Tampa Mortgage | FHA, VA, Government Loans

Mortgage and Lending with Your Tampa Bay Mortgage Source

 FHA, VA mortgage in Tampa, or even in South Tampa...is this an option?  Yes!  In fact, it is a solution.  As a direct lender, we are fortunate to have the capabilities to write government loans.  Now, I have to sidebar and give you a bit of background about me to paint a picture here. 

I started as a mortgage consultant in Kalamazoo, Michigan.  In Kalamazoo, we have a number of banks and mortgage lenders, quite a few less mortgage brokers.  What this means is that we wrote quite a few government loans for borrowers.  They have many advantages, but I will get to that a bit later.  So, back to me and lots of experience in government loans, from FHA, VA to MSHDA (Michigan State Housing Development Authority).  Flash forward to my move to Florida.  AmeriFirst wanted to open in office in Tampa, Florida...can you believe I decided to come down to Florida...from Michigan.  I did, with a big smile!  When I started originating loans in Florida, I realized that government loans were VERY rarely used and most REALTORS thought very negatively of these loans.  I do believe it was mainly because of the many, MANY options that were available at the time.

Now, here we are again to today.  Because our market is changin daily and fewer and fewer investors have options for first time buyers, I am here on my FHA soap box YELLING AT THE TOP OF MY LUNGS...We can do it!!  Give government loans a chance!!

Here is my disclaimer: Government loans are not for everyone, please consult with your Tampa mortgage professional:

Here is what I am seeing, first hand as perfect scenarios:

  • Young borrowers with few tradelines, albeit good credit scores, and limited history
  • Borrowers who have had previous credit issues, including bankruptcy, but have been working hard to get it corrected for the past 2 years, but still haven't reached credit scores acceptable to standard guidelines
  • Borrower with sub 600 scores looking for 100% financing
  • 100% financing in general...we can accomplish this through down payment assistance programs
  • Cash out refinance available up to 95% LTV
  • Up to 9% in seller concessions
  • Great rates, fixed rates terms, no prepayment penalties and they are assumable!

I believe everyone should know why these are good options.  I also believe people should be aware that FHA loans have changed dramatically over the past 3 years.  The guidelines are more in tune with conventional loans and the appraisal requirements are MUCH easier to work with.

How can the government help you today?

Comments (10)

Jason Sardi
Auto & Home & Life Insurance throughout North Carolina - Charlotte, NC
Your Agent for Life
I agree Leah, I think Government loans were largely overlooked in giving potential borrower's options in getting into a home.  That being said, I don't think they will take the place of the subprime market that we have seen in recent years.  There's a reason those lenders are going out of business....high LTV's....extremely sketchy credit history.....stated income loans.....high debt ratios....essentially, making loans that didn't make common sense. 
Mar 21, 2007 01:48 PM
Leah Ross
Your Tampa Bay Mortgage Source - Tampa, FL
Tampa, Florida Mortgage
Jason, you are right!  I agree with your comment.  You know, this poses a great question for all of us in the Real Estate market.  You have to ask yourself, "Does this make sense for my customer".  I can't tell you how many times I have counseled borrowers and then they went to get a subprime mortgage the same day.  I wouldn't write the loan but someone else would.  That is the plus side to this market...a cleansing!
Mar 21, 2007 02:16 PM
Tom Burkett
Charles Rutenberg Realty, Inc. - Tampa, FL
Great comments! How do you think this will affect borrowers that have a high credit score and 20% down who still want to go the no doc route? Would this affect them, Business Owner's, Investors etc..Would they be considered sub-prime because of the no-doc loan or stated income?
Mar 21, 2007 02:35 PM
Jack Haydon
Charles Rutenberg Realty - Clearwater Beach, FL
Clearwater Beach Condos - Real Estate Homes for Sale
Great update Leah! We are already seeing the changes affect potential buyers - Keep those updates coming!
Mar 21, 2007 03:08 PM
Leah Ross
Your Tampa Bay Mortgage Source - Tampa, FL
Tampa, Florida Mortgage
Tom, in response to your question, I will give you the wishy washy mortgage answer...it will change from day to day.  The real question will be, does it make sense?  They will need to have other factors that work for them, such as reserves or previous mortgage history.  We are seeing lenders really look at each loan and really weigh the risk of default...not just look at the credit score and an automated underwriting finding!  If it makes sense, those loans will probably stick around.  Those loans are considered Alt-A, not necessarily subprime.  I received notice today that on these loans we are upping credit score requirements and reserve requirements.
Mar 21, 2007 03:21 PM
"The Lovely Wife" (Broker Bryantnulls Wife) The One And Only TLW.
President-Tutas Towne Realty, Inc. - Kissimmee, FL


When you are done yelling at the top of your lungs from your soap box...

I will be here with a respirator and a band aid just in case you are out of breath or you fall off the box. SVW (smiling very wide)


May 23, 2007 01:01 PM
Jack Haydon
Charles Rutenberg Realty - Clearwater Beach, FL
Clearwater Beach Condos - Real Estate Homes for Sale

Thanks again Leah. As I read this post again, it is becoming more obvious that government loans will be a bigger part of our business this year.


May 26, 2007 12:49 PM
Leah Ross
Your Tampa Bay Mortgage Source - Tampa, FL
Tampa, Florida Mortgage
TLW ~ Thank goodness you are there to save me!  I will put you on my emergency dial list for whenever I get up on that soap box.  Perhaps I should consider a mattress beneath the box for as often as I am speaking on it lately!
May 28, 2007 05:44 AM
Leah Ross
Your Tampa Bay Mortgage Source - Tampa, FL
Tampa, Florida Mortgage
Jack, you are right, they are still great loans for the loan amounts around $220k.  Great for first time homebuyers looking for the long term investment in their homes!
May 28, 2007 05:45 AM
Mike Harkins
1st Continental Mortgage - Davie, FL

I aggree FHA mortgage have more advanatges than any others

FHA is easy to qualify for; the program was created to help to increase homeownership in the United states. FHA program makes buying a home easier and less expensive than other types of real estate mortgage Programs. Some examples include,

FHA Mortgages offer Minimal Down Payment and Closing Costs.

  • Down payment less than 3% of Sales Price  and 100% Financing options available
  • Gift for down payment and closing costs are  allowed up to 6% of Sales price.
  • No reserves or savings required.
  • Easy  Credit Qualifying Guidelines
  • No minimum FICO score or credit score requirements.
  • FHA will allow a home purchase 2 years after a Bankruptcy.
  • FHA will allow a home purchase 3 years after a Foreclosure. 
Feb 17, 2008 05:41 PM