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Using a VA Mortgage Loan to Buy a Home

Home loans are available for current members and for eligible veterans who served in the armed forces of the United States. The Department of Veterans Affairs helps to facilitate affordable ways for service members and for veterans to buy a home. Family First Funding is licensed to offer VA mortgage loans.

About VA Home Loans

VA home loans enable active military members and qualified veterans to secure attractive mortgage terms to buy a home. Home loans that are backed by the Department of Veterans Affairs offer favorable mortgage interest rates. VA loans have fairly lenient credit requirements versus the credit rating and credit score requirements for conventional mortgage loans. Generally, active duty members and veterans are not required to place a down payment on a home that meets the established underwriting guidelines.

Current service members and veterans who are seeking to use a VA mortgage loan to buy a home are required to live in the property. Veterans and active military members who do not plan to occupy a property after the closing of escrow should speak with a mortgage adviser about obtaining an investment property loan. A Team Barber lending professional at Family First Funding may be contacted to discuss using a VA loan to buy a home.

Get a Certificate of Eligibility for a VA Loan

Issued by the Department of Veterans Affairs, a certificate of eligibility validates that a candidate is qualified to apply for a VA-backed home loan. Active military members and veterans may apply for a certificate of eligibility via the VA website. A copied DD Form 214 that displays a veteran’s or an active military member’s identity and service record must be submitted to the Department of Veterans Affairs for review. A Team Barber mortgage professional may be able to provide help for current service members or for veterans who need assistance with obtaining a certificate of eligibility from the VA.

Applying for a VA Mortgage Loan to Buy a Home

Active military members and veterans can complete a residential mortgage loan application for a VA-backed home loan. In addition to a certificate of eligibility, a mortgage lender may request a variety of documents before a pre-approval letter is issued to a prospective home buyer.

To determine whether a borrower meets the preliminary approval requirements, a lender will need to review certain items, such as a consumer credit report, recent pay stubs, tax returns, W-2 forms and other items.

Working with experienced mortgage lending professionals is essential to a smooth loan application and a seamless loan processing experience. Contact a Team Barber mortgage adviser at Family First Funding to get more information about applying for a VA mortgage loan to buy a home: 732.299.4824 or abarber@fam1fund.com.

Increase Your Knowledge About Buying a Home

Buying a home is a big step for a first time buyer. At first glance, buying a home may seem like an insurmountable hurdle that requires a lot of money and a lifetime of perfect credit. Team Barber members from Family First Funding are eager to provide insightful information about the home buying process.

Knowledge is Power for Anyone Who is Considering Buying a HomeBuying a home is similar to assembling a custom puzzle. Each borrower will have a unique set of circumstances that must be reviewed to determine if the ideal property is available and whether financing is affordable. Using trusted information from industry experts could empower a prospective home buyer to begin looking for a desirable property.

Mortgage Lenders Focus on a Borrower’s ICE ICE is the acronym for the terms shown below that a mortgage lender uses toward making a lending decision.

Income –a stable income history enables a mortgage lender to determine whether a borrower has the capacity to qualify for a home loan. Savings and other liquid assets may be used to reflect a borrower’s financial reserves.

Credit- refers to a borrower’s character toward repayment of certain agreed upon terms. A variety of unplanned debts that might stem from a medical emergency or a divorce could cause a borrower’s credit rating and credit score to spiral in a negative direction. Speaking with a Team Barber mortgage adviser might result in helpful solutions for a borrower with extenuating circumstances.

Equity – reflects skin in the game or a borrower’s ownership investment. For instance, a mortgage lender might agree to lend a borrower 95 percent of a home’s sales price, if the borrower makes the remaining equity contribution of 5 percent.

Attend a Local Home Buyer SeminarArea home buying seminars frequently feature speakers and exhibitors who are familiar with local real estate agents, mortgage lenders, credit experts, contractors and legal professionals. A free seminar for first time home buyers could be a very rewarding experience. In addition to the knowledge that a buyer may gain from featured speakers, a variety of pamphlets and brochures may be reviewed for specific details.

Meet With a Real Estate AgentWorking with a professional real estate agent is a great way to find the ideal home. Rather than exhausting a lot of time looking at dozens of properties, an experienced real estate agent may be able to compile a list of homes that feature the amenities that a buyer desires.

