News


Gifts are Allowed When Buying a Home

Jan 30
12:39
PM
2017
Category | General

There are plenty of people around with a lot of money in the bank. Unfortunately, many of them are older and already own houses whereas their kids don’t. There is a common myth that a parent cannot give their child a gift for the down payment for more than $14,000 without gift tax consequences, or that a gift must be spread out over several years.

 

Experienced originators know that this is not the case. Many first time homebuyers receive help from their families and many parents want to help their kids buy a home. Each parent can give their child $14,000, for example, each tax year for a total maximum of $28,000 per year from parents without having to pay a gift tax. This is helpful to know, because in some locations $14,000 may barely be enough to cover closing costs!

 

Lenders know that the IRS watches transactions like home purchases to make sure that all requirements of the tax code are met, but it does not require a donor (or the one receiving the gift) to pay a gift tax if the amount is over $14,000 in a tax year. It says that a gift tax return must be filed if more than $14,000 is given by any one parent to any one child in any one tax year but no tax is due. Unless the gifts given in a lifetime exceed $5.34 million, no gift tax is due. The one receiving the gift has no tax consequences. Be sure to consult your accountant for details.

 

But lenders have rules regarding gifts. In general, a borrower may receive a gift from a close relative to help him or her cover the down payment and closing costs. The gift amount is limitless when the down payment equals at least 20%. If the down payment is less than 20 percent, the borrower must have at least 5% of the sales price in his own money. An exception exists for FHA loans where all of the money needed to cover the down payment and closing costs may come as a gift from a close relative.

 

And gifts must be carefully documented, complete with a letter from the donor stating the gift does not have to be repaid and a paper trail of that gift to prove that the donor had the money to donate and that the borrower received the money from the relative.


Puzzled by Mortgage Rates and Price?

Jan 25
3:57
PM
2017
Category | General

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.


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.


Shopping for a Mortgage Based on Price

Jan 5
4:23
PM
2017
Category | General

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.


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