minneapolis, MN: Once a year, maximum mortgage loan limits are potentially reset for popular loan programs, including standard conforming loans (Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac), FHA loans, VA loans, etc.

Minnesota, Wisconsin, and South Dakota (the states that I lend in) all have the same maximum conforming loan limit for 2018 of $453,100 for a single family home (higher for multi-unit properties). You can but a more expensive home, but to qualify for these programs, your LOAN AMOUNT must be under this number.

2018 MN, WI, SD Conforming Loan Limits

Loans over this amount are known as jumbo mortgage loan. There is no Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac for jumbo loans, so there are significantly different rules and guidelines for jumbo financing.

VA loans in Minnesota are zero down payment loans up to the same conforming limit of $453,100.  You can but a home with a VA loan over $453,100 – but now you’ll need to have a down payment. Read this information on VA jumbo loan down payments, or I can help you determine your down payment requirements on VA jumbo loans, just contact me at (651) 552-3681.

FHA Loans and USDA loans have different loan amount limits depending on what county you intend to buy the property.  Click here to check current FHA loan limits, and click here to check current USDA loan limits.

A single family home in the Minneapolis / St Paul metro area counties is $356,500 for 2018, but in Stearns county for example, it is only $294,515. Another example would be Dane County Wisconsin, at $299,000. As with conventional loans, all counties have higher limits for duplex, tri-plex, and 4-unit homes.

USDA rural housing loans do not have a house price limit.  Rather, they have an income limit. Click here to review the USDA income limits.

 


Can you buy a house with no money down?

Can you buy a house with no down payment?

The answer is a definite maybe…

But no money down does NOT mean no money out of pocket.

So can you buy a house with no money out of pocket? The answer is not likely.

There are two programs to purchase a home that are truly no down payment programs. The VA home Loan for our military personal, and the USDA Rural Development loan for homes in rural parts of the state. Everything else will need at least a little down payment.

No down payment home loans

Next are some down payment assistance programs. Most of these require you put in at least a little money, and you get an assistance loan for the rest. A typical number is at least $1,000 down out of your own pocket.

Low down payment loans come in many varieties, but the conventional HomeReady program is just 3% down payment, and FHA loans are just 3.50% down payment – all of which can be a gift from family members too.

While most people understand ‘down payment’, in the home buying world, you also have up-front out of pocket costs, like paying for a home inspection.

You also have closing costs, which include lender costs, title company costs, state and county costs, plus buying things like your first years home owners insurance.

Many of these items can be rolled into the purchase through either ‘seller paid closing costs’, or through something known as ‘lender credits.”

While these two options can help eliminate up-front out-of-pocket expenses, neither one is free.  Seller paid closing costs is achieved by raising the purchase price in an amount equal to what the seller will pay.  For example, if the house price is $200,000, and you need $6,000 is closing cost assistance, you would offer $206,000 for the home.

Lenders credits is where the lender will pay some or all of your closing costs by increasing the interest rate so that you pay it back over time, versus needing the money up-front today.

There are also costs NOT related to the loan.

Inspections costs have nothing to do with the loan, and having to write an earnest money check to the seller have noting to do technically with the loan. So even if you are doing a no down payment loan, like a VA home loan, with “all closing costs” rolled into the loan, you may still need $500 or so for an inspection, and and maybe a few thousand dollars in earnest money when making your offer. Any earnest money can be credited at closing, so you can possible get it back, but you still needed it up-front to buy the house.

Bottom line is that if you have no money whatsoever, you are probably not ready yet to buy a home, but if you have at least a few thousand dollars, or can get a gift, we probably have a program for you.

Call our MN, WI, and SD mortgage loan experts today at (651) 552-3681, or just APPLY ONLINE.

 


Buy a MN or WI Home with $1,000 Down and Down Payment Assistance

Buy a MN or WI home with as little as $1,000 down? Yes, it is possible.

Minneapolis, MN:  One of the biggest true hurdles to home ownership is a lack of down payment money. Sadly, many people don’t even apply for a home loan, because they think you need a much bigger down payment than you actually may.

You may qualify for down payment assistance. Apply to find out.
You may qualify for down payment assistance. Apply to find out.

But, if you have at least $1,000 of your own money, OK or better credit (640 score or higher), you may be able to buy your own home using our first time home buyer programs with down payment assistance.

