home buyer - home

Ready for a LOWER down-payment?

Are you looking to become a homeowner in 2018? We’ve got some pretty exciting news for home buyers!

This week, we are excited to announce the addition of Freddie Mac Home Possible Fixed Rate product. 

Home Possible gives Americans much more flexible guidelines and a better opportunity to purchasing their dream home. Keep reading to see the outline of all the benefits that come with this new option!

Product Highlights

Home Possible offers lower down payment options for buyers with a moderate income or in underserved communities. This product also provides higher loan-to-value ratios and lower than standard mortgage insurance requirements!

What are some other benefits to this product?

– Financing up to 97% LTV; up to 100% CLTV on eligible transactions with Affordable Second lien

– 1-unit properties, condominiums, and PUDs (attached and detached)

– Purchase and rate-term refinance transactions

– Maximum loan amount of $453,100

– 15,20, and 30 year terms

– Minimum FICO of 620

– Reduced MI coverage of 25% for 90.01% to 97% LTV

To get started with this great product, there is a short Homeownership Education course required. Click here to learn more! 

We work so hard here at Sun American Mortgage to help you accomplish the American Dream of becoming a homeowner!  We will walk you through every step of the home buying and mortgage loan process and thoroughly answer any questions you may have.

No matter your financial situation, we will help find the mortgage loan program that fits you BEST. Take the first step and get a quick and easy Pre-Approval here or call us at 480-832-4343.

Scary (Avoidable) Mistakes People Make in the Mortgage Loan Process!

What’s scarier than applying and qualifying for a mortgage, and then having to start the process ALL OVER?!

Starting from scratch all because of one mistake that could’ve easily been avoided…

Today we will list the most common (and avoidable) mortgage mistakes, how to steer clear of them, and why they mess up the mortgage loan process! 

Switching Up Jobs

This is one of the most common mortgage mistakes lenders have to deal with. Changing careers or even deciding to retire in the middle of it all, can really hurt your chances of closing on your mortgage. To put it simply, a lender can’t make a case for a borrowers future income based on their current income if jobs are in transition. Underwriters look at employment and income, length of time you’ve been employed, stability and more!

If you’re expecting to change jobs during the application process, just let your lender know ahead of time so paperwork is easier for both of you. As long as you can show moving forward that your future income will be able to make those monthly mortgage payment, there’s no need to worry about starting all over again.

Credit Changes

Does it FREAK you out when something negative pops up on your credit report? Are you extra careful how you spend your credit cards and meet payment deadlines? Good! During the mortgage loan process, keeping major tabs on your debt to income ratio, credit score, and how on time you are paying your bills, is going to be crucial. Even after you’ve been approved and are in the mortgage loan process, don’t forget how important it really is to stay on top of your credit score.

Here are a few other things that can lead to trouble with your impending mortgage…

-Getting a new credit card. Whether that’s through your favorite department store, avoid the temptation to register for one. This results in a MAJOR headache later for you and your mortgage lender.

-Getting an auto loan. This can potentially throw your debt to income ratio out of whack, change how much you qualify for, and totally cancel out the previous pre-qualification that’s been done.

For more credit tips to BOOST up your credit score, checkout some of these clips from financial and credit expert Jeff Boulton

Big Purchases

Just as a general rule, save any big purchases for AFTER the closing of your mortgage. Another way to doom your mortgage approval is to spike up your debt to income ratio.

Maybe you’re super excited about your new home and want to put all the new home decor charges on a credit card. BAD IDEA.  Spending big bucks on new home decorations, a motorcycle, a spontaneous trip, or anything else on your credit cards is a definite NO while you’re in the process of closing on a home. Life gets busy and random expenses will naturally pop up, so this is one of the most common mortgage mistakes that can get easily be forgotten.

What are some other red flags for mortgage lenders to see from borrowers? Here’s some more “DON’TS” to help you better prepare for the mortgage loan process..

-Getting involved in a timeshare. Really anything that requires you to “finance” – or that will be showing up on a credit report isn’t worth the trouble down the road.

-Paying off charges or collections without consulting with your loan officer first

-Changing bank accounts or making changes to your credit profile.

