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If you are considering the possibility of purchasing a home this year, you may have heard that renting is a smarter choice than buying for a number of reasons. For many people, however, that is not always true.  Deciding whether renting or buying is right for you depends on your individual options and circumstances.  To help you learn more, here are a few myths that explore renting versus owning a home:
 
Myth No. 1: You can’t afford a down payment.

Many would-be homebuyers opt for renting believing that they won’t be able to save enough for a 20 percent down payment. But in reality, not all loan programs require a 20 percent down payment. Different loan programs require home buyers to put down different amounts as low as 10 percent, 5 percent, or even 3 percent.  In fact, some programs require no money down, and in some areas, down payment assistance programs are also available.
 
Myth No. 2: Renting is cheaper.

This statement depends on your rent and the home values in your area.  But even if your monthly mortgage payment ends up being a little higher than what you might have paid in rent, that money is going toward your own long-term financial investment. When you pay rent, you are making your landlord’s mortgage payment rather than your own.  Talk to a mortgage consultant to determine a monthly payment with which you are comfortable, and compare it to the cost of renting to determine which is right for you.  Or, use our Rent vs. Buy calculator to get started!
 
Myth No. 3: You won’t recoup your money.

Real estate is often considered to be a safe long-term investment because home values have historically risen over time. Yes, the housing market may go through cycles, but if you plan to be a homeowner for a long time, your home can build equity and prove to be a wise investment.
 
Myth No. 4: Renting is less of a hassle.

While you may have less vested in a rental property, the work you put into turning a house into your home can be a richly rewarding experience. Not only can you create a home that suits your preferences without the concern of a landlord’s limitations, improvements you make to the property can also help build upon your initial investment.
 

 

If you’d like more homeowner information, please contact a mortgage consultant near you!

 

 

 

 

Reprinted with permission from RISMedia. ©2017. All rights reserved.

All first mortgage products are provided by Prosperity Home Mortgage, LLC. (877) 275-1762. Prosperity Home Mortgage, LLC products may not be available in all areas. Not all borrowers will qualify. Licensed by the NJ Department of Banking and Insurance.  Licensed by the Delaware State Bank Commissioner.  Also licensed in District of Columbia, Georgia, Indiana, Maryland, Michigan, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia.

NMLS ID #75164 (NMLS Consumer Access at http://www.nmlsconsumeraccess.org/)

©2018 Prosperity Home Mortgage, LLC. All Rights Reserved.


FHFA Announces Higher Loan Limits for 2018

As the result of a higher average U.S. home price in 2017, the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) has announced new, higher maximum conforming loan limits for 2018.

In most areas of the country, the 2018 maximum loan amount for one-unit properties will be $453,100, an increase from $424,100 in 2017.  In high-cost areas, the new maximum high balance loan limit will be $679,650, up from $636,150.

As in the past, loan limits may vary by county. Click here for a list and map of the 2018 maximum loan limits for all counties and county-equivalent areas in the U.S.

New Conforming Loan Limit Sample:

2018 Conforming Loan Limit

Sales Price High

Down Payment Amount

$453,100

$467,113

3%

$453,100

$566,375

20%

 

New High Balance Loan Limit Sample:

2018 High Balance Loan Limit

Sales Price High

Down Payment Amount

$679,650

$715,421

5%

$679,650

$849,562

20%

 

Contact your mortgage consultant directly if you have questions on local limits or other home financing options.

 

 

 

All first mortgage products are provided by Prosperity Home Mortgage, LLC. (877) 275-1762. Prosperity Home Mortgage, LLC products may not be available in all areas. Not all borrowers will qualify. Licensed by the NJ Department of Banking and Insurance.  Licensed by the Delaware State Bank Commissioner.  Also licensed in District of Columbia, Georgia, Indiana, Maryland, Michigan, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia.

NMLS ID #75164 (NMLS Consumer Access at http://www.nmlsconsumeraccess.org/)

©2017 Prosperity Home Mortgage, LLC. All Rights Reserved.


Appraisal disappointing? You have options, according to the Appraisal Institute.
 
"Homebuyers and sellers should first understand what an appraisal is and how it's used," says Jim Amorin, president and acting CEO of the Appraisal Institute. "Real estate appraisals for mortgage finance applications are prepared for the bank or financial institution so they can better understand the collateral risk in making the loan. This can be confusing, because homebuyers typically pay for the appraisal and receive a copy of it."
 
