Posted 10/10/2017

An FHA loan is a mortgage insured by the Federal Housing Administration.  FHA loans allow for smaller down payments.  This can make it possible for lower- and middle-income borrowers to buy a house when they don’t qualify for a conventional loan — which has stricter requirements, such as higher credit scores and bigger down payments. Additionally, you can be gifted the entire down payment of the loan from a family member, employer or charitable organization.

It’s important to understand that the lower the credit score, the higher the interest rate borrowers will receive. Minimum credit scores for FHA loans depend on the type of loan the borrower needs. To get a mortgage with a down payment as low as 3.5 percent, the borrower needs a credit score of 620 or higher.

If you’ve recently come out of bankruptcy or foreclosure, it’s easier to get an FHA loan than a loan that does not come with any government guarantee (two or three years after financial hardship is enough to qualify for FHA).

Mortgage Insurance: Mortgage insurance is a policy that protects lenders against losses that result from defaults on home mortgages.

FHA loans require two types of insurance: Upfront Premium and Annual Premium.

The upfront premium is 1.75% of the loan and can be financed into the mortgage. The annual premium is paid monthly and for the life of the loan for those whose down payment is less than 10 percent. The fee varies based on the size of the down payment and the repayment period. In general, the greater the risk to the lender, the higher the mortgage insurance might be.

What if the home needs improvement?

The FHA has a special loan product for borrowers who need extra cash to make repairs to their homes. The advantage of this type of loan, called a 203(k), is that the loan amount is not based on the current appraised value of the home, but on the projected value after the repairs are completed.

FHA-insured home improvement loans from HUD are intended for owners and not investors, so you must inhabit the property within 30 days of closing if the property is habitable or within 30 days of completion of all repairs or upgrades if the house was not inhabitable.

Because the FHA is not a lender, but rather an insurer, borrowers need to obtain their loan through an FHA-approved lender like Mortgages Unlimited. Not all FHA-approved lenders offer the same interest rate and costs — even on the same FHA loan.

Mortgages Unlimited is a local mortgage company serving not only the Twin Cities but also, South Dakota and Wisconsin. Minnesota Housing programs are not available in South Dakota or Wisconsin. We work on the behalf of our clients ensuring they are getting the best possible loan while providing outstanding customer service.

Give one of our Mortgage Consultants a call @ 763-416-2600 if you are looking to purchase a home or refinance your existing home loan. Or you start a secure online application at www.muiapply.com.

 

Posted 06/30/2017

Maple Grove Mortgages

What is Title Insurance?

A title is a document that gives evidence of an individual’s ownership of property. Getting title insurance is one of the standard steps of purchasing a home.  Title insurance protects against claims from defects. Defects are things such as another person claiming an ownership interest, improperly recorded documents, fraud, forgery, liens, encroachments, easements and other items that are specified in the insurance policy.

Owner’s Policy vs. Mortgagee’s Policy

If you are taking out a mortgage on your home, you will be required to obtain a Lender’s Title Insurance Policy, also known as a Mortgagee’s Policy. This policy offers the same protections as an owner’s policy, such as the protections against invalid title, but cover the bank’s interest instead of yours.

The Owner’s Title Insurance Policy is to protect you, the home buyer, should the title passed to you be invalid, encumbered with a prior debt or lien, or should there be issues that affect the value of the land. Your coverage will last as long as you own your home.

When you buy title insurance for your property, a title company searches these records to find – and remedy, if possible – several types of ownership issues. Although you are not required to purchase an Owner’s Policy, it is advised to do so. Without it, you lack protection from claims against your ownership of the home such as hidden taxes, encumbrances, restrictions, and anything that devalues the home or is inaccurately recorded in the deed. Even though the chance of calling on the insurance for coverage is relatively low, the value on what you stand to lose if you go without coverage is high — you could, in fact, lose the house itself.

How much is Title Insurance and who pays for it?

The average cost of title insurance is around $1,000, but that amount varies widely from state to state and depends on the price of your home. In general, each policy price is based on the purchase amount of the home or the total amount of the loan.

