What questions should I ask a mortgage lender in Barrington ? If you’re dealing with a mortgage broker there’s some questions that you should ask both on your first meeting with the mortgage broker and throughout working with your mortgage broker to make sure that you’re getting the best service possible.
USDALoanInfoNJ is going to go through 10 different questions that you can ask your mortgage lender in Barrington. Be aware that your USDA Loan or Mortgage broker will be getting the loan that you need and the service that you want.
The first question that I think everyone should ask a mortgage broker is a pretty straightforward one.
How Much Will a Mortgage Broker Cost?
Most mortgage lenders in Barrington actually work for free.
So it doesn’t actually cost you anything in order to do it.
They get money because they are paid by the banks when you successfully get a loan.
So they get a small commission of the loan that you apply for and if you get it.
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So most mortgage brokers in Barrington will work for free and it won’t cost you anything.
However, there are some mortgage brokers out there who do require deposits or who do require you to pay.
So, it’s important to ask, “How much will this cost me?” when assessing which mortgage broker you want to go with.
How much do Mortgage Lenders earn in commission from me and from my loan?
This is less to understand exactly how much they make.
You can see what percentage of commissions they make and things like that by visiting USDALoanInfo.
But it’s more to understand whether or not they’ll be willing to give you this information.
A transparent mortgage broker is someone that’d be willing to give you this information and you know that they have your best interest at heart.
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If they skirt around this issue and they don’t tell you how much they earn.
Well then that would send out red flags for me because I can’t trust them to put my best interest at heart because there are some circumstances where one loan will earn them more money than a loan that could potentially be better for me but not as good for them.
So, I’m just trying to establish whether or not this mortgage broker in Barrington is someone that I can trust.
And by asking them the big question, the money question,”How much will you earn from me?” That’s a great way to understand whether or not you can trust the mortgage lender.
So ask that question and see how they respond.
Do Mortgage Lenders Invest Themselves?
Now, I don’t think a mortgage broker has to be a property investor in order for them to be able to get you a good loan and for them to help you successfully invest in property.
However, if they are interested in property in Barrington, if they do invest themselves, then that is going to go a long way to help you because they understand what it’s like to be in your shoes.
They understand what you’re trying to get out of this and they’ve done it themselves so they can help you miss some of the pitfalls and things like that.
If they don’t invest themselves, then I would want to ask them, “Have you worked with many people that invest in property?” Because as mortgage brokers, some of them just work with people who are buying their own home.
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Some of the mortgage lender folk who work with people who are doing particular investment strategies.
So, some might work with people who invest in positive cash flow property or who invest in rural areas, who invest using developments.
A discussion about self employed loans in the UK will be incomplete without discussing about self employed people and what special characteristics do they possess in order to command a specialised loan. Self employed people are the ones who have shunned employment and are working on their own operations. Sometimes known as entrepreneurs, and sometimes as businesspersons, self employed people may attain different names according to the type and size of business. Contractors and independent consultants too belong to the same category. The profits from the operations contribute towards the remuneration of self employed people. Regular repayment schedules, where borrower amortises loan balance through fixed monthly repayments will not be suitable for the self employeds since profits are largely irregular. One of the very basic reasons behind self employed loans in the UK is to incorporate this irregularity of income into loan repayments. Insufficient proof of income forms another distinct characteristic of self employed people. Had it been for a salaried borrower, he would have easily presented the salary slip or P60 form to prove his income. Self employed people are partly to be blamed for the lack of proof of income. Either there is no system to maintain periodical accounts or the accounts have been doctored with in order to evade taxes. Self employed loans UK have tried to assimilate the distinctness posed by the self employed people. By making certain changes to loan terms, an attempt has been made to tap into the sizable group of self employed people. Self Employed loans are regular loans where the terms are flexible enough to be changed according to the borrowers specifications. Flexibility in terms will be best seen in the repayment schedule designed. Considering that profits derived from the operations are largely irregular, borrower will be given the go ahead to pay through adjustable monthly instalments. Overpayments, underpayments, and payment holidays form some of the features of the newly designed repayment