St. Louis Mortgage Help

Getting a Home Mortgage After Bankruptcy: What You Need to Know

If you’ve filed for bankruptcy, if you are making payments to your Chapter 13 bankruptcy, or your bankruptcy has been discharged, you may be wondering what it means for your ability to get a home mortgage. Fortunately, it’s still very possible to get a mortgage after bankruptcy with the right preparation and knowledge. Knowing what to expect and how to prepare can help you make sound decisions during the mortgage process. In this article, I will explain the steps you need to take in order to get a home mortgage after bankruptcy. We’ll discuss everything from improving your credit score to getting pre-approved and finding the right lender. With the right preparation and guidance, you can be well on your way to getting a home mortgage after bankruptcy, possibly during your bankruptcy! 

Understanding the Mortgage Process After Bankruptcy

When you file for bankruptcy, your ability to get a mortgage is greatly limited. Bankruptcy is specifically designed to allow a debtor to reorganize and get back on their feet financially. It’s intended to be a temporary fix, not a permanent solution. Like any legal process, bankruptcy’s main goal is to allow you to get your financial house in order and put your financial life back in order. Making the effort to get a mortgage after bankruptcy is a great way to get back on track. After bankruptcy, your credit is seen as “damaged” by mortgage lenders, mortgage guidelines, and Underwriters. Credit scores and credit history are used by lenders to determine your ability to be approved, your interest rate and mortgage products. An overly low credit score can lead to higher interest rates, higher monthly payments, and possibly not being able to be approved for a mortgage. Before you begin the mortgage process, you should look at and analyze your credit score and credit make up. Lenders are going to be looking to see if you have re-established credit, really, lenders will want to see that you have current trade lines with some history of repayment. Lenders will want to see how you are handling that credit after your bankruptcy, keeping your balances low, and ensuring no accounts are reporting late payments. 


How long do I have to wait after Bankruptcy to get approved for a mortgage

Every mortgage program has their own guidelines and rules for how long you have to wait before you can be pre-approved for a mortgage. Why do you have to wait? When I was a mortgage underwriter I was told that we don’t care that a borrower had to have a bankruptcy to improve their financial situation, we care about whether they learned from having to have that bankruptcy. Time allows for Underwriters to make that decision as to how you are and will handle your credit.  

How long you have to wait will depend on what bankruptcy you have used or you are currently in, Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy.  

For a Chapter 7 bankruptcy you will have to wait from 2 to 4 years from the DISCHARGE DATE depending on the mortgage program, FHA and VA mortgages requires a 2 year wait, the USDA mortgage programs requires a 3 year wait, and for the most part both Conventional mortgage programs require a 4 year wait. 

Of the two Conventional mortgage programs Freddie Mac is a bit more lenient. If your bankruptcy is reflected on your credit report and we get an automated underwriting approval then there is no waiting period.  

For a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy, it gets very interesting. You will need to wait 12 months from your FILING DATE for FHA, VA, and USDA as long as you have made your last 12 bankruptcy payments in full and on time. Making it possible to get a mortgage approval while you are still paying on your Chapter 13 bankruptcy. 

Also, we will need to get permission from the Court to allow you to get a new home and mortgage.

 With a Conventional mortgage, it is a 2 year wait from the discharge date or 4 years from the dismissal date.  

Getting Pre-Approved For a Mortgage after bankruptcy.

Once you have examined your credit scores, you want your scores to be in the 600 credit score range especially if you are considering FHA or VA. If you want to consider USDA or Conventional you will want your scores to be nearer to 640. The credit scores you will need will depend on the lender and their overlays to the guidelines and the mortgage program. Once you are sure you have re-established your credit and there are no late payments on this credit, and you have cleaned up any mistakes on your credit report, you are ready to get pre-approved for a mortgage. Pre-approvals can be beneficial for a number of reasons. It gives you an idea of your likely mortgage payment, which is helpful for budgeting. Being pre-approved will allow you to know how much of a sales price you should be considering. Being pre-approved will simply provide you with peace of mind. It also lets your real estate agent and the seller know that you’re likely able to get financing, which can help speed up the home buying process. Pre-approval gives you an advantage over other borrowers.  

Calculating Your Mortgage Payments

Now that you know what to expect and what documents to assemble, it’s time to figure out what your monthly mortgage payment will be. This is a critical part of the mortgage process and will have a big impact on your loan terms and amount. Your monthly payment is based on a number of factors, including the amount of your loan amount, loan interest rate, and loan term. To figure out your loan payment, you’ll need to consider all these factors and make a realistic estimate. The good news is there are a number of ways to estimate your payments. You can use a mortgage calculator, discuss it with a lender, or simply make an educated guess. It’s important to use a realistic method and not over-inflate your payment estimate. 

Know your budget and have a total house payment in mind that works within your budget. Know what that maximum house payment is that you will not go a dollar over, this will help you and your loan officer establish the maximum sales price that you can be approved for and still not be house poor.  

Understanding Mortgage Insurance Requirements

In some cases, lenders may require you to obtain mortgage insurance. This insurance protects the lender in case the borrower doesn’t repay the loan. It comes with a cost, which is included in your monthly payment amount. Although it may be required by your lender, you should still carefully consider this additional cost before choosing to obtain mortgage insurance. Mortgage insurance is designed to protect lenders in the event of a loan default. A loan without this insurance would result in a lower monthly payment amount. However, it’s important to note that the insurance is only payable if you’re late on your payments. 

Finding the Right Lender

Finding the right lender is crucial in the process of getting a mortgage after bankruptcy. There are a number of factors to consider when choosing your lender, including their mortgage knowledge and experience, ease of loan application process, can they do manual underwriting, and do they have any guideline overlays. Make sure to look around and ask a lot of questions. You may be able to find better options and interest rates as you look for the right mortgage lender. Once you’ve found a lender that you’re comfortable working with, make sure to clearly communicate your needs. Know what you’re looking for, including how much you’re willing to borrow, how much you’re able to put down, and what type of loan you’d like to use. If you’re unable to fully explain your needs, a lender may push you towards a loan that isn’t a good fit. A home buyer that does their HOME WORK will be appreciated by the mortgage loan officer they work with.  

Assembling the Right Documents

Before and after the mortgage pre-approval you will be asked for your filed bankruptcy documents, all pages. If your bankruptcy has been discharged you will be required to provide the Discharge Letter provided from the court.  

If you are in the midst of paying your Chapter 13 you will be asked to get a letter from the Trustee involved for permission for you to purchase a new home. Also, you will be asked to document that you have made the most recent 12 or more payments to the court on time.

 These documents and then the standard documents for a mortgage pre-approval application, that will include paycheck stubs, W2 or 1099 forms, bank statements, and possibly tax returns. Your loan officer will know what they want and need. 

Working With a Real Estate Agent

When you’ve finished the mortgage process and have your loan documents in order, it’s time to find a new home. This is a crucial step in the process and can have a big impact on your next new home. Hiring a real estate agent to be your buyer’s agent will allow you to shop around and compare homes. You can also use their expertise and contacts to help you find the perfect new home. Hiring a real estate agent can be beneficial for a number of reasons. They can help you navigate the home buying process, make comparisons between houses, and help you find the perfect home on your budget. They can also help you negotiate on prices, concessions, and get the best deal possible. 

