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  • Packages | PadScouts

    Packages I'm a paragraph. Click here to add your own text and edit me. I’m a great place for you to tell a story and let your users know a little more about you. Best Value Free Consultation $ 0 0$ 1 Month, 2 Lessons per week Free Plan Select I'm a benefit I'm a benefit I'm a benefit I'm a benefit

  • Real Estate | Padscouts | Chicago

    Your Real Estate Resource Learn everything you need to know before you make a decision to buy or sell a home! Home Buying Process One-Stop Resource PadScouts' Real Estate Resource is here to tell you about all of the steps involved in the home buying and selling process. Our goal is to give you information about the processes so you can make informed choices for your real estate decisions. Personalized Consultation Home Buying Process Learn every step of the home buying process from start to finish. There are a lot of steps and many people involved. We want to make sure you're fully informed! Lease-To-Own Opportunities Not ready to buy a home? There are resources available that can help you secure the property before you can buy. Home Selling Process Learn every step of the home selling process and all of the costs associated so that you can make the best decisions when selling your home. Glossary There is a lot of terminology in real estate. Look them up here to learn about them before a real estate transaction. Reviews Our real estate experts are here to help you if the site doesn't have the answers you're looking for. See how they've helped others who've requested a free consultation. “This was a great resource to look up information about selling my home! I had a complex inheritance deal so I scheduled a personal consultation and spoke with Robin. He was amazing to work with and helped us navigate the resources available to help us buy the property! ” Gloria M. Contact

  • About | PadScouts

    Meet The Team Helping You Navigate Your Next Real Estate Decision Daniel Walus Managing Broker Aneta Korzec Buyer & Seller Specialist Miguel Aranda Buyer & Seller Specialist Robin Cerna Buyer & Seller Specialist Timothy Dancy Buyer & Seller Specialist What We Do We understand that buying or selling a home is more than just a transaction: it’s a life-changing experience. That’s why our team of highly-seasoned real estate professionals is dedicated to providing exceptional, personalized service for all of our clients. We take great pride in the relationships we build and always work relentlessly on the client’s behalf to help them achieve their real estate goals. We also diligently work to educate everyone on the home buying and selling process. We understand that buying or selling a home is unlike the day-to-day transactions we are used to. We pride ourselves in educating our clients to make sure the whole process is transparent so there are no surprises. Lastly, there is never an obligation to work with us. You can always contact us to learn more without committing to working with our team. We believe in educating everyone regardless if they are our client. We wish you the best on your next real estate decision!

  • Selling | PadScouts

    Home Selling Understand the Home Sale Process Selling your property is an important transaction. ​ A home sale includes multiple third party involvement, even if you don't use an agent. Understanding all of their roles is important to ensure a smooth transaction. Home Selling Steps Step 1: Find A Listing Agent Professional Involved: Realtor ​ The 1st Step to the home selling process is to find a listing agent that will serve your best interest. A good listing agent will be prepared to present a Competitive Market Analysis, and a provide marketing strategy. If you choose to work with the Realtor, you will sign a Listing Agreement . Step 2: Pick A List Price Professional Involved: Realtor ​ The 2nd step occurs after you sign a listing agreement where you to select a listing price. Your Realtor can help you decide the right pricing strategy and to calculate your proceeds for different prices. But, at the end of the day, it is your home and you can select the price. Steps 3: Marketing Plan Professional Involved: Realtor ​ The 3rd step involves you and your Realtor coming up with a plan to market your property. This is where you will decide if you'd like professional photography, videography, 3D tour, and where your listing will be displayed (i.e. Zillow,, etc.) Step 4: Prepare Home Professionals Involved: Realtor ​ The 4th Step is your responsibility. Your Realtor can provide you with guidelines and details to help your property achieve a sellable look. Preparations include cleaning the exterior/interior, touch-up paint, removing personal decorations, eliminating pet odors, etc. Step 5: Show Your Home Professionals Involved: Realtor ​ The 5th Step is where buyers will come and see your home. Most showings are conducted by your Realtor or the buyer's Realtor. Your Realtor will likely use a lockbox to allow the Buyer's Realtors access. You are in control of the scheduling. Step 6: Negotiate Final Price Professionals Involved: Your Realtor Buyer's Realtor ​ The 6th Step occurs when a Buyer submits an Offer . Your Realtor will help guide you on how to negotiate the price. They will be the liaison to negotiate on your behalf. In this step, you will also negotiate the contingencies for the contract. Step 7: Escrow & Title Report Professionals Involved: Realtor Mortgage Professional Real Estate Attorney Title Company ​ The 7th Step occurs after the offer is accepted. The buyer's earnest money will be placed into an escrow account and your realtor will order a title search . Step 8: Schedule Appraiser Professionals Involved: Realtor Mortgage Professional Appraiser ​ The 8th Step is when the mortgage appraiser schedules an appointment with you to appraise the value of the property. The buyer is entitled to back out if appraisal results are negative. Step 9: Home Inspection Professionals Involved: Realtor Home Inspector Real Estate Attorney ​ The 9th Step is where the home inspector conducts a home inspection . You may need be prepared to negotiate with the buyer if there are issues that need to be addressed because of the contingencies in the contract . Step 10: Closing Professionals Involved: Realtor Real Estate Attorney Mortgage Professional Title Company ​ The 10th step is the closing. Your agent will walk you through the documentation. The title company will transfer the property deed and finalize the documents and cut the checks to the respective parties.

