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.

[Read more…]

Mortgage Insurance loses tax deduction benefit in 2014

mortgageporterraiseOver the past few years, home owners have enjoyed deducting private mortgage insurance (pmi) premiums from their income tax. This is also true for government forms of mortgage insurance (aka funding fee or guarantee fee) with FHA, VA and USDA mortgage loans. This benefit is coming to an end effective on 2014 tax returns.

[Read more…]

Seattle Rising Home Prices is Good News for Refinancing

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.

[Read more…]

One month left before FHA mortgage insurance is permanent…SO WHAT??

Borrowers not wanting to have FHA mortgage insurance as part of their mortgage payment for the life of the loan have about thirty days to take action. This shouldn’t be a reason to panic. 🙂

Effective FHA case numbers issued June 3, 2013 and later, FHA mortgage insurance will become a permanent part of the FHA mortgage payment.

Why do I say “SO WHAT?”

[Read more…]

Mortgage rate update for the week of April 8, 2013

Mortgage rates continue to remain at historically low levels. Homeowners who have not recently refinanced may want to contact their mortgage professional to see if they can reduce how much they’re paying on interest.

Something that’s not staying low in the Seattle/King County area is home prices. The Seattle Times reports that in March, home prices are up 20% year over year. The median price for a home sold last month in Seattle jumped to $462,375. This is largely due to a lack of inventory. If you’ve been considering selling your home, now may be a good time.

Here are some of the economic indicators scheduled to be released this week:

Wednesday, April 10: FOMC Minutes

Thursday, April 11: Initial Jobless Claims

Friday, April 12: Retail Sales; Producer Price Index (PPI); Consumer Sentiment Index (UoM)

Also important to note: there has been some confusion as to the recent changes to mortgage insurance premiums on FHA loans regarding when the coverage terminates. FHA mortgage insurance will not become permanent until June 2013 and impacts newly originated FHA loans only with case numbers issued after May 31, 2013.

If I can help you with your home purchase or refinance for your home located anywhere in Washington state, please contact me. Have a great week!

Get Ready for Round 2 of Changes to FHA Mortgages

mortgageporter-round-twoEffective this week, FHA annual mortgage insurance premiums were once again increased on loans with case numbers issued April 1, 2013 or later by 10 to 15 basis points. This is just the first round of changes that were issued with HUD Mortgage Letter 2013-04.

[Read more…]

No Fooling! Time’s Running Out on Reduced FHA Mortgage Insurance Premiums

There are just a few days left before FHA mortgages will have another increase to annual mortgage insurance premiums. Effective with case numbers issued April 1, 2013 and later, FHA annual mortgage insurance premiums will adjust an additional 10 bps to 15 bps.

[Read more…]

Five weeks remaining before FHA mortgage insurance premiums increase

HUD has scheduled another increase to FHA annual mortgage insurance premiums effective with new case numbers obtained April 1, 2013 and later. FHA’a annual mortgage insurance premiums are paid monthly and are set to rise by 10 basis points.

For example, a base loan amount of $400,000 with a loan to value of 95% or lower, currently has a monthly mortgage insurance premium of $396.65 based on a rate of 1.20%. After the new mortgage insurance rates go into effect, this monthly premium will be $429.71 – an increase of $33.06 per month.

NOTE: Home owners who currently have FHA insured mortgages for their primary or investment properties and who had those mortgages guaranteed by FHA prior to June 1, 2009 will still qualify for reduced mortgage insurance premiums with FHA streamlined refinances. If you’re not one of these lucky home owners, you may want to take action now!

In addition, with new FHA loans as of June 3, 2013, FHA mortgage insurance will remain on the life of the loan. The only way to terminate it is to refinance out of an FHA loan or pay the loan off. Currently, FHA annual mortgage insurance is set to drop off the loan after it reaches a 78% loan to value and a minimum of 60 mortgage payments have been made. However with a minimum down payment scenario, it often takes closer to nine years before the loan to value reaches 78%. I would bet that many Washington home owners either refinance or sell their homes before their mortgage insurance drops off. Regardless, if you want to avoid having to pay FHA mortgage insurance for the life of that FHA insured mortgage, you’ll need to have your FHA case number prior to June 3, 2013.

What can you do?

If you want to avoid having a higher mortgage payment and you’re considering an FHA loan for your refinance or home purchase, you have a short window of opportunity to secure your lower payment now. An FHA Case number is not your application date. It is actually obtained shortly after you have a bona fide transaction and application. As we near the April 1 date, if you have a new FHA mortgage in process, you will want to confirm with your mortgage professional that your FHA case number has been secured. (They can provide you your FHA case number as proof).

I have been helping people with FHA insured mortgages since April 2000 at Mortgage Master Service Corporation. If you would like me to provide you with a rate quote for your home located anywhere in Washington State, click here.