schedule. The feature of overpayment has been rightly included in self employed loans. Regular loans may not have this feature. Lenders do not encourage overpayment on regular loans, as it will require computation of repayments every time that payments in excess of the specified amount are made. Salaried people, who form the prime customer base for regular loans, too may not be able to overpay because of their fixed incomes. There is no constraint of fixed incomes with the self employed people. At times, when the available profits are large, self employed borrowers can utilise this to reimburse a large part of the loan balance. Overpayment is an investment for the lean periods, when the borrower may not have enough profits. Certain lenders will demand overpayment in order to allow borrowers to take benefit of underpayment or payment holidays. Underpayment, as is clear, allows borrowers to repay less than the specified monthly repayment. Borrower will have to take the consent of the loan provider before receiving benefit under this feature. Similarly, one will be eligible for payment holidays only when the loan provider has consented to it. Payment holiday refers to the period when the borrower may be allowed to discontinue with repayments altogether. The self employed people may often face problems in getting qualified for loans because of the lack of proof of income. Irregularity of income becomes a disqualification for applicants of regular loans, often treated as a bad credit remark. Self employed loans in the UK try to ignore these and conduct loan proceedings in a manner to benefit the self employed. Is the manner in which loan providers deal with self employed people an attempt to be generous? It isnt; borrowers will have to shell a handsome sum as interest and other fees. Self employed borrowers pose a greater degree of risk. Therefore, the APR charged on self employed loans is in excess of the regular loans. However, this must not be taken as an incontestable truth. The burden of confirming that the APR is competitive and an equivalent APR would have resulted through a majority of lenders will be on the borrower himself. Since it is the borrower who finally enjoys the advantages and disadvantages of the self employed loan, he better not serve any excuses for this. Though proper search involves time, it will ensure that the loan package received is exactly what one desired.
So I would want to find a mortgage broker who either had that experience themselves or who had clients that they had got similar deals for cause that way I know that they can negotiate on my behalf and they can get this deal across the line.
What details do Lenders need from me?
It’s one thing to call up a mortgage broker and just to get an estimate of your borrowing capacity but if you’re going through pre-approval and stuff like that, then you’re going to need to provide the mortgage broker with more in-depth details.
You might need pay slips; you might need proof of identity, all of that sort of stuff.
If you ask them up front, “What details do you need from me?” And when you go to your meeting with them you actually provide them with those details, well that just makes things so much easier.
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Remember, a mortgage lender is only paid once the deal goes through and once you actually get financing.
So the easier you make it for them, the more likely you are going to get better service.
What can I do as a client to make this go as smoothly as possible?
You have the goal of getting financed for your property, the mortgage lender has a goal of you getting financed for your property and no one wants it to be difficult.
And so, if you can ask the mortgage broker, “Look, how can I work with you? How can I make things easy for you?” They’re the experts; they know what they’re doing.
They can tell you exactly what they need and then you can work hard to provide that for them so that they can get everything across the line as quickly as possible.
You know, I have customers,I deal with customers and even though I’m not a mortgage broker myself, I know that when there’s difficult customers that you don’t want to deal with, it just makes life so much harder and you don’t want to work hard for those people.
And when there’s customers who are really nice to you and who try really hard to help you provide them with the service you provide, you will bend over backwards to do anything you can for those customers to get them across the line, to help them as much as possible.
So, be one of those customers that the mortgage broker wants to bend over backwards to help you because you have their interest at heart as well.
You want to see them get paid.
You want to see them do an easy mortgage so they get paid easily.
And so you can develop a relationship into the future.
Which lenders can I borrow the most from?
Most people go into a mortgage broker looking for the cheapest interest rate possible.
What is the cheapest interest rate I can get? And the fact of the matter is a mortgage broker is likely to show you the banks that will lend you the amount of money you need and will also have the cheapest interest rate as well.
However, they might not showy ou banks that will lend you more money than you potentially need at the moment.
Now, it’s important to ask, “Which lenders can I borrow the most from?” because this will help you to project into the future.
Maybe you don’t need to know that for this loan right now but maybe, in the future, you might need to borrow money again and you know, or roughly my borrowing capacity is this.
