The news companies, the government, the banks have all created a great amount of confusion in the mortgage/home loan world. As it is an industry I have a great amount of experience with, I thought I would try to demystify some of the tales.
- Harp is a great program. It is a government sponsored program where you can refinance your current mortgage without regard to the value of your home. Its purpose is to help all of us that are underwater with our home mortgage. Here are the basic facts:
- Your home loan has to be owned by Freddie Mac or Fannie Mae. This is not who you make your payments to. The only way to check for sure is go to this website for Fannie Mae and this website for Freddie Mac.
- Your last mortgage (refinance or purchase) has to have been made prior to June 1, 2009.
- You need decent credit and decent income. Nothing spectacular.
- If you did not have mortgage insurance before, you won’t now.
- For seniors, the reverse mortgage can be a life saver. The number of seniors that have to choose to buy their medicine or groceries each month is staggering. This HUD insured program can greatly improve seniors qualify of life. Here are some facts:
- The senior maintains title to their home.
- The senior never has to make a mortgage payment
- Everyone on title to the home has to be 62 or older.
- If you don’t have much of a down payment, the VA loan is a great alternative (you need to be a Vet). No money down, great rates, no mortgage insurance. You will have the lowest monthly payment of all low down payment programs. If you are a vet, you need to look at this loan.
- Rural Development loan. The US Department of agriculture has a loan similar to an FHA loan but much better. Here are some of the details:
- You do not need a down payment.
- The mortgage insurance is very small – about 1/4 of what FHA’s mortgage insurance is.
- You must be in a USDA approved area. All of Collier County qualifies along with much of Lee County.
Call me if you have any questions. My goal is to have you make informed decisions – especially on things as important as your home.