Looking for the Top Mortgage Lender in New Jersey?
When you’re searching for your first home, you’re also searching for your first mortgage lender.
Now, it’s difficult to make specific recommendations on lenders because it’s way too tough to stay up to date on the many thousands of lenders who work in the Pennsylvania Area.
However, USDALoanInfoNJ can give you some very useful tips for how to approach your search for a lender.
When you’re looking for a mortgage lender you want start off by talking to a mortgage broker who has a good reputation in your area.
The best mortgage loan you never heard of? How about a USDA guaranty loan?
So what's so good about a USDA loan?
- 100% LTV - the highest LTV is mortgage lending today.
- Market interest rates.
- Less than perfect credit accepted.
You didn't know it, but the USDA has been in the real estate business for years. The program was initially designed to stimulate rural development and assist the agriculture community with housing. Agricultural stimulus packages are a long standing pillar of US economic policy going back to the turn of the last century. In fact, most our early prominent government economists were from the agricultural school. A famous alumnus of this school was John Kenneth Galbraith. USDA guaranty loans were designed as a modest program to provide housing in areas that large lenders shunned.
National lenders often penalized rural loans by raising rates and lowering LTV ratios because it was thought that rural properties could not be liquidated at prices high enough to cover the loan.
The trick to USDA loans is that the property must be located in an USDA approved area. Now here's the trick - the USDA uses the 2000 census data for its map. Areas that were rural in 2000 are now smack dab in the middle of huge growth patterns. Areas such the Kyle/Buda area south of Austin; Pflugerville east of the tollway; some areas of Leander/Cedar Park; Liberty Hill; the area across from the Dominion in San Antonio; parts of Comal County.
Real estate developers are nothing if not resourceful, and they're exploiting this loop hole to the extreme. Paired with a 96.5% LTV FHA loan, a 100% USDA makes a great partner - and a great way to sell out a subdivision.
Loans are processed similar to an FHA loan. Lenders authorized to make and sell USDA loans will process and underwrite the loan. Guidelines are much more flexible so there is a degree of common sense underwriting. Loans are then sold to Wall Street with the USDA guaranty fee.
This is a great loan for first time homebuyers, or anyone, looking to move into the suburbs at extremely beneficial terms. This is a much better program than even the sub-prime loans of the last 5 years.
This is also a great loan for seniors looking to retire to country, buying a home and some acreage.
The down side to this great opportunity is that the USDA will soon update their maps and the hot areas are sure to lose their designation as rural.
Check out our website below for more information and USDA resources, or call us with your questions.
You should also, at the same time, talk to a regional lender, a credit union (if you belong to one or you can join one) and a small local bank.
Each of these different types of lenders will offer different loan programs at different prices.
You should also ask friends and relatives who they’ve used for their home loans and how the experience went.
But emphasis is on the experience.
I have a great friend who once asked her sister for a lender recommendation, and the sister gave her a name and my friend had this horrific experience.
And when she went back to her sister to see what kind of experience her sister had had with this person, the sister confirmed that she, too, had a horrific experience.
“Hello! Why did you give me that lender’s name?” my friend asked, and the sister said, “Well you weren’t specific that you wanted someone good.
Sounds like a Seinfeld episode, right? And yet, this kind of stuff goes on all the time.
So here are some questions you should ask the person providing the recommendation that will help separate the wheat from the chaff:
- Did the lender repeatedly ask for the same documents?
- Is the lender organized?
A good lender should enable you to close on a home within about forty-five days – unless there’s some real serious problems with the house – so make sure to ask your friends and relatives if their lenders were able to meet that standard.
It may sound obvious, but it’s a good idea to look for a lender who specializes in making residential loans and has a reputation in your area for coming through with these loans.
Banks that aren’t generally known for their mortgage lending can be tougher to work with than some of the really big lenders.
And while you may be thinking to yourself, “I want to avoid the big banks,” you’re probably going to end up with one anyway.
Even if you go with a mortgage broker, that mortgage broker may actually work with a whole bunch of big lenders to fund your loan.
Above all, you need to find a lender that helps you understand the mortgage application process in a way that makes you feel comfortable and secure.
This is a huge decision.
You’re going to finance this property for the long run, and you want to do that with the right kind of partner.
And I just want to give a shoutout to anybody who is closing around October of 2015.
If you are, please watch the videos that I’ve made on the TILA-RESPA changes that are coming your way.
Right now they’re scheduled to go into effect October 3rd of 2015.
