Author: Andrea Osmun

How to get pre-approved for a mortgage

Things to avoid when buying a home in Michigan.

If you are new to the home-buying process, you are probably aware that one of the best first courses of action is to get pre-approved before you start house hunting. So, you head to your bank or financial institution, but you have no idea what goes into the process of pre-approval. What do you need to get pre-approved? What should you expect? Here’s the low-down.

What is mortgage pre-approval?

First comes first. What is pre-approval, and why is it so important? Pre-approval is the first step to getting a mortgage. Your lender will take a look at your finances, your credit history, and your employment and determine whether you can afford to buy a home and, if you can, how much of a home you can afford to buy. That will help you narrow down your choices as you search for the right home within your budget. Getting pre-approved will also show home sellers and their realtors that you are ready to buy.

What do you need to get pre-approved?

To help the pre-approval process go smoothly, before you sit down with a mortgage professional, make sure you check your credit reports. Resolve anything negative, such as bills in collections, and dispute any errors. For most loan programs the disputes will need to be resolved and closed out prior to your loan application. This will give you the highest and most accurate credit score for mortgage qualifying. Higher credit scores will allow for a quicker loan process with lower interest rates.

Throughout the mortgage process, don’t apply for any new credit cards, don’t take on any new debt or make any large purchases, don’t close any of your current credit accounts, and don’t ask any of your creditors to lower your credit limit. These could significantly alter your chances of getting a mortgage.

Pre-Approval Document Checklist

  • Drivers License
  • Social Security Card
  • Most Recent 2 Years W2 statements
  • Most Recent 2 Years Tax Returns (If Self Employed or Commission Based)
  • 1 Month of Paystubs
  • 2 Months of Bank Statements
  • Quarterly Retirement Account Statement
  • Proof of 12 Month Rent History (may not be required)

For pre-approval, you’ll also need to provide documentation of the last two years of tax returns; proof of income including W-2s and pay stubs; a written referral letter from your landlord with some proof that you’ve been paying your rent in time (such as carbon copies of checks or money orders); two forms of government identification such as drivers license and social security card; and proof of income from other sources, such as government assistance and child support. Lastly you will need to document any assets. This will include any money you have in stocks, IRAs and retirement accounts. Also make sure the money for your down payment and closing costs are in the bank, ready to go.

Request a mortgage pre-approval by phone or online

Once you have gather the required documentation you can call a loan officer at 1-800-555-2098 to get start over the phone or apply online at https://riverbankfinance.com/app which is our online secure loan application.  A licensed loan officer walk you through the pre-approval process and help to review all available loan options.  Many times we are able to issue a pre-approval over the phone or online within minutes.

What happens when you get pre-approved?

Once you are officially pre-approved your loan officer will provide you with a Pre-Approval Certification. This document will state that we have reviewed your loan eligibility and have determined that you are likely to qualify for the loan program given. Your Realtor will ask for this document before you start shopping for a home. You may also want this updated prior to writing an offer on a home to make sure it matches your bid.

Related: Visit our Mortgage Calculators to estimate mortgage payments

So, when you’re feeling ready, come and visit us here at Riverbank Finance, and we can help you start the pre-approval process. Call us at 800-555-2098 to schedule an appointment with one of our professional loan officers. We want to help you get into your new home!

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Reasons to Get a Second Mortgage

If you have a major financial need looming over you that you’re just not sure how you’ll afford, you may want to consider taking out a second mortgage. Keep in mind, there are some pros and cons that come along with doing that, so let’s look at the options and you can decide whether this is the right solution for you.

Reasons to Get a Second Mortgage

Are you wanting to take your dream vacation to Fiji? A dream vacation is a want, rather than a need. It would be better for you to save your money and take the vacation when you’re truly financially ready. A second mortgage isn’t a good option for those who just want to spend money. It’s a mortgage, so if you can’t repay for any reason, you could lose your house.

