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.

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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!

Michigan VA Loan Site Condos

VA site condos in Michigan

The Department of Veteran Affairs has announced a major change that will waive the condo approval process for homes built as site condos in Michigan. This change will open up the availability of homes for VA loans and speed up the home loan process.

Effective immediately, site condominiums in the state of Michigan will be processed in the same manner as a single family detached residence.

Nearly all new single-family homes in Michigan are built as site condos which were previously required to be approved as if it were a condo complex. These extra requirements caused an unnecessary burden on veterans applying for VA loans in Michigan.

Effective May 24th, 2018, the Veterans Association will now recognize site condos as single family residences. These changes make it easier for veterans to qualify for VA Loans.

To read more visit: VA LOAN CIRCULAR 26-18-12 Changes to Processing Site Condominiums Located in the State of Michigan

Patriotic Veteran Photo

What is a Michigan Site Condo?

A site condo is defined as a single-family detached home that was built in a development under a Master Deed with agreed upon covenants, conditions and restrictions or CC&Rs. No part of the house or land is considered common area, however, the association may collection Home Owners Association dues for amenities that are outside the bounds of the property.

What are the benefits of Site Condos in Michigan?

Many new home developments in Michigan are built as Site Condos where the home and land are owned and maintained by the individual owner and the common areas are maintained by the condo association.

Just like condominiums, site condos may have amenities such as pool areas and recreational facilities. Additionally, the roads to the individually owned properties are maintained by the association. The costs of these amenities are split among the association members in the form of Home Owners Association Dues (HOA dues). The costs of the dues will vary from association to association.

Why does Michigan have Site Condos?

In 1978 the Michigan Condominium Law was passed which allowed for quick approval of home developments on private property. Since then, the majority of new single-family residences have been classified as “site condominiums” (site condos).

This classification allows developers to build neighborhoods faster and more efficiently because they utilize private roads and common areas that are paid for by the association members.

Patriotic Veteran Photo

Do VA Loans need Site Condo Approval in Michigan?

With Michigan’s VA site condo changes, Military Veterans will now be able to use their VA Loan benefits to purchase Site Condos in Michigan without having to go through the VA condo approval process.

The condo approval process would previously require books of documentation and up to two months for review making it nearly impossible for a small site condo neighborhood to be eligible for VA financing.

Moving forward, Veterans will have a wider selection of homes that they can purchase using VA Home Loans. Veterans can now pick a home and close quickly.

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5 Steps to do When you get Denied for a Mortgage

mortgage denial

The feeling of rejection can be overwhelming especially if it is for a mortgage denial. If you applied for a mortgage to buy a home, chances are you were making major plans in your life to prepare for your move. You were probably excited and told friends and family and now must deal with the embarrassment of telling them you couldn’t get approved for a loan.

Before you throw in the towel and accept that you cannot get a mortgage, there are 5 steps you should take to review your options.

1) Ask Your Loan Officer Why You Were Denied for a Mortgage

When a home loan gets denied, the financial institution that you applied with must issue a Notice of Adverse Action. This is a form sent to you within 30 days of your mortgage denial. Regulations require the form to list “A statement of specific reasons for the action taken.”

If you are still unsure why your loan was not approved, you should ask your loan officer why you were denied. It is your loan officer’s job to properly explain to you why your loan was not approved and provide options and alternatives.

2) Confirm Your Information is Correct on your Loan Application and Credit Report

Once you know the specific reason why your mortgage was denied, your next step is to confirm that all of your information was accurate on your loan application. Take another look at your information on the application that you signed and confirm that your income, assets, and liabilities are all accurate.

If the reason for your loan denial was due to credit, you should request a free copy of your credit report which can be done annually to confirm your information is accurate. Review all items to make sure there are no errors. Common errors on credit are late payments and collection accounts that do not belong to you.

If you have errors on your credit report, provide documentation to your loan officer and ask about options to do a rapid rescoring of your credit to fix the errors. You could also contact the credit bureaus directly and request corrections which could take 30+ days.

3) Look in the Mirror and Confirm if Now is the Right Time to get a Mortgage

If your mortgage was denied, it may make sense to look in the mirror and ask yourself if now is the right time to get a mortgage. Many times, people get the idea of buying a home but they are unable to keep up with their current bills. Adding a mortgage on to your already tight budget may be a poor financial decision.

Mortgage applications are commonly denied because the underwriter’s research finds omissions on the borrower’s application. For example, if you pay child support and did not tell your loan officer, an underwriter may discover this extra obligation on your paystubs. Underwriters also have software to scan public records for previous foreclosures, judgments and real estate owned. Any of these factors could easily lead to your loan being denied if you did not disclose this information up front.

