FHA Home Loans Help Homebuyers in 2017

FHA Home LoansFHA home loans help homebuyers from all across the country attain their dream of homeownership. Historically, FHA loans offer more leniency on loan qualifying parameters than any other type loan which makes homeownership available to homebuyers who might otherwise not qualify.

FHA home loans are able to offer easier loan qualifying because of the mortgage insurance premiums which protect lenders from loss if the borrower defaults. Two mortgage insurance premiums are required on an FHA loan, no matter how much of a down payment you make.

Up Front Mortgage Insurance Premium – This upfront premium is rolled into your financed amount and is 1.75% of your loan amount.

Annual Mortgage Insurance Premium – This amount is paid monthly as a part of your monthly total mortgage payment. This rate was just reduced for loans with terms greater than 15 years.

Find out if you qualify for an FHA mortgage, click here.

FHA has reduced its monthly mortgage insurance premiums, near premium rates not seen since prior to Fall of 2010. The previous monthly rate was 0.85% on loans with a 3.5% down payment. That rate has now dropped to 0.60%, effective with transactions dated January 26th or later.

Lower Monthly Mortgage Insurance Premiums Accomplishes Two Things

Lower Payment and Increased Savings

The annual mortgage premium is paid monthly as a part of your total monthly mortgage payment. The lower mortgage insurance premium saves you money on your monthly payment. On a $300,000 loan amount, the lower mortgage insurance premium will reduce your payment by about $62 per month.

Increased Buying Power

The increase in buying power enables you to qualify for a larger loan amount. If you qualified for a maximum loan amount of $300,000, with the lower monthly premium, you will qualify for about $11,000 more. This means you will be able to purchase a home with a price tag of around $14,000 to $15,000 more.

Find out if you qualify for an FHA mortgage, click here.

More good news for FHA Home Loans

FHA home loan limits were increased for 2017 making more homes eligible for FHA buyers. The new loan limit for Dallas-Fort Worth increased to $362,250…up $27,600 from last year which means more homes are available to FHA homebuyers.

FHA home loans require a minimum 3.5% down payment. With the increase in the maximum loan amount to $362,250 in the Dallas-Fort Worth (DFW) area, you can purchase a home with a sales price of $371,539. This means more homes are available to you for FHA financing.

Find out if you qualify for an FHA mortgage, click here.

Be sure to take time to learn all your options to find out if an FHA loan is the right loan for you. Once you know your options, then take action to secure your pre-approval.

The best way to discover your options is to answer a few questions here or feel free to contact me here.

Veteran Home Loan Top 10 Benefits

Did you know the Veteran home loan is available to Veterans, service members and unmarried surviving spouses?  Yet only 12% of those eligible for a Veteran home loan actually have them.  That means 88% of people who have served our country and are eligible for homeownership benefits, that they earned, are missing out.  Are you missing out?

If you are a United States veteran…thank you for your service, and welcome home!  See if you qualify for your VA homeownership benefit, click here.

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Here are the Top Ten Benefits of a Veteran Home Loan:

  1. Veteran Home Loan doesn’t require a down payment.
  2. Veteran home loan benefits can be used over and over again.
  3. There is NO Mortgage Insurance.
  4. You won’t be denied a loan based soley on a low credit score.
  5. Despite a foreclosure or bankruptcy you still may be able to obtain a Veteran home loan.
  6. They are guaranteed by the government.
  7. If the borrower has a service related disability, they may qualify for the lender to waive the funding fee, further reducing closing costs.
  8. Veteran home loans are assumable to another eligible veteran.
  9. Seller contributions are allowed!
  10. Both fixed rates and adjustable rates are available.

The Veterans Administration has increased the VA Home loan limits from $417,000 to $424,100 beginning January 1, 2017.  This means you can buy a home using the VA home loan benefit with zero down payment.

It’s easy to get started, click here.