In some cases, the appraisal may not match the contract price—but just because an appraisal comes in below (or above) the listing or contract price doesn't mean it's flawed, Amorin says. The agreed-upon contract price may be above market value, for example. In those situations, the buyer and seller often renegotiate the contract at more favorable or balanced terms.
 
Homebuyers should ask their lender for the qualifications of the appraiser, including whether they are designated by a professional association like the Appraisal Institute, says Amorin. A qualified and competent appraiser knows how to conduct a thorough market analysis and make appropriate adjustments.
 
Homebuyers also can ask whether the appraiser is directly engaged by the bank or whether the bank utilizes an appraisal management company, and what their procedures are for engaging qualified appraisers.
 
"The best way for consumers to combat potential problems with appraisals is to ensure the appraiser hired by their lender is highly qualified and competent," Amorin says. "Consumers have every right to demand the use of a highly qualified appraiser, someone with field experience in their market and knowledge and experience to handle the assignment properly."
 
Contrary to incorrect interpretations of appraiser independence requirements, appraisers welcome information that would assist the development of credible assignment results," says Amorin. If lender policies permit, consumers can accompany appraisers when conducting the property inspection and may provide the appraiser with any information they consider important.
 
Amorin suggests consumers ask their lender for permission to do so, and confirm the appointment. Consumers should also take note of whether an adequate inspection is performed. Did the appraiser spend enough time at the property to observe important features or improvements or potential problems?
 
Homebuyers should take advantage of their right to obtain a copy of the appraisal report," Amorin says. Even though the appraisal is ordered to help assess lender collateral risk, buyers are entitled to a copy of the appraisal report. Federal regulations require lenders to provide property buyers with free copies of appraisal reports no later than three days before the loan closes.
 
Although appraisal review is best performed by qualified appraisers, consumers should examine the appraisal for potential deficiencies, says Amorin. According to "Appraising the Appraisal: The Art of Appraisal Review," common errors in appraisals include: misuse of adjustments to comparables; disregarding special financing and concessions; or miscalculation of gross living area (GLA).
 
Amorin suggests consumers ask themselves:

  • Do adjacent homes add or detract from the value of the subject property?
  • Is the subject property equal to or lower in price than surrounding homes?
  • Does the floor plan have any functional problems?
  • Does the house (particularly the kitchen and bathrooms) require major remodeling to make it comparable with similar homes in the same price range?
  • Is the number of bedrooms and baths in the home comparable to similar homes in the same price range?
  • Did the appraiser perform an adequate inspection? 

"Most lenders have appraisal appeal procedures, known as 'Reconsiderations of Value,'" says Amorin. "If you're aware of recent, comparable sales information or items that may not have been available or considered by the appraiser, provide those to the lender. If problems were found with the first appraisal, you can and should obtain a second appraisal."

 

Learn more about property appraisals here, and contact your local mortgage consultant with any questions about the appraisal process.

 

 


 
Source: Appraisal Institute

Reprinted with permission from RISMedia. ©2017. All rights reserved.

All first mortgage products are provided by Prosperity Home Mortgage, LLC. (877) 275-1762. Prosperity Home Mortgage, LLC products may not be available in all areas. Not all borrowers will qualify. Licensed by the NJ Department of Banking and Insurance.  Licensed by the Delaware State Bank Commissioner.  Also licensed in District of Columbia,  Georgia, Indiana, Maryland, Michigan, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia.

NMLS ID #75164 (NMLS Consumer Access at http://www.nmlsconsumeraccess.org/)  ©2017 Prosperity Home Mortgage, LLC.  All Rights Reserved.


Buying a home doesn’t have to be stressful.  After all, finding and moving into that special home should be one of the happiest moments of your life. If you know what to expect—and you have a knowledgeable team of real estate and mortgage-lending professionals to assist you—finding and financing your first home can be an exciting and rewarding experience. Here are the basics of what you need to know:

Before you even begin to shop, obtain a mortgage preliminary approval.  We recommend our Buyer Advantage preliminary approval! 1  We’ll need your most recent 2 years of W-2’s and tax returns, the last 30 days of pay stubs, and 2 months of bank statements.  Qualified borrowers will receive a mortgage commitment letter upfront, subject to an appraisal.  Some lenders only offer a pre-qualification letter, which doesn’t verify any of the information you provide.  A mortgage commitment letter, though, is an important first step and will help you determine how much home you may be able to purchase and can strengthen your bargaining position with sellers.

