Yes, it is possible to have two VA loans at the same time.

vets

It’s not often,  but VA borrowers may have the ability to maintain two VA home mortgage loans at the same time. Typically, the scenario involves a VA homeowner who has to relocate but wants to keep and rent out his or her primary residence. To take advantage, the veteran should look into the VA Bonus Entitlement program.

The guaranty is what the VA promises to pay the lender, generally 25% of the loan amount, in case the loan goes into default. For example, if a person defaults on a VA loan for $100,000, the lender would net $75,000 and the VA would pay the lender $25,000 to make up the difference. Because of this guaranty, mortgage lenders are able to provide VA loans at 100% of the value or purchase price – hence zero down.

Eligible veterans in most parts of the country have a primary entitlement of $36,000 and an additional, secondary entitlement of $70,025. Add those together and you get $106,025. That’s the maximum amount of VA loan entitlement for borrowers in most of the country (buyers in high-cost counties actually have more). For example, on a typical $200,000 loan in a non-high-cost county, you’re using $50,000 of entitlement. The remaining entitlement is how VA buyers can look to have more than one VA loan at the same time or purchase after experiencing a foreclosure or a short sale.

Here’s the means by which the math works:

County limit x 25% = Maximum Guaranty
Maximum Guaranty – Entitlement Used = Entitlement Available
Entitlement Available x 4 = Maximum Loan Amount With No Down Payment

Contact your Maine Mortgage Broker today to learn more about using your VA Entitlement.

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Have you heard that the “Fed” just raised interest rates—and immediately after, mortgage rates dropped?

Have you heard that the “Fed” just raised interest rates—and immediately after, mortgage rates dropped?

Yes, it seems a little crazy, but it’s true. Here’s why:

Usually, markets anticipate Fed moves. That’s what happened here. In fact, investors were preparing for worse than the Fed delivered. The mortgage markets initially reacted favorably, and average mortgage rates fell, even if only temporarily.

What could all of this mean for you?

Fed Chair Yellen has indicated that policy rate increases may occur a couple more times in 2017.

If you’re in the market to purchase a home in Maine, it could mean that mortgage rates rise again in anticipation.

If you already have a home loan here in Vacationland, you may want to see how your current rate stacks up. Perhaps you’ll find that you still have an opportunity, or maybe you’ll simply be pleased to know that your rate compares favorably to what’s available today.

Want to see how rising rates and home prices can impact a mortgage payment? Check out this simple calculator.

I’m tracking rate changes daily and am happy to keep you informed whenever you like. Please reach out if I can answer any questions for you or help with financing (or re-financing) your Maine home.

If you have tax liens civil judgements or no credit at all, July 1 could be a big day for you.

Credit scores for millions of Americans may soon increase due to two major changes in credit scoring.

Starting July 1, the three major credit agencies — Experian, Equifax and TransUnion — are dropping certain negative information from credit reports, including tax liens and civil judgments.

This forthcoming change comes after FICO’s announcement last year that it has begun using wireless and cable bill payment history, along with utilities payments and background checks, to determine credit scores. The FICO XD aimed at individuals without a credit history and will also run from 300 to 850.

Tax liens and common obligations can have an important and negative effect on your FICO assessment. As indicated by FICO, in spite of the fact that the effect of a tax lien reduces after some time, its nearness on a credit report is “very serious.” Various FICO score simulations show that a tax lien could take upwards of 100 points off your score, making it hard to acquire credit or costly in the event that you do.

In the event that you have a tax lien or common obligation records on your credit report, the removal ought to have an important positive effect on your score. The change should occur on July 1 2017, and you ought to see a quick lift. You can track your VantageScore on free sites/apps like CreditKarma.

Tired of Paying FHA Mortgage Insurance?

Many Maine homeowners ask me how they can remove FHA monthly mortgage insurance premiums with their mortgages.

FHA insures mortgages so that lenders will be encouraged to make more mortgages available for people. The FHA mortgage insurance agreement is between FHA and the mortgage company, so you must contact your mortgage company and ask them what they require to drop the insurance. Most mortgage companies will want you to have a substantial amount of equity in your home.

