Home buyer’s guide

Preparing to buy a home before you jump in headfirst is one of the best decisions you can make. Buying a home is a big decision, but when you know what’s expected and how to get the best rate and terms on your mortgage, you’ll have an easier time becoming a homeowner.

Home Loans

How to Pick the Right Real Estate Agent

How to Pick the Right Real Estate Agent

Picking the right real estate agent is just as important as finding the right home. With the right help, you may find the perfect home faster, get the best price, and have a more seamless process. So how do you pick the right real estate agent? It’s a lot like...

Six Satisfyingly Simple Steps for Loan Pre-Qualification

Six Satisfyingly Simple Steps for Loan Pre-Qualification

You need a loan pre-qualification if you want the home buying process to be easy. In today’s seller’s market, buyers have to do everything possible to set themselves above the rest. Without a pre-qualification the chances of a seller choosing you over others are slim....

Finding a Home and Making an Offer – What to Expect

Finding a Home and Making an Offer – What to Expect

Finding the right home takes time. If you prepare ahead of time and know exactly what to look for, though, it can speed the process up. But, finding a home is only the beginning. Next, you must make an offer – an offer that the seller accepts. It’s a process, but if...

What to Expect after your Offer is Accepted

What to Expect after your Offer is Accepted

Finding the perfect home is quite the project, but it’s just the start. You still have to get the sellers to accept your offer. You’ll likely go back and forth with the seller a few times before you agree on both sides. Once accepted, the process goes fast! Knowing...

How to Use Your Tax Refund as a Down Payment on a Home

How to Use Your Tax Refund as a Down Payment on a Home

If you’re like millions of other taxpayers, you’ll receive a tax refund at tax time. A refund makes doing your taxes more fun, right? But once you receive the refund, what do you do with it? A spending spree sounds fun, as does taking a dream vacation, but what if you...

Refinancing

Tips for Refinancing: Evaluating Your Income

Tips for Refinancing: Evaluating Your Income

One of the most significant considerations in deciding whether you apply for a refinance, debt restructuring, or buy mortgage is your income. That might not come as a shock, but you may be shocked by the many different forms your salary can be measured depending on...

Is it Time for a Mortgage Refinance?

Is it Time for a Mortgage Refinance?

Have interest rates plummeted after you purchased your home? Are you in a much better financial and credit situation than when you first took out your mortgage? Are you looking for a way to reduce your mortgage or loan payments on a monthly basis? If all of the above...

Refinancing’s Advantages

Refinancing’s Advantages

You've been living in your house for a while and have been paying your mortgage payment every month. However, when you see on the evening news that mortgage rates are 1% cheaper than what you locked in 10 to 15 years earlier, you soon remember that you might be...

Refinance Tips: Using Your Savings for a Down Payment

Refinance Tips: Using Your Savings for a Down Payment

It's time to work out how to document the origins of your funds for the down payment and closing expenses after you've calculated how much of a down payment you can afford on your home mortgage. "Why do they care where I get the money?" you may wonder. To assess the...

Mortgage Refinance Loans Come in a Variety of Forms

Mortgage Refinance Loans Come in a Variety of Forms

You have more refinancing options than ever before thanks to today's lenders. So, whether you want to lower your monthly payments or lower your rates, you can find financing that is right for you. You can also compare loan quotes online without harming your credit...

Is Refinancing Suitable for You?

Is Refinancing Suitable for You?

Are You Qualified for a Refinance? A one-on-one personalized review with a professional mortgage broker will assist you in deciding if a mortgage refinance is right for you. It's important to understand the objectives in order to assess the value of a possible...

Loan options

FIXED-RATE

Interest rates on Fixed Rate Mortgages are still very low! If you plan to stay in your home for the long term, a consistent payment that never changes can help you prepare for your financial future. Plan your budget with a consistent mortgage payment at a low rate that will stay the same through the life of your loan.

