Prosperity News


FHFA Announces Higher Loan Limits for 2018

As the result of a higher average U.S. home price in 2017, the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) has announced new, higher maximum conforming loan limits for 2018.

In most areas of the country, the 2018 maximum loan amount for one-unit properties will be $453,100, an increase from $424,100 in 2017.  In high-cost areas, the new maximum high balance loan limit will be $679,650, up from $636,150.

As in the past, loan limits may vary by county. Click here for a list and map of the 2018 maximum loan limits for all counties and county-equivalent areas in the U.S.

New Conforming Loan Limit Sample:

2018 Conforming Loan Limit

Sales Price High

Down Payment Amount

$453,100

$467,113

3%

$453,100

$566,375

20%

 

New High Balance Loan Limit Sample:

2018 High Balance Loan Limit

Sales Price High

Down Payment Amount

$679,650

$715,421

5%

$679,650

$849,562

20%

 

Contact your mortgage consultant directly if you have questions on local limits or other home financing options.

 

 

 

All first mortgage products are provided by Prosperity Home Mortgage, LLC. (877) 275-1762. Prosperity Home Mortgage, LLC products may not be available in all areas. Not all borrowers will qualify. Licensed by the NJ Department of Banking and Insurance.  Licensed by the Delaware State Bank Commissioner.  Also licensed in District of Columbia, Georgia, Indiana, Maryland, Michigan, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia.

NMLS ID #75164 (NMLS Consumer Access at http://www.nmlsconsumeraccess.org/)

©2017 Prosperity Home Mortgage, LLC. All Rights Reserved.


If you’ve recently started house hunting, you may have found that the home buying journey can be lengthy. Finding a place with the right combination of must-haves and nice-to-haves can be complex and time consuming.  How much square footage do you need?  Do you want to be close to parks, shopping, or services?  Will your commute to work be acceptable?

These types of questions are important, but they can be overshadowed by the possibility of rising mortgage rates as you apply for a home loan.  While interest rates should not be the only concern when obtaining home financing, your rate does have an impact on the loan amount for which you can be approved.  Quite simply, the lower your interest rate, the more buying power you have.

If interest rates rise in the future, we still want our clients to be able enjoy an exciting path toward homeownership, not one filled with anxiety about changing interest rates.  That’s why you may be interested to learn about the Prosperity Buyer Advantage: Lock, Shop & Home loan program, which offers buyers an opportunity to counter the worry of rising interest rates.

The Prosperity Buyer Advantage1 allows you to get much of the home financing process out of the way and obtain a Commitment Letter, which can help set your purchase offer apart from other offers a seller may be considering.  Participating in the Prosperity Buyer Advantage costs you nothing additional and can help prevent last-minute issues with your home financing, so you can enjoy an on-time loan closing.

What’s more, Lock, Shop & Home allows you to lock in an interest rate for up to 90 days at TODAY’S rate instead of waiting to lock in a rate only after you’ve found a home to purchase.  Here are a few highlights:

  • No property address is needed at the time of application and rate lock.
  • Lock an interest rate up to 90 days.2
  • Conforming and high balance loan amounts are available.
  • May be used with conventional or government fixed rate loan programs.3

 

Want to learn more about the Prosperity Buyer Advantage: Lock, Shop & Home loan program and see if it's the right fit for you? Contact a mortgage consultant near you!

 

 

 

 

1. Prosperity Buyer Advantage is not a loan approval. Ask your mortgage consultant for details about Prosperity Buyer Advantage. A Commitment Letter is based on information and documentation provided by you and a review of your credit report. The interest rate and type of mortgage used to approve you for a specified loan amount is subject to change, which may also change the terms of approval. If the interest rate used for credit approval has changed, you may need to re-qualify. Information provided by you is subject to review and all other loan conditions must be met. After you have chosen a home and your offer has been accepted, final loan approval will be contingent upon obtaining an acceptable appraisal and title commitment.  Additional documentation may be required.

