News


On Wednesday January 11, 2017 The Kentucky Housing Corporation (KHC) has just announced their new Hardest Hit Fund Down Payment Assistance Program (HHF DAP) .  This program will allow qualified borrowers up to $10,000 in down payment assistance towards the purchase of a new home in the State of Kentucky. 

 

The program offers up to $10,000 at a 0 percent interest rate, which is a forgivable second mortgage loan with a 5 year term.  The property must be located in Christian, Hardin, Jefferson, or Kenton County.  The program does not allow for new construction properties, meaning the property must have previously been occupied.

 

Borrowers looking to utilize this program must be first-time home buyers (no ownership interest in the last three years).  You will be required to provide the last 3 years of federal tax returns or tax transcript’s to prove eligibility.  Borrowers will also need to complete pre-purchase home buyer education and also complete the Dodd-Frank Certification.

 

Offical Guidelines from KHC:

HHF DAP Program Guidelines:

  • $10,000, 0 percent interest, forgivable second mortgage loan with a 5 year term.
  • Not required to be at maximum LTV first mortgage amount.
    • No less than 81 percent LTV with conventional loans.
  • Property must be located in one of the four counties:
    • Christian
    • Hardin
    • Jefferson
    • Kenton
  • New construction properties are not allowed.
    • Property has to have been previously occupied.
  • Secondary Market Purchase Price and Income Limits apply.
  • Borrower must be a first-time home buyer (no ownership interest in the last three years).
    • Most recent three year federal tax returns or tax transcripts required.
  • Pre-purchase home buyer education required for all borrowers.
  • Dodd-Frank Certification must be completed.
  • Terms and Conditions form (prints with the HUD-1, Note, and Mortgage).
    • This form highlights a few of the program requirements, such as occupancy/ownership status and forgiveness period.

The HHF DAP will utilize a GFE, TIL, and HUD-1, since it does not meet TRID regulations. These documents will be provided through KHC's Loan Reservation System. These loans will close in KHC's name and be funded by the lender. KHC's system will provide a Note and Mortgage in KHC's name. The lender is responsible to deliver all disclosures to the borrower(s) at time of origination and closing. All KHC Program Guides have been updated to reflect the new HHF DAP. 

 

American Mortgage has been the #1 Lender for Kentucky Housing Corporation for over 10 years.  This is a very popular program and the funds will not last.  If you would like more information on this loan program please contact us or click Apply Now.


Despite the government’s best efforts, borrowers still are occasionally puzzled by mortgage rates and pricing. They are not as simple as comparing the price of a gallon of regular unleaded gas. (But when gas companies advertise their additives for higher grades, things become more complicated.) But is there an easy way to discuss rates?

 

When a borrower shops for a home loan, they want to know about mortgage rates and should look at the “APR” or annual percentage rate. The APR includes both the annual interest rate as well as some — but maybe not all — non-interest charges paid at closing. The APR will be higher than the nominal interest rate because it includes additional costs. Most loan quotes include both the interest rate and discount points (the cost of doing the loan, often considered the up-front compensation to the lender). Points are paid up-front, in cash (or a higher loan amount) at closing. If the borrower expects to be a short-term owner then maybe the loan with a higher rate and fewer points is better; if the borrower expects to be a long-term owner then paying points and having a lower fixed-rate can be very attractive.

 

Experts and those in the industry usually prefer “par pricing” – par is a price of 100.00 (nothing paid, and nothing to be paid). In this situation all loan quotes show the interest rate with zero points. Now it’s very easy to compare rates. An FHA mortgage at 4.4 percent and an FHA mortgage at 4.6 percent are the same financial product with different costs. Why would you pay more?

 

So borrowers should ask lenders for a mortgage quote at par; that is, an interest rate with no points. Par pricing remains the easiest way to compare similar loan products, say a conventional loan from ABC Mortgage versus a conventional loan from XYZ Mortgage. The loans are the same, so the only issue is which lender can offer a better price.


We hear about first time home buyers, buyers of 2nd homes, older people obtaining reverse mortgages… but what about “first time sellers”? The housing market has been heating up in many areas, especially as the weather improves, and buyers complain that there are too few properties to purchase, prices are high, rates are low and demand is rabid. So what is stopping an owner from selling their house today and moving on to the next one?

