Home BuyersMortgage Rates December 17, 2020

A Guide to VA Loans

Image source: Shutterstock

 

VA loans provide a path toward homeownership for active service and veteran personnel and their families. The following serves as a guide to understanding what they are, who they are available to, and what types of loans are available to them.

VA loans can be confusing, so talk with your Windermere agent as you prepare to discuss your options with your lender. “Even people in the military have misconceptions about (VA loans),” said Windermere agent and Veteran Gervon Simon in a recent episode of our “Ask An Agent” series.

 

What are VA Loans?

The VA loan program was established by the United States Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to help active service members, veterans, and surviving spouses become homeowners. VA loans are backed by the federal government yet provided by private lenders such as banks and mortgage companies. VA loans can be used to buy, build, or improve a home, or to refinance a current home loan.

 

How do VA Loans work?

VA loans have appealing characteristics for homeowners including lower-than-average mortgage rates, zero down payment on the purchase price, no-prepayment penalties, limited closing costs, and no Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI). They are typically easier to qualify for than standard home loans. With VA-backed loans, they guarantee a portion of the loan from a private lender. This means less risk for the lender, often resulting in more favorable terms for the homeowner. You do not have to be a first-time homebuyer to receive a VA loan. VA loan limits vary by county, so be sure to work with your Windermere agent to determine the limit in your area.

 

Which loans are available?

 

Purchase Loan

  • VA-backed purchase loans may be used to buy a single-family home, condo, manufactured home, or land. They also may be used to make energy-efficient changes to your home. Additionally, you can use a purchase loan to build a new home.
  • They offer no down payment, as long as the home’s sales price does not exceed its appraised value.
  • There is no need for PMI or mortgage insurance premiums (MIP).

 

Native American Direct Loan (NADL)

  • For Veterans who are either Native American or have a Native American spouse, the NADL can help to buy, build, or improve a home on federal trust land.
  • Beyond basic requirements of eligibility and credit standards, to be considered for the loan your tribal government must have an agreement—or Memorandum of Understanding (MOU)—with the VA. For more information on MOUs, visit this page: MOU Info

 

Interest Rate Reduction Refinance Loan (IRRRL)

  • The IRRRL is a refinancing tool for those with VA-backed home loans that are looking to reduce their monthly mortgage payments.
  • The IRRRL replaces a current loan, giving homeowners the ability to stabilize their repayment plans.
  • A VA funding fee may be required. Loan interest and closing fees will be charged by your lender but including these costs in your IRRRL will help you avoid paying the costs upfront.

 

Cash-out refinance loan:

  • The cash-out refinance loan allows homeowners to take cash out of their home equity or refinance a non-VA loan into a VA-backed loan.
  • In addition to your Certificate of Eligibility (COE), you’ll need to provide additional federal income tax information to your lender.
  • A home appraisal will be ordered by your lender. Similar to an IRRRL, a VA funding fee may be charged at closing. Follow their closing process and pay all closing costs.

 

For more information on the different types of VA Loans, eligibility, and more, visit the Veterans Affairs website here: VA Loans

ColoradoLoveland Real EstateLoveland Real Estate AgentReal Estate Market June 24, 2020

Rate Meaning

Mortgage interest rates have hit another record low this week.

 

Mortgage applications for purchases just hit an 11-year high.

 

Rates are at a level that many people could never have imagined.

 

Here’s something that is surprising to many people…

 

Rates are 1.5% lower than they were just two years ago.

 

Here’s what that means for buyers…

 

Pretend someone is looking at a $500,000 home and they will have a 20% down payment.

 

The difference in monthly payment is $320 between two years ago and today.

 

Obviously that is a significant amount of money.

 

Imagine what a person could do with $320 per month.

 

The fact that rates are at record lows is one of many reasons that the market is so strong right now and prices continue to appreciate at healthy levels.

At Windermere Real Estate we are taking Safer at Home and Social Distancing very seriously.  Our people are following our Safe Showings protocol, staying connected to their clients, and providing help wherever needed.