Or if you find out which lenders you can borrow more from, and you find that you can actually borrow an extra $300,000, well you might split up your deposit and invest in two investment properties instead of just one.
And so asking them, “Which lenders can I borrow the most from?” is a great question to ask to really understand your position.
Because, yes, interest rate is important but how much you can borrow is also important as well.
Can I see a full list of my borrowing options?
Most mortgage brokers will provide you with, usually, like a top three or sometimes only a top one.
And I always like to think, “Can I see a full list of my borrowing options?”Again, this is less to say you want to go through all of this in minute detail and see.
You’re probably going to still choose from one of the top three ones.
But you just want to see that they’re giving you the full amount of information.
And most mortgage brokers are good people but there are some dodgy mortgage brokers out there who are just trying to get the deal that gives them the biggest commission.
And so by asking to see a full list of what your borrowing options, you can then look at that and you can then assess, “Okay, well which loan do I think is going to be best for me?” rather than just taking the recommendation of the mortgage broker who may or may not be thinking about themselves.
So, again, most mortgage brokers are great people out there to help you but it’s always a good idea to get a full list of your borrowing options that are available.
Will this put a mark against my credit file?
And so this is when you’re trying to work out how much you’re going to borrow and stuff like that.
When you go into a bank and you try and find out how much you can borrow, often, the bank will do a credit check and this puts a mark against your credit file.
And what happens is if you have a lot of these marks against your credit file, even though it’s nothing bad, this can actually stop you getting a loan.
So, talk to your mortgage broker and when you’re looking at, “What can I borrow?”or your looking at getting pre-approval, just understand, “Will this put a mark against my credit file?” ‘Cause it’s not bad to have a couple or whatever.
But if you’re getting lots and lots of marks against your credit file, then that could be an issue.
So just make sure and you know when a mark’s being put against your credit file and when a mark isn’t being put against your credit file.
How soon can I revalue or borrow again?
So if you’re investing in a property to renovate it or to develop it or even if you’re investing in a property that’s potentially under market value, you want to know how quickly can you revalue that property so you can get equity and then hopefully draw equity out of the property to go ahead and invest again.
There are a lot of lenders out there who don’t allow you to revalue within a 12-month period.
So, speak to your mortgage broker about the lenders that will allow you to revalue faster.
And basically, this will give you an idea of how quickly you can revalue to consider going again.
You’re also going to want to ask them, “After I invest in this property, how soon can I borrow again or what do I need to do to put myself in a position to be able to borrow again and to purchase the next property?” Because hopefully, your goal isn’t just to purchase one property but to grow your property portfolio and to achieve that financial freedom and that financial security that you’re striving for.
Will My Loans be ‘cross-collateralised’?
Now, I have heard a lot of stories about investors whose loans have been cross-collateralised and it’s cause major problems when they’ve gone and sold their property because the bank shave been able to take that money and pay off debt.
And basically, you want to avoid this at all costs from what I hear.
And so, it’s good to ask your mortgage broker, “Will my loans be cross-collateralised in any way?” Generally going with the same lender for two loans does it by default, even though it doesn’t say they’re cross-collateralised.
So, it’s just something that you want to look at the fine print, you want to understand, “Are these cross-collateralised?” And if they are, try and avoid it, try and get loans that aren’t going to be cross-collateralised.
So there you have some questions to ask your mortgage broker next time you go and see a broker to find out how much you can borrow or get pre-approval or get financed for another property.