  • Calculating Your Proceeds | PadScouts

    Calculate Your Proceeds When an offer comes in, a seller can accept it exactly as it stands, refuse it (seldom a useful response), or make a counteroffer with the changes they want. ​ In evaluating a purchase offer, sellers estimate the amount of cash they'll walk away with when the transaction is complete. For example, when they're presented with two offers at once, they may discover they are better off accepting the one with the lower sale price if the other asks them to pay points to the buyer's lending institution. ​ Once a seller has a specific proposal, calculating net proceeds becomes simple. From the proposed purchase price, they subtract the following: Payoff amount on present mortgage Any other liens (equity loan, judgments) Broker's commission Legal costs of selling (attorney, escrow agent) Transfer taxes Unpaid property taxes and water bills If required by the contract: cost of survey, termite inspection, buyer's closing costs, repairs, etc. ​ The seller's mortgage lender may maintain an escrow account into which they deposit money to pay property tax bills and homeowner's insurance premiums. In that case, remember sellers will receive a refund of money left in that account, which will add to their proceeds.

  • Buying | PadScouts

    Home Buying Buying a home may be the biggest financial decision of your life. Make sure you're informed. The home buying process is unlike any other purchases you've made in your life. It is important to understand the complexity of such a large transaction so that you know all of the costs, benefits, and risks associated with owning real estate. Home Buying Steps Step 1: Pre-Approval Professional Involved: Mortgage professional ​ The first step to the home search process is to be pre-approved by a mortgage lender. The pre-approval will help you determine your financial situation. There are different types of mortgage loans. Learn why it is the first step: Pre-Approval Step 2: Buyer Interview Professional Involved: Realtor ​ The 2nd step in the home search process is to work with a Realtor to talk about your wish list and your financial situation. In this conversation with your Realtor, you will work together to determine what are realistic goals when looking for your next home. You may also enter into a Buyer's Agreement with your Realtor. Steps 3: Home Search Professional Involved: Realtor ​ The 3rd step involves you and your Realtor searching for available properties and scheduling showings to view properties. You might also be attending Open Houses during the home search process. Step 4: Make an Offer Professionals Involved: Realtor ​ The 4th Step is when you've found the property you wish to purchase and you work with your Realtor to send an offer to the Seller for the price you'd like to purchase it for. An offer is a legal document used to outline a potential real estate transaction between a buyer and seller. Step 5: Negotiate Professionals Involved: Realtor ​ The 5th Step occurs after you submit an offer to the Seller. The Seller can decide to Counter Your Offer , Accept Your Offer , or Reject Your Offer . If there are multiple offers, the Seller may counter by asking for your Highest and Best Offer . Step 6: Contract to Close Professionals Involved: Realtor Mortgage Professional Real Estate Attorney Appraiser Home Inspector Title Company ​ The 6th Step occurs after your offer is Accepted. The Attorney Review , Home Inspection and Mortgage Approval are occurring simultaneously. Step 7: Closing Professionals Involved: Realtor Mortgage Professional Real Estate Attorney Title Company ​ The 7th Step occurs after the financing is confirmed. The property's utility will be switched over to you, the final walk-through is conducted, the title is transferred , closing costs paid and closing documents completed.

