Yesterday it was reported by Inman News that two big FHA Lenders Wells Fargo and Quicken Loans will back off their overlay program with reference to FICO scores on FHA Loans. Wells Fargo is the largest originator of FHA Loans and Quicken at #3. This will allow borrowers seeking more affordable loan programs with low down payments and less than stellar credit to continue to seek opportunities in the housing market. The mortgage industry has gone through a major overhaul in the last few years yet the need for affordable housing and lower down payments remains especially for those first time buyers that are trying to take advantage of low interest rates and declining home prices. The 2010 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers in Florida showed that 44% of homebuyers in Florida were first time buyers.
FHA might be an option for you. In Sarasota County FHA mortgage limits are $442,500 for a single family home. Your down payment can be as low as 3.5% of the purchase price, and most of your closing costs and fees can be included in the loan. For those looking at homes that are in need of repairs FHA has a 203k Program that allows you to fix the property and roll the costs into your loan. We had clients purchase a short sale on a home in need of a new roof...the program was perfect for our clients who are now living in their home and very pleased with their purchase.
In short FHA loans allow you a lower downpayment, easier credit qualifying, and lower closing costs. In addition you can in many cases have a lower mortgage payment than you would a rental payment. Home ownership is still the American Dream. In the National Association of Realtors 2011 public awareness campaign it states the importance of owning a home on both financial and social levels. The studies show a few of the benefits of homeownership are higher academic achievement, more cohesive communities, better connected families, improved health and safety, and a stronger economy.
Homes are not just a refuge from the storms of our everyday life they are a source of comfort and pride. It's a place were many of us raise a family, start a family, take care of loved one's, and create everlasting memories with those who matter most to us. It's always nice to come HOME.