Can You Qualify for a Loan in Today’s Market?

May 23, 2011 at 7:05 am 2 comments

by Maria Hass – Realtor, HomeSmart Real Estate
With very low interest rates and historically low prices, look no further — it is a great time to buy. I constantly receive calls from buyers who are interested in either buying their first home or buying an investment property. Buying a home is not just about location, it is certainly also about financing. To find out if you are qualified for a loan, below are current information about loan qualification requirements and changes.

1. FHA changed its Mortgage Insurance premiums on October 4, 2010. The upfront MI goes down from 2.25 percent to 1 percent of loan amount (still added to principal at close). The monthly MI increases to $75/month per 100K of loan amount. The net change is that FHA loans will have payments that are roughly $22/month higher per $100K of loan amount.

2. USDA loans are now available again. The USDA “Rural” housing program allows 100 percent financing. Some of the cities in Arizona that have access to this program are Queen Creek, Buckeye, Maricopa City, Payson, Prescott Valley, Kingman and parts of Anthem to name a few. To find out more on this program and view a map of eligible areas you can go to Http://

3. FHA announced that they are waiving their 90 day flip rule . There have been many “false alarms” but this time it is for real – any seller, even private parties, can sell to FHA buyers with no waiting period. Many lenders have internal rules that will not allow more than a 20 percent increase from the precious sales price. Smart Financial allows more than a 20 percent increase sales price along with the FHA requirement of 2 appraisals for this type of transaction.

4. The minimum down payment for an FHA loan is now 3.5 percent down. A borrower can get this down payment from their own funds, a gift from a family member or employer or by borrowing from their 401K or IRA. The maximum FHA loan amount is now at $346,250 and a 640 fico score is required.

5. Conventional loans for a Primary residence now allow a 5 percent down payment with a 720 Fico score. The maximum loan amount is $417K for conventional loans.

6. Second/Vacation home purchases are now allowed with a 10 percent down payment with 720 Fico score.

7. Investor loans now require a minimum of 20 percent down payment

8. Jumbo loans now require a minimum 20 percent down payment.

9. The only true 100 percent loan available in all of Maricopa County is a VA loan. VA loans have great rates and carry no monthly Private Mortgage Insurance even at 100 percent up to a maximum loan amount of 417K. VA loans can go up to $1.5M but they require a down payment if the loan is abouve 417K.

10. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have recently relaxed their refinance rules for mortgages that they have backed and that do not currently carry private mortgage insurance. They now allow a refinance upto 105 percent of appraised value. Here is the website to see if your loan is backed by Fannie Mae: — and the website to find out if your loan is with Freddie Mac:

Many have asked me if it is harder to qualify for a loan nowadays. My answer is “Not Really.” It should have been this way to begin with when people who are financially responsible are the only ones who can qualify for a loan. During the crazy real estate euphoria experienced in 2005 through 2007, anyone who could breathe could get a loan. So, loose lending practices resulted in a real estate market crash. Home ownership in America is very easy. You don’t have to work hard or to be financially prepared or responsible to own a home. And if the homeowner defaults on his payments, he does not go to jail or have other possessions taken away from him as would happen in many other countries. Instead, the homeowner can buy another home in 2 to 3 years after short sale or foreclosure. America is forgiving and indeed, the land of opportunities.

Interest Rates as of 5/12/2011
Rates based on a 200k Primary Residence Purchase (or a no cash out refinance), 740+ Credit, assuming 0% loan origination fee and 0% in buydown “points” (you can also choose to pay “points” and get a lower interest rate). Please note, this information is intended for Real Estate Professionals.

80% 30 Year Fixed = 4.75%
95% 30 Year Fixed = 4.75% (Requires PMI)
80% 15 Year Fixed = 4.125%
90% 2nd/Vacation Hm 30 Yr = 4.875% (Requires PMI)
96.5% FHA 30 Year Fixed = 4.5% (Requires MI)
100% USDA/Rural 30 Yr Fixed = 4.75% (No PMI required)
100% VA 30 Year Fixed = 4.75% (No PMI required)
80% 5 Yr ARM = 3.5%
75% 5 Yr Jumbo ARM up to $850k = 3.875%
70% 5 Yr Jumbo I/O ARM up to $850k = 4.25%
80% 30 Year Fixed Jumbo up to $1M = 5.75%
Refinances up to 105% of appraised value are available

*Information provided by Ryan Halldorson of Smart Financial Mortgage (602) 793-7204, Interest rates and loan requirements may change. Ask your loan officer for details.

Entry filed under: Arizona Real Estate, Chandler Real Estate, Foreclosures & Short Sales, Phoenix Real Estate, Real Estate Deals. Tags: , , , , , .

AZ RENTAL MARKET GAINS MOMENTUM Waiting Period to Buy a Home after a Short Sale, Foreclosure or Bankruptcy

2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. usda refinance arizona  |  March 12, 2013 at 11:24 am

    Hey there! Would you mind if I share your blog with my zynga group?
    There’s a lot of people that I think would really enjoy your content. Please let me know. Thanks

    • 2. arizonabargainhomes  |  March 12, 2013 at 2:45 pm

      Absolutely! Thank you for asking and for sharing my blog. Stay tuned for future entries. – Maria Hass


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