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

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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.

Posted 08/29/2016

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When applying for a mortgage, your lender will calculate your Debt-to-Income ratio (DTI) This number is one way lenders measure your ability to manage the payments you make every month to repay the money you have borrowed.

DTI is split into two categories – front-end and back-end. Front-end will include your mortgage and anything related to the mortgage – monthly principal, insurance, taxes, and insurance. The back-end will include the front-end and any car loans, personal loans and credit card debt payments. They are added to your projected mortgage to figure out how much new debt you can afford.

To find DTI, lenders will add up all your monthly debt payments and divide the amount by your gross monthly income—monthly income before taxes. That will show you what percentage of your income is going toward paying off debt.

Here’s an example of a DTI calculation for a W-2 employee with no bonuses:

Monthly liabilities: $2,600

Monthly gross income: $10,000

Divide your monthly liability by your monthly gross income: 2,600/10,000 =.26

The Debt-to-Income is 26%.

What DTI will lenders be looking for?

The maximum debt-to-income ratio will vary by mortgage lender, loan program, and investor, but the number generally ranges between 40-50%. Applicants with an elevated DTI must show strength on some other aspect of their application.

Requirements and calculations for self-employed and anyone who receives bonuses will be different.

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 08/25/2016

One of my favorite things about summer is the access to fresh produce, local products and the atmosphere of a Farmers Market.

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At the Maple Grove Community Center, you’ll find over 50 vendors offering fresh, locally grown, seasonal products ranging from vegetables, flowers, canned goods, farmstead meats, eggs, maple syrup, artisan breads and many specialty items.

Because many items are seasonal, you can expect to find peas and strawberries in June, tomatoes and corn in August, and hearty root vegetables and greens in October. Everything is grown locally, so some items are just hours from harvest.

You’ll find USDA Certified Organic vendors as well as Certified Naturally Grown meats and produce, gluten-free items, and non-GMO items.

The Maple Grove Farmers Market is one of the first in Minnesota to host a Power of Produce club for children, aimed to build healthy eaters by getting hands-on at the market. The club is open to kids 4-12 years old for 20 weeks of the outdoor season.

The Farmer’s Market is open every Thursday from 3-7 until October 20th. Hours will change to 3-6 in October. If you want to become involved whether volunteering, children’s programming and more, call 763-494-5955 for more information.

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 08/22/2016

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When purchasing a home, choosing the right type of mortgage loan is one of the most important decisions you’ll make. There are many options available to choose from. Don’t worry, we don’t expect you to know them and we are happy to help you understand the basics of what is available.

If you are serious about purchasing, the best thing to do is to reach out to a Mortgages Unlimited Mortgage Consultant. After taking inventory of your debts, credit score, income and other monthly bills, your Mortgage Consultant can help you make an informed decision about the terms of your mortgage.

What loan options are available?

There are two main types of mortgages: a conventional loan guaranteed by a private lender or banking institution, or a government-backed loan.

Government-backed mortgages:

FHA loans are insured by the Federal Housing Administration and established to make home buying more affordable, especially for first-time buyers. FHA loans will allow down payments as low as 3.5% of the purchase price and can qualify with credit scores of 580 and lower.

FHA loans have two types of mortgage insurance premiums:

An upfront premium of 1.75% of the loan amount due at the time of closing and an annual premium that varies from a low of 0.45% to a high of 0.85% depending on your down payment and term. This premium is rolled into the monthly mortgage payment for the life of the loan.

VA loans are insured by the Department of Veterans Affairs and offer buyers low to no down payment options and competitive mortgage rates. Go to (insert) to find out who is eligible for a VA loan.

USDA loans are backed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and are geared toward rural property buyers who meet income requirements. This is also a no down payment loan.

Conventional loans:

A conventional loan is a loan backed by either Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac. More than half of all new mortgage loans are conventional loans, which include special mortgage programs such as the HomeReady™ mortgage and the Conventional 97 (3% down payment with ultra-low mortgage insurance rates, and a 100% gift from blood or by-marriage relatives.

Putting less than 20% down on a conventional loan, will require borrowers to pay private mortgage insurance (PMI). The good news is that once you reach 80% LTV (loan-to-value), you can drop the insurance. On an FHA, you have to pay for mortgage insurance for the life of the loan on top of the upfront premium.

Fixed or Adjustable rate:

Once you’ve chosen your loan, you’ll need to decide if you want a fixed rate or an adjustable rate mortgage. A fixed rate stays the same for the life of the loan. If you are settled down with a family, job and are ready to set down roots, a fixed rate mortgage will make sense for you.

An adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM), is a home loan with an interest rate that can change periodically. This means that the monthly payments can go up or down.

Typically ARMs have a lower initial interest rate than on a fixed-rate mortgage and may provide flexibility if you expect future income growth or if you plan to move or refinance within a few years.

There are pros and cons to choosing an adjustable rate mortgage. It is best to contact one of our Mortgage Consultants to fully understand if an ARM is the right loan product for you.

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 08/10/2016

Mortgage-Payment

The short answer is yes. However, you should understand how this works and determine if it’s the right option for you.

A typical mortgage requires one payment a month – 12 payments per year.  A mortgage payment is comprised of principal and interest. The payments in the early years of a loan are mostly going toward your interest so it will seem like your principal is hardly being paid down.  As your loan matures, you will start to see more of your payment going towards the principal.

