What’s the difference between Fannie Mae Homepath and Freddie Mac Homesteps?

EDITORS NOTE: Fannie Mae is no longer offering the FannieMae HomePath mortgage program. If you are considering buying a Fannie Mae HomePath property (foreclosure that is owned by Fannie Mae) in Washington state, I’m happy to help you.

[Read more…]

HUD extends Waiver for “Anti-Flipping” Rule through 2012

Mortgageporterhouse

UPDATE: HUD HAS ANNOUNCED THIS WAIVER WILL BE EXTENDED THROUGH DECEMBER 2014.

HUD recently announced they will extend their anti-flipping waiver through December 2012.  From HUD:

In an effort to continue stabilizing home values and improve conditions in communities experiencing high foreclosure activity…[HUD] will extend FHA’s temporary waiver of the anti-flipping regulations. 

With certain exceptions, FHA regulations prohibit insuring a mortgage on a home owned by the seller for less than 90 days… The new extension will permit buyers to continue to use FHA-insured financing to purchase HUD-owned properties, bank-owned properties, or properties resold through private sales. It will allow homes to resell as quickly as possible, helping to stabilize real estate prices and to revitalize neighborhoods and communities.

The extension is effective through December 31, 2012, unless otherwise extended or withdrawn by FHA.  All other terms of the existing Waiver will remain the same. The Waiver contains strict conditions and guidelines to prevent the predatory practice of property flipping, in which properties are quickly resold at inflated prices to unsuspecting borrowers.  The Waiver continues to be limited to sales meeting the following conditions:

  • All transactions must be arms-length, with no identity of interest between the buyer and seller or other parties participating in the sales transaction. 
  • In cases in which the sales price of the property is 20 percent or more above the seller’s acquisition cost, the Waiver will only apply if the lender meets specific conditions and documents the justification for the increase in value.
  • The Waiver is limited to forward mortgages, and does not apply to the Home Equity Conversion Mortgage (HECM) for purchase program. [Reverse Mortgages]

In addition to what HUD covered in their email on Friday, the waiver also specifies that:

  • the sale must be by the owner of record
  • the property may not have been a repeatedly “flipped” over the past year
  • the property was marketed openly and fairly

When a home is being resold 20% or higher than what the seller purchased the property for in less than 90 days, often times a second appraisal will be required and the seller will need to show documentation to support the increased value in the home, such as receipts for the improvements made. A property inspection report will also be required by the lender to assure the quality of the improvements made to the property. Any health or safety issues disclosed by the property inspection will need to be corrected.

If a home has been re-sold withing 91-180 days at more at 100% or more than the seller’s acquisition cost, the same conditions will apply. If a second appraisal is required, the home buyer is not allowed to pay for it per HUD. Thanks to LO Comp, which the Fed passed in April, your friendly mortgage originator cannot use their commission to pay for this cost either.

Investors who are reselling in a short period of time for a much higher amount than their acquisition cost should be prepared for the cost of the second appraisal when the buyer is using FHA for financing. Folks should also retain detailed records of improvements (including all receipts) when they’re planning to quickly resale a home. The seller’s acquisition cost is the sales price of the home, plus the seller’s closing cost, including real estate commissions. It does not include any repairs.  

If you are considering buying a home located anywhere in Washington State, I’m happy to help you! Click here for a mortgage rate quote for homes located anywhere in Washington.  I’ve been originating home loans at Mortgage Master Service Corporation since April 2000, including FHA insured loans.

The Low Down: Comparing FHA to Fannie Mae Homepath Mortgages


EDITORS NOTE: Fannie Mae is no longer offering the FannieMae HomePath mortgage program. If you are considering buying a Fannie Mae HomePath property (foreclosure that is owned by Fannie Mae) in Washington state, I’m happy to help you. 

If you’re thinking about buying a home with minimum down payment requirements in the greater Seattle area, you may be considering a property that is owned by Fannie Mae and eligible for the Fannie Mae Homepath Mortgage or using an FHA insured loan which most properties qualify for.  When home buyers contact me about a Fannie Mae Homepath mortgage, they often ask how it compares to an FHA insured loan. Both are great programs and the benefits may vary depending on credit score, down payment and the type of property.

[Read more…]

How much can Sellers contribute towards Closing Cost?

