What Does That Mean – Mortgage Type

Multiple options are available when it comes to real estate loans. Figuring out which one you need can be disconcerting, to say the least. So, if you’re new to the game, here’s a quick guide to help you along. 

Standard Mortgages:

  • Conventional – Loans that fall within the FNMA/FHLMC (Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac) guidelines where the Federal government is not insuring the payment through the VA or FHA loan process are known as conventional loans. A conventional loan has either a fixed or an adjustable interest rate, and typically requires ten to twenty percent downpayment.
  • Conforming – When a loan conforms to guidelines set by FNMA/FHLMC (Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac) where either Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac could later purchase the loan, it is said to be conforming. A non-conforming loan would be any loan that does not fit the guidelines, so a Jumbo Loan, for example, would be outside the scope of FNMA/FHLMC because of its size.
  • FHA Insured – Loans that are insured by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) are made to borrowers meeting specific criteria and often require lower down payments.
  • VA – American military personnel and veterans may obtain a mortgage through the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs (VA) as typically preferred interest rates and/or no or lower down payments.

Specialty Mortgages:

  • Reverse Annuity – This particular mortgage is for seniors on a fixed income and is used to generate monthly revenue from the equity in their home. They continue to live in the house as they like, but ownership reverts to their lender once they move from the home or pass away.
  • Wrap around – Sometimes, a homeowner needs to sell, but chooses to keep a preferential mortgage on the home, so the buyer pays a mortgage payment that covers both the original mortgage and the amortized difference between the existing mortgage and the selling price. The seller is considered to have loaned the “wrap around” amount to the buyer.
  • Balloon – A balloon mortgage is a loan with a short (three years, perhaps) term that has a fixed principal and interest monthly payment that typically is not fully amortized. At the end of the term, the rest of the mortgage is due in a single (balloon) payment at which time buyers typically refinance. These loans are useful for buyers that intend to sell within the balloon period at an appreciation value (such as for a longer fixer-upper), or who could not qualify for a conventional loan at the time but expect that situation to change during the length of the mortgage.
  • Graduated Payment – Sometimes a loan is structured so that earlier payments are lower than later payments and the payments increase on a scheduled basis.
  • Refinance – A refinance is a mortgage taken out to replace an existing mortgage. Homeowners sometimes add more money from the home’s equity onto the loan to complete home improvements.

Short-Term Home Loans:

In addition to full mortgages, there are several short-term loans that homeowners may take in special situations. These include bridge loans (between buying and selling on contingency), construction loans, non-recourse loans (rare, and when the buyer has no responsibility for payment), and home equity loans or lines of credit based on the value difference between the amount owed on the home and its current fair market value.

If you’re wondering what type loan is right for you, speak to a mortgage professional about your situation and get pre-approved.

Strategies for Paying Off Your House Fast

You might think those people who own houses saved up until it got to the right amount. Well, this might be possible, but it is difficult to achieve since the temptation to use the money and unforeseen expenses may arise. So how do most people acquire a house? In America today, the quickest path to homeownership is by a mortgage.

For clarity, a mortgage is a loan from a financial institution or lender that helps the borrower to buy a house. While taking a mortgage may seem like an excellent idea, like every debt, you would want to pay this mortgage off as promptly as possible. So if you are nursing the thought of a mortgage or you are finding it difficult to pay off your mortgage in this post, you will find tips you can use to take control of your money goals and pay off your house early. Here are six practical ways to get there faster:

Switch to Bi-Weekly Mortgage Payments

By dividing your monthly house payment in half and choosing to pay every two weeks, you can relieve yourself of financial stress in two ways. Firstly, this extends the cash flow demand required to pay your monthly bill and secondly, it will help slip an extra monthly-equivalent payment annually.

Refinance to a 15-year Mortgage

Another easy way to pay off your house in no time is to refinance your mortgage from the traditional 30-year mortgage to a 15-year term Doing this will offer you a lower interest rate as well as save you a significant amount of money in interest throughout your loan.

Pay extra each month

Adding $50 to your budget is not too much, but when you continuously add this amount or more to your mortgage payment, it can make a massive difference. Although it might look simple to do, it requires a lot of discipline and commitment.

Bring your lunch to work

Coming to work daily with a brown bag can do you more good other than filling your stomach. By packing a lunch instead of buying from restaurants, you save up a reasonable sum of money that you might put toward paying off your mortgage early.

Put your windfalls into your mortgage

Most taxpayers receive a tax refund each year. If you can utilize all or some of that money as a form of extra payment on your mortgage, you will make rapid progress in paying your house fast.

If you’re looking to purchase a home and don’t want a 30-year payment, consider these factors when determining how much house payment you can afford.