A home-buyer purchasing a home with cash would pay for the title search, title report and title insurance. If the home-buyer is taking out a mortgage on the property, the lender requires the title search, report and insurance as a condition of making a mortgage on the property. However, the fees are still paid by the home-buyer as part of the settlement costs associated with the purchase of the property.  The home-buyer can certainly negotiate for the seller to pay for the title insurance.

Keep in mind that title insurance is not the same as home owner’s insurance.  Home owner’s insurance covers loss or damage to your home; other structures on your property; personal property kept in your home; loss of use; liability; and medical expenses for accidents that occur on your property.

Mortgages Unlimited is a local mortgage company serving not only the Twin Cities but also, South Dakota and Wisconsin. Minnesota Housing programs are not available in South Dakota or Wisconsin. We work on the behalf of our clients ensuring they are getting the best possible loan while providing outstanding customer service.

Give one of our Mortgage Consultants a call @ 763-416-2600 if you are looking to purchase a home or refinance your existing home loan. Or you start a secure online application at www.muiapply.com.

Posted 02/16/2017

W-2 Tax hero

Have you been thinking about buying a house but find the process overwhelming? Don’t feel alone, if I wasn’t in the mortgage industry, I wouldn’t know where to start either. There is some preparation involved and if you aren’t organized, it can be very frustrating getting all the required documents ready.  However, having all your ducks in a row can make the process smooth sailing for both you and your Mortgage Consultant.

For any mortgage loan you apply for, you will need the following items:

  • W-2 forms from the previous two years – Typically, lenders will require the most recent Form W-2 wage and tax statement, but some borrowers are asked for two years of W-2s.
  • Most recent paycheck stubs – Lenders are looking for one month of verified income. If your checks are electronically deposited, you should be able to acquire pay stubs online.
  • Most recent federal tax return, and possibly the last two tax returns – You will need to provide ALL PAGES. Additionally, you will be asked to sign an IRS Form 4506 -T to allow lenders to request a transcript of your tax returns directly from the IRS to spot fraudulent income claims and limit loan losses.
  • A complete list of your debts, such as credit cards, student loans, car loans and child support payments, along with minimum monthly payments and balances. (This will be used to figure out your debt-to-income ratio)
  • Two most recent months of bank statements
  • Other asset statements from the past two months for any CDs, IRAs, stocks, and bonds.
  • Current real estate holdings, including property address, current market value, mortgage lender’s name and address, loan account number, balance and monthly payment.

ALL PAGES, EVEN IF THE LAST PAGE HAS JUST A PAGE NUMBER ON IT. 

If there are any additional deposits made to your account, in addition to your regular income, be prepared to document where these funds came from.

You can control how smooth the mortgage process goes by being prepared.  The faster you can get documents requested by your lender, the faster you can find out if you’ve been approved for your home loan and deal with any hurdles that may arise.

Mortgages Unlimited is a local mortgage company serving not only the Twin Cities but also, South Dakota and Wisconsin. Minnesota Housing programs are not available in South Dakota or Wisconsin. We work on the behalf of our clients ensuring they are getting the best possible loan while providing outstanding customer service.

Give one of our Mortgage Consultants a call @ 763-416-2600 if you are looking to purchase a home or refinance your existing home loan. Or you start a secure online application at www.muiapply.com.

Posted 02/14/2017

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Minnesota Housing Finance Agency is a trusted state agency that works with local lenders, such as Mortgages Unlimited, to ensure all Minnesotans have access to safe and affordable housing.  They offer several loan options statewide for low-to-moderate income first-time home buyers (anyone who has not owned a home in the last three years) and current home owners – purchase or refinance.

When you get a Minnesota Housing mortgage, you can also receive an optional down payment and closing cost loan up to $10,000. Remember, down payment and closing cost loans are only available when you get a Minnesota Housing first mortgage loan and additional eligibility requirements may apply, including income limits.