Paying for your child’s college tuition, adding an office onto your house, and paying down medical bills or credit card debt might be better reasons to take out a second mortgage. If you have a pressing need that just has to be financed one way or another, this might be a good solution for you.

Types of Second Mortgages

There are two types of second mortgages you’ll want to consider.

  • Home Equity Loan. This is like a typical home loan, where you can choose to get a 15 or 30-year fixed-rate loan or an adjustable rate mortgage for shorter term.
  • Home Equity Line of Credit (HELOC). This is a little bit different, in that you get a line of credit based on how much equity you have in your home. The interest rate is a variable, and the term of the loan doesn’t have a specific timeline. Like a credit card, you’re only using as much money as you need, but you’re borrowing against your house.

Keep in mind, the interest on a second mortgage is typically lower than that of a credit card, but higher than a first mortgage. Also, if you want to refinance your mortgage in the future, you will have to combine both your first and second mortgages into one loan. You’ll end up with a smaller interest rate, but your overall debt will be higher, making your monthly mortgage payments higher.

How Can I Get Approved?

Your lender will want to make sure you can pay off the second mortgage, so you’ll need to provide proof that you have enough income to repay the debt. Additionally, the better your credit is, the more likely you are to get approved.

Call us at Riverbank Finance, (800) 555-2098, to schedule an appointment with one of our professional loan officers to find out whether a second mortgage might be a good option for you. We can take a look at your financial needs and help you find the best solution.

 

How to avoid or get rid of PMI

Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI) protects the lender in case you default on your loan. In most cases, unless you have a 20% down payment, you would have to pay PMI. But if that sounds like one more expense you can’t afford, here are some ways you can avoid PMI or get rid of it if you’re already paying for it.

Lender-paid PMI

The way PMI usually works is that you, the borrower, would have to pay an extra fee, along with your monthly mortgage. That extra fee can really squeeze your budget, especially if it’s already tight.

However, some lenders will offer to pay your PMI. Here’s how that works: They’d pay the full amount of the PMI up front, and you’d have to pay it back in the form of interest. It would slightly increase your mortgage rate, meaning that you’d have a higher monthly payment.

To figure out whether this is a good option for you, you’ll have to calculate whether the monthly cost of PMI would be more or less than the increase to your mortgage rate if your lender chooses to pay the PMI for you. Either way, the lender isn’t really paying it — you are. It’s just being distributed differently.

20% Down Payment on a Conventional Loan

The best, and most obvious, way to avoid PMI is to have a 20% down payment on a Conventional Loan. Since you’re putting down 20%, the lender wouldn’t need that extra protection against defaults. So you’d be in the clear.

However, if you couldn’t afford a 20% down payment and had to opt for an FHA Loan, for example, you could still get rid of your PMI once you reach 20% in home equity. Some types of loans have PMI attached to them for their entire lifespan, so in that case, you’d have to refinance to a Conventional Loan when you have 20% in home equity in order to drop the PMI.

VA Loans

If you are a veteran or are currently serving in the military, you are eligible for a VA Loan. The government created this loan program so that returning military members could purchase their own home with zero down payment, low monthly payments and more flexibility than traditional loans. The best part is, VA Loans require no PMI because the government provides a guaranty on the loan in case of default. So if you qualify, you can get a 15 or 30-year fixed VA Loan with zero down and no PMI.

The gift of equity

If you are purchasing your home from a family member, you can accept a gift of equity to lower the loan-to-value ratio. A gift of equity is when a family member sells you his or her house for a lower price than the listed price, and the difference can be used to make your down payment or pay off debt so you can qualify for the loan.

You can’t use a gift of equity on a VA Loan or Jumbo Loan. With an FHA Loan, you could also get a gift of equity from your in-laws or a non-profit organization. In any case, it must come with a letter that says it’s a gift.

For more information on avoiding PMI or getting rid of PMI on your existing loan, contact Riverbank Finance at (800) 555-2098 to schedule an appointment with one of our professional loan officers.