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Devon Marisa ZuegelBlockedUnblockFollowFollowingJul 30, 2017The government exercises tremendous power over residential design in the US. Its influence is nearly invisible, because it works through complex financing programs, insurance incentives, and secondary markets. These mechanisms go unnoticed, but their effect is hard to miss — they remade the United States into a nation of sprawling suburbs.This is the second post in a series about government policies that encouraged suburban growth in the US. You can find the first post here.What image springs to mind when you picture “federally subsidized housing”? Most people imagine a low-income public housing tower, a homeless shelter, or a shoddy apartment building.Nope — suburban homeowners are the single biggest recipient of housing subsidies. As a result, suburbs dominate housing in the United States. For decades, federal finance regulations incentivized single-family homes through three key mechanisms:Insurance,National mortgage markets, andNew standards for debt structuringThe housing market hides these details from the typical home buyer. As a result, most people are unaware of these subsidies. But their effects are striking — they determined the location and shape of development across America for generations.A New Deal to restore the housing industryDebt has a negative connotation these days. Credit cards, student loans, and auto loans are the anchors that keep many Americans in debt for most of their life. Meanwhile, we view mortgages very differently — they are seen as an investment, a symbol of adulthood, and a sign of financial stability.This was not always the case. In the early 1900s, mortgages were just like any other kind of debt. Nowadays payments are spread out over decades, but back then they came due all at once after a few years. Most people didn’t have enough cash at the end of the term. It was standard to pay back some and negotiate a new loan for whatever they still owed.This worked fine while the economy was booming, but investors refused to renew the loans after the 1929 stock market crash. Homeowners missed payments, and foreclosure rates doubled. The housing industry collapsed, taking the economy down with it.New Deal policymakers realized that restoring the economy depended on restoring the housing sector. In 1934, they created the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) with two key mandates:Revive the housing market, andMake homeownership attainable for more AmericansIn pursuing these goals, the FHA determined the design, structure, and location of new private development. In turn, it made suburbia the dominant form of housing in the United States.The FHA seems dry and technical, but its implications are immense. It provides insurance on mortgages that meet certain criteria, repaying the principal to lenders if borrowers default. We take the program for granted now, but in 1934 it was radical. While most Depression-era initiatives infused the economy with money, the FHA was unique in that it did not spend a dime to stimulate the housing market. Rather, it boosted the lenders’ confidence in the stability in the market.It mandated low interest rates, so investors’ returns weren’t as high as they had been, but risks were nonexistent. Lenders had been spooked by the crash, but they came rushing back with the promise of guaranteed profits. The FHA created a space for the private market to act, and in doing so it unleashed vast amounts of private capital. Government programs like the PWA or HOLC were tiny in comparison.“The most ambitious suburbanization plan in US history”By making an offer lenders couldn’t refuse, the FHA exercised tremendous power over residential design. Mortgages had to meet an opinionated set of criteria to qualify for the federal insurance. Lenders could invest in mortgages not covered by the program, but they had a strong preference for homes that conformed to the guidelines. Compliance was mandatory for the insurance, so they pressured developers to follow the rules. By 1959, 25 years after it was formed, the FHA had helped three out of every five American families purchase a home.By making an offer lenders couldn’t refuse, the FHA exercised tremendous power over residential design.FHA rules had implicit and explicit hierarchies of what homeowners ought to want. They had two key purposes: to stimulate the economy, and to constrain the market to only good investments. These goals — plus social assumptions of the time — were reflected in the FHA’s evaluation of a mortgage. The standards included:Large, new homes were given a higher score, because they increased demand for labor and materials. Older homes with small spaces didn’t create demand for new furniture. Features like long hallways and steep staircases lowered the rating, because they prevented easy moving of furniture.Homogeneity of neighboring housing stock was believed to indicate stable housing prices. To get the max score on the FHA evaluation, the manual preferred that a house be a part of “a sparsely developed new neighborhood … completed over the span of very few years.”Restrictions and guidelines in the 1936 FHA Underwriting ManualThe ideal house had “sunshine, ventilation, scenic outlook, privacy, and safety”, and “effective landscaping and gardening” added to its worth. The guide recommended that houses should be set back at least 15 feet from the road, and well-tended lawns that matched the