Posts by: eddie

Home Renovations That Add the Most Value in 2024

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Whether your starter home is beginning to seem more long-term or you’re looking to upgrade your fixer-upper, investing in remodeling projects can help customize your home to your needs, enhance curb appeal and most importantly, add value to your home when it comes time to sell.

If you ready to invest in your home, but aren’t sure where to start, we recommend tackling projects that will give you the most return on investment (ROI), meaning the value you add to your home will exceed the cost of the job.


Renovations With the Highest ROI Nationally

According to the Remodeling 2024 Cost vs. Value Report, the top three renovation projects that you’ll get the most bang for your buck are a garage door replacement, steel entry door replacement and manufactured stone veneer exterior.


Garage Door Replacement

National Average Cost: $4,513
National Average Resale Value: $8,751
National Average ROI: 193.9%

Replacing your existing 16×7-foot garage door and tracks with a four-section garage door on steel tracks with top panel windows recoups an average 193.9% of the cost – a jump of 91% more value from 2023. The job, as described by Remodeling, uses the existing motorized opener but adds a new door made from high-tensile-strength steel with two coats of paint, insulation and thermal seals – plus, a lifetime warranty on the new door.


Steel Entry Door Replacement

National Average Cost: $2,355
National Average Resale Value: $4,430
National Average ROI: 188.1%

Give your entry door a fresh look by replacing it with a new steel door.  The Remodeling report suggests a 20-gauge steel unit with a dual-pane half-glass panel and an aluminum threshold with composite stop. The job will run you about $2,355, but you’ll be recouping 188.1% of the cost – up 88% from 2023. Not only will the renovation enhance curb appeal, but steel doors are also known to provide more insulation, making it an energy-efficient choice. Plus, you can count on it being long-lasting, durable and highly secure.


Manufactured Stone Veneer

National Average Cost: $11,287
National Average Resale Value: $17,291
National Average ROI: 153.2%

Add a whopping $17,291 value to your property by replacing your exterior vinyl siding from the bottom third of the front of your home with an adhered manufactured stone veneer. Make sure to include proper water protection and you’ll be left with an attractive, long-lasting and low-maintenance enhancement to your house exterior. The project will cost you upward of $11,000, but you’ll recoup 153.2%, up 50% from 2023 with a consistent increase in value year-over-year.


Renovations With the Lowest ROI

On the flip side, the Remodeling 2024 Cost vs. Value Report detailed the renovation projects that tend to cost way more than they are worth. Think twice before you proceed with adding a primary suite, bathroom or undergoing a major kitchen remodel.

Primary Suite Addition

Upscale: National Average Cost: $339,513
National Average Resale Value: $81,042
National Average ROI: 23.9%

Midrange: National Average Cost: $164,649
National Average Resale Value: $58,484
National Average ROI: 35.5%

Whether it’s midrange or upscale, no matter how you swing it, adding another primary suite will be an expensive project with little return. In fact, data going back to 2010 suggests the cost has always outweighed the resale value, with the ROI for an upscale addition peaking at 59.9% in 2017 and sharply declining ever since.


Bathroom Addition

Upscale: National Average Cost: $107,477
National Average Resale Value: $34,997
National Average ROI: 32.6%

Midrange: National Average Cost: $58,586
National Average Resale Value: $20,334
National Average ROI: 34.7%

Adding a bathroom to your home is another high-cost, low-reward renovation project, with just a midrange addition proving to be a loss of over $38,000. Going back to 2010, data shows that the resale value has never exceeded the cost, and the ROI has continued to decline since 2019.


Major Kitchen Remodel

Upscale: National Average Cost: $158,530
National Average Resale Value: $60,176
National Average ROI: 38%

Midrange: National Average Cost: $79,982
National Average Resale Value: $39,587
National Average ROI: 49.5%

Kitchen remodels are very common, but according to the data, doing a major renovation doesn’t recoup its value and hasn’t ever based on numbers going back to 2010.

Major kitchen renovations at the midrange level include updating a 200-square foot kitchen with 30-feet of semi-custom wood cabinets, a 3×5-foot island, laminate countertops and a double-tub stainless steel sink. Additionally, a major remodel would involve adding an energy-efficient range, vented range hood, built-in microwave, dishwasher, garbage disposal, custom lighting, resilient flooring and fresh wall paint.

