Q. What is the first step when buying a home?
A. Find out what price home you can afford to buy. The best way to do this is by talking to a mortgage broker or loan officer. From there, you may want to get pre-approved for a mortgage. Pre-approval is the first step in actually applying for a loan – contact your loan officer to get started.
Q. How much will my monthly payment be?
A. Please use the Monthly Payment Calculator provided to help you determine your monthly payment.
Q. How much can I borrow?
A. The best way to assess your borrowing power is to talk with a loan officer or to get started on-line. Your borrowing power is a ratio between your income and your debt.
Q. Can I refinance to take cash out of my house?
A. Yes, but most lenders will only allow you to refinance and take cash out as long as the new mortgage amount does not exceed 75 percent of the appraised value.
Q. Will I save if I refinance?
A. Please use the Refinance Calculator provided to compare your current mortgage vs a mortgage if you refinance. The result will give you an estimate of how much you could save.
Q. Can I buy a house without a down payment?
A. Yes. These loans, however, are usually offered at higher interest rates. But for buyers short on cash, they can mean the difference between buying or not buying a home.
Q. Can I get help from a relative for a down payment?
A. Yes. You can get help from other sources, in the form of a gift. They will require that the source submits a letter stating that the funds are a gift, not a loan.
Q. How can I check the status of my application or loan?
A. Once your loan is in process, contact your loan officer to check the status or any additional information you may require. You can also contact us 24 hours a day on this website.
Q. What is PMI?
A. PMI is a type of insurance provided by a private mortgage insurance company to protect the lender, in the event that you default on the loan. Mortgage insurance is usually required on a conventional loan when your down payment is less than 20%.
Q. How long does it take for a mortgage transaction to complete?
A. On the average it takes 2 to 4 weeks to close a loan transaction.
Q. What do I need to apply for a home loan?
A. This is the list of items you will need when applying for a loan application:
Last 2 years of W-2’s and or tax returns
Business tax returns and certified P & L (if applicable)
2 most current paycheck stubs
Last 2-3 months of bank statements
Loan payment info (car, boat, etc.)
Last 12 months of cancelled checks for rent or mortgage payments
Most recent credit card statements
Divorce Decree (if applicable)
Alimony or child support evidence
Contract for purchase (and sometimes for sale)
Driver’s License and/or social security card
Q. How can I avoid private mortgage insurance?
A. If you have a loan amount that exceeds 80 percent of the value of the property, you can avoid private mortgage insurance (PMI) by breaking the mortgage in two. Let’s say you have 10 percent down and you can get a first mortgage for 80 percent and a second mortgage for 10 percent of the price. Many lenders will not charge PMI with this financing arrangement. Another way is to put 20% down payment.
Q. What expenses associated with buying and owning a home are tax deductible?
A. The property taxes and mortgage interest you pay on a personal residence are fully deductible from your income tax every year. When you purchase a home, some closing costs also are tax deductible in the year they were paid. For example points are considered prepaid interest by the IRS and are deductible in the year you purchase the house.
Q. What basic questions do I need to ask about my lender and my loan?
A. Here are questions you should always ask a lender when you are shopping for a loan:
Does the loan have a prepayment penalty?
Are there any upfront fees and when must they be paid?
Are any upfront fees refunded if you’re denied a loan?
Is private mortgage insurance required(PMI) and what is the cost?
How long will loan approval take?
Is the loan assumable by another qualified buyer?
Q. What paperwork do I have to submit for a loan if I am self employed?
A. You will need to supply complete copies of federal tax returns for the last two years, along with a year to date profit and loss statement and a current balance sheet. If you are incorporated or have partnership income, you will need to supply copies of corporate or partnership tax returns for the last two years. You also will need to provide rental or lease agreements and mortgage statements for any rental properties you own.
Q. What happens if I am late with a loan payment?
A. The lender will likely impose a late charge and it may be reflected on your credit report. Most lenders will give you a grace period. If you are repeatedly late with payments, you may have trouble refinancing your loan if you need to. If you stop making payments completely, your bank can start foreclosure proceedings and you could lose your house.
