FHA Mortgage Loans

Designed for homebuyers with a low-to-moderate income, FHA loans are a great option for many people. Qualified homebuyers benefit from a lower down payment requirement (as low as 3.5%), lower monthly premiums, and lower closing costs. It’s an attractive loan for first-time homebuyers or repeat homebuyers with low income or credit.

Understanding FHA Mortgages

Low Down Payment

A down payment on an FHA loan can be as low as 3.5% with a qualifying credit score of 580 or higher. Otherwise, a 10% down payment is required which is still much lower than a conventional loan.

Lower Credit Requirements

FHA loans offer some of the lowest credit requirements of any loan. Mitch's preferred lender allows borrowers to have a credit score as low as 580.

Flexible Debt-to-Income Ratio

A higher debt-to-income (DTI) ratio is allowed with an FHA loan. Borrowers can have monthly debt payments costing up to 50% of their income.

Low Cost Mortgage Insurance

An FHA loan requires mortgage insurance of any borrower who puts a 10% down payment or lower. This insurance cannot be canceled, but it is often lower than traditional private mortgage insurance.

Questions And Answers About FHA Loans

What is an FHA loan?

The Federal Housing Administration (FHA) offers loans that they back/insure to protect investors. Because of this backing, FHA loans give homebuyers that might not otherwise qualify, an opportunity to borrow money to purchase a home.

Do I have to make a certain amount of money to qualify for an FHA loan?

There are no specific minimum or maximum income limits to qualify for an FHA loan.

Do FHA home loans require a down payment?

Yes. FHA backed loans require as little as 3.5% down payment. Your down payment can come from gifted funds.

What's the minimum credit score I can have to qualify for an FHA loan?

Of course, the better your credit score, the more likely you can get pre-approved for a loan. The minimum credit score is 580 to qualify for an FHA loan with Mitch's preferred lender

Conventional Mortgage Loans

Conventional loans are the most popular loan type. These are loans that are not offered by the federal government (like FHA or USDA loans). Instead, conventional loans are available only through private lenders such as banks or mortgage companies like Mitch's preferred Lender. The ideal borrower has good credit and has plenty of money for a down payment.

Understanding Conventional Mortgages

Low Down Payment Vs Instant Equity

A conventional loan can be achieved with as little as a 3% down payment. However, if you put 20% down, as is common with a conventional loan, you will have instant equity in you home as soon as you sign at the closing table. This will benefit you in the long run if you refinance or sell your home.

Faster Closing

A conventional loan is much more straight-forward than a government-backed loan. There are less requirements during the underwriting process which allows for a quick closing. At Mitch's preferred lender, it is about 17-21 days!

Fixed Rate or Flexible ARM Rates

A conventional loan is attractive to sellers because it means you have good financial health. Sellers will often choose borrowers with a conventional loan over a government loan since the process is much simpler.

Avoid Mortgage Insurance

If you put a 20% down payment on your home, you will not have mortgage insurance. If you put less than 20% down then you will have to pay mortgage insurance until you have your loan paid down to 78% loan to value

Questions And Answers About Conventional Loans

What is the difference between a Fixed Rate and Adjustable Rate Mortgages?

A fixed rate means your principal and interest payment will not change during the fixed period, but an adjustable rate means your principal and interest payment could increase or decrease depending on market interest rates.

Which is better- a fixed or adjustable rate?

This will usually depend on how long you plan to stay in your current home. If you plan to stay around 7 years or less an adjustable rate mortgage may be for you. Loan officers can give you the best options for your situation.

When do I bring my down payment to buy a house?

You will need to have the funds available before we can submit to final underwriting but you will not bring any money until the day of closing and all funds will go to the title company.

Can I finance my closing costs into my home loan?

Not directly. You can negotiate with the seller in your purchase offer to pay your closing costs or you could select a higher interest rate that offered lender paid closing costs. This is commonly called "seller's concessions".

ARM Mortgage Loans

An adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) allows for an initial interest rate that is lower than traditional mortgage rates. This rate is periodically adjusted based on the market after an initial adjustment period. ARMs are great for homebuyers looking to have lower monthly payments at the start of their loan. Additionally, this loan is great for homebuyers who are looking for a short-term home loan.