If negotiated in your purchase and sales agreement, a Seller may agree to chip in towards some or all of your bona fide closing costs, prepaids and reserves.  They cannot contribute towards your down payment.  The amount the seller can contribute varies depending on the program type and the amount of home buyer’s down payment. The percentage is based on the sales price and if the credit exceeds the closing cost, the mortgage originator can often use it towards discount points to buy down the interest rate.

[Read more…]

Buying a Condo or Townhome?

iStock_000061440694_MediumCondos come in many forms including high-rises, converted apartment buildings and even some town-homes may be condominiums depending on how they are legally described.  If you’re planning on buying a condo and not paying cash for your purchase, here are a few things to look out for where lenders may have an issue with.

[Read more…]

The Mortgage Process: Contemplating Buying a Home to Getting Preapproved

For a while now, I’ve had this idea floating around in my head that with four years of articles at Mortgage Porter, I really should organize the post by the actual mortgage process.  Right now, my blog is traditionally organized chronologically and by categories.  I’m not changing that at all…what I am planning on doing is reposting the articles I most commonly refer to for my clients in an order that follows the mortgage process.  This will be a post I will continue to update with new content via links to the article…it’s a work in progress!  

In my opinion, someone considering buying a home should start researching the process months before actually entering into a purchase and sales agreement.  So that’s where we’ll start:

Considering Buying a Home?

Getting on Track to Buy Your Home

Basic Tips for Homebuyers

How Much Home Can I Afford?

That new car with cost you!

Tips for Improving Your Credit Score

Game Plan for if your credit score is low.

Getting Preapproved

Are You Really Preapproved or just Prequalified?

Debt to Income Ratios (aka DTI)

Do I Really Have to Provide All Pages of My Bank Statements?

What is required to document income?

Documentation for Self Employed or Commissioned Paid Borrowers

Why it pays to get preapproved early:  You may think you know your credit score

Preapproval Letters Defined

What should a preapproval letter contain?

Relocating to Washington State and getting preapproved for a mortgage

Is my Preapproval Letter Still Valid wth all the Rate Changes?

Planning Your Funds for Closing

Funds for closing when you’re buying a home

How much do I need for a down payment?

Gifts from Parents:  FHA and Conventional

We’ve just started the process with this post addressing considering buying a home to getting preapproved!  Watch for future post where I’ll organize articles I’ve written on being in a transaction.

Buying a Home with Owner Occupied Financing After Refinancing Your Home as Owner Occupied

I’m seeing a trend where home owners are refinancing their current home as “owner occupied” and then weeks after closing, try buying another home as “owner occupied”.  You cannot have two owner occupied homes.   It’s really that simple. 

I’ve had a couple of surprised people contact me who thought they could buy a home just following a refinance only to learn by their mortgage originator that they have to finance the new home as an investment property.   Financing an investment property not only offers a slightly higher interest rate than a mortgage for a primary residence, it also has tougher guidelines with higher down payment requirements and greater reserves (savings).  

If you are considering refinancing your primary residence and possibly buying another home, you should discuss this with your mortgage originator as soon as possible.  You will be signing a deed of trust which has language that you intend to occupy that home for 12 months.  Some folks might feel that the “intending to occupy” means that they can refinance as owner occupied and a couple months later buy “owner occupied” and odds are, they will be caught.  It may be purely unintended for this to happen, but be prepared for the possibility the new purchase to be treated as an investment property, even if you’re going to live there. 

If you’re considering taking advantage of the lower home prices and lower rates, you may want to delay your refinance of your current “primary residence” or talk to your mortgage originator about refinancing your current home as an investment property.  Your next purchase might qualify as a second home, however the property typically needs to be about 50 miles away from your primary residence (the one you just refinanced) and it is the underwriter’s call on whether or not the second home “makes sense”…this can be a real grey area.  

Life happens and we know plans change. Be upfront with your mortgage professional if you’re thinking about buying a home.  You may want to ask them to verify with your personal scenario with an underwriter.  Finding yourself in the middle of a transaction to buy your next home and having it declined as owner occupied can be an expensive experience.

Related post:

Is it a Primary Residence, Second Home or Investment Property

Can I Convert My Existing Home to an Investment Property to Buy My Next Home?

