Low down payment mortgage loans on the rise

hammer_bankMore mortgage lenders are offering conventional loans with down payments well below the 20% or higher levels of recent years.

In another sign of the housing market’s brightening outlook, more home buyers are discovering conventional loans with down payments well below the 20% or higher levels of recent years.

Until recently, many borrowers had to go through a government guaranteed loan program, such as the Federal Housing Administration (FHA Loans) or the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA Loans), to get a mortgage with less than a 10% down payment.

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Should you refinance, modify, buy, or run away?

Saint Paul, MN: These are certainly trying times, and 70% of homeowners have some sort of financing on their home. The economy is hurting, and fear of job loss is on many minds. But what you should be doing in today’s market isn’t always clear.

The economy is hurting largely because of the initial wave of foreclosures and high gas prices of earlier in 2008. This has spilling over into all aspects of American lives, but is it really as bad as the constant beat of the media drum has one to believe?

Unemployment nationwide is averaging in the 8% range. This is significantly below the highs of years past. Foreclosures are still at historic high levels. These reports sound bad, but sit back and take a look at your own individual lives to examine if it really is bad for you and what you should be doing.

For example, while possible job loss is on a lot of minds, examine your own ability to market yourself? No job is guaranteed. If you did lose your job, how quickly can you replace it with a similar income, even if in a different field.

I am in the mortgage business, which clearly is suffering. I don’t worry about my home or income, because I know that if needed, I would take two or three jobs (even menial jobs) to always make sure my family has the three most important items: Shelter, food, and clothing. I know I can cut off cable TV, sell cars, cut expenses, and go into survival mode and that I will always be able to provide the basics.

If unemployment is averaging 8%, this means 92% of people are working. If foreclosures are averaging 10% of homes, this means 90% of people are OK. Turn off the TV, stop reading the paper. If you didn’t hear and read all the “bad news”, how would YOU personally view your situation?

BUYING A HOME: We all need a place to live. Home prices are extremely attractive, with great deals to be found everywhere. Mortgage rates are near historic lows. If you have OK or better credit, can come up with a small down payment, plan on staying in the home for at least four years, you are almost foolish to not buy something TODAY.

MODIFYING YOUR EXISTING LOAN: Many people bought homes they shouldn’t have and took risky loans to do so. Simply because a lender said yes, doesn’t mean you should have. Even more people who originally bought right used their homes as ATM machines, with a constant “cash out” refinance to pay credit cards and live lifestyles they couldn’t afford. I just spoke with a customer who bought this home 15-years ago for $85,000 who is losing it to foreclosure owing $300,000.

As little as two years ago, getting a bank to modify your loan was rare, and required you to be seriously behind in payments. Today, banks are very willing to help keep you in your home by modifying your payments. Workouts vary greatly depending on many variables, but the best ones we see lower your rate to around 3% for 5-years. Then the rates start adjusting back to where they originally were.

Unfortunately, we are seeing two problems emerge with modification. The first, is many people who got loan modifications fairly quickly fall behind again. While no one wants to lose a home, you must be realistic. Many times I speak with people where I calculate a payment based on ZERO percent, and they still tell me they can’t make the payment. Modifying only delays the inevitable. Getting out completely and into a situation you can afford releases untold weight off your shoulders.

REFINANCING YOUR EXISTING LOANMinnesota refinance rates are currently hovering near historic lows and it is well worth thinking about getting something better if you qualify. The basic criteria is that if you can lower your rate and you’ll be there long enough to at least break even on the closing costs, then it is a smart move.

Today, programs like VA IRRRL streamline refinancesFHA streamline refinances, and HARP 2.0 loans make refinancing available to most people.

So, should you be buying a home, modifying your existing loan, refinancing, or running away? It all depends, but I suggest we all stop living in fear, properly analyze our lives and personal situations, take our heads out of the sand, and make well educated decisions to put our lives in a better place.

An original article by Joe Metzler (C) 2012 Metzler Enterprises, LLC for www.MnRealEstateDaily.com


The amazing FHA Streamline Refinance Program

The FHA Streamline Refinance Program

FHA Mortgage Loan Expert in MN and WI
FHA Streamline Mortgage Loan Expert in MN and WI

Minneapolis, MN: If you currently have an FHA mortgage you are eligible for one of the simplest money saving refinances available today. The FHA Streamline Refinance allows existing FHA borrowers to reduce their interest rate without having to jump through a lot of hoops. Basically, if you have made on time payments on your current FHA loan for the past 12 months. You get (almost) an automatic approval for the streamline refinance! How COOL IS THAT?

Most current FHA loans qualify for a no out-of-pocket cost streamline refinance loan that lowers your FHA interest rate and reduces your monthly mortgage payment without increasing the principal amount owed on your first mortgage. The FHA streamline refinance provide a rare opportunity for FHA borrowers to refinance any time the interest rate drop to level saving them more than 5% a month over their existing payment. FHA loan guidelines are changing, so ask your FHA loan expert how this could impact the FHA streamline program.

FHA mortgage rates have fallen to the lowest level since Eisenhower was President!  FHA streamline rates are as low as or even lower than conventional interest rates, so don’t sit back waiting for lower rates.  If you have made your loan payment on time and you already have this government loan, the FHA streamline refinance programs are easy to qualify for.

  1. no appraisal required

  2. lower credit requirements

  3. limited documentation

  4. skip a month of payments

HOME LOST VALUE?

You may have heard of HARP, the Home Affordable Refinance Program. HARP is only available if you have a Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac loan. and it allows you to refinance even if your home is underwater. FHA’s streamline streamline refinance has a  no appraisal option. So if your home has lost value, you can possible still refinance to today’s low mortgage rates too!

FHA streamline loans are highly regarded by FHA customers. FHA mortgage rates have never been more attractive so act now and lock into the lowest streamline rates in years.

With mortgage refinance rates this low it makes sense to reduce your monthly payment if you have any mortgage loan, but especially government insured loans like an FHA loan or a VA Loan.

VA STREAMLINE REFINANCE

An “Interest Rate Reduction Refinance Loan” (IRRRL) or VA Streamline Refinance allows Veterans to refinance their current mortgage interest rate to a lower rate than they are currently paying. This program is only available to veterans who are refinancing their original VA mortgage in which they utilized their original eligibility. 

VA Streamline Loan Guidelines:

  1. There is no cash out on an IRRRL loan
  2. The VA charges a 1/2 percent funding fee to guarantee the IRRRL Loan
  3. The VA loan being refinanced must be current and have a perfect pay history for the last 12 months
  4. No assumptions are allows
  5. Second mortgages can not be included and must be subordinated

Like the FHA streamline refinance, the VA streamline loan can be done with “no out of pocket money” by including all closing costs in the new loan or by making the new loan at an interest rate high enough to enable the lender to pay the costs.


Zero Down Home Loans Are Back

Zero down payment home loans are back. Actually, some of them never went away. VA and USDA Rural Development are two very popular home loan options. Learn more by watching this ROYAL performance… CG LIVE from London!

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