July 2015 Mortgage Interest Rates

July 2015 USDA Interest RatesUSDA Rural Housing interest rates for July 2015 have started out on pretty much the same note.  July 2015 Mortgage Interest Rates – After some big swings over the last few days, USDA interest rates have settled pretty much the same place as we started last month. As we start July, rates are in the upper 3% to lower 4% range depending on credit score.  Buyers should be mindful of their credit score because this plays a big roll in the final interest rate they receive.  Higher credit scores (720+)  mean lower risk to lenders, thus lower rates to the borrower. The opposite applies for lower credit scores below 640.

Volatility in Greece is still setting the stage for the stock and bond markets. U.S. stocks sold off big time early this week as markets digested news of new controls in Greece and the country veered toward a default on its debt. However as of Wednesday everything has pretty much bounced back. 

USDA Rural Housing still provides Florida home buyers a way to purchase a home with no down payment.  In addition to this, buyers often do not even pay closing costs as the program allows for seller paid closing costs.  Buyers can learn more about eligible locations and qualifying guide lines at www.usdamortgagesource.com

Attn: Homeowners that currently have a USDA loan –  if you are still paying higher interest rates on your home loan you may be eligible for the USDA Pilot Refinance Program. The Pilot refi program is a great way for homeowners that currently have a USDA loan to refinance into a lower interest rate in July.  To be approved for the streamline USDA refinance homeowners must have the following:

  • The new USDA interest rate must be at least 1% lower than the current mortgage rate.
  • Income for the household must be below the USDA limit here.
  • Must have a USDA mortgage, and one-time payments for the last year.
  • Upside down home values are ok! The Pilot refi program does not require a new appraisal evaluation.
  • Not out of pocket costs – all closing costs and the 2% required USDA funding fee (Guarantee Fee) can be rolled into the new loan. Please note this 2% USDA Guarantee Fee is increasing to 2.75% in October 2015 –  homeowners should take application before the increase. The USDA guarantee increase will cost the homeowner’s about $1,000 in additional costs for an average loan amount.

Read all the USDA Refinance Q&A here.

Have questions or need a quote? just submit the short Info Request Form on the right side of this screen for fast service. Mobile users can find the Info Request Form here.  Also feel free to call us at  PH: (904) 302-6060


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USDA Guarantee Fee Increase October 2015

USDA Guarantee Fee 2015USDA Rural Housing announced today the new upfront guarantee fee and annual fee structure that will be effective for Single Family Housing Guaranteed Loan Program (SFHGLP) loans in fiscal year (FY) 2016.  FY 2016 begins October 1, 2015 and the new upfront guarantee fee will change from 2 percent of the loan amount to 2.75 percent of the loan amount.  The annual fee (monthly PMI) of .50% will remain unchanged.   The upfront guarantee fee is a one-time fee that is charged by all government mortgage programs ( USDA, FHA, VA) and commonly rolled into the borrowers total loan amount.


Current guarantee fee on a $150,000 loan =  $3,000.00.  Total adjusted loan amount with guarantee fee = $153,000

New guarantee fee on a $150,000 loan starting 10/1/2015 = $4,125.00.  Total adjusted loan amount with new guarantee fee = $154,125

Increase of $1,125 in this example.

Guaranteed loans obligated on October 1, 2015, through September 30, 2016 will be subject to the following fee schedule:

Purchase and USDA Refinance Transactions:

Upfront guarantee fee:  2.75 percent

Annual fee:  0.50 percent

A loan is obligated when USDA has approved a complete loan application package and issued Form RD 3555-18 “Conditional Commitment for Single Family Housing Loan Guarantee” to the USDA approved lender.  Loan guarantee requests submitted by the lender to USDA prior to September 30, 2015, in which a Conditional Commitment has not been issued before close of business that day, will be subject to the new 2.75% FY 2016 fee structure.  Lenders/Borrowers will want to insure their loan package has been submitted to USDA a few weeks before the deadline to stay at the 2% fee structure.

