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Home Buying Basics

Dec 15
5:07
PM
Category | FM Lending News

Buying a new home can seem overwhelming.  But knowing what to expect – and having a knowledgeable team of real estate and mortgage-lending professionals to assist you – can help make finding and financing your home an exciting and rewarding experience.  Here is a basic overview of the home buying process:

1. Obtain a mortgage preliminary approval before you begin house hunting.

  • Learn how much home you can purchase.
  • Strengthen your bargaining position with sellers.

2. Work with your real estate agent to find the right home.

  • Determine your needs and create a wish list of desirable features.
  • Take notes as you preview homes.

3. Make a purchase offer on a home you like.

  • Your real estate agent presents your offer to the seller, who will then choose to accept, counter or reject the offer.
  • When the price is settled, you and the seller sign a Purchase Agreement, defining the terms of the sale.

4. Complete the loan application process.

If you have already obtained a mortgage preliminary approval, contact your lender and let them know you have a contract on a home. Your mortgage consultant will update your loan application and help you to proceed with the home financing process.

5. Have the home inspected.

If you choose to have a home inspection, hire a professional home inspector after the offer has been accepted to provide an in-depth look at the basic systems of the house, which can reveal safety hazards and give you a chance to reconsider the deal.

6. The home will be appraised.

An appraisal, required by your mortgage lender, is a formal, written estimate of the home’s current market value.

7. Obtain title insurance. (where applicable)

Title insurance guarantees the property you are purchasing is free of liens or confusion in rights of ownership, and it also insures against any losses to the property that result from defects in the title or deed.

8. Close on the property.

  • A closing agent coordinates and distributes all the paperwork and funds.
  • Ownership of the property is transferred.

 

And you become the proud owner of your new home!  Our team of mortgage professionals is available to guide you every step of the way to help ensure your home buying process is a smooth one.

Contact a local mortgage consultant, today!

 

 

 

All first mortgage products are provided by Prosperity Home Mortgage, LLC, dba FM Lending Services. (877) 275-1762. Prosperity Home Mortgage, LLC products may not be available in all areas. Not all borrowers will qualify. Licensed by the NJ Department of Banking and Insurance.  Licensed by the Delaware State Bank Commissioner.  Also licensed in District of Columbia, Georgia, Indiana, Maryland, Michigan, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia.

NMLS ID #75164 (NMLS Consumer Access at http://www.nmlsconsumeraccess.org/)

©2017 Prosperity Home Mortgage, LLC, dba FM Lending Services. All Rights Reserved.


FHFA Announces Higher Loan Limits for 2018

As the result of a higher average U.S. home price in 2017, the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) has announced new, higher maximum conforming loan limits for 2018.

In most areas of the country, the 2018 maximum loan amount for one-unit properties will be $453,100, an increase from $424,100 in 2017.  In high-cost areas, the new maximum high balance loan limit will be $679,650, up from $636,150.

As in the past, loan limits may vary by county. Click here for a list and map of the 2018 maximum loan limits for all counties and county-equivalent areas in the U.S.

New Conforming Loan Limit Sample:

   2018 Conforming Loan Limit   

   Sales Price High   

   Down Payment Amount   

$453,100

$467,113

3%

$453,100

$566,375

20%

 

New High Balance Loan Limit Sample:

   2018 High Balance Loan Limit   

   Sales Price High   

   Down Payment Amount   

$679,650

$715,421

5%

$679,650

$849,562

20%

 

Contact your mortgage consultant directly if you have questions on local limits or other home financing options.

 

 

 

All first mortgage products are provided by Prosperity Home Mortgage, LLC dba FM Lending Services. (877) 275-1762. Prosperity Home Mortgage, LLC products may not be available in all areas. Not all borrowers will qualify. Licensed by the NJ Department of Banking and Insurance.  Licensed by the Delaware State Bank Commissioner.  Also licensed in District of Columbia, Georgia, Indiana, Maryland, Michigan, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia.

NMLS ID #75164 (NMLS Consumer Access at http://www.nmlsconsumeraccess.org/)

©2017 Prosperity Home Mortgage, LLC dba FM Lending Services. All Rights Reserved.


If you’ve recently started house hunting, you may have found that the home buying journey can be lengthy. Finding a place with the right combination of must-haves and nice-to-haves can be complex and time consuming.  How much square footage do you need?  Do you want to be close to parks, shopping, or services?  Will your commute to work be acceptable?

These types of questions are important, but they can be overshadowed by the possibility of rising mortgage rates as you apply for a home loan.  While interest rates should not be the only concern when obtaining home financing, your rate does have an impact on the loan amount for which you can be approved.  Quite simply, the lower your interest rate, the more buying power you have.

If interest rates rise in the future, we still want our clients to be able enjoy an exciting path toward homeownership, not one filled with anxiety about changing interest rates.  That’s why you may be interested to learn about the FM Lending Services Buyer Advantage: Lock, Shop & Home loan program, which offers buyers an opportunity to counter the worry of rising interest rates.