Below is the breakdown of loan options:

Start Up – You may be eligible if you:
•     Are a first-time home buyer (you have not owned a home in the past three years)
•     Meet income limits
•     Meet purchase price limits:
•            11-County Metro: $307,900
•            Balance of State: $255,500
•    Meet minimum credit score requirements

Step Up – This program has a purchase loan if you’re a current homeowner (or owned within the last three years) and want to buy a different home. You can also use Step Up to refinance your current home at an affordable, fixed rate.
•    Meet income limits
•    Meet purchase price limits:
•           11-County Metro: $307,900
•           Balance of State: $255,500
•    Meet minimum credit score requirements

Down Payment Assistance –
When you get a Minnesota Housing mortgage, you can also receive an optional down payment and closing cost loan up to $10,000.

Additional eligibility requirements may apply, including income limits.

Monthly Payment Loan – This loan can be used with Start Up or Step Up Program.

Loans go up to $10,000. The interest rate is equal to your first mortgage rate, and you’ll pay monthly payments for a 10-year loan term.

Deferred Payment Loan – The  Deferred Payment Loan can be used with the Start Up program and is only for first-time home buyers with two options:

•    Deferred Payment Loan: Loans go up to $7,500.
•    Deferred Payment Loan Plus: Loans go up to $8,500 for borrowers who meet targeting criteria.

There is no interest, and the loan term is equal to your first mortgage term. Repay the loan when you move, sell, or refinance your property.

Mortgages Unlimited is a local mortgage company serving not only the Twin Cities but also, South Dakota and Wisconsin. Minnesota Housing programs are not available in South Dakota or Wisconsin. We work on the behalf of our clients ensuring they are getting the best possible loan while providing outstanding customer service.

Give one of our Mortgage Consultants a call @ 763-416-2600 if you are looking to purchase a home or refinance your existing home loan. Or you start a secure online application at www.muiapply.com.

 

 

Posted 02/10/2017

Home prices set for new peak in 2017
Home prices increased 7.2 per cent in December, CoreLogic’s Home Price Index reveals.

The annual rise was helped by a 0.8 per cent increase month-over-month compared to November and the outlook suggests that prices will continue higher through 2018.

“As of the end of 2016, the CoreLogic national index was 3.9 per cent below the peak reached in April 2006,” said Dr. Frank Nothaft, chief economist for CoreLogic. “We expect our national index to rise 4.7 per cent during 2017, which would put homes prices at a new nominal peak before the end of this year.”

Optimism in housing market increased last month
The stronger US economy has boosted optimism in the housing market with more people expecting house prices to increase in the next 12 months.

Fannie Mae’s Home Purchase Sentiment Index increased by 2 percentage points in January with those expecting home prices to go up rising 7 percentage points.

“Three months after the presidential election, measures of consumer optimism regarding personal financial prospects and the economy are at or near the highest levels we’ve seen in the nearly seven-year history of the National Housing Survey,” said Doug Duncan, senior vice president and chief economist at Fannie Mae.

More people said that now is a good time to sell a home while the share of those thinking now is the right time to buy declined. There was no change in the percentage of respondents expecting lower mortgage rates in the next 12 months.

Duncan says that despite the positive survey results, there are still potential headwinds for the housing market.

“Any significant acceleration in housing activity will depend on whether consumers’ favorable expectations are realized in the form of income gains sufficient to offset constrained housing affordability. If consumers’ anticipation of further increases in home prices and mortgage rates materialize over the next 12 months, then we may see housing affordability tighten even more,” he warned.

Mortgage availability increased
The availability of mortgage credit increased in January according to Mortgage Bankers’ Association figures.

Its analysis of Ellie Mae data shows that there was a 1.1 per cent rise in the MBA Mortgage Credit Availability Index, indicating easing lending conditions. Jumbo loans saw the largest rise in availability (4.7 per cent) followed by Conventional (2.3 per cent) and Government (0.2 per cent) while Conforming loan availability was down 0.2 per cent.

“We saw a particular increase in agency jumbo programs that focus on loans in high cost areas that exceed the baseline conforming loan limit of $424,000 but which are still eligible for purchase by the GSEs,” Lynn Fisher, MBA’s Vice President of Research and Economics. “While the change in GSE loan limits may have had an indirect impact on the jumbo MCAI, there were other factors at play as several investors rolled out new jumbo loan programs in January.”

