St. Louis Mortgage Help

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 YOUR SECRECT WEAPON

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, https://www.bobrutledge.com/fha-203k-renovation-St.Louis.

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 https://www.bobrutledge.com/HomestyleRenovation 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 https://www.bobrutledge.com/VA-renovation-mortgage

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 https://www.bobrutledge.com/Home

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. 

WHAT IS THE MISSOURI NURSES HOME LOAN PROGRAM? 

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
ALL YOUR CLOSING COSTS!

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 www.bobrutledge.com or schedule an appointment here at my calendar.

THE MISSOURI NURSES HOME LOAN PROGRAM!


 

Posted by Bob Rutledge on June 24th, 2019 2:11 PM
WHAT IS A FHA 203k or HOMESTYLE RENOVATION MORTGAGE?

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 

THE BEST MORTGAGE FOR TODAY'S HOUSING MARKET

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.

BOB RUTLEDGE FHA 203k and RENOVATION MORTGAGE SPECIALIST

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 www.bobrutledge.com 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

THE RENOVATION MORTGAGE EQUITY PLAN

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 RENOVATION MORTGAGE EQUITY PLAN

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 www.bobrutledge.com 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.

HOW DOES THE FHA 203k EQUITY PLAN WORK

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!

PUT YOUR TEAM TOGETHER TODAY
TOMORROW START YOUR HOME WORK

 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 FHA203kbob@gmail.com

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

(1) Shopping for a house before a mortgage

It is so much more fun to look at homes than it is to talk about your finances with a lender. So that’s what a lot of first-time home buyers do: They visit properties before finding out how much they are able to borrow. Then, they are disappointed when they discover they were looking in the wrong price range (either too high or too low) or when they find that right home they scramble to get financing, and the mortgage is not something you want to rush or put too little of time in to. In today’s housing market you want to show home sellers you are a serious buyer and able to make a serious offer when you find that right home.

How to avoid this mistake: Talk to a mortgage professional about getting pre-qualified or even preapproved for a home loan before you start to seriously shop for a place. The pre-qualification or preapproval process involves a review of your credit, income and expenses. Having a per-qualification/pre-approval letter in hand will make your offer more competitive, and most offers today must have this letter.

 

(2) Not looking for first-time home buyer programs

 

As a first-time home buyer, you probably don’t have a ton of money saved up for the down payment and closing costs. But don’t make the error of assuming that you have to delay homeownership while saving for a huge down payment. There are plenty of low-down-payment loan programs out there.

Besides low down payment mortgage programs there is a lot of down payment assistance programs available to first time home buyers. Many times the funds that are available to you from DPA (down payment assistance) Programs will cover your entire down payment.

Even if you have saved enough for a low down payment mortgage program keeping your savings in your pocket will allow you to pay with cash for the items you need for your new home. I see too many home buyers use credit to purchase new home items, increasing your monthly credit obligations just after purchasing a new home.

Visit my website at http://www.bobrutledge.com/MODPA to learn more about what is available in the State of Missouri!

How to avoid this mistake: Ask a mortgage lender about your options. You might qualify for a Veterans Administration or U.S. Department of Agriculture loan that doesn’t require a down payment. Federal Housing Administration loans have a minimum down payment of 3.5%, and some conventional loan programs allow down payments as low as 3%. Ask about down payment assistance programs as well. Do your own homework too, search for DPA programs in your area.

 

(3) Not hiring a buyer’s agent

 

Too many home buyers make this mistake! Do not make the mistake of working directly with the seller’s real estate agent, who was first hired and obligated to secure the best price and terms for the seller. Do not be persuaded that a Real Estate Agent can negotiate in all fairness to both sides, it is impossible. As a novice home buyer, you could be overmatched when negotiating with an experienced agent who’s working on the seller’s behalf.

How to avoid this mistake: Work with an exclusive buyer’s agent, who has a duty to work in your best interests. If you do not know a real estate agent, seek out referrals from your friends and family. But, if you are working with a Mortgage Lender they will know many qualified real estate agents in the area and especially an agent who will fit your needs.

 

(4) Using up all of your savings

 

If you buy a previously owned home, it almost inevitably will need an unexpected repair not long after. Maybe you’ll need to replace a water heater, repair a crack in the chimney or get rid of hidden mold.

Having money in your account after you close is one of the best situations for any home buyer. Besides the home repairs that will come, what about the small items that will be needed for your new home the moment you move in.

Using your own funds and not your credit cards will keep you from increasing your debt loan. You have a new house payment, normally at or higher than your previous rent, try not to add to your monthly debt with additional credit card purchases if you don’t have to.

Read about my ZERO PROGRAM at http://www.bobrutledge.com/zero-down-payment-closing-costs and how easy it is for new home buyers keep their savings in their pockets.

How to avoid this mistake: Save enough money to make a down payment, pay for closing costs and moving expenses, and take care of unexpected expenses. This is easier said than done. But you can buy a home with a down payment of much less than 20%, allowing you to conserve your savings.