Contact a Mortgage LenderA local mortgage lender can quickly determine whether a loan applicant meets the preliminary qualifications to buy a home. Contact a Team Barber mortgage professional today for more information about buying a home in Ocean County, NJ: 732-299-4824 or abarber@fam1fund.com.

Why it Still Makes Sense to Buy a Home With an FHA Loan?

Home buyers may need a mortgage lending product that is more flexible than a conventional loan. Mortgage loans that are backed by the Federal Housing Administration may be ideal for a borrower with certain credit challenges. A Team Barber mortgage adviser at Family First Funding can determine whether it makes sense for a borrower to buy a home with an FHA loan.

About FHA Loans 

The Federal Housing Administration was created in 1934. Its mission was to offer affordable financing for home buyers. Prior to the inception of the FHA, the majority of Americans were renters versus homeowners. As a government-backed loan program, the FHA helps home buyers and mortgage lenders.

Using an FHA loan program, a home buyer is generally able to obtain a mortgage loan approval with more relaxed guidelines versus a comparable conventional loan.

The FHA collects a borrower-paid insurance premium to reduce some of the risks that a mortgage lender might incur, if a borrower defaults on a loan obligation.

Benefits of Buying a Home with an FHA Loan

While many conventional mortgage loans and alternative types of home financing have surfaced over the past decade, it still makes sense to buy a home with an FHA mortgage loan. Shown below are some of the benefits of buying a home with an FHA loan.

  • Lower down payment requirement
  • Minimal credit requirements
  • Higher debt-to-income ratios
  • Higher seller contributions versus conventional mortgage products
  • Attractive mortgage interest rates

Low Down Payment to Buy a Home 

Now is a great time to consider buying a home with an FHA loan. For qualified home buyers, an FHA mortgage loan will cover 96.5 percent of the purchase price. A borrower’s down payment requirement for a home will amount to the difference of 3.5 percent.

For instance, with a purchase price of $150,000, an FHA mortgage loan would provide financing for $144,750, and the borrower would need a down payment of $5,250.

Easier Credit Approval Guidelines 

Generally, the credit requirements are more relaxed for FHA mortgage loans versus conventional home loans. Whereas, a borrower with above average credit scores may need to perform an apples-to-apples comparison to determine whether it makes more sense to use an FHA mortgage loan versus a conventional home loan.

However, an FHA loan may be the ideal financing vehicle for a borrower with a credit score that is slightly above or below 620 points.

Speaking with a Team Barber mortgage adviser at Family First Funding is a great way to find out whether it makes sense to buy a home with an FHA loan. Give us a call at 732-299-4824.

3 Tips to Improve Your Credit to Buy a Home This Year

Financial setbacks could present a number of roadblocks toward buying a home. If you have made some late credit card payments or you have a lower than average credit score, you can take several actions toward improving your credit. Team Barber is a group of mortgage professionals at Family First Funding who can offer a few suggestions to improve your credit.

Buying a Home With Bad CreditBad credit is a vaguely used term. When you are shopping for a home, it is important to know your credit standing. What some people consider as bad credit might not be too bad to buy a home this year. For instance, a prospective home buyer with three credit cards that are heavily utilized against $500 credit limits might not be as bad as having tax liens, a recent car repossession and more than 5 closed accounts within the past year.

Mortgage lenders understand that some borrowers may have encountered a financial hardship. The goal for a mortgage adviser is to provide guidance that gets you closer to homeownership. A member of Team Barber can review your credit to determine if you are qualified to buy a home.

Tip # 1. Get a Free Copy of Your Credit ReportIn order to improve your credit, you must know where to start. An online copy of your credit report may be ordered via the Annualcreditreport.com website. The company will allow you to get three copies of your credit report per year that are free.

A meticulous review of your credit report should be performed to check for erroneous items. You might find inaccuracies with one of the major credit reporting bureaus. If so, you may file a dispute with the respective bureau via the Annualcreditreport.com website.

Tip # 2. Avoid Applying for New Credit Terms Whenever a company orders a copy of your consumer credit report, you might lose points from your credit score. The deduction from your credit score could amount to roughly five points or less per inquiry. However, if your credit report is pulled multiple times within a short timeframe, such as a three-month period or a six-month period, the deductions for inquires could greatly impact your overall credit score. So, unless it is extremely necessary, you should avoid applying for new credit terms, if you want to buy a home this year.