Please note this is does apply to all USDA Purchase and USDA Refinance transactions.

Florida home buyers should act now before the increase.  USDA is still Florida’s only 100% home loan and a great choice for first time buyers.  If you have questions, please submit the short Info Request Form on the right side of this page to speak to a loan specialist.  Mobile users can find the Info Request Form here.  You can also contact us at 7 days a week at  ph: 904-302-6060

Please note: home buyers that have questions regarding an existing USDA loan already in process with another lender/bank will need to speak to them directly for status and timelines.

USDA Guarantee Fee Increase October 2015

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Haines City USDA Rural Loan – What Buyers Should Know

Haines City Florida USDA loan

Haines City Florida USDA loan

If you thought you never had a chance at home ownership because of inadequate finances or low savings, then consider USDA Rural Housing Home Loan. Most of Polk County including Haines City is eligible for the program making it perfect for first time home owners.  Interested home buyers that have questions can submit the short Info Request Form on the right side to speak to a loan specialist at anytime. Mobile users can find the Info Request Form here.  You can also contact us at 7 days a week at  ph: 904-302-6060

So What Exactly Is a USDA Home Mortgage?

The United States Department of Agriculture provides low-cost insured mortgage loans to suit a variety of purchase options. USDA Rural housing loans give home buyers a piece of mind with extremely low closing costs and no down payment requirements. Simply put, these are flexible zero down payment government backed loans. These loans are designed with a mission to promote home ownership among residents in rural communities like Haines City FL with low and moderate income – who have limited savings for a down payment.

Types of USDA Rural Housing Loans

The USDA loans can be divided into two types, USDA Guaranteed Loan and USDA Direct Loans. The USDA Guaranteed loan also known as the Section 502 Guaranteed Housing Loan is the most common type of USDA rural housing loan. This loan enables moderate income applicants in to acquire decent and sanitary housing in eligible rural areas throughout Polk County  / Florida.  The loan is processed and underwritten by approved USDA lenders in Florida.

To qualify for this loan, applicants must:

  • Agree to occupy the housing as a primary residence
  • Be a US citizen or Qualified Alien
  • Have adequate capacity to meet loan obligations
  • Not be suspended from participation in federal programs
  • Have a credit fico score of at least 620
  • Household income must be below the USDA income limits for your county.

This loan lends applicants up to 102 percent of the home’s appraised value ( 2% Guaranteed funding fee included into the loan)  And also allows buyers to include closing costs in the actual loan assuming the home appraises for higher than the sales price. It has a 30 year loan term with a low fixed rate.

The other type of USDA loan is the Direct Loan. This is not as popular as USDA Guaranteed Loan. It is only and exclusively available for very low income households (below 50% of the area median income) and offered only by the USDA / Rural Housing directly.

USDA Rural Development Loans vs. FHA and Conventional Loans

In comparison to conventional loans, USDA home mortgage offers a ton of benefits and protections to borrowers such as:

  • Credit flexibility – Unlike conventional loans, USDA loans are not totally credit score focused. Although a 620 score is required to be considered.
  • Low Mortgage Insurance – This alone allows you to save $50 to $250 per month depending on your loan size.
  • Zero down payment – In comparison to FHA loan which has 3.5 percent down payment requirement, USDA Rural Housing home loans require no down payment in select locations making it extremely easy for borrowers to realize their home-ownership dream. Many locations in Polk County are still approved- Haines City, Davenport, Lake Wales and locations just outside of Lakeland and Winter Haven!

Types of Properties That Borrowers Can Purchase

Although USDA loan guidelines require borrowers to occupy the property as their primary residence, there is no restriction to the type of property that they can purchase. USDA loan allows borrowers to purchase from a variety of property types such as condos,  single family residences and planned unit developments as long as they are located in a USDA approved zone.   Manufactured homes are not permitted.

Home Buyers that would like to learn more should contact us at Ph: 904-302-6060.  Please also submit the short Info Request Form to have a USDA loan specialist contact you today.  Mobile users can find the Info Request Form here.