Other low down payment options include:

  1. 3% down payment conventional loans (HomeReady and Home Possible)
  2. 3.50% down payment FHA loans
  3. No down payment VA loans
  4. No down payment USDA Rural development loans.

If you are in MN, WI, SD, or FL – Simply complete the secure online application at www.FirstTimeHomeBuyer-MN.com in about 10 minutes time. A fully licensed and experienced Loan Officer will review your loan application, then go over the various program to see what programs you qualify for, how much house you can buy, what the payments might look like, and finally, how much cash you may, or may not need to put it all together.

If you are in other states, simply find a LOCAL mortgage broker, and apply with them.

You have nothing to lose in applying, and everything to gain in owning your own home!

—————————————–

Joe Metzler is a Senior Mortgage Loan Officer for Minnesota based Mortgages Unlimited. He was named the 2014 Minnesota Loan Officer of the Year, and Top 300 Loan Officers in the Nation for 2010, 2015, 2016.

To finance with a home with Joe and Mortgages Unlimited, your local preferred lender for Minnesota, Wisconsin, and South Dakota, simply call (651) 552-3681 or APPLY ONLINE. NMLS 274132. Equal Housing Lender. Not everyone will qualify. See web site for more details. Not an offer to enter into an interest rate lock agreement.


Relaxed student loan guidelines makes qualifying easier

Student Loans and Mortgage Approval. What are the guidelines?

Minneapolis, MN: Student loan debt is at an all time high, and has been noted as a contributing factor to why may people have been unable to purchase a home, especially first time home buyers.

Recent changes to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac guidelines have made it easier for some, but not all with student loan debt to still qualify for home mortgage loans.

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac do not do home loans. Rather they buy loans from lenders after that fact. Both Fannie and Freddie have set underwriting guidelines that if lenders follow, makes the selling of loans to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac much easier.  While the number moves, at any given time, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac control +/- about 60% of all home loans.

Student Loans. How do lenders calculate?

Student loans can be in active repayment, some sort of reduced repayment (which is typically an income based repayment), or completely deferred.  While a student loan may be deferred for the next year or two, your mortgage loan is typically a 30-year loan. It only makes sense that lenders take current or future student loan payments into consideration when calculating debt ratios and affordability.
To avoid confusion, I’ll just talk about current guidelines for how lenders currently deal with your student loan debt for debt-to-income ratio purposes.
These guidelines are current as of this article (Dec 1, 2017 (updated)

FHA Loans:

FHA loans must use the greater of 1% of the outstanding balance, or the payment listed on the credit report, unless you can document the payment is a fully amortizing payment. No income based repayment, graduated payments, or interest only payments allow

Fannie Mae Loans:

For deferred loans, must use 1% of the outstanding balance. For loans currently in repayment, use the payment listed on the credit report. If payment is listed as $0.00, but $0.00 is an active income based repayment, we must verify with the student loan company that $0.00 is the income based repayment.

Freddie Mac Loans:

For loans in repayment, use the amount listed on the credit report, or at least .50% (1/2%) of the outstanding balance, whichever is greater.
For deferred loans, must use the amount listed on the credit report, or 1% of the outstanding balance as reported on the credit report.

USDA Rural Housing Loans:

For USDA loans, if the loan is deferred, income based payment, graduated payment, or interest only payment, must use the greater of 1% of the outstanding balance, or the amount listed on the credit report.

VA Home Loans:

For VA loans, if payment is deferred at least 12 months past the loan closing date, no payment need be listed.
If payment will begin within 12 months of closing, use the payment calculated based on:
  a) 5% of the outstanding balance divided by 12
  b) The payment listed on the credit report if the payment is higher than calculated under (a).
  or
If payment on credit report is less than (a), a letter, dated within the last 60-days directly from the student loan company that reflects the actual loan terms and payment information is required to use the smaller payment.

More people with student loans now qualify

These updated guidelines primarily help those currently in repayment, but with income based, graduated payment, and interest only payment student loans obtain conventional loans.
 Regardless of your student loan status, I always suggest that people never assume you can’t buy a home.  Always talk with a professional licensed Mortgage Loan Officer to get the facts regarding any financing options.  I offer all this loan option and more for properties in Minnesota, Wisconsin, and South Dakota and can be reached at (651) 552-3681, or www.MortgagesUnlimited.biz


Why do I need mortgage insurance??