 

A high cost transaction can be very intimidating for a first timer, especially in a market such as this one. Borrowers are educating themselves about the process so that they can approach selling their house with confidence. Sellers should investigate what they can afford once they sell their current home, or if it is possible for them to purchase without having first sold: buying power. A qualified mortgage advisor will walk them through the steps and options. Many people discover that they can qualify to make a step up in housing without having their current home sold, which gives them a lot more flexibility because they can buy before they sell.

 

The loan officer can also inform the seller of the costs of obtaining a new home loan, what programs are available, a general time line, what is required for underwriting, and common mistakes that are made. These include unrealistic expectations, trying to obtain new credit cards or debt prior to buying another home, and so on.

 

Once a potential seller understands their buying power and the process, they should meet with a realtor for the selling side and the buying side to determine a pricing strategy for selling and a timing strategy for buying. They should know what their buying power will obtain, and study communities where they are likely to purchase. The listing agent for a house will tell the owners to clean up, spruce up, and stage the house for sale, give the first time seller a timeline, and discuss the possibility of renting after a house is sold. Inventory is tight in many areas, so if a buyer falls in love with a house they will work with the seller’s time frame.


What is Title Insurance?

Jan 3
4:02
PM
Category | General

With home buying comes a series of decisions, including where to buy, what kind of house, whether to obtain a loan and what are its terms, and so on. One issue that is often overlooked until the end of the transaction is, “Why do I need title insurance?”

 

Every buyer and seller in a real estate transaction sees charges for a title insurance policy, but few know what the purpose of the policy is, other than something gets insured. Title policies insure that things are what they are supposed to be: in a purchase the title policy is insuring that you are the rightful owner, that no one can come along later and claim ownership of your property. For lenders the title policy insures that their lien has a certain priority on title and that the only liens against title are documented and disclosed. Title insurance covers any title issues that occur up to the date deeds are recorded when the policy is in effect, it does not cover any issues that occur after the transaction.

 

Title insurance is not cheap, and claims are rare. But when title insurance companies do pay claims, they are usually very hefty, think tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars. Because of this most of the revenue title insurance companies collect do not go to paying claims, in fact the industry average is that only about 5% of premium revenue goes to claims compared with approximately 70% for auto insurance. Title insurance companies spend the bulk of their premium revenue on loss prevention (research).

 

Claims might be paid if the owner of your current home purchased the property eight years ago from a seller who had a lien against the property that was recorded improperly in the county records and that lender stepped forward to collect on your home and possibly force the sale. Forgeries on deeds, unpaid liens, easements improperly recorded or illegal confiscations of title on the property are problems; bank foreclosures and short-sales can complicate things, as can divorce settlements with a recalcitrant spouse, estate issues, easements, or a private party second from a prior seller.

 

Title policy premiums pay for all the work done by the title company prior to closing so they can insure the buyer/person refinancing obtains clear title. And if the owner discovers later that they do not have clear title, it is the title insurance company’s obligation to pay to correct any claims that may arise.


Why Do Mortgage Rates Differ?

Dec 27
10:39
AM
Category | General

Our agents are sometimes asked, “Why are mortgage rates different?” It is important for borrowers to remember that mortgage rates and interest rates in general, are determined by different factors, so an understanding of how mortgage rates are determined will help to better understand how banks and mortgage lenders set interest rates.

 

Every loan scenario is different, with different amounts, different borrower credit scores, different types of housing etc. – dozens of variables - and each loan must be priced accordingly. The predominant factor in determining interest rates and prices, however, is the risk of default risk, which is called “risk-based pricing.” The higher the risk, the higher the rate.

 

Banks and lenders start with a base interest rate and then either raise it or lower it based on the loan criteria. These include loan amount, documentation (full, limited, or stated), credit scores, occupancy, loan purpose (purchase or refinance, and if there is cash out), Debt-to-Income Ratio, property type, loan-to-value, and so on. In recent years, for example, loans made on non-owner occupied properties, or loans to borrowers with low credit scores have defaulted at a higher rate than other types of loans, and thus the rates are higher. And loans that do not fall under the maximum mortgage loan sizes set by Freddie and Fannie are usually pegged at a higher rate, since those loans are not easily bought and sold in the secondary markets.

 

Our borrowers often come to us with an ad from a newspaper, TV, or radio. Any rates that we hear about in the media are usually a best-case scenario: owner-occupied single family home, a perfect credit score, a huge down payment, and a conforming loan amount. Few of our borrowers are perfect, and as a result, they’ll see different mortgage rates. And “different” often means higher depending on the factors listed above.


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