Explore our blog for insights on buying, financing, remodeling, and taking care of your home.
It’s been a tough couple of years. And with incomes stretched tight, some homeowners may have entered a forbearance on their mortgages. This special agreement between lender and borrower gives homeowners a little breathing room, allowing them to delay or reduce mortgage payments to their lenders over a certain period of time.
With interest rates still near all time lows, you may be thinking about refinancing your existing mortgage into a new one. As a homeowner, there are good reasons to consider this option: to get a lower interest rate, to drop private mortgage insurance, or to pull cash from your home’s equity to consolidate debt or make home improvements. The short answer, of course, is to have more money each month for groceries, car payments, and the orthodontic bill. "You may have the potential to save hundreds of dollars on your monthly payments by refinancing," said Bryan Maddex, a loan officer with our Amerifirst Charlotte, N.C., branch. "While it's not right for everyone, it doesn't cost you anything to talk to a loan officer who can review your current mortgage and let you know your options."
The USDA has announced a great opportunity for homeowners with a rural development mortgage. This zero-down mortgage option is great for first time home buyers because of the 100% financing. With homeowners who went this route a few years ago, interest rates were decent - in the 8% range - but those rates have fallen near 4% now. The only problem is that in that same time period, home values have dropped so refinancing is difficult with no equity. Enter the rural development refinance program.
A homeowner who loves their house may still look around and see opportunities to upgrade. Maybe you've outgrown your kitchen. Maybe you're in desperate need of an extra bathroom. Check your windows - are they too old and in need of replacing? Paying for any or all of these projects can get to be a daunting endeavor. Sure, many projects can be done in a do-it-yourself (DIY) weekend with minimal money. But what happens if the work is beyond your skill set, time and money? That's when it's time to consider a refinance mortgage to upgrade your home.
Make Your Current Home Your Dream Home Imagine buying your first home and watching your family outgrow it. You've made a lot of memories here and the thought of leaving makes you sad. Could there be a way for you to stay? There is and it's called the FHA 203(k) home improvement loan. With this loan you can refinance your current mortgage and get the extra funds you need to pay for repairs, upgrades and renovations all in one home loan. You can add bedrooms or bathrooms, expand a kitchen or dining room or even add a second story to the home.