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Homestead Financial Mortgage

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Category: home purchase

A common question home loan applicants have regarding income qualification of a purchase or refinance home loan is, “Do we make enough income to qualify for a purchase or refinance home loan using just one of our household incomes?”
Using just one of the household incomes can come into play in many scenarios when getting approved for a home loan. For example, Jim, in Arnold, MO is a painter but it is difficult to verify his income or, Mike, in Kansas City, is in transition between jobs but is married and his wife has stable employment. For underwriting purposes, using just one of the household incomes that can be verified may be the best route to get approved for a new home loan, while still maintaining both parties ownership rights to the home. Especially, if it is difficult to document one of the household incomes. Continue reading “Qualifying for a Mortgage with 1 Person of a 2 Income Household”

With a depressed housing market on the mend, this presents a great opportunity people looking to buy their first home. As is with most first time home buyers, cash is at a premium. Today we’ll talk about a clause in a real estate purchase used to help called seller concessions.

What are seller concessions?

Seller concessions, like it sounds, is where the seller of a home, “concedes” some of their proceeds to help the buyer pay for mortgage and other closing costs and or prepaids on the purchase of a home. The offer to buy the real estate normally comes with a minor upward adjustment to sales price to allow the seller to get to the same net figure. If done correctly, this can reduce the amount a borrower has to bring to closing by thousands of dollars.
How do seller concessions work?

For example, Michelle, in Kansas City is buying a home for her first time. She wants to buy a home for $200,000, qualifies for a 95% mortgage and has roughly $10,000 to put down. Michelle can offer $204,000 with $4,000 in seller concessions. The math works out as follows:

No Seller Concessions With Seller Concessions
Purchase Price $200,000 $204,000
Closing Costs and Prepaids $4,000 $4,000
Seller Concessions $0 $4,000
Total Due $204,000 $204,000
Loan Amount $190,000 $193,800
Due at Closing $14,000 $10,200

The above example illustrates how offering a higher sales price, but asking for seller concessions to pay for closing costs allows the seller to get to their target sales price but helps the buyer get into their home with the minimum amount of cash possible. The mortgage balance is a little higher but the change to payment is negligible and cash is at a premium.

To conclude, the use of seller concessions will help a buyer purchase a new home when money for closing costs is scarce. This helps credit worthy buyers purchase homes and sellers obtain what they were hoping to get out of their property.

It’s an election year and with unemployment not getting any better, stocks going nowhere and news that the housing market isn’t out of the woods yet, many people are left wondering if now is a good time to buy a home. Despite what you hear in the news, there are still cases when buying a home still makes sense.
Continue reading “Is Now a Good Time to Buy a Home?”

Closing on a home is not something people do every day. Buying a home is one of the biggest investments a person will make in their lifetime. So it’s important to be prepared when you’re finally ready to close. The following tips will help.

Smoother Closing – Having Things Prepared

Before you sign any mortgage loan paperwork, it’s important that you have thoroughly inspected the property you’re buying. It’s better to know your new home needs a new roof before you sign the papers rather than to discover it once the deal is done. In addition to the required home inspection, many experienced homebuyers also make arrangements with the real estate agent and seller to have a trusted friend or repairman take a look at the property for a second opinion about any necessary repairs.
Continue reading “Tips for a Smoother Closing”

You put your home on the market several months ago but your neighbor’s home sold faster than yours. Why? Because they followed their realtor’s advice, making their home “sparkle.” Realtors know that it takes a lot more than a new roof for buyers to feel comfortable buying a home. When buyers see a well-cared for home, they are often correct that what they can’t see is most likely maintained too. So how do you as a homeowner make your home sparkle? Here are some tips for getting your house ready to sell.
Continue reading “Getting Your Home Ready to Sell”

With depressed real estate markets across the country and an often confusing process, purchasing a home is a much scarier prospect than it used to be for first-time home buyers. Knowing the steps to take to get you to your goal is essential. Here is a road map to help you prepare to buy your first home.

When it comes to buying a home it seems like you have to put the tail before the dog. In other words you should figure out how much house you can afford and a lender who will loan you money at an attractive rate with good terms before you go house hunting. Some people are lucky enough to have generous parents or grandparents give them the cash they need for a down payment while others find a seller willing to help them with closing costs. Continue reading “Tips for Buying Your First Home”

Lenders are a lot more cautious these days making buying your first home with bad credit seem like mission impossible. Trouble is circumstances have changed in the past few years with new loan limitations making it harder for people to get loan approval. While there are things you can do to maximize your chances of getting a loan, you should ask yourself some tough questions before investigating loan options.

