Fixed Rate Mortgage vs. a Variable Interest Rate Mortgage

variable-interest-rateIf you are shopping for a mortgage it’s important to understand that there are two main types of mortgages available to you. These are a fixed rate mortgage and an adjustable rate mortgage (ARM).  Just as it sounds, a fixed rate mortgage has an interest rate that is set to stay the same over the life of the loan. In contrast an ARM has a variable interest rate that will fluctuate over the life of the loan. You may desire the predictability of a fixed rate mortgage or prefer the low costs associated with an adjustable rate mortgage. There are pros and cons to both types of mortgages and deciding between them will require some research and a conversation with your Upper Valley Mortgage Lender.

Why Choose a Mortgage With a Variable Interest Rate?

For many homebuyers the unknowns involved with buying a home are enough without adding a loan into the mix that has a variable interest rate. However there are aspects of an adjustable rate mortgage that can be very beneficial. When you have an adjustable rate mortgage there will be a period of time at the beginning of your loan where your rate is fixed. This can range from a month to several years.

For example, a mortgage called a 5/1 ARM would feature a fixed interest rate for 5 years and after that period passed the rate would fluctuate every year thereafter. It is important to note that the adjusted rate will be based on the current interest rates so it is possible the rate could decrease and it’s also possible the rate can increase. While this may seem a little nerve wracking, the homebuyers who opt for a 5/1 ARM will receive an interest rate that is lower than what is associated with a fixed rate mortgage. For some people that monthly savings is more important than the long term stability.

If you are someone who has invested in a home that you plan to upgrade and improve and sell in 3-5 years, an adjustable rate mortgage might be right for you. You can save on your monthly payments and you can sell the home before the interest rate begins to fluctuate. It is important to note that a home loan with an ARM will usually end up costing you more if you keep it for the long term than a fixed rate mortgage. These loans are best used for short term ownership situations or if you plan to refinance in the future.

Is a Fixed Rate Mortgage Right For You?

A fixed rate mortgage means that you lock into the loan product with an interest rate that will stay the same over the life of your loan. This can be very reassuring for many people and the terms are more straightforward than an adjustable rate mortgage. It is important to note that although the mortgage payment will stay the same, your monthly mortgage bill could still increase. This would happen if you decide to escrow your real estate taxes and insurance. Both taxes and insurance increase over the years and if your mortgage lender is making these payments on your behalf, a practice many lenders require, the monthly payment due is going to change over the years. This increase is usually small and would happen if you had an adjustable rate mortgage as well.

Ultimately a fixed rate mortgage is more predictable than an adjustable rate mortgage. They make a lot of sense if you are planning to stay in your home for a very long time. If you choose a fixed rate mortgage and interest rates go down, the only way to lower your payment would be to refinance your loan.

If you are shopping for a loan program, it is really important to understand the options that are available to you and talk them over with your loan officer. There is a lot of complicated lingo that goes along with getting a mortgage and the team at Title Mortgage Solution, LLC is committed to helping you understand all of it. We want you to choose the best mortgage product for your circumstances and we are here to help you navigate the process. Contact us today to schedule an appointment with one of our loan officers.

 

 

Beware: Your Credit Score Range Can Fluctuate Between Your Pre-Qualification & Closing

CreditScoreRangeBuying a home can be a complex process with a lot of moving parts and things to keep track of. One thing that tends to get forgotten is your credit. After your loan officer pulls your credit for pre-qualification, you may think you’re all set. You use your credit cards to buy everything you’re going to need for your new house, maybe even get a new one at the home improvement store to stock up on essentials. Maybe you celebrate your stellar credit with a new car, too! Then suddenly, just before your closing date, your loan officer calls you to find out what happened to your credit and now you don’t qualify! Your credit card range will fluctuate with activity and it’s important to understand what credit is and how it works.

