Blog


 

By: Tim Whitmire

Thankfully mortgage interest rates are still very low, but up from their lows, and homes are still reasonably priced.  But you have undoubtedly heard about interest rates rising and you also have likely noticed home values increasing in your subdivision.  Interest rates have increased approximately 0.75% over the last few months and according to data the Mark and Becci Real Estate Team has gathered from the MLS, values of single family homes and condos in St. Louis County, St. Louis City, and the St. Charles area have increased a combined 7.7% over the last year.  Many expect both interest rates and home values to continue to increase.

 

Mortgage Interest Rates

 

Mortgage Interest rates are largely driven by economic data and reports such as jobs reports, inflation, unemployment rate, and consumer confidence.  Mortgage interest rates generally increase with positive economic news and decrease with negative economic news.  Other factors such as the Federal Reserve raising short term rates and the sale of mortgage backed securities play a role.  Recently economic reports haven’t been excellent but have improved compared to what they had been and the Federal Reserve is expected to raise short term rates and also slow down their purchases of mortgage backed securities.  Given the current environment we are in and recent trends, I expect mortgage interest rates to slowly climb throughout the next 12 months.

 

Home Values

 

My co-workers and I along with others in the mortgage industry have been very busy preparing pre-approvals for potential home buyers over the last few years and there has been a constant theme with the feedback pre-approved home buyers have shared.  There is a lack of inventory of desirable homes.  Homes in the hottest markets many times get multiple offers from pre-approved buyers within the first few days of being on the market.  The average days on the market is down 8.1% over the last year.  The simple laws of supply and demand have allowed home values to increase over the last few years and there is no sign of it slowing down any time soon.

 

Home Affordability

 

The combination of interest rates rising and home values increasing effects home affordability.  With interest rates climbing and home values increasing now is a great time to purchase your first home or to move up into your next home.  Consider the following scenario to illustrate what a difference a year can make when interest rates and home values are both on the rise:

 

                January 2016                                                                                    January 2017

$200,000 Purchase Price  ===è 7.7% Increase in home values      $215,400 Purchase Price

$190,000 Loan Amount (5% down payment)                         $194,398 Loan Amount (5% Down)

3.5% 30 Yr. Fixed Rate             ===è .75% increase in rates                       4.25% 30 Yr. Fixed Rate

$853.19 Monthly Payment + Escrows for taxes, insurance, PMI       $956.33 Payment + Escrows

 

The same buyer purchasing the same home now has a monthly mortgage payment that is $103.13 higher than if they would have purchased the home one year sooner.  Last year was a phenomenal time to purchase a home.  Historically speaking mortgage interest rates are still very low but rising and homes are still affordable but values are increasing.  It is still a fantastic time to buy a home and Now is the time to do it!

Licensed mortgage professionals at First Integrity Mortgage use their experience, expertise, and the special programs available to discover your goals, present multiple relevant options, and recommend the program that best meets YOUR needs!

Don’t sell yourself short. Call today to start your home buying path!

Tim Whitmire

Office phone number: 314-878-4900
Cell phone number: 314-402-8184
Email: timw@firstintegrity.com

NMLS# 279207

First Integrity Mortgage Services is a locally owned mortgage banker located at 77 West Port Plaza, Suite 200, St. Louis, MO 63146, NMSL# 276593.

Visit us today at www.firstintegrity.com and see the difference!!

WE CARE. WE DELIVER. WE THINK!

 


By Jeremy Durham

Are you in the market for a new home, but nothing has that Wow Factor you seek? This is an issue that home buyers in all price ranges experience whenever there is even a slight hint of a shortage of inventory. But what if you could take the home you desire in the school district you choose, or location you so badly want, and give it the Wow Factor that meets your tastes to a T? Well, you can! What you need is a Renovation Loan; a loan that allows you to purchase a home at an agreed upon sales price, while rolling the costs of updating the kitchen and bathrooms, replacing that 25 year old worn out deck, replacing siding, soffit, & fascia, and a variety of other home upgrades and improvements into the loan. The value for these programs are based on the Subject To Value of the home once the renovations are completed, and not at the current value at which the humdrum home is listed for sale.

FHA 203K:
This renovation option requires a small down payment of 3.5%, the lowest rate, and can accommodate all homebuyers regardless of whether they are a first-time homebuyer, or buying their fourth home. This program will allow for a loan amount of 110% of the home’s appraised value as long as that loan amount does not exceed the program limit of $271,050.

Fannie Mae Homestyle: 
This program allows for higher purchase prices and loan amounts up to $424,100. The Homestyle will also allow for “Luxury” amenities to be added to the home that the FHA option does not allow for. This option does require a 5% down payment. 

First Integrity Mortgage’s Own Design Plus:
This program is the one of a kind Renovation version of our own Power Plus program. This program is designed for a premium level of
home, that will allow a $424,100 1st loan, closing in combination with a 2nd that can, in certain circumstances, reach $300,000. There is no other program available that will allow the Luxury Home client to perform this level of renovation on a new home, or their current home, without dipping into their own funds for the renovation.


