At Bay Mortgage we work with numerous lender investors and are, therefore, able to offer our clients many different loan programs from which to choose. Our experienced and professional Loan Advisors will work with you to understand your financial goals and objectives and help you sort through the many different financing options. Among our most popular loan programs are:
- 10, 15, 20, and 30 year fixed rate mortgage loans
- 3/1, 5/1, and 7/1 adjustable rate loans
- Low down payment loan options- Flex 97%
- Loans for 1st time home buyers- My Community Mortgage Loans
- Jumbo loans up to $1 million +
- No private mortgage insurance loans
- FHA Loans
- Loans for Veterans – VA Loan programs
- 2nd home loan programs
- Investment loan programs
What are the advantages of fixed rate versus adjustable rate loans?
With a fixed-rate loan, your monthly payment of principal and interest never change for the life of your loan. Your property taxes may go up (we almost said down, too!), and so might your homeowner’s insurance premium part of your monthly payment, but generally with a fixed-rate loan your payment will be very stable.
Fixed-rate loans are available in all sorts of shapes and sizes: 30-year, 20-year, 15-year, even 10-year. Some fixed-rate mortgages are called “biweekly” mortgages and shorten the life of your loan. You pay every two weeks, a total of 26 payments a year — which adds up to an “extra” monthly payment every year.
During the early amortization period of a fixed-rate loan, a large percentage of your monthly payment goes toward interest, and a much smaller part toward principal. That gradually reverses itself as the loan ages.
You might choose a fixed-rate loan if you want to lock in a low rate. If you have an Adjustable Rate Mortgage (ARM) now, refinancing with a fixed-rate loan can give you more monthly payment stability.
Adjustable Rate Mortgages — ARMs, as we called them above — come in even more varieties. Generally, ARMs determine what you must pay based on an outside index, perhaps the 6-month Certificate of Deposit (CD) rate, the one-year Treasury Security rate, the Federal Home Loan Bank’s 11th District Cost of Funds Index (COFI), or others. They may adjust every six months or once a year.
Most programs have a “cap” that protects you from your monthly payment going up too much at once. There may be a cap on how much your interest rate can go up in one period — say, no more than two percent per year, even if the underlying index goes up by more than two percent. You may have a “payment cap,” that instead of capping the interest rate directly caps the amount your monthly payment can go up in one period. In addition, almost all ARM programs have a “lifetime cap” — your interest rate can never exceed that cap amount, no matter what.
ARMs often have their lowest, most attractive rates at the beginning of the loan, and can guarantee that rate for anywhere from a month to ten years. You may hear people talking about or read about what are called “3/1 ARMs” or “5/1 ARMs” or the like. That means that the introductory rate is set for three or five years, and then adjusts according to an index every year thereafter for the life of the loan. Loans like this are often best for people who anticipate moving — and therefore selling the house to be mortgaged — within three or five years, depending on how long the lower rate will be in effect.
You might choose an ARM to take advantage of a lower introductory rate and count on either moving, refinancing again or simply absorbing the higher rate after the introductory rate goes up. With ARMs, you do risk your rate going up, but you also take advantage when rates go down by pocketing more money each month that would otherwise have gone toward your mortgage payment.
An FHA loan is insured by the Federal Housing Administration, a federal agency within the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). The FHA does not loan money to borrowers, rather, it provides lenders protection through mortgage insurance (MIP) in case the borrower defaults on his or her loan obligations. Available to all buyers, FHA loan programs are designed to help creditworthy low-income and moderate-income families who do not meet requirements for conventional loans.
FHA loan programs are particularly beneficial to those buyers with less available cash. The rates on FHA loans are generally market rates, while down payment requirements are lower than for conventional loans.
Some of the other benefits of FHA financing:
- Only a 3.5 percent down payment is required.
- Closing costs can be financed.
- Lower monthly mortgage insurance premiums and, under certain conditions, automatic cancellation of the premium.
- More flexible underwriting criteria than conventional loans
- FHA limits the amount lenders can charge for some closing cost fees (e.g. the origination fee can be no more than 1% of mortgage).
- Loans are assumable to qualified buyers.
VA guaranteed loans are made by lenders and guaranteed by the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs (VA) to eligible veterans for the purchase of a home. The guaranty means the lender is protected against loss if you fail to repay the loan. In most cases, no down payment is required on a VA guaranteed loan and the borrower usually receives a lower interest rate than is ordinarily available with other loans.