It may sound scary but it does happen. What we want to be sure of is to set expectations appropriately. In the mortgage process, your credit is pulled during pre-qualification and refreshed right before closing. This check is to ensure your debt situation still allows you to qualify for your mortgage. All too often this is overlooked and debt balances increase dramatically, or a new debt is added that pushes the debt-to-income ratio too high. It can be a scary situation to find out just before closing you may not qualify!

Preserving Your Credit in the Mortgage Process

So how is this scenario prevented? We recommend a few different things to do or avoid doing:

No new debt – Whatever credit lines appear on your credit report at the beginning should be the same (if not less) at closing. It is suggested to not acquire any new credit cards, purchase a car, etc. until after closing.

Do not increase balances – An increase in balance can equal an increase in payment amount for some cards. Try to avoid racking up balances that cause the increase payment and increased debt-to-income ratio. Use cash or debit cards to purchase products for your new home until after the process.

Avoid new credit inquiries – New credit inquiries will also appear on the “refresh” before closing. This will open a whole new set of questions as any new debt won’t likely appear, just the inquiry. This will make things difficult if there is new debt since we will then have to verify, which will require a lot of work in a short period of time for you. It’s best to avoid any new inquiries at all.

The mortgage process can be complex at times, and following these tips can help prevent unnecessary stress during the process. We want to ensure a quick, easy process and following these tips will help both yourself and your lender. If you have any questions please contact one of our loan officers here at Title Mortgage Solution!

Learn the Lingo! Shop for a Home Loan With This Mortgage Terminology Guide.

Mortgage-terminologyWhen you are shopping for a mortgage there are a lot of considerations. The last thing you need is unfamiliar lingo bogging you down. When you begin the process of buying a new home, make sure you use this mortgage terminology guide to help you navigate the process.

6 Key Mortgage Terms

1. Fixed-rate mortgage: When you have a fixed-rate mortgage, the interest rate on your loan stays the same for the life of the loan. Which means your monthly payments will not change. This predictability is beneficial for budgeting your expenses but a fixed-rate loan sometimes comes with a higher interest rate as compared to other loans.

2. Adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM): Your payments on an ARM will stay the same for a set period of time but they will change annually according to federal interest rates. An adjustable-rate mortgage is unpredictable in the long term but the initial interest rate is often lower than a fixed-rate loan.

3. Earnest Deposit – When you make an offer on a house, you submit earnest money that goes into escrow. The earnest money is held by a neutral third party. Those funds are then disbursed when the deal is finalized.

4. Escrow: You may also have to pay into an escrow account if your lender requires you to escrow for real estate taxes and homeowners insurance. That money is then used to pay the bill when it’s due.

5. Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI): If your down payment is less than 20 percent of the purchase price, your lender may require private mortgage insurance. You typically pay PMI along with your mortgage but it drops off once your loan balance reaches a certain marker (typically 80 percent of the original loan).

6. Closing costs: At your closing, you will be required to pay for various services associated with your purchase. This includes paperwork processing and credit reports. To avoid any surprises, carefully review the loan estimate form you receive from your lender. This document is typically sent to borrowers within three business days of receiving a loan application. It will also outline your estimated closing costs.

Understanding these and other relevant mortgage terminology can help expedite the loan process. This gives you the ability to focus on finding the perfect home.

If you are preparing for the home buying process and shopping for a home loan, contact Title Mortgage Solution today. Our experienced team will help you navigate through the process and take the time to educate you every step of the way.

 

Credit Scores: What are they? How do they work?

Credit Score ImageA credit score is a number that third parties, especially lenders, use to assess the risk of lending you money. The score is one way banks, credit card companies and other institutions determine the likelihood that you can or will be able to pay off any debts you accumulate. A higher credit score indicates that your current financial circumstances and your historical behavior demonstrate a willingness and ability to pay off any loans you may be approved for. This number leaves many individuals asking themselves, how does a credit score work?

