HARP Refinance still going strong in MN and WI

The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) special underwater refinance program, commonly known as HARP (Home Affordable Refinance Program) is still going strong.

HARP refinance in MNWhile mortgage rates have risen a bit, there are still millions of people who could take advantage of the program to save significant money on their monthly mortgage payments.  Because of this, the FHFA had Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac extend the HARP program by two years to December 31, 2015. The program was originally set to expire December 31, 2013.
More than 2.2 million homeowners have already refinanced through HARP since HARP was introduced by FHFA and the U.S. Department of the Treasury in April 2009.  HARP is uniquely designed to allow borrowers who owe more than their home is worth the opportunity to refinance their mortgage.Extending the program will continue to provide borrowers opportunities to refinance, give clear guidance to lenders and reduce risk for Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and taxpayers.
In addition, FHFA will soon launch a nationwide campaign to inform homeowners about HARP. This campaign will educate consumers about HARP and its eligibility requirements and motivate them to explore their options and utilize HARP before the program ends.

To be eligible for a HARP refinance homeowners must meet the following criteria:

  • The loan must be owned or guaranteed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac.
  • The mortgage must have been sold to Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac on or before May 31, 2009.
  • The current loan-to-value (LTV) ratio must be greater than 80 percent.
  • The borrower must be current on their mortgage payments with no late payments in the last six months and no more than one
  • late payment in the last 12 months.

Check here to see if your loan is owned by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac


Buying a HUD foreclosure with FHA financing

Minneapolis, MN:  The Minnesota and Wisconsin housing market for homes under $250,000 is hot…   Good homes priced well are selling very quickly, and usually above the original asking price.

I’ve run into this situation many time recently when buying a HUD home, so I thought I would address it here.

DOES MY BUYER HAVE TO USE HUD’S FHA APPRAISAL?

hh_fsThe quick answer is YES if using an FHA loan to buy the house.  NO if using any other financing.

If you are buying a HUD foreclosure, they almost always already have a HUD Appraisal.  This is good and bad.  On the good side, if the buyer is using an FHA loan, the buyer does not need to pay for one of their own.  They get to use the HUD appraisal.

If the buyer is using any other type of financing, the existing HUD appraisal is meaningless.  You will need a new one.

OVER ASKING PRICE?

But if the house goes into multiple offers, the buyers using FHA financing are hamstrung by the HUD Appraisal. Sure, they can offer more than the HUD appraisal, but any amount they offer above the asking appraisal amount will be additional cash out of their pocket above the standard FHA down payment of 3.5%.

For example, a HUD Home is on the market for $100,000 with an existing HUD appraisal at $100,000.  There are multiple offers.  You want the house.  You offer $105,000. Therefore your down payment is $8,675 (3.5% of $105,000 PLUS the $5,000 above the appraisal price).

 


What is your home worth? Find out for free…

banner_ad_appraisalWhat’s the value of your home? (MN & WI Only)

Many homeowners are curious about the appraised value of their home. An actual appraisal is expensive, and county tax records do NOT always reflect true market value. As you may be aware, home values are constantly fluctuating, and with the decline in average values, everyone has lost value.

But things are changing, average home values the past 12 months in the Minneapolis / St Paul, MN area have risen on average 14.1%.  So what your home is worth today?

There are many sites that claim to give you are idea, including Zillow, Trulia, and more. It is also a well known fact those sites have very questionable data, giving values that range from close, to crazy far off. The big problem is, where is the data they use coming from and how accurate is it?

We have a different tool to answer the estimated appraised value of your home question. Our system uses the Freddie Mac Home Price Index ( FMHPI ). FMHPI is calculated using a repeat-transactions methodology. Repeat transactions indexes measure price appreciation while holding constant property type and location, by comparing the price of the same property over two or more transactions. The change in price of a given property measures the underlying rate of appreciation because basic factors such as physical location, climate, housing type, etc., are constant between transactions. Averages of appreciation rates for different geographic areas and time periods are calculated using statistical regressions and the index values are derived from these averages

While the estimate may not be the actual or appraised value of your property, this can be a much more useful too than Zillow to gauge fluctuations and trends in your market which affect your home’s value.