  • Title Companies | PadScouts

    Title Companies A title company makes sure that the title to a piece of real estate is legitimate by conducting a title search and then issues title insurance for that property. Title insurance protects the lender and/or owner against lawsuits or claims against the property that result from disputes over the title. Title companies also often maintain escrow accounts — these contain the funds needed to close on the home — to ensure that this money is used only for settlement and closing costs , and may conduct the formal closing on the home. At the closing, a settlement agent from the title company will bring all the necessary documentation, explain it to the parties, collect closing costs and distribute monies. Finally, the title company will ensure that the new titles, deeds and other documents are filed with the appropriate entities. How much does a title company's services cost? The cost of title insurance depends on the size of the loan and varies greatly depending on the state. The good news is that the premium is a one-time fee you pay at closing, not an ongoing expense. According to the Federal Reserve, “a lender’s policy on a $100,000 loan can range from $175 in one state to $900 in another.” You’ll typically pay an additional amount — usually a few hundred dollars or more, depending on the size of the loan and your state of residence — for a buyer’s policy. Note that you may be able to get a discounted rate on your title insurance if the property was sold within the previous five years; just call and ask.

  • Showings | PadScouts

    Showings Showings are scheduled between buyers and sellers so that a prospective buyer can tour the property. The coordination for the showings is generally coordinated between the respective Realtors, with the input of the buyer and seller of course. ​ For the Seller: The Realtor will usually provide a Lockbox where a key for the property will be placed. Either your Realtor or the Buyer’s Realtor will escort the Buyer through your home Make sure to prepare your property for a showing and to also secure your valuables. It is recommended that Sellers do not leave anything out. Although a Realtor will be present during the showing, it is always better to be safe and secure your items. When a Buyer and the Buyer’s Realtor has coordinated a showing with a Seller, the Realtor will receive a Lockbox code to open the Lockbox to receive the key and gain access to the property. ​ For the Buyer: Your Realtor can either coordinate an individual property showing or schedule multiple properties in one day. It is usually a lot more efficient to see multiple properties in a day. Only a Realtor is able to receive a Lockbox code from the Seller’s Lockbox per the Illinois regulations. ​ ​

  • Marketing Plan | PadScouts

    Marketing Plan The most basic strategy in the real estate marketing plan is ensuring that a property has professional pictures taken of the home, priced correctly in the market, and listed on the Multiple Listing Service (MLS). Once it is listed in the MLS, the listing should be syndicated to all of the major marketing websites such as,, etc. Most homes are found by buyers through these real estate websites. The MLS also allows local Realtors to be notified of the availability of a local property. Listing a property onto the MLS is the crucial first step to selling a property. ​ A good listing agent will present a concise marketing strategy to you. They will show you examples such as listing on the MLS, hosting open houses, and sending out targeted campaigns. However, sellers should participate in the marketing process. Here are some examples of how sellers can participate in the process: opting for professional photography and virtual tours, or tapping into their personal networks to find interested buyers. It’s impossible to prepare a marketing plan that targets every buyer. But, in order to improve the chances of selling your property, it is necessary to understand the buyers in your market. Each market is different so this page will only attempt to speak to the macro national trends in the market, which is to market towards millennials (the current generation that is actively purchasing real estate). ​ Real Estate Marketing For Millennials: 5 Tips For Success ​ Those who hope to successfully sell to today’s buyers must actively take part in real estate marketing for millennials. Traditional marketing tactics may not work on these digital natives, and real estate professionals who take the initiative to understand this generation’s consumer preferences and behavior will develop an advantage. The following are 5 unique tips to find success in selling to the millennial home buyer: Help them each step of the way: 90% of home buyers aged 37 and younger worked with a real estate agent, and many of them cited that they wanted help in understanding the home buying process. Understand that guidance is extremely important to this consumer segment, and take advantage by marketing your emphasis in assisting clients. Know that price matters: A majority of millennials use their savings to pay their down payment, more so than other generations, signaling limitations in financial options. Help these buyers by suggesting how to save money or use their funds in the most impactful way during the home buying process. Pay attention to visual representation: Visually-based social media platforms such as Instagram and Pinterest are popular amongst young home buyers. In addition, many of them cite staging as an important factor filtering through properties online. Do not hesitate to market your property in a visually-compelling manner, such as through Instagram or Pinterest. Specify your competitive advantage: Millennials know that each real estate agent has something unique to offer, so be ready to stand out from a group of candidates by clearly specifying what you have to offer to them. Go digital: Is should go without saying that the best way to appeal to this generation of digital natives is through digital marketing. 93% of home buyers aged 37 and younger use the internet for their home buying process. There are a variety of trends associated with the millennial home buyer, and as a seller or real estate professional, it is important to keep up with the latest statistics and information. Each generation has its own unique tastes and preferences, and furthermore, there are divergences within each of those home buyer segments. Those who make an effort to keep up with these preferences, and take the extra step to understand why consumers have these preferences, are best able to serve these home buyers’ needs.