The Components Of Your Credit Score

The makeup of your FICO score is broken up into a bunch of major factors: Payment History (35%), Debt Burden (30%), Length of History (15%), Types of Credit (10%), and Recent Credit Searches(10%). Let’s take a look at how these components fit into creating your overall credit profile.

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How Your Credit Score Impacts A Mortgage Loan

Your credit score can impact your mortgage loan in two ways: Whether you can get approved for a financial product in the first place, and what interest rate you may have to pay if you are approved. The higher your FICO score the more likely you are to get approved for a loan, and the better the interest rate associated with that particular loan will be. Lower scores may disqualify you for a product completely or can raise your interest rates significantly.

Why You Have Three Different Credit Scores

Given the above components for your credit score, why do consumers have three different scores? This is because there are three different credit bureaus that independently calculate your score: Experian, Equifax and Transunion. While the three companies use very similar processes for determining your credit score, there are small differences in how they’re done. Another complication is that the three bureaus may not all have the same information about you in their systems when making these determinations. This often occurs when an account in your credit history has been reported to one bureau but not another.

Credit Utilization

Credit Utilization or Debt to Limit ratio is often brought up when discussing the Debt Burden component. It is one of the pieces that make up this piece of your FICO score and is a measure of the total amount of debt on your credit card accounts against the total limit allowed on those accounts. A lower credit utilization, meaning your average balance is lower relative to the total amount you could have on your cards is better for your score.

This ratio can come into play when you might otherwise consider canceling an existing credit card. Even if you don’t use that card, as long as it doesn’t have any fees associated with having it around, your credit utilization figures look better because of the larger total credit limit overall. This also means that requesting a higher credit limit on existing credit cards can help your credit score since it will help lower the overall ratio.

Late Payments

The most common problem consumers face in the payment history component is late payments. Whether it was because you simply forgot or were struggling to make ends meet, being late on a monthly payment for your credit card or a loan will usually cause a negative adjustment on your credit score. How late you were and how many times will determine the adjustment.

Considering Age of Account When Canceling Cards

The credit history length can come into play when considering how you should deal with something like an old credit card. It may be better to keep it open then close it and lose the good long term credit history.

Consult with your Loan Officer Before Canceling or Opening Any New Debt

The best advice we can give is to consult with an experienced loan officer to advise you on what will help you to obtain a mortgage and buy a new home. Involve your lender in the house buying process early on for a more seamless transaction.

Your credit score plays a big role in determining your ability to qualify for a loan as well as how much interest you will pay over the life of the loan. If you are considering buying a house in the near future discuss your options with a loan officer to evaluate your current credit score and discuss your next steps before you apply for any new loans or credit cards or close any accounts. Contact Title Mortgage today to talk with one of our experienced loan officers.

 

 

5 Tips to Making the House Buying Process Seamless

5 TIPS - - To Making The House Buying Process SeamlessWhether you’re a first time home buyer or going through the buying process again, being financially prepared and aware of the house buying process is key for a successful purchase. At Title Mortgage Solution, LLC we want to ensure that the process of buying a house is a seamless transaction, and in order to help you be prepared below are 5 valuable tips.

1. Know your Budget

Before you begin your quest for your new home, make sure you know just how much you can afford. Take a good look at your finances by evaluating your current debt to income ratio and carefully consider how financing a home will impact your budget. Please use our helpful loan calculators to estimate your payment for different loan amounts, interest rates, property tax, property insurance and amortization terms.

2. Get Your Finances in Order

Your credit scores and credit history will play a key role in securing a mortgage. When preparing to buy a home, it is a good idea to know what your credit is like. Take advantage of FREE credit reports to identify and correct any errors. By staying on top of your credit, you could secure lower, more affordable rates, which will award you with lower monthly payments, and potentially help bring down your closing costs.