A loan officer’s job is to work with you as a team to find solutions to get you approved for a mortgage. Be straight forward with your loan officer so they can better assist you and anticipate potential issues up front. If you applied for a loan and it was denied because you withheld information when you did your loan application, you should a step back and refocus your frustration on fixing the underlying issues.

4) Work to Fix the Reasons Why Your Mortgage Was Rejected

There are a million ways a mortgage can be denied. It is difficult to anticipate all potential underwriting issues up front despite you and your loan officer’s best efforts. Now that you know the reason why your loan was rejected, you should work on fixing the reasons so you can re-apply in the future. Here are some common reasons why mortgages are denied and solutions to get your ready for approval:

Your Loan was Denied because your Credit Score is Too Low

If your credit score is too low, there may be easy things that you can do to improve the score. The quickest and easiest options is to pay down credit card balances. Part of your credit scoring equation is your credit/debt ratio. All three major credit bureaus analyze the amount of available credit and how much of that you are utilizing.

To get the highest credit scores, you will need to pay down your credit card. For example, if your credit card limit is $1,000 and you owe $989, this is essentially a maxed out credit account which reflects negatively on your scores. To improve your credit you should pay down your balance to 30% or less of your credit limit. In this case you would need to pay down the balance to under $300. You will then need to wait for the creditor to report again to the credit bureaus before having your credit report updated.

Fixing errors on your credit should be another easy solution to improving your score. You can certainly contact the credit bureaus and dispute inaccurate information on your own or you could speak with a credit repair agency for assistance. This process can take several months and should not be done during a loan application.

If your credit score was too low, you may still qualify for other loan types. Conventional mortgages are very credit score driven while FHA Loans are more flexible on credit requirements.

Your Loan was Denied due to High Debt-to-Income Ratios

If your loan was denied because your debt-to-income ratio was too high, this means that you have too much debt for your qualifying income. There are two solutions to this problem, A) Increase your income or B) Reduce your Debts.

  1. Increasing your income sounds great but it may not be an easy solution. If you have been promised a raise at your job but not gotten it yet, then you may want to speak with human resources about getting a raise. If you are a w2 employee, underwriters will allow your new pay rate for qualifying right away. Getting a 2nd job may help you with more cash flow, but typically you cannot count income from a 2nd job unless you have a 2 year history of working more than one job.
  2. The easier answer to fixing your debt-to-income ratio is to examine your current obligations and see what debts you could get paid off. This includes, paying off credit cards or installment loans or selling things. If your goal is to buy a home, it may be a good time to sell that expensive camper to get rid of the monthly payment. Alternately you could look at buying a less expensive house that would better fit in your budget. Lastly, you could review options to consolidate debt and refinance high interest credit cards into a lower payment.

Your Loan was Denied due to Insufficient Assets

When you buy a home, you are required to document the money needed for your down payment. Part of the underwriting process is sourcing and seasoning your assets. This means that you need to show where your money came from if it was freshly deposited into your bank accounts. Unverified deposits must be subtracted from your available assets that you can use to qualify for a mortgage.

If your loan was denied because you did not have enough cash, there are several solutions you can consider:

Look for Mortgage Options with a Low Down Payment or No Down Payment: The current lender you are working with may not have as many options for low down payment mortgages. There may be home loans that require less cash for your down payment.

Save up Money in your bank account:

Cash on hand cannot be used to qualify for a mortgage. You cannot deposit large sums of money into your bank account and use it to buy a home. An alternate option to this is to deposit only your weekly paycheck and let that accumulate while you pay your expenses with the cash on hand.

Look for Gift Options:

When buying a home, you may be able to get a gift from a family member to use towards your down payment. Most loans allow for this as an option. Have a conversation with your family members and see if they have some available asset they could gift to you so you can become a home owner.

The last option to review if your loan was denied because of insufficient assets is to sell your belongings. Remember documentation is key if you are going to sell things to use as a down payment on a home. You should keep a thorough paper-trail including a sales agreement signed by both parties, an appraisal of the item you are selling, documentation that you are the owner of the item and proof of payment such as a copy of the check or money order. Do not accept cash as cash cannot be easily verified.

5) Get a Second Opinion from a Different Mortgage Company

If you have completed the first 4 Steps and did not find a quick solution to get approved for a mortgage, then the best answer is to get a second opinion from a different mortgage company. No two lenders are alike. All lenders have different guidelines and requirements for financing. A bank or lender may have denied your loan due to one of their internal “overlays” which is an additional restriction on financing.

Your best chances at financing are to get a second opinion form a mortgage broker. Mortgage brokers will have access to multiple banks and lenders and can review all your home loan options with one application. Typically mortgage brokers can also offer lower rates and lower costs than other banks and lenders.

