June 28, 2022

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Articles by: Joe Wallace

Joe Wallace - Staff Writer

By Joe Wallace

June 27, 2022

Joe Wallace has been specializing in military and personal finance topics since 1995. His work has appeared on Air Force Television News, The Pentagon Channel, ABC and a variety of print and online publications. He is a 13-year Air Force veteran and a member of the Air Force Public Affairs Alumni Association. He was Managing editor for www.valoans.com for (8) years and is currently the Associate Editor for FHANewsblog.com.

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First-Time Home Buyer Advice: Get A Home Inspection

FHA Home Loans And Seller Inspections: What You Need To Know

What is a seller inspection and why should you know what it is before you start looking for a home to buy with an FHA mortgage?  The National Association of Certified Home Inspectors official site says that a seller inspection, sometimes referred to as a pre-listing inspection, is popular in some areas, “…because they virtually eliminate all the pitfalls and hassles associated with waiting to do the home inspection until a buyer is found.” A seller inspection can tell you (as a buyer) a lot about a home before you decide to make an offer. But why would a seller have an inspection if there’s a risk that a defect or problem might be uncovered that can hurt the seller’s chances to sell the property? Generally speaking, it’s common sense | more...

FHA Mortgage Loan

Planning Your Home Loan

The planning stage of your home loan is extremely important. This is where you will determine what kind of home you might want, the price range you can afford, and how much down payment you need to save up to make. One big choice you face in the planning process? Decisions about issues related to long-term occupancy of the home, whether you plan to sell within a short or long amount of time and how you should arrange your financing to accommodate those needs. What kind of arrangements? Some borrowers don’t apply for a fixed-rate mortgage. They know they are not keeping the home for the long term and choose to take advantage of lower interest rates offered in the introductory period of an FHA Adjustable Rate Mortgage (ARM) instead | more...

Mortgage Rate Trends

FHA Loans And Rising Rates

If you need to buy a home with an FHA mortgage but you are concerned about rising interest rates, there are some things you can do to help yourself make a more informed choice about your FHA loan options.  There are options to haggle with the seller, and there are loan options to consider like an FHA Adjustable Rate Mortgage. In the meantime, you can work to improve your FICO scores which helps the lender offer you a lower interest rate.  When it comes to negotiating with the seller, you may find the asking price is too high in general, or you may be looking for a price offset because of rising mortgage loan rates.  But it may be tough to sell the idea of a lower price. Instead, you | more...

FHA mortgages and refinance loans

Seller’s Markets, Buyer’s Markets, And FHA Loans

What does it mean to get an FHA loan when you are in a buyer’s market? What does it mean to use an FHA mortgage in a seller’s market? If you are new to house hunting chances are you’ve heard these terms before, but what do they mean in the context of a house hunt? FHA Home Loans In Buyer’s Markets What does it mean to be shopping for a house in a buyer’s market? The simplest answer is that you have an advantage as a buyer because there may be plenty of homes to choose from with little serious competition from other buyers.  That lack of competition may be because of the supply of available houses for sale. In a buyer’s market, you would still want to get pre-qualified | more...

New FHA Home Loan

Who Sets FHA Loan Interest Rates?

Who sets FHA loan interest rates? The answer to that question involves several factors-many potential FHA borrowers asking this question really want to know more than who the regulatory body is for FHA loan interest rates-they also want to know how rates are affected by other factors such as FICO scores and credit history. So who DOES set FHA mortgage loan interest rates? The Fed sets monetary policy for the United States including the current interest rate. But when the Fed sets this rate, it is NOT directly changing mortgage rates. Investor reaction to the Fed’s rate adjustments DOES affect home loan interest rates. Fed action doesn’t directly change interest rates and consumers should know that the Department of Housing and Urban Development doesn’t try to control these rates, either. | more...

tips about FHA loan interest rates

Factors That Affect Your FHA Mortgage Interest Rate

When the Fed meets to set monetary policy, it has the option to raise or lower the nation’s interest rates. That is a move that can directly affect some areas of the finance sector such as credit cards, but it indirectly affects mortgage loan interest rates. The Fed’s actions don’t actually change mortgage rates.  Investor behavior in reaction to the Fed’s announcements, on the other hand, do have the potential to affect mortgage rates. The rate you are offered by the lender tomorrow may be affected by news and developments in the markets today. But that’s not the only factor that can affect the interest rate you are offered. At this stage for many mortgage-focused blogs, a conversation about FICO scores goes right here. It’s true that your credit scores | more...

FHA loans

FHA ARM Loans: Good Or Bad Idea?

Why do people choose FHA adjustable-rate mortgages or choose to refinance with one? There are several reasons including the need to get into a lower rate upfront, as part of an overall strategy for buying and selling the home, or to take advantage of changing interest rates. ARM Loan Basics FHA Adjustable Rate Mortgages feature an introductory rate, and that rate expires after a set amount of time, typically one year. The introductory rate can also be set between three and 10 years. After that time period, the rate adjustments begin. Borrowers do better with ARM loans when they have a strategy for dealing with the rate adjustment periods. Do you plan to sell or refinance before the introductory or initial ARM loan rate expires?  That plan works better for | more...

FHA Rehab Loans

What To Know About Renovating Your Home With An FHA Loan

FHA home loans for renovation include the FHA 203(k) Rehabilitation loan and refinance loan options. There are also FHA Energy Efficient Mortgages or FHA EEMs that allow energy-saving upgrades and improvements to the property.  EEMS are add-ons allowed for most FHA home loans, not a separate loan program, and adding an EEM potentially raises your monthly mortgage payment. If you need to apply for an FHA home loan to renovate, the first thing you need to know is that on paper, FHA loan rules say you may be allowed to be your own builder or contractor.  However, lender standards will apply and you may find that your FHA lender does not permit this. You’ll need to ask directly as early in the process as possible. FHA loan rules say that | more...

One-Time Close Construction Loan Options For Veterans

Questions To Ask About FHA Construction Loans And 203(k) Rehabilitation Loans

There are FHA mortgages that let you build a home from the ground up on land you already own or purchase in conjunction with the mortgage. These are called FHA One-Time-Close mortgages. There are also FHA loans that can help you buy and renovate a home. These are called FHA 203(k) Rehabilitation loans and they are also available as an FHA refinance option. Both types of loans will require you to use escrow, hire builders, and have custom work done. And if you have never done this before, there are a few things to know going into the process.  Did you know that not all builders are suitable for construction loans? Not every licensed contractor has experience with a large project such as a home renovation, and you will want | more...


HUD Announces More Fair Housing Funds

The Department of Housing and Urban Development has been very active on the Fair Housing front in 2022. A June 2022 press release by HUD announces even more funding to combat violations of the Fair Housing Act such as illegal discrimination in the housing process. Why so much activity in 2022? It’s thanks in part to language in the American Rescue Plan of 2021, which acknowledges that “fair housing enforcement and education and outreach services are an essential component of protecting persons from housing discrimination” in the United States. The latest move in supporting fair housing enforcement and awareness? HUD’s announcement of funding support for Fair Housing organizations “working to end housing discrimination” according to the press release. The funding is made possible via the HUD Fair Housing Initiatives Plan | more...