Understanding ARM Mortgages

Lower Monthly Payment

An ARM loan will typically allow you to have a lower monthly payment at the start. If your income is low now, but you expect an increase in the future, an ARM may be good for you.

Adjustment Period

ARM loans begin with an adjustment period where your rate does not change. This period is usually 5 years, but it can be as low as 1 year or as high as 10 years. If you plan on living in your home for less time than the adjustment period, you will benefit from a very low interest rate.

Fluctuating Interest Rates

By borrowing a loan with an adjustable rate, your monthly payment will change every year after your adjustment period. If the market rate goes down, so does your payment. The reverse is also true, but often, you will save money over the life of the loan.

More Buying Power

An ARM loan allows you to purchase a larger home. Because interest rates are lower, you will be able to afford the monthly mortgage payments on a more expensive house.

Questions And Answers About ARM Loans

What is the difference between a Fixed Rate and Adjustable Rate Mortgages?

A fixed rate means your principal and interest payment will not change during the fixed period, but an adjustable rate means your principal and interest payment could increase or decrease depending on market interest rates.

Which is better- a fixed or adjustable rate?

This will usually depend on how long you plan to stay in your current home. If you plan to stay around 7 years or less an adjustable rate mortgage may be for you. Loan officers can give you the best options for your situation.

When can I lock in my interest rate?

You must have a sales agreement with a property identified to lock your rate. We need to also insure that the lock period is long enough to get to the date of closing.

What happens if the interest rates increase before we close on the loan?

As long as your interest rate is locked, then it will never change.

VA Mortgage Loans

VA loans are guaranteed by the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs and lenders like Mitch's preferred lender who make the loans available to eligible veterans and their families including eligible surviving spouses. A VA loan often has lower closing costs and more liberal terms and requirements. Qualified homebuyers must receive a certificate of eligibility from the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs for this loan type.

Understanding VA Mortgages

Low Or No Down Payment

In many cases, your VA loan will fully finance your new home. With no down payment required and low closing costs, you can move into your home without a large payment upfront.

No Mortgage Insurance

A VA loan does not require monthly private mortgage insurance like most traditional mortgages. Whether you put down a large down payment or not, you will not have to pay PMI each month.

Maximum Purchase Price

A VA loan allows you to purchase a home worth over $500,000 without an issue. Mitch recently helped a buyer purchase a $950,000 home with a VA Mortgage. Check with your lender to confirm your county’s limit.

Government Guarantee

A VA loan comes backed with a guarantee from the federal government. If you are unable to make monthly payments, you may qualify for assistance from the VA

Questions And Answers About VA Loans

What is a VA Mortgage?

VA loans, guaranteed by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and Ruoff Home Mortgage, help service members, veterans, and eligible surviving spouses become homeowners. In fact, there are several VA loans to choose from.

How much of a down payment do I need to make if I'm buying a home with a VA loan?

The best thing about the VA loan is that a down payment is not required. Any money you can put down upfront will help lower your monthly costs, however.

Who is eligible to apply for a VA home loan?

In short, most active military service men and women, veterans and surviving spouses are eligible for VA benefits, including VA home loans.

Can a seller pay the closing costs if I'm buying a house with a VA loan?

Yes. Mitch can usually submit your offer to buy a home, with the seller paying towards your closing costs.

Why do some sellers reject offers that include VA Mortgages?

VA mortgage loans also come with minimum property requirements that can end up forcing home sellers to make many repairs. Because VA appraisals may increase their repair costs, home sellers sometimes refuse to accept purchase offers backed by the agency's mortgages.

Physician Mortgage Loans

Doctors Only loans were created with doctors or residents in mind. Recent doctoral graduates will find this loan particularly appealing due to the 100% financing options. Qualifying doctors include medical doctors, dentists, and even veterinarians. To find out if you qualify, speak with Mitch's preferred lender.

Understanding Physician Mortgages

Low Or No Down Payment

You may qualify for 100% financing with a Doctors Only Loan, but if not, there are many options available to you based on your financial health and situation.

