Government Refinance and Home Purchase Assistance

Information and Updates on Government Mortgage Programs

[Update -- The Fed and Obama administration have been compressing mortgage interest rates for some time now. Due to those efforts and other market factors, mortgage rates and APR's on most 15-30 year fixed government-backed mortgages have recently been coming in between 3.25 and 4.75%. But mortgage interest rates may be moving significantly higher soon so contact us today to learn more and get the process started.]

HOME PURCHASES

There are several government-backed home purchase programs designed to make it easier for Americans to buy a home. The goal of these programs is to allow for low down payments and to make it easier for people with less than perfect credit to qualify for a mortgage. With mortgage interest rates near historical lows and housing prices increasing across the country again, now is a terrific time to look into buying a home. Fill in the contact form on the right to learn more about the available government-backed purchase programs and to get pre-qualified for a home purchase loan.

HOME REFINANCES

For Homeowners Who Have Equity

There are several superb government-backed refinance programs for borrowers who have even a little equity in their homes and there are various good reasons to seek a refinance:

Contact one of our counselors to be pointed in the right direction on these options.

For Homeowners Who Are Underwater Or Upside Down On Their Mortgage(s)

There are several options for the millions of U.S. homeowners who owe more on their home than the property is currently worth. Here are a few:

1. FHA Streamline Refinance — If you are upside-down/underwater on your mortgage and currently have an FHA loan, refinancing to a better FHA mortgage through the FHA streamline program is an excellent option. Fill in the contact form on this page if you have an FHA loan and would like to learn more about the FHA-to-FHA streamline program.

2. HARP Refinances — With President Obama’s HARP program, qualified homeowners can refinance a conventional first mortgage which is backed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac no matter how underwater they are. (See here to find out if your conventional mortgage is backed by Fannie or Freddie.) As long as the current Fannie or Freddie loan was acquired prior to May of 2009 there should be no loan-to-value (LTV) limits. Further, while the HARP 1.0 program did not work well for people currently paying mortgage insurance (PMI), the changes in the HARP 2.0 program allow borrowers with PMI to participate. The HARP program does not allow second mortgages to be combined with first mortgages but will allow the first mortgage to be refinanced with the second mortgage remaining in place as is (called a subordination). See here for more on HARP 2.0 guidelines, features, and requirements. Contact us to learn more.

3. VA streamline (IRRRL) Program — For borrowers who have a VA loan now, the VA to VA streamline (also known as the IRRRL program) is a terrific, low cost way to significantly reduce payments and interest rates, even for borrowers who are underwater on their homes. If you have a VA loan contact us to learn more about the IRRRL program.

4. Loan Modification Programs — If you are unable to qualify for any other refinance program or if you are delinquent on your mortgage payments and are on the verge of foreclosing your best bet is often to seek a loan modification from your current lender. Loan modifications normally reduce mortgage payments by lowering interest rates or extending the loan period. Obama’s new “Home Affordable Modification Program” (HAMP) gives lenders incentive to modify troubled loans as well. See this page or contact us in the sidebar if you would like to discuss strategies for seeking a loan modification.

5. Principal Reduction Programs — It is possible to get a principal reduction in some rare cases. Contact us to be pointed in the right direction on that.

6. Other Alternatives — In some cases seeking bankruptcy protection is the best option for a family when it comes to saving their home and getting back on their feet financially. Contact us at this page to learn more about that process. Or see this page for ideas on dealing with credit card debts.

Be sure to bookmark this site and check back for the latest updates on government-backed efforts focused on alleviating the housing crisis in the US (see stories below). To contact us about your options just fill in the contact form in the sidebar.

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LATEST GOVT-RELATED MORTGAGE NEWS:

Filed under Government Mortgage Financing Programs News

There was an excellent article recently over at HousingWire.com that focused on a new study from The National Bureau of Economic Research. Here are some excerpts from that piece:

Approximately 20% of households for whom refinancing would be optimal are throwing over ten grand a year away due to their failure to take action.

“Despite the large stakes, anecdotal evidence suggests that many households may fail to refinance when they otherwise should. Failing to refinance is puzzling due to the large financial incentives involved. However, certain features of the refinance decision make failing to refinance consistent with recent work in behavioral economics,” the report said.

NBER stated borrowers are road blocked for three distinct reasons:

-It is difficult for borrowers to calculate the financial benefit to refinancing due to the very limited experience borrowers have with the complexities of transactions of this type.
-The benefits of refinancing are not immediate, but rather accrue over time.
-There is high amount of up-front costs, both financial and non-financial, that households must pay in order to complete a refinance, including a re-evaluation of their financial position and the value of their home.

“All of these features provide a psychological basis for why some households may fail to take up large savings,” NBER said.

The upshot is that millions of Americans who would benefit from a refinance to a better mortgage are still waiting on the sidelines. Contact us in the sidebar today to look into your government-backed refinance options.