Haines City USDA Rural Loan – What You Should Know

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USDA Refinance Florida

USDA Refinance Florida

Florida USDA interest rates are still low and many home owners have yet to take advantage of the USDA SFHGLP Pilot refinance program. The application process for the USDA Rural Housing refi is simple and often times can be completed in under 30 minutes.  Below we will discuss some of the latest guidelines and advantages of the USDA Pilot refinance program. Homeowners can also find a great list of USDA Refinance FAQ’ here.

  • Must Currently Have USDA Loan –   in order to be eligible for the USDA refinance program the home owner MUST currently have a USDA/RD backed home loan. This means when you originally purchased your home, the USDA loan was done through a USDA approved lender, mortgage broker or bank. It’s not important what mortgage company originally processed your USDA loan, or who your current loan servicer is – Chase, SunTrust, Regions bank, Bank of America, etc – these are all ok.   If you have a FHA mortgage or Conventional loan there are different refinance programs like the FHA streamline refinance available.
  • No Late Payments –  You will need to have a clean 12 month payment history to be approved for the USDA refinance program. No payment more than 30 days late over the last year.
  • Household Income – Your household income was below the USDA Rural Development limit when you originally obtained your loan. The same applies for the refinance program. Your income for the entire household must STILL be below the USDA income eligibility limit found here.
  • Interest Rate Reduction – Your new interest must be at least 1% lower than your current interest rate.
  • Occupancy – only primary residence is eligible.
  • Loan Term – The new loan term must remain a 30 year fixed term like the original loan.
  • Eligible USDA Location  –   If the home was originally located in a USDA eligible location according to the approved maps, the home is still eligible regardless of any map updates since the time of purchase. Basically the homeowner is “grandfathered” in.
  • Credit Score – 620 credit score is needed to be approved. However interest rates are driven by credit score – the lowest interest rates are generally given to borrowers with credit scores over 680.
  • USDA Guarantee Fee – The current USDA SFHGLP fee is 2% of the loan amount. This fee is going up to 2.75% in October 2015 – so act before the increase.
  • Closing Costs – closing costs for the USDA Pilot refinance generally runs about 3-6% of the loan amount. However, homeowners are permitted to build in (include) their closing costs and guarantee fee into their new USDA loan. So basically no out of pocket costs is required to refinance.
  • No Cash Out-  if you DO have equity built up over the years, you cannot “cash out” any equity. The new loan amount is to include the current loan payoff, plus the USDA guarantee fee, plus closing costs.
  • Borrowers –  Additional borrowers can be added to the loan with the refinance. However, borrowers cannot be removed unless they are deceased.
  • No Equity, No Problem –  The USDA refinance program is designed for Florida homebuyers that were hit the hardest during the housing bust.  Many FL homeowners do not have the equity needed for traditional refinance programs.  The USDA refi program lifts this requirement and does NOT require any equity.  So if you are underwater on your home value, no worries as NO appraisal is required.

USDA Mortgage Source serves all of FL & GA-  Tallahassee, Jacksonville, St. Augustine, Gainesville, Tampa, Riverview, Orlando, Winter Garden, Naples, Sarasota and Lakeland.  Home buyers that have questions about the USDA Pilot program should contact us at PH: 904.302.6060.   Homeowners can also send in the short Info Request Form on the right side of this page for fast service. Mobile users can find the Info Request Form here.  USDA SFHGLP Refinance

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Cedar Key, Chiefland Home Buyers Program

Cedar Key USDA loan

Cedar Key USDA loan

The USDA Rural Housing mortgage has become the first choice to the majority of first time homebuyers in Levy and Dixie County. The USDA loan program offers several benefits, keeping in mind the budget constraints of most homeowners who are interested in buying their very first home. Compared to most conventional or FHA mortgage loans, the USDA program facilitates the buying process for the applicant by allowing 100% financing.  Also the USDA loan involves a $0 payment, which makes it easier for homeowners to meet their budget constraints.  

