Posted 03/23/2018

Mortgages Unlimited Minneapolis 1

Buying a home is so exciting and a big step in a lot of peoples lives. However, without some knowledge about what is involved when purchasing a house, an exciting time could turn dismal real quick. Below are some of the most important things to know before you jump into buying a home.

Know your credit score

Credit score: A credit score is a numerical expression based on a level analysis of a person’s credit files, to represent the creditworthiness of an individual. A credit score is primarily based on a credit report information typically sourced from credit bureaus.

When you’re taking out a home loan, your credit will be one of the key factors in getting approved, and it will help determine your interest rate.

Check your credit before you begin the home buying process. Dispute any errors that could be dragging down your credit score and look for opportunities to improve your credit, such as paying down any debts.

Keep your money stable

Since lenders need to check your credit, you want a solid credit profile.  Don’t open new credit lines, move money around or make huge purchases three to six months before starting the loan process. Lenders need to see that you’re reliable and they want a complete paper trail so that they can get you the best loan possible.

Explore your down payment options

Saving for a down payment may seem like it could take an eternity.  First-time home buyer programs are plentiful, including federal mortgage programs with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac that allow loans with only 3% down.

Here are a few other down payment options available:

  • Federal Housing Administration loans, which permit down payments as low as 3.5%
  • Veterans Affairs loans offer zero down to eligible veterans
  • USDA home loans offer zero down payment in eligible areas

Research state and local assistance programs

In addition to federal programs, many states assistance programs for first-time home buyers with benefits such as tax credits, low down payment loans and interest free loans up to a certain amount. Your county or municipality may also have first-time home buyer programs.

Get pre-approved for your loan

Once you have done some research on down payment assistant programs, meet with a Mortgage Consultant to find out more about these programs and get pre-qualified.  Do this before you hit the web and call on a Real Estate Agent to start your home search.

What is the point of finding the home of your dreams only to find you can’t afford it or there is some unforeseen issue with getting approved altogether?

Understand that there’s a big difference between being pre-qualified and being pre-approved for a mortgage. Getting pre-approved means a lender has looked at all your financial information and they’ve let you know how much you can afford and how much they will lend you.

Know how much you’re comfortable with

Just because you’re pre-qualified for a $300,000 home loan, doesn’t mean you have to spend that much. Be realistic in what you are comfortable with and go with that. You don’t want to feel married to your mortgage or unhappy that you must give up some of the things you enjoy most.

Be cognizant of hidden cost of home ownership

Even before getting into your home, there are the necessary costs of inspection, taxes, home owner’s insurance, possible HOA or condo fees, and appraisal fees.

The cost of owning a home goes beyond your mortgage and utility costs. The upkeep and maintenance are no longer covered by your landlord, so you’ll have to have reserves put away for unforeseen emergencies.

Hire a Real Estate Agent

When hiring an agent to help you in your home search, ask for recommendations. Your Mortgage Consultant works closely with agents and will be able to suggest an agent or two. Family and friends could also make recommendations.

Be clear with your agent on what you’re looking for. Have your list and go over with your agent. It’s rare to find a house that’s perfect in every way, so think carefully about what you’re willing to compromise on and what you’re not. Perhaps no walk-in closet in the master bedroom is a deal breaker, but an outdated guest bathroom will be tolerable until you can renovate it.

Negotiating

A lot can be up for negotiation when buying a home, which can result in major savings. Are there any major repairs you can get the seller to cover, either by fully handling them or by giving you a credit adjustment at closing? Is the seller willing to pay for any of the closing costs?

We are currently in a sellers’ market with multiple offers on homes and you will need to keep that in mind during negotiations. If you’re in a buyers’ market on the other hand, you may find the seller will bargain with you to get the house off the market.

Go with your instincts

Don’t ignore your instincts. Although buying a house can be stressful, not feeling right about a house through some feeling you have probably isn’t going to go away. It’s your life, your house so make sure you feel good about it. It’s not all just about logistics.

 

Mortgages Unlimited is a local mortgage company serving not only the Twin Cities but also, South Dakota, Florida 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 01/04/2018

Buying vs rentingHome rental increases cannot be ignored. Today, the entry fee to get into a rental could cost you more than the down payment on a home. No joke! Across the country major cities have seen an increase in rental prices, including Minneapolis at a 3.9% increase over the past year. An increased demand for rentals coupled with a lack of inventory are the main culprits for driving rental prices up.

It may be time to look at the benefits of buying a home and the learn about the options available with variety of home loans in the market today.

Typically, when you move into a rental, you are expected to pay first and last month’s rent, a security deposit, pet deposit (if applicable) and an application fee.

It could look like this:

  • First month’s rent – $1350.00
  • Last month’s rent – $1350.00
  • Security deposit – $1350.00 (this can vary)
  • Pet Deposit – $200.00 (if applicable)
  • Application fee and background check – $50.00 to $100.00

Nearing $4000.00 or more to get into your rental! In today’s housing market, you can purchase a home with as little as $1000 down payment.