2. Additional fees may apply.

3. Lock, Shop & Home program is not available for bond, jumbo, or renovation loan programs.

All first mortgage products are provided by Prosperity Home Mortgage, LLC. (877) 275-1762. Prosperity Home Mortgage, LLC products may not be available in all areas. Not all borrowers will qualify. Licensed by the NJ Department of Banking and Insurance.  Licensed by the Delaware State Bank Commissioner.  Also licensed in District of Columbia, Georgia, Indiana, Maryland, Michigan, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia.

NMLS ID #75164 (NMLS Consumer Access at http://www.nmlsconsumeraccess.org/)

©2017 Prosperity Home Mortgage, LLC. All Rights Reserved.


Appraisal disappointing? You have options, according to the Appraisal Institute.
 
"Homebuyers and sellers should first understand what an appraisal is and how it's used," says Jim Amorin, president and acting CEO of the Appraisal Institute. "Real estate appraisals for mortgage finance applications are prepared for the bank or financial institution so they can better understand the collateral risk in making the loan. This can be confusing, because homebuyers typically pay for the appraisal and receive a copy of it."
 
In some cases, the appraisal may not match the contract price—but just because an appraisal comes in below (or above) the listing or contract price doesn't mean it's flawed, Amorin says. The agreed-upon contract price may be above market value, for example. In those situations, the buyer and seller often renegotiate the contract at more favorable or balanced terms.
 
Homebuyers should ask their lender for the qualifications of the appraiser, including whether they are designated by a professional association like the Appraisal Institute, says Amorin. A qualified and competent appraiser knows how to conduct a thorough market analysis and make appropriate adjustments.
 
Homebuyers also can ask whether the appraiser is directly engaged by the bank or whether the bank utilizes an appraisal management company, and what their procedures are for engaging qualified appraisers.
 
"The best way for consumers to combat potential problems with appraisals is to ensure the appraiser hired by their lender is highly qualified and competent," Amorin says. "Consumers have every right to demand the use of a highly qualified appraiser, someone with field experience in their market and knowledge and experience to handle the assignment properly."
 
Contrary to incorrect interpretations of appraiser independence requirements, appraisers welcome information that would assist the development of credible assignment results," says Amorin. If lender policies permit, consumers can accompany appraisers when conducting the property inspection and may provide the appraiser with any information they consider important.
 
Amorin suggests consumers ask their lender for permission to do so, and confirm the appointment. Consumers should also take note of whether an adequate inspection is performed. Did the appraiser spend enough time at the property to observe important features or improvements or potential problems?
 
Homebuyers should take advantage of their right to obtain a copy of the appraisal report," Amorin says. Even though the appraisal is ordered to help assess lender collateral risk, buyers are entitled to a copy of the appraisal report. Federal regulations require lenders to provide property buyers with free copies of appraisal reports no later than three days before the loan closes.
 
Although appraisal review is best performed by qualified appraisers, consumers should examine the appraisal for potential deficiencies, says Amorin. According to "Appraising the Appraisal: The Art of Appraisal Review," common errors in appraisals include: misuse of adjustments to comparables; disregarding special financing and concessions; or miscalculation of gross living area (GLA).
 
Amorin suggests consumers ask themselves:

  • Do adjacent homes add or detract from the value of the subject property?
  • Is the subject property equal to or lower in price than surrounding homes?
  • Does the floor plan have any functional problems?
  • Does the house (particularly the kitchen and bathrooms) require major remodeling to make it comparable with similar homes in the same price range?
  • Is the number of bedrooms and baths in the home comparable to similar homes in the same price range?
  • Did the appraiser perform an adequate inspection? 

"Most lenders have appraisal appeal procedures, known as 'Reconsiderations of Value,'" says Amorin. "If you're aware of recent, comparable sales information or items that may not have been available or considered by the appraiser, provide those to the lender. If problems were found with the first appraisal, you can and should obtain a second appraisal."

 

Learn more about property appraisals here, and contact your local mortgage consultant with any questions about the appraisal process.

 

 


 
Source: Appraisal Institute

Reprinted with permission from RISMedia. ©2017. All rights reserved.

