Homeowner and Homebuyer Resources

Whether you are a homeowner looking to improve your finances or a homebuyer interested in learning about your options, there are plenty of loans, programs and strategies you can take advantage of.

With everything from private mortgage refinancing to government-backed loans and even veteran homebuyer programs, the following sections will have something for everyone. Read on to learn about some of the most popular financial offers available today.

Mortgage Refinance Options: If you are having trouble making payments on your existing home loan, then refinancing it might be a good option. When you refinance a mortgage, you are essentially taking out a new loan (ideally one with better terms) in order to pay off your existing mortgage loan.

Refinancing is a great option if the new loan comes with a lower interest rate or is allowing you to switch from an adjustable-rate mortgage to a fixed rate. Financial experts suggest that refinancing a mortgage is worthwhile if you can lower your interest rate by 1% to 2% or more. If you took out a loan when interest rates were high, then refinancing with a better interest rate can lower your monthly payments and even allow you to pay your home off faster.

Low-Interest FHA Loan Options: First-time homebuyers who need a little extra help buying a home should consider Federal Housing Administration (FHA) loans. These loans are backed by the federal government, which means lenders are protected if the homeowner defaults on the loan. This makes FHA loans less risky for lenders and encourages them to offer loans to people who wouldn’t have qualified otherwise.

Because they are insured, FHA loans are often available to people who have credit scores that are too low to qualify for a conventional loan. They also require a much smaller down payment, making it easier for borrowers to purchase a home without dipping too heavily into their savings.

Home and Car Insurance Bundles: Those who already own a home and are looking to save some extra money should consider bundling their insurance. This is a simple trick that can end up saving consumers a lot of money in the long-run.

Rather than paying a premium for home and car insurance with different companies, homeowners can take advantage of bundling discounts by purchasing all their insurance policies from one company. Depending on the company, homeowners can save up to 25% on each policy. Depending on where they live, this could add up to hundreds of dollars in savings a year.

VA Home Loan Options: Similar to FHA loans, Veterans Affairs (VA) home loans are backed by the federal government. Unlike FHA loans, however, VA loans are only available to veterans, servicemembers and their spouses. Since these loans are insured by the VA, lenders can offer better terms than they would with conventional loans. This means that VA loans are available to people with lower credit scores and do not require a 20 percent down payment.

In addition to helping veterans qualify for home loans, the VA also has special programs that help veterans refinance their loans and make changes to their housing units. The Interest Rate Reduction Refinance Loan, for example, lets veterans refinance their VA loans for a better lower interest rate.

By Jennifer Symonds -