Common types of fixed rate mortgages

The 15-year mortgage

You will pay less in interest. If you borrow $100,000 to purchase a home at a 4% interest rate, paying over a longer period of time will mean more interest on the money borrowed. So, a 15-year mortgage can significantly cut down on the interest that you pay. Add to that the lower interest rates that are often available for 15-year mortgages and you could have some big savings available.

Your monthly payment will likely be higher. Even with the lower interest rate, you will probably have a slightly higher payment with a 15-year mortgage. This happens because you are paying more towards principal from the beginning. But, you will be mortgage-free in half the time, which is no small feat.

The 30-year mortgage

You will pay more in interest. Longer mortgage means more interest charged. This is how banks and other lenders make their money. They loan you, the borrower, money and collect their interest over the 15 or 30 years it takes you to pay them back.
Your monthly payment will likely be lower. Because you are spreading out your payments over a longer period of time, they will almost always be lower with a 30-year mortgage. If your monthly budget is tight, this may be a better way to go.

How it Works

  • Monthly payments are based on interest rate, principal loan amount, and amortized interest over 30 years. With a Fixed Rate Mortgage, your interest rate will never change, even if market rates increase!
  • Your payment will not change throughout the life of the loan.
  • Your actual payment will vary based on your situation and the current interest rates when you apply.
  • Pay your mortgage off at any time without pre-payment penalties.

Have questions? Give us a call! One of our mortgage specialists would be happy to answer all of your questions.

FHA HOME LOAN

An FHA Home Loan may get you into a home with a low down payment. An FHA loan provides a government-insured loan with flexible loan options. One of the biggest hurdles that first time homebuyers face is saving up for a sizable down payment on a home. Even experienced homeowners may need to plan for a long time for a new home purchase. Fortunately, FHA loans may help some buyers get into the home of their dreams with a lower down payment.

What is an FHA loan?

FHA loans are mortgages backed by the U.S. Federal Housing Administration. Lenders, such as banks and credit unions, that provide FHA loans provide funding for home purchases while requiring a lower down payment. Buyers may get into a new home with as little as 3.5% down.

Using conventional loans, a lower down payment requires the borrower to get private mortgage insurance. This special type of insurance protects the lender just in case the borrower is not able to pay. The cost of PMI is added to the monthly payment until the amount of the loan reaches 20%. FHA loans, on the other hand, do not require PMI because they are backed by the U.S. government. Additional scrutiny is often required during the loan application process using an FHA loan.

What is required for an FHA loan?

Many of the same documents are required for an FHA loan that any potential lender will want to see: employment history, appraisal, debt-to-income ration. A few additional stipulations are also attached to the FHA loan process. Buyers may have to bring 3.5% of the purchase price as a down payment, more if they have a credit score below 580. FHA loans are only available for the borrower’s primary residence.

Credit requirements may also be lower for FHA loans, given other factors demonstrate that the borrower is able to manage their money responsibly. Each lender looks at individual applications and may ask for additional documentation or explanations. They are often able to work with buyers with a lower credit score or shorter credit history than in other situations.

How FHA Loans Work

  • Purchase your home with as little as 3.5% down payment (compared to 20% required on most loans).
  • 30-, 25-, 20- and 15-year terms are all available with fixed rates.
  • 5-year adjustable rate mortgage available.
  • Pay your mortgage off at any time without pre-payment penalties.

Have questions?  Give us a call!  One of our mortgage specialists would be happy to answer all of your questions.

**My City Mortgage is not affiliated with or acting on behalf of or at the direction of FHA, VA, USDA or the Federal Government.

VA HOME LOAN

Are you a military service member or veteran looking to buy a home? As a benefit of your service, the Department of Veterans Affairs offers unique resources to help those with military experience purchase a home with a low or zero down payment. The VA Loan is a valuable tool that military members and veterans may use to pursue home ownership. VA Loans offer flexible options as either Fixed Rate or Adjustable Rate mortgages.