Following these simple guidelines will keep this final chapter of the home buying process as hassle-free as possible! As a mortgage company, our favorite part of the job is delivering the great news that you’ve closed on your dream home. Keeping these tips in mind throughout the process will make your life much easier and speed that process up as well!

Call us to talk to one of our knowledgeable team members today 480-832-4343 or use our NEW Online Accelerator application to get a quick estimate of what you can qualify for!


References:

https://www.mortgagelendersofamerica.com/preapproval-tips

https://www.moneytips.com/7-mistakes-to-avoid-after-mortgage-pre-approval

conventional loan - homes

Meeting Your Mortgage Needs

Are you sick of paying rent? Taking out a mortgage is easier than you may think. Especially when you have a knowledgeable and caring team like ours to guide you along the way! Today we want to address common concerns and frequently asked questions we get from new home buyers. 

There are a few different mortgage programs and financing options, by the end of this article hopefully you’ll have a better idea of which one works BEST for you!

Meeting your mortgage needs is our number one goal, lets get started!

What if I can’t afford a 20% Down Payment?

Its unrealistic to think everyone has that 20% down payment stashed away in their bank. Luckily there are other mortgage options to help meet everyone else’s needs. 

For example, with an FHA Loan, lenders require less money from the borrower upfront. This low down payment can be as little as 3.5% down! With this low down payment also comes possibly a higher monthly payment or less equity in the home when you’re ready to sell. 

To learn more about our different Mortgage Programs, click here! 

conventional loan - pic

I have children in elementary school, I want to pay off my mortgage before they leave to college. How can I do that?

With a 15 year fixed rate loan you’re gaining equity in your home quicker and paying off your loan faster. If you don’t mind a higher monthly payment, a Conventional Loan may your best pick, click here to learn more! 

You could set realistic and attainable financial goals that will help you to pay your mortgage loan off faster. Meet with a financial adviser or do some research. Many have done it and so can you! Here’s a great article that can offer you some tips: http://www.quickanddirtytips.com/money-finance/loans/8-ways-to-pay-off-a-mortgage-early

conventional loan - family

I don’t have the best credit score, what type of mortgage should I look for? 

Borrowers with a lower credit score are more likely to get approved if they apply for an FHA Loan. Scores can be a low as 580! However you will still need to do some explaining why your score is so low, how you plan on improving it, etc. Click here to learn more about how to clean up your report and prepare your credit for the mortgage loan process. 

conventional loan - card

What else should I take into consideration when I’m buying a home and taking out a mortgage?

Get information from other lenders, do your research, shop around, and make sure you’re getting the best possible price. Here at Sun American we have the best rates and prices in the Valley! Our reviews on Google and Facebook beat any other mortgage business in town, here’s some of our most recent ones! 

conventional loan - reviews

I’m not too sure how long I’ll be living in my current city…should I still take out a mortgage right now? 

Real Estate professionals recommend taking into consideration how long you’ll be staying in that area. A 15 year or 30 year mortgage is the best way to go if you’re pretty uncertain. This gets you the most equity in your home. 

conventional loan - city

What are closing costs and how much will they be? 

Closing costs are fees that come along with your home purchase and are paid at the end of the real estate transaction. In a recent survey done on Zillow.com, on average buyers will pay roughly $3,700 in closing fees. The Loan Estimate from the beginning will give you a pretty good idea of what you’re closing costs will be. 

This week we celebrate 33 YEARS of helping individuals become home buyers! Whatever your concerns or questions may be, we always answer them as thoroughly as we can. The best part of our job is making this new chapter exciting for you and your family. Meeting your mortgage needs is our top priority!

Call to speak to one of our expert team members today! 480-832-4343 


References:

https://www.trulia.com/blog/type-mortgage-best/

trendiest cities in the valley - az

Trendiest Cities in the Valley, Home Prices, Events, and More!

When you’re house hunting in the Valley, there are many wonderful options to choose from. Many statistics have shown some areas in the East Valley to even be the safest in America! We have affordable and beautiful homes, great communities, and the BEST weather! (most of the year) 

Choosing the best spot to settle down in is an important decision. We want to help you out and give you the update on the trendiest cities in the Valley, 2017 home prices/statistics, best schools, upcoming events, and more! 

