Recently, we discussed the first step in the home purchase process: getting pre-qualified. Getting pre-qualified allows you to enter the home buying process prepared, with a budget in mind. Once you’ve been pre-qualified, the second step in the home buying process is to choose your mortgage loan type.
Fixed-Rate vs. Adjustable-Rate
Mortgage loans are split into two types: fixed-rate and adjustable-rate. A fixed-rate mortgage has the same interest rate for the length of the mortgage term. Fixed-rate mortgages are usually available in either 15- or 30-year terms. The 30-year fixed rate mortgage is the most common type of mortgage.
An adjustable-rate mortgage has an interest rate that is usually fixed for a set period of time, and then periodically adjusted according to a specific benchmark. Many factors determine how the interest rate changes, including market conditions, financial index, etc.
Whether you should choose a fixed-rate or adjustable-rate mortgage depends on your personal financial situation, how long you plan to live in your home, how quickly you plan on paying your mortgage back, and many other factors. Your loan originator can help you determine which type will work best for you.
Once you have chosen the type of rate that is best for you, you can choose a loan program. Some of the most common loan programs are:
For a more comprehensive list of loans and their requirements, contact your mortgage loan originator.
According to Gladys Marcelin, NFM Lending Georgia Branch Manager, the most important factors to take into consideration when choosing a loan program are your credit, your income stability, and your available assets. Your loan originator can work with you to choose the loan program that best suits your needs and financial situation.
In addition to working with a knowledgeable professional, educating yourself on the mortgage process is important, especially as a first-time homebuyer. Gladys recommends attending a homebuyers’ seminar, especially if you are a first-time homebuyer, to learn more about home loans and buying a home.
“Buying a home can be a tedious process, but it can also be rewarding and is a great accomplishment,” says Gladys.
If you have any questions about loan programs or the home buying process, contact us. If you are ready to start the home buying process, click here!
If you are in the market for a new home, one of the first things you should consider financially is how much of a down payment you can make. Most home buyers know that the most common mortgage loan (a Conventional loan) requires 20% down payment. This means that if you purchase a home worth $200,000, you must have $40,000 cash available, on top of the closing costs needed to purchase the home. This may deter many potential home buyers from purchasing because they only have a small amount of money saved. However, Conventional loans are only one of the many loan options available. Here are five of the most widely used mortgage loans and their down payment requirements.
FHA Loan – 3.5% Down Payment*
A Federal Housing Administration (FHA) loan is a mortgage loan that is insured by the government’s Housing and Urban Development (HUD) agency. FHA loans require a 3.5% down payment for purchases and it typically offers very competitive rates compared to rates from a conventional loan. Due to the low down payment, FHA Mortgage Insurance Premiums (MIP) are required in order to protect lenders against losses as a result from defaulted mortgages. There is an up-front premium paid at closing, and a monthly premium that is paid along with the monthly mortgage payment. FHA has several guidelines that all loans must meet, such as loan limits, allowable closing costs, and debt ratios.
VA Loan – 100% Financing**
A VA loan is a mortgage loan guaranteed by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). VA loans help service members, veterans, and eligible surviving spouses purchase a home with a competitive interest rate, limited closing costs, no Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI) requirement, and often without a down payment (as long as the sales price doesn’t exceed the appraised value). This is because VA guarantees a portion of the loan, which allows the lender to provide favorable terms. VA loans have several guidelines that all loans must meet, such as eligibility and loan limits.
USDA Loan – No Money Down†
A USDA loan is a mortgage loan guaranteed by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). With a USDA loan, home buyers can purchase a home in eligible rural locations with no down payment, and can finance up to 100% of a home’s appraised value, plus closing costs. For eligible borrowers, USDA loans often come with the lowest interest rates and program insurance premiums of all government-backed loans. USDA loans have several guidelines that all loans must meet, including property eligibility and income eligibility.
80-10-10 Loan – 10% Down Payment
Also known as a Piggyback loan, an 80-10-10 loan is a great option for home buyers who have great credit but lack capital, and wish to avoid paying PMI. The mortgage loan works by having 80% of the property value covered by a first loan, 10% of the property value covered by a second mortgage which carries higher interest rates than the first conventional mortgage, and 10% will be covered by the home buyer’s down payment. Loans that are 80% or less of the home value do not require PMI.
State Bond Programs – Specific Assistance
Several U.S. states offer state bond loan assistance programs. These bond programs aim to help first-time home buyers or buyers with low capital by providing below-market interest rates, down payment assistance, long term affordability, and/or other benefits specific to the programs. These loans have program-specific income and occupancy requirements, and limitations.
There are many more mortgage loan options available not mentioned but these are the most commonly used. If you are looking to purchase a home soon, make sure you speak with a licensed mortgage loan originator. Choosing a down payment option is a big decision and a licensed mortgage loan originator can help you find options that best fit your needs. They can also walk you through the loan process and explain to you all of the eligibility requirements for the loan you choose.
*LTV’s of up to 96.5% for FHA loans. **Veterans Affairs loans require a funding fee, which is based on various loan characteristics. †100% financing, no down payment is required. The loan amount may not exceed 100% of the appraised value, plus the guarantee fee may be included. Loan is limited to the appraised value without the pool, if applicable.