Home Buyers Handbook


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Tips for purchasing a new home.

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Home Buyers Handbook

  1. 1. FRANK STADLER Senior Mortgage Banker American Portfolio Mortgage Corp Phone: 888.302.2762 ext 143 Fax: 800.783.1401 License: NMLS 207128 IL 031.0027235 fstadler@american-portfolio.com www.firstmortgagedept.com Home Buyers HandoutIntroductionThe idea of purchasing a home, whether it be your first or last, Another common marketing ploy that makes interest ratesis bound to bring many questions to mind. This is a natural appear attractive is geared around the manner in which feesreaction, as it is one of the biggest decisions you will ever are presented. All lenders are required by law to state the realmake. Rest assured, my team and I are here to assist you in cost of the financing through the Annual Percentage Rateunderstanding the loan process with our goal being to make (APR) each time an interest rate is quoted in advertising. APRyour experience a pleasant one. takes many of the fees associated with the loan into consideration, and it is usually listed in fine print as aThis handout covers the basics about buying a home. It is disclaimer.designed to answer commonly asked questions and provideclear definitions of terms you may be unfamiliar with, even if Advertisers often list a low interest rate in large bold type, butyou have been through the home-buying process before. the higher APR indicates in fine print that several points are being charged to get that rate.Rate Shopping While APR can be helpful in comparing rates seen in advertising, it is important for consumers to know that lenders Shopping for the best interest rate use different methods to calculate APR. Hence it is not an possible has always been the entirely failsafe method for comparing interest rates. consumers primary objective when borrowing money. As well it should be! The challenge with this strategy is that Additionally, the consumer must there is much misleading information take into consideration that the released on the subject by various interest rate is not the only media. Internet web sites and email important factor in obtaining marketing, along with other media such financing. Another equally as radio, television and billboard important question to answer is, advertising, have brought the importance "How long do you need toof interest rates to the forefront of consumers minds. borrow this money?"The problem for the consumer with this type of marketing is The length of time you need to borrow the money has athat it is designed to make the lenders phone ring. Often, the profound impact on whether or not you should be payingadvertiser offers a ridiculously low interest rate, with the intent upfront fees (points), and likewise has bearing on your loanof using a "bait-and-switch" technique once the client is reeled program selection.in. This is often done through short pricing. Short pricing is aterm that is used when a lender offers an extremely attractive Statistically, homeowners move every 7 to 10 years. One ofinterest rate, but that rate is only locked-in for a very brief the common mistakes made by home buyers is automaticallyperiod of time. selecting a 30-year fixed rate loan program for financing instead of evaluating other options. The chance of needing theThe average consumer enters into a purchase contract to buy financing for 30 years is actually slim-to-none. If the buyer isa home for at least 30 days. Pricing on an interest rate locked somewhat transient in their job or is planning a family in thein for a 7-day period is of no use to most prospective home near future, the home may not really meet their long-termbuyers. It simply isnt enough time to complete the transaction. needs.While the billboard advertising or Internet banner ad mayboast a terrific rate, the lock-in period is often not realistic in Buyers are often solicited with programs that are contingentterms of providing enough time to negotiate a purchase upon 30-year fixed rate financing. The interest rates that arecontract and close the deal. Be very careful when shopping for offered, regardless of how low they might be, are ofteninterest rates. Make sure that when you are quoted a rate, you irrelevant as rates are dependent upon several factors,are asking the broker what the lock duration is. Make sure that including down payment and credit score.lock period allows you enough time to complete your purchasetransaction.