The United States military is the largest employer with over 3.1 million employees worldwide. There are approximately 1.6 million veterans in Texas alone.  Yet too many are not aware of the benefits, so they aren’t taking advantage of this great opportunity.  If you know someone who is a veteran, be sure to pass this information along.  They earned it and we owe it to them to share this information!

If you are a US Vet, again, thank you for your service.  We take a lot of pride in assisting you, our military, in using this well deserved benefit.  You’ve done more than your fair share for me, my family and every other person in America.  We are here to support you and assist you with your home financing, whenever you are ready!

 

Home Loan Limits Increase for 2017

After ten years, the Federal Home Finance Agency (FHFA) will increase its conforming home loan limits for 2017, increasing home buyers financing power.  The conforming limit has not budged since it was raised to $417,000 in 2006, just prior to the financial crisis.

Discover how much home you qualify for, click here.

Conforming home loan limits, which apply to all conventional mortgages delivered to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, are set each year by FHFA.  Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are restricted to purchasing mortgages with loan balances at or below the conforming limit set each year.

According to the 3rd quarter House Price Index report,  home prices are now, finally, above the 3rd quarter home prices of 2007.  After 10 years, home prices have returned to their pre-decline level prompting FHFA to increase the baseline conforming limits.

Conventional and VA Home Loans

The conforming loan limits apply to both conventional financing as well as Veteran home loans (VA Loans).

The 2017 conforming loan limits will increase to $424,100 on January 1, 2017 for single family residences.  Two to four family unit limits are also increasing.

Home Loan Limits 2017

Loans that exceed the established conforming loan amount are commonly referred to as Jumbo loans.  Jumbo loans are typically not backed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac, and the eligibility requirements and guidelines are stricter.

Find out how much  home you can afford, click here.

High-Cost Areas

In 2009, loan limits were raised in certain areas where the median home price exceeded the national area.  These are referred to as high-cost areas. There are 234 high-cost areas nationwide which include New York City, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Alaska and Hawaii.

Since the baseline conforming limits will be higher in 2017, the high-cost loan limts are increasing as well to $636,150, which is 150% of $424,100 for one-unit properties.

What does this mean for you?  You can finance a higher priced home without falling into the Jumbo category which carries tougher guidelines.

Find out how much home you can afford, click here.

 

Veterans Day Tribute

Veterans Day is a day we celebrate, honor, and pay our respects to those who have served our great country. Today belongs to them.  Men and women who made the decision to be “all in” for every single one of us.

We will likely never be able to comprehend the commitment required of a Veteran.  We sleep soundly in our beds, night after night, because our men and women stand ready, selflessly, to protect our freedom. They are tough and their hearts are huge.  If you know one, you know exactly what I’m talking about.

veterans_day

Several of my family members have served as well as many close friends. I am overwhelmed with gratitude and respect for what they have been willing to sacrifice, and continue to sacrifice.  It causes me to love them that much more.

Too often we take our freedom for granted.  Today, and every day, remember and be thankful.  Show honor and gratitude to  our veterans, because they more than deserve it.  When you encounter one of our military, take a moment to stop and thank them.

Our flag flies with freedom because of these brave men and women.  God bless America, and God bless our Veterans.

 
 

Honor Our Military
by Joanna Fuchs

Let’s honor our military,
The men and women who serve,
Whose dedication to our country
Does not falter, halt or swerve.

Let’s respect them for their courage;
They’re ready to do what’s right
To keep America safe,
So we can sleep better at night.

Let’s support and defend our soldiers,
Whose hardships are brutal and cruel,
Whose discipline we can’t imagine,
Who follow each order and rule.

Here’s to those who choose to be warriors
And their helpers good and true;
They’re fighting for American values;
They’re fighting for me and you.

Home Prices May Head Higher This Fall

home-fall-2016

Fall is here but home prices haven’t shown much sign of cooling off.

Home prices live in a supply & demand world.  And just a few days ago, the National Association of Realtors® Chief Economist, Lawrence Yun says there will be an expected seasonal decline in new listings in the coming fall and winter months, which could accelerate home prices.  No big surprise.

