2019 Conventional Loan Limits

2019 conventional loan limitsThe Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) announced increased loan limits for the 2019 calendar year for Conventional Home Loans. The maximum conforming loan limits for mortgages to be acquired by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in 2019 will be effective for all loans sold on or after January 1st, 2019.  In most of the U.S., the 2019 maximum conforming loan limit for one-unit properties will be $484,350, an increase from $453,100 in 2018.

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac Baseline Limit Will Increase to $484,350

What is the Conventional Loan Limit on a 2 Unit Property?

The standard Conventional loan limit on a 2 Unit Property is set at $620,200. High costs areas are set at $930,300 conventional loan limit on 2 unit properties.

What is the Conventional Loan Limit on a 3 Unit Property?

The standard Conventional loan limit on a 3 Unit Property is set at $749,650. High costs areas are set at $1,124,475 conventional loan limit on 3 unit properties.

What is the Conventional Loan Limit on a 4 Unit Property?

The standard Conventional loan limit on a 4 Unit Property is set at $931,600. High costs areas are set at $1,139,400 conventional loan limit on 3 unit properties.

How is the Conventional Loan Maximum Calculated?

The Housing and Economic Recovery Act reviews the baseline conforming loan limit and requires that it be adjusted each year for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to reflect the change in the average U.S. home price.  When the FHFA published its Q3 2018 House Price Index (HPI) report, data showed that home prices increased by 6.9% on average. This is the amount that the baseline maximum conforming loan limit in will increase for Conventional Loans in 2019.

What is the Conventional Loan Limit for High Cost Areas?

A high cost ares is defined as a place where the local median home value exceeds the baseline confirming loan limit by 115 percent.  For these areas, the “ceiling” is 150 percent of the baseline loan limit. The new ceiling loan limit for one-unit properties in most high-cost areas will be $726,525 — or 150 percent of $484,350.

The new High Cost Conventional Loan Limit is $726,525 for one unit properties.

Give us a call today at 800-555-2098 or request information below!

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Michigan VA Home Loans

VA Loan Benefits for military veterans

VA Loans are mortgages guaranteed by the US Government for military members who have served our country. With no down payment required, VA Loans are one of the best loan options.

Underwriting requirements are flexible which allows for low credit scores and short wait periods after bankruptcy and foreclosure. We currently offer Zero Down VA loans with as low as a 580 credit score.

Military Veterans, Thank You For Your Service!

VA LOAN BENEFITS

Using VA financing, you can buy a house with no money out of pocket. Using a lender with no fees and negotiating to have the seller pay 3rd party closing costs, and prepaid can truly be a no cost purchase option. Other benefits include:

  • Low Rates
  • No down Payment Required
  • Fixed Rates
  • No Lender Fee Options
  • Easy Eligibility Requirements

RELATED: Use our VA Loan Calculator to estimate mortgage payments!

STEPS TO GET A VA LOAN

Once you have made the decision to use your VA Loan benefits to buy a home, you can use the steps below to buy a home!

  1. Call a Loan Officer to review VA Loan Requirements
  2. Request your Certificate of Eligibility from the VA (COE)
  3. Receive a VA Mortgage Pre-Approval from your Loan Officer
  4. Return Required Loan Documents to Complete Your Pre-Approval
  5. Search for a Home with a Local Realtor
  6. Submit Your Offer on a Home You Love
  7. Start the Mortgage Loan Process
  8. Get a Home Appraisal on The Home Through Your Lender
  9. Receive a Clear to Close from Underwriting
  10. Schedule the Loan Closing and Review Final Numbers
  11. Sign Loan Documents in from of a Notary
  12. Get the Keys to your Home!

Currently serving or a veteran? You are eligible for special mortgage benefits. Give us a call today at 800-555-2098 or request information below!

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How to get the Best Mortgage Loan

getting the best mortgageWhen it comes to home loans, there are hundreds of loan programs and options that you may want to consider. Many first time home buyers do not know where to start when they want to buy a home. It is overwhelming to most people who do not have experience buying a home or getting a mortgage. The good news is, a loan officer can be your tour guide to help you get the best mortgage loan.

A loan officer’s job is to review your financial situation and provide home loan options. They will help to narrow down mortgage programs that do not fit your goals and also ones that you may not be eligible for.  Here are the basic categories that you should review with your loan officer to get the best mortgage for your situation.

What Mortgage Program is the Best?

