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If you're considering buying a home, have you discovered how much home you may be able to afford? With the number of different programs available , the answer may surprise you. What will your payments be? How expensive of a home can you qualify for? Though these are some tough questions on the road to home ownership, they're important in determining your eligibility for a mortgage . Here's some information about how these calculations work. How Much Home Can You Buy? Our Mortgage Calculator May Surprise You! How much is the home really worth?

The first thing you should remember is that the asking price and the sale price of the home you're considering may very well not be the same figure at all. A home that sold for half a million before the housing market crash may now sell for only half of that. Though you shouldn't approach the seller of a mansion on a hill with a ridiculously low figure, making a lower offer to see if it will be accepted may be a great way to get more home than ...

When I purchased my first home, I was unaware of the issues I would be faced with. Because I was buying a foreclosure that needed a lot of work, I wanted to get started as soon as possible. But I was completely unprepared when the agent asked when I wanted to move in. I soon had our pickup packed with a new-to-us refrigerator, some small appliances to make do with, power tools and building materials. To say that I was a bit naive would be putting it lightly. When you're buying a home, it's easy to get caught up in the process leading up to closing, especially if you're a first-time home buyer . Finding a home, choosing a loan type , digging up all your documentation — it's a long, involved operation. With so much of the process tied up in the closing, it's common to focus on everything up to that point. But what happens once you've closed on the house? Here's a quick glance at what's involved. What Happens After Closing? What to Expect When Buying a Home

With so much focus on ...

How to Refinance Your Home

Nov 6
9:13
AM
Category | The iServe Blog
How to Refinance Your Home Or, A Million Reasons to Tap the Financial Strength of Your Home   If you’ve been sitting on the financial sidelines the past several years, chances are you’ve thought about refinancing your existing mortgage. After all, refinancing has something to offer to virtually everyone. From first-time Millennials, to family-raising Boomers, to retirees, refinancing offers a plethora of solutions to the financial needs of homeowners throughout their lives. Regardless of your station and place in life, most American homeowners contemplate- or need- the equity in their homes to manage their financial needs.

To these ends, let’s ...

Whether you're getting ready to buy your first home or a condo for your golden years, the question of what kind of home loan program to use is an important one. Some programs can only be used by military families or veterans , whereas others are better for revitalizing homes or first-time home buyers . But which one is right for you? Here's a quick look at some of the major home loan programs available. What Major Home Loan Programs Can I Qualify For?
    FHA: As one of the largest federal programs, an FHA loan is insured by the federal government's Federal Housing Administration but offered through private mortgage lenders. Because it has a lower down payment percentage of 3.5 percent of the total loan, it allows individuals to finance a home who otherwise may find a 20 percent down payment to be a heavy burden. In general, most individuals qualifying for the loan need to have a credit score of 600 or above, though in some specific cases, scores as low as 580 are acceptable.
  • VA: If you, ...
Much like Katrina and Sandy, Harvey and Irma are storms that will live on in memory. The destruction wrought by major hurricanes can cause serious issues for those impacted. But what happens after the clouds break? Here's a quick look at how areas devastated by severe natural disasters have recovered in the past and the impact it had on the housing market following the storm. Rough Water Ahead: How Major Hurricanes Are Expected to Impact the Market What will happen to the Florida and Houston real estate markets and mortgage market because of Harvey and Irma? With the potential destruction of so many homes, will the market have a supply shortage as people rush to get into undamaged homes and construction crews are tied up in repair work? Will the federal government offer special financing guarantees due to the storms, encouraging sales? Or will it go the other direction with a mass migration out of the area?

These questions are on the minds of people around the country who have seen the devastation in these areas. But to look ahead, we need to start by looking ...

The USDA offers several different types of home loans designed to increase home ownership in rural areas. Some models are more restrictive than others. The direct loan program is specifically designed for people with a low income, but a USDA guaranteed loan covers a wide variety of properties, locations and incomes, making it accessible to far more future homeowners. What Is a USDA Loan? The U.S. Department of Agriculture offers several loan options, including direct loans from the agency itself, guaranteed loans made through a residential mortgage lender, and loans for refurbishing and fixing up existing properties. For direct loans, the home needs to be under 1,800 sq. ft. in size, and the overall cost needs to be below the USDA loan limit. These subsidized loans can have interest rates as low as 1 percent and are designed for those with low or very low income.

What is a Rate Lock?

Oct 10
9:01
AM
Category | The iServe Blog
Ever seen an amazing sale, headed to the store and realized that you just missed it by one day? If you’re just shopping for a new pair of shoes or a new game, you might have a mini-meltdown in Target and then move on. It is disappointing but doesn't impact your life in any big way. That same scenario, though, can have a huge impact on your life if it happens with your mortgage loan when you are buying a home. If you base your offer, budget and plans on a mortgage loan at a particular interest rate and then that rate goes up as you work through the loan process, you’ll be out a lot of money over the life of your new loan. A rate lock can help.

A rate lock is designed to protect you from increases in interest rates, while you are in the process of securing a mortgage or buying a home. The lock guarantees the rate offered by a lender for a specific amount of time. If interest rates go up after the lock is in place, then you can still may get the rate you for which you locked in (provided the loan closes and funds during the lock-in period). There is a catch though ...

What Is a USDA loan?