VA loans are available and provide the buyer the chance to finance 100% of the purchase price of the home. This means no down payment is required. It is important to note that buyers will still need to qualify for the loan. This means that lenders will look at their credit and ability to pay the mortgage. If you are in a troubling financial position, a lender may want to see you pay down debt or save up money before they are willing to give you the loan.

You may also be responsible for closing costs, such as recording the title or paying lawyers to draw up all paperwork. This is negotiable with the seller and something to discuss with your realtor before making an offer on a home.

The VA Loan process

A VA loan works the same as most other home purchases, with a buyer making a written offer to purchase a home under specific conditions (price, closing cost assistance, other contingencies), and then going through an approval process with a lender. The key difference with a VA loan is that the Department of Veterans Affairs requires that all homes purchased through this program meet certain habitability requirements. They will send out a home inspector and appraiser to make sure that the home is in good working order and is worth what you are paying.

This step may sometimes cause delays, especially if repairs are needed after the inspector looks around. Issues at the home do not necessarily mean that the buyer cannot use the VA loan, just that repairs will need to be done before the home purchase can be completed. The VA recently started offering a VA loan to be used for homes that need renovation on a limited basis.

How VA Loans Work

  • Purchase your home with as little as 0% down payment.
  • 30-, 25-, 20- and 15-year terms are all available with fixed rates.
  • 5-year adjustable rate mortgage available.
  • Jumbo VA loans available.
  • VA Streamline Refinance with a reduced funding fee and flexible documentation requirements – available for veterans currently in VA loans.
  • No monthly PMI (Private Mortgage Insurance).
  • VA loans are governed by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.
  • Pay your mortgage off at any time without pre-payment penalties.

Have questions?  Give us a call! One of our mortgage specialists would be happy to answer all of your questions.

**My City Mortgage is not affiliated with or acting on behalf of or at the direction of FHA, VA, USDA or the Federal Government.

REHAB LOAN

Fix up your fixer upper home with a Rehab Loan. If you have found the perfect home but it needs renovation, you can purchase the home and roll the costs of the renovation into your loan.

An FHA 203(k) Loan, also called a Renovation Loan, allows buyers to finance the cost of the home and the renovation in one mortgage with a low rate.

The VA also offers a similar option for military and veterans to purchase a home and finance the required renovations to bring it up to standards set by the VA.

Rehab loans have similar qualification requirements to a standard FHA or VA loan, with additional documentation needed related to the renovation.

Have questions? Give us a call! One of our mortgage specialists would be happy to answer all of your questions.

USDA LOAN

USDA Loans offer flexible options as either Fixed Rate or Adjustable Rate mortgages. You may qualify with less than perfect credit. Buying a home with little or no down payment can provide opportunities for buyers that otherwise may not be able to become homeowners. Fortunately for today’s buyers, there are a few programs that can help them qualify for a mortgage with a very small down payment. One that is not widely discussed is the USDA Single Family Housing Guaranteed Loan Program.

What is a USDA home loan?

The United States Department of Agriculture, USDA, administers the program but does not actually loan money. Similar to loans backed by the Department of Veterans Affairs, VA, or Federal Housing Administration, FHA, these loans are guaranteed by the USDA. Private lenders, such as banks or credit unions, still loan money to the home buyer but they know that the USDA will pay if the borrower is unable.

This allows lenders to assume less risk, and as a result they are okay requiring less money down.

Who can use the USDA program?

Contrary to its name, the USDA loan is not only available for those in an agricultural setting. The USDA loan is designed to help “low and moderate income households the opportunity to own adequate, modest, decent, safe and sanitary dwellings as their primary residence in eligible rural areas.”

To use the USDA loan, applicants must meet income requirements and be purchasing a home for their own primary use in an eligible area. Potential homeowners can look up each property’s address to see if it qualifies or talk to a lender about using a USDA loan in their area. The loan can be used for new homes, existing homes, and even homes that need some renovations.