There are several loan programs that you can apply for including Conventional Loans, FHA Loans, VA Loans, USDA Rural Development Loans, Jumbo loans, and Portfolio Loans. Each loan program has its pros and cons.

Related: Conventional Loan vs FHA Loan vs VA Loan vs USDA Home Loans

You may not be eligible for some programs. VA Loans, for example, require that you have served in the military. If you haven’t served, then this would not be a loan option for you. Conventional loans typically require higher credit scores and are more rate sensitive to lower credit scores. USDA RD Loans, have income limits and restricted areas where you can purchase.

As you can see it is nearly impossible to quickly learn all the ins and outs of each program when you are buying a home. A loan officer can help offer options on what loan program may be the best fit for your situation.

What Mortgage Term is the Best?

loan term

Once you decide on what mortgage program will be the best fit for your situation, you will need to decide on a mortgage term. Loan terms range anywhere from 10 years to 40 years for some programs.  For most loan programs we could even offer a 17 year loan or a 27 year mortgage based on your goals.  The most popular mortgage option is a 30 year mortgage.

Many financial advisers recommend a 15 year fixed rate mortgage. This allows you to get a great rate and pay off your mortgage quickly. Typically loan rates are lower for shorter term loans. The downside is that the monthly payment will be higher the shorter your loan term is.

A traditional 30 year mortgage term has low payments but most of the payment goes directly to interest for the first several years. Many people are shocked at how little their loan balance goes down after a year or two of mortgage payments.

Be sure to ask your loan officer what mortgage term is best for your goals.

Include Escrows or Waive Escrows?

escrows or waived escrows

When you get a mortgage you may have the option to include escrows into your mortgage payment. An escrow account is a savings account held for you by your mortgage servicer that is specifically for paying the property taxes and home owners insurance on your home.

Typically, government insured mortgages including FHA, VA and USDA require you to have an escrow account included with your mortgage.

Conventional loans may allow you to waive escrows. This means that you would be responsible to pay your own taxes and home owners insurance bills when they become due.

Many people like escrow accounts for the ease of payment. It is one less thing homeowners need to worry about when buying a home. On the other hand, some people would rather waive escrows and keep their own savings where they can earn interest and be more in control of their funds.

Fixed Rate or Adjustable Rate?

A major choice to consider when getting a mortgage is if you would rather have a fixed rate or an adjustable rate. Most homeowners choose to have a fixed rate that does not change for the life of your loan. This gives predictable payments and certainty that your payment will not adjust.

Other homeowners wish to choose an adjustable rate mortgage, commonly refereed to as an ARM Loan. Typically ARMs start off with a lower rate which is locked for a set number of years (3, 5, 7, or 10 years). Once the initial fixed period is up, the rates are subject to adjustments to the LIBOR or other indexes. If the rates go up, your mortgage payment goes up. If the rates go down, your mortgage payment goes down.

Choosing a fixed rate is thought to be a more safe and secure loan option. ARMs should be carefully considered for financially savvy homeowners. Be sure to ask your loan officer about ARM Loans if you are interested otherwise a fixed rate mortgage is most likely the best choice.

What Interest Rate Should I Pick?

picking your interest rate

Lastly, when getting a mortgage, you have to pick a mortgage rate. Many people do not realized that they have options for different mortgage rates. Once you select all of your other mortgage details, your loan officer will present your mortgage rate options.

When it comes to mortgage rates, you also need to consider the fees associated with getting the loan. Typically, the lower the rate, the higher the fee. Conversely, the higher the rate, the lower the fees.

Should I Pay Discount Points?

pay discount points

If you want the lowest rate possible, you can certainly request a rock bottom interest rate but be prepared to pay discount points for a rate lower than the market rates.

If you want to make sure you are having the lowest costs to get a mortgage, then you may want to consider a slightly higher interest rate. Picking a higher rate may allow you to have no lender fee or even receive a lender credit that will apply towards other closing costs and pre-paid items like taxes and insurances.

Deciding what rate and fee combination can seem difficult, but your loan officer can help you do a break even analysis to compare the time to break even on your investment of paying points for lower rates.

Lets look at an example: If you were to pay 2 points on a $100,000 loan for a lower rate, this would cost you $2,000 in extra closing costs. By getting the lower rate, lets say you save $50 per month.

To find your break even point, you will divide your extra costs of $2,000 by your savings of $50 which would give you 40 months, or 3.33 years to break even on your up front investment.