However, if you’ve got your heart set on updating your kitchen, you would be better off considering a midrange minor kitchen remodel according to the numbers.

A 200-square foot kitchen remodel is considered minor by leaving the existing cabinet boxes in place but updating them with new shaker-style wood panel fronts, plus new hardware. Additionally, it includes updating appliances like the range and refrigerator with new energy-efficient versions, replacing laminate countertops, opting for a moderately-priced sink, new flooring and finally, a fresh coat of paint on the walls.

A minor midrange kitchen remodel will cost an average of $27,492, but will recoup 96.1% of the cost, with a resale value of $26,406.


Remodeling Projects With the Highest ROI by Region in 2024

Take a closer look at your region to find out the projects that recoup more value than they cost, according to the Remodeling 2024 Cost vs. Value Report.

East North Central

  1. Steel Entry Door Replacement: 161.8% ROI
  2. Garage Door Replacement: 152.3% ROI
  3. Manufactured Stone Veneer: 112.2% ROI

East South Central

  1. Garage Door Replacement: 172.8% ROI
  2. Steel Entry Door Replacement: 153.2% ROI
  3. Manufactured Stone Veneer: 141.4% ROI

Middle Atlantic

  1. Garage Door Replacement: 203.6% ROI
  2. Manufactured Stone Veneer: 158.6% ROI
  3. Steel Entry Door Replacement: 158.6% ROI

Mountain

  1. Steel Entry Door Replacement: 185.2% ROI
  2. Garage Door Replacement: 174.4% ROI
  3. Manufactured Stone Veneer: 124.3% ROI
  4. Fiberglass Grand Entrance: 100.4% ROI

New England

  1. Garage Door Replacement: 314.7% ROI
  2. Steel Entry Door Replacement: 236.2% ROI
  3. Manufactured Stone Veneer: 151.7% ROI
  4. Fiber-Cement Siding Replacement: 118.3% ROI
  5. Vinyl Siding Replacement: 115.8% ROI
  6. Minor Midrange Kitchen Remodel: 110.8% ROI

Pacific

  1. Garage Door Replacement: 250.7% ROI
  2. Steel Entry Door Replacement: 249.9% ROI
  3. Manufactured Stone Veneer: 203.5% ROI
  4. Fiberglass Grand Entrance: 136.6% ROI
  5. Minor Midrange Kitchen Remodel: 134.3% ROI
  6. Fiber-Cement Siding Replacement: 115.7% ROI
  7. Wooden Deck Addition: 111.1%

South Atlantic

  1. Steel Entry Door Replacement: 198.9% ROI
  2. Garage Door Replacement: 189.5% ROI
  3. Manufactured Stone Veneer: 150.2% ROI

West North Central

  1. Garage Door Replacement: 158.4% ROI
  2. Steel Entry Door Replacement: 152.5% ROI
  3. Manufactured Stone Veneer: 111.2% ROI

West South Central

  1. Manufactured Stone Veneer: 220.1% ROI
  2. Steel Entry Door Replacement: 163.2% ROI
  3. Garage Door Replacement: 149% ROI

Renovation Financing Options

If you’re ready to invest in your home, that’s where we come in. We offer a variety of options to help you finance your remodeling projects.

Cash-Out Refinance

Our cash-out refinance allows you to access funds from your home’s equity to help with renovation projects. It works by replacing your existing mortgage with a new home loan that is for more than what you owe on your current mortgage. Then, at closing, you get back the difference in cash.

HELOC

A Home Equity Line of Credit (HELOC) allows you to use the equity you have built in your house as a line of credit to finance large expenditures over time. HELOCs are perfect for remodeling projects that add value back into your home.

We offer HELOC loans ranging from $25,000 to $500,000 with investment property, bridge and interest-only options.


Renovation Loans

For homebuyers looking to purchase a fixer-upper, we also offer renovation loans that cover the cost of renovating, remodeling and installing new plumbing or electrical systems.

Find Out How Much You Can Afford Today

Ready to get started on replacing that front door? Or maybe you’re ready to swing for the manufactured stone veneer for ultimate curb appeal enhancement?

