Archive for the ‘FHA Mortgages’ Category

FHA : Monthly Mortgage Insurance Premiums To Rise April 18, 2011

March 4, 2011

FHA Mortgage Insurance Increase April 18 2011For the third time in 12 months, the FHA is changing its mortgage insurance costs. 

Effective for all FHA case numbers assigned on, or after, April 18, 2011, annual mortgage insurance premiums (MIP) will increase 25 basis points.

The change will add $250 to an FHA-insured homeowner’s annual loan costs per $100,000 borrowed, and applies to all borrower’s equally. Current FHA borrowers are unaffected.

To understand the FHA is to understand why premiums are rising.

As an institution, the Federal Housing Administration plays a much larger role in the U.S. housing market today than it did just 5 years ago. According to its own records, the FHA’s percentage of purchase money business in Utah and nationwide expanded from 4 percent in FY 2006 to 19 percent in FY 2010.

Rapid growth like this has strained the FHA’s capital and, indeed, in its official statement, the FHA alludes to this, stating that the MIP increase will “significantly strengthen” its reserves. By law, the FHA must maintain a certain minimum level of reserves.

FHA mortgage insurance varies by loan term, and by loan-to-value and, beginning April 18, 2011, the new insurance premiums are as follows:

  • 15-year loan term, loan-to-value > 90% : 0.50% per year
  • 15-year loan term, loan-to-value <= 90% : 0.25% per year
  • 30-year loan term, loan-to-value > 95% : 1.15% per year
  • 30-year loan term, loan-to-value <= 95% : 1.10% per year

To calculate your monthly mortgage insurance premium, multiply your starting loan size by your insurance premium, and divide by 12. 

There is no change planned to the 1 percent upfront mortgage insurance premium charged by the FHA.

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Higher (And Lower) FHA Mortgage Insurance Premiums Start October 4, 2010

August 13, 2010

FHA mortgage insurance premiums ready to changeFor the second time this year, the FHA is modifying mortgage insurance.

Beginning with FHA case numbers issued on or after October 4, 2010, the FHA is changing its upfront and annual mortgage insurance premium structure.

Under the new terms, assuming a 30-year fixed rate FHA mortgage with at least 5 percent equity:

  • Upfront MIP drops to 1.000% of the amount borrowed from 2.250%
  • Annual MIP increases to 0.850% of the amount borrowed from 0.500%

For homeowners , this switch in MIP decreases the upfront cost of an FHA-insured mortgage, but increases the loan’s long-term costs.

Using a $100,000 mortgage as an example, upfront MIP falls to $1,000 from $2,250; monthly MIP jumps to $70.83 from $41.67. The FHA expects the change will yield an additional $300 million in premiums monthly.

The update is a huge win for the FHA whose reserve funds are self-proclaimed to be “perilously low”.  The extra monies should help recapitalize and stabilize the government group.

The FHA is on pace to back 1.7 million loans this year.

For the majority of refinancing FHA homeowners and home buyers, the MIP change is neither good nor bad — the borrowing landscape will just looks a bit different.  Yes, loans will cost more to carry each month, but also they’ll be less expensive to procure. It’s a trade-off and you can apply math formulas to solve for the best time to apply FHA. 

It may be wise to get your FHA case number before October 4, for example, depending on your time frame in the home and the expected life of the mortgage. Or, it may be better to wait until after October 4 to apply.

If you’re unsure of how the new FHA mortgage premiums will impact your mortgage, be sure to call or email your loan officer for help.

NOTE : The FHA originally announced an implementation date of September 7. It was subsequently amended to October 4, 2010.

FHA Mortgage Insurance Premiums Approved To Triple In Cost

June 11, 2010

FHA mortgage insurance premiums approved to triple Starting sometime later this year, the monthly cost to carry an FHA-insured mortgage is expected to rise.

In a near-unanimous vote, the House of Representatives gave the FHA power to raise the monthly mortgage insurance premiums it charges to its borrowers.

Currently, monthly mortgage insurance premiums are 0.55% of the unpaid loan balance, divided by 12.  The recently approved Federal Housing Administration Reform Act provides for an increase in monthly premium of up to 1.55 percent, among other details of the bill.