neighbors’ yards helped the rating.The manual had strict definitions for how streets should be built.It prescribed minimum street widths and other specific measurements.It recommended a hierarchical network, with a major arterial roads interlaced with smaller streets. The idea was to separate through traffic and enable efficient circulation.It saw cul-de-sacs as the most desirable home locations, because they were most isolated from foot and auto traffic coming from outside of the neighborhood.The FHA thought this was a great investment.The guidelines favored auto- rather than transit-oriented development. The idea was that this would increase demand for cars, which were a growing part of American manufacturing.The FHA did not think that Greenwich Village was a good investment.The manual emphasized that suburbs must be arranged to promote strict separation of land usesMulti-use districts with “commercial, industrial, or manufacturing enterprise” were seen to threaten residential value. So, the FHA simply did not provide insurance for units where the first floor was a shop with residences above for most of the agency’s lifetime.Development like what you see in Greenwich Village and other traditional neighborhoods in east coast cities could not get an FHA loan. (These rules only changed in 2015.)“There would be no corner groceries; if there were any stores at all, they would be grouped into a single shopping center,” wrote Tom Hanchett in The Other “Subsidized Housing”.The combined effect of these standards was the most ambitious suburbanization plan in United States history. The FHA favored suburbia, so subdivisions became one of the most common neighborhood types within a few decades.New frontiers for suburbiaNew Deal programs enabled the expansion of suburbia into new regions, too. Prior to the Depression, mortgages were extremely local. Investors could not lend money from a distance, so capital accumulated in slow-growth areas and was scarce in fast-growing ones.In commoditizing mortgages, New Deal programs made possible a national mortgage market for the first time. FHA guidelines standardized home loans, which allowed lenders across the country to treat loans of the same rating as fungible. Since the quality of these homes was assured by FHA inspectors, “investors from all over the country would know exactly what a particular mortgage was worth”. For the first time, capital-rich investors could lend money to developers expanding into the south and west.The creation of the Federal National Mortgage Association (FNMA, better known as Fannie Mae) in 1938 took this a step further. Fannie Mae creates a secondary market by purchasing mortgages from lenders. It creates liquidity for these originators, which in turn allows them to underwrite more mortgages. The federal government created Freddie Mac (FHLMC) in 1970 to serve a similar purpose. The combination of these secondary markets and the FHA guidelines was in effect a massive financing of suburban sprawl, all facilitated by the federal government.This subsidized sparsely populated parts of the country, while disadvantaging older metropolitan areas.The government also set a national limit on interest rates for mortgages. It created a standard rate for the country as a whole, where before there had been immense variation. Mortgages had been far more expensive in the west and south than in the capital-rich northeast. The new standard rates made it artificially cheap to finance new development in the southwest. This subsidized sparsely populated parts of the country, while disadvantaging older metropolitan areas. It also coincided with the creation of the interstate highway system, on which we’ll go into more detail in an upcoming post.New markets for suburbiaWhile federal programs increased the geographic size of the market, they also increased the number of people who could afford a down payment. They did this by tweaking the structure of mortgage debt in two ways:(1) They decreased the size of monthly payments by spreading them over a longer period of time.Federally-backed loans required terms of at least 10 years, replacing the balloon mortgages of the 1920s. This paved the way for the standard 30-year mortgage that we have today.Borrowers focus on the size of these monthly payments rather than the total, so this made mortgages more affordable without actually decreasing their cost.(2) Federal programs slashed what was an acceptable downpayment.Before, the buyer had to pay upwards of 50% of the purchase price in cash, but with the FHA guarantees, banks were willing to accept down payments of just 10%.To reward G.I.s returning from WWII, the Veterans Administration (VA) offered mortgage aid as well. The VA insurance program was even more generous than the FHA, so by midcentury banks offered as low as 0% down to newly returned veterans. These set the standard for conventional mortgages within a few years.Harvard economist Edward Glaeser described the impact of “the mortgage subsidies that were explicit in the tax code and implicit in Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae” in a Boston op-ed:These home-borrowing subsidies … pull people out of America’s urban centers. More than 85 percent of people in detached homes are owner-occupiers, in part because renting leads to home depreciation. More than 85 percent of people in larger buildings rent. Since ownership and structure type are closely connected, subsidizing homeownership encourages people to leave urban