Good grief, how long 
does it take?


HR 6694 to Re-instate
FHA DPA Program


FHA Secure Mortgage Guidelines

H4H, Hope for Homeowners

Mortgage Underwriting Guidelines

If you want to buy a home your biggest question will probably be: What do I have to do to get approved? In order to know your options you will have to understand the process, your credit history, income vs. debt (DTI), down payment/equity requirements, and compensating factors. This sounds like a lot but if you break it down one step at a time it is simple. Some things you can fix or improve and some things will be totally out of your control. Knowing these things will make your journey less frustrating.

I want you to know that even if you qualify based on all these guidelines, ... today's market is unsettled at best. Many lenders just are not lending and won't tell you that. To make things worse, a lot of (out sourced) underwriters don't really have a good knowledge of the guidelines and are over documenting. Some loans can take 3 to 6 months to close even if there are no issues. Unfortunately, there just are no guarantees in the market as it is today. If you have a question about data fed back to you and you question the guidelines, just send us an email and we will look up the Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac official rules.

Forget the Doom and Gloom! People are buying homes today and you will never get a better interest rate than what is available now. Now is the best time to buy or refinance so just go for it. I hope this site will help you prepare so there are no surprises.

You will learn:

  • What programs you do and do not qualify for and WHY
  • The approval process including major Do's and Don'ts
  • How to prepare in advance to get approval
  • Credit repair and how to increase your credit score
  • FHA programs
  • VA loans
  • Home Equity issues
  • Mortgage modifications

Underwriting guidelines determine your options when you purchase or refinance a home. You should prepare for your purchase months in advance, especially if it is your first home. If you want to refinance your home, it is a good idea to make sure your credit is in order so you can qualify for the best rates available. Unfortunately in today's market home value has a lot to do with your ability to refinance. I don't think I need to say more about that because if you are underwater with your home now I'm sure you are aware of it.

Your sanity may depend on your understanding of the terms: pre-approval, approval, and clear to close. Many people are confused by these terms.

Pre-approval, is just what it indicates. It is a pre approval based on income and debt information submitted before verification of any documentation. It is totally useless and should only give you a warm feeling. It means nothing more. After documentation verification, known as processing the file, the file goes to a mortgage underwriter who again verifies the information. The underwriter can also request any other documentation he/she may feel is justified to strengthen the file.

When the underwriter is satisfied with all documents, inspections, and the appraisal, you will receive an APPROVAL. Then all the legal documents will be drawn up. The documents have to be approved and the final title insurance is issued. At this point the lender will give a "clear to close" and then the actual closing is scheduled. Don't breath a sigh of relief yet, ... the lender will pull your credit again on the day of closing. If it all falls inline, they will wire the funds to the closing company. I have actually seen people sitting at the closing table to sign the documents and the lender call to deny the loan. Waiting for the ink to dry is stressful if you don't understand the things you should and should not do during this entire process.

This site will explain FHA loans, VA loans, and home equity loans. There are also several calculators you can play around with to determine how much of a home you can actually afford.

We have put together two web sites that are focused just on FHA programs. If your interest
is just FHA Loans you should visit these web sites. FHA Guidelines is focused at underwriters and mortgage professionals. It has a lot more technical detail. FHA Underwriting Guidelines is more focused toward the consumer or homebuyer.
Of course if you have any questions we will be happy to answer them.

In today's finance market it is difficult to locate 100% Financing. However, USDA single-family housing offerd two 100% LTV products and both have flexible credit guidelines. One program is the "Guaranteed" Loan that is for people with medium income. The other is the "Direct" loan program for people with Very Low Income. The direct program is government subsidized. Learn the benefits and the guidelines for these two programs at: Guaranteed Loan or Direct Loan.

The following Video goes over the pro's and con's of the 5 major programs.



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