Why do I need mortgage insurance?

When buying a home, and getting a home loan, being approved or not all comes down to risk. If the mortgage company thinks you are a good risk, you get the loan. If you are too risky, you get denied. Pretty simple concept.

A good example of this concept is down payment size.  If you put at least 20% down, you are considered a good risk. Put less than 20% down, you are high risk. Needless to say, not everyone can put 20% or more down payment.

To minimize the lenders risk on small down payment loans, but yet allow for these same small and more affordable down payments, a tool called mortgage insurance, commonly referred to as PMI, or private mortgage insurance is available.

The insurance policy you are required to obtain and pay for as part of your monthly mortgage payment essentially provides protection to the lender in case you default on the loan, and covers the lender for the amount between 20% down and what you actually put down.

The cost of the mortgage insurance depends on multiple factors, but primarily down payment size, credit scores, and loan type.

The smaller your down payment, the higher the mortgage insurance costs. The lower your credit score, the higher the costs.  For example, A client with 10% down and an 800 credit score on a 30-yr fixed loan might pay about $30 a month per $100,000 loan amount for mortgage insurance. The same 10% down, but a client with just a 640 credit score might pay as much as $105 per month per $100,000 loan.

Contact your loan officer for exact monthly costs for your individual situation and down payment size, as this article covers basic and most common situations, but does not encompass every possible situation.

Typicaly standard PMI will automatically fall off your loan once you reach 78% of the original loan amount with no interaction from the homeowner. It is simply automatic.

You can request to have mortgage insurance removed from your loan once you believe you are at 80% of the original loan. The 80% mark can be based on a combination of paying down the loan, and today’s appraised value.  For example, you put 5% down when you bought the house, you’ve paid down through payments another 5%, and the home has appreciated 14% since you bought it.  That would put you ate 76% loan-to-value. So contact your lender on their proceedure to have mortgage insurance dropped.

Must Deal With Mortgage Insurance

If you are putting down less than 20%, you MUST deal with mortgage insurance somehow. Other than monthly mortgage insurance, lenders can also offer more creative options. The most popular is known as ‘lender paid mortgage insurance’, where the lender increases your interest rate, and uses the extra money to buy mortgage insurance. You still have it, but it doesn’t show as a monthly cost.

The next is known as ‘single premium’ insurance. Under this option, you pay a one time lump sum amount up-front at closing equal to 3-years of monthly mortgage insurance.

The last option, is getting two loans. An 80% first mortgage, and a second mortgage to cover the difference from what you have for down payment. This is a viable option primarily for high credit, low risk clients, and for jumbo loans over $424,100.

While these options may sound enticing, for most people, balancing up-front costs, long-term versus short-term costs, and overall benefits based on individual situations can become a mind numbing challenge.  Suffice to say the vast majority of people go with standard monthly mortgage insurance for a reason.

FHA Loan Mortgage Insurance

FHA loans also have mortgage insurance, but this insurance is significantly different from conventional loan mortgage insurance.

Most people using FHA loans put the minimum down payment of 3.50%, and take a 30-yr fixed loan. Most FHA mortgage insurance is the same for everyone regardless of down payment size or credit score.  For small down payments, this is roughly $85 per month per $100,000 loan amount.Next, FHA mortgage insurance for small down payments is called ‘Life of Loan’ insurance, which means regardless of future loan-to-value, appreciation, or what you’ve paid down, FHA mortgage insurance never goes away. The only way to remove it is to refinace the loan.

Another item with FHA loans, is that regardless of down payment size, ALL FHA loans will have insurance. So contact your loan officer for exact monthly costs for your individual FHA insurance, especially if you are putting more than 10% down or picking a 15-year loan.

PMI is Not Homeowners Insurance

Mortgage insurance often times gets confused with home owners insurance.  PMI protects the lender from default, while home owners insurance protects the owner for items like fire, storm damage, theft, etc.

VA Loans Have NO Mortgage Insurance

If you are active or former U.S. military, you have a great benefit in a VA Home Loan. Most people know VA loans generally do NOT require a down payment, they also have NO monthly mortgage insurance.  This can be a huge monthly savings over other loans.