  • Prepare Home For Sale | PadScouts

    Prepare Home For Sale Of course, every home buyer is different. So, it’s impossible to prepare a home that is acceptable to every buyer. But, in order to improve the chances of selling your property, it is necessary to understand the buyers in your market. Each market is different so this page will only attempt to speak to the macro national trends in the market. ​ Although you may love your property the way it is, new buyers will be looking for a fresh face. Spend time preparing your home for sale by conducting a deep cleaning, and refresh its appearance by providing a fresh coat of paint. Your agent can also help provide guidelines, such as decluttering, removing overly personalized effects and getting rid of pet odors. ​ Millennial Home Buying Statistics It’s no secret millennials continue to make up the majority of today’s home buyer demographics. Millennials make up 66% of first-time home buyers, and 34% of the home buying market overall, so if you plan to sell a property, it is in your best interest to familiarize yourself with some millennial home buying statistics. According to, only 11% of millennial home buyers consider their first home as permanent, yet they have specific wishlists. Because down payments are so hard to save up for, today’s young home buyers tend to prefer turn-key properties. Some home buying trends stay the same regardless of the generation. Over half of Millennials prefer to purchase homes in the suburbs, with only 25% opting for urban areas. Current Home Buying TrendsWhether you position yourself as a real estate agent for millennials or as an investor looking to target millennial housing trends, it is still important to keep in touch with current home buying trends overall. Although millennial real estate trends are dominating the industry landscape, it is important to keep in mind that other generations still make up a significant proportion of potential buyers. Here are some key highlights on current home buying trends from the National Association of Realtors’ 2018 Generational Trends report: Previously owned homes prevail: In 2017, 85% of home buyers purchased previously owned homes, while the rest purchased new homes. The most common type of home purchased was the single-family home. However, interestingly, the majority of home buyers under the age of 37 who purchased a new home did so in order to avoid renovations and having to pay to remedy problems. Online presence is key: A vast majority of today’s home buyers first find their property online. Nine out of ten buyers stated that real estate photos were the most important feature on online listings. In addition, buyers between the ages of 53 and 71 felt that virtual tours were the most important, as this generation tends to move the longest distances. Financing remains a necessity: Although 88% of home buyers finance their home purchase, the statistic increased to 98% when it comes to buyers under the age of 37. Although most consumers use their savings for a down payment, the proportion increases for millennials, while older generations to use proceeds from a previous sale. Most buyers across all generations still view buying a home as a good investment. Agents are more needed than ever: 87% of all home buyers worked with an agent, but the share increased to 90% for buyers aged 37 and younger. Buyers who worked with an agent cited that they wanted help finding the right home, negotiating the purchase price and terms of sale, as well as help in understanding the purchase process. ​ ​ ​ Selling To The Millennial Home Buyer: What Do Millennials Want In A Home? ​ When devising a strategy on selling to millennial home buyers, it is important to ask yourself, “what do millenials want in a home?” Selling real estate to millennials is no easy feat, as they have a unique set of preferences and demands that set them apart from buyers of other generations. Check out the following list of “must-have” features for today’s youthful buyers: Updated kitchen and bathroom: Brand new fixtures in kitchens and bathrooms are important for budget-conscious millennials. Because of their limited budgets, most millennials’ savings will go towards a down payment and furniture, and not updates. Open floor concept: Although formal dining rooms used to be popular, today’s buyers prefer an open concept where the kitchen, dining and living areas all flow together. All rooms are used as hangout spaces. Home office space: The number of Americans who work remotely continues to grow each year, making a home office an important factor for home buyers. Having a dedicated space will help them focus on the task at hand. Proximity: It could be attributed to high gas prices and traffic, or to eco-consciousness, but young buyers tend to emphasize the property’s location. Proximity to work or public transportation, as well as walkability, are all important considerations. Low maintenance features: Today’s “weekend warriors” tend to not want to spend their weekends carrying out chores and honey-do lists. Instead, millennials are showing a preference for low-maintenance, low-upkeep features. Home technology: Technology has taken center stage in real estate for millennials, as these digital natives have saturated the home buying landscape. Prepare to talk to potential buyers about wireless service providers, carrier signal strength, and smart home features. Energy efficient: Energy efficiency features such as solar panels help millennial buyers kill two birds with one stone. Increased efficiency allows them to protect their budgets while satisfying their environmental consciousness. Online photography: Mentioned earlier, the vast majority of home buyers find their property online. Setting up a real estate website for millennials is essential, which should include photographs and virtual tours of the property after it has been professionally staged.