high-rises and move into suburban homes.By making long-term, amortized loans with low down payments the norm, federal policies made it possible for millions of people to buy single-family homes. These homeowners enthusiastically moved into the new mass-produced subdivisions to the west.An aerial view of Phoenix suburbsInvisible subsidiesOn the surface, mortgages appear to be a mostly free market enterprise. Buyers take out financing through a private broker; they find a home through a private real estate agent; and they purchase their home from a private developer. Some people take out FHA loans, and everyone has to deal with the pesky permitting process, but for the most part homeowners transact with private parties.The system masks a huge amount of government intervention. It isn’t evident to the average person, because it works through obscure mechanisms like insurance and financing terms. These don’t look like conventional cash subsidies, but they distort incentives, supply, and demand in the same way. Though these mechanisms go mostly unnoticed, they have transformed residential finance in America.The US is the most suburban country in the world. Most assume this is the organic result of individual preferences, because there’s little visibility into the ways that policy has shaped incentives. The reality is that government intervention played a huge role. Because these subsidies are complex and technical, it’s easy to forget their long history, but if we want to begin to understand the current state of the housing market, we have to first understand how we got here.Thanks to John Backus, Siyang Li, Chris Barber, Leopold Wambersie de Brower, Omar Rizwan, Tiffany Jung, Aurélien Chouard, Rahul Gupta, Barak Gila, Marcel Horstmann, and John Luttig for reading this over. ❤Notes, resources, and further readingI cannot in good conscience discuss the history of home finance in the US without mentioning redlining. This was the practice of denying loans to residents of certain areas due to the racial makeup of those communities. The FHA and VA pioneered this racist practice, and they set the standard for private mortgage providers as well. It was a defining feature of the US housing market for generations, and until recently it was ignored in nearly every major high school history textbook. Other people have given this issue far better treatment than I ever will, so I’ll point you to those, but I wanted to at least mention it so you can learn more about it:The Racist Housing Policy That Made Your Neighborhood from The Atlantic1934–1968: FHA Mortgage Insurance Requirements Utilize Redlining from Boston Fair HousingLouis Hyman’s book Debtor Nation: The History of America in Red Ink was instrumental in writing this post. I originally picked it up as a history of credit in the US, but it went way beyond that. The chapter about home finance opened my eyes to the the government-created incentives that shape cities. It is what led me to learn more about the impact of policy on residential development and rethink deep-set assumptions about why our country looks the way it does.I nearly stopped writing this when halfway through I discovered Thomas Hanchett’s paper The Other “Subsidized Housing”: Federal Aid to Suburbanization, 1940s-1960s. It hit every major point I intended to articulate, and it introduced other ways that the government has shaped our communities that I’d never heard about. I decided to continue, because my purpose — to communicate these complex policies to people who aren’t finance policy nerds — was different from his, and new information has surfaced since it was published in 2000, but it’s a great resource to dive into more details that didn’t fit in this essay.There’s so much more interesting stuff to dive into about the structure, incentives, and outcomes of the FHA. I didn’t go into them here, but I encourage you to read more about it! It’s incredible how much they’ve shaped the US housing market, even today. You can find a full PDF of the 1936 FHA Underwriting Manual here.To learn more about the mortgage interest deduction:The Accidental Deduction: A History and Critique of the Tax Subsidy for Mortgage Interest from Law & Contempary Problems, Vol. 73Who Benefits from the Home Mortgage Interest Deduction? from Tax FoundationWays forward to more equitable land use law from City ObservatoryThe mortgage interest deduction: Its geographic distribution and policy implications from Journalist’s ResourceHow the mortgage interest deduction hurts our cities from MinnPostTo learn more about depreciation:Real Estate Depreciation and Tax Sheltering from Financial WebTo learn more about the capital gains exclusion:5 Things You Should Know About Capital Gains Tax from TurbotaxHomeowners get a big tax break when they sell: A capital gains tax exclusion from BankrateMore support for a real estate capital gains tax from City ObservatoryFurther reading:Street Network Types and Road Safety from University of ConnecticutTrump’s Industry, Real Estate, Poses Hurdle to Tax Overhaul from The New York TimesStarving the cities to feed the suburbs from Grist