Despite the ability to charge 1.55 percent, FHA officials say an increase to 0.90 percent would be sufficient to self-insure its loans.

In everyday terms, assuming a $200,000 mortgage, the math to a homeowner looks as follows:

  • Current Premium (0.55%) : $91.67 monthly mortgage insurance premium
  • Expected Increase (0.90%) : $150.00 monthly mortgage insurance premium
  • Maximum Increase (1.55%) : $258.33 monthly mortgage insurance premium

A increase in monthly mortgage insurance premiums will reduce home affordability and strain household budgets. 

The news isn’t all terrible, however.

Because higher monthly insurance premiums are expected to pad the FHA coffers sufficiently, the FHA has said it plans to reduce its upfront mortgage insurance premium paid at closing from 2.25 percent down to 1.000 percent. 

On the same $200,000 mortgage, a move like that would reduces closing costs by $2,500.

The bill awaits companion legislation in Senate and final approval into law, but considering the House’s lopsided vote Thursday, it could happen rather quickly.  If you’re planning to buy or refinance a home using an FHA mortgage, you may find that waiting to take the next step could be a costly one, long-term.

The FHA insured close to a quarter of all mortgages made in the first three months of 2010.

Get Your FHA Mortgage Application Started — Fees Increase 1/2 Percent Starting Monday, April 5, 2010

March 30, 2010

FHA closing costs increase by 1/2 percent April 5 2010Starting Monday, April 5, 2010, getting an FHA mortgage will be more expensive for borrowers.

In new guidelines set forth earlier this year, the FHA announced plans to raise additional revenue and reduce the overall risk of its mortgage portfolio. 

The changes include the following:

  1. Increase Upfront Mortgage Insurance Premiums from 1.75% to 2.25% for everyone
  2. A plan to reduce seller concessions from 6 percent to 3 percent
  3. An increase in minimum downpayment for FICOs 580 or lower

For your own loan, to avoid being subject to higher loan costs, make sure to have your FHA Case Number assigned prior to Monday, April 5, 2010.  That means you’ll want to give a full mortgage application before the weekend so your lender can register your loan in time for the deadline.

But don’t leave your application to the last minute.

Friday is Good Friday so most banks will be closed. Your true FHA deadline, therefore, is Thursday April 1.

Also worth noting is that the FHA isn’t done with its changes.

In its policy statement, the group also announced its plans to petition Congress to raise monthly mortgage insurance premiums.  The FHA’s formal request, in summary:

  1. Raise monthly premiums by roughly 0.30%, or $25 per $100,000 borrowed per month
  2. Lower upfront mortgage insurance premiums by 1.25%, or $1,250 per $100,000 borrowed at closing

For now, the request is neither approved nor acknowledged by Congress. It’s merely a request. And in the event that Congress does approves it, the FHA reserves the right to change its projections.  Either way, it means higher costs for consumers. 

The best plan, therefore, is to get your FHA mortgage into underwriting ahead of the switches because borrowing money will be harder, and more costly.

Separating FHA Fact From Fiction : Mortgage Insurance Premiums

February 10, 2010

FHA asks Congress to raise Monthly MIPThe mortgage lending landscape changes a lot.  Rates and guidelines are in constant flux, and it creates preparedness challenges for buyers that aren’t paying in cash.

The loan you get today won’t always be the loan you get tomorrow.

Because of how frequently bank rules are changing, it can be hard for laypersons to distinguish between mortgage fact and fiction of “what’s coming next”.

Recently, we saw this with respect to FHA home loans.

January 20, 2010, the FHA issued a press release with new lending guidelines.  Specifically, it announced 3 changes that will be effective starting April 5, 2010:

  1. Upfront mortgage insurance premiums increase from 1.75% to 2.25%
  2. Allowable seller concession reduced from 6% to 3%
  3. FICO scores of 580 or lower are subject to a minimum 10% downpayment

But, also in its official statement, the FHA announced it would ask Congress for permission to raise monthly mortgage insurance premiums.  This is where the rumors started.

Nestled on page 348 of the Budget of the United States Government, Fiscal Year 2011, in a section titled Special Topics, there is a 1-paragraph notation that details the FHA’s petition. 