The FM Lending Services Buyer Advantage1 allows you to get much of the home financing process out of the way and obtain a Commitment Letter, which can help set your purchase offer apart from other offers a seller may be considering.  Participating in the FM Lending Services Buyer Advantage costs you nothing additional and can help prevent last-minute issues with your home financing, so you can enjoy an on-time loan closing.

What’s more, Lock, Shop & Home allows you to lock in an interest rate for up to 90 days at TODAY’S rate instead of waiting to lock in a rate only after you’ve found a home to purchase.  Here are a few highlights:

  • No property address is needed at the time of application and rate lock.
  • Lock an interest rate up to 90 days.2
  • Conforming and high balance loan amounts are available.
  • May be used with conventional or government fixed rate loan programs.3

 

Want to learn more about the FM Lending Services Buyer Advantage: Lock, Shop & Home loan program and see if it's the right fit for you? Contact a mortgage consultant near you!

 

 

 

 

1. FM Lending Services Buyer Advantage is not a loan approval. Ask your mortgage consultant for details about FM Lending Services Buyer Advantage. A Commitment Letter is based on information and documentation provided by you and a review of your credit report. The interest rate and type of mortgage used to approve you for a specified loan amount is subject to change, which may also change the terms of approval. If the interest rate used for credit approval has changed, you may need to re-qualify. Information provided by you is subject to review and all other loan conditions must be met. After you have chosen a home and your offer has been accepted, final loan approval will be contingent upon obtaining an acceptable appraisal and title commitment.  Additional documentation may be required.

2. Additional fees may apply.

3. Lock, Shop & Home program is not available for bond, jumbo, or renovation loan programs.

All first mortgage products are provided by Prosperity Home Mortgage, LLC dba FM Lending Services. (877) 275-1762. Prosperity Home Mortgage, LLC products may not be available in all areas. Not all borrowers will qualify. Licensed by the NJ Department of Banking and Insurance.  Licensed by the Delaware State Bank Commissioner.  Also licensed in District of Columbia, Georgia, Indiana, Maryland, Michigan, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia.

NMLS ID #75164 (NMLS Consumer Access at http://www.nmlsconsumeraccess.org/)

©2017 Prosperity Home Mortgage, LLC. All Rights Reserved dba FM Lending Services.


$4.5 Million in Fees Waived for Active Military and Veterans

In the three years since launching its VA Home Loan Advantage program, our company has saved active-duty military members and veterans over $4.5 million in origination and appraisal fees. As a full-service mortgage banker, we have funded over $1.1 billion and closed 3,349 VA home loans since November 11, 2014, when the program first began.

The VA Home Loan Advantage program continues to be offered to all FM Lending Services clients purchasing or refinancing a home using a VA loan.  The program waives the company’s standard origination fee and provides eligible clients with a lender credit to pay for the cost of a home appraisal.1

“As a veteran-founded organization, we firmly believe in supporting those who have served our country in the military,” said Jeffrey S. Detwiler, CEO of The Long & Foster Companies, parent company of Fonville Morisey Realty. “That’s why we are delighted to celebrate this milestone and have the opportunity to offer all the benefits of a VA home loan, while also helping our service members and veterans to lower their cost of purchasing or refinancing a home.”

In addition, FM Lending Services is proud to share that Jonathan Haug, a senior mortgage consultant based in Virginia Beach, Virginia, has been recognized as the company’s top producing VA home loan officer. Haug closed over 225 VA home loans with associated volumes over $61 million since January 1, 2014.

“It’s fantastic to see Jonathan receive this well-deserved recognition, and we are thrilled to have reached the $1 billion mark in VA loan fundings as a company,” said Tim Wilson, CEO of Prosperity Home Mortgage, parent company of FM Lending Services. “We are very proud of the hard work that each of our mortgage consultants has put forth to make homeownership a reality for military service members and veterans, and it’s because of that ongoing commitment that we remain among the top lenders in the nation.”

Ron Wivagg, national sales support manager for Prosperity Home Mortgage, echoed Wilson’s thoughts.  “We are in the business of financing homeownership and the American Dream, and our VA clients are a very important part of our business,” Wivagg said. “We have employees who have friends and family in the military, and it is imperative to us that we serve those who have diligently served our nation.”

Contact your local mortgage consultant to learn more about the Veterans Affairs (VA) home loan.

 

 

 

 

Prosperity Home Mortgage, LLC dba FM Lending Services is not affiliated with any government agencies.

1. Borrowers are eligible for a lender credit toward closing costs on the Closing Disclosure on a new purchase, secured by a first mortgage or deed of trust (New Loan), subject to qualification, approval and closing with Prosperity Home Mortgage, LLC dba FM Lending Services. Loan must close within 90 days from the date of loan application. Lender credit may not exceed $525.00 for appraisal. Credit coupon must be presented at time of application and all eligibility requirements met no later than 2 days prior to the New Loan closing date. This lender credit is void where prohibited and is non-transferable, subject to the terms herein, and valid on all complete applications received on or before 12/31/2017.

