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Sarah Mann's Blog - Center City Mortgage and Investments

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32498400 - mortgage concept. isolated on white background 3dThink you need a huge down payment in order to buy a home? Then you’re in for some good news.

The “need” for big down payments is a myth in today’s lending environment. Truth is, programs offered by three federal agencies are helping borrowers buy a home with little or no down payment.

Wondering where to look for a program like that? Maybe this will help:

Federal Housing Administration: FHA-insured loans are the low-down option that’s available to the most borrowers.

Department of Agriculture. The biggest myth about the department’s Rural Development mortgage guarantee program is that it’s designed only for people who are buying farm land. But it’s simply not true. To qualify for a low-downpayment home loan backed by the Agriculture Department, you must purchase a home in a “rural” area, but you may be surprised at the number of areas that fit the definition. (Many do.)

Veterans Affairs. Formerly the Veterans Administration, this agency guarantees no-down payment mortgages for qualified veterans, active duty personnel, reservists/National Guard members and some surviving spouses.

For more details about these programs, give us a call.

The process of using a 203k loan

Jun 19
Category | General

41668128_MReady to try your hand at renovating a home? There’s a loan to help with that.

The best candidates for a 203k loan are ones who don’t have a lot of extra cash in the bank and want to buy a home that needs to be renovated. Homes that need renovating will cost much less, and the 203k loan can pay for the improvements.

Get Started with a 203k Loan

If you think a 203k loan seems like it would be a sound financing option for you, talk to a mortgage professional. They can answer your questions. The lender will let you know how much of a home you can afford, and then you can work with a real estate agent to find one that meets the standards for the loan.

Once you choose a home you would like to purchase and renovate, you’ll need to select a contractor to assess the house. This contractor needs to be approved by the bank you’re using for the 203k loan. Make sure you tell the contractor exactly what you would like done, so they can come up with an accurate quote for the total renovation cost. The quote is then sent to the bank’s underwriting team, who will review and approve it if it meets their standards. The money for the renovations is held in an escrow account. As the contractor finishes milestones outlined on the contract, money is withdrawn to pay them.

Keep in mind that this type of loan is not for adding luxury finishes. This loan is for needed renovations. This is important, as it can be discouraging to find a home you feel needs to be renovated, but it does not meet the guidelines of the lender.

For more information on how you can take advantage of a 203k loan, contact Allied Mortgage Group. It may be the best way for you to get the home of your dreams within your budget.

Water-saving tips for home buyers

Jun 17
Category | General

If you’re on the market for an older home, you’ll want to keep an eye out for water fixtures. Older homes don’t always have the latest in water-saving devices. Some even have a few water-wasters. The good news? A lot of these problems can be fixed quickly and cheaply and keep costs reduced on the water bill. Here are three issue areas to look for and how to fix them:

18561541 - head shower while running water

Shower heads. Putting in new, water-saving shower heads can have a big impact on your bill. Look for showerheads that average 2.5 gallons or less per minute.

Faucets. A dripping faucet can send gallons of water down the drain every day. This is the first place to start when checking for waste.

Toilets. Older toilets can use a lot more water than newer models, especially if an older one has a leak. Take a few minutes to inspect each toilet; you can typically hear and see evidence of leaks.

Another good way to save? Talk to your water company. Many municipalities have water-saving programs and incentives that can save you money. In some cases, they may be able to determine if you need a water pressure regulator, which could help cut down on your water use.

A home inspection checklist is essential when selling a home. While the inspection is an important part of the home buying process, it is equally as important for sellers to also prepare. What can you do as a seller to help the inspection process go smoothly? Here are five top tips from to keep in mind:

33714905 - drawing image search home in hand

  • De-clutter. You’ll want to make sure the inspector can easily access the area beneath your bathroom and kitchen sinks and the areas around your hot water heater, furnace and any major appliances.
  • Clean your home. A clean and tidy home makes a better impression than one that’s a mess.

  • Provide paperwork. Create a file detailing all maintenance and repairs you’ve completed on your home over the years, including any inspections of important components such as your furnace or chimney.
  • Provide access. Make sure your inspector can get into any locked rooms or exterior storage buildings as well as the attic or other storage areas.
  • Leave your home. Inspectors find it easier to do their work with the homeowners, children and pets around.

Making dreams possible

May 1
Category | General

37247968_MOwning a home. It’s a dream shared by many people. But for those who have lower income, especially if they have less than perfect credit, that dream may seem out of reach. Impossible. Fortunately, this is not true. An FHA loan can be the answer to turn the dream into a possibility.

An FHA loan is a viable option for people who don’t make lots of money and/or who may have had some credit issues. This loan is designed to help those who may not have the opportunities others have when it comes to financial stability and success.

People who seek an FHA loan may not have enough money for the standard down payment that most loans require. However, with an FHA loan, a buyer is able to put down just 3.5 percent of the cost of the home instead.

The lower down payment isn’t the only advantage. FHA loans are also easier to get because they aren’t as strict when it comes to the qualifications. As long as the person has enough money for the down payment and to pay the monthly mortgage payment, the loan is more likely to be approved.

The most important thing you need to make this dream possible is the down payment for the home. Set a goal, create a budget and start saving. This is a great time to contact your lender to see how much house you can afford. This will allow you to calculate how much you need for the down payment. And you can get some idea of how long it will take you to come up with the down payment.

Your FHA lender is a great resource to help you learn about FHA loans. Don’t find the perfect house then start asking about loans. Visit with your lender first. Your dream of owning a home can become a reality, and there’s nothing sweeter than that.

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