Q. How long will a bankruptcy show up on a credit report?
A. A bankruptcy can stay on your credit record for up to 10 years, limiting your ability to borrow. A lender may require you to have a more substantial down payment or charge a higher interest rate because you are a greater risk (if you get a loan at all). Before bankruptcy, consult with more than one bankruptcy attorney.
Q. If my credit record is less than excellent, can I still buy a home?
A. Yes. But the better your score, the better the loan terms a lender will offer you. Being late on a mortgage payment, car payment, credit car payment will reduce your credit scores and make it more diffecult to get a loan.
Q. Are there loans available that will cover both the purchase price and remodeling of the home?
A. Yes. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s loan program is available to address this need. HUD does not make the loan directly, but the application is available from mortgage brokers. This program is available to owner-occupants and investors.
Q. How can I fulfill the primary residency requirement so that I can avoid capital gains taxes?
A. You must live in the home a total of 2 years out of the last five years to qualify for the $250,000 exemption ($500,000 for couples). The 2 years do not have to be continuous. To prove occupancy, save utility bills, auto registration notices.
Q. If rates are rising, should I lock in a loan rate?
A. This can be a solid strategy. When an interest rate is locked in, the lender promises a certain rate as long as the loan closes by a certain date, usually 30 to 60 days. You may have to complete a loan application and go through loan approval to qualify.
Q. Is the annual percentage rate, or APR, the same as the interest rate on my loan?
A. No. Lenders calculate APR by adding the cost of the finance fees to the amount financed. Then determining the interest rate over the term of the loan. A loan with an 7.25 interest rate could have an APR of 7.75 percent after the fees are taken into account.
Q. Will I have to pay taxes on any profits I make on my home sale?
A. It depends–but in most cases, no. Under the Taxpayer Relief Act of 1997, when you sell your home you get the first $500,000 tax-free on a joint return, or $250,000 for a single return. To qualify, you must have used your home as your primary residence for at least two years out of the last five years.
Q. What does a mortgage broker do for me?
A. Mortgage brokers shop the market to find loans that suit your needs. In addition, mortgage brokers assemble your financial documentation and submit the loan package to the lender for approval. The lender approves and funds the loan. The lender is the money source; the mortgage broker is a middle man who brings the borrower and lender together.
Q. Can I deduct my entire mortgage payment?
A. No, you can only deduct the interest. However, during the early years of your loan, most of your payment will be deductible because most of each monthly payment goes to pay interest.
Q. Can a lien be placed against a property for back taxes?
A. Yes. A lien can be filed against the property because of the failure of the owner to pay taxes. This can hold up a sale. A state or even an individual can take possession of a property if the taxes are delinquent for too long a period.
Q. How can I influence an appraisal?
A. You can make home improvements prior to the appraisor visit. You can also find similar nearby homes that have sold recently to verify recent sales prices. When the appraiser comes to inspect your house, have the information on comparable sales ready to give him or her. If the other sales are truly similar, they must be considered in making an appraised value.
Q. What is PITI?
A. Principal, Interest, Taxes, Insurance is your total mortgage payment.
The Principal is the loan amount one borrows from a lender.
The Interest is defined by the interest rate one has to pay on the principal amount.
The Taxes are the real estate taxes one has to pay on the property.
The Insurance is the homeowners insurance one has to purchase when buying a Single Family Residence or multi unit building. It does not apply to condominiums or townhomes.
There is also PMI or Private Mortgage Insurance which is applied to mortgages when the borrower does not have 20% down payment.
Q. What kinds of different loans exist?
A. Conventional, FHA, Nehemiah, No Down Payment, New Construction, No income verification, Jumbo….. Call us to find out what fits your needs ext 112
Q. What is considered before a loan is approved?
A. Loan approval depends on three factors: the property appraisal, your credit history, and your loan application.
The property you want to buy must appraise for the price you are offering.
Your credit history must be relatively clean, which is why it is good to check your credit history before you go to a lender. One of the first things a good loan officer will do is check your credit history.
On your loan application you will disclose your income, assets and debts, which must conform to the lender’s income-debt ratio guidelines.