St. Louis Mortgage Help

With significant changes to the tax code taking effect this year, homeowners and prospective buyers are revising their plans to take advantage of its sweeping changes. Here’s an analysis based on information from the National Association of Realtors and NerdWalllet.

Tax Rate Reductions. Joint filers with incomes of $77,400 to $400,000, which will include most first-time buyers, will see their tax rates decline from two to four percent when they file their 2018 taxes next year.

Mortgage Interest Rate. Changes in the mortgage interest rate—lowering the cap to mortgages worth o $750,000 from 1 million and excluding interest paid on home equity loans— would affect only the wealthiest first-time buyers directly. The changes will make second homes and equity loans more expensive for first-time buyers in the future.

State and Local Taxes. The new law limits the amount of property taxes and other state and local taxes to $10,000 a year. First-time owners, as well as current owners, will lose the ability to deduct thousands of dollars that they can deduct in 2018, increasing the cost of homeownership, especially in high tax states like New York and California. In the State of Missouri most First Time Home Buyers homes will not have an annual property tax anyway near $10,000.

Student Loan Interest Deduction. Potential first-time buyers and their parents who have been burdened with student loan debt will lose the ability to deduct the interest they pay on their loans. As a result, it will cost them more to pay off their debts to reach a DTI that would qualify them for a mortgage. 

Personal Exemptions. Personal exemptions for filers and their dependents, worth $4,150 each in 2017, was eliminated in the new tax law.

Moving Expenses. Taxpayers have been able to deduct some moving expenses related to their employment, but this deduction is eliminated in the new act.

Standard Deduction. Taxpayers must decide whether to take the standard deduction or itemize their deductions. In the past, most homeowners have itemized to take advantage of the mortgage interest deduction and the deduction for state taxes, including property taxes. The new law doubles the size of the standard deduction from $6,000 to $12,000, or $24,000 on a joint return. According to Zillow’s Alexander Casey, under the current setup, roughly 44 percent of U.S. homes are worth enough for it to make sense for a homeowner to itemize their deductions and take advantage of the mortgage interest deduction. Under the new law, that proportion of homes drops to 14.4 percent. 

Impact on First-time Buyers: NAR’s research department modeled examples of homeowners as different income levels, mortgage sizes, and family sizes.  

A single first-time buyer who purchases a home costing $205,000 and takes out a 30-year fixed rate mortgage at 4% interest. She puts down 3.5 percent. Assuming she buys early in 2018, her first-year mortgage interest would total $7,856, and she would pay real property taxes of $2,050. Under the old law, her taxes for 2018 would fall by $2,098; Under the new law, her taxes would rise by $30. Moreover, the difference between renting and owning was $2,098 under the prior law but shrinks to $637 ($6,060 - $5,423), or $53 per month.

A family of five with an income of $120,000 that buys a $425,000 home with a 10 percent down payment on a 30-year fixed mortgage at a 4 percent. Under the old law, they would save $3,219 by buying. Under the new law their taxes would decline only $100, but if they had remained renters, they would receive a tax cut of almost $2,400. Under the prior law, the tax benefit of buying a home was $3,219. Under the new law, they will get a tax cut $948 ($8,999 - $8,051), a much weaker incentive to buy.

 

Posted by Bob Rutledge on February 14th, 2018 4:23 PM

The 3% Down Alternative to FHA

It seems that a lot of people think that Conventional financing requires a minimum down payment of 20% or more.

I am shocked at how many folks I speak to every day that think that a conventional loan is not an option for buying a home with a low down payment.

Both Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the conventional mortgages, have special loan programs available that, based on your income, and/or the geographic region you are buying in, allows you to buy with as little as 3% down payment.

Normally Better Credit is Best

With normal conventional loan programs they tend to favor better credit scores, through their risk based pricing they punish borrowers with lower credit scores with costs to the lender that increase interest rates if you are not perfect in the eyes of Fannie or Freddie.

If you’re one of those homebuyers, or homeowners that has excellent credit to decent credit, but not a lot of equity or money for a down payment, you may be surprised at conventional loan options offer.

Fannie Mae HomeReady

Fannie Mae’s HomeReady program is designed to meet the diverse needs of today’s buyers using flexible underwriting guidelines for credit worthy low-to-moderate income borrowers trying to finance a home.

