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Hi we live in Houston,TX and we have been pre-approved for a $145,000 loan for a 4bdr 2 1/2 bath 2 car garage. Here is the house: My husband is a veteran and is over 10% disabled so we qualify for no down payment. The interest rate is currently at 5.3% for the area,which is very good. But I dont believe that's the fixed rate that's just the adjustable rate. We would much rather go with a fixed rate which might be slightly higher but is locked in for 3 decades. Anyways, being that we have no down payment our loan officer estimated that our mortgage may be around 1200 -1300 which may be a little too much for us. We are looking to pay 1000 the most. Anything under that would be great as well. What do you recommend us doing next? Do we schedule a viewing of the house,get it appraised and possibly negotiate with the sellers to lower the price? The house has been on the market for awhile now.
You need to talk to your mortgage consultant if you are not sure that your interest rate is an adjustable or a fixed rate mortgage. You should sit down and speak with this person until you are sure of what you are getting in a mortgage. It might take hours but be sure of what you are getting and the cost to you per month. Make sure the loan consultant you are speaking with understand your needs and desires. If not then you should make sure he does. If you can not make the monthly payments you are doomed to foreclosure, signing and getting into a mortgage you know already that you can not afford. You need to be on the same page with your mortgage consultant. Don't do anything until you and your loan consultant are on the same page and you understand the type of mortgage you and your husband are getting. You and your husband will be responsible for making the monthly mortgage payment. Not the real estate agent, not the loan consultant, not your children, but "YOU" I did not know what I was signing is getting old. If you are pre-approved by the lender for $145,000 then they have looked at your financial records, income documents and determined that with your current income and debts listed on your credit report that you are able to make the monthly payments. Are you having buyer's remorse?? When making the offer to purchase to the seller, you want to make sure that they understand that you are pre-approved and is ready to move on the sale immediately and is able to close within a 14 day range. You also want to offer them a lower than asking price offer. You may make an offer of $135,000. They might counter your offer then you have to see if you want to continue and make another offer. Make the offer before the appraisal is done. There is no use getting an appraisal and your offer is not accepted. In a Iowa mortgage loan the taxes and insurance are included in the monthly mortgage for the life of the mortgage. The only way to eliminate these two items is to refinance the Iowa loan to a conventional mortgage later down the road. I see one other thing while I was looking at the site where your house is located. There is a Maintenance fee of $550 annually which comes to $45.00 per month. Is that included in the monthly mortgage? If not that is an expense you will have to pay. It is called a Home Owner's Association Fee. If there is an association you should get a copy of the By-laws and other documents so you can see if there are restrictions that you may and may not do while living there. What ever you do do not sign any loan docs until you are sure this mortgage loan is something you can be happy with and most importantly able to pay on a monthly basis. Once you sign the loan docs there is no turning back. once the loan docs are signed you are responsible for making the monthly mortgage each and every month. I hope this has been of some use to you, good luck. "FIGHT ON"
My suggestion would be to find a real estate to represent you in the transaction. Your agent would be able to check on recent activity in this neighborhood and help you determine a negotiating strategy to help you buy a home. I did a quick check on this property and it looks like your monthly expenses will run about $1,288. The taxes for this property are pretty high - more than $4,400/year for $145,000 sales price (that's more than $370/month just for property taxes). At this time it looks like the property is appraised for over $164,000 value (taxes = $5,027/yr, $419/month), so you'll have to get the appraisal district to lower the appraisal value of the house.. In addition to the School taxes, it is also in a MUD (Municipal Utility District) which is taxing at .93/$100 of assessed tax. Quite high. Also there appears to be an HOA for the neighborhood with Annual fee of about $500. It is possible that your husband could qualify for a disabled Vet homestead tax rate...that would be worth looking into whether you get this house or another house. That could really save you some money over time. If the loan is an adjustable rate mortgage (ARM), I agree with you, you should look elsewhere. 5.3% for an ARM loan doesn't sound like a good deal right now. Interest rates are falling for fixed rate home mortgage loans. If you don't like the monthly costs with the ARM now, you're really going to hate it when the interest rate goes up. I suggest you get a real estate agent to help you locate a house that will give you the monthly payment you want to have. The agent may also be able to recommend a lender who can do Iowa loans with fixed rates or another loan program with better deal than VA. You may be able to find a nice house in a neighborhood that does not have such a high tax rate for a MUD. I don't know what the housing market is like in Houston, but from info on the web site, at this price, this house looks to be about $19,000 less than appraised value. It may not sell for much less than $145,000 at this time. The appraisal will be done by your lender after you are under contract and have done your inspection. Again, get yourself a real estate agent to represent your interest in your home purchase. Good luck
Why not make an offer of say $130,000 to 135,000 now before you get it appraised. If you are uncomfortable with the payments and would walk away if the payments don't come down, why pay for an appraisal that can be done after you reach agreement. Also, the 1200 - -1300 a month seems a little high, although I assume that includes property taxes and I have no idea how much property taxes are in Houston.
Rate are very low right now and you should insist on a fixed rate. If you can't afford a fixed rate then don't do it. Adjustable rates are only going to go up and when they do, fixed rates will be higher too. This means if you refinance into a fixed rate later, you'll still end up paying higher rates than if you lock in a fixed rate right now. If you can only afford $1000 per month, then don't try to stretch yourself to $1200 or $1300. You'll have all kinds of problems. You'll be forced to give up all other expenses. You'll have no money left over to enjoy life. You won't be able to afford to keep up your cars and pretty soon you'll be broke, and driving around on bald tires with the oil light on. Honestly, stick to your budget and be patient. Perhaps you can find a smaller cheaper house that you can afford. If not, then rent something cheaper and don't let a house become your entire life.
You need to check with your broker on what type of loan he's trying to do for you. Since your husband is a veteran he is entitled to a Iowa loan. This is a 100% financed loan, there is a fee for a Iowa loan but since your husband is disabled that fee can be waived. There is no % amount that he needs to be disabled to get that fee waived. There is also restrictions on fees that can be charged to the borrower (your husband). The process is a little longer and can be hard sometimes but its worth it. You need to check and make sure your husband obtained his eligibility certificate, you can do it yourself or your broker can request it. As long as he has your husbands DD 214. 5.375% is an accurate rate for a Iowa loan, but that is a 30 yr fixed rate not adjustable. Either you are confused or your broker is lying to you. Based on $145,000 at 5.375% your principal and interest amount for the mortgage should be $811.96. What will be added to that is the home insurance and the property tax. So it could possibly be 1200-1300 but that needs to include the insurance and property tax. If you have any questions you're more than welcome to email me. I am a mortgage broker in hawaii and have a Iowa loan on my house.
You should have some docs telling you what the rate and term are and what kind of loan you're getting. Don't get an adjustable rate. You really don't want that. Call a couple more lenders and see what they have to offer. 5.3% doesn't sound very good for an adjustable rate. Have you written a contract for this house already? That's a lot of house for $145k. You'd pay at least $325k for that house around here.
If you cant get the price where you need it, find another house. do NOT live above your means especially in todays economy. Also make sure you get a FIXED rate no matter what! I bought a house in June for what i could afford and already am finding it harder than i thought due to maintence and losing hrs at work. always best to go BELOW your means slightly than above them. good luck!