Let’s get started! 

Chandler

Chandler is the up and coming city in the Valley. The city of Chandler was awarded the safest city in Arizona! They have the best schools, a great night life, and many ongoing community events. 

trendiest cities to live in valley - map

According to Niche.com, this is the median home value and a map showing the average home prices depending where you live in Chandler. Click here to see more statistics and market info on Chandler homes! 

Want to see what homes are currently on the market? Click here to get started! 

trendiest cities to live in valley - map

trendiest cities to live in valley - map

 

Events

Here are some upcoming events in Chandler this Fall! 

Arizona Harvest Festival

San Tan Oktoberfest

Fall Greek Festival

Rockin Taco Street Festival 

Chandler Art Walk

Tumbleweed Tree Lighting Festival 

AZ Classic Jazz Festival 

For more details on these events visit their website: http://www.visitchandler.com/events/

 

 

Gilbert

Gilbert is a thriving suburb community, constantly growing and adding exciting stores, restaurants, stunning homes, and more! According to Gilbert, AZ website, Gilbert boasts a nationally ranked K-12 education system including public schools, unique magnet and charter schools, with an average graduation rate of 90%. Nearly 40% of Gilbert residents hold a bachelor’s degree or higher and the median household income is $80,080.

The estimated population is expected to reach 330,000 over the next decade. Gilbert is well known for being trendy, clean, and safe.

trendiest cities in the valley - gilbert

 

If you’ve been considering relocating to Gilbert,click here to see all the beautiful homes for sale in that area. 

Below are some Real Estate statistics and a map showing average home prices. For more market info and statistics click here! 

trendiest cities - gilbert

trendiest cities - gilbert

 

Events

Gilbert always has exciting special events popping up each month. Here’s a list of the upcoming Fall events in 2017!

Schnepf Farms Pumpkin & Chili Festival

MACFest Arts and Crafts Celebration

Gilbert Days Parade

Farmers Markets

Gilbert “Off the Street” Art Festival 

https://www.gilbertaz.gov/visitors/special-events

 

 

Mesa

Mesa covers 132 square miles, is the third largest city in Arizona and the 36th largest city in the nation. You can find several homes on the market that have been totally remodeled and are below $300K. To start your home search click here! 

Here is some more statistics, market info, and price information…

trendiest cities in the valley -mesa

 

trendy cities - mesa

Events

Dia de los Muertos Festival 

Haunted Attractions

Goat Yoga

Food Truck Festivals

Trick or Treat Main Street

For more events visit the City of Mesa’s event website: https://www.visitmesa.com/events/


We are mortgage experts here in the East Valley and have the best reviews, ratings, and prices in town! If you have any questions give us a call at 480-832-4343 or visit our website www.sunamerican.com

fixer-upper - happy

How To Buy a Fixer-Upper Home Without Breaking the Bank!

We’ve all seen the “Fixer-Upper” shows where they take a dingy house or room and transform into something magnificent, right? Have you been considering this as an option for your next home purchase, but don’t know where to start, or don’t have the money for all the renovations? Or maybe you found a house and it just needs the kitchen and a couple other areas upgraded to what you want. There is something exciting about taking something old and transforming it into something beautiful.

fixer upper - kitchen

There are huge benefits to finding a home that is below market value that needs some work. The obvious ones are, you get to transform the home into the home of your dreams, while at the same time, bringing it’s value to the upper tier of the market. Most people don’t venture into this type of a purchase or project because they don’t know how to effectively do this, and most often are thinking to themselves…”where am I going to get the money to do all those renovations?”

Today we are going to show you how to make this all possible without draining your bank account.

GOOD NEWS! There’s a specific loan program called the Renovation Loan Program, and it fulfills all your re-modeling dreams and more!

What is the Renovation Loan Program? 