Final Steps to Getting Your Home Mortgage After Bankruptcy

Congratulations! You’ve completed the mortgage pre-approval process and are ready to find your new home. As you finalize the purchase, make sure to include all these steps in your mortgage closing checklist. - Get a home inspection. The home inspection is helpful for identifying potential problems with the home, and save you from making costly decisions. - Get your home insurance policy in place. Make sure to have your homeowners insurance in place before closing on your new home. Get quotes as home owner’s insurance can vary a lot between insurers. Start with the insurer that has your car insurance as they will offer a multi-policy discount. Once you have found the best quote, put it into place. Get your mortgage documents to your mortgage lender as soon as possible. The more you are ready the faster you can close on your next new home.

Getting Your Home Mortgage After Bankruptcy, wrapping it up.

You have gone through or you are currently in a bankruptcy? Are you looking to purchase a new home? Don't let bankruptcy stand in the way of realizing your dream of home ownership. With the right guidance, you should be able to get a mortgage after or during bankruptcy. I specialize in helping home buyers who are in Chapter 13 or have had a bankruptcy discharged get a mortgage sooner. I can help you can get the home of your dreams without having to wait years after bankruptcy. Take the first step today and contact me to find out how you can get a mortgage after or during bankruptcy. I will guide you every step of the way towards a new home and a brighter financial future. 

If you want to make an appointment to talk here is a link to my calendar where you can schedule a convenient time to talk, If you would like to learn more follow this link to my website to learn a lot more,

Posted by Bob Rutledge on February 6th, 2023 4:37 PM

What is down payment assistance for home buyers?

Down payment assistance programs are programs that provide financial aid to home buyers who are struggling to save enough money for a down payment to purchase a home. These programs may be offered by state or local governments, non-profit organizations, or other groups. They can take the form of grants, low-interest loans, or a combination of both. Eligibility for these programs can vary, and may be based on factors such as income, location, or first-time home buyer status. In some cases, home buyers may be required to complete a homebuyer education course or meet other requirements in order to qualify. Some program also have income limit requirement to be eligible, it's important to check the specifics of the program you are looking into.

Why a home buyer may choose down payment help?

  1. Lack of savings: Saving for a down payment can be difficult, especially for first-time home buyers or those with low-to-moderate incomes. Down payment assistance can help bridge the gap and make it possible for a home buyer to purchase a home even if they don't have a large amount of savings.
  2. Lowering the costs of homeownership: By reducing the amount of money that a home buyer needs to save for a down payment, down payment assistance programs can lower the overall cost of homeownership. This can make it more affordable for a home buyer to purchase a home and can help to reduce the burden of mortgage payments.
  3. Increasing access to homeownership: Down payment assistance can help to increase access to homeownership for individuals who might not otherwise be able to purchase a home. This is particularly important for low-to-moderate income households, who are often the most in need of affordable housing.
  4. Building equity: By helping a home buyer to purchase a home with a smaller down payment, down payment assistance can help to build equity more quickly. This is important as it will give a better leverage to the home buyer in case of any financial hardship in future

Overall, down payment assistance can make homeownership more affordable and accessible for people who might not be able to purchase a home without assistance. It's important to check if there's any program available in your area and what is the requirements to be eligible for it.

It is also important to note that not every program will be suitable for everyone and it's important to consult with a professional and compare the different options before making a decision.

Who offers Down Payment Assistance in near me?

There are several ways to find and apply for down payment assistance programs:

  1. Contact a local housing authority or non-profit organization: Many state and local governments, as well as non-profit organizations, offer down payment assistance programs. Contacting a local housing authority or non-profit organization that specializes in homeownership assistance can provide you with information about programs available in your area.
  2. Check with your lender: Some lenders may offer down payment assistance programs or have information about programs available in your area. If you are going to want to consider down payment assistance these programs are tied along with your mortgage. It is your lender then who will need to be consulted.
  3. Look online: Many down payment assistance programs have information available on their websites. You can also search for programs by state or zip code on websites such as the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) or the Federal Housing Administration (FHA).
  4. Consulting with a housing counselor: HUD-approved housing counselors can provide you with free or low-cost advice on buying a home, and can help you find down payment assistance programs that may be available to you.

When you find the program you are interested in, make sure you thoroughly read the eligibility requirements and understand the application process. You also want to check if the program is still active, funded and/or open to new applicant as some program have limited fund and open on specific time window. This is when an experienced and knowledgeable mortgage loan officer will pay dividends.

It's also important to keep in mind that some down payment assistance programs have income limits, and you may need to meet certain requirements such as completing a homebuyer education course, or having a certain credit score, it's important to check the specifics of the program you are looking into.

Down payment assistance can help buying a home more affordable

Down payment assistance can make buying a home more affordable by helping to reduce the amount of money that a home buyer needs to save for a down payment. By providing assistance with the down payment, these programs can help home buyers purchase a home that they may not have been able to afford otherwise.

Down payment assistance can make buying a home more affordable in several ways:

  1. Lowering the down payment: One of the main ways down payment assistance makes buying a home more affordable is by lowering the amount of money a home buyer needs to come up with for a down payment. This can make it easier for home buyers to save enough money for a down payment and can also help them qualify for a larger loan.
  2. Closing costs: Some down payment assistance programs also provide assistance with closing costs. These are the fees and expenses associated with buying a home, such as appraisal fees, title insurance and attorney fees. By helping with these costs, the down payment assistance can further reduce the amount of money the home buyer needs to come up with at closing.
  3. Lowering monthly payments: Down payment assistance programs that offer low-interest loans can help reduce the home buyer's monthly mortgage payment. This can make it easier for home buyers to afford the monthly payments and make homeownership more sustainable.
  4. Special loan programs: Some down payment assistance program work with special loan programs, such as FHA or VA loan, that are backed by government and have more lenient requirements for first-time buyers, such as lower credit score or lower down payment. This could help more buyers to qualify for the loan, and make homeownership more affordable.
  5. Grant program: Some down payment assistance programs offer grant that doesn't need to be repaid, this can help to reduce the overall cost of purchasing a home, and make it more affordable.

In general, down payment assistance can help home buyers bridge the gap between what they can afford and the cost of buying a home. It can also make homeownership more sustainable by reducing monthly payments, closing costs and overall costs of purchasing a home. However, it's important to check if there's any program available in your area, and what are the requirements to be eligible for it before starting the process.

State of Missouri Down Payment Assistance - MHDC

The Missouri Housing Development Commission (MHDC) is a state agency that works to create affordable housing opportunities for Missouri residents. They offer a variety of programs to help first-time homebuyers, move up home buyers, and low- to moderate-income families purchase a home. Some of the programs offered by the MHDC include:

First Place: This program provides down payment and closing cost assistance for first-time homebuyers, and offers competitive interest rates and reduced mortgage insurance requirements. There is a Cash Assistance portion of this program that will provide up to 4% of your loan amount to be used for your down payment and/or closing costs. There is a non-cash assistance portion that will provide a lower than market interest rate when you provide your own down payment.