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VA Loans for Reservists and National Guard

As a Reservist or member of the National Guard, did you know that you could be eligible for a no down payment VA Loan? If you’re thinking about refinancing or buying a house, maybe you didn’t even realize the VA Loan could be an option for you. Although your role is different than that of a regular military member, you are still eligible to receive VA Loan benefits, with a few different qualifications. Here’s what you need to know.

VA Loan Requirements

The VA Loan was created to help veterans purchase homes, and the U.S. government provides a loan guaranty on it. It is a zero down-payment home loan with more flexibility and lower payments than conventional loans, which require 20% down. The VA Loan is only available to U.S. veterans and current military members — and that includes Reservists and National Guard.

VA Loan requirements for Reservists and National Guard are a bit stricter than those for regular military members. To be eligible for a VA Loan, you have to meet at least one of the following qualifications:

  • Six years in the Selective Reserve or National Guard, and you must have either been honorably discharged, retired, or transferred to the Standby Reserve or an element of the Ready Reserve
  • 90 days of active duty service during a wartime period
  • Discharged or released from active duty service for a service-related disability

VA Funding Fee

When you take out a VA Loan, you will have to pay a funding fee, which goes to the VA to help offset the cost of any loans that end up in default. If you have a service-related disability and are currently receiving disability compensation or are entitled to it, you would not have to pay the funding fee.

Related: Use our VA Loan Calculator to estimate total mortgage payments and VA guaranty fees!

The difference for Reservists and National Guard members is that the funding fee is slightly higher than it is for regular military members. If you take out a VA Loan with zero down, as a regular military member, you’d have to pay 2.15 percent for the first loan and 3.3 percent for any subsequent loans. As a Reservist or National Guard member, your funding fee would be 2.4 percent for the first loan and 3.3 percent for any subsequent loans.

If you have a 5-10 percent down payment, as a regular military member, you’d pay 1.5 percent funding fee for the first and any subsequent loan. With a 10-20 percent down payment, you’d have to pay a 1.25 percent funding fee for the first and any subsequent loan.

With a 5-10 percent down payment, as a Reservist or National Guard member, your funding fee would be 1.75 percent for the first and any subsequent loan. With a 10-20 percent down payment, your funding fee would be 1.5 percent for the first and any subsequent loan.

We, at Riverbank Finance, are grateful for our service members and would like to help you own the home of your dreams or refinance on your current home. To find out whether you are eligible for a VA Loan, contact one of our loan officers at (800) 555-2098 to schedule an appointment.

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What to do when you’re facing foreclosure

If you’re facing foreclosure, you’re not alone. According to RealtyTrac, 1 in every 3,426 homes in Michigan are being foreclosed in 2017. Muskegon is the worst county for foreclosures in the state, with every 1 in 1,063 homes being foreclosed. What should you do when you’re facing foreclosure?

Communicate with your lender

Your first instinct may be to avoid your lender. But honestly, the best thing you can do is contact them and find out about your options. We at Riverbank don’t want to see you default on your mortgage. If you’re in danger of facing foreclosure, contact us right away to set up an appointment with one of our professional loan officers. We can help evaluate your situation and figure out the best solution for you, as long as you’re committed to saving your home.

Know your rights

Make sure you understand your rights as a homeowner, and what your lender can and can’t do if you default on your mortgage, by reading through your loan documents. Contact the Michigan State Housing Development Authority toll-free at (855) MI-MSHDA  (1-855-646-7432) to find out about foreclosure laws in your area.

Be money-wise

If you’re in danger of falling behind in your mortgage payments, reevaluate your budget. Besides your own health, keeping the roof over your head should be the highest priority. Is there anything in your budget you can cut or reduce, such as cable TV or other entertainment expenses? Can you call your student loan company to find out whether you can delay payments due to hardship? Can you pay the bare minimum on credit card debt until you’re all caught up with your mortgage?

If you have an extra car you’re not using that often, you could sell it to make some extra money to pay toward your mortgage. Could you or someone in your family take an extra job temporarily? Even if you don’t make enough to catch up with your mortgage payments, at least your efforts will show the lender you are serious about saving your home.