If coming up with a sizable down payment is holding you back from your dreams of home ownership, the USDA loan may be just the answer you are looking for.

How USDA Loans Work

  • Purchase your home with as little as 0% down payment.
  • 30-, 25-, 20- and 15-year terms are all available with fixed rates.
  • 5-year adjustable rate mortgage available.
  • No monthly PMI (Private Mortgage Insurance).
  • USDA loans are governed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
  • Pay your mortgage off at any time without pre-payment penalties.

Qualification Requirements

  • Household income limits apply and are based on location.
  • Only available in certain areas. Talk to a specialist today to see if it is an option for you!
  • Buy a home with no money down (primary home).
  • Refinance up to 100% of your primary home’s value.

Have questions?  Give us a call! One of our mortgage specialists would be happy to answer all of your questions.

**My City Mortgage is not affiliated with or acting on behalf of or at the direction of FHA, VA, USDA or the Federal Government.

JUMBO HOME LOAN

Jumbo Homes Loans can make high-end home purchases possible. When a loan amount reaches a certain point, Jumbo and Super Jumbo Loans can offer high-end financing that a traditional loan can’t.

Over the past few years, some lenders have decreased their Jumbo Loan offerings and have made them harder to obtain. At My City Mortgage, we can get you a great rate on your Jumbo Loan.

With a jumbo mortgage, you’ll get great rates even on a large home purchase. With a choice between fixed or adjustable rates, our jumbo loans offer maximum flexibility for home financing for larger loans.

Have questions? Give us a call! One of our mortgage specialists would be happy to answer all of your questions.

FIRST TIME HOME BUYER

Buying your first home is a very exciting step! My City Mortgage loan specialists are here to guide you through every step of the loan process.

Before finding your new home, we can help you get pre-qualified for free. We can also match you with a trusted real estate agent through our partner networks. Our variety of loan options allow you to buy your first home with little money down and we will work to ensure the loan payments meet your unique needs.

First time home buyers have a lot of questions and our loan specialists are always available to provide personal attention. They can explain the application process, provide tips to use during your home search, and make sure that you find the perfect home for your needs and budget.

Popular Loan Programs for First-Time Home Buyers:

30-Year Fixed Rate Mortgage

The most secure loan program. Lock in a low payment and sleep tight knowing that your rate will not change.

FHA Loan

Perfect for the buyer that wants to put less money down. Purchase your house with as little as 3.5% down!

VA Loan

An amazing deal for veterans and military members. Those who qualify for this loan can purchase with no down payment and no PMI. Find out today if you qualify!

LOW DOWN PAYMENT OPTIONS

Not ready for a sizable down payment? There are options that can make you a home owner with a low down payment.

Deciding on how much money to use as a down payment can be confusing. My City Mortgage is here to help. The route for each buyer or investor depends on their situation and personal preferences.

Low Down Payment Options

FHA Loan

You can purchase a single-family home or condominium with as little as 3.5% down payment using an FHA loan, but there is a price for lower down payments on conforming loans: mortgage insurance (often called PMI, private mortgage insurance).

Mortgage insurance is required when the conforming loan amount is MORE than 80% of the purchase price (practical translation: down payment is less than 20%). Also, the lower the down payment, the higher the premium ratio charged.

USDA Loan

Is your dream home surrounded by pasture and farmland? Buyers in rural and suburban markets may be able to use a USDA loan, which requires no money down.

Household income limitations do apply and buyers should expect to pay PMI if their down payment is less than 20%.

VA Loan

Military veterans who qualify for a VA loan can purchase a home with no money down. VA loans can provide up to 100% financing for qualified military personnel and veterans.

There are also non-conforming mortgage loan programs available that allow for 80/20 set-ups, which allow borrowers to obtain a second mortgage to cover the 20% down payment.

Have less than perfect income and credit? We may have a program that fits your needs!