Want to check your homes value? Simple click the link below! (MN and WI homes only)

FREE HOME VALUE ESTIMATE

 


FHA Streamline refinance in MN and WI

The FHA Streamline Refinance program.

No appraisal, no closing costs, easy qualifying, and even skip a month of payments.

For FHA properties in Minnesota or Wisconsin, Apply online today

at www.FHA-Streamline-Refinance-MN.com


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)


30-Year Fixed-Rate Mortgage Averages 3.40% for week ending Jan 3, 2012

lmrMinneapolis, MN:  Freddie Mac yesterday released the results of its Primary Mortgage Market Survey® (PMMS®), showing fixed mortgage rates moving higher following December’s employment report. The 30-year fixed averaged 3.40 percent, its highest reading in eight weeks. The all-time record low for the average 30-year fixed was 3.31 percent set November 21, 2012.

News Facts

  • 30-year fixed mortgage rates (FRM) averaged 3.40 percent with an average 0.7 point for the week ending January 10, 2013, up from last week when it averaged 3.34 percent. Last year at this time, the 30-year FRM averaged 3.89 percent.
  • 15-year fixed mortgage rates this week averaged 2.66 percent with an average 0.7 point, up from last week when it averaged 2.64 percent. A year ago at this time, the 15-year FRM averaged 3.16 percent.
  • 5-year adjustable mortgage rates (ARM) averaged 2.67 percent this week with an average 0.6 point, down from last week when it averaged 2.71 percent. A year ago, the 5-year ARM averaged 2.82 percent.

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

“Fixed mortgage rates increased slightly following a positive employment report for December. The economy added 155,000 jobs, above the consensus market forecast, and November’s job growth was revised upward by another 24,000 workers. This helped keep the unemployment rate steady at 7.8 percent, the lowest since December 2008. For all of 2012, 1.86 million jobs were created and represented the largest annual gain since 2006.”

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 best MN and WI mortgage interest rates.


Little change in Mortgage Rates this week following employment report

Mortgage Rates Change Little Following Employment Report

Minneapolis, MN: Freddie Mac (OTC: FMCC) today released the results of its Primary Mortgage Market Survey® (PMMS®), showing average fixed mortgage rates edging slightly higher while remaining near their all-time record lows coming off the employment report for September.

News Facts 

  • 30-year fixed-rate mortgages (FRM) averaged 3.39 percent with an average 0.7 point for the week ending October 11, 2012, up from last week when it averaged 3.36 percent. Last year at this time, the 30-year FRM averaged 4.12 percent.
  • 15-year fixed rate mortgages this week averaged 2.70 percent with an average 0.6 point, up from last week when it averaged 2.69 percent. A year ago at this time, the 15-year FRM averaged 3.37 percent.
  • 5-year adjustable-rate mortgages (ARM) averaged 2.73 percent this week with an average 0.6 point, up from last week when it averaged 2.72 percent. A year ago, the 5-year ARM averaged 3.06 percent.

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

“Mortgage rates were little changed this holiday week following the employment report for September. Payroll employment increased by 114,000 workers, although manufacturing jobs dipped for the second month in a row. Employment in the prior two months was revised up 86,000 and the unemployment rate fell to 7.8 percent, marking the lowest rate since January 2009.”

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.

 


Are you a Serious Buyer or a Time Waster?

Serious Home Buyer?

Minneapolis, MN:  As a professional licensed Loan Officer, I encounter people everyday that say they want to purchase a home.  But when it comes down to it, they may not be ready for that responsibility of a home,  or they are can not get pre-approved for a home loan.

In our society, it seems everyone wants everything now.  Learning that it may take a little time and some effort on the buyers part frustrates many of them them.  Being told “no” simply doesn’t register.  It amazes me the number of people who apply with me, and when I look at their credit report, I see that they’ve applied with 9 other lenders.  Face it, it you’ve been told no 9 times, the 10th time is going to be a no too. Stop wasting my time.

When I deny applicants, we always tell them,  “you don’t qualify right now, but if you do these certain steps you will be able to purchase a home in the future.”

These people are not serious buyers, and just waste the precious time of Real Estate Agents and Mortgage Loan Officers though out all of Minnesota, Wisconsin, and the rest of the country.