Get foreclosure assistance

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development recommends that you get assistance as soon as possible. Whether you’re in danger of missing a mortgage payment or have already missed several, make sure you are regularly communicating with your lender. Help is available. Contact a HUD-approved housing counselor to discuss your options by calling toll-free, (800) 569-4287. There are federal government programs that can help you prevent foreclosure.

The state of Michigan also has a program called Step Forward, which was created in 2010 to help those who are in danger of foreclosure. Since its inception, Step Forward has given more than $307 million to 34,567 homeowners in the state of Michigan, according to the Michigan State Housing Development Authority. The program still has $40 million available to struggling homeowners until it expires in 2020, MLive.com recently reported.

The way the program works is that homeowners can get a five-year, zero-interest loan of up to $20,000 in the form of a lien against their property in order to help pay back debts. To be eligible, you must have less than $10,000 in savings and prove that you can pay all of your future mortgage payments, condo or homeowners association fees, and taxes. To find out whether you qualify for Step Forward assistance, go to stepforwardmichigan.org or call (866) 946-7432.

Be sure to contact us right away at Riverbank Finance at 800-555-2098 if you think you might have to miss a mortgage payment. Our professional loan officers can help you evaluate your options.

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Can I get a co-signer for a home loan?

Things to avoid when buying a home in Michigan.

If you want to buy a house, you have to meet certain requirements in order to secure a mortgage. What if you do not meet the requirements for income and credit history? The good news is you can ask someone to cosign on your loan, even if they won’t live at your house. Here’s what you need to know about having a cosigner on your loan.

Who can be a cosigner on my loan?

Depending on what kind of loan you are applying for, you’ll have to abide by certain regulations on who can serve as a cosigner.

With a conventional or FHA loan, you may ask your spouse, a relative, or anyone who’s going to co-own the home with you to cosign the loan. The cosigner will need to sign an application and provide full financial information to your mortgage company.

Conventional Mortgage Cosigners

A cosigner on a conventional loan may be beneficial to help get your loan approved. The cosigner will have to be related or have a close familial relationship with you that can be clearly documented for underwriting.

FHA Mortgage Cosigners

A cosigner for an FHA loan may help to get your loan approved. Similar to Conventional mortgages, the cosigner must be related or have a documented close relationship. The cosigner may be a non-occupying co-borrower meaning that they do not have to occupy the property as their primary residence to qualify. FHA cosigning example: Mother or Father cosigning for this child’s first home.

VA Loan Cosigners

If you’re applying for a VA loan with a cosigner, the requirements are a little different. If you are married, the cosigner must be your spouse. If you are not married, the cosigner can be another unmarried veteran who’s eligible for the VA Loan. You can ask a civilian (such as your parent or significant other) to cosign the loan, but the guaranty will only apply to your portion. That means you will likely need a down payment on the loan.

What are the requirements for a mortgage cosigner?

Before you ask someone to cosign on your loan, make sure the person has a good credit history and adequate income. Otherwise, they’re only going to hinder the loan process for you. For example, if you did not make enough income to qualify on your own, your co-signer will need to make enough income to cover their own liabilities and also add enough income to make up the difference for you.

Cosigner Requirements:

  • Good Credit History
  • No recent bankruptcies or foreclosures
  • Good Jobs History
  • Low expenses
  • Documentation of Income
  • Relationship to you

Remember, the cosigner is just as responsible for paying the loan as you are. So if you default for any reason, they will have to make the mortgage payments.

Why won’t a cosigner help get my loan get approved?

Getting a cosigning on a mortgage allows you to qualify based off your joint income and credit history however all applicants must meet the minimum criteria for approval. Generally speaking, when an underwriter reviews your file, they will go of worst case scenario. This means that if your credit score is too low to qualify, getting a cosigner will not help you because the qualifying credit score would still be yours.

