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So far First Ohio has created 133 blog entries.
28 06, 2016

Jumbo Loans 101

June 28th, 2016|Blog, Buying a home, Home Finances, Mortgage 101|

Rhinebeck, NY, USA - November 5, 2007: Elegant private residence located in Rhinebeck; This area is in the Hudson Valley area of Upstate New York.

Since this is a 101 about jumbo loans and when you should use one, let’s start with the basics. A jumbo loan can also be referred to as a non-conforming mortgage. This is a loan that does not conform to the guidelines of Frannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Created by Congress in 1938 and 1970 respectively, Frannie Mae and Freddie Mac provide stability and affordability to the mortgage market by buying “conforming” mortgages from lenders, giving lenders liquidity to make more mortgages.

Frannie Mae and Freddie Mac only buy mortgages meeting their guidelines for down payment, credit score, post-closing reserves and loan amount. As of 2016, the conforming loan size limit for a one-unity home is $417,000 with exceptions as high as $625,500 in certain high-priced markets.

When should you use a jumbo mortgage?

You would use a jumbo mortgage when you are seeking a loan amount that is greater than the conforming loan limit in your area. In most of the country, that means you will take out a jumbo loan if the amount of the loan is greater than $417,000. In certain areas that are deemed high cost, the conforming loan limit goes above $417,000. You can look up your area’s loan limited here: http://www.fhfa.gov/DataTools/Downloads/Pages/Conforming-Loan-Limits.aspx.

Qualifying for a Jumbo Mortgage

Jumbo mortgages have the same overall qualifying methodology as a conforming loan. Lenders will look at your credit score, down payment size,  total monthly debt obligations relative to income (called your debt-to-income ratio), and money left over after closing.

  • Credit score requirements are about the same for conforming and jumbo.
  • Money left after closing – This is often called reserves or […]
17 06, 2016

Smart Moves for First-Time Home Buyers

June 17th, 2016|Home Finances, Mortgage 101, Tips & Advice|

Shot of a couple moving into their new homehttp://195.154.178.81/DATA/i_collage/pu/shoots/805830.jpg

First-time home buyers, are you ready to buy? It is a seller’s market right now so we are here to prepare you with tips before entering the market. Your biggest challenge is that you are probably bringing less cash to the table, which makes it harder to compete with more season buyers. What YOU do have is flexibility-you’re not counting on selling your current place to fund the deal. Which means that you are a perfect answer for sellers who want to stay put until they land their next place.

  1. Lock up your financials. It is time to clean up your credit and save for a bigger down payment so that you’ll qualify for a better mortgage rate and avoid costly fees. Start paying down credit cards so your balance is less than 30% of the limit and avoid late payments. It is so important to pay your bills on time, even student loan payments. Student loans will not hinder your chance of getting a loan, as long as you are making the payments on time. Next, 20% is the golden number for down payments. Putting down 20% helps you avoid costly private mortgage insurance and can help you to beat competing offers. If you aren’t there yet, either change your spending habits to save up more or start looking at cheaper homes.
  2. Check Alternative Mortgage Options. If you can’t get close to that 20% down payment or your credit score is not where you would like it to be, that is okay too! FHA loans (read more about them here) let you put just 3.5% down, and offer better rates for those with less-than-pristine credit. It is important to know the tradeoff though, […]
10 06, 2016

Mortgage Rates Update

June 10th, 2016|Blog, Latest News|

Chalk graph

Unfortunately May brought a disappointing jobs report for the U.S. and a speech by the Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen that seemed to take a June rate hike by the Fed’s rate-setting committee off the table, for now. This created a worrisome week for the U.S economy which led to lower rates for home loans.

Here is where the mortgage rates stand this week:

  • The benchmark 30-year fixed-rate mortgage fell to 3.74% from 3.81%. The rate this week is 0.23 percentage points lower than the 52-week average.
  • The benchmark 15-year fixed-rate mortgage fell to 3% from 3.05%.
  • The benchmark 5/1 adjustable-rate mortgage fell to 3.13% from 3.22%.
  • The benchmark 30-year fixed-rate jumbo mortgage fell to 3.71% from 3.76%.

Timing of Fed hike is less clear

As a result of the speech on Monday, the timing of when the Federal Reserve will decide to raise rates is still not clear. Yellen said the Fed would probably need to raise the federal funds rate gradually over time. That appeared to retract what was said in the speech 3 days earlier in which she said it would probably be appropriate to raise the funds rate “in a couple months”. The Federal Reserve will raise rates after our current uncertainties unfold.

If you want to apply to either buy or refinance, start the application today! https://www.myloanform.com/?action=access.login&m=47

25 05, 2016

Buying a Home with Student Loans

May 25th, 2016|Blog, Buying a home, Home Finances, Mortgage 101, Tips & Advice|

 

Young couple meeting financial consultant for credit loan

The housing market has been waiting for millennials to settle down and start buying homes instead of renting or remaining in their parent’s home for a few years now. If you ask any millennials, many of them will say these decisions are being prolonged due to the amount of student debt haunting them. The average Class of 2016 graduate has $37,172 in student debt, up six percent from last year according to https://studentloanhero.com/student-loan-debt-statistics-2016/. This is a huge financial burden to be facing, but we are here to tell you how you can still buy a home even with student loans.