  • Closing Costs | PadScouts

    Closing Costs After saving for a down payment, house hunting and applying for a mortgage, closing costs can come as an unpleasant surprise. ​ What are Closing Costs? Closing costs include the myriad fees for the services and expenses required to finalize a mortgage. You’ll have to pay closing costs whether you buy a home or refinance. Most of the closing costs fall on the buyer, but the seller typically has to pay a few, too, such as the real estate agent’s commission. (Buying a home for the first time? See our tips for first-time home buyers.) ​ How much are closing costs? Average closing costs for the buyer run between about 2% and 5% of the loan amount. That means, on a $300,000 home purchase, you would pay from $6,000 to $15,000 in closing costs. The most cost-effective way to cover your closing costs is to pay them out-of-pocket as a one-time expense. You may be able to finance them by folding them into the loan, if the lender allows, but then you’ll pay interest on those costs through the life of the mortgage. When buying a home, you can comparison shop and negotiate some of the fees to lower your closing costs. And some states, counties and cities offer low-interest loan programs or grants to help first-time home buyers with closing costs. Check with your local government to see what’s available. Your lender is required to outline your closing costs in the Loan Estimate you receive when you first apply for the loan and in the Closing Disclosure document you receive in the days before the settlement. Review them closely and ask questions about anything you don’t understand. ​ List of Closing Costs (may not be comprehensive depending on the situation)​ Property-related fees Appraisal fee: It’s important to a lender to know if the property is worth as much as the amount you want to borrow. This is for two reasons: The lender needs to verify the amount you need for a loan is justified and make sure it can recoup the value of the home if you default on your loan. The average cost of a home appraisal by a certified professional appraiser ranges between $300 and $400. Home inspection: Most lenders require a home inspection, especially if you’re getting a government-backed mortgage, such as an FHA loan insured by the Federal Housing Administration. Before lending you hundreds of thousands of dollars, a bank needs to make sure the home is structurally sound and in good enough shape to live in. If the inspection turns up troubling results, you may be able to negotiate a lower sale price. But depending on how severe the problems are, you have the option to back out of your contract if you and the seller can’t come to an agreement on how to fix the issues. Home inspection fees, on average, range from $300 to $500. Loan-related fees Application fee: This covers the cost of processing your request for a new loan and includes costs such as credit checks and administrative expenses. The application fee varies depending on the lender and the amount of work it takes to process your loan application. Assumption fee: If the seller has an assumable mortgage and you take over the remaining balance of the loan, you may be charged a variable fee based on the balance. Attorney’s fees: Some states require an attorney to be present at the closing of a real estate purchase. The fee will vary depending on the number of hours the attorney works for you. Prepaid interest: Most lenders require buyers to pay the interest that accrues on the mortgage between the date of settlement and the first monthly payment due date, so be prepared to pay that amount at closing; it will depend on your loan size. Loan origination fee: This is a big one. It’s also known as an underwriting fee, administrative fee or processing fee. The loan origination fee is a charge by the lender for evaluating and preparing your mortgage loan. This can cover document preparation, notary fees and the lender’s attorney fees. Expect to pay about 0.5% of the amount you’re borrowing. A $300,000 loan, for example, would result in a loan origination fee of $1,500. Discount points: By paying discount points, you reduce the interest rate you pay over the life of your loan, which results in more competitive mortgage rates. The cost of one point equals 1% of the loan amount. So for a loan of $250,000, a 1-point payment would be $2,500. Generally, paying points is worthwhile only if you plan to stay in the home for a long time. Otherwise, the upfront cost isn’t worth it. Mortgage broker fee: If you work with a mortgage broker