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Our Blog Puts YOU in the Driver’s Seat

Helping customers like you achieve their financial goals is all we do, which is why we’re arming you with our expert insight, tips, and advice to help you get there.

5 Benefits of Non-Conforming Loans

A non-conforming loan is any loan that doesn’t adhere to the Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac lending guidelines. These government-sponsored enterprises (GSEs) have certain rules that loans—referred to as “conforming loans”—have to meet regarding loan amount and credit score.

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Understanding When You Need a Jumbo Loan

Jumbo loans. Their name kind of hints at their function. The jumbo loan program is designed for loan amounts that exceed the conventional conforming loan limits of the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA). In other words, they’re big loans. Some might even call them “jumbo.”

A large loan amount can mean something different to everyone—especially depending on where you live—which is why the FHFA carved out some guidelines on jumbo loans. Understanding them will be key to understanding when you need a jumbo loan.

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What Is a Conventional Loan?

With all the specialized loan programs out there—FHA, VA, etc.—it’s easy for the standard, conventional loan to get lost in the shuffle. After sifting through all these programs, you may find yourself stepping back and asking, “Wait, just what is a conventional loan?”

The word “conventional” simply means the loan is not part of a specific government program like FHA and VA loans are. Instead, they’re offered by mortgage companies, banks, and credit unions. Conventional loans that follow specific guidelines set by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac—two federally backed companies that buy and guarantee mortgages—are known as conforming loans.

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What Is an FHA Loan?

What is an FHA loan? The literal definition of an FHA loan is pretty straightforward: It’s a mortgage that’s insured by the Federal Housing Administration. But that doesn’t really tell you much. 

So … let’s try again. What is an FHA loan, really? FHA home loans are geared toward borrowers who have lower down payments or credit challenges that may make it difficult to buy a home. This makes these loans particularly attractive to first-time homebuyers.

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The Do's and Don'ts of the Mortgage Process

Understanding the homebuying process is one thing, but did you know you should also have a solid grasp on the mortgage process before you look to buy a new home? That’s because one typically precedes the other. Unless you’re an all-cash buyer, you’ll want to understand how the mortgage process works. Once you do, it’s a whole lot simpler to create your housing budget, make a list of your needs vs. wants, and proceed with eyes wide open. 

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How to Safely Apply for a Mortgage Online

Technology makes our daily lives so much easier—though that addiction to social media and doom scrolling is another story! Our tech-savvy world is so connected that you don’t even have to make your way to a loan advisor’s office to apply for a mortgage. This is great news in the time of COVID, as it not only saves time and hassle, but can be a healthy, responsible approach for those who would rather abstain from optional meetings.

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Real Estate Investing to Build Long-Term Wealth

There are so many options out there that promise to help you build wealth. High-interest rate savings accounts can make a few drops in the bucket, but not many. The stock market is certainly a vehicle for making money, but you have to know what you’re doing, what you’re buying, and when to get out. Retirement accounts can be a great way to accrue money over time, but 65 is a long way off for some people. Then there are cryptocurrencies. A year ago, it seemed the sky was the limit for these virtual coins. This year, it’s a whole different story.

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10 Ways to Win a Bidding War on a House

In today’s competitive housing market, there’s a good chance that your offer won’t be the only one a seller is entertaining. It’s not uncommon to hear sellers have more than 10 offers for one property . . . or that some buyers have put in offers on more than 20 homes, just to lose out time and time again.

In a market like this, it’s not enough to simply have your ducks in a row and walk in with a pre-approval. A market like this takes work if you want to win a bidding war. 

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What You Need to Know about Sales Price vs. Appraised Value

Like any other item for sale, the value of a home can be viewed two ways: the price you pay for a home, which can be the list price—or a higher or lower price depending on demand (in a hot market, the price may be above the asking price, while in a cooler market it might be below), and there’s the home’s appraised value. This is the price determined by a licensed professional home appraiser who will take many factors into consideration, including the home’s features, condition, improvements, location, and market trends. 