HomeReady Better Features

  • Income from non-borrowing household members can be considered as a compensating factor to allow debt to income ratio greater than 45%, up to 50%.

  • Can use income from rental unit and boarder income for qualifying.

  • Allows non-occupying borrowers, like a parent, to help meet debt to income requirements.

  • Financing up to 97% loan to value for the purchase of a one-unit principal residence.

  • Financing up to 95% loan to value for limited cash out refinances, or 97% loan to value if mortgage being refinanced is owned or guaranteed by Fannie Mae.

  • You are NOT required to be a first time home buyer to qualify for this program

  • Private mortgage insurance is discounted, in many cases below that of FHA and a regular conventional mortgage.

  • Gifts, grants, community seconds, and cash-on-hand can be used as a source of funds for down payment and closing costs.

  • Nontraditional credit is allowed.  An example is rental history, or utility and insurance payments.

    Qualifying Requirements for HomeReady

    Borrowers using HomeReady are required to meet certain criteria that are not necessarily required if you’re using a traditional conventional loan with a maximum loan to value of 95% (5% down payment for purchase).

    Homeownership Education Requirement – A homeownership education course may be required unless you have previously taken a course required by a community seconds program, or if you’ve completed a course from a recent attempt to purchase another home.

    Income Eligibility – HomeReady is available to any homebuyer or homeowner that meets the income limits of the property location.  The income limits may be waived if the property is located in a “targeted” low-to-moderate income Census Tract.

    You can look up the income and property eligibility by entering the address of the home you’re interested in into Fannie Mae’s Eligibility Search Tool Here

    Freddie Mac Home Possible Mortgages

    Freddie Mac’s Home Possible mortgage offer low down payments for low-to-moderate income homebuyers, or buyers in high-cost or underserved communities.

    Freddie Mac offers two different low down payment options, Home Possible 95% Loan to Value, and Home Possible Advantage 97% Loan to Value. I will only address the 97% or 3% down payment option.

    Home Possible 97% Features

  • Maximum loan to value 97%.  Minimum 3% down payment for purchase.

  • 1-unit single family unit homes, condominiums, and planned unit developments are eligible.

  • Flexible sources of down payment.  Down payment can come from a variety of sources, including friends and family, employer-assistance programs and secondary financing.

  • No cash-out refinancing is available up to 97% loan to value for borrowers who occupy the property.

  • Income flexibility.  Borrowers with income above the area median income (AMI) may be eligible in high-cost areas.  No income limits in underserved areas.

  • You can check eligibility by using Freddie Mac’s Home Possible Income & Property Eligibility Tool Here.

  • Private mortgage insurance is discounted, in many cases the monthly mortgage insurance is well below that of a regular conventional mortgage and below that of FHA

  • All borrowers must live in the property.  Non-occupying borrowers not allowed at 97% loan to value.

    How Do I Choose The Best Option?

    There is very little to no difference between the costs and interest rates of these two programs, so it comes down to your financial situation that may determine which option is best for you.  In a sense, the best option chooses you.

    FHA, HomeReady, or Home Possible should all be considered for many home buyers that in the past were placed only in a FHA mortgage. What use to be has changed, if yesterday you were a FHA mortgage today you may have a better option

    A common example is if you have student loans with Income Based Repayment (IBR) payments. FHA, Freddie Mac, and Fannie Mae all handle this situation differently.

    Another example is that the targeted income and property lookup tools offer different results.  If you look up a property using Fannie Mae’s HomeReady lookup tool, you may make too much income to qualify, whereas if you look up the same property using Freddie Mac’s Home Possible lookup tool, you may qualify. FHA does not have a maximum income limitation.

    If you are considering a new home purchase and want a low down payment option you need to consider a mortgage lender that has experience with FHA, Home Possible, and HomeReady, and is willing to consider all possible options for you.

    If you want to talk with me about what options are available to you please contact me, Bob Rutledge, at 314-628-2218 or email me at brutledge@usa-mortgage.com

Posted by Bob Rutledge on January 24th, 2018 10:08 AM

The VA mortgage program does not have a required minimum down payment, it is a 100% mortgage. But, there are closing costs involved in the VA mortgage as there is in all mortgage. WHO pays for closing costs is much different with the VA mortgage than it is with any other mortgage program, another benefit to the veteran borrower.