3. Get Pre-Qualified

With today’s competitive housing market buyers should get pre-qualified for a loan prior to house hunting. During the pre-qualification process your loan officer is going to be reviewing your credit history, employment history, income, and assets. This essentially allows the lender to determine how much you can afford from a financing standpoint. Make sure that you share all past, current, and future financial information with your mortgage professional to ensure that there are no complications after you have gone under agreement to purchase a home. In order to get pre-qualified please contact one of Title Mortgage Solution licensed mortgage professionals. We are here to assist you 24hrs a day, 7 days a week.

4. Create a Wants vs. Needs List

When shopping for a home, list the features or amenities that are most important to you. Being in a certain school district, or homes with a pool etc. Establishing “your criteria for amenities” early on will save you time during the house buying process. Once you’ve written the specifics, prioritize your lists. Put things your new home must have at the top, and put wants (things you’d like to have but don’t need) towards the bottom.

5. Find a Real Estate Agent

Having a real estate buyer agent assist you when buying your new home will help you immensely. They provide you with key advice and resources throughout the purchase to help ensure a successful transaction. Get referrals from friends and family or search local realtors online to find one that is the best fit for you. Share with them your budget, pre-qualification, and wants and needs list and let them help find the perfect home for you.

If you are about to start the house buying process contact Title Mortgage today! Our loan officers can help you quickly obtain your pre-qualification and prepare you for the loan process. Call us at 603-643-1400.

Could New Standards Mean Higher Credit Scores?

credit-reportAccording to an article published by CNBC contributor Jessica Dickler, consumers may see higher credit scores if improved standards are implemented on July 1.

Equifax, Experian and Transunion are continually seeking ways to ensure they maintain accurate and current information, but the number one consumer complaint is that information is inaccurate, and the time it takes to update it is too lengthy. Changes will include improved standards, removal and updating of some civil debts and tax liens and stricter identity-matching criteria. The CNBC article states these changes could boost an estimated 12 million consumers’ FICO scores by up to 40 points or more, according to statistics provided by the Wall Street Journal.

These new standards could mean the difference in consumers’ ability to not only obtain a loan, but get more preferable rates on such loans.

What Does My Credit Score Mean?

Your credit score is an important factor in your daily life. The score is calculated by looking at your payment history and how timely you are at repaying your debts. Next it looks at how much debt you have. It will also evaluate the length of your credit history, the types of credit you have and any new credit.

A credit score above 740 is considered excellent, 680-740 is good credit and 620-680 is acceptable. Credit.org has a valuable infographic to better understand the credit score levels.

Your credit score determines the interest rate that you will have on your loans as well as if you will even be approved for the loan at all. The difference of 40 points can make a huge difference for the borrower. According to the CNBC article, if the issues with the reporting is addressed and rectified, it could result in billions of dollars in benefits for the consumer.

Jessica Dickler states in her article that, “The CFPB has come under fire by the Trump Administration with the White House and congressional Republicans exploring ways to fire CFPB Director Richard Cordray if not abolish the office altogether.”

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is credited with providing the supervision and attention that has resulted in the 3 largest credit score reporting agencies evaluating how they do things. The loss of this office or Cordray as the director would like result in this work in progress being “stopped dead in its tracks.”

If your credit score is holding you back from applying for a mortgage, don’t wait. You can start making changes to improve your credit score immediately. When you’re ready to apply for a home loan, contact one of the experienced loan officers at Title Mortgage today. We pride ourselves on offering a variety of loan programs to better meet the needs of all of our customers.

What is Escrow? Unraveling The Myth!

What-Is-EscrowWhat is escrow? “Escrow” is a term thrown around a lot in the mortgage industry, but to many clients it is a mysterious word their loan officer says when asking, “Would you like to escrow?” It can throw any first time buyer for a loop in a process that can already seem overwhelming. So what does it mean to “escrow” and what are the benefits? Escrowing typically involves the monthly tax and homeowner’s insurance payments, as well as private mortgage insurance. Most of our borrowers do choose to escrow these payments, but perhaps it’s not for you. So we will unravel the mystery to help you decide which option is best for you!

What if I choose NOT to escrow?

