Thursday, May 21, 2015

Refinancing on a FHA Mortgage? Learn More About the FHA Streamline Refinance

Home buyers are often drawn to the FHA mortgage program due to the low interest rates, low closing costs and generally attractive loan terms. However, there will come a time when many who have an FHA mortgage want to refinance. After all, refinancing a mortgage may allow you to tap into your home’s equity, obtain a lower interest rate, extend or shorten the loan term or achieve other goals you may have. While there are different loan programs that you can use to refinance, many are taking advantage of the FHA streamline refinance program.
What Is the Streamline Refinance Program?
This is a unique program that is ideal for many who have an FHA loan, and this includes those who are underwater with their home mortgage. This program is unique from others because there is not an appraisal requirement. Many other programs will offer a certain loan amount based on the current value of the home. When the value has declined since the purchase, it may not be possible to refinance with other loan programs. However, this program is well-suited for such situations, and this is regardless of the amount your home has declined in value.
The Loan Terms
While one of the key selling points relates to the fact that the FHA Streamline program does not require an appraisal, there are other selling points. This is a low closing cost option that can close quickly. In addition, you can choose from a fixed or adjustable rate, and the interest rates are very competitive. There are also 15 and 30-year terms available. Plus, the loan program does not have a prepayment penalty associated with it.
Many borrowers also appreciate the fact that the underwriting process is streamlined, and there is minimal documentation required. In fact, there is not an income or employment verification in place, so you will not have to worry about providing all of the paperwork that would need to provide for other loan programs.
If you have an FHA loan currently, you may be ready to refinance. Regardless of what your current goals are for refinancing your existing mortgage, it is smart to learn more about the FHA Streamline mortgage. With how easy it is to qualify and how attractive the loan terms are, this may be the loan program that you have been searching for. You can speak with a home loan specialist about the qualification requirements and loan terms that you may qualify for under this program.

Monday, April 20, 2015

How Often Should I Refinance the Mortgage on My House?

Refinancing a home mortgage can provide you with an incredible range of benefits. These include everything from reducing your mortgage term and lowering your payments to helping you more effectively build equity or pulling equity out to use for beneficial purposes.
One common question that many homeowners ask is how often a mortgage should be refinanced.

While there are benefits associated with mortgage refinancing, there are also some points to consider before you rush into the process.

Think About Refinancing Costs

First, remember that each mortgage application will come with refinancing costs. These costs can equate to thousands of dollars in some cases, and they include title fees, lender fees, appraisal fees and more. While these costs can typically be rolled into your home mortgage so that you pay very little money out of pocket, these costs will increase the amount of debt that is tied to your home. When you refinance too often, you are negating the effects of principal reduction from your mortgage payments.

Consider the Impact On Home Equity

Some who refinance will choose a straight rate and term refinance, and they will not pull equity out of their home. Others, however, have the desire to tap into their home equity to pay off other debts, to fix up the house, to take a vacation or for other purposes. When you tap into your home equity, you may be having a negative impact on your financial situation, depending on how you use the funds.

Pay Attention To Your Final Loan Payoff Date

Before you make a decision to refinance your home mortgage, you also should focus on your loan payoff date. Many have the goal in mind of paying off their home mortgage before they retire, and this is especially true if you plan to live in the home after retirement. On the other hand, you may have plans to sell the home and downsize before retiring. Your refinance will adjust your loan payoff date, so this is an important factor to weigh into your decision making process.

You may know people who refinance every year, and you may know others who have owned their home for a decade or longer without ever having refinanced. Each homeowner has a unique financial situation.

 You can speak with a mortgage professional to learn more about the specific benefits associated with a refinance loan, and you may also keep these points in mind to assist with your final decision.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

How Does Making Lump Sum Payments Affect Your Mortgage? Let’s Take a Look

Periodically, many homeowners will receive a rather sizable amount of extra cash. This may be from a bonus from your employer, a refund on your tax return, a financial gift from a relative or something else altogether.
While there are many things that you could do with your windfall, you may be wondering if paying down your mortgage balance is a wise idea. Before you make your decision about how to spend your money, consider what impact your lump sum payment will have on your mortgage.