A common way to remember which costs a veteran is allowed to pay for is to remember the acronym ACTORS. That stands for:

  • A  Appraisal
  • C  Credit Report
  • T  Title Insurance
  • Origination Fee
  • R  Recording Fee
  • S  Survey

These are common charges found on most every VA mortgage and while they can vary a bit by amount; these fees are the ones that can be paid for by the veteran. But what about these charges?

  • Attorney
  • Underwriting
  • Escrow
  • Processing
  • Document
  • Tax Service

These fees, and others, are example of charges that the veteran is not allowed to pay. Even though the VA lender requires a processing and an underwriting fee in order to approve the VA loan, the veteran may not pay for these charges and any other fee deemed "non-allowable." So if the veteran can't pay them, who does?

The Seller Can

Non-allowed closing costs can be paid by the seller of the property and is typically the initial method of dealing with such charges. As part of a sales contract, the buyer can say, "We'll pay you $200,000 for this home as long as you pay for $3,000 in closing costs."

Paying for a buyer's closing costs is considered a seller concession, and is limited to four percent of the sales price of the home. If a home sells for $200,000, then the seller can only pay $8,000 of the buyer's costs.

Such concessions can be used to pay for the buyer's VA funding fee, loan costs, property taxes and insurance among others.

The Agent Might

A real estate agent representing the buyer can contribute toward closing costs in the form of a credit at the closing table. Real estate agent commissions are paid for by the seller of the property and typically represented as a percentage of the sales price.

When a real estate agent brings a buyer to a seller and there are two agents, the listing agent and the selling agent, the commission is typically split between both agents. If the sales commission is six percent, each agent gets three percent each for their services. Some states don't allow the practice of an agent contributing toward a buyer's closing costs so check to see if it's okay in your area.

The Lender Can

The lender can offset part or all closing costs with a lender credit. Lenders can offer a credit to a borrower by adjusting the borrower's interest rate. It's like paying a point to get a lower interest rate but in reverse.

For example, a VA borrower applies for a 30 year fixed rate VA mortgage and is offered a 3.75 percent rate. The lender offers the buyer a lower rate if the buyer pays one point, or one percent of the loan amount. The choice is 3.75 with no points or 3.50 with one point.

In the other direction, the lender can offer 3.75 percent with no points and 4.00 percent with one point credit to the borrower. On a $200,000 loan, the lender can increase an interest rate by about one-quarter of one percent and the borrower gets a $2,000 credit toward closing fees.

The Borrower Can

The seller can pay, an agent can pay, the lender can pay but the borrower also has one more way to pay non-allowable closing costs. Recall that an origination fee is an allowable charge.

In lieu of charging the borrower non-allowed fees, the lender can charge a one percent origination fee instead of itemized non-allowable charges for things such as attorney or underwriting charges.

Closing costs on VA loans are indeed a different breed compared to FHA or conventional loans, especially with regard to who is responsible for any particular fee. If there are any questions about who pays for what, those questions should be asked directly to your loan officer. VA costs can be confusing, there's no need for them to be.

If you have questions go to www.bobrutledge.com and learn more or call Bob Rutledge with USA Mortgage directly at 314-628-2218.

Posted by Bob Rutledge on January 8th, 2018 10:31 AM

At the start of many mortgage application I hear my borrowers tell me that they had started the process of 'fixing' their credit BEFORE they spoke with me or any other mortgage lender. This is a mistake that has hurt so many potential home buyers. This is especially true when it comes to collections on your credit report.

Collection companies have done a great job over the years of convincing consumers that paying off collections will raise their credit scores. Many are actually surprised to learn that paying off collections will actually LOWER their credit scores.

Collections are usually reported on the credit as a “9” status or collection account. This means the account has already been "written off" and assigned to collections by the creditor. Once an account is reported this way on the credit report, the damage to the credit score is irreversible, unless that item is removed completely from the report.

If the account is paid off, the collection company reports that the account now has a $0 balance, but they do not usually delete the item off the report. The account has already become a collection, and the risk of the consumer defaulting on another account is already very high, due to that collection.