If you choose to NOT escrow, your monthly mortgage payment will consist of just the principal and interest. You will personally pay your property tax bill to your town office, typically two to three times a year. You will also pay your homeowner’s insurance directly to your insurance agency on a frequency based on what you establish with them. This can seem like a lot of work but is an option for borrowers who may like to have personal control over these payments.

What if I choose to escrow?

If you choose to escrow, your total monthly mortgage payment will include these items as well as the principal and interest for the loan. The payment goes directly to your lender each month and they will hold the escrowed amount until the taxes and insurance bills are due. As an example, say your tax bill is due twice a year. For the first six months of your loan you will pay the lender a monthly amount for taxes, and each month the escrow account grows by that amount. At the end of the six months and the tax bill is due, the escrow account will have enough in it to pay the bill. The lender will then pay the town office the tax due for you. The same applies to the homeowner’s insurance. The lender takes care of these bill payments which can take a lot of headache away, all by just including it in your regular monthly payment!

When choosing to escrow you will also “fill” these accounts initially at closing, paying for a full year of homeowner’s insurance up-front, as well as the first month for the escrow account and approximately six months for the tax escrow account. This ensures the first payments are made and the future monthly payments will apply to the next insurance and tax bill.

The mortgage process can be overwhelming, and we’re here to make it easy and convenient for our borrowers. If you have any questions about what escrow is and whether it’s the right choice for you, feel free to reach out to any of our loan officers here at Title Mortgage Solution!

 

Title Mortgage Offers Competitive Mortgage Programs for Residents

Physician SpecialTitle Mortgage Solution is a fully licensed mortgage lender servicing New Hampshire and Vermont with offices conveniently located in the Upper Valley and Burlington, VT. Both of these areas are college towns with a variety of professional studies including well respected medical schools. Title Mortgage Solution works with many mortgage partners to service your loan and we fund your purchase or refinance with our own money. This gives us the ability to offer innovative and competitive loan products such as our 100% financing program.

The 100% financing program is unique because it requires no money down, has no mortgage insurance requirements and there is no income limit. All of which makes it easier to qualify.

It is our goal to offer loan products that meet the needs of our customers. Vermont and New Hampshire continue to maintain a strong real estate market and the rental market can be competitive with a limited supply at a high cost. Graduate students and residents often opt to make a home purchase instead of renting. This program is the perfect solution for a medical or professional student who know they will be in the area for a few years.

Ideal for Professionals & Residents

 

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In addition to our 100% financing loan option, we offer a variety of other loan programs to meet your needs as a borrower.

  • Conforming Loans – The most common loan type used by borrowers today. We offer long-term fixed rate and adjustable loans that meet Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac loan limits.
  • Non-Conforming (Portfolio) Loans – Portfolio loans do not meet secondary loan requirements for one reason or another. These loans are held by banks in their portfolio.
  • FHA Loans –  An FHA loan is a mortgage that is insured by the Federal Housing Administration. Borrowers with these loans pay mortgage insurance to protect the lender in the event that the borrower were to default on the loan.
  • VA Home Loans - The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Loans are available to active duty service members and veterans who meet the requirements of credit score, income, and have a Certificate of Eligibility.
  • Jumbo Loans – Any loan amount over $417,000 is considered a ‘Jumbo’ loan.
  • Imperfect Credit Loans – At Title Mortgage we understand that no everyone has excellent credit. Imperfect Credit loans allow those with less-than-perfect credit scores qualify for competitive rate loans.
  • Unique Properties – For those trying to finance a property that doesn’t fit the mold, Title Mortgage can help.
  • Land – We offer aggressive financing options for the land you want to purchase.
  • Construction Loans – When you are looking to build a new home, discuss your loan options with us. We offer one-time closing construction loans, as well as both fixed rate and adjustable rate options.

Contact the Title Mortgage team today to discuss your lending needs and let us help you make your home ownership dreams a reality.