Tip # 3. Speak With a Mortgage Adviser About Improving Your Credit to Buy a HomeA mortgage adviser can offer solid information about improving your credit to buy a home. While some people might visit a non-profit organization, a credit improvement specialist or a real estate agent to discuss ways to improve their credit, a mortgage adviser is an excellent resource who keeps a pulse on the credit requirements that are needed to secure a mortgage loan approval.

Speaking with a Team Barber mortgage adviser at Family First Funding could lead to the specific items that you need to improve within your credit profile to buy a home this year. Call 732.299.4824 for your Free Consultation.

Can I Buy a Home Without a Real Estate Agent?

Finding the ideal home for your family could result from a nontraditional sales path. However, first time homebuyers are encouraged to seek professional representation prior to entering certain real estate negotiations. In situations where you may not have a real estate agent, a mortgage adviser from Family First Funding might be a beneficial resource for some of your concerns.

For Sale By Owner PropertiesIn many cases, if you are buying a FSBO property the seller is seeking to maximize his profits by eliminating the need to compensate a real estate agent for her expertise. You might forgo many of the items that a buyer’s agent would typically recognize. For instance, a buyer’s agent could provide you with objective consultation toward a deal that is structured with an above-market asking price or that lacks the inclusion of a home inspection.

While you are working with a Team Barber mortgage professional, you can inquire about financing for FSBO properties. Generally, a property appraisal, a termite inspection and other program-required inspections will be performed prior to funding your mortgage loan request. Any adverse information that is discovered during our due diligence process could provide an opportunity for you to renegotiate with the home seller.

New Homebuilder CommunitiesMany home buyers are unaware that a licensed real estate agent can provide assistance with contracts and negotiations within a new home community. However, if you are considering the purchase of a newly constructed home, you can speak with one of our mortgage advisers about financing. While a homebuilder might offer special incentives if you use its in-house financing, you might be able to secure more favorable terms with a highly reputable mortgage lender.

A homebuilder might provide a $10,000 financing incentive for buyers who use in-house mortgage products. It’s a prudent idea to shop the marketplace to obtain several rate comparisons. A more attractive mortgage interest rate could save you thousands of dollars.

For instance, if you were financing a home for $250,000 with a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage loan at 4.5%, the principle and interest payment would equal $1,267, while the payment on a loan with the same terms at 4% would equal $1,194. The $73 monthly difference would amount to $26,280 over a 30-year period.

The above illustration does not mean that homebuilders have noncompetitive mortgage interest rates. However, it does reflect that a more competitive mortgage interest rate could be more valuable than certain upfront incentives. You are invited to speak with a Team Barber member about receiving a rate comparison for new construction financing.

ConsiderationsBefore you begin to search for a home, we suggest that you speak with a licensed mortgage adviser to determine if you qualify for a home loan. If you are trying to buy a home without a real estate agent, you can speak with a Team Barber mortgage professional at Family First Funding to learn more about the home buying process. Call Today at 732.299.4824.

Have You Been Approved to Buy a Home?

Buying a home in 2017 could enable you to reach your goal of homeownership. Whether you have been previously approved to buy a home or denied financing for a home loan, you might currently qualify for attractive mortgage interest rates. Mortgage advisers from Family First Funding can determine if meet the qualifications to get approved to buy a home.

Working With Team Barber at Family First Funding 

Members of Team Barber are dedicated mortgage professionals who are ready to assist you with your home buying goals in 2017. Our mortgage advisers are knowledgeable, courteous and reliable. You can expect to receive dependable support and prompt responses to any of your concerns.

Family First Funding offers home mortgage loans in the following states: 

  • New Jersey
  • New York
  • Pennsylvania
  • Connecticut
  • Florida

Getting Pre-Approved to Buy a Home in 2017 

You may be unaware of your ability to buy a home in 2017. That’s right! At this very moment, you might meet the necessary requirements for getting pre-approved to buy a home. The process to determine if you can get pre-approved for a home loan is fairly brief. Shown below are some of the items that you will need for a Team Barber mortgage adviser to review your loan request.

  • Completed loan application
  • W-2’s for past two years
  • Pay stubs for past month
  • Last 3 bank statements
  • Signed credit authorization form

Clearing Underwriting Conditions 

Beyond the standard pre-approval requirements, you may need to satisfy certain underwriting conditions that pertain to the subject property or items shown within your loan package that need further clarification. Our loan processors are here to work with you toward clearing any outstanding underwriting conditions.

