Four things to know about qualifying and closing a mortgage loan for Kentucky First Time Home Buyers
1. Do Mortgage Interest Rates Change Daily?
The good news is this: Once you find a home and get it under contract, you can lock your mortgage loan rate. Typically it takes about 30-45 days to close a mortgage loan in Kentucky, so the typical lock is for 30-60 days. If rates get better you may be able to negotiate a better rate with your lender, but they usually have to improve by at least 25 basis points (.25) to do that. Not all lenders offer this option. The longer you lock the loan, the greater the costs. It is usually free to lock in a loan for up to 90 days without having to pay a fee.
What a lot of lenders are experiencing now is that some loans don’t close on time for various reasons. You can always extend the lock on the loan but it will costs you usually .125 basis points to do so. If you let the lock expire on the loan, then you have to take worse case pricing on that day when you go to relock. It is usually best to extend the lock on your loan.
2. What kind of Credit Score Do I need to qualify?
3. What are the down payment requirements?
FHA will allow a home buyer to purchase a house with as little as 3.5% down. If your credit scores are low, say 680 and below, a lot of times it makes sense to go FHA because everyone pays the same mortgage insurance premiums no matter what your score is, and the down payment can be gifted to you. Meaning you really don’t have to have any skin into the game when it comes to down payment. They even allow down payment assistance through eligible parties (government grants or non-profits). Lastly, FHA will allow for higher debt to income ratios with sometimes getting loan pre-approvals up to 55% of your total gross monthly income.
VA loans offer eligible Veterans and Active Duty Personnel to buy a home going no money down with no monthly mortgage insurance. This is probably the best no money down loan out there since the rates are traditionally very low on comparison to other government insured mortgages and no monthly mortgage insurance. The VA loan can be used anywhere in the state of Kentucky with the maximum VA loan limit being $417k
USDA loans offer people buying a home in rural areas (typically towns of $20k or less) to buy a home going zero down. You cannot currently own another home and there is household income limits of $75,000 for a household family of four, and up to $99,000 for a household of five or more. You search USDA website for eligible areas and household income limits below at the yellow highlighted link :
4. What if I have had a bankruptcy or foreclosure in the past?
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∘ What kind of credit score do I need to qualify for different first time home buyer loans in Kentucky?
Answer. Most lenders will wants a middle credit score of 620 for KY First Time Home Buyers looking to go no money down. The two most used no money down home loans in Kentucky being USDA Rural Housing and KHC with their down payment assistance will want a 620 middle score on their programs.
If you have access to 3.5% down payment, you can go FHA and secure a 30 year fixed rate mortgage with some lenders with a 580 credit score. Even though FHA on paper says they will go down to 500 credit score with at least 10% down payment, you will find it hard to get the loan approved because lenders will create overlays to protect their interest and maintain a good standing with FHA and HUD.
Another popular no money down loan is VA. Most VA lenders will want a 620 middle credit score but like FHA, VA on paper says they will go down to a 500 score, but good luck finding a lender for that scenario.
A lot of times if your scores are in the high 500’s or low 600’s range, we can do a rapid rescore and get your scores improved within 30 days.
∘ Does it costs anything to get pre-approved for a mortgage loan?
Answer: Most lenders will not charge you a fee to get pre-approved, but some lenders may want you to pay for the credit report fee upfront. Typically costs for a tri-merge credit report for a single borrower runs about $50 or less. Maybe higher if more borrowers are included on the loan application.
∘ How long does it take to get approved for a mortgage loan in Kentucky?
Answer: Typically if you have all your income and asset documents together and submit to the lender, they typically can get you a pre-approval through the Automated Underwriting Systems within 24 hours. They will review credit, income and assets and run it through the different AUS (Automated Underwriting Systems) for the template for your loan pre-approval. Fannie Mae uses DU, or Desktop Underwriting, FHA and VA also use DU, and USDA uses a automated system called GUS. GUS stands for the Guaranteed Underwriting System.