  2. 2. Home Buyers Handout Page 2 of 7If a buyer has at least 5% for a down payment (at least 3.5% Contract Periodfor an FHA loan), an interest rate that is fixed for three, five or The contract period is the period of time in which all dueseven years may be a much more realistic option. This often diligence must be completed, including obtaining loanallows the buyer to capitalize on a low introductory rate and approval, property appraisal, home inspection reports, termitesave a significant amount of money, which can then go toward inspection, etc. Give yourself enough time for all due diligencethe down payment on their next home. As always, current to be completed for this very important purchase you aremarket conditions dictate what the best loan programs will be about to make. Typically, purchase contracts are drawn up forat the time you want to buy a home. The most important thing a period of 30, 45 or 60 days. However, while it is not typical, ais to ask your lender about available programs and look at all purchase contract can be written for a term in excess of 60of your options. days if the parties involved need that long of a period to complete all aspects of due diligence.It is of utmost importance to work with an experienced loanconsultant who understands some of the practical aspects of Home Inspection Contingencyfinancial planning. A well-versed consultant will ask you many As part of the negotiation in your purchase contract you andquestions about your short- and long-term goals, and assist the seller will mutually agree upon the amount of time neededyou in choosing a loan program that is truly suited to those to complete all the home inspection procedures that aregoals. required. Utilizing an outside third party service to complete these inspections is highly recommended.The Nuances of Your Contract You will be provided with a report by the home inspection company that you should review very thoroughly to make sure The process of purchasing a home is there are no material defects in the property that you were not often much more complex than the aware of, and which could subsequently have an impact on average individual expects it to be. the value of the property. Once your home inspection Items involved in your purchase contingency has expired, you no longer have the leverage to contract can have a significant go back and renegotiate with the seller to resolve any issues impact not only on the success of revealed by the home inspection. If there are material defects,your purchase transaction, but on your stress level as well. We you and your real estate agent should renegotiate either ahave listed out some of the important items you should be reduction in the purchase price to offset the cost of anyaware of, that require you to make decisions as a buyer necessary repairs or having the seller make the repairs prior toentering into a purchase contract. the close of the transaction. Buyers with limited cash reserves should most likely negotiate to have the repairs made prior toLoan or Financing Contingency closing.Loan contingency is the period of time the seller is giving youto obtain full, formal loan approval. It is important to include afinancing contingency in your offer, as it makes the transaction Termite Inspectiondependent on you receiving the mortgage youve applied for. It A termite inspection may orspecifies your cancellation rights if you are unable to obtain may not be required by thefinancing. lender. The lender may require an inspection if the appraisalThis contingency is typically between 15 and 30 days states there is evidence ofdepending on what has been negotiated in the contract. The termite damage. On FHA loansearnest money deposit you make at the time the offer is inspection is required onlyaccepted will be put in jeopardy once the contingency for the under the following circumstances: when there is evidence ofloan has expired. In fact, pursuant to the terms of the contract, active infestation, if mandated by the state or local jurisdiction,if the loan contingency has expired and you fail to close the if customary to the area, or at the lenders discretion.purchase transaction, you could lose your earnest moneydeposit and not have the failure of obtaining loan approval to If termites are present it is up to both parties to determine wholean on as an excuse. Written pre-approval will help to will be responsible for the remedy of the problem. When youeliminate problems in this area. Please note: pre-approval is negotiate your contract make sure you state up front whethernot the same as pre-qualification. you want the property checked for termites. For your protection and peace of mind, whether or not a termitePre-Approval inspection is a requirement, you may want to order one.Seeking pre-approval for financing prior to making an offer ona property is a sound strategy that can help you get the best Seller Rent Backdeal possible, especially if you plan to make a minimal down It is often the case that when the buyer and seller are unablepayment. The seller is often leery of the stability and reliability to agree upon a specified closing date for the transaction, theof the buyer if the buyer is only capable of making a down real estate agents will negotiate a "rent back" period. Thispayment of 10% or less. This can cause the buyer to lose a means the transaction closes, the loan funds and ownership ofsignificant amount of negotiating ability, by being perceived as the property is transferred into the buyers name, but the buyera weak buyer rather than a strong one. This is why it is very does not take occupancy of the property until several daysimportant to get full loan credit approval in advance and later. In this scenario, the buyer sets up a rental agreement, inprovide a written confirmation of the loan approval when an which the property is leased back to the seller.offer is made. This shows it is a done deal and you areperceived to be a cash buyer.
