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  • 1. How much down payment is normally required to buy a home?
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    Terms of Use There are mortgage options now available that only require a down payment of 5% or less of the purchase price. Mortgages with less than a 20% down payment generally require a private mortgage insurance (PMI) policy to secure the loan. For example, if you pay 10% down on a $100,000 loan, PMI might cost you about $40/month or $480/year. However, the actual rate is based on various factors including the size of the loan, the amount of the down payment, and your individual lendi  More...
  • 2. How can an energy efficient mortgage (EEM) save me money on a FHA Loan?
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    Terms of Use: The Energy Efficient Mortgage allows a homebuyer to save future money on utility bills. This is done by financing the cost of adding energy-efficiency features to a new or existing home as part of an FHA-insured home purchase. Basic guidelines for EEMs are as follows: The cost of improvements must be determined by a Home Energy Rating System or by an energy consultant. This cost must be less than the anticipated savings from the improvements. One- and two-unit new or existing h  More...
  • 3. What are some things that I should consider when shopping for a mortgage?
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    Terms of Use Table of Contents 1. Obtain information from several lenders 2. Obtain all important cost information 3. Obtain the best deal that you can 4. Remember: Shop, compare, negotiate 5. Fair lending is required by law 6. Credit problems? 7. Glossary 1. Obtain Information from Several Lenders Home loans are available from several types of lenders-- thrift institutions , commercial banks, mortgage companies, and credit unions. Different lenders may quote you different prices, so you sh  More...
  • 4. What is considered to be acceptable debt-to-income ratios when getting an FHA Loan?
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    Terms of Use: The FHA allows you to use 31% of your income towards housing costs and 43% towards housing expenses and other long-tem debt. With a conventional loan, the qualifying ratio allows only 28% towards housing and 36% towards housing and other debt. How to calculate these ratios 1) MORTGAGE PAYMENT EXPENSE TO EFFECTIVE INCOME Add up the total mortgage payment (principal and interest, escrow deposits for taxes, hazard insurance, mortgage insurance premium, homeowners' dues, etc.). Then, t  More...
  • 5. Tell me more about FHA loans
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    Terms of Use: What are FHA loans? The Federal Housing Administration (FHA) works to make home ownership a possibility for more Americans. The FHA is not a lender but rather an insurer of loans. The FHA issues guidelines to banks and credit unions to follow so that as long as a loan meets those terms, it agrees to insure against loss. While FHA loans used to be very attractive for first-time homebuyers who might not have saved enough for a down payment of 5% or more for a conventional loan or who  More...
  • 6. How do I select a home that is best for me and my family?
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    Terms of Use It often helps to define what is important to you and your family before you even begin looking for a home. The checklist below can be used to help narrow in on homes and to evaluate them once you find something that appears to meet your needs. Address: Da  More...
  • 7. What is HUD and how does HUD help homebuyers and homeowners?
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    Terms of Use: The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) was established in 1965 to develop national policies and programs to address housing needs in the U.S. One of HUD's primary missions is to create a suitable living environment for all Americans by developing and improving the country's communities and enforcing fair housing laws. HUD helps people by administering a variety of programs that develop and support affordable housing. Specifically, HUD plays a large role in h  More...
  • 8. How and when can I drop PMI?
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    Terms of Use: Contact your lender directly to ensure that you are actually paying for PMI. If your principal balance is less than 80% of your last appraised value, request that your lender stop charging you for PMI. If your principal balance is more than 80% of your last appraised value, but you know that your home's current market value would cause you to be below the 80% threshold, get an appraisal and present the appraisal to your lender. Be aware that your lender does not have a choice   More...
  • 9. Financing for first-time home buyers
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    Terms of Use: When buying your first home, navigating the world of financing options can be somewhat daunting. In addition to the options available, consider your own finances to ensure that you are getting the mortgage that best suits your needs. Here's a look at several mortgage loan types: Conventional Loans Conventional loans are fixed-rate mortgages that are not insured or guaranteed by the federal government. The good thing about these is that the interest rate is fixed, so your pay  More...
  • 10. Can I get a credit report for free?
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    Terms of Use Credit reports contain a wealth of information about your credit history. Consumers now can get a free copy of their credit report. It's important to review your credit report at least annually to ensure it is accurate and that you have not become a victim of identity fraud.> A study by U.S. Public Interest Research Group found that one in four credit reports contains errors serious enough to cause consumers to be denied credit, a loan, an apartment or or even a job. The   More...
All information provided through this site is intended to be accurate. However, there may be inaccuracies from time to time which we will make every attempt to correct immediately. Information provided is intended to assist you in making decisions and does not eliminate the need to discuss your particular circumstances with a qualified professional.

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