Mortgage Programs

Who Can Qualify for a VA Loan?

                        VA loans, or loans through the Veteran’s Administration, are special loan programs for veterans that require qualification. If you are looking at VA loans, you have probably heard of some of the great benefits: you can buy a home with no money down, you do not need monthly mortgage insurance (rather, there is just need a one-time funding fee built into the loan), and you get a competitive interest rate with low closing costs. It is probably one of the best loans out there and was designed for those who have served our country. Do You Qualify? If you have been in the Armed Forces, such as the Army, Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard, Marines, National Guard, or their reserves, you could be eligible. The VA loan program is inclusive of both active duty and qualified veterans. If…

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What Mortgage Programs Are Available to Veterans?

If you’re a veteran or a disabled veteran, what special programs for buying a home are available to you? If you served your country, you can take advantage of the Veterans Administration Loan Program that allows you to get 0% down on a home loan. In addition, there are other benefits with a VA loan, which will be described below. Funding Fee When setting up a Veterans Administration loan, a funding fee is attached to the mortgage. VA loans do not require mortgage insurance, as with typical mortgages when you put less than 20% down. However, there is a one-time funding fee that is added back into the mortgage. The amount of the funding fee depends on whether you were active duty, or served in the National Guard. However, if you are a considered a disabled veteran, this funding fee is waived and can save you money up front. Real…

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Learn About the Illinois Assist Program

                  For first time home buyers, there is a great new program called the Illinois Assist Program. This program is great news for first-time buyers and is a grant that does not have to be paid back, which gives money back at closing towards your down payment and closing costs. If you qualify, you can get up to 5% of the loan amount back, which can be a huge amount. Qualifications for the Illinois Assist Program There are some strings attached – it is not available everywhere in Illinois, but is in a number of areas in the Chicago area: including Cook County, Kendall County, and a number of cities such as Naperville, Schaumburg, and Aurora. There are income caps for the buyer, but they are still relatively high so there is room for you to buy, and there is a cap…

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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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How To Get A VA Loan for 0% Down?

                    We will discuss VA Loans, which are 0% down loans for qualified military veterans. If you are a qualified military veteran, or an active duty Servicemember of the military, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) provides home loans with special benefits to help you become a homeowner. Special Benefits One of the best perks of being an active member or veteran of the military is the VA Loan, which requires you put down as little as 0% down for a down payment, without the requirement of mortgage insurance. Conventional mortgages require minimum down payment, where buyers have to pay a percentage of the home purchase price up front when buying a home. Other programs such as FHA loans reduce the down payment required, often lowering the minimum down payment to a lower percentage than conventional mortgages. Most loans under…

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How Soon Can I Buy a House After a Foreclosure?

In my last article, we discussed how soon you can buy a home after a bankruptcy or short sale, and the standard time frames in which you must wait before re-applying for a home loan. Today we will go over deed-in-lieu of foreclosure and foreclosures, and your waiting periods in their wake. Buying After Deed in Lieu of Foreclosure A Deed-in-Lieu of Foreclosure may happen when a homeowner realizes they aren’t financially stable enough to keep their house, and subsequently offers to deed their property to the lender. If the lender accepts, they in return forgive the homeowner’s debt and waive the right to pursue them for further payments. This situation is rare, but not unheard of. If you find yourself in this way, and would like to apply for a conventional home loan, you will need to wait four to seven years depending on your specific case. You may find…

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How Soon Can I Buy a House After a Bankruptcy or Short sale?

Since the financial crisis of 2007, it seems like everyone knows at least one person who’s pocketbook was hit hard resulting in the loss of their house, or the need to file for bankruptcy. Maybe that person is you. You’ve been through some tough times lately; You’re not alone. Now that you are getting back on your feet, you may be asking yourself, “When can I buy a house again?” Let’s discuss your options for buying a new home after bankruptcy or short sale. Buying a New Home After a Bankruptcy The definition of filing for bankruptcy is the legal proceeding in which an individual is unable to pay their outstanding debts. There are two types of bankruptcy; Chapter 7 and Chapter 13. Chapter 7 bankruptcy occurs when an individual files a petition, their assets are evaluated and used to pay back some of his or her outstanding debt, and…

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Alternatives to Low Down Payment for Chicago Area Home Buyers

Have a young new family? The chances that you have 20% to put down on the purchase of a home aren’t very likely. Without a large sum of money, non-veterans will be heading to the FHA (Federal Housing Administration) for their mortgage, or paying for private mortgage insurance on a conventional loan. Both of these options definitely have their drawbacks one of which being that the fees are substantially high and the hikes in FHA fees have only made the outlook grimmer.   Taking a look at different options and government programs for borrowers without large bank accounts can offer some hope. People who have less than 5 percent to put towards their down payment or people with bad credit probably won’t be able to obtain a conventional loan. So for them, FHA is the way to go. FHA’s mission is to get people with a small savings and bad…

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