Contact one of our Loan Officers today to find out how much financing you can receive for the remodeling project of your dreams.

You can trust our highly experienced team of mortgage professionals to work with you to select the PMA loan product that best suits your unique financial and renovation needs.

What Documents Will I Need for a Mortgage Preapproval?

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Getting preapproved for a mortgage is an important and helpful first step in the homebuying journey! Before you begin seriously house hunting, we recommend getting preapproved with a lender, like us. We’ll take you through why and what to expect in the process.

 

But First, What is a Preapproval?

A letter of preapproval from a lender indicates how much you are tentatively approved to borrow for a mortgage. To get preapproved with us, you’ll fill out a brief application, verify your identity and provide basic documentation of your finances.

Then, one of our Underwriters will review your documentation and provide you with a letter of preapproval that indicates how much you can borrow, your interest rate and what your monthly payment would be.

The Benefits of Getting Preapproved

Thankfully, there’s no downsides to getting preapproved – only benefits.

  • House Hunting Made Easier: When you know how much of a mortgage loan you might qualify for, you get an accurate picture of your buying power and can narrow down your search to houses in your budget.
 
  • You Become a Serious Buyer: A letter of preapproval signals to sellers that you’re a serious, credible buyer who is already working with a lender and is very likely to qualify for a mortgage loan. This is helpful in low-inventory markets with steep competition.
 
  • It Makes for Faster Closings: Since your information is already in your lender’s system, you’ll have already taken care of the beginning steps of the loan process and potentially expedite your closing date.
 

Preapproval vs. Prequalification

You may have also heard the term prequalification, but be aware, it’s not the same as preapproval. Both give an idea of how much of a home you can afford and if you qualify for a loan, yet one holds more weight. Prequalification will give you a general indication that you can qualify for a mortgage were you to apply, and it requires just a basic review of your finances. However, a letter of preapproval is a much stronger signal to sellers as it requires a more thorough review of your finances.

 

How Long Does a Preapproval Last?

Some lenders have an expiration date for their preapprovals, but ours don’t. However, typically after a few months, we update your information and, providing your financial situation did not change, we renew your preapproval. Then at time of application, all information is updated prior to the underwriting of your loan.

Documentation Required for Preapproval

In order to issue a letter of preapproval, your lender will require certain documentation to verify your identity and income. The list will vary depending on your lender, and other documents may be required based on your unique financial circumstances.

Generally though, here’s the documentation we’ll ask you to submit:

  • A Valid Government-Issued ID: We’ll need a valid driver’s license or social security card as identification to start with.

  • Income Documentation
    • 30 Days of Paystubs: Your employer should provide you a paystub that shows how much you are bringing in each pay period.
    • Last Two Years of W-2s and Tax Returns: We’ll want to see tax documents from the last two years.
    • 60 Days of Asset Statements: Statements for any other assets you might have (retirement accounts, investment accounts, etc.)
    • Statements for any other assets you might have (retirement accounts, investment accounts, etc.)
    • Two Years of Business Tax Returns (If You are Self-Employed): If you are self-employed, you will need to provide documentation for your business as well.

  • Additional Documentation if You Already Own Property: If you already own property, we’ll ask to see bills for all properties you own including mortgage statements, property tax bills, insurance bills and HOA payments.

Get Preapproved With PMA

Our easy preapproval process gives you the preliminary answers you need to qualify, so that you can borrow the maximum amount you need to purchase your dream home.

Plus, our online application interface and companion mobile app makes it simple to view the status of your preapproval and submit documents. You’ll get prompt notifications about important documentation we need from you, and access to your files once they’ve been uploaded. You can also easily communicate with your Loan Officer and send and receive messages quickly and safely.

Ready to Get started?

Scroll down and click “Get Preapproved Today” to begin your homebuying journey.

7 Steps to Finding Your Dream Custom Homebuilder

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A man and woman look at blueprints with a homebuilder in a house under construction.

Many homebuyers in today’s market are turning to new construction as a solution to low inventory but also for the perks of building a home customized to them.

Data shows that new home purchases continue to outpace last year’s numbers, with July 2023 applications up 35.5% from 2022, according to data from the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) Builder Application Survey.