to find a loan, the broker will usually charge a commission as a percentage of the loan amount. The commission averages from 0.5% to 2.75% of the home’s purchase price Mortgage Insurance Fees Mortgage insurance application fee: If you make a down payment of less than 20%, you may have to get private mortgage insurance. (PMI insures the lender in case you default; it doesn't insure the home.) The application fee varies by lender. Upfront mortgage insurance: Some lenders require borrowers to pay the first year’s mortgage insurance premium upfront, while others ask for a lump-sum payment that covers the life of the loan. Expect to pay from 0.55% to 2.25% of the purchase price for mortgage insurance, according to Genworth, Ginnie Mae and the Urban Institute. FHA, VA and USDA fees: If your loan is insured by the Federal Housing Administration, you’ll have to pay FHA mortgage insurance premiums; if it’s guaranteed by the Department of Veterans Affairs or the U.S. Department of Agriculture, you’ll pay guarantee fees. In addition to monthly premiums, the FHA requires an upfront premium payment of 1.75% of the loan amount. The USDA loan upfront guarantee fee is 1%. VA loan guarantee fees range from 1.25% to 3.3% of the loan amount, depending on the size of your down payment. Property taxes, annual fees and insurance Property taxes: Buyers typically pay two months’ worth of city and county property taxes at closing. Annual assessments: If your condo or homeowners association requires an annual fee, you might have to pay it upfront in one lump sum. Homeowners insurance premium: Usually, your lender requires that you purchase homeowner’s insurance before settlement, which covers the property in case of vandalism, damage and so on. Some condo associations include insurance in the monthly condo fee. The amount varies depending on where you live and your home’s value. Title Fees Title search fee: A title search is conducted to ensure that the person selling the house actually owns it and that there are no outstanding claims or liens against the property. This can be fairly labor-intensive, especially if the real estate records aren’t computerized. Title search fees are about $200, but can vary among title companies by region. The search fee may be included in the cost of title insurance. Lender’s title insurance: Most lenders require what’s called a loan policy; it protects them in case there’s an error in the title search and someone makes a claim of ownership on the property after it’s sold. Coverage lasts until the loan is paid off. Owner’s title insurance: You should also consider purchasing title insurance to protect yourself in case title problems or claims are made on your home after closing. The owner's coverage lasts as long as you or your heirs own the property. The cost of the owner’s policy is about 0.5% to 1% of the purchase price, according to the American Land Title Association. Whether the buyer or seller pays for title insurance varies by region. A discount is sometimes offered when both the lender’s and owner’s policies are purchased at the same time. Mortgage Closing Documents With so many closing costs to consider, it’s obvious you’ll face a lot of paperwork just prior to and during the loan signing. Two of the most important closing documents are the Loan Estimate and the Closing Disclosure. You’ll receive the Loan Estimate three days after applying with a lender. It will officially detail all fees, the interest rate and the other costs to close your loan. It’s legally binding, so you’ll want to read it carefully. Then, three days from loan settlement and prior to making the big commitment, you’ll receive the Closing Disclosure from your lender. It confirms — or makes minor adjustments to — what you saw on the Loan Estimate. Again, it’s worth a big cup of coffee and a thorough review. ​ Mortgage closing costs: summary Appraisal fee ($300-$400) Home inspection ($300-$500) Application fee (varies) Assumption fee (varies) Attorney’s fee (hourly or flat fee) Prepaid interest (based on loan amount) Origination fee (about 0.5% of loan amount) Discount points (1 point costs 1% of the loan amount) Mortgage broker fee (0.50% to 2.75%) Mortgage insurance application fee (varies) Upfront mortgage insurance (0.55% to 2.25%) FHA, VA and USDA fees (1% to 3.3%) Property taxes (two months’ worth) Upfront HOA fee (varies) Homeowners insurance (depends on home value and location) Title search fee (about $200) Lender’s title insurance (varies) Owner’s title insurance (0.5% to 1% of purchase price)