To get a second opinion on your home loan options call a licensed loan officer at Riverbank today at 800-555-2098. Our experienced loan officers will take the time to review why you were denied by the other lender and provide solutions to help get your approved for a mortgage.

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How to Get Your Offer Accepted

tips to get your offer accepted

If you have been searching for a house in the last couple of years, you will be familiar with what the real estate industry calls a “lack of inventory”.  This means that there are more people looking to buy houses than there are people interested in selling homes and there is more competition on each home.  This imbalance causes a housing shortage which can be a frustrating situation for families looking to buy a home and makes getting your offer accepted a tough task.

The housing shortage has created a spike in home prices. According to the National Association of Realtors, “The median existing-home price for all housing types in March was $250,400, up 5.8 percent from March 2017 ($236,600).” This increase in prices has been affecting home affordability nationwide.

Infographic from http://www.simplifyingthemarket.com/en/2018/04/27/existing-home-sales-grow-despite-low-inventory-infographic/

Locally in West Michigan, it is very difficult to find affordable homes under the $200,000 range. For first time homebuyers and those looking to downsize they are seeing multiple offer situations and bids far over the home’s listing price. Some desperate buyers are going as far as to waive their right to inspections and guaranteeing to pay above appraisal amounts. For those that do not have access to large amounts of cash, they may have a hard time competing with their bids.

How to Get your Offer Accepted to Buy a Home in a Sellers Market in Michigan

Getting your offer noticed in a stack of multiple offers is not an easy feat. Many sellers are reviewing several offers for their home and simply disregarding lower priced offers and also offers with contingencies and what they consider riskier financing. Here are 8 tips on how to make your offer stand out and get your offer accepted to buy a home in Michigan.

1) Get a Strong Pre-Approval to Strengthen your Offer

To get your offer accepted there are several things a buyer can do. First of all you should speak with a local, knowledgeable, licensed loan officer that can Pre-Approval you for the strongest type of mortgage that you can qualify for. Typically sellers see conventional as the best type of financing because it has less requirements for the home’s condition than other loan types and can close quickly. Receiving a strong pre-approval from a local lender will put you a leg up on the competition with generic automated letters from the big national companies.

2) Consider Alternatives to Seller Paid Closing Costs

If a buyer does not have enough funds to cover their own closing costs then it is a common practice to ask the sellers to pay their closing costs as part of their offer. The sellers will view this as additional costs and reduce their proceeds from the sale. Alternatives to Seller Paid closing costs should be considered including:

  • Pay your own closing costs
  • Ask about low down payment or zero down loans
  • Get a gift from a family member for your costs
  • Ask the lender for lender credit option to reduce your costs
  • Look for ways to reduce your closing cost by shopping insurance and title company fees

3) Give the Sellers Occupancy After the Closing

Many sellers are hesitant to sell because they are fearful that they will not be able to find a new home in time to transition their belongings to a new house. It may help to calm their fears by giving them extra time to move after you close on the purchase of their house. It is common these day to offer 30 days after close for the seller to vacate the property. This may be an important reason why they choose your offer over others.

4) Personalize your Offer By Writing a Letter

As cheesy as it sounds to write a heart felt letter, my experience shows that it works! Many times there are a lot of emotions and memories that come with a house. It may be the place where they raised their children.

They may have put sweat and tears into building the house. It might have been a house that was in the family for generations.  All these factors compel the sellers to want to make sure it goes to a deserving family that will appreciate it as much as they do. Simply tell them why your happy little family would be deserving and that you will take great care of the place.

5) Offer to Pay Seller’s Closing Costs

If you have access to cash and feel strongly about getting your offer accepted, you could offer to pay for the sellers closing costs. In Michigan, Property Transfer Tax and Owner Title Insurance are typically paid by the seller unless otherwise agreed to by the buyer. If a buyer agrees to pay the sellers closing fees, the sellers would net more from the sale and walk away with more money.

6) Remove Contingencies from your Offer

Many times families will have contingencies before they can buy. For example, if you plan on selling your home before buying your next home, then you may write your offer contingent upon the sale of your home. This is a risky unknown for sellers. Your house may take a long time to sell which would not work with the seller’s timeline.

If you are able to qualify for a new home while still owning your other home, then it may be advantageous to submit your offer without a contingency for the sale of your home. Other contingencies you could remove would include appraising at sales price, or even waiving property inspections. These should be carefully considered as a last resort to get your offer accepted.