First, consider if buying a home is good for your financial situation. Owning a home can be a lot of pressure with costs like homeowners insurance, repairs and property taxes many first time homebuyers have not had to pay before. Buying a home is one of the biggest lifetime investments many people will make. So you’ll have to do some soul searching to determine if owning a home is right for you.
Continue reading “Buying Your First Home with Bad Credit”

After closing on a new home, many homeowners know a new house doesn’t feel like home when you first move in. Whether it still smells like the previous owners or it’s bigger than your previous home and the rooms just feel empty, it’s challenging to make your new house feel like home during that first week after the move. Here are some ways to make your new space your own, playing on all your senses.

Scents have powerful effects on us and your favorite smells can play a big role in making you feel more relaxed and at home in the new house. Light candles or incense throughout the rooms. To rid the house of the previous owner’s scent, or the smell of fresh paint, spray Febreze in all the rooms. The goal is to give your new home the same smell and atmosphere as your old one. Continue reading “Making Your New House Feel Like a Home”

Relocating is challenging and can be especially scary for children. Guiding your child through the experience with patience and knowledge can make your family’s transition into your new home a fun adventure. Your current home may be the only one your child has ever known. Part of your child’s feeling safe in your existing home is his familiarity with the area, his neighborhood friends, the parks, schools and everything around it. From your child’s point of view, these items won’t exist anymore. Understanding your children’s concerns and needs will lessen the stress of the move for you and your family.

It’s important for parents to understand that kids have different concerns at different ages. For preschool children, moving elicits fears of being left behind or separated from their parents. Older kids between the ages of 6 and 12 have concerns about how their daily routines will be impacted. Teenagers worry about what a move will do to their social lives and about fitting in at their new school.
Continue reading “Helping Your Kids Adjust to the Move”

When Tom and Becky started their home search they checked their credit scores first. Tom’s was a respectable 730 and Becky’s was 710. They did their homework too, shopping around for the best interest rate and getting prequalified for a loan before they started going to open houses. A short time later they found the perfect home at the right price.

On the night of their scheduled closing they were ready to sign when their closing officer’s cell phone rang. He handed Tom the phone. Their rate was much higher than Tom expected and the loan couldn’t be approved after all.

It’s a scenario many potential homebuyers fear. And while it is rare, it does happen. It happens when prospective homebuyers go on credit card binges, buying big ticket items for their new home like furniture, paint and appliances once their loans are approved.
Continue reading “Loan Closing Tips: What Not to Do”

Quick Facts video 3: How capacity (your ability to repay) impacts your ability qualify for a mortgage loan.

How likely are you to be able to pay back your mortgage?  Steady employment is the best determinant of your ability to repay.  W2 wage earners are viewed as most stable from an underwriting standpoint because their income is easily documented.  Overtime, commission, and self employment income are considered less stable and are more difficult to document.

YES!               W2’s and tax returns prove steady employment

Maybe             Overtime, commission, self employment

NO way!         stated income loans (no documentation)

In our current market, full income documentation in the form of W2s and/or tax returns are required whether you’re self-employed or a wage earner. Stated income programs, which don’t require proof of income, are a thing of the past.

What is DTI?  Debt-To-Income ratio or DTI expressed as a percentage is the most important ratio to know when qualifying for a mortgage. You compute your DTI by dividing your total monthly obligations by your monthly before-tax income.

Debt-To-Income Ratio or DTI  =  Monthly obligations / Monthly pre-tax income

For example, if a borrower has a $250 auto payment, $150 in credit card payments, and a mortgage payment of $850 per month, then monthly obligations total $1,250. If your gross income is $4,000 a month then your debt to income ratio is 32%. A good rule of thumb is that you want a DTI no higher than 40%.

$250 + $150 + $850 = $1250 (monthly obligations)  /  $4,000 Monthly Income (pre-tax)  = 32%

Recommended DTI is 40% or less.

Another factor that impacts your ability to repay is the amount of liquid assets you have. Lenders want to see that you have enough cash reserves to cover your mortgage in “case of a rainy day”. Acceptable assets for reserves include checking, savings, and retirement accounts, as well as any other liquid cash accounts.

Saving for a rainy day pays off!

Checking, Savings, and Retirement Accounts as well as any other liquid assets make you more likely to be able to repay your mortgage.

Thanks for viewing our quick facts Capacity video, I hope you found it helpful.  If you have any questions please feel free to call us, our loan officers are friendly and ready to help!

