An article (hat tip to Julie Hall) caught my eye in my Facebook stream regarding how much income a household needs in order to be able to buy a home in various metropolitan cities. According to New York Smash, if you’re going to buy a home in Seattle, you’re going to need an annual income of at least $63,145.41. There’s more to just how much income one makes when it comes to determining “how much” home someone can qualify for. The article does not mention how much down payment a person will need. Let’s run some figures to see just how much income one needs to buy a home in Seattle.
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.
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.
If you’re considering buying a home, many real estate agents and/or sellers will require a preapproval letter. A preapproval letter is different than being “prequalified”. Being prequalifed means that you have provided verbal information to a mortgage originator to get an idea of what you qualify for. Being preapproved means that you are providing documentation that supports the information you have provided. Income, employment, assets and credit are verified for a preapproval.
Some preapproval letters aren’t worth the paper they’re written on. Especially if the mortgage originator you’re working with does not require supporting documentation before preparing the letter. If you have not provided supporting documentation (listed below) to your mortgage originator – you’re probably just prequalified and not actually preapproved.
Here is a list of documents you may be required to provide in order to obtain a preapproval:
This is a common question from first time home buyers. When working with home buyers who are just beginning the process, after discussing credit and other information, I like to ask in return:
- What type of monthly mortgage payment would you be comfortable making?
- How much money are you planning on using for a down payment and closing costs.
To me, it’s better to solve for your potential sales price rather than finding a home or getting your heart set on a certain sales price first before knowing what you actually qualify for.
For example, Seattle Sally has saved up $75,000 and would like to use $40,000 towards a home purchase. She has been paying anywhere from $2,200 – $2,000 a month for rent and would like to keep her payment around $2000.
NOTE: Rates quoted below are from October 2009 and are outdated. If you would like a current mortgage rate quote for your home located in Washington, please contact me.
Beginning with a conventional scenario, a payment of $2038 (principal, interest, estimated property taxes, estimated home owners insurance and private mortgage insurance) with about $40,000 for down payment and closing costs would produce a sales price of $325,000. This is based on a 30 year fixed rate of 4.625%* (apr 4.790).
A sales price of $365,000 with a 10% down payment and the sellers contributing towards closing costs would produce a payment of about $2283.
The only issue I would have with the conventional financing is that private mortgage insurance is that these days, pmi underwriters are picking all mortgages to pieces.
FHA would provide a total payment of $2076 with about $40,000 for down payment and closing costs and a sales price of $325,000. This is based on a rate of 4.875% (apr 5.400).
If we have the seller pay most of the closing costs and prepaids, a payment of $2287 would produce a sales price of $365,000 with Sally bringing in approx. $38,000 for down payment and closing.
One thing to consider, beyond more forgiving underwriting, with FHA is that your mortgage will be assumable. Imagine having a rate of 4.875% a few years from now when rates will most likely be much higher. If you are a seller competing with other similar home on the market, and you can offer an assumable mortgage at a tempting rate–this will be a serious advantage. Once inflation happens, mortgage rates will be much higher.
If Seattle Sally’s credit score comes in lower than expected (this is all based on very preliminary information) FHA may become a better option as well.
*rates quotes are as of 1:30pm on October 8, 2009 and are based on mid credit scores of 740 or higher. Rates can and do change often. Follow me on Twitter to see live rate quotes.