Top 10 Real Estate Markets for First Time Home Buyers

Home prices have completely stabilized and the shortage in housing supply is fast becoming a thing of past. Great news then for potential homebuyers who have come right into the mix! Only time will tell whether we are nearing the tail-end of the present cycle but from the looks of it, the market is certainly becoming a lot more receptive for new buyers; not only in terms of median values but also in terms of asking price quoted by sellers. Starter homes were definitely cramped in the recent past but the situation has…continue reading →

The Complete Guide to Qualifying for the HomeReady Program

Haven't saved quite enough money for a down payment on a home? How about zero money of your own saved, but your family will gift you money towards a down payment? Or maybe there's no possibility of receiving a gift of money from anyone in your family - but you still want to buy a house. Is there any hope? You'll be happy to know there are more paths to homeownership now than ever before. You might qualify for the Freddie Mac Home Possible, or Home Possible Advantage mortgage programs we talked about…continue reading →

The Complete Guide to Qualifying for the Home Possible Program

Saving to buy a home while you watch prices and interest rates increase feels like an impossible goal. You checked into FHA loans and learned it only requires 3 ½% of the purchase price as a down payment. But then you learned about the high, and permanent, mortgage insurance premiums. No thanks. Well, don't give up on your dream of homeownership! Consider these loans offered by Freddie Mac: the Home Possible loan requiring a minimum of 5% (of the purchase price) down payment and the Home Possible Advantage, allowing a minimum of 3%…continue reading →

The Best Things to Do Now to Get Your Finances Mortgage Ready

Somethings in life take a little preparation. Like going on a first date, decorating for the holidays, and applying for a mortgage. Imagine the outcome if you did zero prep work for the first two occasions? So why do so many people miss the obvious fact that applying for a mortgage has its own set of behind-the-scenes preparations? Yes, you could find a house and connect to a mortgage company on the spur of the moment act of bravado. But are you sure about what the lender will tell you? Do you already…continue reading →

11 Tips For Millennial First Time Buyers. My #CreditChat with @Experian

I was recently invited by Experian to attend their #CreditChat on Twitter to answers some of the top burning questions for the Millenial First Time Home Buyers. Here are the 11 questions and my answers. Q1: What are some important things millennials should keep in mind before they begin the homebuying process? A1: If you think your job is extremely mobile and/or your income uncertain, you shouldn't be buying a home yet.  If renting offers the flexibility like dating, home buying requires the commitment of being married. So, home buying is as much a…continue reading →

How is an FHA Loan Different From a Conventional Mortgage

Now that you've decided to jump into the home buying process, it's time to face the alphabet soup of mortgage loans. From the outside, it looks like a jumble of meaningless letters, acronyms, and silly names like FHA, VA, Fannie Mae, and Freddie Mac. What do they all mean and how do you know which one is right for you? In this blog post, I'm going to help you learn some primary differences between an FHA loan and conventional loans, which includes Fannie, Freddie, and Jumbo loans. Be prepared - many of the…continue reading →

0%-10% Downpayment Options for Your Next Home Purchase

You do the math, then check the balance in your savings account, and then do the math again. By your calculations, it'll take another three, maybe five (!) years to save enough for a 20% down payment on your first home. What's worse, home prices keep rising, and that's pushing the timeline further away. If only there was a way to make it happen sooner and use the money you've already saved. The good news is there are loan options that allow home buyers to make less than the traditional 20% down payment.…continue reading →

What Exactly Do You Get Pre-Approved For?

You're finally ready to become a homeowner, and you want to do everything right in the process. According to your research, realtor, family, and friends - the first step is getting pre-approved by a mortgage lender. The problem is, no one can explain what exactly 'pre-approved' means. A mortgage pre-approval approves you for only one number and that is NOT the purchase price. A loan pre-approval is not a loan officer doing a quick review of your information and generating a maximum purchase price that you can afford. In reality, a pre-approval is…continue reading →

Borrowing Down Payment from 401k or IRA for Home Purchase

Securing a down payment is often cited as the biggest challenge for buying a home - both for First Time Home Buyers and Move-up Buyers. To overcome these challenges, you can consider borrowing from retirement funds - 401k and IRA. Here is how it works. Borrowing Against 401k for Down Payment   How Much Can I Borrow From My 401k? You can borrow 50% of your vested balance or $50,000 whichever is lower. How Do I Pay It Back? The repayment term is usually between 5 and 15 years. The payment which includes…continue reading →

FHA Loans Insurance Premiums (MIP/PMI) – Rates + Calculator

Ultimate guide to Upfront and Monthly Mortgage Insurance Premiums (MIP/PMI) rates for FHA purchase loans and (streamline) refinances. FHA charges both an upfront mortgage insurance premium and monthly mortgage insurance on almost all the loans it insures. On December 23, 2011, President Obama signed into law the Temporary Payroll Tax Cut Continuation Act of 2011 which required FHA to increase the annual mortgage insurance premium. However, changes were made again in January 2015 to reduce the mortgage insurance premium to make FHA loans more affordable to First Time Home Buyers. The most recent…continue reading →