Todd Alperin - Coco, Early & Associates The Olivares, Molina & Alperin Division



Posted by Todd Alperin on 10/11/2020

Image by Ally Thomas from Pixabay

A VA loan can be the key to getting some of the most attractive terms possible on a home loan. Not only are lenders more forgiving on the minimum down payment requirements, but you may also be exempt from paying Private Mortgage Insurance until you've built up enough equity in the home. We'll look at how VA loans work and who's eligible for them, so you can decide if you're ready to take the plunge. 

Before You Get Started 

One of the most appealing things about a VA loan is the minimum down payment. In some cases, homebuyers aren't required to put anything down at all! But even considering this benefit, you're highly encouraged to build up your savings anyway. This is because you'll be charged a Funding Fee based on the size of your down payment. (This fee is donated to the VA department.) But even without the extra benefits, it's helpful to start with as much equity in the home as possible. 

Who's Eligible?

Here are the main eligibility criteria for VA loans:

  • Military members must be in the Navy, Army, Coast Guard, Air Force, and Marines 
  • You must have served at least 181 days during peacetime or at least 90 days during active war 
  • You can apply after five years of service in the Reserves or National Guard 
  • You must have a credit score of at least 620
  • Widows whose spouses are missing or lost to action. 
  • Certificate of Eligibility 

    While the US government secures the loan, it's the lender who sets the exact terms of the loan. To do this, the lender will take into account a number of factors before making their final decision. They'll use your Certificate of Eligibility (COE) to determine that you meet the minimum requirements. They'll also use the entitlement codes on the COE to determine if you qualify for additional consideration. For example, those who were given a Purple Heart will be exempt from paying the Funding Fee on their VA loan. 

    Highest Secured Maximums 

    The government will only secure the loan up to a certain amount. The amount varies based on the average home prices in the area in which you choose. For example, a person buying a home in New York City will have a higher secured maximum than someone buying in Indianapolis. If you're still on an active tour, you should know that you don't have to occupy the home immediately. 

    If you've already been granted a VA loan in the past, you're still eligible to apply for another one. However, the fees and terms are likely to be less forgiving than those on your first loan. 




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    Posted by Todd Alperin on 8/9/2020

    Image by Credit Commerce from Pixabay

    Finding financing for a home could be as simple as applying for a conforming FHA loan or it could be as difficult as having to locate a portfolio loan or even a combo loan. What you need depends on the real estate you are buying. Most people buying a primary residence get a conforming loan, whether it is conventional or government-backed.

    Conforming vs. Non-Conforming

    The first thing to determine is whether your loan is going to be conforming or not. A conforming loan for a single-family unit must be under $510,400 in most areas and $765,600 in other areas. The Federal Housing Finance Agency sets the rates. If you have to borrow more, you will need a jumbo loan or a piggyback loan. A common piggyback loan is where you pay 15 percent of the price, then take out two mortgages: one for 80 percent of the purchase price, then a second mortgage for 5 percent of the purchase price. You can work the percentages however you need them based on the purchase price. The piggyback loan keeps you from going into jumbo loan territory and possibly paying higher interest rates.

    Conforming Loans

    Conforming loans are conventional or government-backed loans. A conventional loan usually has a higher interest rate because it’s riskier to the lender. A government-backed loan, such as a VA or FHA loan is guaranteed by the federal government, thus it is less risky to lenders. Because of the lower risk, you get a better interest rate as long as your credit is good.

    Adjustable vs. Fixed-Rate Loans

    If interest rates are low and are projected to stay low, you can get an adjustable-rate loan to save a bit on the interest rate. As interest rates change, so does your mortgage payment. Adjustable rates are based on a certain index. For example, if your base interest rate is 4 percent, which means your interest rate will never go lower than that, and the Libor London rate is 1 percent, your rate is 5 percent. If the Libor London increases by a half percentage point, so will your loan. However, if it decreases by a point, your interest rate also lowers by a point.

    Adjustable-rate loans are risky for the buyer because you don’t know if the rate will significantly increase over the life of the loan. If you plan on refinancing or selling the home after a few years, an adjustable-rate might be beneficial.

    A fixed-rate loan means that your interest rate does not change over the life of the loan.

    Portfolio Loans

    You might have a hard time finding a loan because you are self-employed, your credit isn’t the best, or you are buying a property that doesn’t conform to most lenders’ standards. A lender doesn’t sell the loan on the secondary market, but instead holds it in the bank’s portfolio. These loans are riskier for the lender and will often have a higher interest rate.




    Tags: loan   Financing   home loan  
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