Michigan First Mortgage Blog

Ways to Save for a Down Payment

By Carrie Buscemi, Sr. Mortgage Loan Officer

Saving for a down payment can be one of the biggest barriers to homeownership. But many of today’s homebuyers overestimate the size of the down payment they need.

The average down payment is between 5% and 10% — not 20%, as a lot of people assume.

With options like Freddie Mac’s 3% down Home Possible mortgage, Fannie Mae’s 3% Home Ready mortgage, and the Federal Housing Authority’s 3.5% down, qualified borrowers are able to make a down payment as little as $6,000 for a $200,000 home.

Down payment assistance programs can help you bridge the cash gap, …

Jumbo Loans Explained

By Ted Lyons, Brighton Branch Manager

There are times when the name of something really captures its essence and that is certainly the case with the term “jumbo” mortgage. The name conveys the concept that something is really big – and when it comes to mortgages, a jumbo mortgage refers to a loan that is so big that it gets treated differently just because of its size alone.

Specifically, a jumbo mortgage is one that is so large that the Federal National Mortgage Association (Fannie Mae) and the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation (Freddie Mac) won’t buy them from a mortgage lender …

The Advantages and Disadvantages of Bi-Weekly Mortgage Payments

By Carrie Soffia, Mortgage Loan Officer

Bi-weekly mortgage payments can be a great option for homeowners. However, there are advantages and disadvantages to a bi-weekly payment plan. Read on to learn more.

Advantages

Reduce the mortgage term – One of the biggest reasons people choose bi-weekly payments is that it is possible to pay off the mortgage early and reduce interest costs.
Better budgeting – A bi-weekly payment plan helps to budget the expenses of your mortgage on a lower scale rather than having one large payment due every month. For some, this fits their lifestyle and helps people match the date …

What is a Short Sale?

By Michael Nykiel, Mortgage Loan Officer

In simple terms, a short sale is a home that is available to purchase at a price that is lower than what the current owner owes on the property.

A short sale is an option that may be available to homeowners who are experiencing financial hardship. They may be behind on their mortgage payments and have a home that is underwater, meaning the home is worth less than the outstanding balance on the mortgage. Unless they come into cash quickly, the homeowner may be forced to sell the home and will be faced with two options: …

Appraisal Tips and Tricks

By Kyndal McAllister, Mortgage Loan Officer

When it comes to the mortgage process, there is one thing that is paramount to the transaction, and that is the value of the home. Home value is calculated by current sales in the area, square footage, lot size, upgrades, and location. One way to gather the data is to have an appraisal done on the property. An appraisal is a process of reviewing your property visually and putting it into factual information. As with all presentations, it benefits you to put your best foot forward.

It is recommended that you make any and all repairs …

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