Don’t take your frustration out on the messenger.  We want to approve you, but if you are not ready today – you are not ready. We will let you know that you need to alter to get an approval in the future.  Maybe pay off some debt, improve your credit score, or come up with more down payment money.  Sometimes this may mean you don’t get the latest iPhone,  or you keep your older car while you pay down your debt.

Maybe you have had some trouble paying your bills on time in the past and have poor credit.  I’m amazed at those who want, but don’t even come close to proving to a mortgage company that you are ready.  In today’s world, easy options, and loans for everyone don’t exist. You have to prove to lenders you are ready.  This means on time payments,  a good credit scores, prove your income, and have some skin in the game (down payment).

 


Fixed Mortgage Rates Ease Going Into The Labor Day Weekend

Fixed Mortgage Rates Ease Going Into The Labor Day Weekend

Minneapolis, MN:  Freddie Mac today released the results of its Primary Mortgage Market Survey® (PMMS®), showing fixed mortgage rates pulling back and following bond yields lower after gradually moving higher over the past month.

News Facts

  • 30-year fixed-rate mortgages  averaged 3.59 percent with an average 0.6 point for the week ending August 30, 2012, down from last week when it averaged 3.66 percent. Last year at this time, the 30-year FRM averaged 4.22 percent.
  • 15-year fix rate mortgages this week averaged 2.86 percent with an average 0.6 point, down from last week when it averaged 2.89 percent. A year ago at this time, the 15-year FRM averaged 3.39 percent.
  • 5-year adjustable-rate mortgages (ARM) averaged 2.78 percent this week with an average 0.6 point, down from last week when it averaged 2.80 percent. A year ago, the 5-year ARM averaged 2.96 percent.

Quotes

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

  • “Treasury bond yields fell, allowing mortgage rates to follow, after the release of the July 31st and August 1stminutes of the Federal Reserve’s monetary policy committee. Committee members agreed that economic activity had decelerated more in recent months than they had anticipated at their last meeting in June. Some members even saw room for additional stimulus fairly soon if needed.
  • “Nonetheless, the housing market continued to show improvement over the past few months. New home sales rose 3.6 percent in July matching May’s pace as the strongest month since April 2010.  Similarly, pending existing home sales also rose in July to its highest rate since April 2010. And, the S&P/Case-Shiller® National Home Price Index rose 1.2 percent between the second quarter of 2011 and 2012, reflecting the first annual increase since the second quarter of 2010.”

Freddie Mac’s survey is the average of loans bought from lenders last week, including discount points.

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

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USDA Loan Eligibility Map Changes effective Oct 1, 2012

USDA is changing the property eligibility map effective Oct. 1, 2012.

Cities and towns that formally qualified for the Zero Down USDA Rural Development Loans may no longer qualify.

This change is due to a number of reason, including larger populations, elimination of special consideration zones, or they no longer meet the definition of rural.

The effected cities in MN are listed here.

Click this link to view the full list of cities across the county that are losing their ability to get a USDA Rural Development loan.

 USDA INCOME Eligibility Check
USDA Property Eligibility Check

 

 


Fixed Rates Move Higher for 2nd week in a row

Fixed Mortgage Rates Move Higher for Second Consecutive Week

St Paul, MN: Freddie Mac today released the results of its Primary Mortgage Market Survey® (PMMS®), showing fixed mortgage rates moving higher following stronger-than-expected employment reports. The 30-year fixed averaged 3.59 percent, and the 15-year fixed averaged, 2.84 percent, still near the historic low.

News Facts

  • 30-year fixed rate mortgage (FRM) averaged 3.59 percent with an average 0.6 point for the week ending August 9, 2012, up from last week when it averaged 3.55 percent. Last year at this time, the 30-year FRM averaged 4.32 percent.
  • 15-year mortgage rates this week averaged 2.84 percent with an average 0.6 point, up from last week when it averaged 2.83 percent. A year ago at this time, the 15-year FRM averaged 3.50 percent.
  • 5-year adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) averaged 2.77 percent this week with an average 0.6 point, up from last week when it averaged 2.75 percent. A year ago, the 5-year ARM averaged 3.13 percent.
  • 1-year ARM averaged 2.65 percent this week with an average 0.4 point, down from last week when it averaged 2.70 percent. At this time last year, the 1-year ARM averaged 2.89 percent.