If you’re ready to begin the search for your dream homebuilder, we’ve got seven tips to help you get started.

Step 1: Consider Your New Home Priorities

We recommend first thinking about what’s important to you regarding your new home as it will affect your homebuilder decision. You’ll want to know what your must-haves are so that you can find a builder whose portfolio and style match your needs.

Determine Your Ideal:

  • Location
  • School District
  • Lot Size (Especially if Your Family is Outdoors Often)
  • Backyard Size (Especially if You Have Pets)
  • Price Range
  • Home Style

From there, you can find a builder that meets your requirements at a good value.

As far as your price range, we can review your financial scenario and preapprove you so that you know how much home you can afford. Get preapproved in minutes here.

Step 2: Settle on a Location

Decide whether you want to live in a new home neighborhood or build on your own lot. Many custom homebuilders build exclusively in their own private neighborhood.

Step 3: Research the Top Builders in Your Area

Search for online reviews for local builders to see which are the top-rated in your area. You can find reviews on Google, Yelp and Facebook as well as sites specific to rating homebuilders:

NewHomeSource: Read reviews from real homebuyers and view ratings based on quality, value, trustworthiness and responsiveness.

Avid Ratings: In their words, “Avid Ratings is an independent customer experience research firm with the largest and most comprehensive homebuyer experience database in North America.”

Eliant Experience Management: Eliant rates builders based on feedback from recent homebuyers on the builder’s purchase process and evaluations from homeowners regarding how the builder’s quality and service holds up over time.

Your real estate agent can also direct you to potential local builders. Oftentimes, Realtors® partner with specific homebuilders.

Step 4: View Builder Portfolios

Once you’ve done some research and compiled a list of potential builders based on your desired neighborhood, Realtor® recommendation or customer reviews, take a deeper look at each builder’s portfolio.

If you have a specific style of home in mind, compare that with previous homes they have designed. Typically, you can find a gallery of floor plans and front elevations on the builder’s website.

Step 5: Visit Showrooms and Jobsites of Potential Homebuilders

In addition to viewing their online portfolios, you can request to visit complete homes and current jobsites with potential builders.

When you’re there, make sure to take note of a few things:

  • The Team Building the Home
  • The Quality of Construction
  • The Finishes in the Homes
  • Jobsite Cleanliness and Safety
  • How Hands-on the Builder is With Their Team

Step 6: Interview the Builder

Before you sign on the dotted line, make sure to interview the builder – after all, they will be working for you. Come prepared with a list of questions to ask and topics to discuss.

Some ideas include:

  • How Much You Can Customize the Home Plans They Offer
  • How Your Questions and Concerns Will Be Addressed During Construction
  • How Long Construction Should Take
  • How They Service Warranty Issues Once You Move in
  • If the Contract They Offer is a Fixed-Price Contract
  • Who’s Responsible for the Interest Payments During Construction
  • Who’s Responsible for Paying the Insurance During Construction

Step 7: Financing Your Dream Custom Home

Once you’ve narrowed down who you want your homebuilder to be, it’s time to evaluate your financing options! At Premier Mortgage Associates, we offer Construction-to-Permanent loans for single family primary residences.

How Our Construction-to-Permanent Loans Work

Construction-to-Permanent loans, also called Construction-to-Perm or CP loans, are used to build a home on a lot you own or one you wish to purchase. It’s just like any other loan that you’re used to, except it’s divided up into two phases. You have your construction phase, which is at the beginning, and when the home/project is 100% complete, then your permanent phase where you pay back the construction loan and replace it with permanent mortgage.

The Benefits of Our Construction-to-Perm Program

  • Available for Single Family Primary Residences
  • You Can Qualify to Receive Financing up to 100% Depending on Your Loan Program
  • If You Qualify, We Can Offer FNMA, VA, Jumbo, Investment or Second Home
  • The Construction of the Home Can Be Concrete or Stick (Wood) Builds
  • Depending on Construction Technique, We Can Also Allow for Modular Builds
  • Build on Your Land or Purchase a Package
  • Fixed Interest Rates During Construction Phase

What You Can Expect With Our Construction-to-Perm Program

Once you reach out, our dedicated Construction-to-Perm team will start your application and request documentation to qualify you for the loan. If you’ve chosen your builder, we will need to complete a background check on them BEFORE you sign a contract to ensure they have a low risk of causing any defaults.