If you plan on staying in the house for 5 years, then you will save more than your costs therefore paying points may make sense. If you plan on selling your home in 2 years, then you would not benefit from the up front investment and you would be better off taking the higher rate with lower fees.

There are many factors to consider to get the best mortgage for your situation. It is not as easy as simply picking the lowest rate. Be sure to work with a trusted loan officer that can help review all the mortgage programs to get you the best mortgage for your situation.

For more information on home loan programs or to review the best loan for you, request information below or call a loan officer at 800-555-2098.

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Doctor Home Loans In Michigan

Michigan Doctors Loans

Are you currently in, or recently completed a medical residency or fellowship? Our Doctors’ Loans exclude student loans from your debt-to-income ratio! Call us today at 800-555-2098 and let us discuss your options!

Benefits of Doctors Loans in Michigan

Doctors can now easily qualify for a mortgage without including student loans in the debt to income ratios. Let’s face it, becoming a doctor costs a lot of money. Most doctoral graduates have hundreds of thousands in student loans which may prevent them from becoming home buyers. With our Michigan Doctor Loan Program, recent graduates can stop renting and buy a home.

  • Up to 97% Financing
  • No Monthly PMI
  • Free Appraisals for all loans that close by December 31st, 2018 (credit given up to $525)
  • Student Loan Deferment up continue at lease 12+ months from closing date

For more information on our Physician’s Mortgage Loan, call us at 800-555-2098 or request information below:

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The Top 10 Largest Employers in Grand Rapids, Michigan

Top Employers in Grand Rapids, MIList of Top Employers in Grand Rapids, MI

Combined, the top 10 largest employers in Grand Rapids employ over 66,000 people. These companies are involved in various industries which include healthcare, grocery, shopping, consumer goods, manufacturing, technology, automotive, education, and furniture. In fact, Grand Rapids is known by many as “Furniture City” because it is home to many leading furniture manufacturing companies. These companies and many more help with Grand Rapid’s strong economy and low unemployment rates. Grand Rapids and West Michigan is a very attractive location to relocate to, especially for those interested in finding a long-term career with great pay and benefits.

Related Article: 10 Reasons to Move to Grand Rapids, MI

1. Spectrum Health

Headquarters: Grand Rapids, MI

Employees: 25,000

Spectrum Health is the largest employer in Grand Rapids and also the largest in the entire West Michigan. Spectrum Health is made up of hospital, treatment facilities, clinics, and urgent care facilities that provide excellent healthcare services to the residents of West Michigan.

 2. Meijer

Headquarters: Walker, MI

Employees: 10,340

Meijer is a large supermarket and hypermarket which offers many products and services that allowing customers to satisfy majority of their shopping needs at one location. Now a large regional supermarket, Meijer’s headquarters is based in Grand Rapids, MI.

3. Mercy General Health Partners

Headquarters: Muskegon, MI

Employees: 6,200

Mercy General Health Partners is a healthcare provider large throughout Muskegon & Kent Counties. It is a general medical hospital working to provide valuable health care to those residing in West Michigan.

4. Amway Corporation

Headquarters: Ada, MI

Employees: 4,000

Amway Corporation is a international consumer to consumer sales company selling mainly in the health, beauty and home care products. This

5. Gentex Corporation 

Headquarters: Zeeland, MI

Employees: 3,900

Gentex is a large manufacturing company specializing in glass products for the Automotive and Aviation markets.

6. Perrigo

Headquarters: Allegan, MI

Employees: 3,800

Perrigo is a manufacturer of over-the-counter and generic prescription medication, and other healthcare products that can be found in store across the world.

7. Herman Miller

Headquarters: Zeeland, MI

Employees: 3,621

Herman Miller is a manufacturer of furniture and equipment. It is one of the first companies to produce furniture with a modernist style.

8. Steelcase

Headquarters: Grand Rapids, MI

Employees: 3,500

Steelcase  is a large furniture manufacturer, it develops a wide range of different products and services for diverse businesses and workplaces.

9. Grand Valley State University

Headquarters: Grand Rapids/Allendale, MI

Employees: 3,306

Grand Valley State University (GVSU) is a large public university with two main campuses in Allendale and Grand Rapids. The college has over 25,000 students and is consistently recognized as one of the best universities in the United States.

