Stephanie A. Rizzuto

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Home buyers are sometimes disappointed to learn that they need private mortgage insurance on their home loans. After all, it’s an extra recurring cost that can increase the size of the monthly payments. But without PMI, many New Jersey home buyers would have to wait a lot longer — and save a lot more money — in order to make a down payment on a home. A PMI industry report published in June 2018 showed that 22,618 home buyers and homeowners in New Jersey were helped by private mortgage insurance in 2017. In this context, “helped” means that they were able to purchase a home with less money down because of PMI. Many Home Buyers in New Jersey Benefit from PMI Earlier this summer, the industry group U.S. Mortgage Insurers (USMI) released a study that revealed just how many borrowers in New Jersey and nationwide were helped by PMI during 2017. In the state of New Jersey, mortgage insurance helped 22,618 borrowers purchase or refinance a home last year. Definition:  Private mortgage insurance, or PMI, is a unique kind of policy that protects banks and lenders from financial losses related to borrower default. In New Jersey, a PMI policy is usually required in financing scenarios where the loan-to-value (LTV) ratio exceeds 80%. Private mortgage insurance is a standard industry requirement that has been around for a long time. But there’s an upside to it as well. While these policies do result in a marginal increase in the borrower’s monthly payments, they also allow people to buy homes with a significantly smaller down payment. Without PMI , the majority of home buyers in New Jersey and ...

Any local resident in need of a renovation loan will receive a $2,000 credit toward closing costs.   As of recently, NJ Lenders’ neighbors in Little Falls, New Jersey have been severely impacted by storms and flash flooding in the area. But, as a local member of the business community since 1991, we’re here to help our friends in Little Falls rebuild their homes. As an expert in renovation financing, we can assist those affected by navigating the process of rehabilitating your home quickly.  Local residents impacted have an opportunity to take advantage of our FHA 203k renovation loan program . This program provides funds for the renovation of a damaged home packaged into a mortgage loan. It can also help provide a homeowner with the financing of buying a home in need of repair, as well as obtaining funds for the refinancing of a property. Requirements for the 203k loan such as credit qualification, down payment, and loan limits are the same as standard FHA-insured loans . Rehabilitation of properties damaged by the storms can include the following improvements: Repairing structural damage to include major renovation or remodeling Adding or replacing floors and/or floor treatments Major landscape work and site improvements Enhancing accessibility for a disabled person Replacing and repairing decks, patios and porches Remodeling basement to include finishes and waterproofing Upgrading plumbing, electrical and HVAC systems Weatherization including storm windows and doors, insulation, and weather stripping Window and door replacements and exterior wall re-siding Purchase and installation of ...

In a recent blog post, we provided an overview of the mortgage underwriting process in New Jersey. Today we have some good news on this subject for borrowers who are seeking a home loan. A recent report provided more evidence of a trend we’ve been watching for some time. It showed that mortgage underwriting criteria in New Jersey and nationwide have eased over the past few years. Mortgage Underwriting Criteria Easing in New Jersey, Nationwide This report was published in June 2018 by CoreLogic, a property and financial data company based in Irvine, California. They analyzed mortgage loan data for the last few years, with a particular focus on qualification and underwriting requirements such as: Debt-to-income (DTI) ratios Loan-to-value (LTV) ratios Credit scores among borrowers Their in-depth analysis focused on conventional conforming loans in particular. In a mortgage context, the term “conventional” refers to a loan that is not insured or guaranteed by the government. The “term” conforming refers to home loans that meet or conform to the standards used by Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae. So this study pertains to “regular” mortgage products that fall within conforming loan limits. Here’s a summary of their findings: “Mortgage underwriting guidelines have loosened in the last couple of years. To expand the credit box to creditworthy borrowers, Fannie Mae began accepting mortgages with loan-to-value (LTV) ratios up to 97 percent in December 2014 and Freddie Mac in March 2015. To further expand access to credit, Fannie Mae raised its DTI ratio level from 45 to 50 percent in July ...

According to a report published at the beginning of 2018, the average credit score for New Jersey residents was 686. That was slightly higher than the national average of 675. But what credit score is needed to qualify for a mortgage loan these days? Hint: It’s lower than the statewide average of 686. Average Credit Score Among New Jersey Residents In January 2018, the consumer credit-reporting company Experian published its “State of Credit” report. This report showed the average credit score in different states across the country, and for the nation as a whole. Here are some interesting highlights: The average credit score in New Jersey was 686, as of the beginning of 2018. The average score nationwide was a bit lower at 675. At 709, Minnesota residents had the highest average VantageScore. Mississippi ranked last at 647. Terminology note:  This particular report pertains to the VantageScore credit-scoring model in particular. This is the one that’s jointly used by the three reporting bureaus — TransUnion, Experian and Equifax. There are other scoring models too, including the commonly used FICO score. What Score Do NJ Home Buyers Need? The averages shown above can be useful in terms of comparing credit scores across different regions, or to see how you stack up against others in your area. But those figures do not represent the minimum credit score needed for different mortgage programs. Those minimums can be quite a bit lower. Which begs the question: What credit score do home buyers in New Jersey need, in order to qualify for a mortgage loan? The minimum credit score needed ...

A recently updated forecast suggests that the New Jersey housing market could experience rising home values stretching into 2019. Based on current conditions and trends, it appears likely that home prices in the state will continue to climb for the foreseeable future. So say the economists at Zillow, at least. Here’s a look at the latest forecasts for the New Jersey housing market. Prices Up Nearly 10%, and Expected to Rise Further According to the latest data compiled and analyzed by Zillow, the median home value for the state of New Jersey rose to around $313,000 as of June 2018. That marked an increase of 9.2% from the same month a year earlier. Home prices in the state have been rising in a more or less steady fashion since the start of 2013, after a period of decline that occurred during the Great Recession. But the state’s median home price (the midpoint for house values) is still a bit lower than it was during the last peak. Looking forward, the company’s economists forecast that New Jersey’s median home value would rise by around 7.6% over the next 12 months. This prediction was offered in June 2018, so it extends into early summer of 2019. Their outlook for New Jersey was slightly higher than the national forecast, suggesting that the state could experience some healthy home-price gains over the coming months. To put those forecast percentages into perspective, home prices nationwide have risen by an average of around 4% to 5% over the last few decades. Real estate prices and conditions can differ widely from one market to the next. Overall, however, experts are forecasting an upward trend for home values ...

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