So their credit score will not go any higher if it is paid off, because paying off a collection after the fact, doesn't lower the risk of defaulting in the future.

However, the DATE OF LAST ACTIVITY is updated to the date the account was paid off. So if that account was sent to collections 3 years ago, the date of last activity is 3 years old and the impact to the credit score is not as much. But if the consumer pays off that collection today, they just update the date of last activity to today's date, many times causing the scores to go DOWN as a result.

Crazy isn't it? 

Also, if you have medical collections most mortgage programs will not require you to remedy medical collections, in essence....we ignore them. Yes, they may be hurting your credit scores, but there are usually other methods available to you to increase your scores.

Before you start doing your homework to purchase a new home please contact me or another mortgage professional. Allow us to pull your credit report for you and to discuss what is the best course of action to take, you may be surprised how easy it really is to get your credit scores higher.

Posted by Bob Rutledge on January 2nd, 2018 11:51 AM
"Can I refinance my home if I have no equity in my house?" "I am underwater on my home can I refinance?" "How can I get cash out of my home if I have no equity?" These are just a few of the questions I get asked as a Mortgage Loan Officer.

The answer is YES, you can refinance just about any mortgage to just about any mortgage program with little to zero equity in your house!

FHA Mortgages; this is one of my favorites because there are all sorts of way to make FHA work for you. If you already have a FHA Mortgage utilizing the FHA Streamline refinance works well for those with little to no equity in your house because it doesn't matter. The FHA Streamline does not require an appraisal in most situations, they will actually use the last appraisal of your home. There is no cash out at closing with a Streamline refinance only rate and term changes.

If you do not have an FHA Mortgage or can't do a Streamline Refinance FHA allows for a rate and term refinance up to 97.75% of the appraised value. If you need cash out of your home the loan to value for an FHA cash out refinance is 85% of the appraised value. In both of these situations the lender will require a new appraisal. If you would like to learn more about the FHA Mortgage click the link.

FHA has a special loan program called the FHA 203k Renovation Mortgage, if you are looking to use the equity in your home to make improvements or remodel your home this may be your solution if you have little to zero equity. The FHA 203k will allow you to borrower 110% of the appraised value of your home. The appraisal value for a FHA 203k is based on what your home will be worth once your home improvements are completed, basically giving you a valuation on your home on the future work to be done. You will have refinanced your current mortgage plus received the money needed to make the improvements to your home. I am a Certified FHA 203k Removation Mortgage Specialist and can help. If you would like to know more about the FHA 203k Renovation Mortgage follow the link.

VA Mortgages, 100% of the value of your home! No matter the type of refinance of your current VA mortgage you can borrow up to 100% of the appraised value, this includes cash out refinances. Yes, you can get cash out of your home up to 100% of the new appraised value.

Are you someone that served in the United States Armed Forces and you don't current have a VA mortgage. First, thank you for your service to the country, it is appreciated. Second, you need to consider refinancing to a VA Mortgage, follow the link to learn more.

Conventional Mortgage, Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac, 95% is the maximum rate and term refinance you can do with a conventional mortgage. If you want to do a cash out refinance you are very limited in your loan to value to 80% of the new appraised value. Nothing really special about conventional mortgages. 

Fannie Mae has a renovation type mortgage very similar to the FHA 203k Renovation Mortgage, the Fannie Mae Program is called the HomeStyle Renovation Mortgage. If you want or need a conventional mortgage AND you are want cash out for improvements to your home the Homestyle renovation mortgage will allow you to borrow up to 95% of the new appraised value. Now you have refinanced your current mortgage plus received the funds to improve your home. I close many renovation mortgages every year, if you have questions please feel free to contact me.

USDA Mortgage, no cash out refinancing with a USDA mortgage, but you can refinance to lower your interest rate and/or shorten your term with little to zero equity.

HARP, the Home Affordable Refinance Program, this program was developed my our Federal Government for the sole purpose of allowing home owners to refinance their home when they have little to zero equity. The HARP refinance will allow for you to refinance your home even when you are underwater. If you would like to learn more about HARP please click on the link. 