All first mortgage products are provided by Prosperity Home Mortgage, LLC. (877) 275-1762. Prosperity Home Mortgage, LLC products may not be available in all areas. Not all borrowers will qualify. Licensed by the NJ Department of Banking and Insurance.  Licensed by the Delaware State Bank Commissioner.  Also licensed in District of Columbia,  Georgia, Indiana, Maryland, Michigan, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia.

NMLS ID #75164 (NMLS Consumer Access at http://www.nmlsconsumeraccess.org/)  ©2017 Prosperity Home Mortgage, LLC.  All Rights Reserved.


Want instant access to home financing tools and information? We have a mobile app with several features designed to help make the home loan process simpler and more convenient for our clients. From the moment you submit your home loan application to the moment you reach settlement, this app is on your time!

To download our app, you can ask your mortgage consultant to share it with you directly, or you can find it on the Apple App Store and on the Android App Store.  You can also search for “Prosperity Home Mortgage App” on your mobile device, choose your local mortgage consultant from the list presented to you, and download for instant access to our home financing tools:

  • Securely pre-qualify for mortgage financing right on their mobile device.
  • Utilize mortgage calculators to instantly calculate monthly mortgage payments, affordability, and refinance options.
  • Scan and upload documents to Encompass, our loan originating system, using your smartphone camera feature.
  • Track a loan from start to finish in real time and receive loan milestone notifications.
  • Get contact information for your local mortgage consultant with the touch of a button.
  • Access our blog, helpful articles, and a glossary of real estate/mortgage terms.

Learn more about the Prosperity Home Mortgage app in this video.

 

Need to find a local mortgage consultant?  Click here to find a location near you!

 

 

 

All first mortgage products are provided by Prosperity Home Mortgage, LLC. (877) 275-1762. Prosperity Home Mortgage, LLC products may not be available in all areas. Not all borrowers will qualify. Licensed by the NJ Department of Banking and Insurance.  Licensed by the Delaware State Bank Commissioner.  Also licensed in District of Columbia, Georgia, Indiana, Maryland, Michigan, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia.
NMLS ID #75164 (NMLS Consumer Access at http://www.nmlsconsumeraccess.org/)
©2017 Prosperity Home Mortgage, LLC. All Rights Reserved.


Renting Vs. Owning

Sep 14
5:27
PM
Category | Prosperity News

With interest rates near historic lows, opportunity may be knocking.

We understand the option to rent or buy a home depends on your unique situation, and your decision requires careful consideration.  While renting may make more sense for some, buying a home can be less expensive on average than renting long-term.¹

When deciding which option is right for you, we recommend asking some basic questions:

  • Is it important that your home can be used as an investment?
  • How long do you plan to stay in your home?
  • How fast do rent and home prices rise in your area?

Buying may be the right option if you:

  • Want the opportunity to build equity in your home as a long-term investment and take advantage of homeowner tax credits and incentives.
  • Are planning to stay in your home long-term (typically 4 years or more).
  • Would like to create a home that is unique to your own style.
  • Are experiencing rising rent payments.

Renting may be the right option if you:

  • Prefer a monthly budget that does not include costs for home maintenance or improvements.
  • Plan to move again within the next few years (typically less than 4 years)
  • Enjoy the amenities that are often available within rental communities.
  • Have financial obstacles or credit issues that may preclude homeownership.

 

Buying or renting can be different for everyone based on your individual situation.  Contact a local mortgage consultant to answer any questions you may have about buying a home!

 

BY THE NUMBERS:
Rent vs. Buy calculations often differ by real estate market. Use our rent vs. buy calculator tool to help you decide if renting or buying is right for you!

 

 

 

1. Contact a mortgage consultant to compare the cost of renting versus buying to determine the right option for you.
All first mortgage products are provided by Prosperity Home Mortgage, LLC. (877) 275-1762. Prosperity Home Mortgage, LLC products may not be available in all areas. Licensed by the NJ Department of Banking and Insurance. Licensed by the Delaware State Bank Commissioner. Also licensed in District of Columbia, Georgia, Indiana, Maryland, Michigan, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia.
NMLS ID #75164 (NMLS Consumer Access at http://www.nmlsconsumeraccess.org/)
©2017 Prosperity Home Mortgage, LLC. All Rights Reserved.


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