If you get an Automated Approval, loan officers will use this for your pre-approval. If you have a bad credit history, high debt to income ratios, or lack of down payment, the AUS will sometimes refer the loan to a manual underwrite, which could result in a longer turn time for your loan pre-approval answer
∘ Are there any special programs in Kentucky that help with down payment or no money down loans for KY First Time Home Buyers?
Answer: There are some programs available to KY First Time Home Buyers that offer zero down financing: KHC, USDA, VA, Fannie Mae Home Possible and HomePath, HUD $100 down and City Grants are all available to Kentucky First Time Home buyers if you qualify for them. Ask your loan officer about these programs
∘ When can I lock in my interest rate to protect it from going up when I buy my first home?
Answer: You typically can lock in your mortgage rate and protect it from going up once you have a home picked-out and under contract. You can usually lock in your mortgage rate for free for 90 days, and if you need more time, you can extend the lock in rate for a fee to the lender in case the home buying process is taking a longer time. The longer the term you lock the rate in the future, the higher the costs because the lender is taking a risk on rates in the future.
Interest rates are kinda like gas prices, they change daily, and the general trend is that they have been going up since the Presidential election in November 2016.
∘ How much money do I need to pay to close the loan?
Answer: Depending on which loan program you choose, the outlay to close the loan can vary. Typically you will need to budget for the following to buy a home: Good faith deposit, usually less than $500 which holds the home for you while you close the loan. You get this back at closing; Appraisal fee is required to be paid to lender before closing. Typical costs run around $400-$450 for an appraisal fee; home inspection fees. Even though the lender’s programs don’t require a home inspection, a lot of buyers do get one done. The costs for a home inspection runs around $300-$400. Lastly, termite report. They are very cheap, usually $50 or less, and VA requires one on their loan programs. FHA, KHC, USDAS, Fannie Mae does not require a termite report, but most borrowers get one done.
There are also lender costs for title insurance, title exam, closing fee, and underwriting fees that will be incurred at closing too. You can negotiated the seller to pay for these fees in the contract, or sometimes the lender can pay for this with a lender credit.
The lender has to issue a breakdown of the fees you will incur on your loan pre-approval.
How long is my pre-approval good for on a Kentucky Mortgage Loan?
Answer: Most lenders will honor your loan pre-approval for 60 days. After that, they will have to re-run your credit report and ask for updated pay stubs, bank statements, to make sure your credit quality and income and assets has not changed from the initial loan pre-approval.
How much money do I have to make to qualify for a mortgage loan in Kentucky?
Answer: The general rule for most FHA, VA, KHC, USDA and Fannie MAe loans is that we run your loan application through the Automated Underwriting systems, and it will tell us your max loan qualifying ratios.
There are two ratios that matter when you qualify for a mortgage loan. The front-end ratio, is the new house payment divided by your gross monthly income. The back-end ratio, is the new house payment added to your current monthly bills on the credit report, to include child support obligations and 401k loans.
Car insurance, cell phone bills, utilities bills does not factor into your qualifying rations.
If the loan gets a refer on the initial desktop underwriting findings, then most programs will default to a front end ratio of 31% and a back-end ratio of 43% for most government agency loans that get a refer. You then take the lowest payment to qualify based on the front-end and back-end ratio.
So for example, let’s say you make $3000 a month and you have $400 in monthly bills you pay on the credit report. What would be your maximum qualifying house payment for a new loan?
Take the $3000 x .43%= $1290 maximum back-end ratio house payment. So take the $1290-$400= $890 max house payment you qualify for on the back-end ratio.
Then take the $3000 x .31%=$930 maximum qualifying house payment on front-end ratio.
So now your know! The max house payment you would qualify would be the $890, because it is the lowest payment of the two ratios.
- Minimum 620 Credit Score
- Max Purchase Price Limit of $283,000
- Max Household Income Limits of $117,250
- Must provide 3 years tax returns to prove a first time home buyer in Louisville KY
- Must complete an online homebuying course
- Max debt to income ratios of 40 and 45% respectively with Approved Eligible Findings
- No Bankruptcies last 2 years for FHA
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