  • Types of Mortgage Loans | PadScouts

    Types of Mortgages There are four main types of mortgage loans. They are the Conventional Loan , FHA Loan , VA Loan, and the USDA Loan . The one that works best for you will depend on your situation: ​ Conventional Loan - When most people think of a mortgage, they’re thinking of a conventional loan. Conventional loans are the closest you can get to a ‘standard’ mortgage. There are no special eligibility requirements, pretty much all lenders offer them, and you can qualify with just 3% down and a 620 credit score. Conventional loan requirements vary by lender. However, all conventional loans have to meet certain guidelines set by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. These include a 620 credit score, a debt-to-income ratio lower than 43%, and at least a 3% down payment. The mortgage also has to be within conventional loan limits: up to $510,400 in most areas. If you apply for a conventional loan with better credentials — like a credit score of 740+ and 20% down payment — you’ll get access to lower rates and a lower monthly payment. On the flip side, maybe you’re just on the edge of qualifying for a conventional loan. If you have a credit score right around 620, and higher levels of debt, you’ll want to be extra sure to shop around. Thanks to their wide availability and low rates, conventional loans are the most popular mortgage in the U.S. In fact, almost 3 in 5 buyers use a conventional loan when they buy a house or refinance. Minimum down payment for a conventional loan It’s a common myth that you need a 20 percent down payment for a conventional loan; you can actually get one with as little as 3 percent down. All told, there are six major options for conventional loan down payments, ranging from 3-20 percent. Conventional 97 loan — 3% down Fannie Mae HomeReady loan — 3% down Freddie Mac Home Possible loan — 3% down Conventional loan with PMI — 5% down Piggyback loan (no PMI) — 10% down Conventional loan without PMI — 20% down For more information about HomeReadyTM and Conventional 97, and piggyback loans, contact your mortgage professional. If you’re in Illinois and would like assistance in learning more about mortgages, ask us and we can point you to a few mortgage professional options. ​ FHA - An FHA loan is a mortgage insured by the Federal Housing Administration. FHA insurance protects mortgage lenders, allowing them to offer loans with below-average interest rates, easier credit requirements, and low down payments (starting at just 3.5%). FHA loans are especially popular with first time, lower-income, and/or lower-credit home buyers, thanks to their flexibility and low rates. But FHA financing isn’t limited to a certain type of buyer — anyone can apply. To qualify for an FHA home loan, you’ll need to meet these requirements: A 3.5 percent down payment if your credit score is 580 or higher A 10 percent down payment if your credit score is 500-579 A debt-to-income ratio of 50% or less Documented, steady employment and income You’ll live in the home as your primary residence You have not had a foreclosure in the last three years ​FHA loans usually have below-market interest rates. That means they’re lower, on average, than comparable conventional loans. Note, the APR on an FHA loan is often higher than the APR on a conventional loan. That’s because FHA rate estimates include mortgage insurance, while conventional rate estimates assume 20% down and no mortgage insurance. ​ USDA Loans - USDA loans are mortgages backed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture as part of its USDA Rural Development Guaranteed Housing Loan program. USDA loans are available to home buyers with low-to-average income for their area, offer 100% financing with reduced mortgage insurance premiums, and feature below-market mortgage rates. USDA home loans are putting people in homes who never thought they could do anything but rent. USDA loans are special mortgages meant for low- to moderate-income home buyers. These loans are guaranteed by the US Department of Agriculture. That guarantee acts as a form of insurance protecting USDA mortgage lenders, so they’re able to offer below-market interest rates and zero-down home loans. USDA runs this program to encourage homeownership and economic development in rural areas. Insurance - USDA “guarantees” its loan program — meaning it offers protection to mortgage lenders in case USDA borrowers default. But the program is partially self-funded. So, to keep it running, the USDA uses homeowner-paid mortgage insurance premiums. ​As of 2016, this is the current mortgage insurance rates ​For purchases, 1.00% upfront fee paid at closing, based on the loan size As a real-life example: A homebuyer with a $100,000 loan size in Blacksburg, Virginia, would be required to make a $1,000 upfront mortgage insurance premium payment at closing, plus a monthly $29.17 payment for mortgage insurance. USDA upfront mortgage insurance is not paid as cash. It’s added to your loan balance for you. ​Eligibility - USDA eligibility is based on the buyer and the property. First, the home must be in a qualified “rural” area, which USDA typically defines as a population of less than 20,000. Second, the buyer must meet USDA income caps. To be eligible, you can’t make more than 15% above the local median salary. You also have to use the home as your primary residence (no vacation homes or investment properties allowed). Borrowers also have