Whether you’re a First-Time Homebuyer or it’s been many years since you last went through the mortgage process, there are bound to be questions that come up along the way. You should never feel embarrassed to ask your loan officer any question, no matter how simple you may think it is. However, if you want to start with some mortgage basics, here are the answers to Five Homebuying Questions You Shouldn’t Feel Embarrassed to Ask!
1. Am I considered a First-Time Homebuyer?
This may seem like an obvious question, but the answer may surprise you. In the mortgage industry, you are considered a first-time homebuyer if you have never purchased a home, if you have not owned or co-owned a home in the last three years, or if you’ve fulfilled the necessary waiting period after a foreclosure or short sale. 2. What is the difference between a home appraisal and an inspection?
A Home Appraisal provides information on the value of a home, decided by several factors including, but not limited to, the location of the home, proximity to schools and facilities, size of the lot, size and condition of the home itself, and recent sale prices of comparable properties. A certified appraiser formulates this value for the lender, and it is an essential part of the mortgage process.
A Home Inspection provides information to the buyer about the home’s current condition and will note any existing or potential future issues. An inspector will notify a buyer about any areas that are in need of repair. This can help the buyer to negotiate a better purchase offer or at the very least, be aware of the conditions in the home they wish to purchase. 3. What is an interest rate?
Like a credit card or auto loan, a mortgage will have an interest rate. Interest is simply defined as the cost to borrow money from your lender. The interest rate is expressed as a percentage of your total loan balance and is paid on a monthly basis, along with your principal payment, until your loan is paid off. Your interest rate is determined by several factors, including the current economy, your credit score, the loan amount, your down payment, and more. 4. What is DTI?
The debt-to-income (DTI) ratio is a personal finance measure that compares an individual’s monthly debt payment to his or her monthly gross income. Your mortgage loan officer will calculate your DTI, and let you know what amount you are qualified to borrow. 5. How long will this process take?
Everyone’s loan scenario is unique and with some many pieces to the puzzle, it is difficult to give an exact timeline.
If you are interested in closing in a timely manner, I encourage you to reach out to Rick Cignoli today to discuss the right mortgage option for your family and to take advantage of my FREEJump Start Mortgage Pre-Approval Service.
Technically, the Debt-to-Income Ratio (DTI) compares your gross monthly income (income before taxes) to your debt obligations (credit cards, auto loans, student loans, alimony/child support? DTI helps lenders determine the max loan amount you qualify for.
The Debt-to-Income (DTI) Ratio is a personal finance measure that compares an individual’s monthly debt payment to his or her monthly gross income. Your gross income is your pay before taxes and other deductions are taken out. The debt-to-income ratio is the percentage of your gross monthly income that goes to paying your monthly debt payments.
As a general guideline, 43% is the highest DTI a borrower can have and still get qualified for a mortgage. Ideally, lenders prefer a debt-to-income ratio lower than 36%, with no more than 28% of that debt going towards servicing a mortgage or rent payment.
What is the benefit of having a Mortgage Pre-Approval when looking for a new home?
There is a difference between a Mortgage Pre-Qualification and a Mortgage Pre-Approval.
A mortgage pre-qualification is based on the information you verbally give to your loan officer to get a snapshot of how big a house you might afford and how much money you can afford to borrow to buy it.
A Mortgage Pre-Approval is an application file reviewed by an underwriter to be sure your income; assets and credit history qualify you to get the loan you are applying for.
Knowledge is Key: A Mortgage Pre-Approval gives you a firm idea of how much house you can afford. The underwriter bases this amount using a formula that compares your income to your total outstanding debt.
The Debt:Income Ratio (DTI) is derived from the monthly payments that show up on your credit report and the income documents you surrendered as part of the process. This will keep you focused on the big picture and help to prevent being disappointed if you fall in love with a home that is too expensive.
