Looking for the Top Mortgage Lender in Philadelphia?
When you’re searching for your first home, you’re also searching for your first mortgage lender.
Now, it’s difficult to make specific recommendations on lenders because it’s way too tough to stay up to date on the many thousands of lenders who work in the Pennsylvania Area.
However, USDALoanInfoPA can give you some very useful tips for how to approach your search for a lender.
When you’re looking for a mortgage lender you want start off by talking to a mortgage broker who has a good reputation in your area.
What is a USDA Mortgage Loan? The Rural Housing Service (RHS) of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) sponsors home loans referred to as Section 502 loans. Under Section 502, direct loans (i.e. from money appropriated by Congress) may be available to some low-income applicants. In addition, those with total household income less that 115% of the median household income in a qualified rural area may obtain government guaranteed mortgages from qualified lenders.The purpose of the program is described by the RHS as Follows: The Section 502 Guaranteed Rural Housing Loan Program is designed to serve rural residents who have a steady, low or modest income, and yet are unable to obtain adequate housing through conventional financing. These loans enable low and moderate-income rural residents to acquire modestly priced housing for their own use as a residence through the purchase of a new or existing dwelling or the purchase of a new manufactured home.If you live in a rural area or in a less developed portion of a metropolitan county, and your household income does not exceed the limit assigned to your area, you may qualify for a USDA guaranteed mortgage.Why should I consider a government guaranteed USDA Mortgage?USDA Mortgages may be issued with no down payment. Closing costs may be included in the loan amount, further decreasing up-front costs. Because of the government guarantee, interest rates are favorable and there is no mortgage insurance fee built into the monthly payment. USDA Mortgages are 30 year fixed-rate mortgages. Your interest rates will not increase during the life of the loan. Credit requirements are flexible. You must have a reasonable credit history and demonstrate that you are willing and able to make timely payments, but circumstances such as previous job loss or other extenuating circumstances may be considered in evaluating your credit history (or your lack of a credit history).Do I qualify for a USDA Mortgage Loan? The final word on eligibility is made by an officer in your local RHS office. This local officer has the discretion to evaluate your circumstances and credit history and take into account extenuating circumstances.You can learn whether you meet the outside limits on household income by going to the USDA Income and Property Eligibility Site at http://www.usda.gov. The same calculator can help you determine whether the property you wish to buy is located in a qualified rural area.In addition to having a satisfactory credit history, the ratio of your total monthly loan payment to monthly household income may not exceed 29 percent, and the ratio of monthly payments on all debt to household income must not exceed 41 percent.How do I apply for a USDA Mortgage Loan? Your local loan office or mortgage broker at First Option Mortgage and Lending can help you evaluate your eligibility, prepare a loan request and take full advantage of the options available to you through a government guaranteed USDA mortgage loan.
You should also, at the same time, talk to a regional lender, a credit union (if you belong to one or you can join one) and a small local bank.
Each of these different types of lenders will offer different loan programs at different prices.
You should also ask friends and relatives who they’ve used for their home loans and how the experience went.
But emphasis is on the experience.
I have a great friend who once asked her sister for a lender recommendation, and the sister gave her a name and my friend had this horrific experience.
And when she went back to her sister to see what kind of experience her sister had had with this person, the sister confirmed that she, too, had a horrific experience.
“Hello! Why did you give me that lender’s name?” my friend asked, and the sister said, “Well you weren’t specific that you wanted someone good.
Sounds like a Seinfeld episode, right? And yet, this kind of stuff goes on all the time.
So here are some questions you should ask the person providing the recommendation that will help separate the wheat from the chaff:
- Did the lender repeatedly ask for the same documents?
- Is the lender organized?
A good lender should enable you to close on a home within about forty-five days – unless there’s some real serious problems with the house – so make sure to ask your friends and relatives if their lenders were able to meet that standard.
It may sound obvious, but it’s a good idea to look for a lender who specializes in making residential loans and has a reputation in your area for coming through with these loans.
Banks that aren’t generally known for their mortgage lending can be tougher to work with than some of the really big lenders.
And while you may be thinking to yourself, “I want to avoid the big banks,” you’re probably going to end up with one anyway.
Even if you go with a mortgage broker, that mortgage broker may actually work with a whole bunch of big lenders to fund your loan.
Above all, you need to find a lender that helps you understand the mortgage application process in a way that makes you feel comfortable and secure.
This is a huge decision.
You’re going to finance this property for the long run, and you want to do that with the right kind of partner.
And I just want to give a shoutout to anybody who is closing around October of 2015.
If you are, please watch the videos that I’ve made on the TILA-RESPA changes that are coming your way.
Right now they’re scheduled to go into effect October 3rd of 2015.
If you are looking to close around that, either before or after, you may have to build in some extra time to make sure that you don’t get caught up in all the craziness that’s going to go on I think when TILA-RESPA actually goes into effect.
I came across something the other day that really excites me. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has a loan product called "Business and Industry". This loan guarantee program is designed to get business moving in smaller and rural communities. They don't actually make the loan, but similar to the SBA, they guarantee a loan through a commercial lending institution. I had never heard about this in the past but I have already submitted two different loan requests to two different banks.
Here are the main points to consider when thinking about obtaining a USDA loan guarantee.
- The funds and the business have to have to be in an area that is less than 50,000 inhabitants. A small incorporated city within a larger SMSA will not work. It has to be a smaller rural community.
- Loans can be for almost any business purpose. From equipment to working capital to real estate; and you can use it for investment property too.
- Loans can range up to $25 million and larger in some cases.
- You can get a fixed rate and have up to 30 years to pay the loan off.
- They will give you up to an 80% loan guarantee.
- The "extra" paperwork is limited but the loan must go to the USDA office to be approved.
- Most existing commercial lenders are qualified to participate. In some cases, other kinds of lenders may qualify.
- No balloon payments are allowed, so the bank will have to write a fully amortizing loan.
- There are only a few unqualified uses of the funds or types of borrowers.
- Once the bank has done its due diligence, the USDA will take anywhere from 30 to 60 days to make their decision. This depends on their work load. A pre-approval is available upon request.
This is good news for those who have projects in smaller communities. It seems that there are many aspects of this program that are a bit more "user friendly" than a typical SBA loan guarantee but most things are very similar in nature.
Like an SBA guaranteed loan, the USDA loans can be sold on the secondary market and a banker can get a return of over 10% in some cases. That just may entice your banker to lend you some money guaranteed by the USDA, or even the SBA.
I have found a number of banks who are willing to work with the USDA, so if you need a business loan in a small community, give me a call and let's see what we can do. Good luck.