mortgage

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 you are already a veteran and have been honorably discharged, in…

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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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Making Income Changes While in the Process of Obtaining a Mortgage

                  What happens if you have to change jobs while you are in the middle of getting a mortgage? Lenders typically recommend that you do not make major changes if you are in the middle of trying to get a mortgage, because lenders look for continuity, and will have to re-verify information if major changes are made. However, many folks do not have a choice: sometimes a new opportunity comes up, or are forced to change jobs. The good news is that lenders can work with you, and use the new information (income, salary, etc.) from your new position for your qualifying. This process can be started with just an offer letter, so the terms (salary, start date, etc.) are known to get the process started. Typically, at least one pay stub will be required before closing to show that you have…

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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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Proving Income Stability When Applying for a Mortgage

When people are trying to figure out how much they can afford, Income Stability this one area where it’s easy to get bad information. First we need to determine how much you make each month. We use gross income, not your take home pay.  If you’re in a job where you get the same amount of pay each month, it’s pretty simple. But if you have a job where your income fluctuates from month to month, like commissioned sales or construction, or if part of your pay comes from bonuses, it gets more complicated. The same thing applies if you are self-employed or have your own business. In these cases we need to go back and look at the history of your income over the last two years and make sure that this income is likely to continue. In any event, lenders look more favorably on someone who has been…

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A Look Back and a Look Forward: 2007 Illinois Mortgage and Real Estate Market Predictions for 2008

2007 is almost over. Good riddance. It’s been a turbulent, crazy, chaotic year in the real estate and mortgage industry. This was the year when it all hit the fan. The real estate market slowed down and home prices stagnated or fell. The sub prime mortgage sector imploded and hundreds of wholesale lenders went out of business. The sub prime virus became a credit crunch, infecting the biggest conforming mortgage lenders. One top 10 mortgage lender bit the dust, and some of the biggest names hung on by the skin of their teeth. The costs of getting a mortgage went up, especially for those with good, but not great credit . The cost of a Jumbo loan moved up sharply and still hasn’t recovered . We saw a return to more traditional underwriting. Income verification is now the norm. Good credit  and down payments are now expected, too. Foreclosures and…

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Illinois Mortgage Rates and News Is On the Air

The web is currently home to about 110 million blogs. About 120,000 new weblogs are created every day, and each day there are about 1,500,000 new blog posts. That is  a lot of information flowing out in cyber-space. With so many blogs, and so much competition, how can anyone stand out? Starting a new blog has to be a sign of vanity. What can I possibly say that hasn’t been said before, and better? Even in my niche, mortgages and real estate, there are thousands of blogs and many excellent bloggers who write with authority and insight. What can I bring to the party that will add value and further the conversation? It may be vanity, but with someone as good looking and smart as me, vanity comes with the territory. That’s a joke. Mostly. Just as every one of the 6 billion humans on our planet are unique in…

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