If we do not have a current relationship with your selected builder, we will send them a relationship packet to complete. The rest of the process moves like a regular loan – once you close on the land and house with the construction phase loan terms, building will start. Once the construction is completed, the city has issued a Certificate of Occupancy and we have collected all completion documents from the builder, we will modify to the permanent loan.

Get Started Today With PMA

Take the first concrete step (see what we did there?) toward your new custom home – get preapproved in minutes so you know how much you can afford. We can’t wait to work with you to finance your dream custom home!

5 Things Homebuyers Should Know About School Districts

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A diverse group of children walking across a street to the entrance of a school with backpacks on.

When house hunting, there’s a variety of factors that can contribute to where you settle down: proximity to family, commute to work, neighborhood quality and more. An important factor that many buyers consider as well is the quality of local school districts.

Research shows 42% of buyers ages 31 to 40 cited quality of the school district as an influence on their neighborhood choice in 2021, according to the National Association of Realtors® (NAR).

If you’re on the hunt for a home, here’s five things to keep in mind about school districts as it relates to your home purchase decision.

1. Even if You Don’t Have Children, Buying in a Reputable School Zone Can Be a Good Investment

It’s no secret buyers with children tend to be motivated to live where their family can receive high quality education, but there are still benefits to living in a top-rated school zone for buyers without children.

It’s been proven that neighborhoods located in reputable school districts see increases in property value. One 2013 Redfin study showed that on average homebuyers pay $50 more per square foot for homes in better school zones.

Families are willing to pay more for homes that have access to better-funded (and therefore better-performing) schools. A recent study concluded that a 1% increase in spending on teacher salaries increased home values by 2%.

However, the flip side is that you will incur more cost up front and encounter more competition for these desirable communities.

Overall, when you’re house hunting, investing in a home in a good school zone can benefit you in the long run when it’s time to resell.

2. Considerations of Living Close to a School

While the idea of living close enough for your child to bike or walk to school is desirable, keep in mind the upsides and downsides of living near a school.

Upsides: Convenient commutes to school for your children as well as overall safety. Properties within top-rated districts might be safer and have better maintenance.

Downsides: You can always count on traffic surrounding a school during pick-up and drop-off hours as well as a certain level of noise from bells and fire drills to kids just having fun at recess.

3. Heads up: Real Estate Agents Legally Can’t Share Certain Information About Schools With Buyers

We always recommend working with a real estate agent when you’re looking to buy a home as they can help you find a property that meets your needs, represent your interests during negotiations and give unbiased guidance. However, before asking your agent which local schools are better or even where their children attend school, you should know there are limits to what they can legally share with you.

Under the Fair Housing Act, real estate agents are prohibited from “steering” a buyer, which means they cannot influence a buyer’s choice because of their race, color, religion, gender, disability, familial status or national origin. The law protects buyers from discrimination that would limit their housing opportunities. Therefore, agents are not permitted to share their opinions about school districts and communities, no matter if they are positive or negative, because it can be interpreted as steering.

The NAR explains it this way: “Discussions about schools can raise questions about steering if there is a correlation between the quality of the schools and neighborhood racial composition – or if characterizations such as ‘a school with low test scores’ or ‘a community with declining schools’ become code words for racial or other differences in the community. Similarly, making unspoken distinctions by promoting a school in one district while keeping silent about the quality of another school can have the same effect.”

While your agent can’t be perfectly candid with you about school districts for your own protection, Realtors® are trained to provide you with access to objective information and direct you to third-party information that will help you draw your own conclusions about the quality of a school or district.

4. You Can Research School Ratings From a Variety of Online Resources

If you’re ready to do your own research, there are many sources online dedicated to giving you an accurate picture of the best schools and districts in your area so that you can make an informed decision.

Here’s a few places to start:

Niche: Search for the best public and private schools as well as school districts in your area for free and get access to reviews from parents and students. Niche has its own letter-grade ranking system based on academics, teachers, clubs and activities, diversity, college prep and sports.

