Updated April, 2015
Welcome to the mortgage center here at TPREG. When it comes to buying a house, most people don’t plan on paying cash for the house – so they need a mortgage. Getting a mortgage can be confusing and the entire process is full of landmines that we do our best to help you steer clear of. In our mortgage center, we do our best to cover all aspects of the mortgage process – from current mortgage rates, popular mortgage programs and give answers to frequently asked questions that people have about mortgages in general.
Just a few of the popular loan programs for people buying a home include:
- FHA loans
- VA loans
- USDA loans
- Jumbo loans
- Conventional loans
- HomePath loans
- Subprime loans
- Down payment assistance
At the very highest level and only in a generalized sense – FHA loans are designed for people with less than perfect credit or first time home buyers. They are also popular with people who have been through a short sale or foreclosure in the past. FHA loans require less money down (3.5%) than Conventional loans but they require up-front mortgage insurance and monthly mortgage insurance. Even with the mortgage insurance requirements, FHA loans are a very, very popular option with homebuyers in today’s market.
VA loans are for Veterans who qualify for the VA loan program. VA loans are popular with Veterans because they require zero money down (100% financing) and don’t require mortgage insurance.
USDA loans are designed for rural properties – and you may be surprised at what properties qualify for a USDA loan. USDA loans also are popular due to 100% financing and no mortgage insurance.
Jumbo loans are loans over $417,000 and are largely done by lenders who keep the loans in their portfolios.
And people are still getting subprime loans? You might be surprised to learn that subprime loans are making a comeback – although with a few different rules due to regulations passed after the subprime mortgage meltdown such as the “Ability to Repay” rule.
With the many different loan programs that are available – it is wise to work with a great lender who can help you match your personal situation with the best loan program available. Mortgage loan programs often pop up due to government stimulus and are designed for a very specific reason. The good news is that new mortgage programs can appear without much warning. The bad news is that sometimes there are also mortgage programs that go away without much notice as well.
Another thing to watch – regardless of what mortgage program you are interested in is mortgage guidelines. Mortgage guidelines change frequently and it is important to know that what may have been true yesterday may no longer be true tomorrow. The best informed resource for changing mortgage guidelines is often your loan officer – just one more reason you should plan on working closely with your loan officer throughout the mortgage process!
Mortgages: Not Just For Buying a Home
If you bought a home and got a mortgage, when interest rates drop you may be able to save money on your mortgage by refinancing. Refinancing a mortgage is a very similar process as when you get a mortgage to buy a house – and there are some programs available that can help you depending on what type of loan you have. Just a few of the popular refinance programs include:
- The Home Affordable Refinance program (HARP)
- The FHA streamline refinance program
- The VA streamline refinance program (aka VA IRRRL)
- The USDA loan refinance
Many people have expressed interest in being able to use various calculators to see “what if” when it comes to mortgage stuff. Here are just a few mortgage calculators that people have found useful and can help you easily play with numbers to see what is right for you.
Getting The Best Deal on a Mortgage
Most people not only want to get a great deal on a mortgage, they also want to work with someone they trust. Getting a mortgage can be a very drawn out process and you will be working with your loan officer through a number of different tasks required to get financing. The single best thing you can do to make sure you are working with the best loan officer for you and getting the best rate is to get multiple mortgage quotes.
Getting a mortgage quote is free and only takes a minute to complete the basic questions.