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Down Payment Assistance: The Difference Between Gift Funds, Grants, and Loans

Down payments can be one of the most daunting parts of the homebuying process. We all know, it’s a lot of money! Thankfully, you don’t necessarily have to drain your savings to come up with the sum. There are a few other ways to secure a down payment, including gift funds, grants, and down payment assistance programs.

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Get Your Offer Accepted with APM’s Keys on Time™ Program

It’s a competitive market out there, but did you know there are things you can do to increase the chances your offer will be accepted? We’re not talking about the standard strategies like improving your credit, paying off debt, applying for pre-approval.

We’re talking about programs like APM’s Keys on Time (KOT).

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Planning Ahead for Self-Employed Mortgage Requirements

Qualifying for a mortgage when you’re self-employed doesn’t have to be a pain. It all comes down to organization. Whether you’re self-employed, commission-based, or a full-time or hourly employee, lenders are all looking for the same thing when you apply for a mortgage: they want to be sure there is a high likelihood you will be able to pay.

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What You Need to Know About Getting a Mortgage When Self-Employed

Being self-employed can be amazing! To many it sounds wonderful—you get to be your own boss, set your own hours, and work from anywhere! As many who are self-employed know, it’s not as simple as that (long days, making payroll, and no steady paycheck). There are many perks to entrepreneurship, including that invigorating feeling of creating a business, but some people worry that this path will make it difficult to qualify for big-ticket purchases like a home.  

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Here’s How Your Job Affects Your Mortgage

You may be aware that the mortgage application process differs slightly depending on your type of employment. It’s not that mortgage companies favor a W-2 employee over the self-employed or a full-time employee over someone whose job is commission-based. It simply boils down to differences in verifying employment, income, and job stability.

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Why You Should Start the Homebuying Process with a Pre-Approval

You know you want to purchase a home—and that is so exciting! We feel your energy, we really do. But before you start looking online or driving around neighborhoods in search of your dream home, you need to get your ducks in a row and prevent unpleasant surprises that can delay the lending process.

As exciting as it is to look for—and find—a new home, there can be some surprises along the way. Not all of these surprises are fun, and the last thing you want to do is get your heart set on your perfect home only to realize you can’t qualify for the loan.

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Pre-Approval vs. Pre-Qualification: What’s the Difference?

Deciding it’s time to buy a home can be exhilarating—but it’s also a little daunting. Taking time to research your options before you begin your home search is often the best place to start. One big factor to consider is whether you need a pre-approval vs. a pre-qualification.

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How Making Extra Mortgage Payments Can Benefit You

Owning your home provides safety, security, and stability when it comes to your living situation, especially if you have a fixed-rate mortgage. Knowing that your mortgage payment will never increase and a landlord will never ask you to move can do wonders for your psyche—and your sleep!

You know the one thing that can provide even more safety, security, and stability? Paying off your home loan early. The best part is you don’t have to write a massive six-figure check to do this. Making as little as one extra mortgage payment a year can yield big-time results, and savings, as you work towards paying down your principal.

Making extra mortgage payments can be done in a few ways.

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Planning to Buy a House in the New Year

The New Year is full of new goals. For many, planning to buy a house is one of them—and who could blame them? With interest rates teetering at historic lows, the door for many borrowers has been opened, and these rates have provided some borrowers the opportunity to increase their price range.

If you’re ready to get the process started to ensure you’ve got all your ducks in a row when it comes time to pull the trigger and submit an offer on a house, APM is here to help with planning tips for buying a home in the new year.

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RECENT POSTS

5 Benefits of Non-Conforming Loans
5 Benefits of Non-Conforming Loans
Read Article
Understanding When You Need a Jumbo Loan
Understanding When You Need a Jumbo Loan
Read Article
What Is a Conventional Loan?
What Is a Conventional Loan?
Read Article