The FHA Streamline Refinance program.
No appraisal, no closing costs, easy qualifying, and even skip a month of payments.
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No appraisal, no closing costs, easy qualifying, and even skip a month of payments.
Saint Paul, MN: These are certainly trying times, and 70% of homeowners have some sort of financing on their home. The economy is hurting, and fear of job loss is on many minds. But what you should be doing in today’s market isn’t always clear.
The economy is hurting largely because of the initial wave of foreclosures and high gas prices of earlier in 2008. This has spilling over into all aspects of American lives, but is it really as bad as the constant beat of the media drum has one to believe?
Unemployment nationwide is averaging in the 8% range. This is significantly below the highs of years past. Foreclosures are still at historic high levels. These reports sound bad, but sit back and take a look at your own individual lives to examine if it really is bad for you and what you should be doing.
For example, while possible job loss is on a lot of minds, examine your own ability to market yourself? No job is guaranteed. If you did lose your job, how quickly can you replace it with a similar income, even if in a different field.
I am in the mortgage business, which clearly is suffering. I don’t worry about my home or income, because I know that if needed, I would take two or three jobs (even menial jobs) to always make sure my family has the three most important items: Shelter, food, and clothing. I know I can cut off cable TV, sell cars, cut expenses, and go into survival mode and that I will always be able to provide the basics.
If unemployment is averaging 8%, this means 92% of people are working. If foreclosures are averaging 10% of homes, this means 90% of people are OK. Turn off the TV, stop reading the paper. If you didn’t hear and read all the “bad news”, how would YOU personally view your situation?
BUYING A HOME: We all need a place to live. Home prices are extremely attractive, with great deals to be found everywhere. Mortgage rates are near historic lows. If you have OK or better credit, can come up with a small down payment, plan on staying in the home for at least four years, you are almost foolish to not buy something TODAY.
MODIFYING YOUR EXISTING LOAN: Many people bought homes they shouldn’t have and took risky loans to do so. Simply because a lender said yes, doesn’t mean you should have. Even more people who originally bought right used their homes as ATM machines, with a constant “cash out” refinance to pay credit cards and live lifestyles they couldn’t afford. I just spoke with a customer who bought this home 15-years ago for $85,000 who is losing it to foreclosure owing $300,000.
As little as two years ago, getting a bank to modify your loan was rare, and required you to be seriously behind in payments. Today, banks are very willing to help keep you in your home by modifying your payments. Workouts vary greatly depending on many variables, but the best ones we see lower your rate to around 3% for 5-years. Then the rates start adjusting back to where they originally were.
Unfortunately, we are seeing two problems emerge with modification. The first, is many people who got loan modifications fairly quickly fall behind again. While no one wants to lose a home, you must be realistic. Many times I speak with people where I calculate a payment based on ZERO percent, and they still tell me they can’t make the payment. Modifying only delays the inevitable. Getting out completely and into a situation you can afford releases untold weight off your shoulders.
REFINANCING YOUR EXISTING LOAN: Minnesota refinance rates are currently hovering near historic lows and it is well worth thinking about getting something better if you qualify. The basic criteria is that if you can lower your rate and you’ll be there long enough to at least break even on the closing costs, then it is a smart move.
So, should you be buying a home, modifying your existing loan, refinancing, or running away? It all depends, but I suggest we all stop living in fear, properly analyze our lives and personal situations, take our heads out of the sand, and make well educated decisions to put our lives in a better place.
An original article by Joe Metzler (C) 2012 Metzler Enterprises, LLC for www.MnRealEstateDaily.com
Minneapolis, MN: For certain FHA loan backed homeowners, refinancing via the FHA Streamline Refinance program is about to get a lot less expensive. Beginning June 11, 2012, FHA implements a new policy for its mortgage insurance rates.
FHA mortgage rates have been steadily falling. Unfortunately, the FHA mortgage insurance rates have not. Today’s FHA homeowners pay up to 1.25% in annual mortgage insurance premiums — triple the rates that FHA backed homeowners paid just 4 years ago.
For new FHA homeowners, those buying a home today and using the FHA’s low down payment mortgage program, for example — the FHA’s rising mortgage insurance rates are a nuisance more than anything else. High insurance premiums are the price you pay for getting access to a mortgage with just 3.5% down.
But, for homeowners who already have an FHA backed loan, rising mortgage insurance rates have made it difficult to qualify for the FHA Streamline Refinance, the FHA’s “no appraisal needed” refinance program. This is because while for many people, we can lower their interest rate over 1%, the new higher mortgage insurance costs eat up all the savings. The program rules state that a mortgage applicant’s mortgage payment fall by at least 5% in order to qualify for the FHA Streamline Refinance.
“Mortgage payments” are defined as (1) monthly principal + interest payments, plus (2) monthly mortgage insurance payments. Principal + interest payments have dropped significantly since 2008, but rising mortgage insurance rates have negated these effects. Making that 5% savings marker has become exceedingly difficult.
Potentially millions of FHA-backed homeowners, while eligible, were effectively eliminated from the FHA Streamline Refinance program and from access to today’s low rates.
For long-time FHA-backed homeowners, that’s all changing.