Shop for a Home you can afford

This should be a rule of thumb for any purchase in life, if you can’t afford it, you probably should not be buying it. Home shopping can be tempting. You may be looking at multiple car garages, completely new appliances, high ceilings and much more. It is important not to get carried away. If you are a first-time home buyer, you may have to go with a starter home instead of your dream home but that will come with time.

Minimize Debt from Credit Cards and Car Loans

When applying for a loan these are the main factors taken into consideration:

  1. Income.
  2. Savings.
  3. Credit Score.
  4. Monthly debt-to-income ratio.

Your debt-to-income ratio shows the lender your total financial obligations including car payments, credit card debt and student loans in comparison to your income. To keep yours low, keep off as much debt as possible before applying for a mortgage.

Lower your monthly student loan payments

Even if you do not have any other types of debt, having a high student loan monthly payment could give you a high debt-to-income ratio. To lower that ratio […]

17 05, 2016

Renters: Are You Ready to Buy a Home?

May 17th, 2016|Blog, Buying a home, Tips & Advice|

House icon and keys on wooden background

Most renters are planning to buy a home at some point. If so, they are probably saving up for the down payment right about now. Besides that obviously step, here are four more advanced steps towards moving out your rental and into a dream home of your own.

Understanding the full cost of homeownership

As a renter, you are used to writing a check to your landlord and that covering your monthly housing payment. As a future homeowner, make sure you are familiar with the four components of a mortgage payment that are listed below, otherwise known as P.I.T.I:
Principal: Money that is going towards the remaining amount of your loan.
Interest: This is the amount of the payment that is going towards the interest on your loan. For a while at the beginning of owning your home, a large majority of your mortgage payment with be going towards the interest on the loan.
Taxes: Refers to property taxes, which are assessed by the county that you live in. They average 1.2% of your home’s value each year.
Insurance: This will be paid to a homeowner’s insurance company of your choice; this is required when you have a mortgage. Lenders require that your insurance cover the cost of rebuilding the home if it is ruined by fire or other disaster. This “replacement cost” is determined by your insurer, and must be agreed to by your lender. Insurance will typically cost $700 to $1,200 per year for a single family home.

Know your homeowner tax benefits

Mortgage interest and property taxes are deductible when you file your annual tax returns, and reduce taxable income. These deductions significantly lower your cost of homeownership. For example, for a $300,000 home with 20 percent down and a 30-year fixed mortgage […]

3 05, 2016

Down Payment: How much you should save to buy a home

May 3rd, 2016|Blog, Mortgage 101, Tips & Advice|

Horizontal view of marriage analyzing the bills

Is buying a home on the horizon for you? Have you started to save up for the down payment? Let’s first start with the basics of what a down payment is. A down payment is the amount of money you will spend upfront to purchase a home and is typically combined with a home loan to fulfill the total purchase price of a home.

How much do I need to save for my down payment?

The higher your down payment is, the lower your monthly mortgage payments will be. This will also depend on what type of loan that you get. Different loans require different amounts for the down payment. Typically you will need to save 5 to 20 percent of the sale price in cash in order to qualify for a conventional loan (30-year fixed mortgage). Down payments for jumbo loans can be as low as 5%. If you put down less than 20 perfect on a conventional loan, you will most likely have to pay mortgage insurance.

Low down payment financing options

Saving for a 20 percent down payment might be too difficult or take too long for many first-time home buyers or borrowers with lower household incomes. Other loan programs offer as low as zero to 3.5 percent down payment option, although a zero down-payment option is more difficult to get. The most common programs for the lower down payment mortgages come from the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) Most FHA loans require a minimum 3.5 percent down a decent credit score in order to qualify. Additionally, these types of loans are federally insured to reduce the risk of loss if a borrower defaults on their mortgage payments.

If you meet the eligibility guidelines, you may be able to qualify […]

21 04, 2016

Components of a Mortgage Payment

April 21st, 2016|Home Finances, Mortgage 101|

Mortgage concept. isolated on white background 3d

Before you dive into buying a home, it is important to know what your money is going to each month. Your monthly mortgage payments are commonly referred to as a “PITI” or principal, interest, taxes and insurance. PMI and homeowner’s association dues may also make up a portion of your total payment.

Principal: The original amount of the loan.

Interest: Just like with any other loan, this is the amount that you are charged for borrowing money. The amount of interest for the month is calculated based on the outstanding principal balance as well as the interest rate of your loan. As the term of the mortgage proceeds, the ratio between the principal and interest amounts shifts in each payment.

Taxes: The property assessment collected by your local government. Lenders typically collect a portion of these taxes in every mortgage payment and hold the funds in an account called an esgrow account until they are due.