10. Lacks Enterprises, Inc.

Headquarters: Grand Rapids, MI

Employees: 2,800

Lacks Enterprises, Inc. is a large manufacturer for the Automotive Market that specializes in plastic finish products.

Rounding Out the Top 20 Employers in Grand Rapids, MI

Other large employed in the area include, Grand Rapids Public Schools, Farmers Insurance Group, SpartanNash, Gordon Food Service, Magna International Inc, Metro Health Hospital, Ventra, Alcoa Howmet Corp., Fifth Third Bank and Priority Health.

For more information on the top employers in Grand Rapids and West Michigan please visit: https://www.grandrapids.org/ and https://www.rightplace.org/data-center/workforce

Moving to Grand Rapids or West Michigan? Send us a Message

With the thriving economy in Grand Rapids, MI you may be looking to call this place home. Riverbank Finance specializes in relocation loans and can assist you to buy a home in Grand Rapids. For more information on a local mortgage company in Grand Rapids, MI send us a message and we would be glad to assist you!

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Free Conventional Appraisals

We have some exciting news! Conventional Appraisals are now FREE for new loans submitted to us from 08/26/2018 that close by 12/31/2018!

Free Conventional Purchase Loan Appraisals

If you are buying a home, then take advantage of the our Free Appraisal program to keep up to an extra $525 in your pocket when we take care of the appraisal expense.  Saving money for your down payment and closing costs can be a hurdle for some home buyers. This is just another way that Riverbank helps to make buying a home affordable for all.

Free Conventional Refinance Loan Appraisals

Many of our clients are finding now as the perfect time to refinance their mortgage. Refinancing with a conventional loan, you will be able to take advantage of our Free conventional appraisal program. Refinance benefits include:

  • Drop PMI
  • Lower your Interest Rate
  • Refinance to a 15 Year Mortgage
  • Consolidate High Interest Debt

To get started with a refinance mortgage with a free appraisal call us at 800-555-2098

Free Appraisal Eligibility & Requirements

  • Conventional Loans Only
  • Eligible for New Applications Submitted on or after 08/28/2018.
  • Loan Must Close on or before December 31st, 2018.
  • Eligible Property Types: Single Family Residences, 2 Units, 3-4 Units, Site Condos, Condos, PUDs (Manufactured Homes Not Eligible)
  • 640+ Credit Scores
  • Appraisal Transfers Not Eligible
  • Program Not Available on Portfolio Loan Products

Not all will qualify. For more information, simply complete the form below or call a loan officer at 800-555-2098.

Request Information Now!

GENERAL DISCLAIMER: Program may not be available for all clients applying for conventional financing. Free Appraisal Promotion will be applied as a credit to the borrower’s closing costs on the final closing disclosure as a reimbursement of the appraisal fee limited to a maximum of $525. Appraisal rush fees will not be reimbursed. Loans that do not meet the requirements for this promotional program listed above will not be given this credit and must pay the cost of their own appraisal expenses as required by standard lender requirements. Loans that do not close, for any reason, including withdrawal or denial, will not be given the appraisal credit advertised. All loans must close by the December 31st, 2018 deadline to take advantage of this promotion. Loans that do not close by this date will not be given the promotional credit.

Breakdown Your Credit Score

Credit Score Breakdown

When buying a home, your credit score is an important factor in your home loan approval. It is important to know what is on your credit and what credit score you have when applying for a mortgage.

While, the exact scoring models are proprietary and not released by the credit bureaus to the public, credit experts have determined the weight of each factor that determines your credit score.

Related: Buying a home with Bad Credit may be possible with FHA Home Loans. We accept applications down to a 580 credit score!

What Makes up your Credit Score

Payment History

Paying your bills on time is the most important factor for your credit score. Weighted at 35% of the total score, paying bills late can devastate your credit rating.

Amounts Owed

Credit to Debt ratios are the second most important factor which is weighted at 30% of the overall score. The good news about this is that it is a quick and easy fix to improve your credit scores. For example, if you have a credit card with a $500.00 limit and you owe $490.00, it is essentially “Maxed Out” which reflects poorly on your credit rating. Paying down this debt to under 30% of the limit ( $150 or less in this example) would boost your scores quickly!

Length of Credit History

The length of time you have had accounts open is the next rating factor. At 15% of the credit rating, the credit bureaus know that maintaining long credit relationship with banks and lenders proves that you are a good credit risk and positively affects your score. For this reason, it is important to keep old credit lines open even if you are not utilizing them.

