Posts Tagged ‘first-time home buyer’

GSFA Affordable Subsidy – Platinum down payment assistance program just got better!

Monday, July 31st, 2017

GSFA Affordable Subsidy

If you’ve been thinking of purchasing a home, or know someone else who is, we’ve got great news! Golden State Finance Authority (GSFA) has announced a new promotional offer for borrowers purchasing a home with conventional loan financing through the GSFA Platinum Program.

In addition to the Platinum down payment assistance (DAP) grant, low-income borrowers may be eligible for a GSFA Affordable Subsidy, an additional incentive to help them with down payment and/or closing costs. Like the GSFA DAP grant, the GSFA Affordable Subsidy has no repayment requirement!

Below are a few helpful questions and answers regarding the Affordable Subsidy.

How much money does the Affordable Subsidy provide? (Click here for program income limits.)
  • 2.0% of the loan amount for income ≤ 50% AMI
  • 0.5% of the loan amount for income ≤ 80% AMI
Do you need to be a first-time home buyer to take advantage of the Affordable Subsidy?
  • No, but you must meet the qualifying income requirements.
Does the Affordable Subsidy need to be repaid?
  • No, unlike many other down payment assistance programs the GSFA Platinum and Affordable Subsidy to not require repayment.
How can the money be used?
  • The Affordable Subsidy and Platinum grant money can be used for down payment and closing costs. (There can be no cash back to the borrower.)
Where can I learn more about the GSFA Platinum Program?
  • Visit our Platinum Program page to learn more about this great down payment assistance program.

If you have any questions about the GSFA Platinum Program or the Affordable Subsidy, contact us at (800) 570-5300 or fill out our contact form.

5 Things to Avoid When Purchasing a Home

Wednesday, July 6th, 2011

There are five major things to avoid doing before applying for a loan and during the loan process itself. Any one of these five things can greatly impact your ability to qualify for a home loan, so it is critical to avoid doing any of the following until after your loan has closed escrow.

  1. Do Not Change Jobs – Changing jobs before or during the loan process can create a real problem in qualifying you for a home loan, particularly if that job is in a different line of work or at a lower rate of pay. Due to verification First-time Homebuyersrequirements during the loan process, it can also create major time delays.
  2. Do Not Switch Banks or Move Your Money Around – It is best to leave your money right where it is until your loan closes. Moving your money to a new bank, or even into a new account, can wreak havoc with the verification process. Keep copies of all checks deposited into your account if they are larger than your normal paycheck. Examples would include, but not be limited to, bonuses from your employer, gifts from relatives, or monies received from the sale of assets.
  3. Do Not Pay Off Bills – As your mortgage loan originator, I will advise you if it is necessary to pay off a bill to help you qualify for a home loan. I will also show you the best way to pay off debts, to make sure we have the correct evidence of payment.
  4. Do Not Make Any Major Purchases – Many borrowers make the mistake of buying a new car, some furniture, or other major purchases without realizing the impact it can have on their ability to buy a home. A large monthly payment added during the loan process can affect the amount of home you can qualify for and can actually make it extremely difficult to get your loan approved.
  5. Do Not Leave Town – Leaving town during the loan process can greatly delay you from obtaining your home loan. I will periodically need to obtain signatures and/or documentation from you during the transaction, and each delay in receiving the needed items can cost you valuable time and money in closing your home loan.

If you feel you must do any of the things listed above (even if you’ve already been pre-qualified or approved for a loan) make sure you talk with me first. As a mortgage professional, I will help coach you by advising you of your options. Otherwise, if you avoid these five things, you should look forward to a seamless and successful loan closing. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me.

Photo of Jennifer Remedios

Jennifer Remedios
(916) 486-6954

“To Buy Or Not To Buy…NOW? That Is The Question!”

Friday, June 3rd, 2011

When is the right time to buy a home in today’s market? As a licensed Real Estate Broker and lender for almost 30 years, I can safely say the biggest consideration homebuyers have is affordability. The two main components of affordability are home prices and available loan products.

Home prices have dropped dramatically over the last several years and inventory of homes for sale has risen, offering buyers the opportunity to get a much nicer home for a reasonable price. Declining home prices, combined with record low interest rates, makes today’s buying opportunity unprecedented. Yet many interested buyers remain on the ‘proverbial fence’ expecting that home prices have not yet hit bottom. At the same time, most experts would agree that interest rates are likely to rise from here. So when is a good time to jump in and take advantage of this unique window of opportunity?