  3. 3. Home Buyers Handout Page 3 of 7An important footnote to this somewhat common strategy is to Heres an example. Lets say you are going to borrowmake sure the seller is not occupying the property in a lease $300,000 for your mortgage, and choose to pay one point,agreement for more than 30 days after the close of the which equates to an initial up front cost of $3,000. If payingpurchase transaction. This would constitute a non-owner one point up front saves you $100 a month, this means it willoccupied purchase in the lenders eyes, and would cause the take you 30 months or 2.5 years, to recuperate the cost of theterms of the loan to change radically. point that you paid. If you refinance the home anytime before that 30-month mark, or decide to sell the home, you will haveSeller Contributions effectively wasted money. However, if you keep that loan forDepending on the sellers eagerness longer than a 30-month period of time, it is a prudent financialto close the transaction, the seller of move.a property will often becomeaggressive and offer to pay some or When deciding whether or not you should pay points, take intoall of the closing costs, origination consideration where interest rates are at when you seekpoints and/or pre-paid items (interest, hazard insurance, tax financing, and compare that to historical market trends.escrows) associated with the purchase on the buyers behalf.This common strategy can be very beneficial to the buyer, When interest rates are at historical lows, it makes much moreparticularly if the buyer is short on funds to close. It can also sense to pay points, especially if you think you will live in thebe the vehicle that effectively drives the interest rate down and property for an extended period of time. Historically low rates,provides the buyer with a more affordable monthly payment. combined with the fact that you know you do not intend to move would indicate you will have longevity in the loan. It isNote that there are limitations on how much the seller is unlikely rates will go down, giving you incentive to refinance.permitted to contribute, depending on the loan-to-value ratio.The typical seller contribution is from 3% to 9% of the Rates are cyclical. When interest rates are off of their historicalpurchase price, based on the size of the down payment. Seller lows, and higher than they generally are, we know that there iscontributions may sometimes be isolated to non-recurring a strong likelihood rates will eventually come down. This isclosing costs and/or origination or discount points only. The certainly no time to pay points. The chances of refinancing atlender will not permit the seller to contribute funds back to the some point in the future are extremely high, and therefore, youbuyer after the close of the transaction to accommodate would not need to be in this loan for a long period of time.repairs to the property. Items such as roof leakage or newcarpet cannot be covered by any seller contribution clause. Credit ScoringOrigination Points Your credit score is a major factor that will be considered by the lender when they reviewOrigination points are often misunderstood. Points are nothing your loan application. They want to knowother than interest paid at the time of closing to obtain a lower what your credit history is, and whether youinterest rate on a loan. One point is equivalent to 1% of the have the ability to pay back the loan you areloan amount. If you are going to borrow $300,000 on your requesting. In short, good credit translatesloan, one point would equal $3,000. This generally generates into lower rates for the home buyer and less1/8 to 3/8 of a percent lower interest rate, depending upon the risk to the lender.loan program. As always, current market conditions dictatewhat the best choice will be at the time you want to buy a Credit scores can range between a low score of 300 and ahome. Ask your lender to show you a variety of program high of 850. The higher the clients score is, the less likely theyoptions so you can compare the difference between paying are to default on their loan. We will run a credit report topoints and not paying points. determine what your credit score is, and if necessary, we can point out some simple ways to help you improve your credit score without enlisting the help of a credit repair service. Paying points can be a prudent financial move, if you are planning to Once you fill out a loan application and enter into the loan be in the loan for a long period of process, you should not run up your charge cards or make any time. Again, one of the most major purchases! You also should not apply for any other type important questions to address when of new credit, as this could negatively impact your credit you borrow money is, "How long do scores. you need to borrow this money?"This will answer the two all-prevailing questions you will have, Today, many programs limit your borrowing ability if you havewhich are 1) Should I pay points? And 2) What loan program a low credit score. If you do have a low credit score you mayis best for me? Notice that the question is not geared to, "How still be able to obtain financing, just be prepared for both along do I plan to live in the home?" but more appropriately, higher interest rate and/or higher down payment requirements."How long am I likely to be in this loan?" While you may not get the interest rate you had hoped for, it is an opportunity to start building up your credit again. Once youHow long you will be in the loan is not only affected by the begin making mortgage payments on time and in full, yourtenure that you own the home, but also the probability of credit standing will improve and we can seek to refinance youseeking a refinance at some point in the future. As a general at a lower rate as soon as the opportunity arises.rule of thumb, you will need to be able to recuperate the totalcost of the points in a period of time that is less than theamount of time you will need to borrow the money.