How Much Do I Need for Down Payment to Buy a Home?

When you buy a home, most loans require a down payment.  A “down payment” is the difference between the loan amount (what is being financed) and the sales price.   Down payment percentages are based on the sales price.  Be prepared for every dollar that is used for your down payment to be documented or sourced (including large deposits reflected on your statements).  In addition to the down payment, there may be closing costs and reserves.  

Closing costs can be paid by lender credit (via an increase in interest rate) and sometimes the seller can contribute to closing costs.  If the seller is paying for closing costs, there may be restrictions based on the program type and the amount of down payment you are making.  If the seller is paying your closing costs, it needs to be negotiated in the purchase and sales agreement.   Reserves are the savings the lender wants you to have in your account after closing typically measured by months of your proposed mortgage payments.   It’s safe to plan on at least two months of proposed mortgage payments to be in your bank after closing for “reserves” whether your lender or loan program requries it or not. 

Some home buyers select their mortgage based on down payment requirements.  Here are some different programs beginning zero down payment options for homes that are owner occupied/primary residence.

VA Loans.  If you served our country, thank you.  You may qualify for a VA loan which allows zero down payment and the seller is permitted to pay 100% of your closing costs.   Zero down payment is available up to the VA loan limit, which in King, Pierce and Snohomish county is currently $481,250.   If your loan amount is above the current VA loan limit, your required down payment is 25% of difference between the loan limit and the sales price.   There is no mortgage insurance, however VA loans do have a one time funding fee.

USDA loans.  Homebuyers who are willing to live in a rural area and who meet income guidelines can also buy with zero down payment.  Like VA loans, there is no mortgage insurance and there is a one time funding fee.  Again, USDA loans have income and geographic restrictions.

FHA.  Currently FHA will allow a down payment as low as 3.5%.  Current FHA loan limits in the greater Seattle area is $567,500.  FHA loans do have mortgage insurance (upfront and monthly).  Sellers can currently contribute up to 6% of closing costs and prepaids, however this (and possibly the down payment) guideline are expected to change.  A family member can gift the down payment requirement of 3.5% which would effective make an FHA loan “zero down” for the home buyer.

Conventional.  Conventional programs are Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac programs.  If you’re putting down 20% or more, you avoid private mortgage insurance.   Any purchase with less than 20% down payment will most likely have private mortgage insurance.  Seller contributions towards closing costs and gifts from parents vary depending on your amount of down payment.

Private mortgage insurance rates and guidelines vary based on the loan to value (the amount of your down payment), credit scores and programs.  The lower your down payment, the more expensive the cost and the tougher the guidelines are because the loan is more risk for the private mortgage insurance company.

Fannie Mae Homepath.  Fannie Mae’s Homepath allows home buyers to purchase a foreclosed home owned by Fannie Mae with as little as 3% down payment, with no private mortgage insurance and no appraisal.  Fannie Mae often offers additional “special” incentive programs, including contributing towards closing cost.  This program is limited to specific homes that Fannie Mae currently owns.

Non-conforming/Jumbo loans. In the Seattle/King County area, any loan that is over $567,500 is a “jumbo loan”.   The loan limit varies depending on what county the home is located in.  For homes that are not in a designted ”high cost” area, a non-conforming loan amount is any loan $417,001 or higher. 

Plan on at least 20% down payment and having roughly six months reserves after closing depending on how many properties you currently own.  

I do have other resources that will allow a lower down payment of 10% down with a loan limit of $600,000 and “self insurance” (slightly higher rate in lieu of private mortgage insurance). 

What happened to piggy-back mortgages?   Every once in a while I’m contacted by a borrower who is interested in an 80-10-10 which would allow a borrower to put 10% down payment, using a second mortgage to make up for the difference between the first (primary) mortgage and the down payment.   Currently, most lenders are offering a maximum loan to value of 75 or 80% 85% which rules out the 80/10/10 scenario.  UPDATE August 25, 2011: Some of the lenders we work with are offering second mortgages up to 85% loan to value to well qualifed borrowers.

If you are considering buying a home located in Washington state, I’m happy to review your down payment options with you and help you develop your home purchasing plan.

Related post:

How to Buy a Home with $10,000

How Much Home Can I Afford?