Why use an FHA Mortgage for your home loan?

mortgageporter-thinkingWhen Washington state home buyers and home owners request a mortgage rate quote from me, they have many options, including FHA or conventional financing. Over recent years, conventional financing has become a more popular mortgage than FHA, despite FHA’s lower down payment requirements.

What’s not so hot about FHA?

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Seattle RE Chat – FHA’s HAWK Program [Video]

In this episode of Seattle Real Estate Chat, Jim Reppond and I discuss FHA’s HAWK program with special guest, Frances Flynn Thorsen.

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Is it time to refi your FHA mortgage?

mortgageporter-thinkingWith the appreciation homes are seeing in the greater Seattle – King County area, home owners who purchased their home a couple years ago using an FHA mortgage may now be able to refinance into a conventional mortgage. FHA mortgages are often used when a home buyer needs a lower down payment option or if credit scores are lower. FHA jumbo mortgages offer home buyers lower down payment with higher loan amounts than what conforming mortgages will permit. There are many reasons why someone might opt for an FHA mortgage when buying a home.

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The FHA HAWK Program for Homebuyers

Osprey_muralA few weeks ago, HUD announced a new program created for first time home buyers which rewards them with reduced mortgage insurance premiums after they participate in home buyer education and one-on-one housing counseling. HAWK or Homeowners Armed with Knowledge is a pilot program set be released in two phases on a limited basis.

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Now offering FULL FHA 203k Rehab Mortgages

mortgageporterhouseAn FHA 203k rehab mortgage is great for fixing up a home that you’re considering buying and may even be used to make improvements to your primary residence with an FHA 203k refi. Many lenders offer the “FHA streamlined 203k rehab” loan which limits the amount of funds that can be used for the rehab project. Unlike a streamline 203k, the rehab process is allowed to take up to six months to complete.  I’m very pleased that Mortgage Master Service Company is now offering the FULL FHA 203k program.

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2014 FHA Loan Limits Reduced in Washington State

Last week, HUD announced the FHA loan limits for 2014 with most counties in Washington having loan limits reduced from 2013 levels. In the Seattle/King County area, FHA loan amounts for a single unit dwelling will be reduced by $61,500 from $567,500 to $506,000 in 2014. Kitsap County was hit the hardest with a reduction of $167,950 for single unit dwellings. The higher loan limits that we have appreciated over the past few years were intended to be “temporary” and HUD has been attempting to shrink FHA’s footprint, so we shouldn’t be too surprised over the lower loan limits.

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2014 FHA Loan Limits for Washington State

FHA loan limits for 2014 have been reduced from 2013. For a home located in greater Seattle, the new FHA loan limit is reduced from $567,500 to $506,000 in 2014. The reductions are across the board for Washington state counties and some loan limits are below 2014 conforming loan limits.

FHA streamline refinances without appraisals and with loan amounts over the the 2014 loan limits will not be subject to the new loan limits.

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Want Conventional with 3% Down? Check out Home Advantage.

2013-03-07_0746This past weekend, Fannie Mae implemented new underwriting standards raising the minimum down payment for a conventional loan from 3% to 5% down…with an exception. The exception allows for certain community based programs, like those offered through the Washington State Housing Finance Commission to still provide 3% down conventional mortgages. I have confirmed with WSHFC that the Home Advantage Program will continue to all a minimum 3% down payment.

For more information about the Home Advantage Mortgage Program, please click here.

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