If the periodic (monthly) mortgage insurance premiums are paid up for an FHA case before schedule (i.e., accelerated payments were made and the unpaid principal balance is 78% or less), the month and year the last monthly insurance premium is assessed (final bill date) can be changed by the servicer or holder of the mortgage.  However cancellation of the monthly premium can only be used for active risk-based cases that have a closing date after December 31, 2000 and a case number assignment date before June 3, 2013 and meet the eligibility requirements described in Mortgagee Letter 2000-46 (with Attachment).

For mortgages with an FHA case number assignment date on or after June 3, 2013, the FHA insurance can be terminated by the servicer or holder if the mortgage is paid in full before the maturity date.

To learn more about FHA mortgage insurance or anything mortgage related, reach out to me today  – seth@northstarmortgage.net  207-831-1903

Here’s a quick way to check out home sales near you.

When you sell or purchase a home, its appraised value is based largely on recent sales of similar properties nearby. Looking at recent sales can help you better understand the value of your own home or one you may someday hope to purchase.

 

Here’s an online resource that will allow you to check sales prices in your area. Listed transactions are up to one year old and fall within a maximum three-mile radius of the address you search. You can follow the link next to each property to see more details.

 

If you find this resource useful, I invite you to share it with others. When you have questions about home values or home financing, please reach out. I’ll be glad to help.

 

What Opportunities Have You Missed?

Buying Stock in Apple Computer for less than $10 per share. Buying up farmland during the Great Depression. Building a website to connect your friends before some kid from Harvard did it first.

“I was seldom able to see an opportunity until it had ceased to be one.” – Mark Twain
The world is full of opportunities missed. Funny thing is, at the time they were readily available or begging for attention, no one seemed to care. Those who actually took action were often dismissed as crazy.
What opportunities have you missed recently? With uncertainty and negative sentiment surrounding the real estate market for several years, some recognized opportunity and secured very good deals. Now, the market has undergone a fundamental shift. Home prices are rising, and many sellers are again in the driver’s seat.

There’s still time to act. If you feel safer taking action only once the direction of the market has been established, then that time has come. Buying when values are rising can add great comfort and peace of mind to the process.
There’s still time to choose. We all need a place to live, and we usually have just two choices—to rent or own. Over the long haul, owning has proved to be one of the most fruitful paths to prosperity. Renting has done the same—for the landlord!
Still, the choice is yours. If you’re ready to seize the moment and secure your future now, opportunity looms large. A home purchase may not make you tomorrow’s next multi-billionaire. But it can do wonders for your pride, long term prosperity, comfort and stability.
Call us today 207-831-1903 to discuss opportunities the Brunswick, Maine housing market may hold for you!

Take action to buy a home for the first time.

We all know the old line about location. But buying a home takes research, research, research, too.

You will want to determine:

How much you can comfortably afford. The pre-approval process, which entails full documentation and credit check, is the best way to determine the numbers that are right for you. Early in your search, you can identify any potential hurdles and focus only on homes truly available to you.

How much cash you need to close. Knowing how much cash you’ll need to close and, ideally, consolidating those funds into one account will help to prevent stress and ease the process later.

What kind of property you really want. Single family, multi-family, condo, co-op, Victorian, Colonial, Cape, split, ranch, cottage, cabin, teepee…home types and legal distinctions are plentiful. Whether you are open to several styles or have your heart set on only one, narrowing your search will save time and prepare you to act when the perfect home hits the market.

Where you want to be and how long you’ll want to be there. You’ll want to strike a balance between buying what you can afford and buying what will accommodate your needs for longer than just the first few years. Assess your plans for growing your family and how your income might grow to match. Planning ahead is especially important in today’s market, when trading up tomorrow may mean both a more expensive home and a higher mortgage rate.

How the process works. This is a time when the Internet doesn’t have all the answers. The process varies for many reasons, including area and custom. Generally, purchases include: Offer, Acceptance, Inspections, Contract, Loan Application, Appraisal, Title, Loan Approval, Closing/Funding and Moving In. Many little steps can fall in between, and the process won’t always occur in a given order. It pays to speak with local experts early.

Reach out when you’re ready, and we’ll help you understand the nuances of your market today.