Once you are issued your preliminary approval, you’ll work with your real estate agent to find the right home. It helps to determine your needs and create a wish list of desirable features. While you visit homes, take notes to be able to determine which homes may warrant a second visit. Using our house hunting checklist can assist in this process.

Once you find a home you like, you’ll make a purchase offer.  Your real estate agent will present your offer to the seller, who will then choose to accept, counter, or reject the offer.  When a price is settled on, you and the seller will sign a Purchase Agreement, defining the terms of the sale.

The next step will be to complete the loan application process. If you have already obtained a mortgage preliminary approval, contact your mortgage consultant and let them know you have a contract on a home. They will update your loan application and help you to proceed with the home financing process. If you were issued a Buyer Advantage preliminary approval, most of the work is already completed!

Next, the home will be appraised. An appraisal is a formal, written estimate of the home’s current market value. Your lender will review the appraisal and note any conditions that may be required prior to closing on the loan. You will be provided a copy of the appraisal.

Once any remaining conditions are submitted including the appraisal, title insurance and homeowners insurance, we will issue a final commitment and finalize the details of your closing with your real estate agent and your settlement agent.  Your closing documents will be prepared, and you will go to settlement.  Make sure you talk to your settlement agent about how you should prepare the funds needed for closing.  Today, a wire from your bank is the most popular way, but you may be able to provide a cashiers’ check or money order.

Congratulations, you become the proud owner of your new home!

We hope you have found this overview helpful; contact your local mortgage consultant for more details!

 

 

 

 

1. Prosperity Buyer Advantage is not a loan approval. A Commitment Letter is based on information and documentation provided by you and a review of your credit report. The interest rate and type of mortgage used to approve you for a specified loan amount is subject to change, which may also change the terms of approval. The interest rate cannot be locked until your offer to purchase a property has been accepted. If the interest rate used for credit approval has changed, you may need to re-qualify. Information provided by you is subject to review and all other loan conditions must be met. After you have chosen a home and your offer has been accepted, final loan approval will be contingent upon obtaining an acceptable appraisal and title commitment.  Additional documentation may be required.

All first mortgage products are provided by Prosperity Home Mortgage, LLC. (877) 275-1762. Prosperity Home Mortgage, LLC products may not be available in all areas. Not all borrowers will qualify. Licensed by the NJ Department of Banking and Insurance.  Licensed by the Delaware State Bank Commissioner.  Also licensed in District of Columbia, Georgia, Indiana, Maryland, Michigan, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia.

NMLS ID #75164 (NMLS Consumer Access at http://www.nmlsconsumeraccess.org/)

©2017 Prosperity Home Mortgage, LLC. All Rights Reserved.


Prosperity surprises buyers with check to cover first mortgage payment.

We are delighted to share that Prosperity Home Mortgage, LLC (Prosperity) has closed its first residential Detroit home loan on June 16—just a few weeks after we officially began conducting business in Michigan! The purchasers, Anthony and Lana Sellors, received a great post-closing surprise, with Prosperity presenting them with a check for their first mortgage payment!

“Prosperity Home Mortgage is off to a spectacular start in the Detroit area, and we’re thrilled to close our first home loan in Michigan and help these two buyers achieve their homeownership dreams,” said Tim Wilson, CEO of Prosperity Home Mortgage, LLC. “I’m confident our commitment to offering exceptional customer service and competitive loan products will ensure our continued success in the Detroit area, helping us provide even more buyers with the total homeownership experience.”

The Sellors purchased a home in Chesterfield, Michigan, and mortgage consultants with Prosperity, Jeni Barchichat and David Knuth, guided them through the financing process. The Sellors also worked with Bill Finn, a real estate professional with Century 21 Town & Country.

Prosperity offers a wide range of mortgage products, including fixed and adjustable rate mortgages, and we are represented by mortgage consultants throughout 12 states and Washington, D.C. For more information our company, visit our About Us page!

 

 

 


All first mortgage products are provided by Prosperity Home Mortgage, LLC. (877) 275-1762. Prosperity Home Mortgage, LLC products may not be available in all areas. Not all borrowers will qualify. Licensed by the NJ Department of Banking and Insurance.  Licensed by the Delaware State Bank Commissioner.  Also licensed in District of Columbia, Georgia, Indiana, Maryland, Michigan, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia. NMLS ID #75164 (NMLS Consumer Access at http://www.nmlsconsumeraccess.org/)

©2017 Prosperity Home Mortgage, LLC. All Rights Reserved.


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