If you would like to talk about refinancing your home, especially if you have little to no equity in your home please feel free to contact me. 
Bob Rutledge Mortgage Loan Officer

St. Louis MO, St. Charles MO, Kansas City MO, Springfield MO, Columbia MO, Cape Giradeau MO, Branson MO, Jefferson City MO
Posted by Bob Rutledge on March 24th, 2017 3:11 PM

Loans For Remodeling, Mortgages for Renovation or Fixing Up, Home Loans for Rehabbing, Home Improvement Loans. There are a lot of different options available to you to borrow the funds necessary to complete the project you have in mind for your home or soon to be home.

You currently own your home and want to make improvements or upgrades? You are looking at purchasing a new home and are considering a fixer upper? There are home loans and mortgages available to you!

The FHA 203k Renovation Mortgage is the best known mortgage option to help a home owner or home buyer with home remodeling and renovation funding. The FHA 203k is a first mortgage that combines the sales price and the renovation costs as a combined new first mortgage when you are purchasing a new home. If you already own your home the FHA 203k would be used as a refinancing or replacement of your current mortgage.

The FHA 203k can be used to make just about any home improvement you can consider or think of. Want to add a second story to your ranch? Looking to upgrade all your appliances? Add a new room? Expand your garage? Landscaping? If you would like to learn more about the FHA 203k visit my webpage; http://www.bobrutledge.com/fha203krenovationloan

One of the great advantages of the FHA 203k is that you don't always need to have equity in your home. The FHA 203k will allow you to borrower 10% over the after completion appraised value. So if you are short on equity to start use this program to make equity building improvements and build new equity in your home.

The Fannie Mae HomeStyle Renovation Mortgage, this is the near FHA 203k equal but a conventional renovation mortgage option. All the improvements that you can make with the FHA 203k you can do with the HomeStyle Renovation Mortgage. If you are considering getting a swimming pool you cannot go with the FHA 203k but you can get it done with the Fannie Mae Home Style Mortgage.

The HomeStyle mortgage can be used as a refinance or replacement of your current mortgage or it can be used as a new purchase mortgage for those homes that need some extra work to make them your home. The minimum down payment or equity position is 5% or the appraised value or sales price.

The big advantage the HomeStyle Renovation Mortgage has over the FHA 203k is mortgage insurance. If you have 20% equity in your home or a 20% down payment you will not have a monthly mortgage insurance payment. If your loan to value ends up being more than 80% but less than 95% there is a possibility of not having a monthly mortgage insurance payment, mention it if you are interested in this option.

Cash Out Refinance, no matter what type of mortgage you have on your home you can refinance to get cash out of the equity you have in your home. Each mortgage, except USDA, has their loan to value limitations based on a new appraisal, FHA is 85%, VA is 100%, and Conventional is 80% loan to value based on a new appraisal in many instances.

Home Equity Second Mortgages and Loans, many times these are referred to as Home Equity Lines of Credit or Home Equity Second Mortgages. Professionally, I do not have the ability to provide any of these mortgage programs but I do have resources to help you with finding the right HELOC for you.

Many times these types of loans are shorter in term, require much more equity in the home, have higher interest rates, and are harder to qualify for. But, the times are changing and I am starting to see these programs loosen up. Talk with your bank to start, then a credit union or two, and then ask me if I can help. There are positives and negatives associated with these loans but they have a very useful purpose.

Did You Know? In many instances the FHA 203k, HomeStyle, and Cash Out Refinances have tax advantages that Home Equity Loans do not. This is especially true if you utilize the mortgage interest deductions on your Federal tax returns. Consult your tax preparer before making this decision.

There are a few more options available to you when it comes to financing your home improvements and remodeling projects. Consider asking your Contractor to finance the costs, many bigger companies can do this or provide you with a private lending company. But, look at the terms and conditions and compare with some of the options above. Ask you contractor if you can make payments during the work phase, many will take a percentage upfront, during, and at the end.

I am a Mortgage Lender with USA Mortgage and I am a Certified FHA 203k Specialist, I close either one or more FHA 203k and/or HomeStyle mortgages nearly every month. I closed my first renovation mortgage nearly 20 years ago. You need and want a mortgage loan officer like me if your are wanting a home loan for fixing up you house, remodeling, renovating, improving, or rehabbing.