  1. Raise monthly premiums by roughly 0.30%, or $25 per $100,000 borrowed per month
  2. Lower upfront mortgage insurance premiums by 1.25%, or $1,250 per $100,000 borrowed at closing

For now, the request is neither approved nor acknowledged by Congress. It’s merely a request. And in the event that Congress does approves it, that doesn’t mean that FHA has to stand by its initial projections.

Truth is, about the only thing we know about the future of FHA lending is that, come April 5, 2010, borrowing money is going to be tougher, and mortgage expensive. These are the facts as we know them today.

Homebuyers should plan accordingly.

Sargents Briefing Jan 22 2010

January 22, 2010

Spring 2010 FHA Guidelines Make Borrowing Tougher And More Expensive

January 21, 2010

New FHA guidelinesSecuring an FHA mortgage in Utah is about to get more expensive.

In a statement issued Wednesday, the Federal Housing Authority outlined policy changes to its mortgage assistance program. The shift is meant to both reduce the government group’s portfolio risk while strengthening its overall financials.

For consumers, the changes mean higher costs.

As listed in the official announcement, there are 3 major guideline updates for the FHA:

  1. Upfront mortgage insurance premiums are increasing to 2.25% from 1.75%
  2. Minimum downpayments for applicants with sub-580 FICOs are rising to 10 percent
  3. Seller concessions are being limited to 3%, down from today’s allowable 6%

Furthermore, the FHA has appealed to Congress to raise an FHA borrowers’ monthly mortgage insurance premiums.

To read the FHA’s statement, it’s clear what the group is trying to balance.  On one side, the FHA wants to provide affordable financing to families that need it. That’s its mission statement. On the other side, though, the FHA must manage the risk that comes with insuring lesser-quality loans.

To that end, the FHA is stepping up its enforcement of “bad lenders” in hopes of stopping problems where they start.

Also in its new policies, the FHA is introducing a “termination clause”. If banks or loan officers that produce more than their fair share of bad loans, they lose their right to originate FHA mortgages.

As a result, homebuyers should expect tougher FHA underwriting in 2010. Not because the FHA says so, necessarily, but because banks don’t want to do “bad loans”.  Lenders are incented to turn down at-risk applicants and, already, we’re seeing examples of this. Despite FHA allowing 580 FICOs and lower, many banks have made 620 their minimum.

Some have other guideline overlays, too.

The FHA’s new guidelines don’t go into effect until spring.  So, between now and then, the old guidelines will apply.  Therefore, if you know you’re going to need an FHA home loan in the next few months, consider moving up your time-frame.

If nothing else, you’ll save some money at closing.

FHA’s 90 day resale rule waived

January 20, 2010

2010 FHA Loan Limits Released

January 8, 2010

2010 FHA Loan LimitsFHA home loans are federal assistance mortgages made by lenders, and backed by the government. The FHA doesn’t make loans to Utah homeowners — it insures loans made to homeowners by federally-qualified lenders.

By all accounts, FHA home loans are surging in popularity.

  • 2006, FHA insured 3.3% of all mortgages made
  • Q2 2009, FHA insured 19.2% of all mortgages made

A major reason for the increase can be tied to guidelines.

As compared to its conforming mortgage cousins Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, FHA home loans have lower downpayment requirements and looser credit standards. The FHA allows downpayments of 3.5 percent and Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac do not, as an example.

Another reason is that FHA home loans aren’t subject to credit score fees the way that conforming mortgages are. Through Fannie or Freddie, a home buyer with a 650 FICO and 20% down is subject to 3% in risk fees.  Via the FHA, the fee is zero, making FHA the better “deal”.

The FHA published its 2010 loan limits. There’s no change from 2009.

The base 2010 FHA loan limits are:

  • 1-unit : $271,050
  • 2-unit : $347,000
  • 3-unit : $419,400
  • 4-unit : $521,250

We say “base” because these loan limits don’t apply to all areas equally.  Higher-cost regions get higher loan limits, based on typical home values. Homes in Los Angeles County, for example, can be FHA-insured up to $729,750 in 2010, and there are special exceptions made for Alaska and Hawaii.

The official FHA announcement included a complete, county-by-county FHA loan limit list. The first spreadsheet shows each county at or above the $729,750 maximum; the second list is everyone else.

If your home’s county is on neither list, use the “base” numbers above.