Reduction in Principal Balance
The most obvious impact a lump sum payment will have on your mortgage is an immediate reduction in your outstanding principal balance. Your regular monthly payments will be applied to both interest and principal, but your lump sum payment will be entirely applied to principal. Therefore, you can expect to see a rather sizable reduction in the outstanding balance, and this will have a direct and positive impact on your home equity.

More Effective Loan Payments
Your required monthly mortgage payments will not be lowered when you make a lump sum payment on your mortgage, and you will still be required to pay the same amount to your lender going forward. However, your interest charges for each month will be adjusted. Your interest will be calculated based on the current loan balance each month. A reduction in outstanding balance lowers the interest charges. This essentially makes your future payments more effective at debt reduction and reduces the amount of interest you will pay over the life of your loan.

A Change to the Final Loan Payment Date
Because each of your loan payments going forward will be more heavily weighted on principal reduction than on interest charges, the fact is that your final loan payment date can be accelerated. Depending on the amount of the lump sum payment that you make toward your mortgage, this may be an acceleration of a single month, several months or even several years in some cases.
Making a lump sum payment on your mortgage can have many positive effects for you. However, this is not the only option available when deciding how to spend or invest your windfall. Compare these benefits against the benefits of other options available to determine your best course of action. You may also speak with a mortgage professional for personal guidance and assistance.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Considering a Reverse Mortgage Loan? Here’s What You Need to Know

Many seniors are looking for a great way to improve their financial situation. Retirement or semi-retirement can be difficult due to the need to live on a fixed income. Some may have been unable to save enough in their working years, or their accounts may have been hit hard by stock market fluctuations. Still others are feeling the effects of inflation and the rising costs of medical care and general living expenses.

 If you are like many other seniors, you may not have a huge cash reserve available in your bank account, but you may have a sizable nest egg in your home. The fact is that you can tap into that equity without selling your home or taking on a mortgage payment when you apply for a reverse mortgage.

What Is A Reverse Mortgage?

A reverse mortgage is a unique type of loan that utilizes the current equity in your home and allows you to make regular withdrawals from that equity. Rather than you making a payment to a lender, the lender pays the funds to you. The terms of the mortgage are structured so that you will never owe more money on the reverse mortgage than the home is worth. When you decide to sell it or when your estate is being settled, the home’s value will pay off the mortgage. This essentially gives you the opportunity to keep living in your home and to use the equity now when you need it most.

Is This The Right Option For You?

A reverse mortgage is not suitable for everyone, but it may be suitable for you. You can easily learn more about the amount of payments that you could receive on a monthly basis if you were to apply for a reverse mortgage, and you can consider how these payments would ease your financial concerns. This loan will decrease the amount of equity you have in your home over time. Therefore, if you have plans to sell your home later and use the equity for other retirement plans, you should carefully consider if the reduction in equity is feasible for your situation and goals.
One of the best steps that you can take is to learn more about this option. You will not know if a reverse mortgage is suitable for your financial needs and long-term goals unless you take the step of speaking with a loan agent.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Understanding the Key Factors That Affect Your Mortgage Interest Rate

When you initially start shopping for a home mortgage, you may be drawn to advertisements for ultra-low interest rates. These may be rates that seem too good to be true, and you may gladly contact the lender or mortgage company to complete your loan application. However, the unfortunate truth is that all too often, mortgage applicants are unpleasantly surprised and even disheartened to learn that they do not qualify for the advertised interest rate. By learning more about the factors that influence your interest rate, you may be able to structure you loan in a more advantageous way.

Your Credit Rating
One of the most important factors that influence an interest rate is your credit score. Lenders have different credit score requirements, but most have a tiered rating system. Those with excellent credit scores qualify for the best interest rate, and good credit scores may qualify for a slightly higher interest rate. Because of this, you may consider learning more about your credit score and taking time to correct any errors that may be resulting in a lower score.

The Amount Of Your Down Payment
In addition, the amount of your down payment will also play a role in your interest rate. The desired down payment may vary from lender to lender, but as a rule of thumb, the best home mortgage interest rates are given to those who have at least 20 to 30 percent of funds available to put down on the property, and this does not include subordinate or secondary financing. If you are applying for a higher loan-to-value loan, you may expect a higher interest rate.

