The True Definition of a First Time Buyer

First time home buyers are so critical for the housing industry. So much so that various financial incentives and loan programs are developed just to change a renter into an owner. These programs can be national ones such as Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac first time home buyer programs, to local and county governments, which…

FHA High Balance Home Loans

It’s probably no secret, at least in the housing and finance industries, that the FHA mortgage is the number one pick by first time home buyers. Why is that? FHA loans are one of three government-backed mortgage programs designed to finance a primary residence. FHA loans are easier to save up for because the minimum…

Myth-Busting the No Closing Cost Mortgage

When someone is getting a bit more serious about buying a home or refinancing an existing mortgage, the next step is typically to get a rate quote from a mortgage company. Because lenders set their interest rates on the very same set of indices, these rates will be very close to one another. In fact,…

Getting a Gift? Handle With Care

Even with loans that do not require a down payment, such as the VA and USDA programs, buyers still need cash to address closing costs. There are lender fees and non-lender fees to contend with as well as recurring costs such as property insurance and taxes. Lenders need to make sure there are enough funds…

Financing a Home in a Rural Area? Here’s How

Homes that are located in rural or semi-rural areas can be more difficult to find financing for when researching conventional loans. Homes in these areas by nature are somewhat isolated as well as remote. This is important as it relates to identifying comparable sales in the area. When lenders evaluate a loan application there are…

Mortgage Rate Locks: What You Need to Know

Ask any loan officer what they hear from consumers more than any other question is, “What are your rates today?” And that makes perfect sense. Consumers are encouraged to shop around for the best deal and the interest rate is the main component of that. But what consumers may not know is that rates can…

Junior Liens Who Choose to Foreclose

Many lenders opt to only fund first mortgages because they believe that second mortgages are too risky, but is that always the case? Not always. Not all second mortgages are equal. Many private lenders may choose to fund a junior lien where the first mortgage is relatively small in comparison to the second. For example,…

Your VA Loan the Second Time Around

For those that are eligible, the VA home loan program is peerless when it comes to financing a primary residence when savings as much cash as possible is a priority. VA loans don’t require a down payment and the veteran is restricted from paying certain types of closing costs. When lenders review an application for…

Don’t Do This on Your Own

There are plenty of moving parts that get activated the moment you and the sellers agree to a price and both of you sign the sales contract. That’s when the wheels really begin to turn. By keeping in close contact with your loan officer during your home search you can make sure once your offer…

Financing a Vacation Home

Lenders assign various levels of risk based upon different factors such as the type of property being financed, credit scores of the borrowers and how much down payment is involved, for example. Another important element is whether or not the owners of a property occupy the home full time, part time as in a vacation…

3 Percent Down?

Government-backed mortgage loans, VA, FHA and USDA, require little to no down payment. FHA loans ask for a down payment of at least 3.5 percent of the sales price while the other two don’t require any down payment whatsoever. But did you know there are conventional loans that also accept a down payment of just…

In Praise of the Townhouse

Townhouses offer a perfect solution for those who can’t afford a single-family home but need more space than an apartment condominium can provide. But townhouses are becoming increasingly difficult for many Canadians to afford. The first townhouses to appear in Canada popped up in the 19th century, when they were the most common form of…

The Trouble with Concrete

It’s what you don’t know about cement and concrete that causes problems. Done right, concrete and cement excel at everything from foundations, building blocks, and exterior cladding to polished interior floors and amazing kitchen counter tops. The “done right” part means that when you hire a contractor for an addition, a renovation, or a new…

Economic Reports and Mortgage Rates

Did you know that economic reports can impact mortgage rates? And that some economic reports have a greater impact than others? Each month and each quarter, various government agencies release data they’ve been tracking on a regular basis. Investors and analysts alike predict these numbers and then react to them once the numbers are ultimately…

Why Do Lenders Sell Loans?

When you first work with your loan officer very early on in the process, you’ll soon establish a trusting relationship with that person. You’ve shopped around for a new loan and interviewed several loan officers before finally landing on the perfect choice. Your loan officer has helped qualify you and provide an array of loan…