If the idea of purchasing a home in your ideal location and renovating it to meet YOUR tastes sounds like a plan you can buy into, please call me at (314) 856-5626 or (314) 878-7900, or e-mail me jdurham@firstintegrity.com, to discuss the best renovation option for turning your blah home, into the home of your dreams! 

First Integrity Mortgage Services - We Think. We Care. We Deliver.


By: Christine Elbert

First Integrity Mortgage Services has always been dedicated to building strong communities in Missouri and Illinois. That commitment extends supporting organizations that support our communities. First Integrity has been a longtime supporter of, donating over $15,000 in 2016 and continuing our program of donating $250 to the BackStoppers organization and $500 closing cost credit for every First Responder loan done through our company. We also host an annual Trivia night benefiting the organization. 

A company being supportive of organizations is great, but when that commitment to help extends from every employee as well, it’s not hard to understand how proud the employees and the owners are of the type of company they work for.  Employees are given a variety of ways to contribute. Every quarter, a new charity is chosen and funds are raised from “casual dress days” and a collection box in the breakroom.

The last quarter of 2016 was focused on Gateway to Hope a local organization that assists Breast Cancer survivors with financial need in a time of crisis, allowing people to concentrate on healing.  In October, I was lucky enough to perform in a benefit show for Gateway to Hope at a local club. There is no better feeling than seeing some of my fellow employees and some of their kids show up to support the cause and me.  Past organizational support has gone to Autism Speaks to support people with Autism, and TASK, which creates and supports team activities for special needs kids.

Our employees also give their time and money individually by being involved with organizations including Boy Scouts/Girl Scouts, the Salvation Army, The LGBT Center of St Louis, St Jude, Habitat for Humanity, the Trevor Project, American Association for Suicide Prevention, and Lydia’s House.

Winston Churchill once said, “We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.”  Being an employee of First Integrity allows me to do accomplish both at the same time, and to me, that is the greatest gift.  

Be sure to follow us on our Facebook and Twitter pages for more information about the organizations we support and the upcoming BackStoppers Trivia night to come.

Licensed mortgage professionals at First Integrity Mortgage use their experience, expertise, and the special programs available to discover your goals, present multiple relevant options, and recommend the program that best meets YOUR needs!


The VA LOAN

By: Joe Challans

Throughout the course of the year, we all celebrate multiple holidays. With that we all have our favorites, for some it is July 4th, others it’s Halloween, for me it is Veterans Day. Why Veterans Day specifically?  Well, I am the proud son of a Purple Heart Vietnam Veteran, as well as working with two dedicated and amazing Veterans, Dave Mattull (Head of Reverse Mortgages) and Bill Tottleben (Illinois Senior Mortgage Banker extraordinaire). What makes Veterans Day so special to me is that it allows for me and the rest of the country to say “Thank You” to my Father, Bill, and Dave, and countless others for their service to our country. With the holiday coming up I thought now would be a great time to discuss the VA LOAN, which is available to our Veterans, our Disabled Veterans, Active Duty, Reservists, National Guard, and Surviving Spouses of Veterans. 

The VA LOAN is a government backed loan program that is unlike any other loan on the market. It has several pluses that make buying your first home, refinancing your home, or moving into a new home an easier and better process than obtaining a Conventional or FHA loan.  The reasons are numerous, but I have whittled it down to the 7 main reasons:

  1. You can go to 100% of the purchase price, meaning no down payment is needed, if you so desire
  2. Generally lower rates than on conventional or other loan programs
  3. A rate and term refinance is a breeze and in some cases doesn’t require an appraisal
  4. You can go to 100% of the appraised value on a cash out refinance
  5. Your benefit can be passed onto your spouse, in the event of you passing away
  6. NO MONTHLY PMI INSURANCE, even if you don’t put 20% down
  7. Most companies will approve a VA LOAN with a lower credit score, unlike other loan programs

These are just some of the benefits that the VA LOAN offers. It is a fantastic loan program and a way to reward those who serve or have served our country. Give us a call at 314-878-7900, so we can go over your options with you. You will experience the customer service that differentiates us from the competition, see what our clients have to say about us. We will work diligently to ensure your VA LOAN gets closed on time. Plus, we always waive the First Integrity Fee of $985 on VA loans!

If you are not a veteran but want to get rid of your PMI, then give us a call about our Power Plus loan program - a true 5% down, no PMI loan.

Licensed mortgage professionals at First Integrity Mortgage use their experience, expertise, and the special programs available to discover your goals, present multiple relevant options, and recommend the program that best meets YOUR needs!

To get all the facts, please contact Joe Challans
Office phone number: 314-878-4900
Cell phone number: 636-575-2499
Email: jchallans@firstintegrity.com

NMLS# 856616

First Integrity Mortgage Services is a locally owned mortgage banker located at 77 West Port Plaza, Suite 200, St. Louis, MO 63146, NMSL# 276593.