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Author Joe Metzler is a Senior Mortgage Loan Officer for Minnesota based Mortgages Unlimited. He was named the 2014 Minnesota Loan Officer of the Year, and Top 300 Loan Officers in the Nation for 2010, 2015, 2016.  He provides Home Mortgage Loans in MN, WI, and SD. He can be reached at (651) 552-3681. NMLS 274132.


Low down payment, no down payment loan options for 2017

Minneapolis, MN:  Just 10-years ago, 30-year fixed rates were 6.125%, and the real estate market was hot. With rising interest rates, 2017 may be a bit more challenging for home buyers. But the biggest challenge for most people who wish to buy a home is down payment.

You do not need 20% down payment to buy a home! I repeat, you do not need 20%. This large down payment myth has been around forever, but it simply isn’t true for the vast majority of people buying their first primary residence. There are many program that allow for no down payment, or low down payment. Some jumbo loans buyers (loans over $424,100 in most parts of the county), as will people buying investment properties will usually need a large down payment. But for the rest of us, there are many low down payment, no down payment loan options for 2017.

First Time home buyers, Down Payment Assistance

First Time Home Buyer programs:

The term first time home buyer program covers a wide net of potential programs and options. To be a first time home buyer, you simply must not have owned a home in the past three-years. If you owned a home in the past, but it has been longer than three-years, you are a first time home buyer again. Some options allow for lower rates, cheaper mortgage insurance, and even down payment assistance. Most come with additional strings attached, like household income requirements, lower debt to income requirements, and that you must take first time home buyer education classes.

FHA Loans:

FHA backed loans are very popular, and only require a small 3.50% down payment. The down payment can be your own money (checking/savings/retirement), a gift from a family member, or can come from a down payment assistance program. FHA loans are more forgiving than other loans, for example allowing just a two-year waiting period if you have a previous bankruptcy, and a three-year waiting period after a previous foreclosure. Maximum loan limits apply based on the medium income of the county the property will be located.  Check FHA Loan Limits

Conventional 97 Loans:

Both Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac offer a 3% down payment program.  The down payment can be your own money (checking/savings/retirement), or a gift from a family member. This is a great program, especially for those with higher credit scores, or homes that need a little TLC that might not pass FHA loan inspections.

Conventional HomeReady™ Loans:

Fannie Mae offers an additional 3% down loan called HomeReady for first time home buyers. You need to take a home buyer education class, but you’ll be rewarded with lower interest rates, and lower mortgage insurance than the standard 3% down conventional loan.

Conventional 95 Loans:

Both Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac offer a basic 5% down payment program.  This is your everyday, plain vanilla mortgage loan available to everyone.

VA Loans (100% financing):

Available for active or retired U.S. Military personal, the VA loan is truly one of the best benefits this country offers for your service. The VA loan is a no down payment program, and also has no mortgage insurance whatsoever. This is a huge savings per month over any other low or no down payment loan. Closing costs can be rolled into the loan, making for a home purchase, that for most people, is about as close to zero money out of pocket to buy a home as you’ll ever get.

USDA Rural Housing (100% financing):

Available to those wishing to buy in more rural areas of the country, the USDA Rural Development loan does not require a down payment. While the loan does have mortgage insurance, the cost is very low compared to other loans.  You need to meet household income, and property location requirements.

Down Payment Assistance:

Down payment assistance comes in many different flavors from neighbors, city, county, and even state programs. Welcome first time home buyers. Apply onlineGenerally these are in the form of a loan that needs to eventually be paid back, but there are a very small number that are actually forgiven if you live in the home a set period (like 9-years or longer). The assistance loan can be combined with a standard loan, like an FHA loan, to be used for down payment. Household income, and property location are common requirements.

The Bottom Line:

If want to own your own home, you have OK or better credit, a stable income, and at least a little money in the bank, by all means, you should apply for a home loan. Your Loan Officer will review your loan application, then go over the various program to see what programs you qualify for, how much house you can buy, what the payments might look like, and finally, how much cash you may, or may not need to put it all together.

Best case, you’ll be in your own home sooner than you thought.  Worse case, your Loan Officer will go over what you need to do to be in position to buy a home in the near future.  Either way, a win win for you.