Confirmation That You Are Approved to Buy a Home 

Receiving a call from your mortgage adviser that you are finally approved to buy a home will confirm Team Barber’s dedication to customer support. Additionally, a letter reflecting that you are approved to buy a home is great to have when you want to work with a professional real estate agent. The loan approval letter from Family First Funding will demonstrate that you have secured financing to buy a home in 2017.


 Certain conditions could prevent you from receiving a mortgage approval. If you are not approved for home loan financing, a mortgage adviser can explain the reasons for the denial and provide helpful suggestions that might improve your opportunity to get approved to buy a home at a later date. Getting pre-approved is your first step toward obtaining a loan commitment.

Contact a Team Barber mortgage adviser at Family First Funding to find out whether you meet the eligibility requirements to receive a pre-approval for a home loan.

Advantages of Buying a Home Within the Next 6 Months

Opportunities for homeownership have been moderate for the past few years. Historically low interest rates motivated buyers to locate a home in markets with shrinking real estate inventories. However, now is a great time to speak with a Team Barber mortgage professional from Family First Funding about buying a home within the next six months.

Achievement of Buying a Home

While the timeframe displayed on a sales agreement to purchase a home often reflects 60 days, you can start the planning process to achieve homeownership within six months. Among other resolutions that are listed on New Year’s Day, your entry to buy a home could lead toward a commendable achievement. Members of Team Barber are here to help you determine the necessary steps and the financing approval requirements for your situation.

Usage of Favorable Interest Rates

Recently, the Federal Reserve took action to adjust the long-term bond rates. A slight rate increase should not prevent most borrowers from qualifying to buy a home in New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Florida and other areas of the country. However, resolving to use low interest rates toward buying a home is a prudent idea. We are here to discuss the current mortgage climate and ways to lock-in a favorable interest rate that you qualify for to buy a home.

Opportunity for Wealth Creation and Financial Independence

Many recent college graduates and gainfully employed individuals who live with a relative may be able to buy a home within a few months. Purchasing a home is an emotional experience that usually results in increased responsibility and personal fulfillment. Over a period of time, your home might become more valuable than the amount that you owe on the mortgage note. The opportunity to build home equity is a major advantage of purchasing a home versus renting.

Within the next few months, you will be required to file your state income tax return and your federal income tax return. Using a portion of your tax refund and other savings might enable you to buy a home in the next few months. Instead of applying the proceeds from your tax refund toward an automobile or other types of consumer goods, you may be able to channel the money toward buying a home.

Investments that are made toward a new home could potentially increase your wealth and your financial independence. To discuss your requirements to buy a home within the next few months, you are encouraged to contact a member of Team Barber at Family First Funding for more details.

Buying a Home With an FHA Low Down Payment Loan

Low down payment mortgage programs may be used to finance the purchase of a home. However, it is important to know how much money you will need for a down payment. Before you reach the settlement table, a mortgage adviser from Family First Funding will inform you of the amount of money that you will need toward buying a home.

FHA Mortgage LoanMortgage loans that are issued via guidelines from the Federal Housing Administration are excellent products for buying a home. FHA loans are ideal for first time home buyers and for buyers who have previously owned a home. We can assist you with the application process toward procuring an FHA mortgage loan.

Benefits of FHA Mortgage Loan Programs The hallmark of an FHA mortgage loan is affordable home financing. FHA mortgage loans are ideal for first time home buyers and for buyers with a limited amount of money for a down payment to buy a home. When compared against other home loan programs, FHA mortgage loans offer more enhanced underwriting features for buyers with extenuating credit scenarios and for buyers with debt-to-income ratios that might be slightly above average. Shown below are some of the benefits of buying a home with a government-backed FHA mortgage loan.

  • Reduced credit score requirements
  • Competitive interest rates
  • 3.5 percent down payment
  • Up to 6 percent seller-paid closing costs
  • Modest debt-to-income ratios
  • Alternative credit options

Speaking with one of our licensed mortgage advisers is a great way to learn more about the benefits of buying a home with an FHA mortgage loan.

Apply for an FHA Mortgage Loan Using our online mortgage application, you can begin the process toward obtaining an FHA loan to buy a home. Each section of the mortgage application requires information that our underwriting team will use review your request for an FHA mortgage loan. It is important for you to complete the application as thoroughly as possible.

If you need help completing our online mortgage application, a mortgage adviser from Team Barber will be delighted to provide you with superior customer service and professional assistance.