All Incentive offers valid on complete VA home loan applications received between 10/01/2017 and 12/31/2017. Loan must close within 90 days from the date of loan application. Only one discount permitted per New Loan.

All first mortgage products are provided by Prosperity Home Mortgage, LLC dba FM Lending Services. (877) 275-1762. Prosperity Home Mortgage, LLC products may not be available in all areas. Not all borrowers will qualify. Licensed by the NJ Department of Banking and Insurance.  Licensed by the Delaware State Bank Commissioner.  Also licensed in District of Columbia, Georgia, Indiana, Maryland, Michigan, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia.

NMLS ID #75164 (NMLS Consumer Access at http://www.nmlsconsumeraccess.org/)

©2017 Prosperity Home Mortgage, LLC dba FM Lending Services. All Rights Reserved.


Appraisal disappointing? You have options, according to the Appraisal Institute.
 
"Homebuyers and sellers should first understand what an appraisal is and how it's used," says Jim Amorin, president and acting CEO of the Appraisal Institute. "Real estate appraisals for mortgage finance applications are prepared for the bank or financial institution so they can better understand the collateral risk in making the loan. This can be confusing, because homebuyers typically pay for the appraisal and receive a copy of it."
 
In some cases, the appraisal may not match the contract price—but just because an appraisal comes in below (or above) the listing or contract price doesn't mean it's flawed, Amorin says. The agreed-upon contract price may be above market value, for example. In those situations, the buyer and seller often renegotiate the contract at more favorable or balanced terms.
 
Homebuyers should ask their lender for the qualifications of the appraiser, including whether they are designated by a professional association like the Appraisal Institute, says Amorin. A qualified and competent appraiser knows how to conduct a thorough market analysis and make appropriate adjustments.
 
Homebuyers also can ask whether the appraiser is directly engaged by the bank or whether the bank utilizes an appraisal management company, and what their procedures are for engaging qualified appraisers.
 
"The best way for consumers to combat potential problems with appraisals is to ensure the appraiser hired by their lender is highly qualified and competent," Amorin says. "Consumers have every right to demand the use of a highly qualified appraiser, someone with field experience in their market and knowledge and experience to handle the assignment properly."
 
Contrary to incorrect interpretations of appraiser independence requirements, appraisers welcome information that would assist the development of credible assignment results," says Amorin. If lender policies permit, consumers can accompany appraisers when conducting the property inspection and may provide the appraiser with any information they consider important.
 
Amorin suggests consumers ask their lender for permission to do so, and confirm the appointment. Consumers should also take note of whether an adequate inspection is performed. Did the appraiser spend enough time at the property to observe important features or improvements or potential problems?
 
Homebuyers should take advantage of their right to obtain a copy of the appraisal report," Amorin says. Even though the appraisal is ordered to help assess lender collateral risk, buyers are entitled to a copy of the appraisal report. Federal regulations require lenders to provide property buyers with free copies of appraisal reports no later than three days before the loan closes.
 
Although appraisal review is best performed by qualified appraisers, consumers should examine the appraisal for potential deficiencies, says Amorin. According to "Appraising the Appraisal: The Art of Appraisal Review," common errors in appraisals include: misuse of adjustments to comparables; disregarding special financing and concessions; or miscalculation of gross living area (GLA).
 
Amorin suggests consumers ask themselves:

  • Do adjacent homes add or detract from the value of the subject property?
  • Is the subject property equal to or lower in price than surrounding homes?
  • Does the floor plan have any functional problems?
  • Does the house (particularly the kitchen and bathrooms) require major remodeling to make it comparable with similar homes in the same price range?
  • Is the number of bedrooms and baths in the home comparable to similar homes in the same price range?
  • Did the appraiser perform an adequate inspection? 

"Most lenders have appraisal appeal procedures, known as 'Reconsiderations of Value,'" says Amorin. "If you're aware of recent, comparable sales information or items that may not have been available or considered by the appraiser, provide those to the lender. If problems were found with the first appraisal, you can and should obtain a second appraisal."

 

Learn more about property appraisals here, and contact your local mortgage consultant with any questions about the appraisal process.

 

 


 
Source: Appraisal Institute

Reprinted with permission from RISMedia. ©2017. All rights reserved.

All first mortgage products are provided by Prosperity Home Mortgage, LLC dba FM Lending Services. (877) 275-1762. Prosperity Home Mortgage, LLC products may not be available in all areas. Not all borrowers will qualify. Licensed by the NJ Department of Banking and Insurance.  Licensed by the Delaware State Bank Commissioner.  Also licensed in District of Columbia,  Georgia, Indiana, Maryland, Michigan, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia.

NMLS ID #75164 (NMLS Consumer Access at http://www.nmlsconsumeraccess.org/)  ©2017 Prosperity Home Mortgage, LLC dba FM Lending Services.  All Rights Reserved.


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