Next Step: This program was built for move up home buyers AND first time home buyers that have higher income levels than what the First Place guidelines allow. Next Step  provides down payment and closing cost assistance, and offers competitive interest rates and reduced mortgage insurance requirements. There is a Cash Assistance portion of this program that will provide up to 4% of your loan amount to be used for your down payment and/or closing costs. There is a non-cash assistance portion that will provide a lower than market interest rate when you provide your own down payment.

MCC: The Missouri Homeownership Preservation (MHP) Tax Credit program, also known as the Missouri Homeownership Opportunity (MCC) program, provides a tax credit to first-time homebuyers who purchase a home within the state of Missouri and meet certain income requirements.

Minimum required credit score for MHDC is 640 or higher.

There are income limits for each program depending on household size and area.

Limited to primary residences only, single family, 2 family, condos, and manufactured homes. 

Purchase price limits.

Cash assistance will be in the form of a second mortgage. The second mortgage will be forgiven if the borrower stays in the home/loan for ten years. The second mortgage will diminish after year five by 1/60 every month until year ten when it will be completely forgiven. No additional monthly payment required.

It's important to note that the MHDC program are not direct loans, but rather they are programs that work in partnership with participating and approved lenders. Not all lenders offer or provide the MHDC Down Payment Assistance programs.

Down payment assistance in the St. Louis area.

St. Louis City, St. Louis County, St. Charles County, and Jefferson County

The St. louis area is a hot bed for down payment assistance, along with having MHDC available to all home buyers in the area there is down payment assistance program operated through St. Louis County that is utilized by St. Louis City, St. Louis County, Jefferson County, and St. Charles county to provide down payment assistance for home buyers.

You will work hand in hand with your lender and one of several providers of the down payment assistance. The providers are, Beyond Housing, Better Family Life, The Housing Partnership, or NECAC. 

  • Must be a first-time homeowner, except in St. Charles County.
  • Must complete the Homebuyer Education Program and one-on-one counseling, resulting in a “Homeownership Ready” status. 
  • Must be at or below maximum gross household income limits, determine by household size.
  • Must have secured a fixed-rate mortgage on the purchased home.
  • Home must pass first-time homebuyer inspection.
  • Sales Price Limits apply
  • Assistance provided is a zero percent interest and 5-year forgivable loan with no monthly payment required.

Available Down Payment Assistance Per Household: (as of this writing)

  • St. Louis City Down Payment Assistance $3500
  • St. Louis County Down Payment Assistance $6000
  • City of Florissant Down Payment Assistance $5,000
  • St. Charles County Down Payment Assistance $10,000
  • City of O'Fallon Down Payment Assistance $10,000
  • Jefferson County Down Payment Assistance $5,000

Note: It is possible to stack this Down Payment Assistance Program on top of MHDC to provide a larger down payment for your new home. 

Down Payment Assistance in and around Kansas City, Springfield, Columbia, and other areas of Missouri

The other areas of Missouri do not have the wealth of down payment assistance programs as in the St. Louis Area. There will always be available the First Place and Next Step Down Payment Assistance offered through MHDC. There are some smattering of local down payment assistance programs available in Columbia, Blue Springs, Independence and in the Springfield area but many times these programs are lacking funds, come and go, or the MHDC program is the best available. 

In-House Down Payment Assistance Programs 

CHENOA Down Payment Assistance

Some lenders have their own in-house down payment assistance, many do not have down payment assistance program at all. One of the better in-house programs is offered through the CHENOA Down Payment Assistance program.

The Chenoa Fund Down Payment Assistance Program (DPA) is a second mortgage loan for eligible borrowers who meet income, purchase price and other program guidelines, as established by HUD and the Chenoa Fund. The DPA is intended to assist borrowers who lack the funds necessary to make a conventional down payment. The Chenoa Fund DPA is available to first-time homebuyers and repeat homebuyers who meet certain income and purchase price limits. The program is offered through participating lenders, and borrowers are required to complete a homebuyer education course as a condition of program eligibility.

The Chenoa Fund Down Payment Assistance Program has certain rules and guidelines that borrowers must meet in order to be eligible for the program. Some of these include:

  1. Purchase price limits: The purchase price of the home must fall within certain limits, as established by the program.

  2. Income Limits

  3. First Time Home Buyer or Repeat Home Buyer

  4. Primary Residence Only

  5. Minimum of 600 Credit Score for all borrowers

  6. Home Buyer Education may be required

  7. Single Family, Condo, Manufactured, or townhouse

It's important to note that these rules and guidelines may vary depending on the specific program and the participating lender, so it's a good idea to check with a participating lender for the most up-to-date information.

Bob Rutledge Mortgage Loan Officer and Down Payment Assistance Expert.

I have have been a mortgage loan office since 1995 and I specialize in helping home buyers with down payment assistance, purchasing a new home with little to no money out of pocket, and making that next home purchase more affordable.

I would welcome the opportunity of speaking with you to answer all your questions, feel free to email me at or if you would like to set up an appointment follow this link LET'S TALK.

If you would like to take about 3 minutes of your time to fill out my Down Payment Assistance Pre-Qualification I will gladly respond within 1 to 2 business days with a complete analysis of what down payment assistance programs are available to you, what mortgage programs are best for what you want, and how to make it all work for you. Click on this link GET DPA and I will have answers to you very soon.


Jefferson County


City of Florissant


St. Louis County


St. Charles County*


City of O’Fallon


Jefferson County


City of Florissant


St. Louis County


St. Charles County*


City of O’Fallon


Posted by Bob Rutledge on January 17th, 2023 1:49 PM

The housing marketing in the St. Louis Missouri area is getting more and more difficult for home buyers, the most recent statistic I saw for certain areas of St. Charles and St. Louis County showed homes on the market for only 17 days! We are starting to see Open Houses that have dozens of potential home buyers attending and multiple offers on homes their first day going onto the market. Speed, Agility, and paying very close attention to new homes coming to market is most new home buyers best methods to stay ahead of the game. But, many home buyers have a secret weapon, a weapon that allows them to consider ALL homes on the market creating a better home buying experience.


The FHA 203k is a renovation mortgage program that will provide you with the funds to not only purchase your new house but also fix it up to make that house your home. The FHA 203k is becoming the secret weapon of choice for many first time home buyers because it helps them consider every house for sale in the area or location they consider their first choice. No longer do they have to settle for a house, no longer do they have to turn away from a house that needs some repairs or even a lot of repairs, and no longer do they have to scratch off AS IS houses.

Imagine finding that near perfect house, it is located in the area you want, the house is what you want, it is close to work, good schools, and play, the it has more rooms than you need, it is everything you want except..... The FHA 203k will fix that except for you and fix it to what you want!

Because you are not competing for a house that many others want you have more ability to negotiate the sales price, negotiate closing costs, and get more home for possibly less money. The FHA 203k should be your secret weapon if you are looking for a house in the St. Louis and St. Charles area or even nearby.