This “home makeover” program loans you the money to accomplish all the upgrades you’ve been dreaming of. This program is all about taking a home that needs work and transforming it into something that in the end is worth more value. Whether the home needs major or minor repairs, a new pool, or you’d like a trendier kitchen- this program makes it possible to do it all.

PICTURE THIS

  1. You find the ideal home in the perfect community surrounded by great schools, and has a beautiful curb appeal. BUT the inside could use some major work.
  2. This home is on the market for say $225,000. You love everything about it, you’re ready to fix it up and make it your own. When you plan out renovation costs, let’s say they range anywhere from $50-$70K.
  3. So the total cost for this home including the renovations ends up being $275,000 – $295,000.

Here’s the BEST part! The Renovation Loan Program wraps all of these costs into one loan. No additional fees are asked of you except for your traditional down payment and closing costs.

Ok there’s one more BEST PART! When you do a renovation loan, we get to use the appraised value of what the home is going to be after all the renovations are done! SERIOUSLY??  Yep. You literally are walking into a new home with instant equity.

So sticking with our example above… If you did all those renovations and now your home appraises for let’s say, $325,000, you just set yourself up to not only have the home features you want, but now you have anywhere from $30,000 – $50,000 in equity right out of the gate. NO BRAINER right?

Requirements

Here’s some basic requirements to help you decide which program type might be best. With the Renovation loan program, you can choose between an FHA 203K or conventional financing.

renovation loan program - qualifications

Benefits

Aside from being able to create a beautiful new space AND save money at the same time, there are other fantastic benefits that come with this loan program!

renovation loan program - benefits

Now that you know some of the requirements and benefits of a Renovation Loan Program, let’s see what you can do with it. These are just a few examples of what you can accomplish with this awesome financing option!

Remodel your Kitchen

fixer-upper - windows

Rip out ugly carpet and put in some beautiful wood floors or tiles. Put in some new lighting to brighten up the place. There are some pretty inexpensive changes that can make all the difference!

Have you always dreamed of having a giant bath tub? Or a HUGE walk in shower. A Renovation Loan Program makes that addition possible if the home you’d like to purchase doesn’t have them!

Is the backyard where you and your friends and family spend the most time? Consider using this loan to create a spectacular backyard where fun memories can be made!

Why wouldn’t you want to tailor a cheaper home to your style? Especially if there’s a way for you to save the money in your bank account.

According to statistics, there has never been a better time to buy a Fixer Upper home and renovate it.  This program enables you to buy smart while everyone else is going after a pricier “move in ready” home. The fixer upper homes on the market are being overlooked and are waiting for you to customize them to your style.

Let’s make it happen!

Our team is well known for having the most organized and professional system set up to make the home-buying process as stress-free as possible. We walk you through all the steps to make this become a reality!

So let’s take the first step and call one of our expert Loan Officers to talk more about how this program can work for your next home purchase!

480-832-4343 or click here to use our Online Smart Application, “The Accelerator.”


References:

http://www.improvenet.com/a/renovation-financing

https://www.primelending.com/renovate-home/improve-a-home-loan-types/

mortgage loan process - we care

Unveiling An Underwriter’s Role in the Mortgage Loan Process

Here at Sun American, our team genuinely cares and does everything possible to help get you qualified for your mortgage loan. Many steps are involved in the mortgage loan process. Today we are going to outline and dive deeper into what happens in the underwriting process. Underwriting happens behind the scenes of the mortgage loan process, but is a very important step towards getting you approved for a home loan.

What is an Underwriter?

Typically underwriters have years of experience in  Business, Finance, Economics, Math, or Statistics. Certifications and specialized training are required as well. Attention to detail and great communication skills are important traits that underwriters must have to successfully complete their job each day. The underwriter checks thoroughly through all of your documents for completeness and accuracy.

What are they looking for?

What does an underwriter look for? EVERYTHING.

Their goal is to make sure everything meets requirements and is totally compliant in every way. If the list of questions and documents seem endless, we promise they are all necessary and incredibly important for the Underwriter to do their job right. Their top priority is to follow the required guidelines, meanwhile making sure you get approved for a home loan.