  • Secure fixed interest rate– One of the biggest advantages of the USDA loan is the fixed 30 year interest rate. Compared to other traditional loans where the interest rates can vary, the interest rate remains the same for the entire course of the loan. No pre payment penalty or adjustable rate terms.  Due to this provision the borrower can plan out his fixed monthly instalment in advance.
  • NO down payment – The Federal government insures or backs USDA loans, therefore the borrower /applicant incur very minimal charges during the process. USDA loan require $0 investment from the borrower. The loan does allow for the home seller to pay all closing costs, up to 6% which is generally enough to cover just about any home purchase.
  • Simple to qualify – Pre-qualifying for a Florida USDA loan is one of the simplest. Since it is the USDA that insures your house loan, the lenders and banks make it easy for anyone to qualify that meets the basic requirements. The main components of qualifying are credit and income/employment.
  • There are no cash reserves required – Compared to most conventional loan programs, which make the Florida USDA mortgage loan a very enticing option for Florida first time homeowners that have little money saved up. Applicants don’t need any savings to be approved.
  • Approved Locations –  The USDA 502 Guaranteed RHS program is reserved only for certain rural locations in Florida. The good news ALL of Levy and Dixie county is approved  –  Cedar Key, Chiefland, Old Town and surrounding locations are all eligible for USDA financing.

First Time buyers need to know what to expect before starting the USDA loan application process. Being prepared will always increases your chances in successfully getting your USDA loan approved. Below we have listed some steps and things to consider –

Before application:

  1. Debt-to-income ratio
    Careful analysis has to be done here. Lenders vary on precise amounts but a debt load that’s higher than 41 percent is risky for an USDA loan. You will need two years of consistent employment with no unexplainable gaps in employment.
  2. Credit check
    It’s usually the small things that can hurt your credit. Check your income, credit, as well as rent history that might show up on a credit report. Get everything on the up and up, aiming for a clean record.
  3. Credit score
    As of 2015, a credit score of 620 or better is needed for the 100% USDA loan. If you came out of a bankruptcy or foreclosure, you would need to have maintained a perfect credit since then (4 years respectively) regardless of current credit score.

USDA Loan Application:

  • Interested buyers can start by submitting the short Info Request Form on the right side of this page to get started. Mobile users can find the Info Request Form here.  You can also contact us at 7 days a week at  ph: 904-302-6060.  This will allow the USDA loan specialist to contact you to discuss your goals. Later a full application will have to be filled out that detail everything about you, the borrower, which will be used in figuring out whether you’re eligible for a loan or otherwise. The rate and the terms of the loan will also be determined largely by the information in your application form, credit score, etc.  The complete USDA application process takes about 20 min to complete.
  • In the event your USDA application is pre-approved, and you go under contract to purchase a home, you will get the disclosure documents which are essentially mortgage disclosures that have all the minute details regarding the terms, interest rates, cost and payments of the loan.
  • These lender mortgage disclosures are to be signed and returned along with other documents such as your bank statements, IDs, pay stubs, etc., for verification purposes. Usually these documents are prepped and readied well before the loan application is submitted to the lender.
  • The processor reviews all verifying documents and requests for missing or any additional documents from the borrower if need be. Upon completion, the documents are then submitted to the underwriter.
  • The underwriter will send a Conditions List of additional missing items or documents to the buyer.
  • Once the buyer completes the needed items on the list, it’s sent back to the lender for final approval. A closing date is then set.

Note: Once you are in contract on a home, the entire USDA closing process takes about 4-5 weeks to complete.

USDA Mortgage Source is Florida’s leading 100% Rural Development loan resource. Serving Levy County and Dixie County 7 days a week including, Bronson, Cedar Key, Chiefland, Fanning Springs, Gulf Hammock, Inglis, Morriston, Rosewood, Williston, Yankeetown, Cross City, Horseshoe Beach, Jena, Old Town.   Please contact us at 904-302-6060.

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