Other benefits of a VA loan include:
- Negotiable interest rates.
- Closing costs are comparable and sometimes lower – than other financing types.
- No private mortgage insurance requirement.
- Right to prepay loan without penalties
- The Mortgage can be taken over (or assumed) by the buyer when a home is sold.
- Counseling and assistance available to veteran borrowers having financial difficulty or facing default on their loan.
Although mortgage insurance is not required, the VA charges a funding fee to issue a guarantee to a lender against borrower default on a mortgage. The fee may be paid in cash by the buyer or seller, or it may be financed in the loan amount.
A VA loan can be used to buy a home, build a home and even improve a home with energy-saving features such as solar or heating/cooling systems, water heaters, insulation, weather-stripping/caulking, storm windows/doors or other energy efficient improvements approved by the lender and VA.
Veterans can apply for a VA loan with any mortgage lender that participates in the VA home loan program. A Certificate of Eligibility from the VA must be presented to the lender to qualify for the loan.
A buydown is a type of financing where the buyer or seller pays extra points (also called discount points) to reduce the interest rate on a loan. Buydowns make it easier to qualify for a loan because they lower a loan’s interest rate. They can also allow you to buy more house for your money.
There are generally two types of buydowns: a permanent buydown and a temporary buydown. A permanent buydown lets you pay extra points to get a low interest rate over the life of your loan.
A permanent buydown can be paid by the seller or the builder as an incentive to finalize a sale by creating lower monthly payments. Sellers can also benefit from assisting with a buydown with a difficult to sell property or during slower market conditions. It increases the buyer’s ability to qualify for a loan, therefore, allowing the home to be sold quicker. Plus, a buydown offer is usually less than a price reduction on the home.
In a temporary buydown, you prepay interest in exchange for a lower rate during the early years of a loan. The most common temporary buydown is called 3-2-1, meaning the mortgage payment in years one, two and three is calculated at rates 3 percent, 2 percent and 1 percent, respectively, below the rate on the loan. On a 2-1 buydown, the payment in years one and two is calculated at rates 2 percent and 1 percent below the loan rate. And on a 1-0 buydown, the payment in year one is calculated at 1 percent below the loan rate.
A temporary buydown can be a benefit to a buyer whose current income is low but anticipates that it will increase during the next two years. First-time homebuyers who need to purchase all of the furnishings that go into a new home may also find a temporary buydown appealing.
Taking out a second mortgage on your home used to carry some stigma with it – a sign that you were in financial trouble. But today, the ability to borrow money against your property is considered one of the biggest advantages of owning a home. A second mortgage is essentially a loan secured by your home or another piece of property with a first mortgage. The second mortgage allows the homeowner to tap into his or her equity to pay for college tuition, essential home improvements, pay off credit card balances or other pressing financial needs.
Because there is more risk involved with a second mortgage, the lender’s conditions are usually more stringent, the term is shorter and the interest rate is higher than for the first mortgage. In the event of default, the holder of the second mortgage is subordinate to the first.
To qualify for a second mortgage, your credit must be in good standing and you must be able to document your income. An appraisal will be required on your home to determine the home’s market value.
By definition, a second mortgage is any loan that involves a second lien on the property, but you generally have two options: a home equity loan or a home equity line of credit.
Both options combine your first and second loan, so your loan will be limited to 75 to 80 percent of your home’s appraised value. With a home equity loan, you borrow a lump sum of money to be paid back monthly over a set time frame, much like your first mortgage. However, the closing costs (often 2-3 percent of loan amount) are often higher than your first mortgage and the rate – usually fixed – is also higher.
A home equity line of credit (HELOC) is an open line of credit tied to an equity-based maximum loan amount. You may use the account for a set period of time (5, 10 or even 20 years) as long as there are funds. Once your predetermined time period is up, you will be required to pay off the loan, making monthly payments on the principal and interest. The interest rate can fluctuate month to month on a home equity line of credit, which makes this option appealing when interest rates are low, but risky when interest rates increase.
When deciding what type of loan is best for you, it is important to consider how you will use the money and how you intend to pay it off. Do you need money in one lump sum or intermittent over several months or years? Do you want a fixed interest rate so you can repay your loan in precise monthly installments or would you rather have the flexibility to make any size payment above the interest-only minimum? In today’s competitive market, there are many options available.
At Bay Mortgage we will help you find the right mortgage product for your lifestyle and financial needs.