  4. 4. Home Buyers Handout Page 4 of 7Sometimes we may determine the need to refer you to a credit While various Federal programs have been implemented torepair specialist. In some cases, borrowers have seen assist in the sale of short sale properties, there is nosignificant improvement in their credit scores in as little as 3 to guarantee that you will get a "steal" here either. The owner6 months, allowing them to qualify for the mortgage they has to be approved for the sale based on the submission of adesire. hardship package and additional parties may have to be involved if there is Private Mortgage Insurance or a secondJunk Fees lien(s) or mortgage on the property. However, the sale may include appliances and other items that could be helpful when seeking financing. A junk fee is a derogatory term defining extra fees, which are charged as a dollar figure Overall, depending on your situation, either path could offer rather than a percentage of the loan amount. It benefits to you as a buyer but they may also bring difficulties, is important to know that you may be able to many unexpected, which could derail your timelines. If your negotiate these fees down or have them timeline is tight, say 90 days or less to find a home, buying a removed if they have not been properly distressed property may not be for you as the additional disclosed to you. The lender is required to parties involved could delay your negotiations. provide you with a Good Faith Estimatedisclosing their fees within three days of your application. Including distressed properties in your selection process could be useful, just make sure you are working with an agent and aFees associated with the following are NOT considered junk lender that can best advise you of the benefits and potentialfees: appraisal, credit report, escrow or attorney, title search, pitfalls associated with either choice.title insurance, document recording, notary, tax service, floodcertification, title endorsements, stamps on the mortgage ordeed, and survey. These are legitimate fees charged by third Glossary of Termsparties and are necessary to complete the transaction. Adjustable RateDistressed Property Mortgage (ARM) A mortgage in which the interestDistressed property can provide you an opportunity to save rate is adjusted periodically basedmoney on your home purchase. Opportunities will present on a pre-selected index andthemselves for some time in this area as the economic crisis margin.continues to weigh on homeowners. AmortizationYou first need to know that distressed properties come in two Means of loan payment by equal periodic payments calculated"flavors": (1) properties owned by banks and investors known to pay off the debt at the end of a fixed period, includingas REOs or real estate owned and (2) short sale properties, accrued interest on the outstanding balance.properties that have yet to become foreclosures. Annual Percentage Rate (APR)Knowing the difference can assist you in your decision and The interest rate that reflects the cost of a mortgage as aexpectations for the negotiation process as each carry their yearly rate. This rate is likely to be higher than the stated noteown unique traits. rate or advertised rate on the mortgage, because it takes into account points and other credit costs. The APR allows homeREO buyers to compare different types of mortgages based on theAn REO has already gone through the foreclosure process annual cost for each loan, however not all lenders calculateand any negotiations will be exclusively with an Asset APR the same way.Manager of the institution charged with its sale anddisposition. The key point to know with an REO is that the BuydownAsset Manager is charged with minimizing the loss the This is when the lender and/or home builder subsidizes theinstitution will incur. As such, while the Asset Manager is mortgage by lowering the interest rate during the first fewcertainly motivated by selling the property, the Asset Manager years of the loan. While the payments are initially low, theyis also charged with getting as much as he or she can for the increase when the subsidy expires.property. Construction LoanAs such, you should not expect that you will be able to pay 50 This is a short-term interim loan for financing the cost ofcents on the dollar for the appraised value of the property. construction. The lender advances funds to the builder atAlso, expect that the property will be sold "as is" and this may periodic intervals as the work progresses.mean that financing may be limited in scope as the propertymay be ineligible for some types of financing, like FHA. Discount Points Prepaid interest assessed at closing by the lender. Each pointShort Sale is equal to 1% of the loan amount, i.e., two points on aShort sale properties are offered by the current owner who $100,000 mortgage would equal $2,000. Discount points arenow owes more than the property is worth. The owner is charged to reduce the interest rate.seeking assistance from the lender to sell the property for lessthan the balance of the existing mortgage(s). As a buyer, youwill be negotiating with the seller but will also have to obtainthe approval from the bank to accept your offer.
