Mortgages issued by federally qualified lenders and insured by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA). FHA loans are designed for borrowers who are unable to make a large down payment. FHA loans allow the borrower to borrow up to 96.5% of the value of the home. The 3.5% down payment requirement can come from a gift or a grant, which makes FHA loans popular with first-time buyers.
In 1991 the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) started offering rural development loans to encourage homebuyers to live in rural and suburban areas. The USDA did this to promote growth and boost the local economies of these areas by making land and property more affordable.
For borrowers that meet USDA loan requirements, they offer many benefits paired with relatively lenient approval requirements. Government backed and insured they offer:
Low Mortgage Insurance
NO money down
Low interest rates
30 year fixed rates
Option to roll closing costs into the loan if the home appraises higher
Flexible credit guidelines
So if you want to live in a suburban or rural area – generally with a population of 20,000 or less then a USDA loan may be your answer to owning your new home.
A mortgage loan program established by the United States Department of Veterans Affairs to help veterans and their families obtain home financing. The Department of Veterans Affairs does not directly originate VA loans; instead, they establish the rules for those who may qualify, dictate the terms of the mortgages offered, and insure VA loans against default. VA loans offer up to 100% financing on the value of a home. To apply for a VA loan, borrowers must present a certificate of eligibility, which establishes their record of military service to the lender.
Mortgages that are not government-backed are known as conventional home loans.
Conforming loans conform to guidelines established by government-sponsored enterprises (GSE) Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. They buy mortgages from lenders and sell them to investors to make mortgages more available.
Jumbo loans are loans that are larger than the loan limits set by the GSEs.
Portfolio loans are loans that are held by mortgage lenders on their own books. These types of loans may have features that other loans do not because lenders can set their own guidelines.
Fixed Rate Loans have interest rates that don’t change for the life of the loan.
Benefits of a Fixed Rate loan include:
PMI is not for the life of the loan.
The interest rate does not change for the life of the loan which provides protection from rising interest rates.
Available for refinancing.
Different fixed rate period options are available, such as 10, 20, 25 or 30 years.
Adjustable Rate Loans
With an adjustable rate loan, the interest rate changes periodically, usually in relation to an index and payments may go up or down accordingly.
Benefits of an Adjustable Rate loan include:
Lenders generally charge lower initial interest rates, making payments lower for a certain period of time.
The loan could be less expensive over a long period than a fixed-rate mortgage if interest rates remain steady or move higher.
Considerations of an Adjustable Rate loan include:
There is the risk that an increase in interest rates would create higher monthly payments.
The length of time the loan is held should be considered. If the loan will not be held for a long time, rising interest rates may not pose a major problem.
Jumbo Loan Programs
A jumbo loan is a nonconforming loan if it exceeds the conforming loan limits imposed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Currently, Jumbo loans are loans over 453,100. These types of loans are available for primary residences, second or vacation homes, and investment properties. They are also available as fixed-rate or adjustable-rate loans.
Several different Down Payment Assistance (DPA) programs exist in each state that cover all or some down payment for eligible homebuyers to assist with purchasing a home. Some of the programs also include closing costs and pre-paid expenses associated with buying a home. The amount of assistance is based on the program. To reduce the rate of mortgage default and to equip homebuyers with the information needed to budget for all of the expenses associated with owning a home, some of the programs require pre-purchase counseling or education. Also, for DPA programs, income limits may apply.
You do not need to be a first time Home Buyer for some of the Grants.
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