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Marc Jablon, RealtorBlockedUnblockFollowFollowingFeb 1, 2017The South Florida real estate market has been trending upwards with great momentum for some time now, although that growth is likely to begin to slow in the near future. Likewise, interest rates have remained low for a number of years, but have recently begun edging up over the past few months and are expected to continue to rise in 2017.To put it another way, if you’ve been thinking about buying real estate — especially if you’d be a first-time homeowner — now is the time to take action before it’s too late.For many prospective buyers, however, it isn’t a lack of motivation which is keeping them from jumping into the real estate market; it’s the belief that they simply don’t have enough money saved up in order to afford a down payment.Sure, traditional mortgages have historically required a 20% down payment. If you were purchasing a $300,000 home, you would need to bring at least $60,000 to the closing table. But today there are a wide variety of different mortgages and financial products available to make homeownership a reality with as little as just 3% down for most people with decent credit, and even 0% down for buyers in certain situations.Conventional MortgagesConventional mortgages are the loans which are most often associated with needing a 20% down payment. Thanks to the help of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, however, conventional mortgages are available to buyers with as little as 3% down.Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are government sponsored enterprises (GSEs) which help maintain stability in housing and open up liquidity in the mortgage market. One of the ways in which they accomplish this is by guaranteeing consumer mortgages which meet their minimum set of standards. This means that even if the borrower stops making their payments, the GSE will ensure that the lender recoups their investment — giving banks and other financial institutions incentive to lend to more buyers.Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac both have programs which provide up to 97% of a home’s value, allowing buyers to come to the closing table with just 3% down. For a $300,000 home, that means a down payment of just $9,000. One downside, however, is that these loans are usually only available for buyers with good to great credit — a minimum score of 660 is typically required.FHA LoansFor buyers who don’t qualify for a conventional loan backed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac, FHA loans offer a great alternative. As the name implies, FHA loans are backed by the Federal Housing Administration, and protected through mortgage insurance paid for by the borrowers.This allows lenders to offer financial products which require as little as 3.5% down to buyers with a credit score of 580 or higher. For hopeful homeowners with a credit score between 500 and 579, mortgages are available which require a reduced down payment of 10%.Another benefit of FHA loans is that while other mortgages require the down payment to come directly from the buyers, these products allow for alternative down payment sources, including receiving the funds as a gift from a family member or friend, from a government down-payment assistance program, and even from the seller in the form of a credit on the closing statement.VA LoansFor prospective homebuyers who have served or are currently serving in the military, VA loans are tough to beat. These mortgages are secured by the Veterans Administration for all active-duty and past service members who meet their list of eligibility requirements. These VA loans offer 0% down financing, and unlike most other types of low down payment loans, they do not require the borrowers to pay for mortgage insurance.Not every veteran will qualify for a VA loan, however: lenders still follow their own set of lending guidelines and in most cases will require a minimum credit score of 620 for approval.USDA LoansAnother great product available to buyers who are looking at suburban and rural properties is a USDA loan. These loans are backed by the United States Department of Agriculture and provide 100% financing for residential real estate outside of major urban areas. To put it in perspective, 97% of the land in the United States qualifies for a USDA loan.Similar to FHA loans, mortgages backed by the USDA allow closing costs to be gifted or paid for by family members, friends, or even the seller. Mortgage insurance is required on USDA loans, but is normally wrapped into the monthly mortgage payments. Since December 2014, the USDA has required a minimum credit score of 640 on all loans that they secure.Is It Really This Easy to Get a Loan?For the majority of buyers who have at least a decent credit score or better, yes, getting an affordable home loan at a reasonable rate is still pretty simple. That’s because there are so many different programs currently available to minimize the amount of money needed at closing. This helps the buyers who otherwise wouldn’t be able to afford the 20% down payment traditionally needed to purchase a home. And luckily, it doesn’t look like those programs are going anywhere anytime soon.But the market conditions we’re currently experiencing, on the other hand, are likely to undergo changes as we progress through 2017. Home values are continuing to trend upwards, and interest rates are steadily moving higher as well. This means that while low down payment mortgage options will still be available for some time to come, rising home and mortgage costs will cause housing affordability — and purchasing power — to decline in the near-to-mid future. In other words: if you’re thinking about buying, now is the time to do so.Marc JablonNew Harbor RealtyJablonTeam@gmail.com561–213–6139http://www.JablonTeam.com