 

(5) Ignoring a home’s flaws and drawbacks

 

A lot of first-time home buyers fall in love with one of the first properties they look at. They ignore the negatives of the house and its neighborhood.

But you can’t disregard the downsides forever. For example, you might think you’ll be OK with a long commute, but after a few months of spending too many hours stuck in traffic, you’ll wish you had bought a house closer to work.

How to avoid this mistake: Do two things. First, resolve to visit many of houses  before making an offer, you’ll be less likely to fall in love with the first or second or third home you look at.

 

Second, write a list of the attractive and the unattractive qualities of each house, and pay attention to each home’s downsides.

(6) Being indecisive

 

The flip side of choosing a place too quickly is acting too slowly when you find the right home. In a market with more buyers than sellers, you have to move fast.

I see this a lot when I first pre-approve a home buyer, they needed some time to think about it and made an offer two or three days after viewing a house, only to discover that another buyer had swooped in and made a successful offer. This will only happen to you after the first couple times, but by then you will know what you want in a home. If this happens to you know that it is normal and simply a part of the learning process of being a first time home buyer…..all things happen for a reason.

How to avoid this mistake: Once you look at multiple houses, and you get a feel of the market and you know what the market is like and where the prices are at, and you see something you like, don’t hesitate to make an offer, because you and 10 other people will be interested in that same property, this is today’s housing market.

 

(7) Overpaying for a house

 

First-time home buyers tend to pay more than experienced buyers would pay for the same house, according to research conducted by two economists with the Federal Housing Finance Agency. In their analysis of appraisal data from more than 1.7 million home sales, FHFA economists Jessica Shui and Shriya Murthy concluded that first-timers overpay by an average of 0.79%, which was nearly $2,200 per house, according to the data set they examined.

Shui and Murthy pointed to the inexperience of first-time home buyers. Real estate agents say newbie buyers let their emotions take over, too. First Time Home Buyers tend to overlook potential negatives and only look at the positives of a particular house. I tell me home buyers to act with their heads and not with their heart, but I know I am asking for the impossible so just use as much of one as the other.

How to avoid this mistake: Ask your agent for a competitive market analysis, a report that looks at the prices of comparable nearby homes that have been sold recently. And it helps to fully understand the real estate process, so seek out as much information as possible. If you have friend that recently went through the process or are currently seek out their advice.

 

(8) Skipping the home inspection

 

In some markets, a lot of buyers compete for a small number of properties for sale. In these strong seller’s markets, buyers are tempted to waive a home inspection. It gives them a competitive edge over smarter buyers who wouldn’t dream of forgoing an inspection before plunking down hundreds of thousands of dollars for a home.

It’s a HUGE mistake to buy a previously owned home without an inspection because there could be expensive, hidden damage that you wouldn’t spot but an inspector would.

How to avoid this mistake: Simple: NEVER EVER ALLOW THIS TO HAPPEN. Hire a licensed home inspector. Your real estate agent will gladly make a recommendation, but it’s better to hire an inspector of your own choosing who doesn’t depend on your agent for referrals. Plus, require that a home inspection contingency is included in your sales contract, your BUYER AGENT who represent you will help you get this negotiated in the sale contract.

 

(9) Underestimating the costs of ownership

 

After you buy a home, the monthly bills keep stacking up. This can come as a surprise if you’re not ready.

Keep in mind it’s not just your mortgage payment, you’re going to have the utilities bills that you did not or may not have been paying when you rented.

Renters may have been paying these kinds of bills, too. But the new home could very possibly have higher costs simply because your new home is bigger. Your house may come with entirely new bills, such as homeowner association fees.

How to avoid this mistake: Work with a real estate agent who can tell you how much the neighborhood’s property taxes and insurance typically cost. Ask to see the seller’s utility bills for the last 12 months the home was occupied so you have an idea how much they will cost after you move in. Ask for a seller disclosure for every house you are interested in, many times this will help you.

 

(10) Miscalculating repair and renovation costs

First-time home buyers are frequently surprised by high repair and renovation costs. Buyers can make two mistakes: First, they get a repair estimate from just one contractor, and the estimate is unrealistically low. Second, their perspective is distorted by reality TV shows that make renovations look faster, cheaper and easier than they are in the real world.

 

How to avoid this mistake: Assume that all repair estimates are low.

Seek more than one estimate for expensive repairs, such as roof replacements. A good real estate agent should be able to give you referrals to contractors who can give you estimates. But also seek independent referrals from friends, family and co-workers so you can compare those estimates against ones you receive from contractors your agent refers.

Consider purchasing a home in need of repairs with a renovation mortgage program that will allow you to use your mortgage to purchase your home as well as fund the repair/renovation costs all in one new home loan. Want to learn more about renovation mortgages visit my website to Learn More About Renovation Mortgages at http://www.bobrutledge.com/HomeStyle-Renovation-Mortgage

Posted by Bob Rutledge on April 17th, 2018 11:55 AM

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

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

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

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