to meet USDA's "ability to repay" standards including: ​Steady job and income, proven by tax returns FICO credit score of at least 640 (though this can vary by lender) Debt-to-income ratio of 41% or less in most cases See if a property is eligible for the USDA Loans: ​ VA Loan - VA loans are mortgages backed by the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs for veterans who have served in the United States armed forces. VA Loan Eligibility for Veterans ​Most veterans must complete a minimum term of qualifying active-duty service to be eligible for a VA loan, though this requirement does have a few exceptions. The minimum term of service varies depending on the dates of that service. Veterans serving from August 2, 1990 through The Present Day ​Veterans who served from August 2, 1990 through the present day must have completed 24 months of continuous service or a full period of at least 90 days during which they were called or ordered to active duty. Veterans serving from September 8, 1980 through August 1, 1990​ Veterans who served from September 8, 1980, through August 1, 1990, must have completed 24 months of continuous service or a full period of at least 181 days of active duty. The beginning date that applies to officers for this requirement is October 17, 1981.​ Veterans serving from May 8, 1975 through September 7, 1980 Veterans who served from May 8, 1975, through September 7, 1980, must have completed 181 continuous days of active duty. The ending date that applies to officers for this requirement is October 16, 1981.​ Veterans serving from August 5, 1964 through May 7, 1975 Veterans who served from August 5, 1964, through May 7, 1975, must have completed 90 days of active duty. The beginning date that applies to veterans who served in the Republic of Vietnam for this requirement is February 28, 1961.​ Veterans serving from February 1, 1955 through August 4, 1964 Veterans who served from February 1, 1955 through August 4, 1964 must have completed 181 continuous days of active duty.​ Veterans serving from June 27, 1950 through January 31, 1955 Veterans who served from June 27, 1950 through January 31, 1955 must have completed 90 days of active duty.​ Veterans serving from July 26, 1947 through June 26, 1950 Veterans who served from July 26, 1947 through June 26, 1950 must have completed 181 continuous days of active duty.​ Veterans serving from September 16, 1940 through July 25, 1947 Veterans who served from September 16, 1940 through July 25, 1947 must have completed 90 days of active duty.​ Additional eligibility requirements for veterans ​Veterans who were discharged due to hardship, government convenience, reduction-in-force, certain medical conditions or a disability connected to military service can be eligible for a VA loan even if they don’t meet the minimum term of service requirement. Veterans who were dishonorably discharged are not eligible for the VA home loan program. VA Loan Eligibility for Non-Veterans​ - The VA home loan program is available to non-veterans, too. This eligibility class includes certain active military borrowers, their families, and others.​ Service members on active duty Active-duty service members can be eligible for a VA loan after they have served 90 days of continuous active duty. Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines are eligible.​ Military spouses Some military spouses can be eligible for a VA loan, too.​ If the service member to whom the spouse is married is alive, the spouse can be eligible if the service member has been officially declared missing in action (MIA) or a prisoner of war (POW) for at least 90 days. This eligibility is limited to one-time use. If the service member to whom the spouse was married has died, the surviving spouse can be eligible if he or she hasn’t remarried and the service member died on active duty, was a totally disabled veteran or was a veteran who died as a result of a service-connected disability. Spouses who have remarried may be subject to more complicated rules. A consultation with a VA-approved lender may be required. A spouse who obtained a VA home loan with an active-duty service member or veteran who subsequently died can be eligible to refinance that VA loan with a new VA loan at a lower interest rate through the VA streamlined refinance program. The service member's or veteran’s death need not be related to his or her service in this case. Children of active-duty service members or veterans, whether alive or deceased, aren’t eligible for VA loans as a benefit of the parent’s service. Reservists and National Guard members Members of the National Guard and Reserves can be eligible for VA loans if they have completed six years of service in the Selected Reserve or National Guard and they continue to serve in the Selected Reserve or were honorably discharged, placed on the retired list or transferred after honorable service to the Standby Reserve or an element of the Ready Reserve other than the Selected Reserve.​ Other people eligible for VA loans Individuals who have completed service with certain federal government organizations also can be eligible for VA loans. Examples include cadets at the U.S. Military, Air Force or Coast Guard Academy, midshipmen at the U.S. Naval Academy, World War II merchant seamen, U.S. Public Health Service officers and National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration officers.

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