Our loan officers are happy to answer any questions!  So give us a call at 800-Homestead-8! (A text file of this video can be found on our website)

So kids, you want to buy a home in St Louis?  Homestead Financial is a Mortgage Company in St Louis and Kansas City with answers to the most common questions and the information you will need to qualify for a mortgage loan.

  • How do I qualify for a mortgage?
  • What does my credit score need to be?
  • How do I improve my credit score?
  • How much down payment do I need?

Let’s start with the 3 C’s of qualifying for a mortgage: Credit, Capacity, and Collateral.

Credit, Capacity and  Collateral

CREDIT: You used to be able to get a decent interest rate and big mortgage with a credit score at or around 580. Now it takes at least a score of 640, if you are below that, you’ll have to work on improving your credit.

580 with X thru   640 underlined or circled

There are many ways to improve your credit score, but paying bills on time and keeping balances low are the best places to start.

Ways to improve your credit score:

Rule no. 1   Pay bills ON TIME

Rule no. 2    Keep credit card (and other monthly debt balances) LOW

CAPACITY: You need to be able repay your mortgage loan and support that ability to repay with documentation. Borrowers must prove sufficient income as well as demonstrate an acceptable debt-to-income-ratio. In other words, your documentable income must be good, but you also cannot be carrying a lot of debt. It’s a good idea to reduce your credit card debt as much as possible before beginning the home buying process.

Most recent pay stubs, W-2 (last 2 years), tax return (for self employed last 2 years)

A debt-to-income ratio below 40% is recommended   for example: $2000 monthly obligations/$5,000 gross mo income = DTI of 40%

COLLATERAL:    Today most banks want borrowers to put down 20% of the purchase price of the home. However, there are many programs offered by the FHA as well as Mortgage Insurance Companies that insure mortgage lenders against loss while providing options to help consumers buy or finance homes with less than 10% down.

Recommended down payment is 20% of the home purchase price

OR

Reduce required down payment amount with:

FHA programs (such as 1st time home buyer programs)

PMI (private mortgage insurance)

Thanks for viewing our 3C’s quick facts video, I hope you found it helpful.  If you have any questions please feel free to call us, our loan officers are friendly and ready to help!

Our loan officers are happy to answer any questions!  So give us a call at 800-Homestead-8!

Clinically put, Private Mortgage Insurance, or PMI or MI, is insurance that will help to protect a lender from loss in the case of a default by the borrower. MI is almost always required on loans with less than twenty percent equity. That means, if you are purchasing a home with less than twenty percent down or refinancing to more than eighty percent of your home’s value, you will be required to pay mortgage insurance. While it is a payment that the borrower pays to insure another party, it does have its benefits.

How is mortgage insurance charged?

There are a couple of ways MI is charged. There is Monthly MI, which is computed based on various factors such as credit score, LTV(Loan to Value), and term, then there is MIP(Mortgage Insurance Premium) which is charged up front, and most of the time added to the loan amount. Some programs charge one or the other, while some, (Gulp) charge both. In some cases, there is an add on to the interest rate which pays the premium, called Lender Paid MI. (LPMI)

Why should I pay MI?

Simply put, if you don’t have 20% to put down on a mortgage when you purchase or refinance, then be happy you get to pay MI. For example, in Kansas City and St. Louis, the average home sales price is right at $145,000. I don’t know about you, but I didn’t have 20% down ($29,000) sitting around in my checking when I purchased my first home.

Having MI to purchase a home allows most buyers to get into a home with as little as 2.5% down in some cases. So without the benefit of MI, purchasing a new home would be very difficult.

However, here are some tips to be as efficient as you can with the premiums you pay.

How to pay as little MI as possible

  1. Save as much money as you can. The larger the down payment, the lower the MI, and/or MIP.
  2. Keep your credit score as high as possible. Remember, the minimum score to get a home loan these days is 640. The higher the score, the lower the MI.

How to get out of paying MI if you are already paying

  1. Most MI contracts cancel when you pay the loan amount down to 78% of the original value of the home at purchase or value on the last refi. However, that takes almost 10 years if you put down 5%.
  2. The 2nd way to get out of paying MI, is by refinancing your home assuming you have built up 20% equity through a combination of principle payments and appreciation. However if you are content with your existing loan, you should call your lender to see on what conditions they will cancel your MI.

To summarize, while MI is a premium you pay to insure someone else’s interest, it helps people buy homes and refinance homes with less that 20% equity and with some good planning and discipline, there are ways to keep the premiums to a minimum.