If your current FHA mortgage was endorsed by the FHA prior to June 1, 2009, you are eligible for the FHA’s “grandfathered” mortgage insurance premiums. The new premiums are dramatically lower than the premiums paid by today’s new FHA customers, making the FHA Streamline program once again a great option for home owners.
For eligible homeowners, the new FHA Mortgage Insurance schedule is as follows :
St Paul, MN: Home owners with an existing FHA mortgage loan – rejoice. Washington has announced new guidelines to make it cheaper and easier for homeowners to refinance FHA mortgages. The reason is pretty simple – since FHA already backs your mortgage, they’re the ones who are on the hook if you default. So if refinancing will help make your mortgage more affordable for you, it makes sense for them to help.
The updated guidelines apply to FHA Streamlined refinancing, which is about as close to automatic loan approval as any refinance program can get. There are many variables to the program, but under the best circumstances, you don’t even need an appraisal, making it a great loan for underwater home owners.
The changes announced dramatically reduce some of the fees usually charged for FHA mortgages and refinancing. FHA loans have two major mortgage insurance parts. The upfront fee, and the monthly mortgage insurance. For refinances starting June 11th 2012 and after, the current upfront fee of 1 percent of the loan amount is being reduced to a mere 0.01% – equal to $10 on a $100,000 mortgage – while the annual insurance premium is being cut by more than half, to 0.55 percent of the balance, down from 1.15 percent currently.
The administration estimates the reduced annual fee will save an additional $95 a month on a $175,000 mortgage, on top of the actual savings from refinancing to a lower mortgage rate.
Anyone can with an FHA mortgage can refinance at anytime, but to qualify for the reduce fees, you must have obtained your current FHA mortgage prior to June 1, 2009.
The FHA streamline refinance option that does NOT require an appraisal is a great option for homes that have lost value. Homeowners can be underwater on their FHA mortgage (i.e., owing more than their home is worth) and still qualify for refinancing. In fact, there’s no limit on how far underwater a borrower can be and still get an FHA Streamline Refinance.
If you’re underwater, but have a second mortgage or HELOC (home equity line of credit) – you’ll have additional challenges – so be sure to speak with a good licensed loan officer to determined your exact situation.
FHA does not do loans. Lenders do loans that FHA insures. Although FHA has pretty generous guidelines for refinancing, it’s still the lender’s call on whether to refinance or not. Some lenders will have tighter guidelines, and some may even refuse to refinance a mortgage even if it appears to meet FHA requirements. The new guidelines remove some of the obstacles that sometimes make lenders reluctant to do an FHA streamline refinance, by taking such loans out of the formula used to assess their performance as FHA approved lenders. Since many of these mortgages are considered somewhat riskier than more recent home loans, some lenders have been reluctant to refinance them for fear of damaging their rating with FHA.
To see if you can obtain an FHA mortgage refinance, check with your local approved FHA mortgage lender.
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The FHA Streamline Refinance Program
Minneapolis, MN: If you currently have an FHA mortgage you are eligible for one of the simplest money saving refinances available today. The FHA Streamline Refinance allows existing FHA borrowers to reduce their interest rate without having to jump through a lot of hoops. Basically, if you have made on time payments on your current FHA loan for the past 12 months. You get (almost) an automatic approval for the streamline refinance! How COOL IS THAT?
Most current FHA loans qualify for a no out-of-pocket cost streamline refinance loan that lowers your FHA interest rate and reduces your monthly mortgage payment without increasing the principal amount owed on your first mortgage. The FHA streamline refinance provide a rare opportunity for FHA borrowers to refinance any time the interest rate drop to level saving them more than 5% a month over their existing payment. FHA loan guidelines are changing, so ask your FHA loan expert how this could impact the FHA streamline program.
FHA mortgage rates have fallen to the lowest level since Eisenhower was President! FHA streamline rates are as low as or even lower than conventional interest rates, so don’t sit back waiting for lower rates. If you have made your loan payment on time and you already have this government loan, the FHA streamline refinance programs are easy to qualify for.
no appraisal required
lower credit requirements
skip a month of payments
HOME LOST VALUE?
You may have heard of HARP, the Home Affordable Refinance Program. HARP is only available if you have a Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac loan. and it allows you to refinance even if your home is underwater. FHA’s streamline streamline refinance has a no appraisal option. So if your home has lost value, you can possible still refinance to today’s low mortgage rates too!
FHA streamline loans are highly regarded by FHA customers. FHA mortgage rates have never been more attractive so act now and lock into the lowest streamline rates in years.
With mortgage refinance rates this low it makes sense to reduce your monthly payment if you have any mortgage loan, but especially government insured loans like an FHA loan or a VA Loan.
VA STREAMLINE REFINANCE
An “Interest Rate Reduction Refinance Loan” (IRRRL) or VA Streamline Refinance allows Veterans to refinance their current mortgage interest rate to a lower rate than they are currently paying. This program is only available to veterans who are refinancing their original VA mortgage in which they utilized their original eligibility.
VA Streamline Loan Guidelines:
Like the FHA streamline refinance, the VA streamline loan can be done with “no out of pocket money” by including all closing costs in the new loan or by making the new loan at an interest rate high enough to enable the lender to pay the costs.