Home Buying Advice

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.

Be Cautious! Don't Let Your Home Purchase Get Hijacked By Cyber Criminals!

cyber crime graphic - don't let your home closing funds get hijackedEmail scams are nothing new, and we've all seen them.  But, would you expect that an email coming from the closing agency, real estate agency, or your real estate agent might really be from cyber criminals trying to trick you into wiring closing funds to an offshore account?

If you are involved in a real estate transaction, or plan to be in the near future, and you are not already aware of the issue, then you should read this.

Reports by The Washington Post, The Chicago Tribune and New York Real Estate News all identify cases where buyers, believing they were in communication with authorized parties, wired large sums of closing funds to accounts linked to parties with criminal motives, and were left with no money to complete their purchase.

Warnings to consumers have been issued by the National Association of REALTORS® as well as the Federal Trade Commission, as the criminal activity continues.

Who is targeted, how are the criminals operating, and what can you do to make sure it doesn't happen to you?

NEW Game Changing Affordable Mortgage Programs!

ATTENTION HOME BUYERS!!  You are invited to join us for the "Lakeside Lender Spotlight Night" Friday, March 11 at 6:30 p.m. at the Lakeside Realty office.

What can you expect?  Dinner and a lovely evening packed with information to help move you closer to your dream home purchase.  

We are so excited about this event!  It can be a real life changer for a lot of people.  New financing programs offered by Farmers National Bank can help you qualify to purchase a home with only $500 down, a minimum credit score of 600, and no private mortgage insurance.  Wow right! 

Make it a point to attend and have the opportunity to ask financing and real estate experts all of your questions.  If you can't attend, please share this with someone who can benefit from participation.

There is a limited amount of space, so reservations are required for attendance.  Please RSVP by 5 p.m. Monday, March 7, to [email protected].
Hope to see you there!!

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?