ConsiderationsFHA mortgage loans offer many benefits for purchasing a home and for refinancing an existing home loan. However, Family First Funding offers a variety of mortgage programs that we may also review to determine the most appropriate home loan for your financial situation. Call us today to discuss buying a home with an FHA low down payment loan.

Saving Money to Buy a Home

Saving Money to Buy a Home

Buying a home is a major accomplishment for an individual with a single income and for dual income couples. However, finding money to save for a down payment on a home is challenging for many families. Family First Funding offers several helpful ideas for prospective homebuyers to gradually increase their savings to buy a home.

Use Automated Savings Tools

Finding extra money to save might seem impossible. Using an automatic savings process could ease the task. For instance, it’s a wise idea to make contributions to an employer-sponsored retirement plan. Some employers will match a portion of an employee’s contributions to a qualified retirement plan.

When used toward a first time home purchase, certain retirement plans will allow an employee to exercise an early withdrawal of their contributions without incurring a penalty. Automated savings that are directed toward a retirement vehicle are largely tax-advantaged investments (Consult with a tax professional about specific benefits, penalties, distributions and deductions for your financial situation).

Use direct deposit features to partition a portion of your net earnings. For instance, if your payroll earnings are electronically sent into a checking account, you can speak with your company’s human resources department about contributing a set amount into a separate savings account.

Automated savings can accumulate fairly quickly. Streamlining the process could eliminate the need to make manual deposits. You might realize that saving money to buy a home on autopilot is a lot easier.

Are There Programs to Buy a Home Without Any Money?  

Generally, homebuyers will need to have some of their own money to buy a home. While a mortgage loan will typically cover most of a home’s purchase price, a borrower is expected to have some of his skin in the game. For instance, a mortgage lender might facilitate funding that represents 95 percent of the purchase price for a home, and the borrower would need to supply certified funds for the remaining amount.

Home loans that are backed by the Department of Veterans Affairs do not require a down payment from eligible borrowers. Speaking with one of our licensed mortgage advisers is a great way to learn about the benefits and the eligibility requirements for a VA mortgage loan.

How Much Money Should a Borrower Be Saving to Buy a Home?

The actual amount of money that is needed to buy a home will vary among borrowers. Considerations should be made according to lending requirements, lifestyle needs and a borrower’s financial stability. During the pre-approval process, a mortgage adviser can discuss the approximate down payment requirements, closing costs and the financial reserves that a homebuyer may need to buy a home.

Contact Family First Funding today about getting pre-approved to buy a home.

Things to Avoid Before Buying a Home

Owing a home can provide greater levels of comfort versus living in a rental property. However, several actions should be avoided prior to the closing of escrow. A licensed mortgage adviser from Family First Funding can provide insightful tips about the home buying process.

Accepting Unsolicited Credit Offers

While many buyers who are in the market to buy a home are aware of the impact that might result from new credit inquiries, an unsolicited credit offer may be very tempting. Great offers that appear irresistible are likely to resurface in the future.

It makes good sense for a marketing professional to promote special offers to individuals with favorable credit rating and credit scores. However, very few deals are worth compromising a loan that might be needed to finance one of your largest purchases. It is a   settlement.

Changing Careers Before Buying a HomeA generous salary increase or a shorter commute to work could be very compelling reasons accept a new job. In some instances, a career change could delay a buyer’s ability to qualify for a home loan. Mortgage loans are based on a variety of underwriting risks. Income stability is a major qualifying factor for a mortgage loan approval.

Essentially, a lender will verify that a borrower has two years of experience or training in the career field that will be used toward repaying the mortgage loan. Speak with a mortgage adviser about the impact that a specific career change might have toward your loan qualification status.

Making Large Bank Deposits or WithdrawalsA clear picture of a borrower’s financial situation is needed to evaluate a variety of underwriting risks. Large bank deposits may seem like a good idea. However, a mortgage lender might request documentation to verify the source of an unusual deposit. An explanation may also be needed to justify a large withdrawal of funds that are earmarked for settlement or for a borrower’s financial reserves. Maintaining normal banking activities during the loan application process could alleviate certain concerns for suspicious account management.

ConsiderationsKnowing some of the home buying pitfalls to avoid could lead to a pleasant funding transaction. It should be understood that lending safeguards are in place to protect mortgage lenders and home loan applicants from various financial risks. Working with a mortgage adviser at Family First Funding is an excellent way to learn about some of the most practical steps toward buying a home. Contact us today to apply for a home mortgage loan.

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