A cosigner will not be helpful if you did not qualify for financing independently due to major derogatory events such as a recent foreclosure or bankruptcy. The wait times for these major credit events is based off the most recent event date. All parties applying for financing must meet the minimum credit scores and wait periods to be eligible for financing.

How can I get a loan without a cosigner?

If you can not find someone who can (or will) be a cosigner for you, or you do not want to ask anyone else to share responsibility for your loan, the lender will require you to fix your credit history and/or increase your income before you can acquire the loan. You may still be eligible for loans with flexible credit such as low credit FHA mortgages.

To improve your credit, you may want to take out a small line of credit that you can repay to build positive credit history. You should also check your credit report to find out if there are any errors. You can correct those by contacting the creditor or going straight to the credit reporting agency.

You could also work on saving more money toward a down payment so you can borrow less on your home loan or have a larger down payment available which may help with loan approval. Another way to improve your chances of getting the loan is to pay down your debt, including your student loans to lower your current monthly expenses.

If you are not sure whether you need a cosigner, contact Riverbank Finance at (800) 555-2098 to make an appointment with one of our professional loan officers. We can help review cosigner options for all of our mortgage options.

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How to Prevent Buyer’s Remorse

Forty-four percent of homebuyers end up regretting their purchase, according to a recent study by Trulia, a residential real estate website. The biggest regret? Not buying a larger home. If you’re entering into the home-buying process, you may be tempted to settle for less, especially if your budget doesn’t allow for a larger place. But keep these considerations in mind so you can prevent buyer’s remorse:

What should I consider when buying a house?

Don’t go into the buying process without doing some research and making a wish list. On average, Americans have been staying in their homes for 13 years, according to the National Association of Home Builders.

With that in mind, think about what you might be doing over the next 13 years: Will your family grow? Will you need space for an office? Will you need a larger yard for your children to play in? Will your kids be going off to college? Will you be retiring and needing less space? Will you need a one-floor setup for easy accessibility?

Your home is a long-term investment, so don’t just think about what you need now. Buy your home with the future in mind.

How much will my home appreciate?

When you find a home you love that meets your current and future needs, the next step is to calculate its appreciation over the next decade or so. You want a home that’s going to build your net worth, not depreciate over time.

Not sure how to predict whether a home will appreciate? First, consider its location. Choose a home that’s in a growing community and has a reputable school district. Second, consider the house itself and the property it’s on. Is the land desirable and without major issues? Does the house have sound structure (roof, walls, foundation)? Fixer-uppers can actually appreciate more than newly constructed homes if you’re up for the task of renovating, providing they don’t become a money pit in the process.

Did I get the best home loan?

When you buy a home, there are several types of home loans that you can consider.  If you have a large down payment over 20%, you may have selected a Conventional Mortgage to avoid PMI. Conventional loans typically have the lowest overall payment if you have higher credit scores and a large down payment. If you purchased using FHA financing, you may want to consider refinancing in the future to drop the Mortgage Insurance. Most FHA loans do not automatically drop this extra insurance premium.

Another consideration would be to confirm that you picked the best rate and cost combination for your home ownership goals.  Many lenders allow you to pay discount points to get a lower than market interest rate. If you consider this your “forever home”, then having a lower rate may save you a significant amount of interest over the term of your loan. Conversely, if you plan on selling your home within a few years you may want to select a loan option with the lowest amount of closing costs so you save money immediately on your purchase. Selecting the wrong home loan may cost you thousands and leave you regretting the extra costs.

See our Mortgage Amortization Calculator to estimate interest paid over the life of your loan.

How much will it cost to sell my house?

In looking toward the future, consider how much it will cost to sell your house. You may need to make repairs and upgrades to make your home more desirable. You’ll also need to pay your realtor commission (unless you’re selling by owner), which is usually 5% or 6% of the home price, and closing costs if the buyer doesn’t foot the bill (especially in a buyer’s market). As long as you plan ahead with these costs in mind, you won’t be surprised when it comes time to sell. If you buy a better house at the start, you may save a lot in the end.

