July 3, 2020

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Articles by: Bruce Reichstein

Bruce Reichstein - FHA News Author

By Bruce Reichstein

July 2, 2020

Bruce Reichstein has spent over three decades as an experienced FHA and VA home loan mortgage banker and underwriter where he was responsible for funding “Billions” in government backed mortgage loans. He is the Managing Editor for FHANewsblog.com where he educates homeowners on the specific guidelines for obtaining FHA guaranteed home loans.

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HUD Announces Fair Housing Grant Awards

HUD Announces Fair Housing Grant Awards

A person or family looking for a home to buy with an FHA mortgage doesn’t go into the process expecting to be treated to a violation of federal law through discriminatory practices that violate the Fair Housing Act. But many people do encounter such discrimination; the official site of the National Low Income Housing Coalition notes that in 2017 alone 2,249 Fair Housing cases were settled, with more than 400 cases involving a guilty plea from the defendant. Fair Housing Act violations prevent those in need of housing from finding reasonable, affordable homes–discrimination in the housing process is a violation of federal law but unfortunately, there are many who still experience such discrimination whether as a future renter or homeowner. Did you know that Fair Housing laws protect you at | more...

HUD Extends Modified Exterior-Only Appraisals During COVID-19

HUD Extends Modified Exterior-Only Appraisals During COVID-19

The World Heath Organization says “the worst is yet to come” with regard to the global coronavirus pandemic; the Department of Housing And Urban Development responded to COVID-19 quarantine measures in March 2020, eliminating a requirement temporarily to suspend in-person or indoor appraisal activity. Those changes temporarily meant FHA appraisals would not be subject to a requirement for in-person appraisals that might run in violation of community social distancing policies. The appraisal policy (as well as modified employment verification requiremets for certain loans). But that was all set to expire (more than once, as we’ll read below) until HUD acted to extend these measures anew. Now, with COVID-19 hot spots in the forefront of American news headlines, HUD has extended the modified appraisal guidelines (as well as employment verification rules)–they | more...

First Time Home Buyers: Improve Your Credit With Credit Monitoring

First Time Home Buyers: Improve Your Credit With Credit Monitoring

The COVID-19 pandemic has created economic uncertainty for many current and future homeowners. Many borrowers may have experienced financial setbacks during the coronavirus outbreak in America, and the years to come will involve a lot of credit repair and related efforts American consumers will need to get back on track financially. Protecting your credit is more important than ever–do you know what can hurt your FICO scores? Actively monitoring your credit is an important option–there are services that keep track of your credit report and learn about what affects your scores. It may be tempting to use free credit monitoring offers but financial advisors recommend comparing features on free offers versus subscription-based services. You may find that paying a small fee gets you much better options and features for managing | more...

Mortgage Rate Trends

Mortgage Rates Hovering Near Historic Lows

Mortgage loan interest rates have been holding steady near all-time lows. FHA mortgage loans (on fixed-rate 30 year mortgages) were reported at a best-execution 2.50% on Monday June 23, 2020 and talk persists that these low numbers could be with us longer than expected unless there are market forces that run counter to the current downward trend. Some marketwatchers point out that current low rates can be blamed at least in part on coronavirus concerns, but the reverse is not necessarily true if the crisis begins to abate without a feared second wave of infections. Investors and markets may not react in equal measure to the good economic news as they did to bad economic developments. What’s bad for the economy is often good for mortgage loan rates, and that’s | more...

Construction Loans For First-Time Home Buyers

Planning Your One-Time Close Construction Loan

Some FHA loan applicants do not realize they have the ability to apply for a One-Time Close mortgage that lets the borrower build a home on their own lot instead of buying an existing construction home. The FHA One-Time Close (OTC) construction loan, like its’ VA construction loan counterpart, is a loan backed by the government that allows the borrower to apply for a single mortgage loan to cover both the costs of construction of a home from the ground up and the purchase of the home.  This is offered as an alternative to construction loans that require two loan applications (one for construction, one for the completed home) and two closing dates. OTC Loans Have The Same Down Payment Requirements As Other FHA Loans The One-Time Close loan avoids | more...

FHA Refinance Options

Intro To FHA Refinance Loans

The year 2020 has brought with it historic low interest rates on conventional mortgages and FHA home loans alike. Those low rates have many more homeowners thinking about their refinance loan options and how they can take advantage of some of the lowest interest rates in recent history. Refinancing helps some borrowers save money in interest payments over the long term. It can also, depending on circumstances, help you get into a lower monthly payment. Refinancing can also result in cash back to the borrower once the original loan has been paid off and the associated closing costs dealt with. Not every refinance loan offers this, but FHA loan programs do include cash-out options. If you need to refinance your home loan because you want cash out, your loan will | more...

Build on your own lot. Construction loan basics

First-Time Home Buyers: Build Your New Home With A One-Time Close Construction Loan

Buying a home can be challenging for some first-time borrowers. Many newcomers to the mortgage market don’t know all their options open and in that situation it is easy to make choices that are less than fully-informed. One-Time Close construction loans are open to any financially qualified applicant and that includes FHA borrowers who have never purchased a home before but have good FICO scores and repayment history that has no late or missed payments in the last 12 months or better. One-Time Close loans are offered as FHA, VA, and even USDA mortgages. The FHA version is NOT need-based and features no income caps, unlike the USDA version. VA construction loans are intended only for qualifying military members, veterans, and certain surviving spouses of military members. For the average | more...

Does Credit Monitoring Hurt Your FICO Score?

Does Credit Monitoring Hurt Your FICO Score?

Credit monitoring is an important service. Many borrowers don’t know what their FICO scores are when first starting out, and it is easy to be surprised by outdated or erroneous information on your credit file if you don’t look at it frequently enough. Do you know what your credit reports say about you? Your credit activity including the most recent events can sometimes make or break a credit application. Too many recent applications for credit is one problem, another may be too much of the wrong kind of credit (junk credit cards, payday loans, etc.) The reason for credit monitoring has a lot to do with protecting your identity from fraudsters and thieves, but many people have never even seen a credit report, let alone understand what is in them.  | more...

Reverse Mortgage And Foreclosure Relief Scams: What You Need To Know

Reverse Mortgage And Foreclosure Relief Scams: What You Need To Know

Mortgage scams and reverse mortgage scams involve people coming to you with offers to save you from a pending foreclosure, or offer you a reverse mortgage to help cash in on the equity you have built up in the home. But scammers aren’t there to help, they are there to profit from your problems; fortunately, there are ways to tell if you are being scammed and stop a con game dead in its’ tracks. Advice About Scams From The U.S. Government The Department of Justice offers advice about scams–have you been contacted by third party agencies without having contacted them first? What should you do to prevent being taken advantage of if you need foreclosure relief, or need a home equity loan or reverse mortgage? The first step–identifying the biggest | more...

Conventional Loan Interest Rates Make History, FHA Loan Rates Still Incredibly Low

Refinance Loan Options: Choose Wisely!

Mortgage loan interest rates have been on a wild ride in 2020. Coronavirus, incredible lows for rates, market volatility, and much more have all created an environment that feels as unpredictable as mortgage rates have seemed. And the rollercoaster isn’t over yet. Finance blogs are still reporting as late as June 1, 2020, that refinance loan demand has actually grown larger than the demand for new purchase mortgages. That isn’t shocking in an era where rates have, at least on paper, dipped below the three percent range at times (your experience will definitely vary). Those with the ability to refinance into a lower interest rate save money over the course of the mortgage, assuming these borrowers pay on the mortgage over a long period of time. Understanding The Refinance Loan | more...