7) Adding an Escalation Clause as Part of your Offer

Speak with your real estate agent about how an escalation clause may work for your situation. In general, a clause would be added stating that if someone else offers higher than your offer, you will automatically increase your bid higher than theirs. You would want to make sure you set a cap on the maximum amount you are willing to offer.

8) Ask your Loan Officer to Call the Listing Agent to Confirm your Pre-Approval

Having a loan officer that will go above and beyond to fight for you is an important part of buying a home. Studies show that having a local loan officer versus a big bank or online lender increases the strength of your pre-approval. Part of a seller’s concern when reviewing offers on their home is that the buyer’s financing may fall through. If your loan officer has already received your documentation and confirmed that you are a well qualified buyer, then ask them to call the listing agent to confirm the details and give the sellers confidence in accepting your offer!

To review home loan options with a Licensed Loan officer simply complete the form below to request a free consultation or call us now at 1-800-555-2098.

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

compare home loan options

When shopping for a mortgage it is a good idea to compare loan options. Many lenders offer a variety of home loans that might fit your needs. Each mortgage options has it benefits and weaknesses that should be considered for your individual loan needs.

Lending guidelines are not the same for all mortgage lenders.  All banks and mortgage companies operate off the same set of guidelines for the specific mortgage programs however each may have its own overlays. Lending overlays are additional conditions or interpretations of the set guidelines.  For example, FHA loans with a 3.5% down payment allows as low as a 580 credit score but most banks and lenders add an overlay that requires a 640+ credit score.

The best way to review mortgage options is to speak with a licensed loan officer that will be an expert on the loan options. They will help to review the pros and cons and assist with comparing home loans that may be the best for you.

The chart below compares Conventional Loans vs FHA loans vs VA loans vs USDA Rural Development Loans.  These are the most popular loan options that most borrowers will review. As you can see below, if you have had a recent bankruptcy or foreclosure then Conventional would not be an option.

If none of these options seem to fit your life situation then a portfolio loan may be your last resort. Portfolio mortgages are home loans that do not fit the agency guidelines. They take a more common sense approach and make exceptions on loan requirements if the borrower is has financial strength in other areas. The trade off is that they typically require larger down payments and have higher rates than other loan programs.

Home Loan Comparison Chart

April 11th, 2018:Conventional LoansFHA LoansVA LoansUSDA Loans
Minimum Required Down Payment3% of Purchase Price3.50% of Purchase Price
(Only 1.5% required for our FHA Down Payment Assistance Program)
Zero DownZero Down
Annual Mortgage Insurance Rates (Paid Monthly)Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI)  ranges from .10 to 1.5% of the loan amount annually based on Residency Status, Credit and Loan to Value.Mortgage Insurance Premiums (MIP) ranges from .80% to .85 % for loan terms over 15 years and .45% to .95% for loan terms of 15 years or less.NONE.5% of loan amount
Additional CostsIncrease to rate or loan fees based on credit score1.75% Upfront Mortgage Insurance Premium added to your loan balance or paid in full at closing.0% fee if Disabled Veteran or surviving spouse
2.15% for First VA Loan Standard Military
2.40% for First VA Loan National Guard or Reserves
3.3% Subsequent Loans
2.00% Funding Fee added to your loan balance.
Minimum Credit Score620+ credit score530+ with 90% loan to value and 580+ for 96.5% loan to value550+ credit score580+ (Additional requirements including proof of Rental History under 620 score)
Maximum Loan Amount$453,100 Loan Limit
(Read More)
$294,515 Loan Limits for Single Family Homes
$377,075 for Two Units
$455,800 for Three Units
$566,425 for Four Units
$453,100 Loan Limit$453,100 Loan Limit
Allowable Seller Contributions

Principal Residence & Second Homes
LTV Greater than 90% = 3%
LTV 75.01-90% = 6%
LTV 75% or less = 9%

Investment Properties
ALL LTV ratios = 2%

6% Seller Contributions payable towards Buyer Closing Costs and Pre-Paid items.4% Seller Contributions payable towards Buyer Closing Costs and Pre-Paid items.USDA sets no maximum however most lenders set 6% Seller Contributions payable towards Buyer Closing Costs and Pre-Paid items.
Required Waiting Period after BankruptcyChapter 7 requires 4 Years from discharge date
Chapter 13 requires 2 Years from discharge date
Chapter 7 requires 2 Years from discharge date
Chapter 13 requires 1 Years from discharge date
Chapter 7 requires 2 Years from discharge date
Chapter 13 requires 1 Years from discharge date
Chapter 7 requires 2 Years from discharge date
Chapter 13 requires 1 Years from discharge date
Required Waiting Period after Foreclosure

7 Years from Completion

3 Years from Completion2 Years from Completion3 Years from Completion

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