Learn about our Home Renovation Loans to increase the value of your home.

For more information on how you can choose the best home for your needs, contact Riverbank Finance at (800) 555-2098 to schedule a meeting with one of our mortgage professionals.

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Why You Shouldn’t Buy The Cheapest Home

If you don’t have a lot of money and you’re in the market for a new house, you may be tempted to buy the cheapest home you find with the intention of fixing it up. However, just because a house is cheap doesn’t mean it’s a wise investment. Here are a few things to watch out for when considering the cheapest home:

Less Money, More Problems

The cheapest home is usually cheap for a reason. It’s always wise to hire a professional to inspect the home before you buy it, just in case the house has any serious issues. Ugly paint colors and outdated carpeting are easy, cosmetic fixes, but structural problems could turn your “new” home into a money pit. Why buy an $80,000 home with $20,000 in repairs, when you can buy a $100,000 home that is move-in ready and save yourself the trouble?

Not Livable? Not Approved

When you buy a home with a conventional mortgage, the appraiser will inspect the house to figure out its market value. When you buy a home with an FHA mortgage, the appraiser will inspect the house to find out its market value and to make sure it meets the Federal Housing and Urban Development (HUD) standards for health and safety. That means it has to be livable for everyone moving into the home.

Here are a few things they look for in the appraisal, according to HUD guidelines:

  • They want to make sure that the lot is graded so that any moisture would drain away from the house and not flood it.
  • Bedrooms must have some kind of access to the outside, so that everyone can escape in case of a fire. Bedroom windows are acceptable, as long as they’re large enough for a person to fit through them.
  • Lead-based paint is still present in many homes built before 1978, and it still poses a health risk. If there’s any damaged paint, including peeling or chipping, you’ll have to get it fixed in order for the loan to get approved.
  • Steps and stairways must have handrails.
  • The heating system must be sufficient enough for the home to be comfortable for its occupants and good for their health.
  • The roof must be in acceptable condition, without leaks and moisture, and should be easy enough to maintain in the future.
  • The foundation also must be able to withstand any normal amount of weight placed on it, and it should be in acceptable condition.

Generally, if you’re buying a cheaper home and you know it’s going to need some fixing, just make sure you’re not buying something that’s going to give you more headaches than it’s worth. If you’re going to spend that much money on repairs, you might as well buy a slightly more expensive home that you can move into comfortably.

For more information on the FHA loan or to find out whether the home you’re considering fits the livability guidelines, contact one of our mortgage officers at (800) 555-2098.

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Are Adjustable Rate Mortgages Still Too Risky?

I know what you’re thinking: Why would I ever want to get an Adjustable Rate Mortgage? Isn’t it too risky? Sure, it could be. But there are actually some circumstances in which it might be the best option. Let’s look at the pros and cons of ARMs, and you can decide whether it’s too risky or just the right fit for you.

Benefits of ARM Loans

When you choose an ARM, your mortgage rates and payments start out lower at the beginning of your loan and have the potential to gradually increase over time.  Because of the lower payment at the outset, you could qualify for a larger or more expensive home than you originally thought possible.

If you are planning on selling your home in a few years, an ARM may be your best option because you can lock in your low payment at a fixed rate for three or five years. Having that low payment may save you thousands of dollars more than you would with a traditional fixed rate mortgage.

Let’s say your ARM monthly payment is $200 less than you’d pay had you gone with a traditional mortgage. If you decide to invest that $200 you’re saving, you could end up earning interest instead of paying interest on your monthly savings. 

Also, with an ARM, you never have to refinance your home. After the initial three or five years with the locked-in fixed rate, the interest rates could drop on their own without you having to pay closing costs and refinancing fees.

Downsides of ARM Loans

With an ARM, your mortgage rate typically fluctuates with the economy after the first three or five years, depending on what kind of ARM you choose. When the interest rate adjusts, so does your mortgage payment. Your payment may go up or down depending on the current rate environment at the time of your adjustment period. If rates go up, your mortgage payment may rise accordingly. For your protection, Adjustable Rate Mortgages have built in Caps which will limit the potential increases in the rates.