How much should I use for a down payment?

There are costs and benefits to any option, including those with low down payments. You should carefully consider your options and discuss your plan with a professional.

Talk to one of our loan specialists today to come up with a customized solution that best fits your needs and budget.

Cost of a Lower Down Payment

Low or no down payment programs have two primary costs that result in a higher monthly payment:

  • Higher interest rates
  • Higher mortgage insurance premiums.

Mortgage insurance can be removed once sufficient equity is produced. For example, if the property shows at least 20% equity in a few years, the mortgage insurance can be refinanced away.

Benefits of Lower Down Payments

Though the disadvantages of low down payments seem serious, there are also advantages. Take time to weigh the two and assess which is the best for you.

The chief benefits of lower down payment include the following:

  • Less money out of pocket at the time of purchase.
  • Higher rate of return. Your property’s appreciation will be the same whether you put 3%, 5%, or 20% down. In fact, your rate of return actually decreases as you make a larger down payment, as discussed below.
  • Opportunity cost. In some cases, the smart investor can make more money from available cash by placing it in other investments.

During the first few years of the mortgage loan, the bulk of your monthly payments go towards paying interest – which is usually tax-deductible. So you get quite a bit of your monthly payments back at the end of the year in the form of tax deductions.

Personal Consideration

Carefully consider the amount of money that you want to put down. Your lender will qualify you for a certain level based on your income; however, that amount may be different from the level that you feel comfortable paying each month. You must decide what you can afford.

Talk to your loan officer at My City Mortgage about the best situation for you.

INVESTMENT PROPERTY LOANS

Ready to reach financial independence through real estate? Whether you are looking for an investment property or a vacation home to spend relaxing days, My City Mortgage can bring the same level of personalized attention and service to all of your real estate purchases.

Your dream home might be within reach! My City Mortgage can help with investment property loans. Our prequalification process will ensure that you are ready to buy and we can help you find a real estate agent to meet your needs.

Mortgage Loan Programs for Vacation and Investment Homes

30-Year Loan

Take advantage of low rates by locking into a low payment with a traditional 30-year loan.

You may be able to qualify for owner-occupied financing with lower interest rates, based on your use of the home. Talk to a loan specialist to find out what programs offer the best terms for your situation.

15-Year Loan

Get the same security of a 30-year fixed rate mortgage, but pay your mortgage off in half the time. This means paying less in interest and owning your home sooner! This translates to greater monthly income from your investment.

Get Pre-Qualified

Great investment properties are out there but are often purchased by buyers “in the know” quickly. Increase your bargaining power by getting pre-qualified with us today.

REFINANCE

Ready to pay less in interest on your mortgage and lower your monthly payments? A refinance may be the right step for you.

A mortgage refinance is the replacement of an existing mortgage with another mortgage under different terms. Mortgage refinancing can lower your monthly payments, which can add up to significant savings.

Knowing your current refinance mortgage rates is important. My City Mortgage can keep you informed and help decide when a refinance may be best.

Reasons to consider a mortgage refinance:

  • Reduce your monthly mortgage payment: Mortgage rates are still very low. A refinance with My City Mortgage may help you lower payment and possibly save you money.
  • Consolidate high interest debt: You could pay off those higher-interest debts by refinancing with a lower rate. Even with less-than-perfect credit, we can help you lower your monthly payment and pay off your higher-interest debt. By consolidating your payments into one low monthly payment, you can pay less each month, lower your debt, and improve your credit score.
  • Pay Off Your Mortgage Faster: The shorter the term on your mortgage, the lower your mortgage rate. Did you know that you may be able to take advantage of today’s competitive rates by shortening the term of your loan (which means paying less interest) without a significant change in your monthly payment?

When to Refinance Your Mortgage?

We offer information on a variety of mortgage refinancing rates and options. When you are ready to take the next step, contact My City Mortgage. We can advise you on which mortgage refinancing program meets your needs.