The FHA 203k is just one of many renovation home loans, if you would like to learn more about the FHA 203k in St. Louis Missouri, I have a lot of information at my website,

Another option is the conventional counterpart to the FHA 203k, the Fannie Mae HomeStyle Renovation Mortgage, there are many similarities to the two programs, the biggest differences is that the HomeStyle has a higher loan limit, requires a little more for down payment, and limits the renovation costs. Go to and learn more.

If you are eligible for a VA mortgage, thank you, there is a VA Renovation Home Loan that can help tweak that house you are looking at. The VA Renovation Mortgage will not allow for anything really major and limits you to $35,000 in renovation costs but it can help. If you would like to learn more go to

At my website you can read about the Renovation Equity Plan and how a renovation mortgage is helping new home buyers build instant equity in their new home. There is a Renovation Mortgage FAQ that should help to answer all your questions.

If you are having troubles finding that new home or you are about to enter into the St. Louis and St. Charles home market you need the FHA 203k as your secret weapon. I would welcome the opportunity to work for you as your mortgage loan officer, I can get you approved for any mortgage plus any renovation mortgage, go into your home search with more.

My name is Bob Rutledge, I closed my first FHA 203k renovation mortgage in 1998 and I have closed 100s of renovation mortgages in my career. I have been certified as a FHA 203k and Renovation Mortgage Specialist because of my experience and knowledge. New American Funding is a national lender and one of the best renovation lenders in the market, out offices are located throughout St. Louis and St. Charles Missouri. Visit me at

Posted by Bob Rutledge on February 13th, 2020 4:58 PM

The Missouri Nurses Home Loan Program

There are all sorts of hero mortgage programs available to all sorts of different heroes, veterans, fire, police, first responders, teachers, etc. Even Medical Doctors get multiple specialty mortgage programs. A while back I saw a need for a mortgage program that provided to Nurses and all the related medical positions and started The Missouri Nurses Home Loan Program.

The The Missouri Nurses program is available to all Nurses, hospital employees, Physical Therapists, Veterinarians, Lab Techs, Chiropractors, Medical Assistants, even Dentists (they get excluded from Doctor loans) and if I left you out and you want to know please ask me....I am sure you can be included.

I started the Missouri Nurses Home Loan Program because I am a mortgage loan officer and I have been married to a RN since 1983, two of my sisters are nurses, multiple cousins are nurses, many of our shared friends are nurses, my daughter is a PT and my soon to be SIL is a Chiropractor. 

I have worked for many of these professions as a mortgage loan officer and I have been referred to many in the industry for years. I had started to notice all the specialty and hero mortgage programs out there and wondered why there really wasn't a mortgage program for Nurses and all the other hard workers we come to appreciate when we are sick, in the hospital, or married to one. 


I developed the Nurses Program to not be a take it or leave type program as many hero or specialty programs are today. For example, a program that only provides funds to help with your closing costs up to a specific amount. The Nurses Program can do this as well but we only place a limit on the amount provided for closing costs of

This program is an option heavy mortgage program intended to provide exactly what the Nurse needs to provide them with the best possible mortgage for their home buying plans. 

It could be down payment assistance that will provide the home buyer with the funds to increase their own down payment or provide the total minimum down payment required by an FHA or Conventional mortgage. 

But, it doesn't stop there, because if a home buyer wants or needs help with their down payment why not include the closing costs associated with buying a new home too? Using the available grants, subsidies, and/or concessions available to the home buyer the program can develop a home buying strategy to help the Nurse or home buyer purchase a new home with little to no money out of their pocket.

Do you want a below market interest rate? The Missouri Nurses Home Loan Program can help there too. Not an Adjustable Rate Mortgage but a true fixed rate mortgage that is indeed below what nearly all other lenders are quoting. No discount points will be paid to the borrower and may not be charged what so ever.

How about a Mortgage Interest Credit for first time home buyers? A yearly federal tax credit that will reduce the amount a Nurse or home buyer owes to the IRS up to $2200!

Don't like monthly mortgage insurance but you don't have a down payment of 20% or more. There are special home buying options available in the Nurses Program that will allow the home buyer to put down less then 20% and not have to pay monthly mortgage insurance. This program will reduce the total house payment too!

Would you like to have your first 3 house payments paid for you? How would you like to purchase a home and not have a house payment for the first 4 months you own your new home? The Nurses Skip 3 Program is available to FHA and VA mortgages and has your first 3 house payments paid for you. 

You would like to own a new home but you know your credit scores are not at the necessary levels to get qualified for a mortgage? The Nurses Home Loan Program does allow for credit scores as low as a 580 middle credit score?

Many times a low credit score is nothing more than a tweak or two from being a very solid to good credit score. The Nurses Credit Score Rescue Program will provide you with expert and seasoned advice that could increase your credit scores as quickly as within 30 days. There is no charge for this advice and help it is simply the service provided from the Missouri Nurses Home Loan Program.

The Credit Score Rescue Program will provide you with a detail plan straight from the 3 credit bureaus, Experian, TransUnion, and Equifax as to what steps you need to take to increase your scores within 30 days. 

And there is so much more! Whatever you think of a specialty home loan program and what those run of the mill mortgage programs provide you can forget those programs. The Nurses Home Loan Program is much more, it is whatever you need it to be.

The Nurse Home Loan Program is intended to bring Nurses extra benefits and home buying options to help save them money from the start of their mortgage to the very end of their mortgage.

Want to know what you can qualify for with the Missouri Nurses Home Loan Program? Click Here and complete the Nurses Exam and I will provide a personalized and detailed pre-qualification letter as to exactly what the Nurses Program will provide to you. 

My name is Bob Rutledge and I have been a mortgage loan officer for over 2 decades, I specialize in helping home buyers purchase a new home with little to nothing out of pocket. I am also a Certified Renovation Mortgage Specialist, I do a lot of renovation mortgages like the FHA 203k. 

I live and work in the St. Louis and St. Charles area but I close home loans all throughout the State of Missouri. My offices for New American Funding are located in St. Louis County but we are licensed in 48 states. 

If you would like to know more about me please visit my website at or schedule an appointment here at my calendar.



Posted by Bob Rutledge on June 24th, 2019 2:11 PM

A renovation mortgage allows a home buyer to purchase a property and roll the cost of certain home improvements directly into the mortgage loan. This is not a second mortgage or separate line of credit. This is one mortgage, one interest rate and one monthly payment.

A renovation mortgage allows the home buyer to amortize the cost of renovations over the “life of the loan.” You get to spread the cost of a $20,000 kitchen remodel over your 30-year mortgage. The nice thing about doing it this way rather than a credit card or HELOC is that the work is tied to the equity of the home, so it becomes part of the future sale price if you’re considering moving someday. Home buyers have several choices when it comes to renovation mortgages.

HomeStyle Renovation is a financing option offered through Fannie Mae. According to Fannie Mae: The HomeStyle Renovation mortgage enables a borrower to obtain a purchase transaction mortgage or a limited cash-out refinance mortgage and receive funds to cover the costs of repairs, remodeling, renovations or energy efficient improvements to the property.