No down payment VA home loans

Take Advantage of your VA Benefits! VA Home Loans for Minnesota and Wisconsin military veterans

VA loans MNWhy get a VA Loan?    

It’s simple … Lower Rates. Lower Payments. $0 Down Payment.

Thousands of people are using their VA Loan benefit every single month. Let us help you purchase a MN or WI home with ZERO DOWN, or lower your existing VA home loan with a refinance to today’s low interest rates.

BUYING A HOME WITH A VA HOME LOANS

Purchase with Zero Down

A VA Loan allows a Vet buy a home with Zero DOWN and finance 100% of the home’s purchase priceup to $453,100 in MN, WI, and SD (as of 2018). Now more than ever, banks are requiring larger down payments for conventional loans with more expensive mortgage insurance. In many cases they require 10-20% down, putting home ownership out of reach for many prospective buyers.

How much will $0 down save you? FHA loans require 3.5% down. Conventional loans will require a minimum of 5% down, and in many cases as much as 10% and 20%.VA Loans Minnesota

VA loans have NO PMI = Lower Monthly Payments

A VA Loan offers a HUGE savings benefit. They do NOT require monthly PMI, or private mortgage insurance. PMI is an added monthly expense required for conventional loans and FHA loans where the borrower finances more than 80% of the home’s value.

Interest rates are also typically lower with a VA Loan, than a conventional loan. A lower rate combined with monthly PMI savings can substantially lower your monthly payment.

Getting Qualified is Easier

The qualification guidelines are less stringent for VA Loans. Because the loan is backed by the government, lenders don’t need to meet strict lending rules.

VA Loan Application

VA Purchase loans for Veterans IN MN, WI, SD – APPLY

VA Loans require no down payment, and have no mortgage insurance, plus you can roll all your closing costs into the loan. This makes for one heck of a great first-time home buyer deal for military veterans wanting to buy a home! The country appreciates your service. This is one way we pay you back. Today mortgage rates on VA loans are very low, making homes even more affordable.

ZERO DOWN VA Home Loans

 

VA Home Mortgage Loan Advantages vs Other Mortgage Loan Options

  • VA home loans do not require a down payment, unless the purchase price is more than the appraised value or in excess of current loan limits.

  • VA home loans have limitations on which closing costs may be assessed to the veteran.

  • VA home loans have no prepaid without penalty.

  •  Maximum (zero down) VA loan has increased to match conforming loans!

  • VA home loans may have forbearance extended to worthy VA homeowners experiencing temporary financial difficulty

  • VA performs personal loan servicing and offers financial counseling to help veterans avoid losing their homes during temporary financial difficulties

  • VA interest rates are competitive with conventional loan interest rates.

  • VA home loans do not require mortgage insurance – this is a HUGE savings.

  • Although there is no down payment required – There are still closing costs, but the seller usually pays ALL of the veteran’s closing costs (and with a $0 down payment, the veteran can literally purchase a home for nothing).


20% down NOT needed to buy a home in Minnesota

Minnesota Down Payment mortgage loansSt Paul, MN:   Question.  How much money do you think you need to put down to buy a home?

If you answered anything higher than ZERO, your answer is wrong!

Would it surprise you to learn that most people can get a mortgage with a great rate with just 3.5% down, and in some cases, zero down?  For most people, it is about the same amount of money you would spend on the first month, last month, and damage deposit on a rental property… but now, it is your home.

For some strange reason, the myth you need a huge down payment persists.  It simply isn’t true, yet I hear it all the time. I think it is because we hear it on TV.  I know I have. This is mostly from the talking heads on either coast. Many of those areas are what is known as “high cost” locations.  Anytime you go over $417,000 – you are now a jumbo loan, and jumbo loans are typically 20% down.  But for the rest of us…  Heck no, just 3.5% down!

  • FHA Loans are very popular, and only require 3.5% down
  • Good credit conventional loans only require 5% down
  • VA loans are zero down
  • USDA rural housing loans, for rural parts of the country, are zero down
  • Community programs can many times be used for your down payment to effectively get you zero down

Don’t let misinformation derail your dream of home ownership. Contact a local licensed mortgage professional to get pre-approved today.  Once approved, contact a great Real Estate Agent to find your dream home!

