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Between down payments and closing costs, buying a home is a big financial commitment that may seem out of reach for those who ultimately choose to rent instead. However, in today’s market environment of rising rents, the difference in cost between renting and owning is actually narrowing, making this a favorable time to buy a home in most U.S. cities.

According to a recent national index from Florida Atlantic University and Florida International University faculty, the Beracha, Hardin & Johnson Buy vs. Rent (BH&J) Index, 15 of the 23 cities covered are solidly in buy territory, while another five are only marginally in rent territory.

Want to know if buying is a better than renting for you? Ask yourself the following questions:

How stable is my employment situation? Lenders will take the length of time you’ve spent at your current job into consideration, so if you’ve jumped around a lot or just started a new position, that may work against you.

Are you ready to settle down for awhile? Buying a home is an excellent long-term investment, not usually a quick flip. So if you’re still testing out different cities or interested in seeing the world, renting may be a better option.

What shape is your credit in? Your credit score weighs heavily in securing a favorable mortgage loan. If yours is not in the best shape, it may be better to rent while you work at building a better credit profile.

What’s your true financial picture? While your salary may seem more than sufficient to make your projected mortgage payments, keep in mind that homeownership involves many different costs, from property taxes to repairs. So run the numbers carefully before deciding to buy.

The best way to decide whether to rent or buy is to consult a real estate professional in your area. If you’d like more information about home financing, please contact a mortgage consultant near you.

 

 

 

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.


House-to-Home Renovation Loans Offer Options for Agents and Home Buyers

If you’ve been house hunting—or if you’re an agent with a listing that needs work—you’ve probably been there: A home has great bones or offers a lot of space for the money, but some aspects of its condition are likely to frighten most buyers away.  With a unique financing option available for homes in need of renovation, however, the property might actually be more desirable than you think.

Our House-to-Home renovation program is designed to make mortgage financing for properties in disrepair more accessible by combining the estimated costs of repairs and the home's purchase price into a single loan.  Renovation financing can help home buyers turn a house they like into a home they love, and our loan options may help real estate agents present possibilities in a property, leading to a sale.

The House-to-Home renovation program offers a number of advantages:

  • The program offers a 30-year mortgage with a fixed interest rate that will remain the same for the life of the loan.
  • Purchase and rate-term refinancing options are available.
  • Unsafe homes can be made habitable, which can help improve the neighborhood.
  • Buyers may be able to get more house for the money and cover improvement costs.
  • The square footage of homes can be increased at a lower cost.
  • Agents can offer a greater inventory and close more sales.

 

There are two types of renovation loans: The FHA 203(k) loan programs for properties that won't need structural repairs, and a conventional loan program for properties that do need structural work.  Most types of home improvements are covered with the exception of "luxury" features such as swimming pools or landscaping.

If you choose to purchase, refinance, or market a home that may be eligible for 203k financing, having knowledgeable mortgage professionals to assist you is important.  Whether you are a first-time home buyer or an experienced real estate professional, our renovation specialists can help you find the right renovation loan program for your needs.


 

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.

 

 


Announcing Homebuyer Power PLUS

Qualified applicants may be eligible for down payment and/or closing cost assistance in addition to job loss protection insurance.

 

Under current lending standards, many homebuyers face challenges that make homeownership seem unattainable, including the ability to save for a down payment, pay for closing costs, or qualify for a loan.

While these factors may deter otherwise motivated clients, FM Lending Services wants to help them purchase a home today. For a limited time, we are offering a program that has many features of a traditional mortgage but with additional incentives that may help these clients become homeowners.

The FM Lending Services HomeBuyer Power PLUS program offers a number of possible benefits to homebuyers who qualify. These include:

  • Down payment as low as 3% or less.
  • Reduced Mortgage Insurance (MI) coverage requirements.1
  • Program credit of 1% with no increase in interest rate.2  The credit may be applied toward:
    • Reducing your down payment.
    • Reducing your closing costs.
    • Reducing your interest rate.
  • $500 program credit for borrowers who receive 1-on-1 homeownership education through a HUD-approved counseling agency prior to signing a purchase contract.2
  • Job Loss Protection is available for eligible borrowers through MortgageAssureSM  to help avoid falling behind or defaulting on a mortgage due to an involuntary, unexpected job loss.3

 

“For those who are ready to buy a home, our HomeBuyer Power PLUS program offers incentives that may help clients get the house they want,” said Tim Wilson, CEO of Prosperity Home Mortgage, LLC, parent company of FM Lending Services. “By participating in the approved homeownership education program, they not only receive an extra incentive but it will help them understand the responsibilities of homeownership and prepare them to better anticipate and take on those responsibilities.”

 

Additionally, combining HomeBuyer Power PLUS with our FM Lending Services Buyer Advantage may give buyers an edge over others vying for the same property.

If you have questions about our home financing options, one of our knowledgeable, local mortgage consultants will be pleased to assist you, or you can also contact us online!