Visit us today at www.firstintegrity.com and see the difference!!

WE THINK. WE CARE. WE DELIVER


By Dave Mattull

Generally speaking, your retirement funds may come from savings, investment income, and Social Security. But now, there’s another source that may help you complete the longevity planning puzzle.  Reverse mortgages are becoming increasingly recognized by homeowners and financial advisors as a smart and safe way to access an important retirement asset: home equity. Most reverse mortgages are government-insured Home Equity Conversion Mortgages (HECMs). You will often hear the terms used interchangeably. Available exclusively to people age 62 and older, a reverse mortgage could help you live more comfortably and be more financially prepared for the future.

For example, you can use a reverse mortgage to:

  • Avoid selling investments at a loss in a “down” market
  • Establish a “stand-by” line of credit that you can tap as needed.
  • Unlike a traditional Home Equity Line of Credit (HELOC), a reverse mortgage line of credit cannot be reduced or revoked, as long as the terms of the loan are met. The unused line of credit grows over time.
  • Supplement retirement income with tax-free* funds
  • Delay collecting Social Security for a larger monthly benefit
  • Pay for medical or long-term care costs
  • Finance the purchase of a more suitable home, with no monthly mortgage payments**

Some of the benefits of a reverse mortgage:

  • The ability to use your home equity to help you maintain a more comfortable standard of living.
  • Allows a homeowner to live in their own home.
  • Provides funds that can reduce month-to-month obligations.
  • Eliminates required monthly mortgage payments.
  • Healthcare needs: Pay for healthcare and prescription drugs.
  • Home improvement/home care modifications.
  • Provide a cushion for the unexpected.
  • Travel; weddings; insurances; debt consolidation.
  • Assist in purchasing a new home. Yes, you can use the Reverse mortgage to purchase a home.
  • Financial security and peace of mind.
  • Great flexibility. You can choose to take your proceeds as a line of credit, monthly advances for a set period of time, a monthly stream of funds for as long as you live in your home, a lump sum or a combination of these options.
  • No monthly mortgage payments. If you qualify and have an existing mortgage, home equity loan, or any other type of debt, you can pay it off and reduce your monthly expenses.  Or, if you own your home free-and-clear, you can get the additional funds you need with no minimum monthly repayments required. (As the homeowner, you remain responsible for paying property taxes, homeowners insurance, and homeowner’s association dues if applicable.)

As you explore your reverse mortgage options with First Integrity Mortgage Services, Inc., we will serve as your guide through the entire loan process. Here’s a basic overview of what you can expect. To learn more, contact us today.

1.      Education: I will help you determine if a reverse mortgage is the right solution for you — and if so, which type best fits your needs and goals. To help you make an informed decision, I’ll answer all your questions, assess your individual needs and financial situation, thoroughly explain everything, and prepare you for your independent counseling session. I encourage you to include your family members and trusted advisor(s) in your decision-making process.


2.      Independent Counseling: To ensure that you understand all aspects of a reverse mortgage, you are required to have a session with an independent counselor who is approved by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). It usually takes about 60 to 90 minutes and can be done in-person or over the phone.

3.      Application: I will help you complete the application and collect your documentation. I will let you know exactly which documents you’ll need to provide.

4.      Property Appraisal, Loan Processing, and Approval: We will submit the paperwork and we process your application. As a matter of fact, we order a home appraisal, which determines the exact value of your home. We’ll also order title work and existing mortgage payoff amounts. An underwriter will then review your application for approval.


5.      Closing: Once the loan is approved and final documents are ready for your signature, we’ll contact you to schedule your loan closing, which can take place at your home. Any existing mortgage(s) will be paid off with a portion of the proceeds from your reverse mortgage. After the closing and any applicable rescission period, the loan will fund and you will receive your money.
Am I eligible?

To be eligible for a reverse mortgage, you must:

  • Be at least 62 years old
  • Live in the home as your primary residence
  • Have sufficient home equity. (Contact your First Integrity Mortgage Services to find out if you have enough home equity to qualify.)
  • Not be delinquent on any federal debt
  • Participate in a consumer information session held by an independent counselor who is approved by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)

Licensed mortgage professionals at First Integrity Mortgage use their experience, expertise, and the special programs available to discover your goals, present multiple relevant options, and recommend the program that best meets YOUR needs!

To get all the facts, please contact Dave Mattull.
Office phone number: 314-878-4900
Cell phone number: 314-570-4970
Email: davem@firstintegrity.com

First Integrity Mortgage Services is a locally owned mortgage banker located at 77 West Port Plaza, Suite 200, St. Louis, MO 63146, NMSL#276593.

Visit us today at www.firstintegrity.com and see the difference!!

WE THINK. WE CARE. WE DELIVER


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