As if a housing shortage and historically low interest rates weren’t enough to spark some of your clients to consider refinancing instead of buying, the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) just put another log on the fire.

This week, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have agreed to eliminate the “Adverse Market Refinance Fee” for all refinanced mortgages, effective Aug. 1. The refinancing fee was implemented in December 2020 to help pay for some of the federal pandemic-related mortgage relief.   Continue reading

When mortgage rates drop to near historic lows like recently, many homeowners start thinking about either refinancing their current homes or buying a new one.  

According to Freddie Mac and the National Association of Homebuilders, mortgage rates are expected to hover around 3 percent this year. The National Association of Realtors projects the rate will reach 3.2 percent in 2021, and Wells Fargo believes rates will be around 2.89 percent. All these numbers are attractive for both new home buyers and those looking to refinance. 

There are benefits and pitfalls to both that a knowledgeable and professional agent can communicate to put you in the best position possible.  

Despite it being a seller’s market where home prices in many regions are skyrocketing, you could still manage to land the home of their dreams without breaking the bank.  

However, if you aren’t up for getting into possible bidding wars, are still content in your current home, or need to squeeze some money out of your monthly budgets, refinancing can provide some benefits. 

To help you clients determine whether they should buy now or refinance instead, here are some essential considerations to share. 

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Interfamily transfers permit some unique rules to be considered when buying a home. We encourage mortgage planning to implement these strategies. A gift of equity can be used a few ways…and when done right, can drastically limit the use of actual money needed to buy a home. An interfamily transfer – also known as a non-armslength transaction – can be used three ways in any combination:

First, for down payment; Second, to cover closing costs for the loan; Third, to actually pay off debt. In many cases, these are great when estate planning is used in combination when transferring real estate. Imagine buying Grandma’s house, paying off your consumer debt, renovating the home, and doing so with almost no money out of pocket. It is certainly a technical transaction…and yet it’s done quite often. Do you qualify for a gift of equity? Maybe so…ask us how

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

Until recently, if you wanted to build a home, you needed to qualify for the construction loan, and then re-qualify for the traditional mortgage loan. However, that’s not the case now. AmeriFirst Home Mortgage is proud to be the first lender in Ohio to offer the USDA Rural Development New Construction Loan. This construction-to-permanent mortgage option provides qualified homebuyers the chance to receive 100% financing and no cash down payment is necessary to build a home that is a single-family residence. The loan finances the cost of the construction as a short-term interim loan. Once construction is completed, it converts to a traditional 30-year long-term permanent mortgage, and there is no need to qualify for a separate loan. Hence, the construction-to-permanent lingo. OK, what’s the catch? Well, there isn’t one. To be eligible, the desired property simply needs to fall within certain geographical areas, outside the city limits of major metropolitan centers. Prospective borrowers also have additional credit and income requirements to meet. Get qualified for USDA New Home Construction. Learn about it today. Ask us how.

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


Shipping containers; you seem them, a lot. From on the road to rail and water, these large steel containers appear as giant Lego blocks, packed with goods that keep us and the world moving. It brings us to the question, have you thought about what’s inside of them? Or better yet, did you ever imagine living inside of one? Okay, chances are the idea has never crossed your mind, but calling a container home is very real.

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Media reports will vary throughout time. Interest rates will change up and down. An increase in rates may mistakenly convince you that refinancing is not worth looking into. The reality is that rates are still favorable and low. Mortgage loans, generally speaking, are the cheapest and safest type of money to borrow. Consumer debt on the other hand is quite expensive. Debt consolidation, home improvements, removing PMI, and other financial needs should be evaluated to determine the net tangible benefit of refinancing. And while it may sound a little whacky, there may be benefits to refinancing coupled with an increase in your mortgage loan interest rate. Sounds nutty, maybe not. Ask us how.

Mortgages are likely the largest debt a person will ever have. And with mortgage money typically being the cheapest type of debt, paying more money to the largest debt and the cheapest debt, is not the most economical approach for money management. It’s much smarter to pay off consumer debt carrying higher payments and higher interest costs than it is to spend more money on your mortgage loan. Also, when you pay off your home, you will lose your mortgage tax deduction that most folks get, and you will also still have monthly obligations consisting of property taxes and homeowners insurance. So paying less on your mortgage allows folks to save additional money for essentially rainy day funds, emergency reserves and avoid more expensive debt like consumer debt. Get educated about mortgage money management. Ask us how.