First Time Home Buyers Loan

What Is the Mortgage Appraisal Process?

                    Today, we are going to talk about appraisals and the mortgage appraisal process. When you go to get a mortgage, lenders approve YOU, and your specific financial situation. A lender will begin by looking at your credit, your income and your debts, the sources of your income, and the specific property you are buying or refinancing. The lender will check that the cost of the home is where you need it to be from a financial standpoint, and that it comes in at the right value by doing an appraisal. Finding an Appraiser When doing an appraisal, a qualified appraiser is brought in to appraise the value of the home. Previously, we could pick the appraisers that we brought in to do the appraisal that knew the area well. However, today there is more of a blind system: appraisers are…

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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 Much of A Home Can I Afford?

                    One of the first steps in purchasing a home is considering how much of a home you can afford to buy. Before you start searching for homes on the Internet or with the help of a realtor, you should have a good idea of what kind of mortgage you can qualify for, and what size payment you can comfortably afford. To help figure this out, you can start by talking to a qualified loan officer. Questions to Consider To start the process, we often ask about your goals, and try to assess your financial picture to help determine what you can afford. For example, we may discuss your work history, your employment income, any debt you may have, and your credit score. This conversation will help determine what you may qualify for, and the best options for your unique situation….

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Illinois FHA loans – What Do You Do When Your Chicago FHA Loan Isn’t Automatically Approved?

If you are buying a home in Chicago or the Chicago area, an FHA mortgage might be your best financing choice. With FHA there are two ways to get your mortgage approved. The first is through an automated approval. This is the way nearly all conventional loans are approved, and most FHA loans are approved this way, too. When you apply for a mortgage approval or pre-approval your loan officer enters all your personal and financial information into a computer program and uses an Automated Underwriting System (AUS) to determine the risk in the loan. The system issues either an approval or a refer to the underwriter decision. This is a very simplified explanation. Part of getting the approve decision is based on how your loan officer interprets your loan information and how it corresponds to FHA guidelines. If the wrong information is put in, or if the information is…

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FHA Condo Spot Approvals Mean You can Still Buy a Chicago Area Condo Without a Big Down Payment

I’ve received 4 calls this week from home buyers looking to buy condos in Chicago and the Chicago suburbs. With more condos on the market than at any time over the last several years this is a great time to buy. This means there is more of a selection to choose from, and the competition is bringing condo prices down. This is a great time to buy a new condo, but changes in the mortgage market have made financing condominiums harder than it used to be. Mortgage guidelines have gotten much tougher and mortgage insurance companies are even tougher. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have junked their declining market policy, but the mortgage insurance companies have kept the policies intact. What this means is that in declining markets the mortgage insurance companies require an extra 5% down payment in order to take on the loan, so if you were going…

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If Mortgage Rates are a Commodity, Does it Matter Who You Get Your Mortgage From?

I had breakfast this morning with a Realtor who was having a difficult time with one of her listings. She had a contract on the house and the buyer was pre-approved for the mortgage before they wrote the offer. Everything looked like it was set for a nice smooth transaction. When the financing date in the contract came due the buyer still didn’t have loan approval, so they requested an extension. She was assured that the borrower was great and the appraisal came in right where it needed to be. There were just a few small details to take care of and loan approval would be forthcoming. 10 days later when the extension was up, they still didn’t have a loan approval. The loan officer was vague about what the problems were, but promised that it was nothing serious and with a little more time everything would be fine. By…

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Can You Still Buy a Home in the Chicago Area with No Money Down?

Now that it’s April, I think it is finally safe to say winter is over here in the Chicago area. It’s been a long hard winter, and spring couldn’t come a moment to soon. But the baseball season has officially started, the sun is out and my phone is ringing with first time home buyers who are ready to take the plunge into home ownership. Yep, this is springtime in Chicago. First time home buyers Loan generally have two things in common. One, they are nervous about the home buying process and whether they will be able to qualify for a mortgage (especially now with all the economic uncertainty and the tighter underwriting from the mortgage mess), and two, they don’t have a lot of money saved up for a down payment. This wasn’t a problem a year or two back. Over the last few years 100% financing loans were…

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Why FHA May be the Best Option for Chicago Area Home Buyers – Even Those Who Can Qualify for a Conventional Mortgage

Not so long ago, FHA loans were the red-headed step child in the housing market. They didn’t get any respect. That wasn’t always the case. Back in the old days FHA loans were the only option for most first time home buyers or others who had little money to put down. FHA was the way for many borrowers to take their first steps into home ownership here in the Chicago area. Not only could you buy a home with a small down payment, but the entire down payment could be a gift, and your credit didn’t have to be perfect. There were problems with FHA loans, though. It took longer to get a loan approved and closed than with a conventional loan, and if there were issues with the homes condition (like peeling paint) the issues had to be fixed before closing. Many people felt that FHA underwriters were professional…

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