There are no required improvements or restrictions on the types of repairs allowed or a minimum dollar amount for the repairs. Repairs or improvements, however, must be permanently affixed to the real property and add value to the property. 

Learn more about the HomeSyle Renovation

FHA 203K Renovation, there are two separate types of FHA 203k Renovation Home Loans choosing which loan suits you best will depend on the amount and type of improvement your house needs.

Streamlined: The 203(k) Streamline or Limited is an all-in-one loan used for homes that need minor repairs. It allows borrowers to finance the purchase of an existing home and make improvements or upgrades up to $35,000 before move-in. There are no minimum repair costs and the borrower must occupy the property.

Standard: The Standard 203(k) is an all-in-one loan used when homes need major
rehabilitation, or when repairs are structural, involves landscaping, or when the renovation costs exceed $35,000. There must be a minimum of $5,000 worth of repairs, and again, the borrower must occupy the property. FHA loan limits are based on property type and location of the property being financed. A portion of the loan proceeds are used to pay the seller, or, if a refinance, to pay off the existing mortgage, and the remaining funds are placed in an escrow account and released as rehabilitation is completed. You may also roll in up to six months of mortgage payments if the HUD consultant determines you need to be displaced from the home during the repairs.

Learn more about the FHA 203k Renovation 


In today's housing market that is experiencing very low inventories especially in the first time home buyer and first time move up markets being pre-approved for a renovation home loan like the FHA 203k, the Fannie Mae HomeStyle or a VA Renovation Mortgage is your best option to beat this low inventory housing market. 

Consider this very typical scenario for first time buyers, found in today’s home buying market: you’re tired of renting and you want to find your own house. As you begin to explore the neighborhoods in which you’d like to live, you find very few homes in your price range. Many of these homes are getting multiple above asking price offers, and they are not staying on the market very long. 

Many of the homes staying on the market are foreclosed, older, out dated, or in need of too much repair, homes up for sale. A house you would consider purchasing if it wasn’t for all the work needed to make it your home.

Many times, these homes are in such disrepair that they could barely be live in. Sometimes they’re missing things like appliances, the furnace or a water heater. But with prices what they are, it’s hard to walk away from these properties. Enter home improvement loans – also known as the Renovation Mortgage. You can take advantage of one of these programs and roll the cost of repairs, renovation, rehabilitation and home improvements into the mortgage and pay just one monthly payment. The
benefit to this is that you can then write off the interest on your taxes. You can’t do that when you finance the work and supplies on a credit card or store credit line.

Very often you are purchasing a new house that is priced below market value your first win in this situation. Then when you provide the extra touches to the home through your renovation project you are providing additional value to you home. Many times, once all the work is completed home buyers discover that the equity in their new home far exceeds their down payment.

Learn about the Renovation Equity Plan

The BEST Renovation Mortgage Loan Officer
The best renovation mortgage loan officer in St. Louis and St. Charles MO is of course Bob Rutledge with New American Funding. 

Bob Rutledge has been a mortgage loan officer for over 2 decades and I closed my first FHA 203k in 1998 and have closed 100s of them ever since. 

Knowing how the renovation mortgage works is not enough you must have multiple layers of experience with each renovation program. How to get them started to avoid the pitfalls that wait to create delayed closings and worse.

I have a well developed plan of action that starts with your pre-approval to insure we are well ahead of the process and when you find that house that will be your home we are well ahead of the process. My Renovation Mortgage Action Plan pretty much assures you, the real estate agents, and the seller that you will can close on time and far sooner than most lenders who are only trying to close a renovation mortgage.


Let's Make an Appointment to talk, answer your questions and get you pre-approved. Here is a link to my Calendar to schedule a time and date that works for you for us to talk together; LET'S TALK or feel free to call me directly at 314-913-9678, visit my website where there is a lot of information on renovation mortgages or send me your questions:

Posted by Bob Rutledge on June 4th, 2019 3:02 PM

Should You Take Out a HELOC to Pay Off a Mortgage?

Those who understand the basics of a HELOC, or home equity line of credit, tend to sing its praises. They know just how useful those loans can be when you’re trying to remodel your house or have unexpected expenses. But what about using a HELOC to pay off a mortgage? Is this even a good idea?

Since a HELOC is a loan that uses the equity in your house as collateral, it makes sense that you’d want to use it to pay off your mortgage. That would ideally leave you with one single loan. However, there are several pros and cons here that need to be gone over before.

Heloc Vs Mortgage

Before we can start going through the pros and cons of using a HELOC to pay off a mortgage, we first need to explain the differences between these two loans. Although there is no clear winner when comparing HELOC vs mortgage, as both have their good and bad points, both of these loans are quite different. A HELOC is a loan that’s taken out on the equity in your home. This is the amount that’s available when you subtract the amount that you owe on your mortgage from the overall worth of your home. A mortgage, on the other hand, is a loan that’s taken out in order to purchase or refinance a home. Those funds are set into a fixed loan for that single purpose. This makes it quite different than a HELOC, which is designed kind of like a bank account in that you can use the money, pay it back, and then use it again. For this reason, some people wonder if they could use a HELOC to pay off a mortgage. You can always check out our site for these types of tips, or a reputable HELOC information site to keep up to date. The concept of going down to this one single loan is quite appealing. Before you start to contemplate HELOC vs mortgage, it’s important to consider the following points.

How Much Is Left On Your Mortgage?

One important thing to think about before you make your HELOC vs mortgage choice is whether or not you have the funds available on your HELOC in order to pay off your mortgage. Plus, you need to understand that the closer you are to paying off that mortgage, the more your payment amounts go straight to the principle. However, if the overall worth of your home has gone up considerably and your mortgage is fairly small – yet has years left to go – then you could use a HELOC to pay off a mortgage.

Are You Eligible for a Heloc?

Another factor is whether or not you’re eligible for a HELOC as far as your credit is concerned. If you received your mortgage more than seven years ago and have damaged your credit rating since then, you may not be able to take out that additional loan. In this case, then you clearly won’t be able to use a HELOC to pay off a mortgage. This leaves the mortgage as the best option when weighing the HELOC vs mortgage loans.

Other Pros and Cons

On top of the responses to those two questions, there are some additional pros and cons that must be considered when trying to choose whether or not to use a HELOC to pay off a mortgage. Let’s work through them one by one.


  • Once you pay off your mortgage with a HELOC, you can pay down the loan and use those funds for something else.
  • In the beginning, you’ll only have to make interesting payments on the HELOC. This makes it a more attractive option when comparing a HELOC vs mortgage.


  • Your interest rate may vary. The best thing about a traditional mortgage is the fact that it tends to have a fixed rate of interest.
  • There may be prepayment penalties tied to your mortgage loan, making it more expensive to pay off.

The Decision

When trying to choose whether or not to use a HELOC to pay off a mortgage, it’s really up to you. There are a number of different factors, some of which can help you choose which is the most important to pay off first – HELOC vs mortgage. Both have their own sets of pros and cons, although the HELOC is much more flexible.

