The Puget Sound Business Journal recently posted an article about a 1,100 square foot home in Ballard that sold $158,000 over list price. There is no denying that Seattle’s real estate market is hot largely due to lack of inventory and rising rents. (A’ hem…if you have been considering selling your Seattle area home, now could be the time).
EDITORS NOTE 10/23/2015: This post has been updated to include the new disclosures and wait periods required per the Dodd Frank Act effective on loan applications dated October 3, 2015 and later. Click here to read the updated post.
The process of getting a mortgage consists of several stages and typically takes anywhere from 20 – 40 days (or more) depending on how prepared you are, what mortgage program you have selected and if it’s a purchase, the closing date may dictate how long the process will take. The steps below may not take place in the exact order I have listed and some steps may happen simultaneously.
If you have been waiting for Congress to pass HARP 3.0 or have been previously turned down for a refinance because of lost equity in your home, you might consider trying to refinance again.
With an FHA streamlined refi, most folks have the misconception due to the program name “streamlined” that the refinances are close very quickly and are a slam dunk with little to no paperwork. While they do close quicker than a typical refinance since more often than not, you’re not waiting on an appraisal, if you’re going for a lower cost or better rate, you’re probably opting for a “credit qualifying” FHA streamlined refi. What’s the difference?
FHA streamlined credit qualifying basically means that the borrower is providing income and asset documents, just like a regular refinance. By providing documentation that shows they actually qualify for the new mortgage, lenders provide preferred pricing. Since it is a “manual” underwrite (a real human is underwriting the loan and not a computer program) the debt to income ratio is limited to 45%.
FHA streamlined non-credit qualifying is when income documentation is not provided and not stated on the loan application. The borrower’s income is not a consideration. Because of the higher risk, the rate or pricing is often slightly higher.
EDITORS NOTE: Rates quoted below are expired (years old!!)…for a current mortgage rate quote for your home in Washington state, click here.
Right now (July 25, 2012 at 11:00 am) I’m working on a quote for an FHA streamlined refinance for a home located in Seattle. The rates quoted below are based on mid credit scores of 680 – 720 with no appraisal and the base loan amount is $289,000.
FHA credit qualifying 30 year fixed: 3.375% (apr 4.548) priced with just over 1 point in rebate credit which will cover closing cost and some of the prepaids/reserves. Principal and interest payment is $1300.01.
FHA non-credit qualifying 30 year fixed: 3.750% (apr 4.934) priced just under 1 point (about 0.25% difference in fee) which covers closing cost and some of the prepaids/reserves. Principal and interest payment is $1361.82.
NOTE: for a current rate quote on a home located anywhere in Washington state, based on today’s pricing and your scenario, click here.
What type of supporting documentation is required? This is in additional to a complete loan application and credit report.
- Copy of your existing mortgage Note
- Copy of your mortgage statement (we need to document a “Net Tangible Benefit”)
- Bank statement (all pages) if funds are due at closing. Large deposits may be required to be documented.
- Drivers license
- Social security card
- Payoff obtained from escrow company documenting that the current month’s mortgage payment has been made
Credit qualifying: all the above, plus…
- last two years W2s
- last two years tax returns (if self employed)
- most recent paystubs documenting 30 days of income
- most recent bank statements (all pages) documenting at least funds for closing. Large deposits may be required to be documented.
Additional documentation may be required depending on your personal scenario.
Whether you opt for non-credit qualifying or credit qualifying is your choice and depends on your financial scenario. When rates and pricing are the same for both scenarios, most would opt for “non-credit” qualifying. Since recent changes with how HUD prices FHA mortgage insurance for some loans, there has been major changes with which banks are offering FHA streamlines and how they’re pricing them.
If I can help you refinance your FHA loan on your home located anywhere in Washington state, please contact me.
There is a lot of interest in the FHA streamlined refinance since HUD has greatly reduced the mortgage insurance premiums for some home owners who originated their existing FHA mortgage May 2009 and earlier. FHA streamlined refinances are designed to reduce mortgage payments and borrowers are not allowed to take “cash out” or pay off existing helocs or second mortgages. In order to qualify for an FHA streamlined refiance, the borrower must have made at least six payments on the FHA loan and needs to be current with the mortgage. Here are a few tips on FHA streamlined refinances I thought I’d share with you.
No appraisal required. If you opt to not have an appraisal, then your new loan amount may not exceed your current loan amount. This means that your closing cost and prepaids/reserves cannot be financed (upfront mortgage insurance is still allowed to be rolled into the loan). Closing cost and prepaids/reserves may be paid for with interest rate rebate credit or cash at closing. If you opt to have an appraisal, then your loan amount may be increased.
Credit qualifying vs non credit qualifying. FHA streamline refi’s may not require verification of your income or assets (non-credit qualifying). Did you know that you may qualify for improved pricing if you opt for a credit qualifying FHA streamlined refi? Pricing varies throughout the day and when I’m locking an FHA streamlined refi for a Washington area homeowner, if pricing is the same, I’ll opt for non-credit qualifying. However if pricing is improved for a credit qualifying streamlined refinance, I’ll advise my client of the pricing differences and let them decide which route they prefer.
Underwriting overlays. Although HUDs guidelines might state something different, the banks and lenders we work with allow us to help home owners who have a low-mid credit score of 640 or higher. If your credit score is below 640, you may want to consider working directly with your bank.
Net tangible benefit. HUD requires that the loan “makes sense” and that is defined as a reduction in your mortgage payment (principal, interest and mortgage insurance) of at least 5%. It may also mean refinancing your FHA ARM into an FHA fixed rate product. Unfortunately, if you’re refinancing an FHA 30 year to a FHA 15 year fixed rate product, and your payment does not go down by 5%, you will not meet the current “net tangible benefit” requirement – even if you’re doing a “credit qualifying” FHA streamlined refinance and fully disclosing your income. This is something HUD needs to correct, in my opinion.
Reduced mortgage insurance premiums. HUD has announced reduced mortgage insurance premiums (both annual and upfront) for FHA loans that were endorsed (insured) by HUD prior to June 1, 2009. FHA loans are endorsed by HUD after closing – sometimes several weeks after closing so it’s possible your FHA mortgage closed in May of 2009 and not endorsed until after the cut-off date.
Credit of your existing upfront mortgage insurance premium (UFMIP). If your existing FHA insured mortgage was originated over the past three years, it may not quaify for qualify for the reduced mortgage insurance, however, you probably will receive a refund of a portion of the original UFMIP. The refund is credited towards the closing cost of your new FHA loan and ranges from 80% to 10% of the original UFMIP by the 36th month.
FHA streamlined refinances are available for non-owner occupied homes too! If you have a home that has been converted to a rental property and the underlying mortgage is FHA, it’s eligible for an FHA streamlined refinance as long as the owner occupied it for a least 12 months. With a non-onwer occupied FHA streamlined refinance, it must be done without an appriasal so no closing cost may be financed (except the upfront MIP).
If you are interested in refinancing your existing FHA insured mortgage on a home located anywhere in Washington, I’m happy to help you. I’ve been originating FHA home loans at Mortgage Master Service Corporation since April 2000, where we have in house FHA underwriters at our main office in King County. Click here for your FHA rate quote.
When the expanded guidelines of the Home Affordable Refinance Program (aka HARP 2) were released late last year, they announced that loan to value (LTV) restrictions were being removed. It all sounds very simple however, no big surprise here, there’s a little more to it.