 


Getting a VA Home Loan in MN or WI

Minneapolis, MN: VA Home Loans In MN and WI are probably the coolest mortgage loan lenders offer. VA Home Loans in MN and WIIt is available both while serving our country and after they are discharged.

Upon a veterans return,  hey usually are looking to re-establish themselves the the communities that they will be returning to. This means that many of them will be looking to purchase a home that they can settle in and raise their families.  A VA Mortgage can assist our Veterans in making that transition.

VA Mortgages provide our Veterans with two major advantages that other Mortgage programs do not have.

VA Loans require no down payment, and have no mortgage insurance, plus you can roll all your closing costs into the loan. This makes for one heck of a great first-time home buyer deal for military veterans wanting to buy a home! The country appreciates your service. This is one way we pay you back. Today mortgage rates on VA loans are very low, making homes even more affordable.

VA Mortgage benefits for a Veteran:

A VA Streamline Refinance is similar to the FHA Streamline Refinance. It is officially known as a IRRRL loan (interest rate reduction refinance loan) because of the money you can save by lowering your monthly interest rates. It was created by the VA in an effort help our veterans secure the lowest interest rate possible. This VA loan process is done quickly, with minimal hassle so our veterans can save immediately.

Those who are eligible:

  • Honorably discharged
  • Widow/widower of eligible service member or spouse of an MIA or POW
  • Wartime service – a minimum of 90 days active duty
  • Peacetime periods – 181 days of continuous active duty
  • Actively in service or a valid VA Form DD214
  • Have certificate of eligibility (I can usually get this for you)


Mortgages rates hover near record lows for week ending Nov 2, 2012

Mortgage Rates Settle in Near Record Lows

Minneapolis, MN: Freddie Mac today released the results of its Primary Mortgage Market Survey® (PMMS®), showing fixed mortgage rates mixed following the monthly employment report but continuing to hover near their record lows over the past six weeks. Last year at this time, the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.99 percent, dropping below 4.00 percent for the first time since Freddie Mac started reporting its weekly mortgage rates survey in 1971.

News Facts

  • 30-year fixed-rate mortgages (FRM) averaged 3.40 percent with an average 0.7 point for the week ending November 8, 2012, up from last week when it averaged 3.39 percent. Last year at this time, the 30-year FRM averaged 3.99 percent.
  • 15-year fixed rate mortgages this week averaged 2.69 percent with an average 0.7 point, down from last week when it averaged 2.70 percent. A year ago at this time, the 15-year FRM averaged 3.30 percent.
  • 5-year adjustable mortgages (ARM) averaged 2.73 percent this week with an average 0.6 point, down from last week when it averaged 2.74 percent. A year ago, the 5-year ARM averaged 2.98 percent.

Quotes

Attributed to Frank Nothaft, vice president and chief economist, Freddie Mac.

“Mortgage rates remained near record lows following the employment report for October. The economy added 171,000 jobs, above the market consensus forecast, and the two prior months were revised up a combined 84,000. The Labor Department also reported that the unemployment rate ticked up to 7.9 percent and that average hourly wages were unchanged.”

Freddie Mac’s survey is the average of loans bought from lenders last week, including discount points. Applicants must pay all closing costs at these rates. No cost loan rates higher.

Follow this link to view today’s MN and WI mortgage interest rates.

 


VA Mortgage Loan Changes

VA Mortgage Loan Program Changes

Since World War II, The VA home loan program has helped over 18 million veterans receive government-backed mortgages.  Recently the President signed into law some modifications to the VA home loan program.  This new bill will benefit disabled service members, single-parent soldiers and military widows. The new changes include:

Surviving  spouses of Veterans

Before the change, the only way military widows could participate in the VA no-down-payment program is if their spouse had a service-related disability or died in the line of duty.  As a result of the change, a widow may get a VA loans  if the veteran had a service-related disability for at least ten years before their death.

Single parents and military couples

When applying for a VA home loan, you have to sign a piece of paper saying that the property will be your primary residence and you will be the primary occupant.  Military spouses can take the place of military members serving abroad when signing this paper, but this doesn’t necessarily help single-parent soldiers and married military couples.  As a result of this bill, dependent children will be able to meet the occupancy requirement.  Active service members who don’t have children, unfortunately, will still be unable to meet the occupancy requirements.