USA Mortgage has offices in the St. Louis MO area, plus Kansas City MO, Columbia MO, Springfield MO, Jefferson City MO, Branson MO, and Cape Girardeau MO. I am located in the St. Louis and St. Charles MO area but help borrowers throughout the State of Missouri, if you have questions or want help please feel free to contact me.

Posted by Bob Rutledge on March 14th, 2017 2:43 PM

A Jumbo Mortgage is a home loan that exceeds the maximum loan limit of either Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac. In St. Louis and Kansas City MO that maximum loan amount is $424,100.00, so if you have mortgage higher than this number it is considered a Jumbo home loan.

It has been very standard that lenders required a minimum down payment on a Jumbo mortgage of at least 20% of the sale price, over the last year or so that minimum down payment has started to shrink.

If your mortgage amount was close to the conventional loan limits it was possible to do a split loan for many borrowers, to get that borrower a lower down payment. You would have at least a 80% conventional first mortgage and then a 10% second mortgage, which would then require a 10% down payment from the borrower. These split loans are still very popular and I help many Jumbo home buyers with this type of mortgage.

There are advantages to the split loan, lower interest rate, no mortgage insurance, flexible second mortgage options, and of course a 10% down payment instead of the normal 20 percent down payment. The #1 disadvantage is that your sales price cannot drift too far from the conventional loan limit.

Of late we have had the opportunity to offer low down payment Jumbo mortgages to home buyers and Jumbo home owners for refinances without having to go the split loan route. We have several 5% down payment mortgage program options available as well as 10% down payment options.

Many of these low down payment Jumbo mortgage options will provide a variety of Adjustable Rate Mortgages, 3 year, 5 year, 7 year, and 10 year ARM options, as well as fixed rate options.

Debt ratios are a little more flexible with these newer jumbo programs in that they will allow for a higher debt ratio than the guidelines for a conventional mortgage.

To help with those borrowers who have a difficulty with proving income there are a some added nuances to these programs that help provide income to the application. For instance there is the Asset Depletion income addition. On qualified asset accounts, retirement accounts or brokerage accounts for example, we can apply a formula to those assets and apply a specific amount as your income without you ever having to withdraw those funds from the asset account. This can help with debt to income qualification and strengthening a borrowers application.

Many of these new programs are now available not just for primary residences but also for second homes.

You can use these new programs not only for purchases but for rate and term refinances, AND cash out refinances.

If you are considering a low down payment Jumbo mortgage you need to look into some of these new programs that are now available with more coming. I would welcome the opportunity to discuss these programs with you, how they can match your situation, and the best possible options to help.

A low down payment keeps your money working for you at a higher rate of return than most homes in the area in most instances.

Posted by Bob Rutledge on February 9th, 2017 1:39 PM

Zero Down Payment Mortgage Options in the St. Louis MO area

Low Down Payment Options in the St. Louis MO area

There are many low to zero down payment options available in the St. Louis MO area and throughout the entire State of Missouri. These options are available to first time home buyers and any home buyer through mortgage programs or down payment assistance help.

Every mortgage program has a low down payment option, the lowest down payment requirement comes with both the VA mortgage and the USDA mortgage program. Both the VA and USDA mortgage are zero down payment mortgage programs.

Throughout the State of Missouri there are geographical areas that are eligible for the USDA zero down payment home loan. In the St. Louis MO area there are areas in Jefferson County and St. Charles County eligible for zero down mortgages.

Are you a veteran of the United States Armed Services? If you are a veteran then one of the VA benefits available to you is the VA zero down payment home loan. I consider the VA mortgage the #1 best mortgage available!

Both Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, these are also called the conventional mortgages, have multiple low down payment programs. The lowest down payment with either program is 3 percent, but there both Fannie and Freddie have two different 3% down payment programs. There is what I will call the regular conventional 3% down payment home loans, that go by all the regular conventional underwriting guidelines.

Then there is the Fannie Mae Home Ready and the Freddie Mac Home Possible 3% down payment mortgage program. This program is designed to help more people become home buyers, there are more flexible underwriting guidelines to help, better interest rates than the regular conventional mortgage, better mortgage insurance rates, and a lot more to help you become a home buyer. I have been using this program a lot more lately since it was first rolled out.

