Walter Gorman

Senior Loan Officer NMLS#: 138370

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Phone: 973-200-3405

VA mortgage loans have always been a great option for veterans or current active military members, but surviving spouses who have lost a military-employed husband or wife also have the potential to qualify for benefits as well.

Some of those benefits include no down payment, better terms and interest rates, 100% financing, and more. So, how does a surviving spouse of a veteran or military member see if they qualify for a VA mortgage loan? The widow or widower would be eligible if they have not remarried and:

  • Survived a spouse who died in service or due to a service-related injury. Survived a spouse that was MIA (missing in action) or a POW (prisoner of war) for at least 90 days (limited to one-time use of benefit).
  • Had a spouse that served in the U.S. Army, Navy, National Guard, Coast Guard, Marine Corps., or Air Force. Reservists who served at least 6 years are also eligible.
  • Survived a spouse who was eligible for disability compensation at the time of death and was rated continuously totally disabled for the specified period of time (10 years prior to their death or 5 years from the date of their discharge). If your spouse was a POW, they would need to have been rated totally disabled for at least one year prior to their death.

Surviving spouses may also qualify for a VA mortgage loan refinance, which would allow you to change your loan term, lower your monthly payment, or possibly obtain lower interest rates if they’re available. ...

Switching Terms with a Refinance

Feb 18
Category | Blog

Although rates are always changing, as of right now, they have quietly fallen over the past few months. Many people have waited for them to drop before considering a refinance, but now might be to the time to check with your loan officer to get a rate update. Sometimes, a refinance can even make sense if you’re switching from a longer term mortgage to a shorter one.

In order to change the terms of your mortgage, you have to refinance. Refinancing is when another lender agrees to buy out your existing mortgage with a new one that has new terms. In order to determine whether refinancing is the right thing for you and your situation, you should consider the following factors first…

What New Terms Can You Get?

How do the new terms differ from your current terms? The difference in rates is obviously a large factor, but you also want to consider duration, loan type, prepayment penalties, and more.

How Much Will You Save?

When you stack up your current terms against the potential new mortgage, how much would you really end up saving by refinancing? Make sure you work out the numbers with your loan officer, and don’t forget to account for the closing costs of a refinance mortgage.

Follow The Mortgage Rate Projection

Will interest rates continue to go down? Have they reached a standstill? You might want to move quickly and make sure you can lock the rate with your mortgage ...

When consumers first think of refinancing an existing mortgage loan, typically it’s because there’s new out about falling interest rates. In today’s environment however, especially with mortgage rates being as low as they are for such an extended period of time, refinancing to lower a monthly payment is happening with less and less frequency. But it’s not always just about the current rate on a mortgage compared with market rates. A mortgage refinance can still make sense in New Jersey or other areas in this environment for many.

One reason to refinance now would be to consolidate debt. By paying off higher interest debt with a lower rate mortgage loan can save money. The most competitive interest rates are typically those associated with a first lien mortgage. Higher interest rates can be attached to other consumer credit obligations such as credit cards or automobile loans, student loans or home equity lines of credit, or HELOCs.

To see if this strategy works for you, take a few moments and gather your most recent credit card and consumer debt statements. List each account, the current balance, minimum monthly payment and interest rate associated with that account. When finished, take a look at the total monthly payments as well as the total outstanding debt.

Next, add the amount of these debts to your current mortgage balance. Then, contact your loan officer to get an update on where mortgage rates are today and compare what your new mortgage payment ...

Mortgage rates rose steadily during the first half of 2018, and have since leveled off a bit. Looking forward, a new round of industry forecasts suggest that mortgage rates in New Jersey and nationwide could hover just below the 5% range for much of 2019.

Mortgage Rates Up Since the Start of 2018

On average, mortgage rates have risen by roughly 1% since the start of this year. The average rate for a 30-year fixed home loan was 3.95% during the first week of January, according to Freddie Mac. That average had risen to around 4.94%, as of mid-November 2018.

Those who are planning to buy a home next year are probably wondering: What are mortgage rates in New Jersey expected to do in 2019? Will they rise gradually over the coming months, or continue to hover within their current range?

While there’s no way to answer such questions with certainty, a pair of new mortgage rate forecasts have shed some light on the subject. Here’s what the experts are predicting, as of November 2018.

Forecasts Predict That Rates Could Hover Just Below 5%

No one can predict future rate movements with complete accuracy. There are too many variables involved, and those factors are ever-changing. But there does seem to be a general consensus among industry analysts. And those forecasts suggest that rates could remain relatively stable over the coming months.

The first forecast came from the Mortgage Bankers Association ...

Sorry home buyers. FHA mortgage insurance premiums in New Jersey won’t be reduced anytime soon. That recent announcement came from officials with the Federal Housing Administration. So the mortgage insurance premiums that are currently in place will be carried over to 2019, unchanged.

FHA Mortgage Insurance Premiums in 2019

Home buyers in New Jersey who make a relatively small down payment typically have to pay for mortgage insurance. These policies are usually required when the borrower’s loan-to-value (LTV) ratio rises above 80%.

There has been some industry “chatter” over the past few months that the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) might lower the FHA mortgage insurance premium that’s required on most FHA loans. That would’ve been a money-saver for home buyers using an FHA loan to buy a house in New Jersey.

And there’s a precedent for this kind of thing. FHA insurance premiums have been reduced in the past, most recently during President Obama’s time in office. The Obama-era reductions were scheduled to begin toward the end of January 2017. But they were later reversed by President Trump, shortly after he took office on January 20.

The National Association of REALTORS® and other groups have asked HUD to reduce FHA mortgage ...

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