July 21, 2019

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Articles by: Joe Wallace

Joe Wallace - Staff Writer

By Joe Wallace

July 19, 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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Mortgage Loan Interest Rates: What You Need To Know About Trends

Mortgage Loan Interest Rates: What You Need To Know About Trends

What should borrowers know about mortgage loan interest rate trends? Especially when those trends are pushing rates toward historic lows? It’s a very good idea to be aware of the forces that affect mortgage rates; understanding how they work is a step toward making a more informed purchase as a house hunter or first-time home buyer. Interest Rate Trends Are Affected By The Economy What is good for the economy is often bad for mortgage loan interest rates, and vice versa. You will see rates pushing higher when there is good economic news, and rates trend lower when there is bad economic news. Except when they don’t. The thing to remember about mortgage loan rates is that no single factor affects them; it’s a combination of things and sometimes interest | more...

 
Will FHA Mortgage Loan Interest Rates Drop Even More?

Will FHA Mortgage Loan Interest Rates Drop Even More?

Mortgage loan rates have been reported at historic lows in recent times and many are wondering if now is the right time to buy or refinance a home, or if it’s better to wait to see if rates sink even lower. Should you wait to refinance? Is it better to hold off on buying? There is no good answer to these questions for one reason-all home loan transactions are different, not all get offered the same interest rates, and your experience may vary. First-time home buyers should know that when you are looking for a new home to purchase with an FHA mortgage, the interest rates you see today may not be the same tomorrow, or the next day. If you are house hunting and have not found a home | more...

 
First-Time Home Buyers and Finding A First Home

First-Time Home Buyers And Finding A First Home

Are you looking for your first home? A Realtor.com survey reveals some interesting things about those looking for their first house, including some difficulties that affect many house hunters in today’s markets. The Realtor.com survey, conducted between March and June 2019, includes some demographic data about those exploring today’s mortgage rates and looking for suitable homes: 25 percent have been looking for a home in the past month 21 percent have been looking for 2-3 months 15 percent have been looking for 4-6 months 9 percent have been looking for 7-12 months 24 percent have been looking for more than a year  And of that number, some percentages regarding problems house hunters are facing today. According to the survey, one of the main problems is locating an affordable home within | more...

 
FHA Home Loans And Flood Hazard Areas

FHA Home Loans And Flood Hazard Areas

FHA home loans have rules for loan approval that include determining if a house is suitable for the mortgage. In some cases a home might not be approved for a mortgage because of its’ condition, but in others the location of the home may be a problem. This is true in cases where a home is located too near a high pressure gas pipeline, high voltage lines, or mining operations. But there is another aspect of this you should know-the FHA loan rules for homes located in certain areas prone to flooding. FHA loan rules in HUD 4000.1 state that the lender is responsible for making sure the property to be purchased with an FHA mortgage is not located in certain government-designated flood zones. From HUD 4000.1: “The Mortgagee must | more...

 
FHA Home Loan Down Payment Assistance

FHA Home Loan Down Payment Assistance

The down payment is one of the daunting things for first-time home buyers-coming up with the cash to put the minimum required 3.5% (of the adjusted value of the home) may seem like an uphill task, but fortunately the FHA loan program guidelines permit the use of approved down payment assistance programs. These programs are not offered by the Department of Housing and Urban Development; potential borrowers will need to seek out these down payment assistance programs in their local area. The rules the FHA provides to organizations wishing to offer down payment assistance includes the requirement that down payment gifts or grants must not come with an expectation of repayment. They also include the requirement that such funds be properly sourced and transferred to the borrower. But FHA rules | more...

 
The Difference Between FHA Loan Credit Score Requirements And Your Lender's FICO Score Rules

The Difference Between FHA Loan Credit Score Requirements And Your Lender’s FICO Score Rules

We answer many reader questions about FHA home loans, including information about credit requirements, appraisal issues, and FHA loan standards. Among the most common reader questions about FHA home loans? Questions about the credit scores required to get home loan approval. This issue is confusing to some borrowers because they don’t realize that FHA loan rules say one thing and lender requirements may say another. Is this a contradiction? No. The FHA loan credit score requirements should be viewed by the borrower as the minimum standard, with the knowledge that the lender is permitted to require higher FICO scores than the FHA’s minimums but NOT permitted to require LOWER scores than the FHA minimum. In other words, consider the FHA loan FICO score numbers as the baseline lowest scores permitted. | more...

 
What You Need To Know When Your Home Loan Lender Pulls Your Credit Report

What You Need To Know When Your Home Loan Lender Pulls Your Credit Report

Everyone who applies for a home loan should know the contents of their credit reports long before they start filling out FHA loan application paperwork. Just as important? Knowing what your loan officer is looking for out of your credit report. Did you know that FHA home loan rules published in HUD 4000.1 instruct the lender on specific areas of the report to examine? In fact, there are FHA loan standards for the credit report itself-the report must meet the following requirements in order to be used by the lender. The credit report must contain: the name of the FHA lender ordering the credit report; the name, address, and telephone number of the consumer reporting agency; the name and SSN of each Borrower; and the primary repository from which any | more...

 
FHA Home Loan Credit Issues: Collection Agencies

FHA Home Loan Credit Issues: Collection Agencies

Many borrowers want to know if they are still eligible for a home loan even if they have debts that were referred to a collection agency. Can a borrower still get an FHA mortgage if they have collection accounts listed on their credit report? The FHA rules governing this issue can be found in HUD 4000.1, which begins with the FHA definition of “Collection Accounts”: “A Collection Account is a Borrower’s loan or debt that has been submitted to a collection agency through a creditor. “ When the lender finds collection information listed on the credit report, it is not necessarily an automatic denial of the loan waiting to happen. FHA loan rules require the lender to review the information to make sure the borrower wasn’t simply disregarding the debt | more...

 
FHA Home Loan Questions: Appraisals

FHA Home Loan Questions: Appraisals

Do you have questions about the FHA appraisal process? Many do and it’s no surprise why-the appraisal is the process that determines whether the home you want to buy meets minimum FHA standards or not. Here are some common appraisal questions and answers you should know before you get to that part of the home loan process. Whether you are a first-time home buyer applying for your first FHA mortgage or an experienced house hunter returning to the FHA loan program to buy a new primary residence, these questions are important. Who Is Responsible For Ordering The FHA Appraisal? The lender. The borrower does not initiate the appraisal process or select the appraiser. Who Pays For The Appraisal? The borrower is responsible for paying the cost of the FHA appraisal | more...

 
Five FHA Loan Tips About Condo Loans

Five FHA Loan Tips About Condo Loans

Some borrowers, especially first-time home buyers, are surprised to learn that FHA loan options include loans to purchase condo units in FHA-approved condo projects. 5. FHA Condo Loans Are For Condos On The FHA Approved List Whether the condo you want to buy a unit in is already on the approved list, or needs to be added to it, the FHA condo loan is available to financially-qualified borrowers who have never owned a home before or are coming back to apply for a new home loan after purchasing in the past. Borrowers who need to have a condo project added to the FHA list will be required to work with a participating FHA lenders who can apply to have the condo project added to it. But there is one important | more...