If you are looking to close around that, either before or after, you may have to build in some extra time to make sure that you don’t get caught up in all the craziness that’s going to go on I think when TILA-RESPA actually goes into effect.
The Business and Industry (B&I) loan program administered by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA or Agency) guarantees loans by qualified lenders to benefit rural businesses. For eligible projects, community banks can obtain an 80% guarantee for loans up to $5 million, a 70% guarantee for loans between $5 million and $10 million and a 60% guarantee for loans between $10 million and $25 million. The B&I guaranteed loan program allows lenders to expand their loan portfolio, obtain a deficiency guarantee, increase earnings by participating in the secondary market, make loans in smaller communities with traditionally lower collateral values and extend loans above their legal lending limits.
For each loan, lenders submit a detailed guarantee application to the Agency office in the state where the project is located. Approval or denial decisions generally take several weeks. Projects eligible for B&I financing include business acquisitions, commercial real estate purchases, startup costs and working capital, machinery and equipment purchases and some refinances.
On December 17, 2008, the USDA published a new interim rule pertaining to the B&I loan program in the Federal Register. Effective October 1, 2009, the new rule is designed to streamline the application, accelerate the guarantee approval process and expand the types of eligible projects. The Agency ultimately decided to abandon the new rule and instead focus on working within the existing regulatory framework to improve the B&I loan program.
Under the previous rule, the B&I loan program required lenders to compile burdensome applications and to deal with lengthy approval timelines and limited loan features. For example, a common lender complaint has been the laborious guarantee application process. For every loan under the previous regulations, B&I lenders had to submit to the local Agency all of their underwriting and loan approval documents, at least three B&I application forms, the draft loan agreement, copies of loan origination and servicing policies and procedures, and details concerning lending history, experience and their relationship with regulators. The Agency also awarded guarantees on a "priority scoring" basis, which gave loans in particularly rural areas with compelling purposes priority over otherwise eligible loans that earned a lower "score". An approval or denial decision for lower scoring loans could take months from the application submission.
The USDA aims to reduce these drawbacks with the revised rule. The new rule attempts to streamline the original application process. Lenders must apply to participate in the guaranteed loan program by submitting background information such as descriptions of lending history and experience, policy and procedures and documentation concerning regulatory compliance (7 CFR 5001.9). Although lenders had to submit this information under the old rule, they are now permitted to submit summaries instead of copies of their policies and procedures (§5001.9(a)(1)). Once approved by the agency, lenders will no longer have to submit this background information when applying for loan guarantees (§5001.9(b)(4)). The revised rule also reduces the number of guarantee application forms (§ 5001.12(a)) and eliminates the draft loan agreement (§5001.34). In addition to simplifying the application process, the new rule endeavors to reduce the guarantee approval timeline.
Two changes aim to accelerate the guarantee approval process. The Agency has eliminated its "priority scoring" system in favor of a simpler first-come-first-serve approach (§5001.103(f)(1)). Additionally, the Agency has created a preferred lender program (PLP) (§5001.9(d)). The benefits of obtaining PLP status include a ten day approval or denial decision (§5001.11(c)), a smaller guarantee application package (§5001.12(b)) and the opportunity to obtain preferred status in more than one state with a single PLP application (§5001.9(d)(2)). In addition to streamlining the application process, the Agency has introduced some new loan features to the B&I loan program.
B&I guarantees may now be issued for additional uses and purposes. Under the previous regulations, lines of credit were ineligible. Lines of credit are now eligible when used for annual operating/business expenses, debts advanced for the current operating cycle, scheduled non-delinquent term borrower debt or closing costs (§5001.103(b)(2)(xix)). Projects involving leasehold improvements and the purchase of mixed use commercial and residential buildings are also now eligible for B&I guarantees (§5001.103(b)(2)(xviii, xx)). Another new feature removes the prohibition that interest rates change no more often than quarterly, and allows lenders to set a variable rate that adjusts as often as daily (§5001.31(a)). These new features allow lenders to obtain a valuable B&I guarantee for projects that previously were ineligible.
Although these features are now available to lenders, some revisions to the rule are less clear and useful tools have been eliminated. For example, the Agency has replaced the proposed cash equity criterion with a debt-to-tangible net worth ratio criterion (§5001.6(c)), but has failed to define this calculation other than referring to Generally Accepted Accounting Principles. Additionally, the rule eliminates the Agency's limited authority to issue 90% guarantees. Again, the Agency ultimately decided to abandon the new rule and instead focus on working within the existing regulatory framework to improve the B&I loan program.