110 Main Street
Suite 4A
Burlington, Vermont 05401
Phone: (802) 242-2000

7 Lebanon Street
Hanover, New Hampshire 03755
Phone: (603) 643-1400

Title Mortgage Solution Introduces: The Second Look Program

SecondLook2Title Mortgage Solution, LLC is excited to introduce our new SECOND LOOK PROGRAM, and it’s FREE! The Second Look Program is a simple no obligation process that allows you to compare mortgage rates, closing costs, and service before committing to a lender. By having a licensed mortgage professional take a second look you could discover that your bank/lender is charging unnecessary fees, higher interest rates or steering you into their loan programs with risky features that don’t fit your financial goals. You might even learn you qualify for a loan where others have told you, you don’t.

When you have a major medical decision to make you get a second opinion. When you have major car problems you get a second opinion. When making one of the largest financial decisions of your life why not get a second opinion? Whether you’re a first time home buyer, upgrading your home, downsizing or just looking to refinance make sure to have Title Mortgage take a second look. With innovative loan products, and flexible lending guidelines you will find that we frequently have loan programs that other banks/lenders can’t offer. We are a local lender and have stripped away the layers of delays and frustration built into the old banking systems by using automated loan-decision software, electronic document gathering and secure online communications. Our goal is to offer a wide variety of home loan programs, processed quickly, efficiently and more importantly cost effectively to you.

How Does the Second Look Program Work?

1. Call us! If you are interested in our Second Look Program the first step is to reach out to one of our loan officers.

2. Set up an appointment! We will work with you to set up a meeting with your loan officer. For your convenience we can do this in person or over the phone.

3. Have your loan estimate or fees worksheet in hand. Bring your loan estimate or fees worksheet to your meeting or send it along in advance if you are having a phone meeting. Your loan officer will review the numbers and take the time to show you areas where you can save on your loan.

4. No loan estimate? No problem! Title Mortgage can often help people qualify for a loan when another lender cannot. Give us the opportunity to review your financial information and we may be able to help you find a loan program that works for you.

5. You decide what happens next! After you’ve completed the Second Look Program you decide what happens next. Title Mortgage Solution would love the opportunity to service your loan but this no obligation program requires no commitment so the next step is up to you!

Our new Second Look Program gives buyers the opportunity to shop for their loan before committing to one of the biggest financial agreements of their lives. You cannot lose by taking the time to have another mortgage professional look at your loan options. Contact Title Mortgage today to schedule your appointment with one of our loan officers and find out if we can save you money on your home loan.

Debunking The Myth of 20% Down!

Empty PocketsListen up! Did know you don’t need to put a 20% down payment on a house purchase?

That’s right! Today’s conventional loan requires a qualified borrower to put only 5% down, and an FHA loan only requires 3.5% down.

The National Association of Realtors recently noted that millennials represent the largest share of homebuyers, at 32%, and make up 68% of first-time homebuyers. This may come as a surprise to those folks reading articles about how millenials never buy homes. How can it be that so many millennials — a generation that is moving back in with mom and dad and has historic amounts of student debt — are managing to enter the housing market, even overcoming the mortgage rules of thumb of a 740 credit score, 43% debt-to-income ratio and a 20% down payment on a house?

Here’s How:

Here is a closer look at these programs:

FHA Loans

What is an FHA Loan?

FHA stands for the Federal Housing Administration, and its loans help borrowers who have less money to put down or may not qualify for other loan types. Through FHA, the U.S. government provides the lender with borrower-paid mortgage guarantee insurance. This means the borrower has to pay for mortgage insurance for the life of the loan. As a result, lenders are willing to approve borrowers that don’t meet the higher standards for conventional loans.

Why Would I Want an FHA Loan?

The primary reason people choose an FHA loan is simple: FHA loans allow you to put as little as 3.5% down when buying a house. FHA loans also offer relaxed credit and debt-to-income requirements compared with conventional loans. This is a prime way millennials are getting into the housing market. FHA also allows the seller to contribute up to 6% of the purchase price towards buyers closing costs & pre-paid items. This is twice the amount allowed on a conventional loan.

