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A confusing situation.

Have you applied for a mortgage in the past couple of years? Many consumers would say it can be a "confusing situation." Indeed, loan programs have changed significantly since 2009, so it is important to understand your mortgage options and program guidelines.

The majority of fixed rate loans are sold in the secondary market, so lenders have a tendency to follow the criteria of the agency purchasing the loan. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have a dominant share of the conventional loan market with a maximum loan amount $417,000 for single family homes in Georgia. Their credit standards are more restrictive than government-insured loans and require a minimum down payment of five percent for an owner occupied property. Second homes and investor properties can also be financed with Fannie and Freddie, but a larger down payment is required.

FHA loans are very popular for first time homebuyers since the minimum down payment is only 3.5 percent of the home purchase price. The Housing and Urban Development (H.U.D.) program has been very successful through the years with less restrictive credit guidelines than conventional loans. The maximum single family FHA loan amount in rural areas of Georgia is $271,050 and $346,250 for the Atlanta metro area. A gift for the entire down payment is also permissible under the FHA program.

Nurses living in rural Georgia can benefit from USDA mortgages. The Rural Development program provides 100 percent loans for qualified borrowers. Since a down payment can be the biggest hurdle for many prospective purchasers, the program is a real winner for first-time homebuyers. Rural Development loans have household income limits of $74,750 for a one to four person family and $98,650 for a five or more member family.

VA loans are well-deserved benefit for veterans of the armed services. The program offers 100 percent financing for a home purchase to qualified veterans in possession of a VA Certificate of Eligibility.

Purchasing a home is an exciting opportunity for Americans and doesn't have to be such a "Confusing Situation." There are many options available to homebuyers, but is important to determine which programs may best meet your needs. For more information, please contact One Lender for Life via email at olfl@southernhighlandsmtg.com or call 888-213-4602.

By Jim Williams President, Southern Highlands Mortgage

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Title Annotation:Finance Matters; home mortgages
Author:Williams, Jim
Publication:Georgia Nursing
Geographic Code:1U5GA
Date:Nov 1, 2013
Words:388
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