The Total Loan Amount Requested
In addition, the total loan amount will also influence the rate. There are different loan programs available, but one of the biggest differences in residential loans is for very large loan amounts. The qualification for a jumbo loan will vary for different markets, but these loans qualify for different rates than conventional loans with a smaller loan amount.

While you may be able to use advertised interest rates to get a fair idea about the rate you may qualify for, the only real way to determine your mortgage rate will be to apply for a loan and to get pre-qualified. You can contact a mortgage lender today to request more information about today’s rates and to begin your pre-qualification process.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Missed a Mortgage Payment? How to Ensure It Doesn’t Affect Your Credit Score

If you pay attention to your credit rating, you may be well aware that a single late payment reflected on your credit report can result in a decline in your scores.
In some cases, the decline can be rather significant, and you will have to work hard to make regular payments over a period of time to show that you remain creditworthy and to rebuild your credit score.
It is far better to avoid late payments altogether than to deal with the stress and ramifications of a late payment on your credit report. If you have already missed the due date on your mortgage loan, you may be wondering what you can do to prevent this late payment from showing up on your credit report.

Contact Your Mortgage Company Immediately

Initially, contact your mortgage company to make payment arrangements and to discuss the situation. In some cases, a mortgage company may be willing to work with you on structuring a new arrangement for the payment to be made or you may even have a surplus in your escrow account that could be applied toward the payment.
You can also determine when they will report your late payment to the credit bureaus and how much time you have before you absolutely need to make the payment to avoid credit ramifications.

Make Your Payment Before The Next One Is Due

Generally, lenders will report late payments when they are more than 30 days late. While you may be assessed a late fee after the initial grace period has expired, you may not have technical late payment in terms of what credit reporting bureaus consider to be late. Generally, if you make your payment before the next mortgage payment is due, your late payment will not show up as a late payment with the bureaus. However, you do want to verify this with your mortgage company and work with them to bring your account current.

A late payment on a mortgage can have a substantial and negative impact on your credit rating, and it can take months or even years to restore your scores to their previous level. Rather than go through the effort to try to improve your score after the fact, it is best to avoid the late payment altogether. While you may have already missed a payment and may be required to pay a late fee, it may not be too late to avoid having this event reflected on your credit report.
Contact your lender today to learn more about your options and to make your payment.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

What Factors Determine Your Home’s Resale Value? Let’s Take a Look

There are several factors that will help you determine the value of your home when you want to sell it. Location, condition, layout, upgrades, and events relating to your home are all important when selling your home.

It’s All About Location
Anyone in real estate will tell you location, location, location is the first thing to consider when buying real estate. If your home is on a busy street, it’s going to be harder to sell unless someone is looking for that exact location.

If a buyer is looking to have a business inside the home, then having more exposure could be important. However, for a family, the most sought after location is in a cul-de-sac or dead-end street where traffic is kept to a minimum.

Your Home’s Condition Is Important
The home you are selling must be in excellent condition to ensure you get top dollar. Buyers are primarily looking for a home that is in move-in condition. If it needs painting, new flooring, a new roof, or new plumbing, it isn’t as desirable as a home that doesn’t need any work. Newer homes typically are in better condition than older homes, unless they have been well-maintained.

Your Home’s Layout
Is your floorplan functional? Most buyers prefer homes with open floorplans and ample kitchens, living areas, and bathrooms. Closets are also important as everyone needs storage space. The number of bedrooms a home has can also be important. Two bedrooms aren’t as popular or functional as three or four bedrooms. It’s also nice to have a flex room that can be a study, exercise room, or a formal dining room if need be. If a smaller home is well-designed, it can be easier to resale than a larger home.

Upgrades And Renovations
If you have an older home, but have upgraded the kitchen and bathrooms, then your home will be easier to sell. Updated appliances can also be a big plus when selling a home.

Natural Disasters And Other Events
If your home has been flooded, been through a fire, or damaged from wind or a storm, then that may cause the value to be less. If a buyer happens to talk to a neighbor who tells them a negative story, that may spook a buyer and cause them to look elsewhere.