No Mortgage Insurance

With a Doctors Only Loan, you are not required to pay private mortgage insurance (PMI). This means that your mortgage monthly payments will be lower.

No Down Payment

Many borrowers are qualified for 100% financing through a Doctors Only Loan. Save your money to pay down your student loans instead of putting it towards a down payment.

Fixed Rate or ARM Rate

Like a conventional loan, a Doctors Only Loan is available with a fixed rate or an adjustable rate. Choose the kind of loan rate that is best for your unique situation.

Questions And Answers About Physician Loans

What is the minimum credit score I can have?

Your credit score should be higher than 680 to qualify for this loan. It is better to have a credit score over 700, however.

Do my student loans qualify as part of my debt in my debt-to-income ratio?

For the Doctors Only Loan, your student debt is not counted in your DTI ratio. The ratio must be under 45% otherwise.

Can I get this loan if I’m still a medical student?

No, unfortunately two of the requirements for this loan are proof of a medical degree and a signed contract proving that you will start a job as a doctor within 90 days.

JUMBO Mortgage Loans

A jumbo loan may be the best choice for you if the home you wish to buy is over a certain purchase price or doesn’t conform to loan limits placed on government-backed or conventional loans. The purchase price minimum for a jumbo loan differs in many counties, so it’s important to speak with Mitch's preferred lender to learn more.

Understanding JUMBO Mortgages

Higher Credit Requirements

The minimum credit score allowed for a jumbo loan is 700. Unlike most other loans, a jumbo loan is a higher risk for lenders. That means, the borrower requirements are stricter.

Better Financial Health

If you borrow a jumbo loan, you cannot have a recent bankruptcy or foreclosure on your record. It is also important to keep your debt-to-income ratio below 43%.

Low Down Payment

Jumbo loans can be borrowed with as little as 10% down. These loans will be required to pay private mortgage insurance until they’ve paid 20% of their purchase price.

Emergency Funds

Many lenders will require that you have between 3 and 24 months’ worth of mortgage payments in your savings accounts. This is to ensure that the jumbo loan will not fall into delinquency.

Questions And Answers About JUMBO Loans

What is the minimum credit score I can have?

Your credit score should be higher than 680 to qualify for this loan. It is better to have a credit score over 700, however.

What is the minimum purchase price for a jumbo loan?

In 2021, the loan limit reached $548,250 but will likely rise in the coming years. There could be some counties where this limit is higher, so check with Mitch's preferred lender to discuss your individual situation.

Are there any government-backed options for a jumbo loan?

Yes. The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs may back your jumbo loan if you qualify. Your down payment requirement on this loan could be as high as 25%.


This is the repayment of the initial amount you borrowed from your lender (in other words, the price of your home less the cash down payment you bring to closing).


This is a payment to the lender for the money borrowed (and is then added on to the initial price of your home).


Your annual city and county taxes assessed on your property are divided by the number of mortgage payments you make in a year and added into your monthly mortgage payment.


Your monthly homeowner's insurance payment covers you against various hazards and is added to your mortgage payment. Typically if you purchase with less than a 25% cash down payment, the lender will require that 1/12 of the annual insurance premium is included as part of monthly payment.

Bridge Mortgage Loans

Most homeowners, who are selling a current home, rely on money they’ll get from the sale of their current home to fund the purchase of a new place.

Understanding Bridge Loans

Low Or No Down Payment Before You Sell Your Current Home

Equity in your home is the difference between the current market value of your home and what you owe. This gain on the sale of your current home is typically used as the down payment on a new place. A Bridge loan is a short term loan that's typically based on the equity in your current home that can be used to cover your down payment and closing costs on a new home before you have sold your current home.

Submit An Offer That's Not Contingent On The Sale Of Your Current Home

Bridge Loans, particularly in real estate markets where demand exceeds supply (A Seller's Market) will make a Buyer's offer more favorbale to sellers.