Quotes

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

  • “Fixed mortgage rates inched up again this week following stronger-than-expected employment reports. The economy added 163,000 jobs in July, well above the market consensus forecast of 100,000, and the largest increase since February. In addition, the number of announced corporate layoffs fell 45 percent in July compared to last July and was the third time this year that announced layoffs were less than the same month in 2011 according to The Challenger Report. This suggests further net gains in employment are likely in the near future.”

Freddie Mac’s survey is the average of loans bought from lenders last week, including discount points. Follow this link to view today’s MN and WI mortgage interest rates.

 


What is Homepath and Homesteps?

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 making the buyers

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.

Investors Welcome. Investors can participate in the program too!

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.


Trick to Pay Off Your Mortgage In Half The Time

A Trick to Pay Off Your Mortgage In Half The Time

Minneapolis, Minnesota:  Sounds like a claim you might see on a SPAM E-Mail you receive. The fact is, smart people are doing this everyday to pay off their mortgage in half the time and there is nothing special about it.

What is it you ask?  Easy, simply shorten your term to a 10-year or 15-year mortgage loan.

Mortgage Refinance Rates in MN and WIMany homeowners are thinking of refinancing to today’s historically low mortgage rates here in MN, WI, and the rest of the country. Great, yet many people make the mistake of refinancing back into another 30-year loan.  Sure, you may save a few hundred dollars, but how much is it going to cost by adding back all those years?  How about retirement?  Wouldn’t it be nice to go into retirement WITHOUT a mortgage payment?

By lowering your term, you get a better interest rate than on a 30-year, and you save untold thousands of dollars in interest.

Fear of higher payments on the shorter term loans keeps many people from selecting this mortgage savings option.  But a quick peak at a mortgage calculator can show you the savings – and I’ll bet most people can easily afford the payment if they simply put their mind to it.

 


MN FHA streamline Refinance Loans

Learn About Your Streamline Refinance Mortgage Options

FHA Refinance

FHA Home LoansHomeowners enjoy the benefits of investing in their property year after year. For some, there comes a time when that investment can come in handy. Refinancing with an FHA loan can prove to be an effective way to put that equity to work. Keep in mind that FHA refinancing is only available to homeowners who are currently using their home as their principal residence.

FHA options to homeowners who are considering an FHA refinance mortgage:

FHA CASH-OUT REFINANCE

This refinancing option is especially beneficial to homeowners whose property has increased in market value since the home was purchased. A Cash Out refinance allows homeowners to refinance their existing mortgage by taking out another mortgage for more than they currently owe.

FHA STREAMLINE REFINANCE

This refinancing option is considered streamlined because it allows you to reduce the interest rate on your current home loan quickly and oftentimes without an appraisal. FHA Streamlined Refinance also cuts down on the amount of paperwork that must be completed by your lender saving you valuable time and money.

Click to apply online for your FHA Streamline Refinance
Apply today – FHA Streamline Refinance – For properties in MN, WI, SD

FHA Up Front Mortgage Insurance Premiums (UFMIP)

FHA has recently made changes to the required mortgage insurance. June 11, 2012 is the date FHA Up Front Mortgage Insurance Premiums (UFMIP) will be lowered for some borrowers applying for FHA Streamline Refinance Loans. An FHA Mortgagee Letter 12-4 explains the changes, which affect some, but not al, FHA streamline refinancing loans:

For all FHA Streamline Refinance transactions that are refinancing existing FHA loans that were endorsed on or before May 31, 2009, the UFMIP will decrease from 1.75 percent to just 0.01 percent of the base loan amount.

Basically, those borrowers who have an FHA home loan for a single-family property that was endorsed on or before May 31, 2009 are eligible for a lower rate on their Up Front Mortgage Insurance Premiums. It’s important to note that this rule applies only to those with an FHA Streamline refinancing loan with a case number assigned on or after June 11, 2012.

