Financial Help & References

Buying a House

Home Buying

Mortgage Payments

Steps To Buying

Financial Help & References

Financial Programs

There is a lot to consider when buying a home – your Purse Strings Approved Professional loan officer will help you decide which loan program is best for you. Besides traditional loans, there are also some additional options that might be appealing to you and your unique situation. 

    • FHA Loan. In an FHA loan, the Federal Housing Administration insures the mortgage, meaning that your lender won’t experience a loss if you default on the mortgage. FHA loans typically come with smaller down payments more lenient qualification guidelines than conventional loans. If you have a credit score of 580 or higher, you could be eligible for a mortgage with a down payment as low as 3.5 percent of the purchase price. If your credit score is lower than 580, you still might qualify for an FHA mortgage, but the down payment would be at least 10 percent of the purchase amount.
    • VA Loan. The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) helps active-duty military members, veterans and surviving spouses buy homes. The VA guarantees part of the loan, making it possible for lenders to offer some special features. VA loans come with competitive interest rates and require no down payment. You aren’t required to pay for private mortgage insurance (PMI), and a minimum credit score isn’t needed for eligibility. If it becomes difficult to make payments on the mortgage, the VA can negotiate with the lender on your behalf.
    • Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are typically referred to typical mortgage loans. They work with local lenders to offer mortgage options to all families. 
    • Fannie Mae Home Ready and Freddie Mac Home Possible Loans. These are offered through the community reinvestment act which helps low to moderate income households purchased homes. Through these programs, lenders can offer competitive interest rates and accept down payment as low as 3% of the purchase price. And, both programs provide home ownership education.
    • FHA Section 203(k) Renovation Loan. If you’ve run the numbers to see how much house you can afford and have determined a fixerupper is best for your budget, the Section 203(k) rehabilitation program may be a good fit. This type of loan, backed by the FHA, takes into consideration the value of the residence after improvements have been made. It then lets you borrow the funds you’ll need to carry out the project and includes them in your main mortgage. The down payment for a 203(k) loan can be as low as 3.5 percent.
    • Native American Direct Loan. Since 1992, the Native American Veteran Direct Loan program has helped Native American veterans and their spouses buy homes on federal trust lands. The VA serves as the lender. If you’re eligible, you won’t be required to make a down payment or pay for private mortgage insurance (PMI). This first-time homebuyer loan also offers low closing costs and a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage.
    • Local Grants and Programs. Many states and cities offer help to first-time homebuyers. Before buying a home, check your state’s or community’s website for information on housing grants and programs available in your area. Work with a Purse Strings Approved Professional lender to learn more about these programs. You also might consider contacting your local HUD-approve housing counciling agency to learn more about programs in your area that might apply to your situation.
    • Energy-efficient Mortgage (EEM). An energy-efficient, or “green,” mortgage is designed to help you add improvements to your home to make it more environmentally friendly. The federal government supports EEM loans by insuring them through the FHA or VA programs. The key advantage of this mortgage is that it lets you create an energy-efficient home without having to make a larger down payment. The extra cost is rolled into your primary loan. Some improvements you can make include installing double-paned windows, new insulation or a modern heating-and-cooling system. This is an add on feature, not a loan in and of itself. 
    • USDA Loan. While not well known, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has a homebuyer assistance program. While the program focuses on homes in certain rural areas, you don’t need to buy or run a farm to be eligible. The USDA guarantees the home loan. There may be no down payment required, and the loan payments are fixed. Applicants with a credit score of 640 or higher typically get streamlined processing. With a credit score below 640, you still can qualify for a USDA loan, but the lender will ask for extra documentation about your payment history. Keep in mind that there are income limitations, which can vary by region.




Did You Know

The Midwest may be the best place for single and unmarried women to buy a new home, followed by Texas and upstate New York.

Assistance for Home Buyers

There are assistance programs that can help you with the dream of homeownership. Take a look through these resources and do some investigation to see if you qualify for assistance.

    1. Your Local Housing Authority. Before you look for national home-buying programs, find out what specific homeownership programs may be available to you right in your own state. To do this, you need to visit the website of your state’s local housing authority, which you can find through the Public Housing Authorities Director’s Association.
    2. HUD (Housing and Urban Development) Counselor. Your local HUD office has resources that can help, and one of those resources is the opportunity to work with a professional counselor trained to help you find housing options in your area. A HUD housing counselor can answer your questions about the home buying process, obtaining a mortgage, and more. He or she may also be able to tell you about various home buying programs in your area, including some lesser-known programs.
    3. Habitat for Humanity. Habitat for Humanity builds homes for families in need, and they’re one of the most well-known organizations offering practical financial support. If you want to be added their list as a potential homeowner, start by becoming familiar with the criteria they use to select homeowners.

Your Home and Divorce

Divorce is difficult and one of the biggest decision is what to do with the largest asset shared, the home. Should you keep it or move on? There are numerous pros and cons to both decisions. It’s important to look at this decision from a financial standpoint as the expenses to care and maintain for a home may exceed your income.


    • Divorce will impact your financials in different ways and you need to consider if you can still afford to live in the same home.
    • The house provides a measure of stability for you and your kids during a tumultuous time. This includes staying in the same schools and close to friends and neighbors who provided emotional and practical support.
    • If you do decide to sell your home, you can likely pocket most or all of the profits tax-free. Only a few investment vehicles provide such a tax perk.
    • Selling helps you move on. There is nothing like new real estate (and furnishings) to relaunch your new life, and put your old one behind you.
    • Compromising your finances, emotional well-being and good sense for the sake of keeping a house is not a good financial example for your kids. Selling might teach your children emotional resistance.
    • A home is the biggest financial asset for most people. Continuing to own your home avoids the cost of moving, and maintain tax write-off like mortgage interest and property taxes.
    • The home is the biggest financial asset for most couples. Work with a Purse Strings Approved Professional Attorney to see what is best for you and your financial situation. 



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