The FHA Mortgage Program, is the best known of the low down payment mortgage programs, FHA has a minimum down payment requirement of 3.5% as long as your credit score is above 580. If the qualifying down payment is below 580 there is a required 10% down payment.

The FHA mortgage is known for helping many people with low to no credit scores become home buyers. The underwriting guidelines for FHA mortgages are the most relaxed in the industry and is sometimes referred to as a first time home buyer mortgage program but it is not just for first time home buyers.

The lender I work for, USA Mortgage, has come out with our own 1% down payment program that has been helping a lot of new home buyers in the St. Louis MO area. The USA Mortgage 1% down payment program works hand in hand with the Fannie Mae HomeReady program to make for a very flexible low down payment option.

If you can't utilize the VA or USDA mortgage programs to get a zero down payment, there are ways to get your down payment paid for you through down payment assistance programs.

BTW, down payment assistance is not just for first time home buyers! There are down payment assistance programs that serve only first time home buyers but the State of Missouri, MHDC, and the Next Step down payment assistance program is not only for first time home buyers.

The MHDC programs, First Step and Next Step, will prove up to a 4% assistance to be applied toward your down payment, closing costs, or both.

There are also many local down payment assistance programs in various counties and/or cities throughout the St. Louis area that will provide down payment help from $3,000 to $5,000 depending on where you purchase a new home. St. Louis City, St. Louis County, Florissant, Jefferson County, many cities in St. Charles County, and unincorporated St. Charles County provide a down payment assistance program that will cover some if not all of your down payment.

Confused? You don't have to know it all, that is why you hire a mortgage specialist like myself to help you. If you want to know or learn more you can find a lot of detailed information within my website at www.bobrutledge.com or you call me at 314-628-2218. Please feel free to ask me all your questions, I answer questions every day.

Posted by Bob Rutledge on January 24th, 2017 11:30 AM

You Are Not Alone

I recall the feelings that ran through me when I felt compelled to file for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, I felt as though I was an outcast and ashamed that I could not handle my obligations. For a very long time I barely admitted it to myself much less my friends.

Now I realize that I did not have a solid handle on my finances and it took a couple small set backs to put me into the position of bankruptcy. But, when I look back I see a life lesson that was provided to me and has been instilled well into the fabric of my personal life. I will not allow this to happen ever again. It is this exact lesson that Underwriters and Mortgage Lenders are looking for from borrowers when it comes to providing a mortgage approval for a home buyer after a bankruptcy.

As a Mortgage Lender I am in a very unique position to provide both experience and knowledge in help my clients when they come to me for help in the purchase of a new home or the refinance of thier current house after a bankruptcy.

 

TIME AND PROOF

 

For the sake of brevity I will not get into all the exact rules for every mortgage program, I do at my website, please visit AFTER BANKRUPTCY here I provide what you need to get you approved.

Every mortgage program has specific time periods that you must wait after the discharge of your bankruptcy before you get started. Though most of the programs have exceptions to those wait guidelines, for instance the wait period for FHA is normally 2 years, but there is an exception called Back to Work that allows for only a 12 month wait period.

 

Something that many Lenders fail on is that after a Chapter 13 bankruptcy has been discharged it is possible to be approved for a FHA mortgage after only 12 months! BUT! You can actually get approved for a FHA mortgage while you are still in the repayment period of your Chapter 13! If you have made at least 12 months of on time payments and if your Trustee agrees you are eligible for a FHA mortgage!

 

The Underwriters will be looking for validation that you have learned from your bankruptcy. They will want to see that if you have current credit accounts that you are making your payments on time. This is important, to re-establish credit after your bankruptcy and especially with a credit card or two.

 

COMPENSATING FACTORS

 

Applying for and getting approved a mortgage application after a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy requires a stronger than normal application. To strengthen your application requires COMPENSATING FACTORS. Click on the link for a long list of items that you probably already can bring to your application, here are a couple that are important.....

 

Housing payment shock, you should not have a large increase in what you are paying currently for housing compared to your new house payment.

 

12 months of on time housing payment, this is an absolute must. There are exceptions if you are living somewhere rent free.