What is the Downside of an FHA Loan?

The biggest downside can be the cost — government-provided mortgage insurance adds 1.75% to the loan amount and requires a monthly fee of .85% of the loan amount. This monthly fee lasts the life of the loan.

How do I Get Rid of Mortgage Insurance on an FHA Loan?

An FHA loan carries mortgage insurance for the life of the loan. The only way to remove it is to refinance to a conventional loan when your home equity has increased to a point that you have an 95% loan-to-value ratio; remember that if you make a 5% down payment on your home, for example, your initial loan-to-value ratio would be 95%. Note that the loan-to-value on an FHA loan is 98.25% at time of closing ( 96.5% + 1.75% upfront fee) on average it takes two years for your loan to be at 95% of the original sales price.

Conventional Loan Programs

What is a Conventional Loan?

A conventional loan is neither insured nor guaranteed by the federal government, and it must meet guidelines set by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

How do I Qualify for a Conventional Loan?

In general, there’s a limit of $424,100 for single-family homes. In some high-cost counties (counties in CA) the limit can be as high as $625,000.

These loans require that a borrower have a minimum FICO score to qualify. Lenders will have their own minimums beyond the Fannie and Freddie guidelines, but a 620 credit score is often a starting point. A score over 740 will most likely get you the best rates.

There are various loan programs and the minimum down on a conventional loan can be as little as 3%: the so-called “Conventional 97” is backed by Fannie/Freddie, so rates are low, borrowers may receive reduced private mortgage insurance, but income limits do apply per county.

What is the Downside of a Conventional Loan?

The downside of a conventional loan is that if you use one to buy a house with less than a 20% down payment — meaning your loan-to-value ratio is higher than 80% — you have to purchase private mortgage insurance, a monthly expense which is typically .52% but can be up to 1.5% of the loan amount depending on a borrower’s credit rating.

Make no mistake, putting 20% down is a good idea if you can do it. It’s how you avoid mortgage insurance. But paying PMI for a time might be acceptable if it means actually getting into the housing market and building equity.

How do I Get Rid of PMI?

Unlike an FHA loan — which carries mortgage insurance for the life of the loan — the mortgage insurance on a conventional loan will fall off as soon as the loan-to-value ratio reaches 78% because of the Homeowners Protection Act. At 80% a borrower can request that the PMI be eliminated.

What this means is that, if your home is appreciating steadily, you’ll be in good position to see your mortgage insurance disappear. Another way to get rid of PMI is to keep track of the comps for recently sold homes in your neighborhood. If you feel that your home is undervalued, you can always order a new appraisal to determine whether your home equity is such that you can eliminate the PMI.

You can also refinance your loan, if rates have dropped, which can both save you money while reducing or possibly eliminating the PMI.

VA Loans

What is a VA Loan?

The U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs backs loans as a benefit for active-duty military personnel, veterans and some spouses/widow(er)’s. VA loans come with great terms for those who qualify.

VA loans can be either fixed rate or adjustable rate mortgages. This type of loan can only be used for your primary residence, and you can only have one VA loan at a time.

Why Would I Want a VA Loan?

VA loans have 0% down requirement and do not require mortgage insurance. And while credit scores matter in order to qualify for the program, minimum requirements are currently 640.

How do I Qualify for a VA Loan?

You qualify for a VA loan if you are a veteran, active duty personnel in any branch of the U.S. Armed Forces, or a spouse/widow(er) of one.

The take away is that in today’s mortgage environment it is not necessary to make a 20% down payment on a house that will be your primary residence. At Title Mortgage Solution we offer a wide variety of loan programs to ensure we have the best options for our clients. When you sit down with one of our loan officers we will work diligently to find the loan program that is the best fit for your circumstances.

 

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