Bridge Loans Have Greater Upfront Fees and Higher Interest Rates

Since lenders have less time to make money on a bridge loan because of their shorter terms, they tend to charge higher interest rates and fees for this type of short-term financing than for conventional loans

No Or Lower Interest Only Payments

Bridge loans may not have monthly payments for the first few months or the payments initially be lower interest only payments. This makes the whole moving process easier because you don't have to worry about two monthly payments on top of moving expenses. More important, it also gives you time to sell your home and pay off the loan without having any monthly payments. Note: Interest fees do accumulate even if you don’t have any monthly payments

Greater Risk Of Owning Two Homes

The biggest risk with a bridge loan is when your home doesn’t sell by the time you need to begin repaying your bridge loan. Until your old home sells, you’ll will be paying three loans: the mortgages on both the old and new houses and also the bridge loan

Questions And Answers About Bridge Loans

Is It Easy To Get A Bridge Loan?

Since in a worst case scenario you could end up making mortgage payments on two homes and the same time, to be approved for a bridge loan typically requires strong credit and stable finances. Lenders may set minimum credit scores and debt-to-income ratios. Generally speaking, if your financial situation is shaky, it could be difficult to get a bridge loan

Is a HELOC (Home Equity Line Of Credit) The Same As A Bridge Loan

Similar to a Bridge Loan, a home equity line of credit: Also known as a HELOC, allows you to borrow money against the equity you have in your current home. It’s a bit like a credit card, with an approved line of credit, where you paying interest on the amount you actually use at any given time. HELOC's may have lower interest rates than you would with a bridge loan. To use a HELOC vs a bridge loan typically means obtaining the HELOC approval BEFORE you put your house on the market, since few lenders will approve HELOCs once your house is currently for sale

Piggyback 80/10/10 Mortgage Loans

A “piggyback loan” — also known as an 80/10/10 loan lets you buy a house using two mortgages at the same time. The first mortgage typically covers 80% of the home price, and the second mortgage covers 10% with your down payment covering the remaining 10%.

Understanding Piggyback Loans

Piggyback Loans Can eliminate PMI And Help Avoid JUMBO Loan Fees

Jumbo loans require bigger down payments, higher credit scores and more cash reserves than conforming mortgages do. One strategy to get around the tighter requirements for jumbo loans reduces the loan amount below the conforming limit by obtaining a 2ng mortgage at the same time as the primary mortgage. This lets the borrower meet the criteria of the easier to obtain Conventional vs JUMBO mortgage. Plus, because Lenders often charge higher interest rates for JUMBO loans, using a Piggyback loan can provide access to a lower interest rate while also eliminating PMI.

Piggyback Loans Can Take Longer To Obtain

Getting an 80-10-10 mortgage requires applying for two separate loans: the primary mortgage and the second mortgage. In some cases, you'll need to get the loans from different lenders. Applying for two loans may mean gathering two sets of financial documents, filing two applications and even sometimes going through two closings.

Piggyback Loans May Be A Less Costly Alternative To Bridge Loans

If you have funds available, even before selling your current home, to pay a 10% or 15% down payment then including a Piggyback 2nd Mortgage for the other 5% to 10% of down payment can eliminate the extra PMI fees. Then once you sell your current home you can use the equity from the sale to pay off the 2nd mortgage.

The can be Negatives effects that come With Piggyback Loans

Second mortgage loan interest rates are also likely to carry a higher interest rate than the first. If the rate is substantially different, you may end up paying more for a piggyback loan than you would if you went with a traditional mortgage. Unlike PMI, which can be canceled once your loan value dips below 80% of the home’s value, the second mortgage doesn’t go away until you pay it off

Questions And Answers About Piggyback Loans

Are The Interest Rates On The 1st And 2nd Loans a Fixed Rate or an ARM

The interest rate for the first mortgage may be fixed or variable. The interest rate of the second mortgage or home equity loan is typically a higher rate that is usually variable and changes with the level of interest rates in the economy. A variable interest rate can be a disadvantage during a period of rising interest rates or inflation. If your rate rises, so will your loan costs.

Is It More Difficult To Refinance If There Is a 2nd Mortgage In Place

The 80-10-10 loan can be difficult to refinance because the lenders of both the first and second mortgage (assuming they are different) have to agree to the refinancing. You may have an even harder time convincing both lenders to refinance if the value of your home has declined. However, when it's time to refinance, if you can consolidate both loans into one larger loan then it should not be any more dificult to refinance than would otherwise be the case.