Disabled veterans

Every VA loans has a funding fee. This fee is added to the loan amount, and the proceeds to go making sure the program will be self-sufficient and not cost tax payers any money. The fee varies by service, first time or second time use of a VA loan, or a VA streamline refinance.

Borrowers with a VA service-related disabilities of at least 10% have always been exempt from this fee.

Many times, Veterans often have to wait months to get their official  VA disability rating.  Thus they potentially may have to pay the VA funding fee when they shouldn’t have to.  With this improvement to VA mortgage loan program, the VA will be required to waive the fee after the pre-disability exam indicates the individual is disabled, instead of waiting months for the official “disability rating.”

Adjustable Mortgages

While most VA loans are the standard 30-year fixed rate mortgage, adjustable mortagegs were an option. Those ARM loans were scheduled to be cut out of the VA loan program by the end of 2012, but adjustable VA mortgages  will now continue to be available.

Veterans living in high-cost area of the country

Veterans who live in the most expensive areas of the nation were hit hard last fall when loan limits for government-backed mortgages dropped to $625,000 from $729,000.  As a result of this bill, higher county loan limits will be reinstated sometime in 2014.

 

 


VA Streamline Refinance Loan

Mortgage Rates are at Historic Lows. Start saving money now on your VA Home Loan!

Minneapolis, MN: If you are active or retired U.S. Military veteran, you are eligible for a great benefit, the VA Home Loan. If you currently have a VA Home Loan, you may qualify for another great benefit, the VA Streamline Refinance Loan.

Officially known as The Interest Rate Reduction Refinance Loan (IRRRL), it is one of the easiest refinance loans available today.  The VA Streamline Refinance is the second best programs offered to you through your housing benefits from the Veterans Affairs (the first was buying the home with a VA Home Loan!)

BENEFITS OF A VA STREAMLINE REFINANCE

NO Appraisal (upside down might be OK)
Lower Credit Scores
NO Qualifying Debt Ratios
NO Income Verification
NO Out of Pocket Expenses

Minnesota VA Loan Application
VA Streamline refinance Application for homes in MN, WI, or SD

A good local VA Mortgage Leader will show you how to utilize your Certificate of Eligibility and lower your rate and start saving money today.

100% CASH OUT VA REFINANCE

VA loans also allow you to take cash out up to 100% of the current appraised value of your home. Use the money for anything you want, like paying off higher interest rate credit cards, or simply consolidating all your debt into one easy loan payment. The VA cash out refinance is not streamlined, and will require an appraisal and all standard income documentation.

VA guaranteed Loans are originated by private approved and authorized lenders. VA Mortgage Home Loans must be used for their own personal occupancy. The VA will guarantee a portion of the mortgage to the lender reducing their risk and allowing opportunity for lower interest rates. The VA Guaranty minimizes the risk to the lender which results in better financing terms.


Are mortgage rates going up?

ARE MORTGAGE RATES GOING UP?

Minneapolis, MN: Mortgage interest rates jumped up last week, putting a scare in those sitting on the fence, thinking about refinancing, yet waiting form rates to drop a bit lower. Lucky for them, Minnesota mortgage interest rates moved back down slowly to about where they have been holding for some time.

The big question is how long can mortgage rates remain this low? 

Mortgage rates have been stuck at these amazingly low levels for the past five months. According to Freddie Mac weekly survey of mortgage rates, last week was the first time that interest rates on a standard 30-year fixed-rate mortgage rose above 4 percent, only to slip back below this week.
It’s very clear that mortgage rates can’t stay this low forever. It was big news when 30-year rates fell below the 5 percent mark in March 2009 – a level unimaginable just a few years before. Now we’re a full percent lower than that. When you consider that rates rarely fell below 7 percent prior to 2001, and often ranged much higher, it’s clear that rates will eventually move back toward more historical norms. When I bought my first house in 1981 – I paid 16% for an FHA 30-year fixed mortgage.
The question is, when will that happen – and what will trigger it?  So, is it smart to keep holding out for lower refinance rates? Probably not…  Is it wise to not buy a house today?  Probably not, especially with these interest rates and zero down programs like the VA loan program, and the USDA Rural Development Program.