Posted by Bob Rutledge on May 22nd, 2019 9:05 AM
Your Credit Score is one of the most valuable assets a person can possess, especially if you are considering financing a new home. Your credit score will determine if you can be qualified for a mortgage, it will determine your interest rate, it will determine your closing costs, it will determine what mortgage program, and more. If you would like help with your down payment it will determine if you qualify for a DPA program too. 

The credit score is not the only item in making determinations regarding a mortgage application but it is where every lender starts. It is very important.

What is a low credit score? The average credit score in the United States ranges between 673 and 695 depending on who is supplying the credit score, so let's call the average credit score 684. The average credit score for a conventional closed mortgage application is over 700. Recently FHA/HUD made adjustments to their automated underwriting guidelines making it more difficult for borrowers with low credit scores and a high debt to income ratio to get an automated approval and the main reason was because their average credit score dropped below 680.

So, what is a low credit score? For a conventional mortgage anything really under a 660 score, unless you are utilizing the Home Ready or Home Possible programs and then it is a little lower. With FHA I use to say 580 or higher and you would be fine, but now a low credit score for FHA is going to be nearer to 620 unless your debt ratio is well managed.

FHA allows for credit scores down to 500 but if you fall below 580 it is an automatic required 10% down payment instead of the common 3.5% required down payment for FHA. Credit score does matter with FHA!

Can you get approved for a mortgage with a low credit score between 580 to 620, yes, absolutely. FHA recently made it more difficult to get approved but it is possible still. Besides FHA you only have the VA mortgage, for qualified Veteran, for low to poor credit scores. I am starting to see some Non-QM mortgage programs for low to poor credit borrowers but the down payment is huge and the qualification guidelines are very difficult.

How do you get approved for a mortgage if your scores are low to poor, low being 580 to 620 and poor from 560 to 580? I include the high side of poor because sometimes a minor tweak to a 560 score can kick the score up to 620 or higher.

Your first step to a mortgage approval with a low credit score is to find a mortgage loan officer that is willing and capable of working with you. Not all lenders are wiling or have the knowledge, ability, and experience to help you. 

In many instances a low credit score is only a minor tweak away from becoming exactly what you need to get approved, get a better interest rate, qualify for down payment assistance, purchase a new home with little to nothing out of pocket, qualify for the house you want, and all the extra benefits that come with a higher credit score.

With my low credit score borrowers I utilize my Credit Score Rescue Program to help increase credit scores very quickly. If done well and properly you can see credit score improvements within 2 to 4 weeks! When we pull a credit report generally we get the credit history, current credit trade lines, and the scores, with the Credit Score Rescue Program we also receive the POTENTIAL CREDIT SCORES.

Your potential credit scores come from the 3 credit bureaus, TransUnion, Equifax, and Experian and it is their factual feedback as to what your scores can be within 30 days of execution of specific action steps. If the scores you have are too low for what we want or need but your potential scores provide you with a better situation then we will order from the 3 bureaus your Action Plan to higher scores. 

The Action Plan will tell us exactly how to get the biggest bang for your investment into improving your credit score. But, it also allows us to play with the Action Plan to possibly reduce the investment needed to get that BIG BANG results to a more affordable option to get us exactly what is needed. 

The Credit Score Rescue Plan is something I have not experienced in over 2 decades as a mortgage loan officer. I now work with a lot of new home buyers that were turned down previously by other lenders, thought their credit too low to own a home, or we simply used the program to help improve the mortgage application. Learn more about the Credit Score Rescue Program.

HOME BUYER TIP: if your scores are low and you are wanting to purchase a new home and are working on your credit scores, STOP! I see it too often that the DIY work of future home buyers has hurt them because they have done the wrong right thing. Let someone like me help and consult with you, BTW, paying off collections can actually hurt your credits scores, (hint). Want More Tips about LOW CREDIT SCORE APPROVAL?

I can and want to help you qualified for a mortgage for your next new home! Go to my website at at my website you will find more help and how to reach me. Would you like to SCHEDULE an APPOINTMENT to ask questions, get advice, or to get pre-qualified, I would welcome to hearing from you.

My name is Bob Rutledge and I have been a Mortgage Loan Officer in the St. Louis MO area for over 2 decades. I specialize in first time home buyers, renovation mortgages, and helping home buyers with low credit scores improve and strengthen their home buying position.

Posted by Bob Rutledge on May 15th, 2019 10:13 AM




In the St. Charles area there are Multiple Down Payment Assistance Programs available to First Time Home Buyers as well as Home Buyers in general. Did you know that if you have not own a home in the last 3 years you are again a First Time Home Buyer?

Complete the Down Payment Assistance Finder

There are local down payment programs that help provide funds to home buyers purchasing in a specific city, St. Charles City, O'Fallon, Wentzville, St. Peters, Dardenne Prairie, St. Paul, Cottleville, Lake St. Louis, and Weldon Springs. The amount can vary from $5,000 to $10,000 in down payment assistance.

Within Unincorporated St. Charles County there is a program to help home buyers with their down payment too! The program is currently provided up to $10,000 in help!

All of the City and County programs are for low to moderate income families, meaning if you make too much income you may not qualify. You do have to be able to qualify for a mortgage as well. 

The funds provided through these programs offer market interest rates, you have to be a first time home buyer, you must attend or participate in a home buyer education course, as well as complete a one on one counseling session, and you will have to have at least $1,000 of your own funds invested into the property purchase. There is no required repayment of the funds provided if you stay in the house and mortgage for 5 years.

These programs have their own credit and program qualification guidelines, I can help guide you through them. The number one qualification I am asked is what credit score do I need, 620 middle score for all borrowers is required.

If you cannot qualify for the local down payment assistance the next consideration would be the State of Missouri MHDC Down Payment Assistance Programs. 

MHDC Down Payment Assistance Program has cash assistance programs call First Place and Next Step. The First Place Program is for first time home buyers where the Next Step is for First Time Home Buyers and Home Buyers in general. 

Both programs will provide 4% of the actual loan amount for down payment assistance, but the First Place Program will provide additional funds if your fall in a specific income bracket and you qualify for the 3% down payment conventional mortgage program.

The First Place Conventional Cash Assistance Program will provide you the 4% DPA funds, as well as $2500 if the household/application income falls below 50% of the median income for the area, or if the income falls between 80% to 50% of the median income for the area $1500. I can help determine your income and the median income for the area you are looking for your new home.

Not all lenders in Missouri provide the MHDC Down Payment Assistance program, a lender must be a Certified Approved Lender with MHDC, we are an approved lender with MHDC and I close a lot of MHDC loans every year.

MHDC also can provide to qualified First Time Home Buyers a Mortgage Credit Certificate or MCC. The MCC is designed to help first time home buyers qualify for a home by reducing their IRS tax liability and offsetting a portion of their mortgage interest.

If you have a tax liability with the IRS, not owe them, and we all generally have a tax liability this credit will lower that liability reducing what you would owe the IRS every year or possibly increase your IRS refund!