Information provided by Mortgage Professional America.

Mortgages Unlimited is a local mortgage company serving not only the Twin Cities but also, South Dakota and Wisconsin. We work on the behalf of our clients ensuring they are getting the best possible loan while providing outstanding customer service.

Give one of our Mortgage Consultants a call @ 763-416-2600 if you are looking to purchase a home or refinance your existing home loan. Or you start a secure online application at www.muiapply.com.

 

Posted 12/01/2016

mortgage-mistkae-ts-1360x860

Homes in markets across the nation have regained value since the recession, affording homeowners the ability, once again, to accumulate wealth through equity—or become, as I like to call it, “equity stacked.”

Two recent reports confirm the trend: one, from S&P/CoreLogic; the other by ATTOM Data Solutions, owner of RealtyTrac.

Homeowner wealth, according to S&P, has more than doubled since 2011, expanding on a national scale to $12.7 trillion from $6.1 trillion, in tandem with the 40 percent boost in the value of single-family housing. For the Average Joe next door, $12.7 trillion breaks down to an average $11,000—or $30,000 if he lives in California, Oregon or Washington (West Coast…shocking!) The upward momentum in equity, S&P cites, has positive economic implications, as well: more than $100 billion in consumer spending, which includes dropping stacks (see what I did there?) on home improvements.

The distribution of homeowners who are “equity rich,” as ATTOM defines—those with a loan-to-value ratio of 50 percent or less—has grown, in addition, to 13.1 million, or roughly one-quarter of the homeowner population in the U.S. The distribution of homeowners who are “seriously underwater,” at the same time, has gone down to 6 million—a far cry from the 2012 peak of 12.8 million.

Why are more homeowners joining the “1 percent” of equity rich? They’re extending their stay, says Daren Blomquist, senior vice president at ATTOM.

“Close to one in every five U.S. homeowners with a mortgage is now equity rich thanks to a combination of rising home prices and lengthening homeownership tenures,” Blomquist says. “Median home prices increased on a year-over-year basis for the 18th consecutive quarter in Q3 2016, and homeowners who sold in the third quarter had owned their home an average of 7.94 years—a new high in our data and substantially higher than the average homeownership tenure of 4.26 years pre-recession. As homeowners stay in their homes longer before moving up, they are amassing more home equity wealth.”

The equity rich, according to ATTOM’s report, are concentrated on—hold your breath—the West Coast, in Honolulu (39.3 percent), San Francisco (49.8 percent) and San Jose (55.7 percent). In San Fran and San Jose, the amount of equity rich residents has gone up over 10 percent in the last year.

Dual forces, as indicated in both the S&P and ATTOM reports, are at work here. The ongoing trend toward recovering prices, and activity in the market to match, is turning more homeowners into equity stackers, flush with wealth for the future—and adding more to the “1 percent.” Stack on!

Information provided by RISMedia blog.

Mortgages Unlimited is a local mortgage company serving not only the Twin Cities but also, South Dakota and Wisconsin. We work on the behalf of our clients ensuring they are getting the best possible loan while providing outstanding customer service.

Give one of our Mortgage Consultants a call @ 763-416-2600 if you are looking to purchase a home or refinance your existing home loan. Or you start a secure online application at www.muiapply.com.

Posted 11/21/2016

The recent actuarial report released by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) builds a solid case for widening affordability through its low-down payment option, according to the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR). The report, which indicated FHA’s Mutual Mortgage Insurance Fund (MMIF)—responsible for paying lenders if a borrower defaults—is on steady ground, is another positive development for housing, says Bill Brown, NAR president.

“FHA’s actuarial report shows that the fund has indisputably found its footing,” says Brown, founder of Investment Properties. “That’s good news for taxpayers, and a reflection of FHA’s sound stewardship. It’s clear from this report that FHA can continue taking responsible steps to manage their risk, even as they take action to make homeownership more affordable for lower- and middle-income buyers.”

The report revealed the MMIF’s “seriously delinquent” rate at a 10-year low, while its overall economic value has grown by $3.8 billion. Last year, the MMIF achieved a 2 percent capital reserve ratio for the first time since the recession—a finding reinforcing the 2.3 percent capital reserve ratio reported for this year.