GreatSchools.org: Easily access data and ratings, reviews, test scores and demographics for public, private and charter schools in your area. See how a school ranks according to the platform’s own 10-point ranking system.

SchoolDigger: Search within your state and city for school ranks based just on test scores.

Your State’s Department of Education: Visit your state’s Department of Education website and search school grades. This will give you a more raw, comprehensive look at the grades local schools were assigned by their district over the last several years. Find Florida’s school grade archives here.

5. There’s Still Options Outside of Top-Rated School Zones

If buying into the top-rated school districts aren’t in the budget for your family or your dream home happens to be in a low-performing district, there’s still options for you.

If you don’t have kids to think about, consider investing in renovation projects to add value to your home that will help you just as much down the road when reselling.

For buyers with school-aged children, there’s alternatives to the local public school your family might be zoned for through school choice. School choice allows for households to select the learning environment they deem best for their children. There are a few different types of school choice, including public options and private options. The public options include:

  • Magnet schools: Magnet schools are public schools that attract students from multiple districts to concentrate on one area of study to advance their academic interests and career goals. There are currently over 4,300 magnet schools nationwide, and California and Florida each offer over 500, according to Magnet Schools of America. The organization reports the most common magnet themes are STEM related, visual/performing arts and International Baccalaureate (IB). Most magnet schools employ a lottery for admission while 25% accept students based on academic criteria.
  • Charter schools: Charter schools are public, independently run schools that have no tuition. Some charter schools can have different focuses like technology or leadership. Most states allow for them, but enrollment is not guaranteed as they typically employ a lottery system for admission. As of 2021, 7% of all public school students were enrolled in public charter schools – a 3% jump from 2010, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
  • Open enrollment: Open enrollment, also known as inter/intra-district public school choice, gives families the option of sending their children to other public schools outside of the one they are zoned for by their zip code. Intra-district choice involves transferring to a public school within one’s district while inter-district choice offers transfers to schools outside of one’s district. As of last year, 27 states plus Washington D.C. and Puerto Rico permit intra-district choice and 43 states allow for inter-district choice, according to the Education Commission of the States.
  • Other school choice options: Homeschooling, hybrid homeschooling, online learning, microschooling, town tuitoning and personalized learning and learning pods. Learn more about each of these here.

For private school choice, there are five types of financial assistance that allow for public funds to follow a child to a private school, according to EdChoice. These include:

  • Education Savings Accounts
  • School Vouchers
  • Tax-Credit Education Savings Accounts
  • Tax-Credit Scholarships
  • Individual Tax Credits and Deductions

Ultimately, you can decide what the best learning environment is for your children without having to pay big bucks for a home in a top-performing school zone, whether you choose private, public or other methods of schooling.

The Bottom Line on School Districts

Whether you intentionally choose to purchase a home based on its school zone’s performance or if districts don’t even factor into your homebuying decision, we can help you finance the home of your choice with mortgages tailored to fit your needs.

Our talented and knowledgeable Loan Officers can work with you to determine your best financing options, starting with preapproval so that you know how much you can afford when house hunting.

Get preapproved within minutes here to start your homebuying journey.

What is Florida’s Hometown Heroes Housing Program?

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If you’re a full-time employed Floridian looking to buy a home for the first time, did you know you could qualify to receive up to $35,000 to help with your down payment and closing costs? Thanks to the Hometown Heroes Housing Program, homeownership might be closer than you think.

So, What is it?

This program was created in June 2022 to help frontline workers afford homes in the community in which they work and serve. Down payment and closing cost assistance was given to over 6,700 veterans, active-duty military members, nurses, teachers and law enforcement officers, according to a news release from the office of Governor Ron DeSantis.

However, as of July 1, 2023, guidelines no longer require a frontline work position, allowing more Florida first-time homebuyers to benefit from the program.

Additionally, more funding was allocated for the program through the Live Local Act, and the maximum down payment and closing cost assistance has increased to help make first-time homeownership more affordable for Florida’s workforce.

Who is Considered a First-Time Homebuyer?

A first-time homebuyer doesn’t just refer to someone who has NEVER owned a home; anyone who has not owned and lived in their own home in the last three years can also be considered a first-time buyer.

What Are Program’s Benefits?