MHDC requires a minimum 620 middle credit score for all borrowers and a total debt to income ratio of 45% which is a little higher than the debt ratio of the local DPA programs in St. Charles. MHDC income limits will depend on the DPA Program, where you are purchasing your home, and household size and make-up. I will help guide you through the guidelines and insure you are approved.

Some lenders provide in-house down payment assistance programs, we offer several DPA programs. These are the programs we want to consider when you cannot utilize the local or state DPA programs. The qualification guidelines are a bit more expanded except for credit scores, still a minimum middle credit score of 620 or higher is required. But, income limits are broader and in some cases there are no income limits. Debt to income ratios are expended up to 50%.

There are instances where an in-house down payment assistance program is a better situation than a local or state DPA program but I prefer them as a fall back. If need be I will thoroughly provide you with the pros and cons of these programs.

If you would like to consider down payment assistance I recommend that you complete the Down Payment Assistance Finder and I will email you with details as to what DPA programs you are eligible for.

Last, if you are a near miss for the required 620 Credit Scores that each of these programs require consider the Credit Score Rescue Program. I have experienced seeing credit scores improve within 3 to 4 weeks!

Hi, I am Bob Rutledge with New American Funding a progressive and customer oriented Mortgage Company. I have been a Mortgage Loan Officer for over 2 Decades, I have closed 1000s of mortgage, I have experience as a Mortgage Underwriter too.  I specialize in First Time Home Buyer Programs, Renovation and Construction Mortgages, and knowing the best mortgage options, programs and guidelines to provide the best to my clients.  I concentrate on making more options available to home buyers! When we work together you will find that I answer all questions, sometimes before they are asked. I prefer to be available to you as much as my family and life will allow, I am accessible to you via my cell 314-913-9678, text, or email, or you can visit my website at 


Posted by Bob Rutledge on May 8th, 2019 10:52 AM


How you can purchase a new home with the lowest down payment possible and greatly increase your equity while making your new house your home!

Are you a FUTURE HOME BUYER? Are you looking to purchase a house that will provide you with instant equity? It is what every new home buyer wants! It is possible to find that house if you search hard and long! But, you can shorten that search with the Renovation Mortgage Equity Plan.

Have you been looking at the houses on the market and feeling a bit let down? In today's current housing market every day there are home buyers purchasing a new home and settling for less than what they wanted. Why is that? The current market of available homes is made up of mostly very dated homes, foreclosures, distressed properties, aged and outdated houses! That perfect home is very difficult to find if not near impossible.

Here is the scenario that many home buyers are finding, they are first pre-approved by their mortgage loan officer for what in most cases is a standard 30 year fixed rate mortgage, FHA Conventional, VA or USDA. These are all great mortgage program, you are pre-approved for what you asked for or what your mortgage lender provided you.

Then the home buyer goes looking at and for the houses in the areas they prefer to live, what they find is not what they had hoped for. Sure, the houses are in the neighborhoods, school districts, and areas desired, the houses are the types of homes the home buyer want. The yards are spacious, it’s a ranch, it’s a two story, it has a basement, a garage, it’s what they were looking for except for one thing, it needs a lot of work to make it livable or for that matter what they would want to wake up to every day.  So the home buyer goes on looking, and looking, and looking, eventually they end up settling or they continue renting.

There are several mortgage programs available to all home buyers that will allow you to purchase that near perfect home, and turn that ugly duckling home into the beautiful swan that you want. But, what if I told you that not only will these home loan programs allow you to transform any house into that home to be proud of, but within a very short time, months, you can have a home that has doubled, tripled or more in equity.


The FHA 203k mortgage, the Fannie Mae HomeStyle, and VA Renovation mortgages are all specifically designed to provide a home buyer, with the means to fund the repair, rehabilitation and renovation of their near perfect house into the home of their desires. The renovation mortgage will roll into one loan the sales price of your near perfect house and the cost of making it your dream home, I will not get into these home loans in-depth here. If you would like to learn more about the FHA 203k mortgage, the Conventional HomeStyle, or the VA Renovation Mortgages please visit my website at where you will find all you need to know.

NOTE the FHA 203k mortgage is not the same as the standard FHA 203b mortgage, not all lenders can provide the FHA 203k mortgage which is one of the reasons they do not offer this program to home buyers. The same can be said about the VA Renovation Mortgage and the HomeStyle Renovation Mortgage to an even greater situation. Not all lenders do these types of mortgage programs and most Loan Officers lack the experience you want.

I successfully work with a home buying team every month that will help several home buyers find and secure the home of their dreams using the FHA 203k Renovation Mortgage, the VA Renovation Mortgage, or the HomeStyle Renovation Mortgage in conjunction with the Renovation Mortgage Equity Plan. So much so that I encourage ALL my home buyers not to buy a new home until they find THE house that can quickly turn their LOW down payment into at least a 10% equity stake. In most instances my first time home buyers will have established that 10% to 20% equity stake within three to six months after closing on their new home, even in today’s declining, stagnate, or barely growing house market.


Start with the development of your team, your team will consist of a real estate agent, a mortgage loan officer who is experienced, knowledgeable, and able to do ALL renovation mortgage programs, and a home remodeling General Contractor.  Don’t be concerned if you do not immediately have a general contractor available to you, more than likely your real estate agent or loan officer will help you. In many instances the Loan Officer will know the perfect Real Estate Agents and/or General Contractors to refer you to.

Are you willing to do your HOME WORK? I hope so, because the Renovation Mortgage Equity Plan can and will place thousands upon thousands of dollars worth of equity into your home. Equity in your home is the best and generally the most important wealth many of us will accumulate.

To start your real estate agent should be well versed and experienced in putting together a reliable and accurate Comparable Market Analysis, CMA. Your real estate agent should have a very solid knowledge of the housing market in the area you want to live, and last your agent should have a true desire to see you get the absolute best home on the market.

Next, your loan officer should have all the renovation mortgage programs available to them, make sure they have done many renovation mortgages because these home loans are a lot more involved than the normal mortgage. In the hands of an inexperienced lender a renovation home loan can turn into a home buyer’s nightmare. In the right hands the FHA 203k mortgage is fairly easy and will not take more than another couple of weeks to close than a normal mortgage, I usually ask for 45 to 60 days to close.

The general contractor should have experience in home remodeling, renovation and repair work. They should be aware that the renovation mortgage will pay them through an escrow account that will not provide funds to them until work is proven to be complete. The contractor should have a very sharp pencil, meaning that they know how to create thorough and accurate estimates. Last, the contractor may have to visit several houses with you, providing estimates of work, make sure they are willing to do this for you.

Your HOME WORK should include that YOU have your renovation mortgage loan officer team member insure they provide you with a complete working knowledge of the renovation mortgage you will be using and that they PRE-APPROVE you for that mortgage program. The pre-approval will establish the limits of the total loan amount, it also provides you with a virtual wheelbarrow full of money, when you make an offer on your new home the seller will know you are a home buyer to be taken seriously.

Now that you are pre-approved, have your real estate agent team member provide you with a list of candidate houses, these will be homes that match what you are looking for in a home, have all the appearances of a bargain home, priced below the market, and may need some TLC to get the house to be your home.