Here are the top 4 areas the Underwriter focuses on

Income: Borrowers must have a sufficient income to qualify for the size of the loan they’re aiming for.  Income is reviewed for the length of employment, promotions, type of work and anything else related. To verify this, underwriters ask for bank statements, W2’s and pay stubs that show year to date earnings and other employee documents. Alimony & Child Support also falls under this category.

Credit: Another part of the Underwriting Process involves taking a look at your ability to repay a loan. To check this, an underwriter pulls up things like your DTI (debt to income ratio), current credit score & a credit report history. Credit reputation has to do with any past foreclosures, bankruptcies, judgments, and ultimately measures your ability to pay off your debts.

Property: A property’s appraised value is also analyzed by the underwriter in this stage of the mortgage loan process. An underwriter needs to make sure that the price of the home you’re buying is comparable to values of similar properties. An appraiser will verify this. The underwriter uses the appraised value to determine if the funds garnered from the sale of the property would be enough to cover the amount borrowed.

Assets: Assets are one of the most essential conditions of underwriting. The most common assets include checking and savings accounts, bonds, stocks, and retirement accounts. This shows the borrowers ability to save money and instills more confidence in providing you a loan. It also allows the Underwriter to verify any sources of down payment that may be coming from these accounts. Borrowers most often need to provide 2-3 months of bank statements, their most current investments statements, and all the other necessary documentation to help verify this. In the event that you would be receiving a gift from a family member for your down payment on a new home, the underwriter would be need to verify this and source where that money came from in your account.

HERE’S THE GOOD NEWS!

We’ve created an extremely organized and top notch system that ensures underwriting is completed in about 24-48 hours. We avoid the “never ending” list of questions and documents by collecting everything we need from the very beginning of this mortgage loan process. By the time your loan hits the underwriting process, it’s been filtered through a few other team members so that the underwriter already has everything he or she needs to complete this final step. The best part of our job is telling you those magic words- that you are cleared to close on a home!


Let us help you get started today! Our team is dedicated to helping you qualify for your dream home. Use our Online Application here and see a quick estimate of how much you can qualify for!

To get started in the mortgage loan process, contact one of our knowledgable Loan Officers today.

buying a home - house

5 Benefits of Becoming a Homeowner

Featured image courtesy of AFT Construction

With a whopping 64% of Americans owning homes, the United States has the highest percentage rate of home owners than any other nation. Our nation was built upon people working with passion and vigor to pursue anything they wanted. Over the past century, becoming a homeowner has been considered a part of this American Dream. Broker President of Phipps Realty said,”There’s a reason why home ownership is called the American Dream – it’s part of our collective history and an essential part of building our nation’s future, as well.”

History of Home Owning 

In 1917, the U.S Department of Labor established the first federal program designed to encourage home ownership.

In 1933, after the Great Depression hit, FDR created work programs and mortgage relief reforms to help ensure people they would be able to keep their homes.

We’ve come along way since then, making many reforms and changes to help make it easier for individuals to purchase a home for their family. If you look through the history of home ownership, you can get a better understanding of how much the Federal Government truly encourages and supports the American people to purchase their own homes. 

Today new home buyers chase after this dream not just for the stability and security, but now studies are finding, for the financial investments. Researchers and Real Estate agents find all sorts of reasons people benefit from purchasing their own home. Today, we are going to go over the TOP 5 benefits of owning a home.

 

5 Benefits of Buying a Home

1. Home Improvements

There’s not much wiggle room allowed for upgrading or changing up your home if you’re renting. One of the benefits of owning a home is there’s no permission needed. Add a pool, re-paint the entire house- its your home and you can do as you please! Modifying your living space to whats aesthetically pleasing to YOU is the most satisfying feeling and worth all the work put in. It’s also considered a worthwhile investment and most upgrades add value to your home.

becoming a homeowner - remodel

 

2. Tax Advantages

Everyone benefits from home ownership-especially our economy and federal government. This is why the government offers many tax incentives for new home buyers. Home related purchases and private mortgage insurance can also qualify you for tax benefits. 

According to the MIT Federal Credit Union, interest on first and second mortgages, home equity loans of up to $100,000, and refinanced loans are all deductible and local property taxes are deductible in the year that they are paid.