Buying a HomeHome BuyingHomeownershipHousing Market April 6, 2020

Confidence Is Key to Success for Young Homebuyers

Confidence Is the Key to Success for Young Homebuyers

Buying your first home can seem overwhelming. Thankfully, there’s a lot of great information out there to help you feel more confident as you learn about the process. For those in younger generations who aspire to buy, here are three things to consider sooner rather than later in your journey:

1. Understand What it Takes to Purchase a Home

Overall, Millennials make up the largest group of homebuyers in today’s real estate market, and Gen Z is not too far behind. A recent study shared by Freddie Mac shows, however, that Generation Z isn’t as confident in the homebuying process as Millennials. The best thing potential young buyers can do is understand what it takes to buy a home. Learn as much as you can about the mortgage processdown payment options, and the overall steps to take along the way.

2. Realize Your Opportunity to Build Wealth

Homeownership allows you the chance to put a small portion of the home’s value down when you buy, and then watch your appreciation grow on the full value of the home – not just on the down payment. It’s one of the best investments you can make, and a form of forced savings working in your favor over time. The added bonus? You get to live there, too.

3. Find Someone You Trust to Help You Through the Process

Having someone you trust to guide you through this process is invaluable. Finding a local real estate expert to help you navigate through the transaction and feel more confident as you make important decisions could be the best choice you make.

For Millennials and Gen Z’ers thinking about buying, today’s historically low interest rates combined with the outlook for future home appreciation is a big win. This means whatever you buy today, you’ll be bragging about 10 years from now. You can feel confident about that!

Bottom Line

If you’re ready, buying your first home sooner rather than later is one of the best decisions you can make. But there are many things to consider before taking that step, so it is critically important to educate yourself properly and find someone who can help you confidently navigate through the full journey.

https://www.keepingcurrentmatters.com/2020/03/11/confidence-is-the-key-to-success-for-young-homebuyers/

Buying a HomeHomeownershipNorthern Colorado Real Estate March 25, 2020

How Your Tax Refund Can Move You Toward Homeownership This Year

How Your Tax Refund Can Move You Toward Homeownership This Year

If you’re looking to buy a home in 2020, have you thought about putting your tax refund toward a down payment? Homeownership may be one step closer than you think if you spend your dollars wisely this year.

Based on data released by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), Americans can expect an estimated average refund of $2,962 when filing their taxes this year.

The map below shows the average tax refund Americans received last year by state:How Your Tax Refund Can Move You Toward Homeownership This Year | Keeping Current MattersAccording to programs from the Federal Housing Authority, Freddie Mac, and Fannie Mae, many first-time buyers can purchase a home with as little as 3% down. Truth be told, a 20% down payment is not always required to buy a home, even though that’s a common misconception about homebuying. Veterans Affairs Loans allow many veterans to purchase a home with 0% down.

How can my tax refund help?

If you’re a first-time buyer, your tax refund may cover more of a down payment than you ever thought possible.

If you take into account the median home sale price by state, the map below shows the percentage of a 3% down payment that’s covered by the average tax refund:How Your Tax Refund Can Move You Toward Homeownership This Year | Keeping Current MattersThe darker the blue, the closer your tax refund gets you to homeownership in one of these programs. Maybe this is the year to plan ahead and put your tax refund toward a down payment on a home.

Bottom Line

Saving for a down payment can seem like a daunting task, but the more you know about what’s required, the more prepared you’ll be to make the best decision for you and your family. This tax season, your refund could be your key to homeownership.

https://www.keepingcurrentmatters.com/2020/03/02/how-your-tax-refund-can-move-you-toward-homeownership-this-year/

Down PaymentHome BuyersNew BuyersNorthern Colorado Real Estate November 15, 2019

62% of Buyers Are Wrong About Down Payment Needs

62% of Buyers Are Wrong About Down Payment Needs

According to the ‘2019 Home Buyer Report conducted by Nerdwallet, many first-time buyers still believe they need a 20% down payment to buy a home in today’s market:

“More than 6 in 10 (62%) Americans believe you must put at least 20% down in order to purchase a home.”

When potential homebuyers think they need a 20% down payment to enter the market, they also tend to think they’ll have to wait several years (in some markets) to come up with the necessary funds to buy their dream homes. The report continues to say,

“The truth: 32% of current U.S. homeowners put 5% or less down on their home, according to census data.” (as shown below):

62% of Buyers Are Wrong About Down Payment Needs | Keeping Current MattersThe lack of knowledge about the home-buying process is unfortunately keeping many motivated buyers on the sidelines.

Bottom Line

Don’t let a lack of understanding keep you and your family out of the housing market. Meet with a local real estate professional who can show you your options today.