Housing Supply: Where are the Homes?

Housing supply measures how many months it would take to sell all the houses currently listed for sale, at the current pace of home sales. For example, if there are 600 homes currently listed for sale, and an average of 100 homes are selling each month, there would be a 6-month housing supply. This is because it would take 6-months to sell all the homes currently listed for sale.

A buyer’s market is anything more than 6 months. A seller’s market is anything less than 6 months. 

Housing supply has been running below 6 months across the US since 2012.  The Dallas metroplex is running an anemic 2.7 months inventory –  which indicates an extremely strong seller’s market. Buyers are competing with multiple offers… in some cases dozens of offers on the same house. This tells us that home prices are poised to continue going up in the next several months.

Housing Demand: What’s the Trend?

“Dozens of offers” on the same house gives you a clue.  Housing demand tends to slow down in the fall because most people want to move during the spring and summer while school is winding down.  Not so this year.  Housing demand is expected to remain strong because the economy is doing okay and people have jobs in most parts of the country.  

According to the Texas Workforce Commission*, non-agricultural jobs grew by 21,400 and 2900 government jobs were added in the month of August. Year to date, the Dallas metroplex has experienced a 3.5% job growth. With scores of companies continuing to move into the Dallas metroplex, demand will continue to remain hot.

Home Prices: Where are they Headed?

Home Prices NARThe national median existing-home price for all housing types was $240,200 in August, up 5.1% from a year ago. It’s even more for the Dallas metroplex market where the median home prices hit $285,000** (scratching my head, home prices that low are hard to find!).  In the South, which includes Texas, home prices are up over 6% from a year ago.

In addition, the Realtors® Buyer Traffic Index indicates Texas remains a great market.  The map below represents data collected July – August 2016 and shows an expectation of price growth for Texas at 3% – 4% over the next year.  The August report indicated more respondents viewed home buyer traffic conditions as “strong” rather than weak.  The report reflects the level of home buying demand which may result in a contract to purchase within 2 to 3 months.  Home Prices Grow

With housing supply at a paltry 2.7 supply level and likely to remain low, coupled with strong employment growth (which is the prerequisite to demand),  continued upward movement in home prices over the fall months is highly probable.

Please contact me for specific information on housing supply, housing demand and home prices in your local area.

*Texas Workforce Commission, TLMR, Sept 2016
**Real Estate Center, Texas A&M Univ, Housing Activity Report

USDA Home Loans Fees Reduced

usdaUSDA has reduced its fees on home loans.  USDA home loans are guaranteed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. These home loans are 

Eligible homebuyers are able to obtain zero down financing for homes through the USDA program.  In addition, USDA loans have reduced monthly mortgage insurance premiums, compared to FHA loans and feature below-market mortgage rates.

And now, there’s more great news for borrowers who want to take advantage of zero down payment and  historically low home loan rates.

USDA Reduces Some Fees

The U.S. Department of Agriculture is reducing some of its fees for home purchase and refinance loans, effective October 1, 2016 and will remain in effect until September 30, 2017.

Under the new guidelines, USDA announced it will lower both its upfront fee and its annual fees (which is actually paid monthly).  As a result, this will help make payments more affordable.  The upfront fee is reduced from 2.75% to 1% of the total loan amount. The annual fee, which is paid monthly, will also be reduced from 0.50% to 0.35%.

Here’s what this looks like for a $100,000 loan amount:

usda

In this example, the homebuyers payment after the fee reduction is $750 less for the upfront fee and the monthly payment on the annual premium is provides more than a $12 monthly savings.  While that may seem small,  for many homebuyers this could make a big difference.

As a result, more homebuyers will be able to achieve the American dream of homeownership.  

USDA provides qualifying borrowers the opportunity to own a primary residence in eligible rural areas.  Find out more about the program in this article, 100% Home Financing with USDA Loans.

If you or someone you know would like to see if you qualify for a USDA loan, or if you have any other questions about home loans, feel free to call or email me today.

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