Insurance: This offers financial protection from risk. Like property taxes, these are typically held in an escrow account and paid on your behalf to the insurance company. There are two main types of insurance that are typically included in your mortgage payment: homeowners insurance and mortgage insurance. Homeowners insurance is required financial protection you must maintain in case your property is damaged by fire, wind, theft or other hazards. Mortgage insurance protects your lender in case you fail to repay your mortgage.

Overall there are several factors that determine how much your monthly mortgage payment will be. Two examples are the amount you pay for a down payment and the mortgage program you choose.

It is important to take all four factors into consideration when determining what house you can afford. Use our mortgage calculator http://firstohiohome.com/home-finance-mortgage-calculators/ […]

14 04, 2016

Is Refinancing Right for you?

April 14th, 2016|Refinance|

Refinancing

It is no question that mortgage rates are low right now, the real question is how long are they going to stay like this? Well unfortunately there is no exact answer for this but rates are looking to increase by this time next year. So would this be the right time for you to refinance? Let’s start with the basics.

What is refinancing? Refinancing is the process of obtaining a new mortgage in an effort to reduce monthly payments, lower your interest rates, take cash out of your home for large purchases or change mortgage companies. The reasons for refinancing are explained further below:

Securing a Lower Interest Rate

With rates being as low as they are now, refinancing might have crossed your mind. This is one of the most common reasons people refinance. The rule of thumb used to be that it was worth the money to refinance if you could reduce your interest rate by at least 2%. Today, some believe that even 1% savings is enough of an incentive. Reducing your interest rate will lower your monthly payments and also increases the rate at which you build equity in your home.

Shortening the Loan’s Term

When interest rates fall, homeowners often have the opportunity to refinance an existing loan for another loan that has a shorter term. If you currently have a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage, this could be a great chance to switch to shorter term mortgage. If you can afford a slightly higher monthly payment, it will be worth the change because you will save money on interest in the long run.

Converting between Adjustable-Rate and Fixed-Rate Mortgage

While ARMs start out offering lower rates than fixed-rate mortgages, ARMs are not locked into certain rates like Fixed-Rate Mortgages are, so therefore it is likely their […]

1 04, 2016

Tips for a Quick Closing

April 1st, 2016|Blog, Buying a home, Home Finances|

iStock_000009315285XSmallIf you look at our reviews or testimonials, you’ll notice that so many of our customers have stated how happy they were with the timeline of their experience working with First Ohio Home Finance. The customer’s timeline is always a number one priority, it is important to be upfront with your Loan Officer about your timeline, it is also helpful to be realistic.

Current mortgage rates remain below 4 percent. Mortgage rates are so low, that many people are back to the “should I buy or should I rent” debate. Rent prices  are rising quickly and mortgage rates are not. The widespread availability of low down payment loans plus rising approval rates but today’s low mortgage rates have created a buyer’s market.

To help you compete in the fast-paced buying market, we have created a couple tips for closing on-time:

  • Get your purchase loan approved quickly: Typically the longest part of the process is exchanging documentation. As a home buyer, you can be prepared for the lender’s request by having your documentation ready to go. The complete list of documentation needed can be found here: http://firstohiohome.com/purchase-home/mortgage-checklists/. If you have those documents ready, that will reduce the numbers of days required to get your approval. Just like with most other things in life, it is important to be prepared.
  • Be open with your lender: Honesty is the best policy, the loan approval is no exception. If you are going on a trip or a big life event might be happening during the process, it is crucial to let your loan officer know that. If you are going to be out of contact they are going to need to know that. If there are any financial circumstances that are going on, you need to tell your Loan […]
24 03, 2016

VA Mortgage Loans

March 24th, 2016|Blog, Buying a home|

va-home-loan-300x234

In 1944, as part of the G.I. Bill, the Department of Veterans Affairs launched a mortgage program to help returning service members purchase a home. The VA loan program is still available and remains an important part of the benefits package for veterans and active members. The VA Loan is a mortgage loan issued by approved lenders, like First Ohio Home Finance, then guaranteed by the federal government. Since the program began, it has helped more than 20 million veterans and their families into affordable financing situations.

The VA Loan is designed specifically for those who have served, which means there are a handful of requirements. You may be eligible for a VA Home Loan if you meet one or more of the following conditions:

  • You have served 90 consecutive days of active service during wartime
  • You have served 181 days of active service during peacetime
  • You have more than 6 years of service in the National Guard or Reserves
  • You are the spouse of a service member who has died in the line of duty or as a result of a service-related disability.

If you are eligible and have completed the requirements above, you then apply to receive your Certificate of Eligibility. While you don’t need your COE in order to start the loan process, it is a very important part of your loan application. Those interested in the VA Loan aren’t required to reach any kind of certain income to use their home loan benefits; however, borrowers are expected to have stable, reliable income that will cover monthly expenses – including their new mortgage payment.

One thing that is interesting about this loan is that the VA requires that borrowers maintain an amount of income left over each month after all major expenses are paid. The excess […]

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