With one type of ARM, a negative amortization loan, the minimum monthly mortgage payments may not include the full interest amount so they can be more affordable for borrowers. So, the unpaid interest gets tacked onto your principal balance. In this case, you’ll end up paying more on your overall mortgage — even if you make all your payments in time.

Generally, ARMs can be confusing. Thankfully, the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau has created a great Adjustable Rate Mortgage Resouce Book that explains the ins and outs of how they operate.

If an ARM still sounds too risky for you, you can always opt for an FHA, VA, USDA rural development loan, or conventional 15 to 30-year mortgage.

As long as you understand how it works and plan your finances accordingly, an ARM could be a great fit for you. Schedule an appointment with one of our mortgage professionals at (800) 555-2098 for more information or to find out which kind of loan best fits your needs.

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Can you have more than one VA Loan?

If you have a Veterans Affairs (VA) Loan on your first home and are thinking about buying a second property, you can get more than one VA Loan without having to sell or refinance your current home. This is called VA Loan second-tier entitlement. The higher tier entitlement kicks in for purchases over $144,000 per VA guidelines.

The federal government has provided veterans and military personnel with the VA Loan so they can come back to the United States and purchase a home with no down payment. That’s much better than having to come up with a 20% down payment for a conventional loan on a second home, so you should take advantage. If you are considering getting two VA Loans, here’s how it works:

VA Loans Second Tier Entitlement

Michigan has a county loan limit of $453,100 for VA Loans. The VA provides borrowers with a 25% guaranty on their loan, which, in Michigan’s case, would be a maximum of $113,275. If you already have a VA Loan on your first house, the guaranty provided to you would be subtracted from the maximum amount.

VA Entitlement Calculation Example

Let’s say you bought a $200,000 primary home with a VA Loan and you want to buy a second home in Michigan with a VA Loan. Let’s figure out the math on this.

$424,100 X 25% = $113,275 maximum guaranty

$200,000 X 25% = $50,000 guaranty and down payment required

$113,275 – $50,000 = $63,275 maximum guaranty allowed on second home

$63,275 x 4 = $253,100 maximum price of second house

Maximum VA Loan Amount Calculation

Basically, if you bought a $200,000 home in the state of Michigan using a VA Loan, the VA would have guaranteed $50,000 toward your down payment. If you want to buy a second home in Michigan with a VA Loan, you can buy one that is a maximum of $253,100 with no down payment. If your second home costs more than that, you will have to add some money for the down payment.

Let’s say the second home you’re considering is $300,000. The 25% entitlement on that house would be $75,000, putting you $11,725 above the $63,275 maximum guaranty. That means you would have to add a down payment of $11,725 to be able to purchase the second home for $300,000 with a VA Loan.

Related: Try our VA Mortgage Calculator to estimate mortgage payments for your VA Mortgage.

Benefits to getting two VA Loans

If you are relocating or just want to buy a new home, a second VA loan may be the best solution. Here are the benefits of getting your second VA Loan versus Conventional financing:

  • Do not need to sell your current home that has a VA Loan
  • Do not need to refinance your VA Loan into a Conventional Mortgage to qualify
  • You may be able to rent your current home and offset the mortgage with rental income
  • You will save on home sales fees
  • You will save on mortgage refinance costs
  • You may still qualify for Zero Down Financing

Buying a Second Home with a VA Loan

VA Loans are typically more lenient than other types of loans. If your first home was foreclosed, you can still get a VA Loan on your second home. Riverbank Finance can help you find out how much of the VA’s 25% entitlement you still have left to use.

If you are planning on buying a second home using VA financing to use as your primary residence we would be glad to assist you. You may be eligible for a second VA loan for your purchase and not be required to sell your current home. For more information, call Riverbank Finance at 800-555-2098 to set up an appointment with one of our loan officers.

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