Those that qualify can receive 5% of the first mortgage loan amount up to $35,000 in the form of a zero-interest, non-amortizing 30-year deferred second mortgage.

The program also offers lower-than-market interest rates on FHA, VA, RD, Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac first mortgages as well as reduced upfront fees, no origination points and no discount points. There’s also no cost to apply, so beware of anyone who tells you otherwise.

This non-forgivable second mortgage is only due in full when the home is sold or refinanced, the deed is transferred, the first mortgage is paid or it is no longer the owner’s primary residence.

Those who have served and continue to serve their country can also receive a lower first mortgage interest rate and additional special benefits.

What are the Eligibility Requirements?

  • Must Be Employed Full-Time by a Florida-Based Employer
  • Must Work With a Participating Loan Officer (Like Us!)
  • Must Have a 640 Minimum FICO Score
  • First-Time Homebuyers Only (Considered Anyone Who Has Not Owned a Home in Three or More Years)
  • Must Earn Less Than 150% of the Area Median Income According to Local County Data
  • Must Purchase a Home in the Community in Which You’re Employed
  • Must Complete a Homebuyer Education Course

What are the Income and Loan Limits?

Both vary based on the county, family size and type of loan, but income limits range from $103,500 to $162,750 and loan limits range from $472,030 to $874,000 as of May 23, 2023. For the most up-to-date limits, click here.

How Do I Know if I’m Eligible?

Our knowledgeable team can help determine if you might be eligible and assist you in applying! Contact one of our Loan Officers today to get started.

Should I Put Off Buying a Home Until Rates Drop?

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It’s no secret that interest rates have been floating in the six to seven percent range, and you might be seeing a lot of scary-sounding headlines about the market.

At the same time, your family might be outgrowing your current two-bedroom home, or you might be a long-time renter tired of sharing walls with noisy neighbors. The kids might have flown the nest and you don’t want to have to clean all that extra square footage you don’t need anymore.

Buying a home seems like the next right step in those scenarios, but you might be wondering, is now really a good time to buy?

Ultimately, it’s up to YOU to decide when the best time for YOU to buy is.

When you’re ready to pursue homeownership or move, higher interest rates don’t have to deter you. You have options, one of which is our Buydown Program.

What’s a Buydown?

Our Buydown Program for Conventional and FHA Fixed-Rate Mortgages allows for a temporary initial reduction to your rate for a certain amount of time at the beginning of the loan term. We offer 3/2/1, 2/1 or 1/1 buydowns to help you buy despite higher rates.

For example, let’s say your loan is locked at 6% and you qualify at the start rate of 6%. With a 3/2/1 buydown, the rate would be 3% for the first year, 4% for the second and 5% for the third. With a 2/1 buydown, the rate would be reduced for the first two years at 4% for the first year and 5% for the second year. A 1/1 allows for a reduced rate for the first year only.

Bottom line: You can still confidently make a home purchase and secure lower interest rates up front. Plus, when your buydown is up, you can choose to refinance if rates have lowered. Sounds like a win-win, right?

You don’t have to rely on fluctuating rates or experts telling you when the best time to buy is. You can go at your own pace and choose to buy when the time is right for you and your family.

Whether that time is now or next year, our knowledgeable loan officers will be here to walk you through every step. We’ll examine your unique financial situation and find the best financing available for you.

Ready to take the next step? Scroll down to get preapproved today.

NQM Funding, LLC (NMLS # 75597) dba - Premier Mortgage Associates; Villa Home Loans; Texas: Consumers wishing to file a complaint against a mortgage company or a licensed residential mortgage loan originator should complete and send a complaint form to the Texas department of savings and mortgage lending, 2601 North Lamar, Suite 201, Austin, Texas 78705. Complaint forms and instructions may be obtained from the department’s website at www.sml.texas.gov. A toll-free consumer hotline is available at 1-877-276-5550. The department maintains a recovery fund to make payments of certain actual out-of-pocket damages sustained by borrowers caused by acts of licensed residential mortgage loan originators. A written application for reimbursement from the recovery fund must be filed with and investigated by the department prior to the payment of a claim. For more information about the recovery fund, please consult the department’s website at www.sml.texas.gov - nmlsconsumeraccess.org