Comments (0) Posted on Sunday, September 14th, 2014


Filed under Government Mortgage Financing Programs News

As we have discussed in the past, mortgage interest rates tend to roughly trend with the yield on the 10 year T-Note. In recent days, yields on the 10 year T-Note hit new 12 month lows. That is good news on mortgage interest rates.

As global turmoil continues to spook investors, money has been flowing into safer investments like U.S. treasury bonds. Like all market trends, this one won’t last forever; but in the short run, now is a good time to look into a refinance or a home purchase. Contact us in the form in the sidebar of this page for refinance help. To get info on home purchase programs just fill in the contact for on our home purchase page.

Comments (0) Posted on Sunday, August 17th, 2014


Filed under Government Mortgage Financing Programs News

Escalating armed conflicts Israel and Ukraine has been spooking global investors over the last few weeks. When investors get spooked they generally start moving funds into safe investments like U.S. treasuries. That compresses the yields on treasuries which in turn lowers mortgage interest rates. While we haven’t yet seen a big drop in mortgage interest rates, we are seeing the rates staying at 12 month lows and the recent headlines have been creating even more downward pressure on rates.

The upshot is that now is a terrific time to look into buying a home or refinancing to a lower rate. If you are looking into a refinance, contact us in the sidebar. For home purchase inquiries, contact us on our home purchase page.

Comments (0) Posted on Tuesday, August 12th, 2014


Filed under Government Home Purchase Programs

The USDA rural development program is a popular home purchase program. The primary appeal of the program is that it requires no down payment. In addition, borrowers who get a USDA RD loan avoid the expensive monthly mortgage insurance associated with FHA loans. One of the primary limitations to the program is that only homes that are in designated rural areas are eligible.

On October 1, 2014, the eligibility maps for the USDA rural housing program will change. See the USDA eligibility maps at the USDA RD site. Click on the “Single Family Housing” link in the sidebar and follow the instructions to get to the maps. Densely populated areas are not eligible but a surprisingly high number of suburbs are eligible for USDA RD program.

Contact us at our home purchase page to get more information on the USDA RD program.

Comments (0) Posted on Monday, August 11th, 2014


Filed under Government Mortgage Financing Programs News

Just over a year ago, in May of 2013, mortgage interest rates made a sudden upward jump on news that the Fed was planning on tapering its stimulus program. Since then mortgage interest rates have drifted back downward again. Rates on 15 and 30 year fixed mortgage are lower now than they were last summer and that is making refinances and home purchases extremely attractive again.

If you would like to lower the interest rate and payments on your current mortgage, contact us in the form in sidebar. Or if you are looking into buying a home, contact us on our home purchase page

Comments (0) Posted on Monday, July 7th, 2014


Filed under Government Home Purchase Programs

Over the last couple of years rent prices have been rising rapidly across the United States. Low vacancy rates have allowed landlords to hike rates at 2-3% per year. At the same time, mortgage interest rates have dropped over the last few months. In addition, home values have been steadily increasing again after the bottom fell out of the housing market in 2007-2008.

All of these factors add up to make purchasing and owning a home increasingly attractive to many Americans. In many areas of the country, mortgage payments are the same or lower than rent costs. And with home values steadily increasing, owning a home can mean owning an appreciating asset that can often be sold at a profit down the road rather than simply pouring money into rent.

If you have considered buying a home, contact us at our home purchase page today. Our counselors can point you in the right direction regarding available government-backed home purchase programs.

Comments (0) Posted on Monday, June 16th, 2014


Filed under Government Mortgage Financing Programs News

In a turn of events that has surprised Wall Street, U.S. treasury bonds have become surprisingly popular with investors again recently. As investors pour money into treasury bonds, the yields on the bonds are dropping, and as usual, mortgage interest rates have been dropping right in step with the yields on the 10-year treasury note. As a result of these global financial trends, mortgage interest rates in the U.S. have dropped to lows not seen in the last 12 months. While rates are not back to the lows we saw in late 2012 and early 2013, they have been slowly inching that direction for more than a month.

With mortgage rates at 12 month lows, now is an excellent time to contact us in the contact form in the sidebar about refinancing programs, or contact us about home purchase programs in on this page.

Comments (0) Posted on Thursday, May 29th, 2014


Filed under Government Mortgage Financing Programs News

The downward trend in mortgage interest rates that started a few weeks ago has continued unabated. Mortgage interest rates are now at new lows for 2014 and the downturn in the stock market stock market this week has helped that trend. A string of disappointing reports on the state of the U.S. economy has sent stock buyers running into bonds and that retreat by investors has lowered the yields on bonds which in turn is lowering mortgage rates. Mortgage rates are not approaching the all time lows on rates we saw in 2012 yet but this downturn in the market has created some of the lowest rates we have seen in the last 12 months.

If you have considered refinancing your mortgage, contact us right away in the form in the sidebar. Or if you are looking into buying a home contact us in the form on our home purchase page. There is no telling how long this current dip in rates will last so moving quickly is a good idea.

