First-Time Home Buyers

Can You Qualify For A No-Money Down USDA Loan?

Do you have the income and reserves to buy a home, but not the down payment? If you live in many of our local areas, a USDA loan could be a perfect option for you.

USDA loans (also referred to as Rural Development loans) are guaranteed or insured by the Department of Agriculture to support affordable housing in less developed areas.  Its many benefits include:

  • No Down Payment:  Although not limited to first-time homebuyers, this can be particularly attractive for younger buyers who have a steady job, but not much in savings.
  • Low Guarantee Fees:  Guarantee fees are much lower than the similar fees on loans backed by the FHA. With a USDA loan, there’s a 1% guarantee fee compared to a 1.75% mortgage insurance premium (MIP) for FHA loans. In both cases, buyers can finance the upfront fee in their loan.  USDA loans carry a 0.35% guarantee fee on the unpaid principal balance each fiscal year. For FHA loans, buyers pay an annual 0.85% MIP fee if they made a minimum 3.5 percent down payment on their home purchase.

Loving This Wedding Gift Idea: Down Payment Registry!

This is really a great idea for builders, and for sure mortgage companies, to put a promotional campaign together.  Cudos to Wells Fargo and Keystone Custom Homes for coming up with what could become a trend! 

Certainly newlyweds could use the money they get from their wedding toward a down payment on a house, but this just cements the goal of buying a home.  Friends and relatives would love to be a part of helping make homeownership a reality for the couple.  It just means a lot more than just giving money because there is a worthy goal.  Hey, maybe people would be inspired to give moreenlightened

Wedding Gift Idea: Down Payment RegistryA homebuilder has launched an ad campaign urging engaged couples to sign up for a gift registry with a mortgage lender so that their wedding... [Nar Daily News Magazine]

Is An FHA Loan The Best Option For You?

FHA loans are mortgages that are insured by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA), which is an agency of the federal government within the Department of Housing & Urban Development (HUD).  Because the mortgages are insured by FHA, protecting lenders against buyer default, lenders can offer FHA loans at attractive interest rates with more flexible and less stringent qualification requirements.  

Here are some facts you should know about FHA loans:

You Need a Pre-Approval Letter and Here's Why

First, a pre-approval letter is not the same as a pre-qualification letter.  A pre-qualification letter can be generated in a few minutes by calling a lender, or on line, and is based on information you provide and a quick credit check.  A pre-approval letter, on the other hand, requires verification of income, employment and financial information.  It is an actual approval of you, the buyer, subject to the property meeting lender appraisal guidelines. 

A lender is not bound by the pre-approval letter, but as long as your financial condition does not change in an adverse way, or the time commitment has not lapsed, it is deemed dependable.  Note that interest rates could change too, which may affect the terms of the pre-approval . . . good or bad.

Why is a pre-approval letter a must?

Ohio First-Time Homebuyer Program

Did you know that OHFA’s First-Time Homebuyer Program offers below market, 30-year fixed interest rate loans to qualified buyers in all 88 Ohio counties!  Did you know that they also offer downpayment assistance as well as grants!