I can tell you from my decades of experience that no one can predict the absolute best time to buy when considering lowest prices and interest rates. If we assume home prices will continue to go down, while interest rates rise, there is a calculation formula I can show you that will help you determine when the best time to buy will be. Of course, it all depends on if home prices decline more and how soon interest rates go up! These are anyone’s guess. It doesn’t take long in a declining housing market for cost savings to be offset by higher interest rates and corresponding monthly payments!

First-time Homebuyer

The bottom line is this: Affordability often boils down to the ability to qualify. The ability to qualify is another moving target worthy of immediate consideration. Along with today’s historically low rates, there are loan programs that only require 0 – 3.5% for a down payment! These low down payment programs will not last though. Already there is legislation pending to require borrowers to put more down payment, among other things. Unfortunately, qualifying for a home loan in the future will only get more difficult for many. Call me to better evaluate your personal situation. In my humble experienced opinion, unless you like to gamble, there has never been a better time than now to buy!

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Philip Duncan
(916) 486-6430

Thinking of Buying a Home? 10 Tips to Help.

Monday, January 31st, 2011

Today I’m starting a 10 part series on tips you need to know before you start your house hunt.

TIP #1. Before you start looking for a home, get pre-qualified for a loan.

Now you say, “that sounds just like a Lender – Get Pre-Qualified”! True, lenders always encourage home shoppers to get pre-qualified first, but when you talk to a real estate agent the same “get pre-qualified” encouragement will be reiterated.

There are several reasons to take the time to connect with a lender first. You will want to find someone that is professional and trustworthy. Unfortunately, there are still a few lenders out there that don’t take the necessary time with their customers. If you are buying your first home it is especially important to work with someone that is patient, and a good communicator.

The first step will be to find out if your credit is worthy of moving forward with the process. If your mid-credit score is below 640, chances are pretty slim of you being qualified today for a purchase. In my next post we’ll look at financing options if you have marginal credit.

If your scores are acceptable, then the next step will be to examine your debt to income ratios. The 1st ratio is based on the percentage of your income that will go to your new proposed housing expense, and the second ratio is the percentage of your income that will go towards your house payment, along with all current liabilities: credit cards, car payments, student loans, etc.

When it has been determined how much you can borrow, then the purchase price (range) of your new home will be established. At this point your lender will also want to establish the validity and continuance of your income.

How about cash to close? Often homebuyers confuse cash to close with down payment. These are two uniquely different numbers – although the cash to close number will include your down payment. Confused yet? Example: FHA requires a 3.5% down payment. This means that you will need to have 3.5% of the purchase price in the bank (or available as a gift from a family member) for the down payment. Then, additionally, you will need to pay both recurring and nonrecurring closing costs. Those closing costs can be another 3% or more of the sales price. So, your down payment and closing costs together will be part of your needed “cash to close” and the lender will look for that money in your bank account. In an upcoming post we will review sources – other than your checking or savings account – for down payment and closing costs.

Going forward in future posts, we will also touch on why or when you will want to pay points and how points can save you money in the long run. Join me over the next few weeks for an in-depth look at how to make the most of your home financing options by working with the right lender. If you have any questions feel free to call, comment or e-mail me questions.

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Ingrid Pierson
(530) 885-1545
Licensed – NMLS # 233666

10 Great Reasons to Choose VITEK

Thursday, January 6th, 2011

Whether you’re seeking to refinance your existing mortgage, or looking to purchase your first home, choosing the right lender will make the difference whether your experience is positive or not. If you are currently shopping for a home loan, or know someone who is, here are ten great reasons why you should choose VITEK for your next home loan.

    1.) Knowledgeable Mortgage Loan Originators Available Seven Days a Week
    2.) Close Faster with VITEK’s In-house Underwriting and Funding
    3.) Guaranteed On-time Loan Closing
    4.) FREE Pre-qualification to Provide You Stronger Contract Negotiating
    5.) Apply On-line 24/7 with Our Easy Five-minute Application
    6.) Complimentary Crime Alert Security System (Greater Sacramento Region only)
    7.) FREE Credit Analysis
    8.) Savings Up to $3,200 with Homebuyer’s Privilege Discounts from Multiple Home-related Product and Service Providers.
    9.) Real-time Loan Status Updates
    10.) Best Bank Rates – We do the Shopping for You!
Photo of Jennifer Remedios

Jennifer Remedios
(916) 486-6954

We'll walk you through each step of the loan process.
Contact us today to get started!