Tampa Named The #1 U.S. City For Veterans

Tampa, Florida, is the number one U.S. city for veterans seeking affordability, comfort, and opportunity. That’s according to a new survey from Veterans United Home Loans,  which looked at the country’s 500 biggest metros to determine which offered the qualities most valued by veterans and their families. Behind Tampa were Rochester, MN.; Wichita Falls, TX; Fargo, ND.; Virginia Beach, VA.; Watertown, NY; Charleston, SC; Medford, OR; Altoona, PA, and Sioux Falls, SD. “Our in-depth analysis factors in feedback and priorities from hundreds of Veterans we surveyed, so we can really dig into what those who serve are looking for when it comes to planting roots and building communities,” said Chris Birk, vice president of mortgage insight at Veterans United.  “These…

loanDepot Introduces New LO Training For VA Loans

loanDepot introduced a new training resource for loan officers interested in expanding their knowledge of VA loans. The “VA Loan Officers Master Class” was designed to help LOs navigate the important and specialized world of veterans’ loans. VA loans offer huge benefits for America’s armed forces but can be difficult to close. Lenders working with veterans need a deep knowledge of the requirements for these loans, which differ from conventional loans in everything from documentation to the appraisal process. Lack of understanding creates unnecessary roadblocks for veterans in the housing market, according to Jenny Wemert of Wemert Group Realty. “There’s too many stigmas attached to a VA mortgage that aren’t really realistic,” she told Spectrum News. The VA Loan Officers…

NAR Settlement Poses Challenge For VA Buyers

Huge changes to Realtors’ commission structures may disadvantage VA buyers, at least in the short term. A $418 million settlement announced by the National Association of Realtors last week is set to have sweeping implications for the housing industry in general. If approved by a federal judge, it would undo NAR’s commission structure, which is typically between 5.5% and 6% and split between buyer’s and seller’s agents. Under the terms of the settlement, moving forward sellers will be expected to negotiate with real estate professionals, and buyers will have to enter into agreements with, and pay for, their own realtors. For some buyers, this may translate into a cheaper overall experience, depending on what is negotiated for as part of…

How Much Should Buyers Put Down On A House?

By ERIN FLYNN JAY If you are looking for a home and don’t have 20% to put down, you are not alone. According to the National Association of Realtors, the typical down payment for first-time buyers is 8%. For repeat buyers, it’s 19%. And for 38% of first-time buyers, saving for a down payment was the most difficult step in the process. Sean Moss, EVP of product and operations at Down Payment Resource, says there is no one right answer to the question of how much money to put down when purchasing a home. It’s dependent on the buyer’s financial situation, as well as the loan type they plan to use. “It’s a common misconception that 20% down is the…

Better Launches Zero-Down Digital VA Loan Program

Better launched a fully digital zero-down VA loan program designed to expedite and simplify the buying process for veterans. Better Mortgage VA Loans offers home loans for up to 100% of the purchase price of a primary residence, with no down payment required. The company says they will be 40 bps cheaper than traditional VA loans. It is available to eligible US Veterans, service members, and National Guard and Reserve members in all 50 states. In some cases, veterans’ spouses may also qualify. “Better has brought the traditional mortgage into the digital era, launching our 1 Day Mortgage Product and funding over $100 billion of fully digital mortgages. With Better’s VA Loans, we are opening the door for even more…

Mortgage Applications On The Rise

Mortgage applications rose again despite rates moving slightly up last week. The Mortgage Bankers Association’s weekly survey shows the adjusted Market Composite Index – a measure of mortgage loan application volume – jumped 3.7%, adding to the week prior’s 10.4% spike. Adjusted purchase applications rose by 8%, while the unadjusted index increased by 3% and was 18% lower YOY. Demand may have been tempered by rates ticking up slightly from 6.75% to 6.78%. Still, even as buyers remain sensitive to rate movement they do appear to be leaping to lock in rates under 7%. “Mortgage rates increased slightly last week, but there continues to be an upward trend in purchase activity. Conventional and FHA purchase applications drove most of the…

FHA, VA Loans Saw Delinquencies Rise In November

Delinquencies rose in November but remain historically low despite some worrying data about FHA and VA loans. That’s according to ICE’s First Look at November Mortgage Performance, which clocked delinquencies at 3.39% last month. This is down 10 bps YOY and remains 64 bps below pre-pandemic levels. Serious delinquencies– loans with missed payments more than 90 days late– increased to 459,000 but are 21% lower than the same time last year. But while loans remain strong overall, FHA delinquencies hit a 9-year high (excluding the immediate aftermath of the pandemic). Early-stage delinquencies for VA loans also surged, reaching their highest non-pandemic levels since 2009. Recently originated mortgages are suffering the most thanks to the high interest rates of late 2023.…

Survey: Only 3 In 10 Veterans Know About Zero Down Payment Benefit

By KIMBERLEY HAAS Veterans are encouraged to learn more about their home loan benefits after a national survey found that a majority of former service members do not know they are eligible for a zero-down payment plan. According to information from Realtor.com, just three out of 10 veterans know they can use their VA benefits to buy a home with no money down. That statistic comes from a survey conducted last month. “VA home loans offer many benefits, especially at times like this when affordability is such a major factor in home purchase decisions. Yet only a small portion of eligible veterans are tapping into the financial benefits they deserve for their service,” Damian Eales, CEO at Realtor.com, said in…

Applications Rebound As Rates Exceed 7%

Mortgage applications went up last week, benefitting from VA and FHA activity. The Mortgage Bankers Association’s weekly survey shows the adjusted Market Composite Index – a measure of mortgage loan application volume – increased by 0.9%, improving slightly after the week prior’s 4.4% decline. This week’s data includes an adjustment for the July 4th holiday. Adjusted purchase applications rose by 2%, though the unadjusted index was down 19% from the week before and 26% lower YOY. The bump in purchase activity is attributed to an increase in FHA and VA loan activity. Both loan types offer major perks like low down payments and minimum closing costs to those who qualify, making them more attractive than conventional loans in the current…

Carrington Adding Assumable Loans To Its Services

Carrington Mortgage Services, a private non-bank lender, is adding assumable mortgages to its list of services. Assumable mortgages allow buyers to assume responsibility for a seller’s loan terms. This includes the current balance, interest rate, remaining term, and any other terms of the mortgage. “Carrington is committed to ensuring borrowers have every possible opportunity to obtain a loan on the home they want,” said Greg Austin, EVP, Mortgage Lending for CMS. “Assumable mortgages are another loan option that Carrington is educating home sellers and buyers about in this very complex real estate market.” Buyers who have the opportunity to assume a mortgage with a low interest rate could see significant savings over the life of the loan. Carrington is alerting…