 

 

 

HomeBuyer Power PLUS may not be the best mortgage product for all borrowers. Income restrictions, other terms, conditions and requirements may apply. Please consult your mortgage consultant to discuss your financing options. All Incentive offers valid on complete loan applications received between 02/15/2017 and 05/31/2017. Loan must close by 07/31/2017. Only one discount permitted per New Loan.

1. Reduced Mortgage Insurance (MI) coverage requirements for loans with loan-to-values (LTV) greater than 90%, up to 97%.

2. Program credits do not count toward maximum seller contribution limit of 3%. Borrowers are not eligible for additional program credits if minimum borrower contribution of 2% is exceeded.

3. Radian MortgageAssureSM is available with borrower-paid mortgage insurance (BPMI) only. Radian MortgageAssureSM is available for two years from the borrower’s closing date and will provide up to 6 monthly mortgage payments, for a maximum monthly benefit of up to $1,500 or total protection of $9,000 during the two-year coverage period. Benefit is automatically provided on Radian-insured loans for primary, owner-occupied, single-family homes with loan-to-values of 95.01% - 97%, that meet the program guidelines.

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.


The Real Deal on Rising Rates: What It Means for Your Home-Buying Plans

By Maria Patterson

 

You’ve taken all the necessary steps to get ready to buy a home. You’ve saved for a down payment, improved your credit score, got all your financial documentation in line, and figured out what price range you can afford. And then the interest rates went up. Is your dream of homeownership now unachievable?

According to recent data from realtor.com®, the share of first-time buyers planning to buy a home this spring fell sharply when mortgage rates began to rise toward the end of 2016. According to realtor.com®’s January survey of active homebuyers, 44 percent of buyers planning to buy in spring 2017 are first-time buyers. This has dropped significantly since the survey was conducted in October, when 55 percent of buyers planning a spring purchase indicated they were looking for their first home.

However, with inventory shortages and rising home prices, the urgency to buy now has never been greater. So before you shelve your plans for buying a home this spring, know the facts about rising rates and home prices.

The average 30-year conforming rate rose to more than 4.2 percent by the end of December 2016 from 3.4 percent at the end of September 2016. With average rates today about half a percentage point higher than they were in 2016, a median-priced home financed with 20 percent down would cost an additional $720 per year in added interest. That equals more than 1 percent of the median household’s income.

With affordability being a top concern for first-time buyers, a rising interest rate can be enough to scare you off. Kiplinger's expects the 30-year mortgage rate to reach 4.6 percent by year’s end, with the 15-year rate at 3.8 percent. Add to that the continued increase in home prices due to low inventories in many parts of the country and you can see that holding off on a home purchase will probably only cost you more down the line.

Take a cue from repeat homebuyers who are actually being spurred into action by rising rates. Even with the current increases, interest rates remain historically low, and the movement in rates hasn’t yet tipped overall buyer demand down. Experienced buyers, in fact, are trying to close before rates increase further, as evidenced by increased realtor.com® listing views and decreased inventory. In the short term, the rate movement seems to have encouraged, rather than dampened, overall demand.

While concerns about affordability are valid, waiting may not help your long-term financial picture. Instead, consider looking for a home in a slightly lower price range, finding a way to increase your down payment, or looking in a neighborhood that may be more affordable. The good news? In today’s competitive market, your home will most likely increase in value and prove to be one of the smartest investments you could’ve made.

For more information about how rising interest rates will impact your home purchase, contact us today.

 

 

 

 

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, Maryland, 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.


Planning to purchase a home?  You may already expect to make a down payment, pay for closing costs, and make an ongoing monthly mortgage payment for the life of your loan.  But did you know there may be other costs to consider if you’re thinking about becoming a homeowner?  Here are a few additional expenses to keep in mind for your household budget that go beyond your monthly mortgage payment:

Homeowners’ association/condo fees:  If you buy a home within a community represented by a homeowners’ association (HOA) or condominium association, you may be required to pay fees on a monthly, quarterly or annual basis to help cover the cost of maintenance to community structures, amenities and grounds.  These may be included as part of your mortgage payment.  If not, you’ll need to budget for them.

Maintenance, updates & repairs:  Keeping a property in top condition can be costly.  This is particularly true of older homes, where system and appliance warranties may have expired.  Home warranty plans provide repair or replacement coverage for certain built-in appliances and major home systems for a specific length of time.  They can cost a few hundred dollars a year, depending on your mortgage size and where you live.

Utilities: Budgeting for heating, cooling, electricity, natural gas, water/sewage, and trash removal are some of the expenses homeowners may face on a monthly basis.  Before buying a home, consider asking the seller for a record of the last 12 months of utility bills for the home.

Personalization: An expense that catches many buyers off-guard is the cost of updating elements of the home to meet your needs or personal taste.  New furniture, window treatments and lawn care equipment are examples of costs that can quickly add up.  Try to make a list of items you need, and then create a budget to help keep costs under control.

 

Need help figuring out how much you can afford? Get started with our affordability calculator, and contact a local mortgage consultant for additional assistance.

 

 

 

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, Maryland, 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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