A bi-weekly mortgage plan asks for two half payments a month. It is meant to shorten the length of your loan schedule. By the end of the year, you would have made 13 total payments and by making an extra payment to principal each month, your loan balance is reduced each month, reducing the total amount of interest due throughout the life of the loan.  If you choose this option, you will want to inquire what fees are required. Some banks will ask you to use an intermediary which can charge for setup and transaction fees.

The downside of this is when you opt for a bi-weekly mortgage plan, you are committed to that payment plan to the bank. Having the option to do this at your own free will may make more sense if you are disciplined. You can send extra money when it makes sense financially for you.

If you want the benefit of a bi-weekly plan but don’t want the commitment to a bank or extra fees that you may incur with a third party company, calculate what you would be paying extra on a bi-weekly plan for the year and add it to your monthly mortgage payment. Take your monthly payment and divide it by 12 and that is what you should be adding to your mortgage payment. So basically you’d be adding 1/12 of your mortgage payment to your check.

Another option to get a lower payment is to refinance your mortgage. Rates are at an all-time low right now and you could truly be saving thousands. Learn more about refinancing.

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 07/08/2016

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Today’s mortgage interest rates are at an all-time low. It is possible that you could be saving several hundred dollars a month by refinancing to a lower rate.

What is refinancing?

Refinancing is the process of obtaining a new mortgage in an effort to reduce monthly payments, lower your interest rate, accelerate your home’s payoff time by shortening your term or take cash out of your home for large purchases.

When should you refinance?

Refinancing must make sense financially. Refinancing generally costs between 3 and 6% of the loan’s principal. It takes years to recoup that cost of the savings generated by a lower interest rate or shorter term. So, if you are not planning to stay in the home for more than a few years, the cost of refinancing may negate any of the potential savings. Refinancing for the right reason, with a good rate and term right for you can enhance your financial position. Do the math before jumping in.

Rates are very low right now and it is very possible you could save quite a bit of money but check with an expert. A Mortgage Consultant at Mortgages Unlimited can work through the numbers with you to see if it is a good time to refinance.

You may want to consider a government-sponsored program for refinancing. If your loan was originated before May 31, 2009, you may qualify for a HARP loan.

HARP — allows homeowners to refinance their mortgage no matter how little equity they have in their home. There are some restrictions: Homeowners must have conventional mortgages (loans owned by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac) and they need to be current on their payments.

If you are eligible for HARP, it will expire December 31, 2016 so you will need to act soon!

Not sure if your loan is owned by Freddie Mac or Fannie Mae? Use the two links below to find out.

Fannie Mae: https://www.knowyouroptions.com/loanlookup

Freddie Mac: https://ww3.freddiemac.com/loanlookup/

Closing cost

If coming up with cash for closing costs is stopping you from refinancing, there are two options for you.

You can roll your closing costs into your loan or have your lender cover the closing costs. In exchange for your lender paying your costs, your lender will ask you to accept a slightly higher mortgage rate. The increase is typically 12.5 basis points (0.125%) for an average-sized loan.

Enter our Celebrate25! Sweepstakes for a chance to win $25,000!

NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Purchasing or closing a mortgage will not improve your chances of winning. The Celebrate 25! Sweepstakes is open to legal residents of MN & WI, age 18 or older. Void outside of MN & WI, in Puerto Rico, and where prohibited by law. Sweepstakes begins at 12:00:01 AM CT on 01/15/16 and ends at 11:59:59 PM CT on 12/31/16.  Click here for entry details and Official Rules. Sponsor: Mortgages Unlimited Inc., 7365 Kirkwood Ct., Ste 300, Maple Grove, MN 55369.

*Prize to be awarded as a cash payment.

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 05/25/2016

Real estate concept - coins and house architectural model in woman hand under magnifying glass

When financing your home, you’ll be presented with several mortgage options to choose from, including the length of time you want to pay off the loan. Deciding between a 15-year mortgage or a 30-year mortgage depends on what’s feasible to you. With a 15-year mortgage, your payments will be higher. However, you’ll own the house outright in half the time and pay less in interest, resulting in big savings.  Additionally, your equity would build faster so if you wanted to move, you’d have more money to put down on a new home.

It is a bit riskier to be locked into a larger monthly payment for many home buyers even if they qualify for a 15-year term.  You wouldn’t want to feel stretched too thin financially. Remember with owning a home, you’ll have maintenance and repairs that you’ll want to be prepared for.  A 30-year mortgage is ideal for most home buyers and you have the flexibility of making larger payments or extra payments at your discretion. With a smaller monthly payment, you can increase your savings and you’ll be able to claim the mortgage tax deduction for a longer period of time.

With both mortgages, you’ll be able to save money,  just in different ways. So how do you know which is right for you?  That all depends on how comfortable you are paying a larger monthly payment, your job security and your long term financial goals.

If you can comfortably manage the larger payments of a 15-year mortgage, it makes the most sense financially. In the end, it is ultimately what a home buyer feels most comfortable with. If you are uncertain, you may want to seek advice from your licensed mortgage professional and/or financial planner.

Enter our Celebrate25! Sweepstakes for a chance to win $25,000!

NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Purchasing or closing a mortgage will not improve your chances of winning. The Celebrate 25! Sweepstakes is open to legal residents of MN & WI, age 18 or older. Void outside of MN & WI, in Puerto Rico, and where prohibited by law. Sweepstakes begins at 12:00:01 AM CT on 01/15/16 and ends at 11:59:59 PM CT on 12/31/16.  Click here for entry details and Official Rules. Sponsor: Mortgages Unlimited Inc., 7365 Kirkwood Ct., Ste 300, Maple Grove, MN 55369.

*Prize to be awarded as a cash payment.

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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