Understanding the FHA Mortgage
Unlike in years past, when it comes to financing your new home there are only four mortgage options available to homebuyers. These are FHA or Federal Housing Authority loans, Conventional/Jumbo or FANNIE MAE Conforming loans, RD or USDA Rural Development loans and VA or Veteran Administration loans. CONTACT A SMART AGENT FIRST TO DETERMINE WHICH LENDER IS BEST FOR YOUR UNIQUE SITUATION! We know which lenders will say YES and NO to your situation!
Understanding and striving to meet the “ever changing” criteria for these loan programs is important to achieving a successful home purchase. This is just one of the many reasons why it’s essential that the Realtor you choose to help facilitate your home purchase, are themselves, well versed in the underwriting process and guidelines of each of these programs.
Smart Move Real Estate agents (Smart Agents) are highly trained in the criteria and processes of each of these loan programs.
FHA LOAN: These loans are typically made by a bank or direct mortgage lender. A borrower can choose to go through a “middle man” called a mortgage broker, however, they will typically pay higher rates and fees by doing this. FHA loans are not typically provided by the Federal Housing Authority itself, they simple “insure” the lender providing you with the loan against loss in the event of a default.
- The new 2018 FHA Loan Limits for a single family residence in Louisiana is $314,827. For a duplex the maximum loan is $403,125, Triplex is $487,250 and for a four-plex purchase, the maximum loan is $605,525. Purchasing a multi-unit property and renting out one or more units can defer or even eliminate a large portion of the homebuyers mortgage payment. The owner must intend to reside in one unit for a minimum of two years in order to obtain a owner occupied FHA loan.
- The buyer must have 3.5% of the purchase price of the property set aside for a down payment. IE: $100,000 purchase price = $3,500 required down payment. On certain occasions, these funds may be a gift from a family member. There are also grant programs available which can provide a home buyer part or even all of the down payment! However, you will need to talk to a Certified FHA Loan Officer to see if your unique situation will allow for this. You will also want to know that the maximum a seller can contribute to the buyer’s closing costs, pre-paid items such as taxes and insurances and title insurance is 6% of the sales price of the property. If negotiated properly by your agent, a homebuyer can feasible purchase a home with very little or even not money out of their pocket!
The minimum credit score which any of the direct lenders we recommend is currently able to write an FHA mortgage is as low as 500. However, a home buyer should know the higher they can get their credit score up, the lower the interest rate will be. If you have had some credit issues in the past, many times your Certified FHA Loan Officer will be able to help you remedy some of these and increase your score enough to allow you to purchase your new home.
FHA borrowers must have a good 12 month rental or mortgage history to qualify. Remember, you’re buying a house. The lender and FHA are primarily concerned with how you pay your housing expense! If you currently rent from a property management company the lender will simply have to get a Verification of Rent (VOR) from the property management company. However, if you rent from an individual, you are most likely going to be REQUIRED to produce the last twelve months of cancelled checks to prove you paid your rent on time. On occasion, there can be exceptions for this requirement. You will need to discuss this with your Certified FHA Loan Officer.
- What about old charged off accounts and medical bills? What about old charged off accounts and medical bills? DON’T DO ANYTHING WITH THEM! Many times a homebuyer will try to “fix” their own credit by calling old accounts seeking to settle them. This very move can keep you from purchasing your home! A quick rule of thumb is “the older the account, the less it will impact your credit score.” Contacting these companies to settle them will re-age the account. This will actually take an item which may only impact your score slightly, and turn it into an item which WILL negatively impact your score. If you have derogatory entries on your credit bureau, let your Approved USDA RD Loan Specialist direct you how, and which ones, to fix.
- FHA Funding Fee & Mortgage Insurance: As mentioned earlier, in most cases, FHA only insures the lender against loss. They do not directly provide the loan. Thus being the case, FHA charges a 1.75% Funding Fee which is added on top of the principle mortgage amount. In addition, FHA borrowers will pay a monthly mortgage insurance premium of 1.35% of the loan. The downside of an FHA mortgage is that the mortgage insurance premium is never removed from an FHA loan. With other types of loans the Mortgage Insurance premium will cease once the balance of loan reaches 80% of the value of the house.
An example FHA Mortgage Payment will look like this: Principle Loan Amount $139,428 – 4.25% interest for 30 years.
- Principle and Interest Payment: $685.90
- Mortgage Insurance Payment: $152.98
- Escrow for Tax & Insurance: $122.22
- TOTAL MONTHLY PAYMENT: $961.10
We really enjoyed working with Brandon while searching for our new home. He let us know what to expect and lead us through the whole process so that it didn’t have to be a stressful one. He also responded to our calls and texts quickly, with no matter how small or big our question or concern was. I would highly recommend him to anyone who is even thinking about buying or selling their home.
Brandon is seriously the best real estate agent out there! He literally walked us through every detail of the process and he is so easy to communicate with! He gets back to you ASAP and he exceeded all of our expectations for an agent! I would highly recommend him to anyone!
Brandon was very helpful and knowldgeable. My wife and I were new to the area and looking for our first house Brandon was willing to work with us around my work schedule and was very kind in allowing our young son to come along on house searches and helping to keep him entertained as well .
My husband and I purchased our dream home in April 2015. Prior to buying our home, we searched and worked with few real estate agents. Finally our headache was over!!! We meet with Brandon and just by talking to him we felt confident in him. He is very professional and knows his work. He is very prompt and very helpful. My husband and I highly recommend him. He made sure that we were in our dream home as promised. Brandon takes care of his clients. Becoming a homeowner has been the best thing we…
Derek is a great guy! It’s been months since we bought our home and I can still call him if I have any questions. If I ever buy another house it will definitely be with him.
Working with Smart Move Real Estate and Jay Johnson was an absolute pleasure. They not only got my home sold for top dollar, they also saved me a lot of money in the process. Jay went above and beyond to educate and assure me throughout the process. There is no other Realtor that I would even consider referring to my friends and family!
Brandon was very helpful during my home search. He was quite resourceful and responsive. I would highly recommend him if you’re looking to purchase or sale your home.
I am almost 60 years young and have needed to depend on realtors about 5 times in my life, either with buying new property or selling old. Derek was the very first that came with no irritation, or that feeling that I can’t wait to never see this person once the deal is done! With changes in life through new housing being hard enough, Derek Overstreet will become a family friend, due to his professional and trusting guidance as your realtor.
Derek was always ready to meet me and show homes when it was convenient to me. When he understood what was most important to me in a home, he would diligently research new listings and send them to me. He worked for me a few months prior to my move from Colorado, never forgetting to keep me informed.
Brandon did a great job selling our home. He was always available and kept us informed during the process. Brandon is very knowledgeable and more importantly he is honest. I highly recommend Brandon to anyone looking to buy or sell a home.