FHA Home Loan

What Questions Should You Ask Your Lender When Applying for a Loan?

                  When shopping for renovation loans and FHA 203k renovation loans, what questions should you ask your lender to be sure they are qualified and ensure a smooth process? Renovation loans are popular because they are flexible: you can take a property in need of a lot of work, and turn it into a good-as-new home, or find a home needing minor updates and make it the way you want. Checking Lender Experience While many lenders say they do renovation loans, it is important to find out how many they’ve actually done. One of the most important things to determine is the amount of experience your lender has with renovation loans. Renovation loans are different than traditional mortgages. Not only does the borrower need to be approved, but contractors doing the renovations need to be involved as well. Everything that needs to…

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What Can You Do with a Renovation Loan?

What specifically are you allowed to do with a renovation loan? The real question is, “What can’t you do?” because there is a lot of flexibility with this type of loan. There are many different ways to use this program. There are three basic types to look at: FHA 203k renovation loan: a great way to get a government-insured property with as little as 3.5% down, including costs of repairs Homestyle renovation loan: better if you have a bit more of a down payment VA renovation loan: includes special benefits for veterans and disabled veterans The good thing about renovation loans is their flexibility: you can use it for something that just needs a little bit of work or a home that needs a tremendous amount of work. It doesn’t matter what the condition of the property is currently in, but what the condition will be once you finish making…

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How to Find the Right Lender for a FHA 203k Renovation Loan

                  A renovation loan, or FHA 203k renovation loan, is a great tool for buying a home that needs some repairs or improvements to raise the value of the home. Renovation loans allow buyers to incorporate renovation costs into the mortgage in order to improve the home and raise its value immediately, rather than waiting to renovate years down the road. In addition, this can save money in comparison to a second mortgage or use credit cards to make improvements. When shopping for a lender, what questions do you need to ask when considering a renovation loan, or FHA 203k renovation loan? How Experienced Is the Lender? How many renovation loans has the lender done in the past? There are many moving parts to a renovation loan: you have to approve the situation, know the timing of everything, and know what is…

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How Can a 203k Renovation Loan Save You Money?

                  If you’re looking into buying a home in the Chicago area, a 203k renovation loan can end up helping you save money. If you’re looking to buy with an FHA 203k loan, it will allow you to buy a home, and add in some improvements at the same time. While it costs a bit more to buy with a 203k loan than a traditional mortgage, you can still save a lot of money if you know what you’re doing. When a Renovation Loan is Appropriate It comes down to your plans for the home after you buy. Many folks think that a renovation loan is only for buying a run-down property or a foreclosure, and homes that haven’t been cared for very well. However, there are many homes in good condition that are simply out of style, such as homes occupied…

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Are You Thinking About Buying a Chicago Area Home in 2017?

                    With 2016 behind us, and the beginning of 2017 underway, many folks take a step back and look at their New Year’s resolutions and what they would like to accomplish in the coming year. While reflecting on their aspirations for the year, many renters and first-time buyers have the goal of purchasing a new home in 2017. If buying a home is one of your New Year’s resolutions, take some time to figure out and assess where you are now, and where you need to be in order to buy a home. Doing an assessment with a qualified mortgage loan officer will help you determine where you are at financially, and things you can to do to help you prepare to buy a home. Examining Your Savings, Debt and Credit An important aspect of your financial picture is your amount…

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Simple Guide to the 203k Renovation Loan

If you’re out looking for a home, you’ve probably noticed that inventories are tight: there are not as many homes available as you would like, and the homes in good locations at the right price will go fast, often with multiple offers. Similarly, there are many homes that sit on the market for a long time due to their condition: perhaps due to the home not being updated in many years, or due to a physical problem with the home that needs to be fixed before occupancy. In these cases, a simple fix for this problem is the renovation loan. Buying the Ugly Duckling Sometimes, it makes sense to buy what many would call the ‘ugly duckling’ – a home that needs some updating or several repairs. An updated home in a good location will often be very expensive, and a discounted ‘ugly duckling’ home can be a better financial…

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Down Payments and Gifts: Part 2

In my last post, Down Payments and Gifts: Part 1, we discussed what a down payment is, how much you might need for a down payment, and how the type of loan determines how you can use a gift. In this post, we will explore the definition of a gift in the world of mortgages, what paperwork you’ll need to verify a gift, and the overall rules for gifts for all loan types. What is considered a “gift”? Let’s say Aunt Judy gives you $50, and Grandma and Grandpa Smith give you $1,000 for your college graduation. Can you use both as gifts towards a down payment on a house? Absolutely! It’s just that the $1,000 probably requires a little documentation. Look at it from a lender’s point of view. When they examine your accounts, they want to be sure that all of the money in there is yours. If…

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Down Payments and Gifts: Part 1

Whether it’s in a jar labeled “Future Home” or in a special account at the bank, you’ve been saving your pennies for a down payment. Go you! But how much do you have versus how much do you need? Are grandma and grandpa giving you a chunk of change for your graduation towards the down payment too? Before answering these questions, let’s take one small step back in order to define some terms. What is a down payment? The definition of a down payment is the initial payment made when something is bought on credit. For our purposes, that something is a house. The money you use for a down payment is the foundation for the equity you’ll build in your home over time as you make mortgage payments. Equity is the total amount of money you’ve paid towards owning your home. For example, if you made a $15,000 down…

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Pre-Approval for FHA and VA Home Loans

For many home buyers, one of the first steps towards owning a new home is pre-approval. But what does that even mean? Is it important to get pre-approved? What will you need to get pre-approved for a home loan? These common questions and others are what we will be exploring today. What is pre-qualification? Don’t confuse pre-approval and pre-qualification. Pre-qualifying for a mortgage is based on financial information you verbally provide a lender to determine a general mortgage amount for which you might be approved. Pre-qualification does not look at your credit report, does not verify any financial information, and therefore does not carry nearly the same weight as being pre-approved. However, it can be helpful to get pre-qualified as it costs nothing to do, can be done within minutes, and can help steer you towards the right type of mortgage (Conventional, FHA, or VA). What is pre-approval? Pre-approval happens…

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5 Differences between FHA and Conventional Home Loans

There are many different types of home loans out there these days. It’s hard to figure out where to start. I’d like to save you hours of scanning the Internet by breaking down the fundamental differences between the two most common types of home loans: FHA and Conventional. 1. The Basics Let’s start with some basic information. By definition, A Federal Housing Administration (FHA) loan is government-backed, while a conventional home loan is not. This means that if you default on a conventional loan, your lender has no guarantee for repayment. If you default on an FHA loan, the FHA insures that the lender will be repaid in full. Because of the FHA home loan’s guarantee, the underwriting process may take longer and there are additional FHA requirements, such as a health and safety inspection. The wait and additional requirements can be worth it, though, if an FHA home loan…

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