Top Ten Things to Know about Mortgage Loans – Spring 2013
1. Rates continue to be at historic lows, and lenders want to lend.
2. More and more positive housing news is being announced. For example, two recent announcements include pending home sales being at a multi-year high and home values increasing in the majority of markets compared to last year and even last month. This means more competition among buyers and potentially increasing home prices. Now is the time to buy!
3. New down payment assistance funds will be available to income-eligible borrowers in mid-March to members of the Federal Home Loan Bank of Chicago, such as Standard Bank and Trust Company. This Down Payment Plus program offers $6,000 in down payment and closing cost assistance, forgiven in 5 years.
4. Ongoing down payment assistance funds are available throughout Illinois: Smart Move provides up to $6,000 in down payment assistance to home buyers who have not owned their principal residence for the last 3 years; Welcome Home Heroes provides $10,000 in down payment assistance to veterans, active duty military, reservists, and National Guard members; Building Blocks provides $10,000 in down payment assistance to buyers of vacant properties in several communities. Similar down payment assistance is also available in several communities in Northwest Indiana.
5. Significant changes to FHA’s Mortgage Insurance Premium in coming months mean that now is the time to apply for an FHA loan—before premiums increase again and the term of the insurance is extended!
6. Conventional mortgage loans are available with down payments as low as 3%. Mortgage insurers are offering a variety of payment options, including an upfront single premium – which means you can have a small down payment AND no monthly mortgage insurance premium payment.
7. A variety of responsible mortgage programs exist, including long term fixed rates, intermediate term adjustable rate mortgages, jumbo loans, loans on second homes and investment properties, and no cost options.
8. Free consultations and pre-approvals are available through responsible lenders such as Standard Bank.
9. If you need to build or re-build your credit, special Credit Builder programs are available through Standard Bank.
10. Additional information and calculators are available online. It is easy to apply 24/7.