Improve Your Negotiating Position: When a seller is comparing two offers and one of the buyers has Mortgage Pre-Approval there is a high confidence level that the deal will go through and close sooner. This may help you to win in a competitive bidding situation.
Confidence in Your Offer: Knowing that the key information in obtaining a mortgage has been reviewed by an underwriter will give you, and the seller, confidence that your offer is bona fide.
Keeping Your Spending On Track: Having detailed information on your interest rate, mortgage payment, closing costs and down payment requirements will help you stay within your monthly budget.
Time is Valuable: Knowing what you can and cannot afford can save you time and frustration in the house hunting process. This will help your Realtor find the perfect house in your price range.
Move in Quicker: Having Mortgage Pre-Approval will save you time when you submit your complete mortgage application for approval. Everything has been done beforehand. All you need is and inspection, appraisal and closing documents. The faster you close, the sooner you can begin to enjoy your new home.
If you are looking to buy a new home, a Mortgage Pre-Approval is the smartest way to get into your new home. Call Me at 860.945.9284 to discuss the right mortgage option for your family and to take advantage of my FREEJump Start Mortgage Pre-Approval service.
The USDA Guaranteed Rural Housing Development Loan (aka USDA RHD Loan) is extremely popular with Millennial Home Buyers. That’s because the program requires Zero Down Payment. That’s right… 100% Financing is available to purchase eligible properties in select areas of Connecticut.
And, it just got more attractive Just in time for the New Year, the USDA lowered its Up-Front Mortgage Guarantee Fee from 2.75% to 1.00%. And… it also reduced its Monthly Mortgage Insurance Premium from 0.50% to 0.35%
The USDA loan is now one of the most affordable home loans available, This fee reduction makes the RHD less expensive than FHA products. A USDA home loan can make owning a home less expensive than renting one and could be the avenue for Millennial Home Buyers to move into a new home in 2017.
What Is a USDA Loan? The United States Department of Agriculture partners with approved local lenders to assist homebuyers with competitive interest rates and loan terms to buy their primary residence in select areas of Connecticut
The Program Offers: 100% Financing – No Down Payment is Required. Coming up with a Down Payment is one of the biggest barriers to entry into the housing market for Millennial Home Buyers. A USDA mortgage eliminates that obstacle. Closing Costs Can Be Rolled Into the Loan Amount. The closing costs associated with obtaining a mortgage can be included in the loan amount when the appraised value exceeds the contracted sales price. Liberal Credit Scores. The USDA Guarantee allows lenders to approve mortgages that would not qualify under guidelines for other programs. Applicants with credit scores down to 640 are eligible for this loan. Debt:Income Ratios: To qualify, you must meet debt-to-income requirements. The DTI ratio limits are 29% (for PITI) and 41%. The reduced fees make it easier to meet these ability to pay guidelines.
Millennial Home Buyers often chose the more expensive FHA loan program, even when they are buying in USDA-eligible areas. If you are buying in a suburban or rural area, it pays to check USDA eligibility maps. Choosing USDA can save you the 3.5% down payment that FHA requires. And, now that the reduced mortgage insurance fees are in effect, you can save money each month over FHA
Eligible home buyers should weigh the benefits of a USDA loan.
You don’t learn about how to buy a house in school. They don’t teach you what you need to apply for a mortgage, what kind of loan you’ll need, or what PMI is (it’s called private mortgage insurance)
And let’s not mention that you need to shop around for the best deal — or you can hire somebody to do that for you.
So here are some First Home Buyer Tips to help guide you through the home buying experience.
BEFORE YOU START LOOKING ♦ Have a conversation with your significant other about what you’re looking for, what you need and what you can do without. Standing in the living room during an open house with your real estate agent isn’t the time to argue about wanting three bedrooms instead of four.
♦ Know your financial records. What’s your credit score? How much outstanding debt do you have? What monthly payment can you afford?
How much money did you make last year? You’re going to need to know all of this information. Have all of your paperwork ready to go.