Comments (0) Posted on Thursday, May 15th, 2014


Filed under Government Mortgage Financing Programs News

On the heels of the recent surprisingly bad U.S. GDP report, mortgage interest rates have been dropping in the last week. That GDP news has driven investors away from stocks and toward bonds which in turn has been compressing the yield on bonds. As of Friday the yield on the 10 year Treasury Note was just a tenth of a percent above its 2014 low. As a result, mortgage interest rates are testing new 2014 lows this week as well.

If you have considered investigating a government backed mortgage, now is a great time to get the ball rolling. Fill in the contact form on your right for guidance on refinances. For help with government backed home purchase programs fill in the contact form on our home purchase page.

Comments (0) Posted on Saturday, May 3rd, 2014


Filed under Government Mortgage Financing Programs News

Are you interested in seeing the trend in government-back mortgage interest rates? The easiest way is to track the yields on the 10 year Treasury Note, also called the 10 year T-Note. While this is only a rule of thumb way to track rates, it is one of those rules of thumb that is generally reliable and useful.

What we are seeing lately is that the par rate, or rate that requires no buy down, on 30 year fixed conventional (Fannie/Freddie) mortgages have been coming in at roughly 2% higher than the yield on the 10 year T-Note. For instance, the yield on the 10 year T-Note closed at 2.59% yesterday. The par rate on 30 year fixed conventional mortgages was roughly 2% higher than that, coming in around the mid 4’s. With FHA and VA loans the par rate has lately been coming in about 1.6% higher than the T-Note yield. So as of yesterday the par rate on 30 year fixed FHA and VA loans was in the very low 4’s.

Keep in mind that there are other factors involved in mortgage rate trends so this rule of thumb is just that; a quick, rough way of estimating trends. Also, this is just the current trend on 30 year fixed loans — rates for government-backed 15 year mortgages or the various ARM mortgages available tend to be significantly lower than 30 year fixed rates.

The good news is that mortgage interest rates remain very low by historical measures. That is excellent for anyone looking to buy a home. It is also good news for anyone looking to refinance to a better mortgage. Contact us today for more guidance on available programs and rates.

Comments (0) Posted on Saturday, May 3rd, 2014


Filed under Government Mortgage Financing Programs News

Predictions of mortgage interest rates shooting up have been floating around for many months. In May of 2013 when mortgage rates moved higher on whispers that the Fed was going to take its foot off the pedal with regard to its Quantitative Easing program, some pundits speculated that mortgage interest rates would move steadily higher for years to come. But a funny thing happened — rates leveled out last summer and haven’t made an major, lasting moves since then. Rates on most 30 year fixed Fannie/Freddie conventional loans have remained in the mid to high 4’s and rates on 30 year fixed FHA and VA loans have stayed in the mid to low 4’s.

There is no telling what will happen to rates going forward, and it is still a safe bet that in the long run rates will move higher, but for now mortgage interest rates remain quite low by historical measures. With Ben Bernanke out as the Fed Chair and Janet Yellen running the show at the Fed now, it remains to be seen what the Fed will do to continue to stimulate the sluggish US economy.

While the future of mortgage interest rates is unknown, what is known is that rates are historically low right now. If you have considered purchasing a home or refinancing your current mortgage, now is an excellent to contact us to learn more about the various government-backed mortgage programs that are still available.

Just fill in the contact form in the sidebar for refinance information or for home purchase programs fill in the form on this page.

Comments (0) Posted on Wednesday, April 23rd, 2014


Filed under Government Home Purchase Programs

Of the four main government-backed home purchase programs, the Fannie Mae program requires the biggest down payment, with a down payment requirement of at least 5%. In addition, the Fannie Mae program has stricter debt-to-income ratio requirements as well as higher credit score requirements than some of the other programs. Despite all of this, the Fannie Mae program remains a popular choice for those who can qualify for it for a couple of reasons:

1. No up front fees: The VA charges a 2-3% up front fee, the USDA rural housing program charges 2% up front, and the FHA charges a 1.75% up from mortgage insurance premium. With the Fannie Mae program there is no up front fee and that saves buyers thousands of dollars in many cases.

2. Temporary mortgage insurance: With the FHA and USDA the mortgage insurance (or equivalent thereof in the case of USDA loans) is set for the life of the loan. With the Fannie Mae (conventional) program the mortgage insurance (sometimes call PMI) can be dropped when you have 22% equity in the home. And when a 20% down payment is used there is no mortgage insurance requirement at all.

Not everyone has the income, credit scores, or down payment needed to qualify for a Fannie Mae home purchase loan. For the folks who don’t, the VA, FHA, or USDA programs are excellent choices. But for folks who can qualify for a Fannie Mae loan, it can be the best choice.

Contact us in on our home purchase page to learn more about the Fannie Mae home purchase program as well as the other home purchase options.

Comments (0) Posted on Monday, April 14th, 2014