Mortgage Loans Are Available Now!

Getting a new mortgage instant cash loan today can be confusing. Contrary to what you often see on the news lately, there are plenty of mortgage loans available. In fact, there are too many to completely cover here. My aim is to pull back the curtain and give you information on the programs I think are some of the best available.

VA -- Still a great program, designed for the veteran. It's the one place a veteran can get a home loan up to $729,000 at a reasonable interest rate and 0% (that's Zero Percent) down payment. There are no PMI charges required as there are on FHA and Conventional loans of more than 80%. There are less strict credit qualification standards for veterans and lower income requirements. The loans have no prepayment penalties. In Texas and a few other states, there are also veteran's programs (that include National Guard and Army Reserve members) for purchases of land and homes with loans insured by the state.

FHA -- For the non-veteran, FHA is still the best, offering a 30 year fixed mortgage with a 3-1/2% down payment plus 1.75% PMI up front, or 5.25% total down. They allow the seller to absorb 6% of your closing costs and some prepaid items, so if you are a good negotiator, it's possible to get into a home for no more than 5.25% of the sale price. FHA loan limits aren't as high as VA but are still substantial at $289,000. They are a little more relaxed on credit requirements than on conventional loans. If you put a little more down, like 10%, you can avoid the up front 1.75% PMI charge. They will also allow you to receive a gift of the cash involved from a blood relative, your employer and some charitable agencies.

FHA (k) -- This is their new "streamlined" loan program. It has all the same basics of a regular FHA loan plus you can add up to $35,000 in home rehabilitation or remodeling costs to your loan as long as the work is completed with in 30 days. The maximum loan though is still $289,000 including the repairs and improvements. This program is great for buying damaged foreclosed homes.

CONVENTIONAL -- There are way too many conventional loan programs to cover here, but if you have the time and can find a good independent loan broker, he will take your qualifying information and comb through the many programs offered and give you a synopsis of the ones that best suit your needs. I'll be giving some tips on finding a good loan broker in a future article.

INCENTIVES -- Don't forget about the tax credit. This is a credit for new home buyers (someone who hasn't owned a home in 3 years). The incentive under the Bush package was $7500 tax credit for buying a home and it had to be paid back in payments over 7 years. Under the new stimulus program that was changed to $8,000 and you don't have to pay it back. That means whatever you normally pay in taxes for the next year after you buy a home you get the first $8,000 of it back.

Don't be discouraged by what you hear on the news, good loan programs are out there, and now is a very good time to buy a home.

W. K. Winn is a Licensed Real Estate Broker with many years experience buying, selling, marketing and developing real estate properties. Need more tips on buying, selling or investing in real estate? Go to