♦ Know your limit — if you can’t afford a $450,000 house, don’t go look at $450,000 houses.
♦ Shop around. There are dozens of real estate agents, attorneys, and mortgage officers so don’t settle. These people are going to work for you, their job is to make you happy. You’re going to be on the phone and meeting with them frequently, so make sure you like who you’re working with.
♦ Do your research. When you do decide on a real estate agent, he or she is going to want to know what your price range is, what neighborhoods you’re interested in, if you want to be close to schools, expressways, public transportation, etc. Know what you want and Get Pre-Approved!
WHILE YOU’RE LOOKING ♦ This is the big one you’ll be glad someone told you about.
Don’t get too attached to a house, because if it the deal doesn’t work out, for whatever reason, you’re going to be devastated.
♦ Be willing to negotiate, it’s a big part of the game.
♦ This goes hand-in-hand with negotiating: put your foot down and don’t let anyone take advantage of you. If the seller is asking for way more than you’re told the house is worth, or if they’re not willing to fix something that is broken or at least negotiate the cost, you have to be ready to walk away. There will be more houses, trust me.
♦ Don’t just purchase a house by its listing. Go look at EVERYTHING. A lot of houses look different in person than they do on-line, good and bad.
I have the belief that anyone that deserves to own a home should be able to do so. The American Dream is still attainable for those buyers who do their homework, establish a game plan and work hard to achieve that goal.I’m here to help.
Preparing To Own Your First Home
As a First Time Homebuyer, you’re about to make one of the biggest financial decisions of your life. For Millennials, a new home represents the most expensive purchase they’ll ever make. One of the best things you can do is read, research and learn about the mortgage application process. The more you prepare, the more confident you’ll feel about purchasing the home you want.
Mortgage Pre-Approval Being pre-approved by a lender gives you the confidence to shop for a new house, knowing exactly how much you can afford. You can avoid looking at properties that don’t fit your budget. The pre-approval helps you know exactly what is possible right from the start. In fact, most realtors expect you to be pre-approved.
How Much Can You Afford? A good place to start is to look at your current expenses. You probably have both “fixed” expenses… i.e. car payments, taxes, or day care … and “discretionary” expenses… i.e. things like travel, clothing, entertainment, or other areas where you can decide how much to spend.
Then, make up a budget. You’ll see how much of your monthly income is already committed to “fixed” expenses, as well as how much you have to spend on a mortgage payment, taxes, and insurance for a home.
Of course, how much you can afford also depends on how much debt you have. Long-term debt – i.e. debt that will take more than 10 months to pay off – is what lenders are most concerned about. If you have long-term debt that is considered “excessive” for your income, it will probably limit how much you can borrow. If you have a lot of long-term debt, you may want to pay off some of it before you apply for a mortgage.
Remember: I’m always here to help make things easier. Reach out to Me firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss your mortgage options and to take advantage of my FREE Jump Start Mortgage Pre-Approval service.
Changes in FNMA Guidelines Enables Norcom Mortgage to Close More Conventional Loans
Here’s What’s New …
1. Unreimbursed Business Expenses. Buyers earning <25% of their income from commission, bonus or overtime no longer have to account for a reduction in income due to unreimbursed employee expenses. That means tradesmen in particular may use their total gross income to qualify for a mortgage and not be penalized for taking advantage of legitimate business deductions.
2. Move Up Buyers. Buyers moving up to a bigger home and converting their current residence to investment property no longer need a minimum 30% equity position in the vacated property in order to use the rental income from the vacated property for debt service on the new home. All rental income from the former residence can now be used immediately.
3. Cash Reserves. Buyers using stocks, bonds, mutual funds and retirement accounts now can use 100% of their vested balances toward the asset reserve requirement. If those balances are >20% of the funds needed for the down payment and closing costs, buyers no longer need to show proof of liquidation for those funds. Less paperwork means faster closings.
Contact Me Today to Learn More! At Norcom, We Make Homes Happen!