  5. 5. Home Buyers Handout Page 5 of 7Down Payment Assistance Program (DPA) Mortgage BrokerDown Payment Assistance Programs are funds given to This person assists in arranging funding or negotiatingbuyers to assist with the purchase of a home. Buyers do not contracts for a client. Brokers usually charge a fee or receivehave to repay these funds. To learn what type of DPA compensation for their services.Programs are available, ask your lender about local programoptions in your area. Mortgage Insurance (MI) Money paid to insure the mortgage when the down payment is less than 20%. See Private Mortgage Insurance or FHAEarnest Money or Escrow Deposit Mortgage Insurance.Money given by a buyer to a seller as part ofthe purchase price to bind a transaction or Origination Feeassure payment. Until recently, this was a fee charged by a loan originator to provide the borrower with a lower interest rate. It was usuallyFHA Loan charged as a percentage of the loan amount. However, withA loan insured by the Federal Housing the new Good Faith Estimate required by HUD in 2010, theAdministration open to all qualified home "origination fee" can also incorporate any fees from the lenderpurchasers. While there are limits to the size required to fund the loan that are paid to the lender orof FHA loans, they are generous enough to handle mortgage broker. This can also include processing,moderately-priced homes almost anywhere in the country. underwriting, administrative fees and Yield Spread Premium paid by an investor to a mortgage broker.FHA Mortgage InsuranceAll types of Mortgage Insurance protect the lender in the event PITIof default. There are two types of FHA Mortgage Insurance Also known as total monthly housing expense, this is anthat must be paid on all FHA loans an Up Front Mortgage acronym for the principal, interest, taxes and insurance.Insurance Premium (UFMIP), which is generally financed intothe loan, and an additional monthly mortgage insurance Piggy Back Loanpremium, paid as a part of your normal monthly mortgage "Piggy Back Loan" is a slang term, which really is another waypayment. The upfront premium is 1% of the loan amount and of describing 1st and 2nd mortgages that close concurrently.monthly premiums are generally .9% divided over each In todays mortgage lending environment, obtaining a piggymonthly payment, but may vary based on the term of the loan back loan can be very difficult if a borrower has less than 20%and the loan to value. for a down payment. In such instances, obtaining one mortgage with private mortgage insurance may be the onlyFirst Time Home Buyer Program option. Also see Private Mortgage Insurance.Mortgage loans with special qualifying terms for those whohave never owned real estate or have not in the previous 3 Private Mortgage Insuranceyears. Although the programs and terms vary by state, they In the event that you do not have a 20% down payment, theoften offer down payment and closing cost assistance. lender may allow a smaller down payment, sometimes as low as 3.5% or less with loans guaranteed through the VA orImpound/Escrow Account USDA. However, with a smaller down payment, borrowers areThat portion of a borrowers monthly payments held by the usually required to carry private mortgage insurance on thelender or servicer to pay for taxes, hazard insurance, loan. Private mortgage insurance comes in several forms:mortgage insurance, lease payments, and other items as they upfront, paid at closing, and monthly. A lender may requirebecome due. Also known as reserves. some combination of both upfront and monthly mortgage insurance. The amount required is determined based onIndex program type, property type, credit score and loan-to-value.A published interest rate against whichlenders measure the difference between the Title Insurancecurrent interest rate on an adjustable rate Title insurance protects a real estate owner or lender againstmortgage and that earned by other investments (such as any loss or damage they might experience because of liens,varying US Treasury Security yields and varying London encumbrances, or defects in the title to the property, or theInterbank Offered Rate [LIBOR] yields) which is then used to incorrectness of the related search.adjust the interest rate on an adjustable rate mortgage (ARM)up or down. It protects against claims from various defects such as another person claiming an ownership interest, improperly recordedLoan Level Price Adjustments (LLPAs) documents, fraud, forgery, liens, encroachments, easementsLoan-Level Price Adjustments are automatic, cumulative fees and other items that are specified in the actual policy.based on credit scores and the amount of your down payment.Fannie Mae (FNMA) and Freddie Mac (FHLMC) levy these Underwritingfees on borrowers with credit scores below 720. They have Approves (or declines) funding to potential home buyers,nothing to do with the mortgage company or its various based upon factors such as credit, employment, assets, etc.,products and cannot be negotiated away. and matches approved risks with appropriate rates, terms and loan amounts.MarginThe amount a lender adds to the index on an adjustable ratemortgage to establish the adjusted interest rate.
  6. 6. Home Buyers Handout Page 6 of 7USDA Rural Home Loan VA Loan Mortgage loans available to eligible US veterans. VAAlong with loans guaranteed by the VA (see VA Loan below), guaranteed loans are made by private lenders, such as banksloans guaranteed by the USDA remain one of the few or mortgage companies, for the purchase of a home for anationally offered loan programs available with no down buyers own personal occupancy. These loans offerpayment. While the program includes the word "rural" in its competitive rates and require little or no down payment.name, this is not necessarily the case with all properties. We hope this handout has been helpful for you. Please call us today toThe programs requirements mandate that both the property schedule your appointment to discuss how we can help make yourand borrower must qualify. These requirements are dependent home buying experience go smoothly.on the physical location of the property and the maximumhousehold income. Ask your lender for details so you candetermine if this type of program would be a good option foryour situation.
  7. 7. Home Buyers Handout Page 7 of 7 Questions to Ask My Loan Officer Homes Ive Toured Address: Notes: Address: Notes: Address: Notes: Address: Notes: Address: Notes: Address: Notes: Address: Notes: CONTACT ME NOW FOR A FREE PRE-APPROVAL Lots of great deals on homes buy while rates are low. You can apply online , in person or via telephone.American Portfolio Mortgage Corp is an IL Residential Mortgage Licensee #MB.0005608 with the Illinois Department ofFinancial and Professional Regulation - Division of Banking located at 122 S. Michigan Avenue, Suite 2000, Chicago,IL 60603 NMLS ID 175656 © 2010 LTB, II LLC. Distributed by LoanToolbox.com.