The report also revealed a 3.2 percent reserve ratio for the “forward” program, which encompasses FHA’s non-Home Equity Conversion Mortgage portfolio. The report would have been stronger, according to NAR, if not for weaknesses in the HECM program.

NAR is encouraging FHA to reduce mortgage insurance premiums to better reflect the risk in the marketplace and fulfill its mission of serving low- and moderate-income borrowers. According to NAR estimates, the 50-basis-point premium cut announced in January 2015 provided an annual savings of $900 for nearly 2 million FHA homeowners. A recent Federal Reserve study also found that that reduction in mortgage insurance premiums had a quick and significant effect on FHA mortgage volume.

NAR is also supporting the elimination of the “life of loan” mortgage insurance, which borrowers must continue to pay until the loan is extinguished or refinanced. Conventional mortgage products, by contrast, generally require mortgage insurance only until a sufficient amount of equity is achieved on the property.

“FHA mortgages are an important option for buyers, but high premiums and lifetime insurance requirements can take that option right off the table,” Brown says. “By lowering premiums and eliminating life of loan mortgage insurance, FHA can expand on their work to serve a broad population of homebuyers. We look forward to working with them in the months ahead to bring these changes to light.”

Blog provided by: RISMedia

Mortgages Unlimited is a local mortgage company serving not only the Twin Cities but also, South Dakota and Wisconsin. We work on the behalf of our clients ensuring they are getting the best possible loan while providing outstanding customer service.

Give one of our Mortgage Consultants a call @ 763-416-2600 if you are looking to purchase a home or refinance your existing home loan. Or you start a secure online application at www.muiapply.com.

Posted 10/10/2016

Moving can be expensive and exhausting, both mentally and physically.

With some strategic planning, patience and discipline, you can take some of those stresses away.

Out with old:

Are there things you’ve had in storage for a long time with the thought you will use it? Or are there clothes you’re holding on to hoping the style comes back…but had that thought for the last 7 years? Either donate those items or turn them into cash from a consignment store.

Don’t purchase boxes:

You can find boxes at work, liquor stores and cruise behind strip malls as there are typically a lot of empty merchandise boxes.  Also, borrow plastic containers with lids from friends. They are sturdy and have handles for easy carrying.

Blankets and clothes for padding:

Use your own blankets, linens and clothes for padding fragile items. No need to buy bubble wrap that will inevitably end up in the trash…after you’ve popped the bubbles, of course!

A little every day:

Take your time packing. Spread it out over a couple months by packing a couple of boxes a day. This will alleviate the feeling of being overwhelmed, tired and stressed. Don’t forget you’re going to need the energy to unpack too!

Books, books, books, everywhere!

Books are heavy to carry and how many times do you read the same book over? So ask yourself which ones you can live without. You can turn your books into cash by selling them to a book store. These days you can read books online. No storage necessary.

Coffee filters:

Coffee filters can also be used to pack breakable items. Newspaper can leave behind ink on your hands when wrapping and unwrapping. You can find biodegradable coffee filters in stores and online.

Rental truck:

Rental trucks can be fairly inexpensive and the way to go when on a budget.  You are also in control of your own schedule.

Ask friends for help:

If you are on a budget and not moving across the country, ask for help from friends. Feed them pizza and beer and call it a day!

Make it fun:

Yeah, right! Well, try your hardest. With some good music, good company and good food, you can turn this daunting task into a fun, social event. While you’re getting rid of stuff, you might want to have an exchange party.  I’m convinced this could be way more fun than people think.

Compare DIY vs. professional moving services:

Although these tips are helpful, moving may just be a little too much to deal with. Seek out a professional service to see what they charge. If the price is too high, negotiate. If that doesn’t work, I can promise that you’ll suddenly find what it takes to become a DIY mover.

Mortgages Unlimited is a local mortgage company serving not only the Twin Cities but also, South Dakota and Wisconsin. We work on the behalf of our clients ensuring they are getting the best possible loan while providing outstanding customer service.