New Credit Inquiries

Having your credit pulled is an necessary evil when applying for a mortgage. What is not necessary is having it pulled by 10 different institutions for different credit types. If you apply for credit cards, auto loans, and mortgages over a short period of time, your credit rating may drop.

Types of Credit

The final major category that determines your credit score is the types of credit that you hold. Long term investments such as a mortgage can positively impact your credit. If you only have revolving credit such as credit cards, your credit depth is shallow and may not give you the highest credit scores possible.

Click here to Download Our Credit Tip Flyer!

How to Improve your Credit Score

There are simple techniques to improving your credit scores. It is important to monitor your credit from time to time and make sure all of the information is accurate. If there are errors, you can dispute the information directly with the bureaus to have it corrected. It is not suggested that you do this before or during the mortgage process as it may cause delays.

Additionally, paying down revolving account balances can quickly boost your credit scores. While there are no magical fixes to your credit, there are several best practices that you should do to increase your credit score.

Tips to Improve your Credit Rating

  • Correct inaccuracies on your credit
  • Pay all your bills on time.
  • Do not apply for too many lines of credit.
  • Do not max out credit cards.
  • Keep older credit lines open.

Contact a mortgage expert today by calling us at 1-800-555-2098 or simply apply online below. We are happy to help!

Request Information Now!

There’s Still Time to Buy a Vacation Home this Summer!

Vacation homes in Michigan.

Michigan is a summer paradise where thousands travel to vacation from around the world each year. Surrounded by the Great Lakes and endless tourist attractions, there is no place on earth like Michigan.  For those of us that live here year round, it is easy to take fore granted the beauty that surrounds us. There is no better way to enjoy each day than on or around the lakes of Michigan.

Buying a vacation home in Michigan may be the perfect solution for your and your family to enjoy our natural surroundings. Our low down payment vacation home loans makes owning a 2nd home affordable for many families. Mortgage rates are still low and will allow you to lock in low payments for your family’s recreation for years to come.

Top Reasons to Buy a Vacation Home in Michigan

There are many benefits to owning a vacation home in Michigan including:

  • Take advantage of Michigan’s Summers
  • Lock in low payments for family recreation
  • Make extra money renting your vacation home from time to time
  • Historically, owning real estate is a great investment
  • Potential Tax Benefits

Wondering if you can afford a vacation home? Use our Conventional Mortgage Calculator to estimate total payments to buy a home!

How to Buy a Vacation Home in Michigan

The first step is to call a license loan officer for a mortgage pre-approval. It is important to understand the price range you should be house shopping in for your desired payments. A loan officer will review 2nd home down payment requirements, vacation home loan rates and loan options.

Once you are pre-approved for a mortgage, the next step is to find an experienced Realtor that can show you vacation homes in the Michigan area.  They will be able to set you up on automated searches for your target area and suggest potential options within your budget. The great news is a buyer’s real estate commissions are typically covered by the sellers.

After you have found a vacation home and received an accepted offer to purchase, you will be walked step by step through the home loan process by your loan officer. They will provide updates along the way and answer any questions that you may have.

Once your loan is cleared for closing, you will meet at a local title company for the closing. Once you sign your paperwork you will be given the keys to your new home!

Expert Vacation Home Tips:

  1. Buy in an area that you can easily travel to.
  2. Make sure the property is suitable for year round living.
  3. Consider a security system for your vacation home to protect it while you are away.
  4. Make sure you know if the property has Home Owners Association Dues and what benefits the association provides.
  5. Keep your vacation home supplied with a second set of the essentials so you can pack lightly for quick trips!
  6. Do not forget to plan time to enjoy your vacation home!

If you have been considering buying a vacation home in Michigan, call us at 1-800-555-2098 or simply apply online below. We are happy to help!

Request Information Now!

Hundreds of Mortgage Options

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As local mortgage experts, we are here to help all types of families. We do mortgages. Only mortgages. We do not offer auto financing or credit cards. This allows us to be experts at what we do and have many types of mortgage options for all financial situations.

If you have a unique financial situation, there is no better spot to get a loan than a local mortgage broker. We can shop rates and mortgage programs at multiple banks and underwriting companies at once.  This insures that you will receive the best mortgage package available for your situation.

Low Rates. Low Costs. Expert Advice

To get expert advice, call us at 1-800-555-2098 or simply apply online below. We are happy to help!

Request Information Now!