November 11, 2019

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Articles by: Joe Wallace

Joe Wallace - Staff Writer

By Joe Wallace

November 11, 2019

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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Happy Veterans Day 2019

Happy Veterans Day! Many banks will be closed to observe this federal holiday, bond markets are closed, and we pause in our usual routine of answering questions about FHA home loans to honor our veterans. Thank a veteran for her service, and remember the sacrifices all our troops have made no matter where in the world they may be stationed. To all current and former members of the U.S. military, THANK YOU for your service! Our regular posting schedule resumes tomorrow.

 
FHA Loan Rules For Appraisals: Appliances, Mechanical Systems In The Home

FHA Loan Rules For Appraisals: Appliances, Mechanical Systems In The Home

HUD 4000.1, the FHA Single-Family Loan Handbook, has a detailed section about FHA loan appraisal requirements. First-time home buyers may not realize that certain details of the home must meet FHA requirements such as the condition of appliances and the efficiency of the mechanical systems in the home such as central air conditioning or hot water heaters. HUD 4000.1 lists FHA requirements for appliances in the appraisal, stating that the FHA appraiser is required to review the home’s stove, fridge, washing machine, etc. if those appliances are being left in the home for the new owner. “Appliances that are to remain and that contribute to the market value opinion must be operational. ” This section is discussing appraisals for existing construction homes, but the intent is clear; the condition of | more...

 
FHA Loan Closing Cost Rules

FHA Loan Closing Cost Rules

FHA home loan closing cost rules affect your home loan no matter if you are buying a mobile home with an FHA loan or having a house built on your own land using an FHA One-Time Close construction loan. Closing cost rules for FHA home loans have two “lanes” (our term, not a bit of industry jargon) where the rules are applied–one is the rules from the FHA Single-Family Lender’s Handbook (HUD 4000.1) and the other are the lender’s own standards and requirements. FHA loan rules and lender standards will both apply. FHA loan closing cost rules begin with the understanding that your down payment and your closing costs are two separate expenses. Your closing costs cannot be used as part of your down payment. FHA loan rules in HUD | more...

 
FHA Home Loan Down Payment Rules

FHA Loan Down Payment Rules

Do you know what the rules are for down payments according to the FHA Lender’s Handbook? HUD 4000.1 states that the minimum required down payment allowed for FHA mortgages is 3.5% of the adjusted value of the home. The borrower must pay this independently of any other closing costs associated with the loan. The seller, lender, or any other party with a stake in the outcome of the transaction cannot provide down payment funds to the borrower. Sellers are permitted to contribute toward closing costs, but not the down payment. The down payment is part of the borrower’s cash requirement to close the loan. The lender is required to verify the sourcing of all down payment funds (including gift funds from other people) to insure the money does not come | more...

 
Does The Fed Interest Rate Cut Also Cut Mortgage Loan Rates?

Does The Fed Interest Rate Cut Also Cut Mortgage Loan Rates?

On Wednesday, October 30 2019, the Fed voted to cut interest rates for the third time. The specifics, reported by many news outlets including CNBC.com, include a 25 basis points cut to the benchmark funds rate. According to a CNBC report, ” The rate sets what banks charge each other for overnight lending but is also tied to most forms of revolving consumer debt.” Some want to know if the Fed rate cut directly equals a cut to mortgage loan insurance rates for FHA loans, VA mortgages, USDA loans, or conventional mortgages. The short answer is no, it does not. But that does NOT mean an interest rate cut won’t affect your mortgage rate if you are not currently in a rate lock commitment with your lender. The rates cut | more...

 
Reasons You May Be Denied A Loan

Reasons You May Be Denied A Home Loan

Most borrowers are worried they may be denied a home loan for one reason or another. How much is the average house hunter in danger of getting turned down for a mortgage? That depends on the kind of real estate you are looking for, your recent credit activity, and other factors. In general, you’ll find it harder to get a loan approved if one or more of the following things apply to you (see below). You Have A Recent Adverse Credit Action On Your Credit Report You risk being turned down for an FHA home loan or any other major line of credit if you were declined credit, employment or insurance recently. You Have High Credit Card Balances Credit card balances above the 50% line (halfway to your credit limit) | more...

 
Important FHA Loan Options For Almost Any Mortgage

Important FHA Loan Options For Almost Any Mortgage

There are important FHA loan options you should know about that apply to practically any type of mortgage. No matter if you need a single-unit loan for a typical suburban home or you want to build a house on your own lot using an FHA One-Time Close construction loan, there are options you should consider to get the most mileage out of your loan. FHA Loan Options: Energy Efficient Add-Ons The FHA Energy Efficient Mortgage is an option you can use to add funds for approved energy-saving upgrades to the property. That much is more well-known than the fact that you can use this FHA loan option even if you are applying for an FHA Rehab loan which is already intended to provide funds to repair, renovate, or upgrade a | more...

 
Real Estate, Millennials, And Down Payments

Real Estate, Millennials, And Down Payments

What do millennials and Gen Z’ers say about buying real estate and making down payments? A home ownership-centric website called Porch.com did a survey of roughly 1300 people and the results are quite interesting–and useful to anyone in the planning stages of buying a home. The attitudes of the age groups such as Generation Z and Millennials were of particular interest for this study. “According to our findings” the Porch.com survey page for the Generational Outlook Survey says, “over 75 percent of Gen Zers said it was ‘very important’ or ‘important’ to own a home in their lifetime”, but “only 41 percent” believe it is necessary to do that in the next decade or so. But regardless of when the home is to by purchased, more than 40% of those | more...

 
FHA Mortgage Rates For The Rest Of 2019

FHA Mortgage Rates For The Rest Of 2019

Those who are ready to buy a house, or build a home on their own land using an FHA construction loan are considering their options at a time when mortgages are said to be as much as $200 cheaper than this time last year (depending on the price, down payment, and other factors). Mortgage rates in general are lower now than predicted last year and the rates are, according to some market watchers, due to remain low in November 2019 if the predictions come true. There are a variety of factors affecting mortgage loan interest rates at the moment; Brexit has an effect on investor behavior that can influence mortgage rates, the tariff war with China is another variable. Add to that consumer behavior in U.S. housing markets, and the | more...

 
Refinance loans: is it time to commit?

Refinance Loans: Is It Time To Commit?

Is now the right time to commit to a refinancing loan? Opinions may vary, but consumer trends seem to indicate that many of today’s home owners believe the answer is yes. The monthly Ellie Mae Origination Insight Report provides lenders and consumers with mortgage loan data and insights; the September 2019 report includes data suggesting that nearly half (49%) of the loans originated in the time range covered in the report were refinance loans. Interest rates have been at historic lows, home values have also been on the rise, and many want to consider their options while rate trends are still in a borrower-friendly mode. If you are ready to refinance, the first step for many is determining what kind of refinance loan you need. If you just want a | more...