Drive by and visit the houses with your real estate agent, take with you a note pad and a camera. At every house you visit take extensive notes on the house, note the repairs you feel need to be made, develop a wish list of what you would like have done to the house to make it your home. Are the appliances outdated, you can have them replaced with a renovation home loan. Is the flooring hideous, worn, spotted, shag carpeting, a renovation mortgage can cover that too. Would you like a bigger garage or a garage period! Whatever you can dream of more than likely can be done with a FHA 203k, HomeStyle or VA Renovation home loan. If the house is empty or you have permission take pictures of the house to help you remember that house later.

Keep in mind that your have a real estate professional as one of your team members, ask for and listen to their suggestions and allow them to point out the good and the bad. Your real estate agent is a fountain of knowledge and wants to see you get that great bargain home with a ton of equity potential.

Next, whittle the number of houses to your favorites and most potential homes. Go back and revisit the houses on this new list with your contractor team mate in tow. At each home provide your contractor with your notes and your wish list for that home. Let the contractor do their thing, finding items that need attention or repaired, and have them make suggestions as to remodeling and your wish list. Be taking notes of everything from this visit too. Before you leave that house or very soon after have your contractor provide you with an estimate of cost to make this house your home.

Add the sales price  of the house or what you are willing to pay for the house and the estimated cost of repairs does it come in below the amount that your loan officer approved you for? Ask yourself this question; can I see this house as my home? If so, you are ready to move on to the next step. This next step will determine whether you make an offer on the house and for how much. Now that you have established the cost of purchasing this house and bringing it up to what you want in a home have your real estate agent perform a bulletproof CMA based on the repairs, work, and remodeling you will do for this house.

Does the Comparative Market Analysis, CMA, show that this house has the potential to meet your minimum gained equity after your down payment? Yes or No, if yes then keep going. If No, don’t be concerned there are a lot more potential homes out there and coming on the market

 Based on the findings of your real estate agent’s work, the CMA, this will determine whether you make an offer or not. Also, it establishes your negotiating start and and end positions. You know the value this house holds so do you can start low and have a stop point OR you make a higher offer and negotiate seller concessions to help reduce the out of pocket cost of purchasing a new home. This is why you have a real estate professional, they are trained and experienced in negotiations.

When using the Renovation Mortgage Equity Plan never buy a new home that doesn’t have at least 10% Equity Potential!
The Renovation Equity Plan has helped many home buyers gain near instant equity wealth as well as protect the new home buyer from a declining housing market. In this current housing market a home buyer with a very small down payment can quickly see their investment turn into a situation in which they are more equity rich soon after all the renovation work is completed!

Another advantage of the Renovation Mortgage Equity Plan is that many home buyers are finding that they are gaining a 20% or more equity position which allows them to refinance, soon after the completion of work, to a new mortgage with a lower interest rate and no mortgage insurance. Just the elimination of the required monthly mortgage insurance payment can lower a house payment by 10 to 20 percent. Now you have a home with equity and a lower house payment!


 My name is Bob Rutledge and I specialize in renovation mortgages, I am a Certified Renovation Mortgage Specialist, and I close renovation mortgages every month. Most mortgage lenders cannot say that.

I have the ability to close FHA 203k, VA Renovation, and HomeStyle Renovation loans all over the State of Missouri, quickly, easily and with far less stress.  I have worked with home buyers and owners not only in St. Louis and the surrounding area, but in Kansas City, Springfield, Cape Girardeau, Columbia, Sikeston and other towns in Missouri.

I am also licensed in Texas, Ohio, Florida, and Illinois. I am quickly gaining experience in these states as well.

We are licensed in 48 states and many of the United States territories. If I cannot help you with your renovation mortgage needs I can refer you to someone that I trust.

If you need help with a renovation mortgage, have questions or would like to apply for a renovation mortgage please free to contact me. Email me at

Posted by Bob Rutledge on November 9th, 2018 3:37 PM

Are you about to start the home buying process? Are you currently in the process and you feel overwhelmed with the process of home buying? You’re not alone. Homebuyer surveys find that more people today want to buy a home, but challenges such as saving for a down payment and student loans are keeping them sidelined.

We know the vast majority of buyers (92 percent) use online search at some point in their home buying process. Maybe that’s how you found me at!

But, before you start picking out your dream house online, take a minute to make sure you grasp these 7 key facts about homeownership.

1. Go back to school (for a day). We know you probably just Goggled “how to buy a home,” but did you know there are homeownership education courses that can really help you prepare? Homebuyer counseling is occasionally required when using a down payment assistance program, but any buyer can benefit. You’ll learn about the home buying process, improving your credit, mortgage terms, planning a budget and more. Plus, a new study finds that by simply participating in these in person or online courses, you’ll reduce your risk of foreclosure by 42 percent.

2. Get an agent. If you aren’t yet a homebuyer, there’s no reason not to have a real estate agent. Your agent’s commission will come from the home you purchase, not your pocketbook. Everybody wins! Even if you don’t think you’ll need help with lots of showings, a real estate agent will help you navigate contracts between you and the seller and set up important things like the home inspection. As a new buyer, you’ll benefit from the expert help.

3. Find the right lender. (PICK ME) Your mortgage lender will help you secure your home financing—and, there are many types of banks and lenders who can help. Unfortunately, according to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), nearly half of homebuyers don’t shop around for a mortgage lender. Like you, your finances and home buying goals are unique. So, it makes sense to shop around and interview your lender for the job. Find a lender that can work within your parameters and not their own, too many lenders will make YOU

4. Your credit score matters. The type of loan you get, including interest rates and points paid, is primarily determined by your credit score. The better your credit score, the more affordable loan you can get, often with more options for a low down payment. For low down payment loans, your MIDDLE credit score needs to be a minimum of 620. Review your credit report, make adjustments and get prepared so you can enjoy the lowest interest rate possible and save cash over the life of your loan.

5. You don’t need 20 percent down. You may have heard or read that you need 20 percent down. It’s not necessarily a bad thing, but that’s just not the case. And, if using a low down payment can get you in a home now (instead of 3 years from now), you’ll enjoy low rates and get out of a rising rent situation. Low down payment options have been around for a long time. In fact, data shows that low down payment loans with sound underwriting (loan is fully documented, income verified) are just as successful as loan with large down payments.

6. Down payment programs offer savings. Did you know the average down payment assistance benefit is more than $8,000? Many homebuyers don’t know about homeownership programs that can help them get in a home much more quickly and provide a valuable cash cushion for other home buying expenses. You could save on save on your down payment and closing costs, or even get ongoing tax credits. If you would like to see how a low down payment mortgage and down payment programs can help to get you into a new home with zero out of pocket expense follow this link to my ZERO PROGRAM.

7. Don’t forget to budget closing costs. Most buyers focus on saving for a down payment, but your closing costs can run you another 3 to 5 percent of the sales price. It’s important to factor in those costs so you are prepared for the closing table. Ask your agent about negotiating those costs with the seller. In addition, some homeownership programs can help you cover your closing costs.

Posted by Bob Rutledge on May 9th, 2018 3:05 PM


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