The same mortgagee letter contains another announcement; “Decrease to Annual Mortgage Insurance Premium on Certain Streamline Refinance Transactions”. In this message, the FHA states, “For all Single Family Forward Streamline Refinance transactions that are refinancing FHA loans endorsed on or before May 31, 2009, the Annual MIP will be 55 basis points, regardless of the base loan amount.”

These two items make for a very significant savings on FHA streamline refinance transaction here in Minnesota, South Dakota, and Wisconsin where I lend, along and the rest of the country.

FHA Approved lenderOne other item. It’s important to remember that the FHA does not regulate FHA interest rates or  FHA streamline interest rates or set them in any way, except to state that such rates must be reasonable and customary according to the housing market in that area. Borrowers should expect to negotiate interest rates with the lender and/or comparison shop for the best rates and terms.

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We are an FHA, VA, and USDA Loan Approved Lender. While we offer these loans, we are not acting on behalf of, or under the direction of The Department of Veteran Affairs, HUD, FHA, The department of Agriculture, or the Federal Government. FHA (HUD) does not lend directly to the public, but only through approved lenders like us here at Mortgages Unlimited. We are proud to help families buy or refinance their homes with FHA loans located in Minnesota, Wisconsin, and South Dakota.


USDA Home Loans are Zero Down Payment

USDA 100% Home Loan Financing – Best Kept Mortgage Secret! 

7 out of the 11 Twin City County Areas are eligible. These properties are closer than you think!

The USDA Guaranteed Rural Housing Mortgage Program offers individuals and families 100% financing for semi-rural to rural properties throughout the state of Minnesota and Wisconsin.

  • 100 % Financing – ZERO down payment
  • No Cash From Buyer
  • Cheap Mortgage Insurance (especially compared to FHA loans)
  • No Assets Needed – No Money left in the bank needed
  • Relaxed Credit Requirements
  • Finance Closing Costs into the Loan


Adjustable mortgage loans popular again. Here is why.

Adjustable (ARM) Loan Resets Cause Foreclosures – Fact or Fiction?

Saint Paul, Minnesota: Requests for adjustable mortgage loans dropped to near zero the past few years because of the general belief that adjustable loans are bad, and that recent high levels of foreclosures was because homeowners were doing fine with their loans until their adjustable loans reset to higher rates.

Lenders are again starting to see inquiries about, and home buyers again taking adjustable rate loans because of the super low adjustable loan rates.

FACTS VERSUS FICTION:  According to recent nationwide data, the number one reason homeowners default on their home loans was because their income was cut. This accounted for just under 60% of loans in default. Once traditional causes of foreclosure are factored in (divorce, major illness), cash flow problems added up to a whopping 80% of all “causes” of defaulted mortgages nationwide.

Adjustable payment loans resetting to a higher payment alone accounted for just 2%, according to the data. Rather than being the cause, they appear to be the final straw that breaks the camels back of people who were already in financial trouble.

ADJUSTABLE RATE MORTGAGES: Adjustable Rate Mortgages (ARMs) became one of the most popular and effective tools for helping some prospective homebuyers achieve their dream of homeownership between 2000 and 2007. Initially developed during a time of high interest rates that kept many people out of the housing market, the ARM offers lower initial interest rates by sharing the future risk of higher rates between borrower and lender.

IS AN ADJUSTABLE MORTGAGE RIGHT FOR YOU? Talk to a local licensed Loan Officer (not an unlicensed bank application clerk) about the benefits. ARMs can be an excellent choice of financing under certain conditions, such as rising income expectations, high interest rates, and short-term homeownership plans. But because payments and interest rates can increase, either steadily or irregularly, homebuyers considering this kind of home mortgage loan need to have the income to keep up with all possible rate and/or payment changes. Each ARM has four basic components:

  • Initial interest rate, which is typically one to three percentage points lower than that of most fixed rate mortgages.
  • Adjustment interval, at the time between changes in the interest rate and/or monthly payment will be.
  • Index, what lenders use to determine future rate changes. This is usually LIBOR.
  • Margin, or the additional amount the lender adds to the index to establish the adjusted interest rate on an ARM.

Typical adjustable loans come in 1-year, 3-year, 5-ya, 7-year, and 10-year initial fixed term options. The 5-year adjustable is super popular. The rate is fixed for the first five years of the loan, then becomes adjustable on a yearly basis.