Minnesota has down payment assistance programs for both first time home buyers and previous or current homeowners. Some counties have supplemental programs that offer even more down payment assistance.

To name just a couple – VA and USDA home loans also offer zero down home loans. With a VA loan, you can finance up to 100 percent of the purchase price. The VA loan is a true no-money-down opportunity. The program is for American veterans, military members currently serving in the U.S. military, reservists and select surviving spouses (provided they do not remarry).

A USDA home loan is a zero down payment mortgage for eligible rural and suburban home buyers. USDA loans are issued through the USDA loan program, also known as the USDA Rural Development Guaranteed Housing Loan Program, by the United States Department of Agriculture.

Understanding your home loan options is just one step to buying a home. Contact a Mortgages Unlimited Consultant to get you on the path to owning a home.

Mortgages Unlimited is a local mortgage company serving not only the Twin Cities but also, South Dakota, Florida 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 11/07/2017

The holiday season should be a fun time but for a lot of people it can be financially straining, taking all the fun out of the holiday spirit. Below are some ideas and tips to help you get through the holidays without going broke and just a couple other ideas to experience the holidays.

Figure out your budget. This is half the battle. When you know how much you can afford to spend, you’ll be able to know who you can buy for and how much to spend on them.

Finding deals. Shop on Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Obvious, right? But it works! There are so many deals on these days but you don’t need to stop there. Good Morning America’s Steals and Deals has some of the best deals we’ve seen. You can find deals up to 75% off!  And don’t forget about Amazon. More great deals and free shipping. The point is that if you put some time into shopping for discounts, you will find them and save a lot of money.

Homemade treats. Who doesn’t like homemade cookies from your kitchen? This is one of the lowest costs gifts you can give. Make your favorite treat and wrap it up pretty and you’ll be sure to make someone’s day. Add a bottle of wine for under ten dollars! Wine doesn’t have to be expensive to be good. Two of our favorite reds is
Caleo Nero d’Avola Terre Siciliane ($8.99) and Rex Goliath Free Range Red ($4.49). You can find both of these at Total Wine.

Give the gift of experience.  Not all presents come wrapped up in a pretty box with a bow. Take a trip, volunteer as a family,  make a donation in the name of the family, go to a sporting event, get a museum membership, go skydiving or a camping trip – you get my drift.

Don’t get robbed of enjoying the holiday experience. Being prepared is key. Let the festivities begin!

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 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

Picture2
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 09/23/2014

Mortgages Unlimited is proud to announce that we have three employees recognized by the Minnesota House and Finance Agency for their achievements in providing MHFA loans. MHFA ranks the top producing loan officers for all of Minnesota! Minnesota Housing offers products and services to help buy and fix homes and stabilize families, communities, and neighborhoods.

MHFA stopped by our office to present three employees with certificates!
Congratulations to Pam Barton from our Maple Grove Office who achieved platinum status, the highest of recognition, Kay Halvorson from our Bloomington Office who achieved Silver Status, and Gustavo Ramos from our Eagan Office who achieved Silver Status.
Mortgages Unlimited has been a partner with MN Housing for the past 7 years to help promote and provide access to safe and affordable housing.

Pam Barton from our Maple Office and Heidi Erickson from MHFA

Pam Barton from our Maple Office and Heidi Erickson from MHFA

Kay Halvorson from our Bloomington Office and Heidi Erickson from MHFA

Kay Halvorson from our Bloomington Office and Heidi Erickson from MHFA

Gustavo Ramos from our Eagan Office and Heidi Erickson from MHFA

Gustavo Ramos from our Eagan Office and Heidi Erickson from MHFA

 

 

Posted 01/21/2014

Minneapolis-St. Paul Magazine recently recognized Minnesota’s “Super Mortgage Professionals” by polling their readers asking out of the over 11,000 Mortgage Loan Officers in Minnesota “Who are the best?”.  Among the award winners was Pam Barton of Mortgages Unlimited.  We asked Pam what being recognized as a Super Mortgage Professional means to her.

“Winning this award means so much to me because it means that my customers were satisfied with the level of service that I provided to them during their home search.  My clients put their trust in me, and I am so thankful they took the time to recognize me as a “Super Mortgage Professional.”

Pam goes on to mention that her proudest moments in over 15 years as a Mortgage Loan Officer have come from helping first time home buyers get into their first home.  She takes pride in working with her clients from beginning to end and ensuring that they are in the best position to move forward with their home purchase.

“We salute Pam’s drive to always put her customers best interests first and foremost”  Said Steve Gatti, President of Mortgages Unlimited. From Pam’s willingness to always learn the newest and latest programs that benefit her clients, to her commitment to always being available for them Pam has certainly earned the title “Super Mortgage Professional.”Pam

7365 Kirkwood Court N, Ste 300 Maple Grove, MN 55369 NMLS Lic #225504

P: 763.416.2600 F: 763.420.5885

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