3. Gain Equity

Home equity is considered the current market value of your home minus any outstanding home loan balances. The rate of a return on a home investment increases the longer you live there. This is why becoming a homeowner is one of the best investments that you can make. 

Real Story, a New Jersey real estate commentator states, that homeowners can use home equity that has been built up to get cash for emergencies or to purchase items for home improvements thereby possibly increasing a home’s net worth even more than before.

Buying a home allows you to drastically increase your long term wealth as opposed to those who rent. One of the greatest benefits of owning a home is that this allows you to live a “rent free” retirement once you’ve paid off your mortgage. Or as you get older, you could also sell the home and use the money to purchase something smaller. 

 

 

4. Sustainability

When people think of home, they think of safety, security, and being comfortable. As a renter, it’s unsettling not knowing what changes you can or cannot make in your home, if the landlord is going to randomly raise rent, or run an inspection on the house. These are just some of the many pitfalls of being a renter. As a homeowner, none of those are an issue. It puts new homeowners at ease knowing they can settle into a home they can raise their families in and make memories. They know their consistent monthly mortgage payment and overall have so much more freedom than renters do. This peace of mind is priceless and one of the main reasons individuals finally decide to become homeowners. 

5. Promotes Good Community & Neighborhoods

 Buying a home in a place you plan to stay in for a long time also benefits you and your neighborhood! It feels good making connections and new friendships with neighbors, becoming a part of local organizations, and participating in traditional events. This community involvement is a major benefit to becoming a homeowner and something your children will grow up to thank you for one day. 

becoming a homeowner - neighbors

Becoming a homeowner is the most rewarding experience where families will build lives and memories, along with positive financial futures. So if you have been on the fence about whether to continue renting or to purchase your own home, if you choose a great team to work with you will see just how simple the home buying process really is! Sun American Mortgage has over 33 years experience and always leaves every customer feeling valued and incredibly happy about their new home. 

Click here to learn more about our programs or speak to a Loan Officer today for a FREE estimate 480-832-4343! We would love to help you find your dream home today. 


Read more about the benefits of buying a home:

http://www.businessinsider.com/here-are-the-5-best-things-about-homeownership-2012-8

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/05/13/emotional-stages-buying-your-first-home_n_6599148.html

http://realtytimes.com/consumeradvice/buyersadvice/item/29306-20140717-9-ways-becoming-a-homeowner-can-change-your-life

https://www.thearamcogroup.com/Blog/bid/186978/10-Benefits-of-Owning-Your-Own-Home

http://www.realtor.com/advice/buy/benefits-of-buying-a-home/

housing market - Heber - feature

The Housing Market in Heber, Arizona – Looking Up

The Housing Market in Heber, Arizona – Looking Up

With the year’s end, the real estate market is moving, preparing for the new year. How is the real estate market in Heber looking? According to an article composed by Ken Perlman at John Burns Real Estate Consulting, it’s looking favorable. In truth, several patterns and research studies are forecasting a lot of growth for the Heber location in 2016. Many of the Heber population is made up of a younger group, a majority of the house buyers are forecasted to be of the older generation. Perlman said that 62% of new house buyers in Heber are over the age of 46. 

Visit us today at https://sunamerican.com or call Sun American Mortgage at (480) 832-4343

housing market - HeberSince of our iconic weather, budget friendly housing and continual job development, many individuals, particularly infant boomers will continue to make their way to Heber. This will increase the number of retirees in our state. Heber’s low costs of living and reputation for excellent retirement communities will just make it more attractive to this demographic. The development of rural communities is likewise continuing to grow in the Valley. A big majority of family development in will happen in these areas. Individuals are wanting a much shorter commute and more access to entertainment and restaurants.

Current and establishing suburban neighborhoods will be able to fulfill this demand, motivating a growing number of people to move here. A lot is searching for for Phoenix, specifically the real estate market. There are a lot of needs to be enthusiastic for the coming year. 

Ready to talk about financing a home? Visit us today at https://sunamerican.com or call Sun American Mortgage at (480) 832-4343