Give one of our Mortgage Consultants a call @ 763-416-2600 if you are looking to purchase a home or refinance your existing home loan. Or you start a secure online application at www.muiapply.com.

 

 

Posted 10/06/2016

Home loan calculator

USDA Home Loan has become even more affordable as of October 1st. The United States Department of Agriculture lowered upfront and monthly fees for its home loan program.

What is a USDA home loan?

This home loan program is designed to improve the economy and quality of life in rural areas.  It offers low interest rates and no down payments. The program assists approved lenders in providing low- and moderate-income households the opportunity to own adequate, modest, decent, safe and sanitary dwellings as their primary residence in eligible rural areas.

The changes will be in effect until September 30, 2017. The USDA will then re-examine financials at that time to either raise, hold or lower fees.

How will the changes benefit you?

USDA loans with zero down will require two types of mortgage insurance: an upfront fee, typically financed into the mortgage amount, and an annual fee, divided out into each monthly payment. Although both were reduced recently, the most significant change was the upfront fee.

Upfront fee:

Former upfront fee: 2.75%

New upfront fee: 1.00%

Annual fee:

Former annual fee: 0.50%

New annual fee: 0.35%

This will be a pretty large savings and could mean the difference between being turned down and getting approved for some USDA home buyers.

For more information on USDA home loans go to https://muihomeloans.com/blog/2015/04/24/usda-home-loans-no-down-payment-and-low-interest-rates/ or contact one of our Mortgage Experts at 763-416-2600.

Mortgages Unlimited is a local mortgage company serving not only the Twin Cities but also, South Dakota and Wisconsin. We work on the behalf of our clients ensuring they are getting the best possible loan while providing outstanding customer service.

Give one of our Mortgage Consultants a call @ 763-416-2600 if you are looking to purchase a home or refinance your existing home loan. Or you start a secure online application at www.muiapply.com.

Posted 09/22/2016

mortgage-mistkae-ts-1360x860

An Appraiser, is one who sets a value upon property, real or personal.

When financing a home, an appraisal will be required by the lender. Lenders want to know the home’s value before agreeing to approve your home loan so they rely on appraiser for a value of the home.

On a purchase, an appraisal can come in lower than you need to qualify for the home loan. For a refinance, it may mean that there isn’t enough equity to meet mortgage standards.

What do Appraisers look for when evaluating a home?

Most important factors considered in an appraisal: Keep in mind there could be more than what is listed below.

  1. The type of home – one story, two-story, split-level, factory-built.
  2. Features of the home
  3. Improvements to home
  4. Comparables – Similar homes that have sold in the area
  5. Location – The kind of neighborhood is identified. Any zoning areas are will be considered as well as its proximity to other establishments.
  6. Age of Property
  7. Square footage
  8. Lot size
  9. Depreciation
  10. Landscaping features
  11. Topography

After the Appraiser has made his visit to the property, a formal appraisal with very specific details is written up. The lender will weigh all of these considerations to determine if the loan will be approved or not.

What if the appraisal does not support the purchase price? You can appeal the appraisal.

Coming to a value of a home can be more complex if the comparable properties in the neighborhood aren’t cookie-cutter and there are times things can be missed.

If you want to appeal the appraisal, first contact your lender and find out what their steps to appeal are. Most lenders will take the initiative to scrub through the appraisal and look for errors. Remember, they are working on your behalf.

You can also study the appraisal carefully to look for mistakes. Research the comps that were used in the appraisal.  Take note of any advantages the house being appraised has over comps. It could be a much larger yard, a newer roof or the square footage is wrong. Mistakes can happen.

Any one of these can make a difference.  Send these findings to your lender to be forwarded to the Appraiser for reassessment. If they are valid findings, this could be the difference of getting approved for the property.

Mortgages Unlimited is a local mortgage company serving not only the Twin Cities but also, South Dakota and Wisconsin. We work on the behalf of our clients ensuring they are getting the best possible loan while providing outstanding customer service.

Give one of our Mortgage Consultants a call @ 763-416-2600 if you are looking to purchase a home or refinance your existing home loan. Or you start a secure online application at www.muiapply.com.

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