Government Backed Loans - FHA, VA, USDA

Key takeaways

  • Government-backed loan requirements (FICO credit score, % down, debt to income ratio, cash reserves buyers need on hand, etc.) have not changed
  • Some lenders have changed their requirements on their own due to the current state of the market
  • Amerifirst has not changed its requirements on government-backed loans (FHA, VA, USDA)

Lenders are telling the Realtors whom they often work with that the government minimums have changed.  They say something like, “new FHA guidelines require a minimum score of 670 for all FHA loans.  This is NOT true Before we go any further we need to establish one very important fact… to date, the government has not changed any of their minimums, (like FICO credit score, % down, debt to income ratio, cash reserves buyers need on hand, etc.) at any point during recent times.  They remain, todaywhat they were three weeks ago or even three months ago.   Continue reading

A message and answers from Amerifirst to frequently asked questions regarding mortgage forbearance during these difficult times.

*Not intended as real estate, accounting or investment advice. Contact your financial representative for more information.

mortgage forbearance

The COVID-19 Coronavirus has led to some challenging times for all of us. 

The Government has created the CARE Act, to assist homeowners whose income may have been adversely impacted by the coronavirus. One of the components of the CARE Act is the possibility of mortgage forbearance. 

Forbearance is often misinterpreted. And while it is intended to help, it can have some dangerous repercussions. Many people are mistakenly thinking that forbearance equals forgiveness. It does not. Forgiveness implies that money won’t need paid back.

Forbearance is the lessening of mortgage principal and interest payments over a short period of time. That money is then due in one lump sum after the forbearance period. For example, if you cut your $1,000/mo. mortgage principal and interest payment to $500, you need to pay back $1,500 in a lump sum after a 3-month forbearance.

Think about when you buy something at a furniture store that offers “no payments” for 3 months. You still must pay for the furniture…the payments are just deferred. 

But mortgage forbearance is even worse if the borrower has dug themselves in a deep hole and can’t catch up. Should this happen, the lender will enforce their right to be paid, which may cause the borrower to be foreclosed upon. They could lose all the equity in their home in the process. 

Forbearance is designed to help those as a measure of last resort. It is not a free pass and may have serious consequences.

Here are some other things to consider regarding mortgage forbearance:

Be resourceful. Ask questions. Learn. 

As always, I’m here to help: 

Brandon Davis

NMLS #69028

MLO.003759.000

Down payment and terms shown are for informational purposes only and are not intended as an advertisement or commitment to lend. Please contact us for an exact quote and for more information on fees and terms. Not all borrowers will qualify.

Realtor Retargeting
We’ve all had it happen to us before… You’re browsing for a new pair of shoes online and decide you don’t feel like buying them in that exact moment. So, you go back to work and forget all about it. 

Then you get home, hop on the couch, and log in to Facebook for a little bit. You’re scrolling through your News Feed and suddenly you see an ad with that exact pair of shoes! The ad stands out like a sore thumb, because you immediately recall that you had been searching for them earlier in the day. 

But how do they know? Are they listening through your device? Is this some kind of Big Brother thing? 

Luckily, no… 

This is actually a very common tactic used in the marketing world. It’s called retargetingand it’s something that all Realtors should be using.  Continue reading

navigating mortgage lending environment
With rates changing by the week, day, and most recently by the hour (!), Realtors, home buyers, and homeowners alike are likely scrambling to get the best deal and situation in place. These are certainly unprecedented times, and it’s very important for everyone involved in the process to be prepared and educated on the best course of action to navigate these waters most effectively. 

Here are a few tips that Realtors need to keep in mind: Continue reading

stand out in real estate
1.3 million – that’s how many real estate agents there are currently in the United States – a number that’s growing exponentially each year. And we know no two Realtors are the same. Each brings to the table their own level of experience, track record, and sales tactics.

For home shoppers, this is fantastic. More options mean a greater probability to truly find their dream house without turning the process into a nightmare. As a Realtor, however, this means competition is fierce in all markets, so you really need to make yourself stand out  Continue reading

Mortgage Rates All Time Low

Updated March 12, 2020:

Mortgage applications have reached their highest level since 2009, following the record drop in rates last week.

Many homebuyers and homeowners have rushed to take advantage of these historic rates.

Refinances led the majority of this action, making up nearly 77% of total applications nationwide and representing a 66.2% increase from just a week ago, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association.

Mortgage rates in the US have fallen to an all time low, opening up significant potential for buyers, homeowners, and Realtors® to act now.

Rates tumbled over the past week to 3.29% – the lowest point on record, according to Freddie Mac, which has tracked rates since 1971.

For comparison, at this point last year, rates on 30-year mortgages were at 4.41% roughly 34% higher than they are today. Continue reading

Difficult real estate clients
We have discussed in the past a need for balance in the real estate industry. Agents are human, like everyone else, and need to be conscious of the energy and time they are putting toward their work – as well as the hundred other things that need attention throughout a given day.

We’ve also talked about focusing on the paths that will generate the most money and grow your career.

That being said, we now want to discuss something that most agents experience in their careers at some point, but that no one really likes to talk about… when is it time to just let a difficult client walk? Continue reading

real estate communication
Communicating the home buying process to clients in a way that is easily understandable – especially if this is their first time – can be difficult… trust us, we deal with it as well.

“FHA,” “comps,” “under contract”

Words and phrases like these are so familiar to us that we often forget it’s because we deal with them daily.

For a first-time homebuyer, you may as well be speaking a different language. That can lead to real problems, such as a less-confident buyer that is hesitant to move forward because they don’t fully understand the process. The longer it takes for them to feel ready to buy, the longer it takes for you to make your money, that is, if they even go through with the deal at all. Continue reading

renting vs owning a home
In a previous article – which you can read here – we discussed how there are many misconceptions when it comes to home buying and lending that make many millennials hesitant to go through with the process.

“Many” equates to about 42% of millennials, or 30,000,000(!), that have yet to buy a home. That’s a huge portion of the US population that has yet to tap into the real estate market.

So how do we in the industry better get through to them? One of the ways is addressing the concerns they may have directly – whether or not they have any factual backing. Continue reading