Oct 4
7:47
AM
Category | The iServe Blog
If you dream of a Pinterest-worthy home in the suburbs, then a USDA mortgage might be the right product for you. This program is designed to increase home ownership in rural and suburban areas and is often overlooked by new buyers. The benefits of the USDA loan make it well worth your time to look, though, particularly if you can afford to make mortgage payments but do not have a large down payment ready. How USDA Loans Work USDA loans are backed by the Department of Agriculture and may be funded by a traditional lender or the USDA itself. A USDA loan generally offers no-down-payment options with low interest rates and covers a wide range of areas and incomes. There are three types of USDA loans, as of 2017 :
    Guaranteed loans: A private mortgage lender provides you with a mortgage loan and the USDA guarantees that loan. This process is similar to an FHA or VA loan.
  • Direct loans: These loans are made by the USDA itself and are not ...
VA Residential Lending Benefits Multi-Unit Purchasing By Michael Macari, Chief Communications Officer, National Asset Direct To understand the benefits of the VA Home Lending residential mortgage program is to fully understand just how far-reaching they really are. Dispelling the myth that VA benefits are complicated or restricting in their scope, one company is out to demonstrate that VA Home Lending extends to multi-unit residential properties- with all the provisions and protections our veterans have to make these purchases. It is true. Multi-Unit VA Residential Property Mortgages do come with the value benefits of normal VA lending- with a few nuances worth noting for the record. VA loans- which are provided by private lenders, go through regular channels to get approved and funded. A veteran- retired military, active duty, veterans, reservists and National Guard, finds a home, in this case, a multi-unit residential unit.

He or she ...

How Does a Mortgage Work?

Sep 26
8:43
AM
Category | The iServe Blog
When buying a home for the first time , many people don't understand the process. When it comes to getting a mortgage, that confusion is compounded as the number of forms, insurance, earnest money and other issues seem to expand. As a mortgage provider, we've heard many questions over the years about mortgages and how they work. Here's a quick summary to help get you started. How does a mortgage work?
    Before starting your home-hunting process, get a few things in line. Look at your credit report and don't plan on doing a lot of borrowing until you've secured a mortgage for your home. Save money for your earnest money, closing costs and down payment. You can go through a preapproval process or start searching for a home. Many people prefer to be preapproved for a rough amount so they know how much home they can afford. This helps keep you from becoming attached to a home that is outside of your means and keeps your expectations realistic.
  1. Take a look at the type of mortgage programs for which you're eligible. If you can qualify ...
When it's time to buy your first home, it may be a very stressful process. You need to find the right place, make an offer, negotiate until you reach a final price and then start filling out a residential mortgage application. But one thing most first-time buyers aren't aware of is the importance your credit and documentation can play in securing a home loan. Here are some steps you should take before exploring your residential lending options so that you may get the best possible terms and rates for your home loan before filling out a residential mortgage application: 5 Steps You Should Take Before Buying Your First Home
    Check your credit reports. By checking all three major credit report agencies, Equifax, Experian and Transunion, you can see if there are any incorrect or derogatory marks on your credit history. Sites like Credit Karma are free for at least two of the reports. If there are any problems, work on getting them cleared up as quickly as possible.
  1. If needed, build a credit ...
Whether you’re looking at a promising new subdivision in a great school district or want to build your dream retirement home, there are differences in purchasing a new construction home that you won’t often run into with an existing home. Some of these issues will take more time, while others will impact your residential lending options . But what are these issues, and what difference do they make in the process? Here’s a short summary of some of the major differences. Buy It New: What You Need to Know About New Construction Homes
    It takes time to build. Though this may seem obvious, you’ll want to get some idea from the developer or builder of how long it will take and then add some time for things that go wrong, bad weather and other circumstances beyond your control. In general, a home will take five to six months to build, though that time may vary depending on the size of the home and the options you’ve purchased.
  • The basic model will look — and cost — much different from the model. Model homes in a development are ...
While your VA home loan benefits are usually ready and waiting, you have to do more than just let the military know you’re ready to buy a home. Learning more about VA loan eligibility and requirements and working with the most up-to-date information can ensure you know how the process works and that you take full advantage of all the benefits you are entitled to. Changes that happened in 2017 basically expand the program’s offerings and may make it more accessible to disabled veterans and other service members, veterans and eligible surviving spouses. A VA mortgage does not come from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA); it comes from a bank or mortgage other lender. The VA simply guarantees a portion of the loan, which helps enable a lender to offer more favorable terms. Lenders must follow strict requirements to be able to offer a VA loan, and a VA loan is designed to be accessible and user-friendly for service members.   If you get a VA loan, you may benefit in a variety of ways, such as:
    Competitive interest rates
  • Relaxed credit ...
Veterans are flocking to Phoenix Arizona in record numbers; VA home mortgage loans have risen over 100% in the last year . What makes Phoenix and other, similar destinations so popular with service members and retired veterans? The answer lies in the benefits offered by VA loans, the great weather and easy affordability of these communities. Home Ownership Continues to Surge for Veterans

The overall rate of homeownership in the United States is 65%, but for veterans, the rate of homeownership soars to 82%, thanks to the affordable options offered with a VA home mortgage loan. With low or no down payments needed, flexible credit guidelines and an easy, streamlined process, VA mortgage loans may be more ...

               i Serve Residential Lending LLC's Iniative                          to Help Rural America    USDA Single Family Housing Guaranteed Loan Program Dedicated to  Preservation of Rural Communities Throughout the U.S.    

August 22, 2017.  iServe Residential Lending LLC is ...


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