As we enter the New Year and reflect on ways to enhance life, if buying a new home is on your list, consider investing time with a U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) approved housing counselor before jumping into that resolution whether you are a first or third time home buyer. Most low cost first-time-buyer loans and down payment assistance programs will require completing housing counseling as well.
Learn in advance, what will affect your financial bottom line and the quality of home you can afford today, both of which are affected by the latest changes in the mortgage industry. One example is the annual change in the baseline conforming loan limits for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. According to the Federal Housing Finance Agency home prices increased on average of 6.9 percent between the third quarters of 2017 and 2018. The new conforming loan limits beginning January 1, 2019 reflect this change.
Gain the following insights provided in a typical housing counseling session, such as: tools for financial management, evaluating credit information, the latest options in financing, how to shop for a home and how to avoid predatory lending practices. According to a 2014 four year study conducted by the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia and William H. Greene of New York University, one-on-one housing counseling prior to purchasing for first time home buyers had a significantly positive effect on their credit scores. See references below for more details on this comprehensive study.
Get peace of mind from the counsel of an expert who can assess your financial situation and assist in figuring out what a sustainable monthly mortgage payment is for you. Although interest rates have risen in the past 12 months, this does not automatically equate to a higher mortgage payment for everyone. Get the facts.
HUD approved housing counselors for the state of Colorado, current as of January 6, 2019 can be found at: https://apps.hud.gov/offices/hsg/sfh/hcc/hcs.cfm?webListAction=search&searchstate=CO
Contact a non-profit resource such as Money Management International that offers free pre-purchase housing counsel. See references below for their contact info.
At A Plus Mortgage of Colorado Springs we resolve to keep your best interests in mind when assisting you in the pre-qualification process and finding you the best loan when you are ready to buy a home—and Yes that includes Veterans and Active Duty military. Give us a call at (719) 572-5155 Monday thru Friday.
U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development: HUD Approved Counseling Agencies (CO); https://apps.hud.gov/offices/hsg/sfh/hcc/hcs.cfm?webListAction=search&searchstate=CO
Federal Housing Finance Agency: FHFA Announces Maximum Conforming Loan Limits for 2019; https://www.fhfa.gov/Media/PublicAffairs/Pages/FHFA-Announces-Maximum-Conforming-Loan-Limits-for-2019.aspx
Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia: The Effectiveness of Pre-Purchase Home Ownership Counseling and Financial Management Skills; https://www.philadelphiafed.org/-/media/community-development/homeownership-counseling-study/2014/homeownership-counseling-study-042014.pdf
Money Management International: Buying a Home with Confidence; https://www.moneymanagement.org/buying-a-home