 

Keep your total debt to income ratio at or below the recommended guidelines of the mortgage program.

 

YOUR BANKRUPTCY FIXED A PROBLEM

 

When I was an Underwriter we were told that a bankruptcy should be seen as the borrower recognizing that they had a problem with thier current financial situation and the method of solving that problem was bankruptcy. Now, let's see that the borrower has learned from that life lesson and they are practicing what they learned.

 

It takes a mortgage lender that adhers to the guidelines of the mortgage programs and don't have overlays that create roadblocks to your approval. It takes a mortgage loan officer that is willing and able to take on your special situation, don't settle!

 

If you have questions please feel free to visit my website, www.bobrutledge.com or contact me.

Posted by Bob Rutledge on April 22nd, 2016 9:52 AM

MINIMUM DOWN PAYMENT OPTIONS:

 

There are two great mortgage programs that allow for a ZERO down payment, that's right zip, nada, nothing, etc. The USDA Rural Development and the VA Mortgage Program does not require a down payment along with the added value of super low interest rates in normal conditions.

 

The FHA Mortgage is referred by many as the first time home buyer home loan, not only because of the easier underwriting, lower required credit scores, and higher debt ratios but because of the minimum down payment requirement of only 3.5% of the sales price!

 

Conventional mortgages are those insured by either Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac, this is the loan program that many think requires at least a 20% down payment. For the most part conventional mortgages have a minimum down payment requirement of only 5%! Recently, Fannie Mae came out with a new mortgage program that has very relaxed underwriting guidelines that only requires a 3% down payment.

 

Down Payment Assitance or Grants:

 

In the St. Louis area including St. Charles and Jefferson County there are basically 2 down payment assistance programs available though one of the down payment assistance programs is coordinated with your mortgage lender through several different groups.

 

MHDC; some time referred to as First Place Loans. This program is offered through the State of Missouri and is provided throughout the state and not just the St. Louis Mo area. This program is strictly for First Time Home Buyers, a first time home buyer is basically anyone who has not owned a home or had the advantage of home ownership over the past 3 years.

 

This down payment assistance program can only be provided through approved mortgage lenders, not all lenders in the area want to work with the MHDC program.

This program will provide up to 4.5% of the loan amount for down payment and closing costs assistance. This makes this a very good program to work with the FHA mortgage minimum down payment requirement of 3.5% and then you have a little extra to apply to closing costs.

 

1st Home Program;This payment assistance is also only for first time home buyers. The program is available in St. Louis City, St. Louis County with Florissant having their own separate version of the same program, Jefferson County, and St. Charles County plus with nearly every city/entity in the county having a version of this program.

There are income restrictions, guideline restrictions,  underwriting restrictions, and more that I highly suggest that you only work with a mortgage loan officer very experienced with down payment assistance. Don't lose the money that is available to you or create delays that can happen because of lack of experience.

 

More Options to Help

 

23 Down Payment Options!  There are a lot of options listed within the FHA and Conventional mortgage underwriting guidelines that tell mortgage loan officers where home buyers can obtain their down payment.  The FHA mortgage programs lists 23 options that may be something you can do already, here are some favorites and some not so well known;

  • Savings (of course)
  • Gift (this is used a lot)
  • 401k or other retirement plan
  • Down Payment Assistance
  • Sweat Equity
  • Employer Assistance Program
  • Savings at home (mattress money)
  • A family member loan
  • Sale of personal property

These are just a few of the ideas and options available to you to help fund you down payment.

CLOSING COST HELP;  there are always closing costs involved in the process of buying and financing a new home purchase, over and above your down payment. Having those closing costs paid for by you is sometimes as much as the down payment but always a cost that can be avoided.

There are many options available to you to have most if not all of your closing costs paid for by others and not you. It takes a consolidated team effort of your, your mortgage lender, and your real estate agent to make this happen. But it is possible that through your mortgage program, down payment assistance, seller concessions, and lender credits that it can become possible to purchase a new home with little to zero out of pocket expense.

 

YOU BUY YOUR NEXT HOME WITH LITTLE TO ZERO OUT OF POCKET! Down P

Posted by Bob Rutledge on March 29th, 2016 11:33 AM

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