Unique Mortgage works closely with its clients to tailor a mortgage plan that honors their monthly budget and long-term financial goals. For example, if a borrower wishes to pay off their mortgage over a shorter period of time in order to build equity faster, they can design a mortgage with a shorter term than the standard 30-year mortgage.
Other borrowers may prefer to spread their mortgage payments over a longer period in order to lower their payment or increase monthly cash flow. They can also design a mortgage with a longer term than their current loan to save money on interest costs and extend their borrowing power.
The mortgage professionals at Unique Mortgage work to get their clients the best rates available with a wide range of lenders. Their expertise, communication, and professionalism make them a top choice in the industry. The rates and terms displayed are national averages. Actual individual rates may vary by geography, loan program and borrower attributes.
A reverse mortgage allows retirees to access some of their home equity without having to pay it back in monthly payments like a traditional mortgage. The funds can be used to help cover expenses, including healthcare costs and property taxes. The loans are also a great way to pay for home renovations that can help you age in place.
The best way to choose a lender for a reverse mortgage is to find one that is a member of the National Reverse Mortgage Lenders Association (NRMLA). This organization has an established code of ethics and provides educational resources about this type of loan. Borrowers should also compare the different options and fees that lenders offer. This includes the mortgage insurance premium, interest rate and closing and servicing fees.
While reverse mortgages can be a helpful financial tool for retirees, they do have some drawbacks. The biggest is that the borrower may lose his or her house if they do not keep up with property taxes and homeowners insurance payments. Other disadvantages include the fact that the borrowers are not allowed to rent out their home, which can limit the amount of money they can get from the loan.
To qualify for a reverse mortgage, the homeowner must be at least 62 years old and have substantial equity in his or her home. The property must be a single-family residence, a manufactured home that meets federal standards, or a two- to four-unit home with the borrower living in one of the units. The borrower must meet income and credit requirements, as well as attend a counseling session. Additionally, borrowers must agree to use the loan only for its intended purpose.
Moreover, the loan must be repaid when the borrower dies, sells the property or moves out. It is important to remember that this is not a solution for financial emergencies or major home repairs. If you are struggling, it’s best to explore other options for help before considering a reverse mortgage. Many public and private benefits exist that can provide assistance with essential costs, such as housing, food, healthcare, and medication.
First-Time Homebuyer Programs
Purchasing your first home is a major life event. It’s also a significant financial investment, which provides tax deductions and the option to eventually build generational wealth through equity appreciation. However, first-time homebuyers face unique challenges when trying to buy a house, especially in a notoriously expensive housing market like New York City.
Fortunately, there are many first-time buyer programs that can help you overcome hurdles like high down payment requirements and mortgage interest rates. These programs can include cash grants, tax credits and special loans that offer lower interest rates and down payment assistance.
Conventional 97 mortgages are one of the most popular options amongst first-time homebuyers, as they have a low down payment requirement and accept borrowers with less-than-perfect credit scores. Other loan types that may be suitable for first-time buyers are FHA and USDA loans, which have flexible credit requirements and require a minimum down payment of just 3.5%.
These loan programs are available through government agencies at the federal, state and local levels, as well as private nonprofit organizations, community development corporations and financial institutions. Other first-time homebuyer loans include Fannie Mae’s HomePath program, which allows buyers to purchase foreclosed homes with as little as 3% down and offers closing cost assistance. Other loans, such as FHA and VA, have flexible DTI requirements, which can make it easier for borrowers with student loan debt to qualify for mortgages.
To take advantage of these and other first-time homeownership opportunities, prospective borrowers should complete homebuyer education courses. Once a certificate of completion is obtained, they can present it to lenders for preapproval on a mortgage loan and begin shopping for a property. Once the mortgage loan is approved, they can work with a realtor and a real estate attorney to find a home that suits their needs.
Reverse Mortgage Scams
A reverse mortgage is a special type of home loan that allows seniors to convert some of the equity in their homes into cash. It is designed to supplement retirement income, but it is important for borrowers to avoid scams that could result in financial harm. Whether it’s a contractor who offers outrageous estimates for repairs or a lender that encourages borrowers to invest the proceeds of their reverse mortgage, scammers are often targeting senior citizens with these types of fraudulent activities.
According to an OIG bulletin, “reverse mortgages are a common target for elder financial abuse (EFE) because of the large amounts of money involved and the lack of transparency.” Reverse mortgages can be complex and difficult for consumers to understand. In addition, the HECM loan program’s targeted demographic of older Americans makes them vulnerable to scammers.
Scammers commonly claim to be lenders or counselors and often charge for services that are free, such as counseling or an evaluation of a borrower’s eligibility. They may also try to charge for a fee that is part of the loan process, such as the mortgage insurance premium or origination fee.
During the counseling process, scammers can use intimidation tactics or pressure a homeowner to commit fraud. They may insist that the borrower must sign documents immediately or become upset when a homeowner is reluctant to agree. They may even attempt to obtain personal or financial information from the borrower, which is a violation of federal regulations.
Other scams related to reverse mortgages involve homeowners being encouraged to withdraw funds from the mortgage and invest them elsewhere. These investments are often high risk and are guaranteed to lose value, and they can leave the borrower with nothing. Some scammers have even been known to rob the homeowner of their property.
Foreclosures are another common problem involving reverse mortgages. These scams are typically perpetrated by contractors who advise the homeowner to take out an illegitimate reverse mortgage to avoid foreclosure. The homeowner then finds themselves stuck with the debt from the illegitimate loan and must pay the lender back along with property taxes and hazard insurance.