Planning for A Home Appraisal

The home appraisal is the process of re-evaluating or revaluing your property to determine the market value either because you want to put the house up for sale or because you want to refinance your mortgage. When you put up your property for sale, you want to have it appraised by a professional as this will give you a fair idea of how much your property is worth.

Financial institutions giving out loans order a home appraisal to ensure the value of the house they are taking as collateral is equal or more than the amount they are providing as a loan. The evaluation helps lenders to avoid losing money if they decide to sell off the property due to failure by the borrower to pay up at the specified time, also known as foreclosure. A certified professional handles a home appraisal and usually has years of training and experience. After the assessment, the expert is expected to give an unbiased opinion about the value of your property. Some things would present your house in a better light and impact on how valuable your property is.

Fix All Damaged Safety Equipment

Ensure all safety equipment that is not working is fixed before the day of appraisal, as lack of these would make you lose points during the inspection. Ensure safety equipment like smoke alarms, security alarms, water heater straps among others are present and functional in your property.

Document Your Renovations

Inform your home appraiser of recent renovations you may have done on the property, the time when you did them and the cost of such repairs. The appraiser might not notice all the changes since it’s not their house, which is why you should bring it to their notice.

A Little Touch Up

Houses with cracked walls, a leaking roof, water-stained walls, signs of pest infestation, damaged floors, or moldy smell will get valued at a lesser amount. Repaint your walls, replace your leaking roof, fix any broken kitchen cabinet, change the doorknobs and generally improve on the appearance of your property. Also, take a walk around and assess the visual appeal yourself to know the things that need fixing ahead of time.

The $500 Rule

Appraisers value property in $500 increments. To be assessed at a higher amount, it’s better to have things like broken doors, damaged floors, old wallpaper, leaky faucets, broken windows repaired immediately. By doing this, you will recover the amount you spent on such repairs in your home appraisal report.

Check Your Yard

You want to take a walk outside your property and do a thorough scan of what might devalue your property, and have it fixed before the home appraiser arrives. Keep your grass and shrubs neat, add some colorful flowers, remove dried leaves littering the yard and whatever clutter will make your yard less attractive. Houses with a welcoming curb appeal receive better appraisals and are considered more valuable in the market.

Your seller’s agent can help you prepare for your appraisal so heed their advice.

Frequently Asked Questions About FHA Home Loans

If you’ve been considering taking the next step toward homeownership, you’ve likely heard about FHA loans. Offered by the Federal Housing Administration (hence, “FHA”), these loans are great for a number of people hoping to purchase a home but who don’t have a large down payment saved.

There are many misconceptions about FHA loans since they’re often advertised by large, private mortgage lenders but are technically a government program. In order to clear up some of the confusion, we’ve provided answers to some frequently asked questions regarding FHA loans.

Read on to learn about FHA loans and how they might help you purchase a home.

Who issues an FHA loan?

FHA loans aren’t issued by the government. Rather, they’re issued by private lenders but insured, or “guaranteed,” by the government.

Since lenders want to make sure they’ll see a positive return from lending to you, they typically want you to have a high credit score and a large down payment (typically 20%). However, not everyone is able to meet those requirements. In this situation, the FHA is able to help you acquire a loan by giving your lender a guarantee.

Are there different types of FHA loans?

Yes. In fact, there are nine distinct types of loans guaranteed by the FHA. These include fixed rate mortgages, adjustable rate mortgages, refinance loans, reverse mortgages, VA loans, and more.

What do you need to qualify for an FHA loan?

It’s a common misconception that you need to be a first-time buyer to qualify for an FHA loan. However, if you have previously owned a home that was foreclosed on or if you’ve filed for bankruptcy, the foreclosure and bankruptcy have to be at least three years old.

You’ll also need to demonstrate a stable employment history, usually including two years of employment with the same employer.

Finally, the FHA will ask you for your current and previous addresses, the last two years tax returns, and the W-2 forms from any of your recent jobs.

What is the most I can borrow with an FHA loan?

The FHA sets mortgage limits on loans depending on the state and county you’ll be living in. For a single-family home, the limit ranges from $275,000 to $451,000. So be sure to check the limits for your state and county.

Can you refinance an FHA loan?

Refinancing a loan is a great way to receive a lower interest rate or to shorten the term of their mortgage to save in the total number of interest payments. In fact, the FHA typically only allows refinancing when it will result in lower interest payments on a loan.

What is the minimum credit score needed to qualify for an FHA loan?

While you don’t need excellent credit to qualify for a loan, the FHA will require you to have a score of at least a 580. You can check your score for free online from a number of companies, such as Mint or Credit Karma. Be aware, however, that scores vary between credit bureaus. So, it’s a good idea to check your FICO score once per year, which is the score used by mortgage lenders.